Not-so-smooth Mapgul Mags


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JJNA
October 13, 2008, 10:56 PM
I just bought some Magpul and Lancer magazines from AIM, Inc. to use in my new SIG 556 Commando.

The 30-round Magpuls with windows seem pretty sturdy and slick. The followers move smoothly up and down when I push them with finger.

The 20-round Mapuls, however, are not so slick. When I push the followers into the magazine body, they get stuck and only pop back up when I shake the magazine or otherwise fiddle with the magazine. That's not normal, is it?

Is there a chance that with some use, the followers would "self-lubricate" and smooth out a bit?

BTW, the Lancer 30r-round mags do not seem as sturdy as Magpul mags, but are just as smooth. However, their followers do seem to tilt frontside a bit when I push them in.

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SimpleIsGood229
October 13, 2008, 11:30 PM
If I understand you correctly, the 30-rounders are PMags and the 20-rounders are the Lancers. No, the followers shouldn't stick. It sounds like they need to be replaced with MagPul tilt free followers. If it's MagPul followers that are sticking, contact customer service.

HorseSoldier
October 13, 2008, 11:31 PM
I've only got one 20 round PMag and that's obviously a statistically irrelevant sample and such, but it's also the only PMag I've ever had a stoppage with. Only happened one time, but that's one more stoppage than my nine or ten 30 rounders have had collectively.

marktx
October 13, 2008, 11:37 PM
The 20-round ones, however, are not so slick. When I push the followers into the magazine body, they get stuck and only pop back up when I shake the magazine or otherwise fiddle with the magazine. That's not normal, is it?


How is it if you load them up? Do they hang up with actual rounds in them?

Wes Janson
October 13, 2008, 11:59 PM
Magpul has stated that it's normal behavior for 20rd PMags. I've used them here and there a bit, nothing particularly extensive.

JJNA
October 14, 2008, 01:05 AM
If I understand you correctly, the 30-rounders are PMags and the 20-rounders are the Lancers. No, the followers shouldn't stick. It sounds like they need to be replaced with MagPul tilt free followers. If it's MagPul followers that are sticking, contact customer service.No, the 20-round mags are Magpuls. I edited the original post for clarity.
Magpul has stated that it's normal behavior for 20rd PMags.I am a bit confused by this remark. Does this mean Magpul says sticky followers are okay functionally in its 20-rounders? Or does it mean that Magpul says 20-rounders don't work as well as 30-rounders?

I'll test with actual rounds tonight and report back although I do not like to chamber rifle cartridges at home due to my fear of slam fires.

RockyMtnTactical
October 14, 2008, 04:11 PM
I would try actually using them first and see how they function.

TexasRifleman
October 14, 2008, 04:27 PM
I would try actually using them first and see how they function.

Oh come on now that can't possibly help ;)

Coronach
October 14, 2008, 04:40 PM
A friend of mine has a (single) 20 round pmag, and he too was unimpressed with the slight binding of the follower. He decided that he was going to go make it jam so he could write a scathing email and get his money back (hey, everyone has to have a hobby, his is Fighting the Good Fight over $15).

Last time I heard, he has put around 500 rounds through "that *censored* stupid magazine", and it has failed to provide him with the failure he is demanding. I think he may be on the verge of admitting that it is reliable, after all.

Mike :)

JJNA
October 14, 2008, 04:44 PM
I don't understand, though, why the 30-round PMAG followers move up and down smoothly, but those from the 20-round PMAGs do not.

Intuitively, it seems wrong for followers to bind.

Coronach
October 14, 2008, 04:48 PM
Oh, I agree. But if it fails to fail...

Slimjim
October 14, 2008, 05:02 PM
I think the old colt 20 rd mags would do this too

everallm
October 14, 2008, 07:24 PM
It may be as simple as the 30 is heavier than the 20.....

Someone who is having the issue with a 20 who also has a 30, weigh them both and add the difference to the 20 and see if it drops.

taliv
October 14, 2008, 07:27 PM
not to totally derail this thread... but what is the point of 20 rnd pmags? i mean, why would you want one?

JJNA
October 14, 2008, 07:38 PM
I don't know about others, but two reasons for me: 1) legal to open carry with 20 rounds or below (plus a few other restrictions) in Virginia and 2) for those occasions when the extra protrusion of the 30-round mags is a bit unhandy (prone shooting).

Wes Janson
October 14, 2008, 07:43 PM
I don't understand, though, why the 30-round PMAG followers move up and down smoothly, but those from the 20-round PMAGs do not.

Intuitively, it seems wrong for followers to bind.


If you look at the follower, the 20rd does not have the rear legs, I'd speculate in order to give room for the bases of the cartridges. Straight body vs curved body means it's going to need that. Binding comes from the fact that it's not as fully supported as the 30rd followers.

It should be pointed out that people have been using 20rd GI mags for decades, even with the crappier follower designs, and they DO work decently well. I've got a friend who still uses the same 20-round Colt mag he was issued in Vietnam. No finish left on the thing, but he runs it all the time.

In short, don't worry about it.

DBR
October 14, 2008, 11:32 PM
The follower in a straight 20rd AR mag has to be able to tilt because the cartridges are tapered. The taper makes the stack taller at the back than at the front. When the cartridges cause the follower to tilt it is within the design parameters of the follower. If you just push down on the end of the follower it tilts more than it is designed to and binds.

Also, some of the early followers had some "molding flash" usually at the rear. Trimming this off makes the follower move better.

emobley
March 25, 2009, 01:08 AM
Hi,

I noticed the same thing with the 20 round magpuls - the follower was not as smooth. I decided not to buy them and stick with the 30 rounders. I contacted Magpul and they said they were using a different material for the follower. They said they would replace any 20 rounder with a 30 rounder if I had issues. Once the 20 rounders become available again, I'll have to purchase a few to see how they run.

Justin
March 25, 2009, 02:08 AM
not to totally derail this thread... but what is the point of 20 rnd pmags? i mean, why would you want one?

I can think of a couple of situations where a 20-round magazine would be preferable to a 30-rounder.

- You shoot High Power.
- Useful when shooting prone through a very low port.
- When shooting off of an angled incline. (Explanation below.)

At last year's LEO-only IBPO Point-Blank 3-Gun Match, the rifle stage required competitors to shoot their semi-auto rifle off of the platform pictured below. I helped to RO the stage, and witnessed a significant number of competitors suffer multiple failures when shooting off of the angled platform if they were monopodding off of the edge of the magazine. From what I saw, the only competitors who didn't have this problem were the ones who were running 30-round P-Mags or opted to run that part of the stage with a 20-round magazine in order to get a better position.

http://demigodllc.com/photo/IBPO2008/small/D462_8323_img.jpg

Note that the above picture is, of course, copyright of Zak Smith. Also, the photo shown is from a later team-based stage that utilized the same prop, which is why the photo shows a competitor with a bolt gun rather than an AR15. I'm the dork on the very left edge of the picture with the hat cam looking at the digital display in his hand.

The same prop has been used at local tactical rifle matches, and I've seen the same jamming issue crop up.

mstirton
March 25, 2009, 03:10 AM
I have one 30 rd PMag that binds a little when I push the follower down by hand. I use it for range time and it never failed. I got it for cheap and was expecting this problem since it is a pre July '07 mag when Magpul made some changes. I got it in an order along with several post 7/07 mags to see what the difference was. It gets a little tight inside the mag body but never actually sticks - that would worry me.

stubbicatt
March 25, 2009, 08:32 AM
With all the talk of these AR magazines, so consistently not working properly, for the first time this morning, I feel the frustration.

I am glad I use HK 9x series rifles. No magazine or feeding issues there. They always feed, they always go "bang." Now if only the HK33 magazines would drop below $50 apiece...

I wish you guys the best of good luck, the sun gently shining on your faces, the breeze gentle and cool, all rounds in the "X" ring, and no bad AR magazines...

JohnBT
March 25, 2009, 08:41 AM
"what is the point of 20 rnd pmags?"

It was either buy them or a 3-month supply of beef jerky. :) There weren't any 30s or ammo to be had that day.

I live in VA too.

John

waterhouse
March 25, 2009, 11:24 AM
not to totally derail this thread... but what is the point of 20 rnd pmags? i mean, why would you want one?

We mount an AR between the seats of an old truck as sort of a ranch gun when we are out bird hunting. The rig it sits in was thrown together for a non-ar, and the AR only fits in it with a 20 round mag. I was ordering some other Pmags after we realized this so I got a 20 rounder just for that purpose.

That's the only reason I own one. It actually gets stored in my bird vest, because otherwise I'd forget it when I grabbed the hunting stuff and the AR.

Otto
March 25, 2009, 11:58 AM
I noticed the same thing with the 20 round magpuls - the follower was not as smooth. I decided not to buy them and stick with the 30 rounders.

The followers on the 20rd mags are different from the followers on the 30 rounders. They are not interchangeable.

Take a pencil with an erasure and force the 20rd follower down and up a couple of dozen times. This should smooth things up.

When shooting at the range from a bench rest, I much prefer the 20 rounders since they're shorter and don't interfere with the table.
BTW, the last Colt AR15 I bought shipped with 20 round metal mags.

Justin
March 25, 2009, 07:04 PM
With all the talk of these AR magazines, so consistently not working properly, for the first time this morning, I feel the frustration.

I am glad I use HK 9x series rifles. No magazine or feeding issues there. They always feed, they always go "bang." Now if only the HK33 magazines would drop below $50 apiece...

I wish you guys the best of good luck, the sun gently shining on your faces, the breeze gentle and cool, all rounds in the "X" ring, and no bad AR magazines...

I think much of what you see can be attributed to the amazingly deep market penetration of the AR15/M16 family of rifles in the military, LEO, and civilian world.

Far more people are firing far more rounds of ammunition through AR-pattern rifles than through HK-pattern ones. Couple that with the literally dozens of manufacturers of rifles, components and magazines and it becomes understandable that there are going to be failures. This is why it's important to test any rifle under conditions that are at least somewhat real-world, and why I've become something of a proponent of practical shooting competitions that involve rifles.

steven04
March 26, 2009, 01:36 PM
I have 10 30 rounders and 2 20 round PMAGS.

The 30's have been fine. but both of the 20's exhibited 'sticky' followers.
I gave mine a squirt of dry lube and this resolved the issue for me.

YMMV

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