AR-15 Magazine Reliability Poll


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Precision
June 8, 2011, 05:09 AM
This is purely a reliability poll, so try to put all logistics/economics aside; which magazine works the best? I know they're all great mags, but does one of them truly stand out?

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Davek1977
June 8, 2011, 05:11 AM
Pmags all the way if you want 100% reliability.... at least they get my vote

Sport45
June 8, 2011, 06:48 AM
I have Stoner mags from Midway and Brownell's mags from ,well, Brownell's and they all seem to work fine with my White Oak uppers and Rock River lowers.

lmccrock
June 8, 2011, 07:34 AM
Both Pmags and USGI work equally well for me. No way to vote that, not enough experience with Lancer, but a sample size of 1 Lancer (20 rd) has been fine so far.

kwelz
June 8, 2011, 08:08 AM
I had been using PMAGs exclusively for training up till a month ago. I have now mixed about a dozen of the new lancers into my rotation. They really are an improved PMAG.

The only weakness to the PMAG was really the feed lips. I had three break on me over the winter. While Magpul replaced them with no questions asked it did underline the problem. The lancers fix this by adding Steel reinforcement to the feed lips. So far I only have about 500 rounds through them but there have been no issues as off yet.

I have heard people complain that the steel Will scratch up the inside of the magwell. But I am sure you can all guess my response to that.

Zach S
June 8, 2011, 09:58 AM
I didn't vote, as I don't have experience with all of the mags listed.

I've had no problems with USGI mags. I have a few PMags, but only to easily tell the difference in defense mags and range mags.

Z-Michigan
June 8, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have found total reliability with these mags:
Magpul Pmag 30rd
Lancer L5 (original type) 30rd
TangoDown ARC 30rd

I have some of the first Troy Battlemags to be sold retail, which I received middle of last week, and I really don't think ANYONE has enough time testing them to provide any meaningful comments on their reliability.

The Lancer L5 AWM is probably an improved mag, but again, who has really tested them enough to say something meaningful?

kwelz
June 8, 2011, 12:10 PM
The Lancer L5 AWM is probably an improved mag, but again, who has really tested them enough to say something meaningful?

My main instructor has been running them pretty hard. I have ran mine a bit. So far they have held up VERY well. I have a 2 day class coming up in July that I hope will really put them through the wringer. I will let you know how they do!

M1key
June 8, 2011, 12:58 PM
I have some old, worn-out original Colt 20 and 30-rounders that still work fine. Of the scores of AR mags I currently own, only one (new 20 round GI) fails to function if loaded with more than 10-12 rounds. I would be willing to try the newer generation mags, but I have plenty invested in new GI contract ones and will wait until they wear out (if they ever do) before I buy any more. I did upgrade to Magpul followers..

M

Maverick223
June 8, 2011, 01:10 PM
Lancer L-5s have been the most rugged and reliable magazine that I have tried (and they come in 20s, which is a nice bonus). The steel feed lips makes the magazine far more durable than the competition, and does so at little extra cost.

Others that have been 100% (until damaged, usually occurring at the feedlips) include PMags and USGI (to include Brownell's and NHMTG, amongst others, with the best being made by LaBelle and Adventureline). OTOH C-Products, Thermold, and H&K have proven to be mediocre at best; avoid anything ProMag at all cost!

I haven't tried the Troy BattleMag, and doubt I will unless they pull their head out of their hindquarters and put out a 20rnd copy.

WRT followers, I strongly prefer the CMMG stainless ones, as they feed "slicker" IME. They cannot be used in PMags, but work in USGI and Lancer L-5s (with a little modification to the follower) fine. Magpul followers are a decent alternative on applications that precludes the use of CMMGs, or if you don't want to make minor modifications for use in L-5s.

:)

Z-Michigan
June 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
My main instructor has been running them pretty hard. I have ran mine a bit. So far they have held up VERY well. I have a 2 day class coming up in July that I hope will really put them through the wringer. I will let you know how they do!

Look forward to it. As I said I've found the original L5 100% reliable, so they would have had to really screw things up to make the AWM version unreliable, but it is a fairly new item on the market. Not as new as my week-old (at best) Troy mags though.

JAV8000
June 8, 2011, 02:45 PM
If you're in a sandy environment and expecting your mags to work under field conditions, USGI mags suck.....I know, I'm currently deployed in such an environment. We were recently issued PMAGs because of the issues regarding USGI mags and functionality in this particular fine-sand environment. The PMAGs work much better, zero tilt follower and the capacity to operate even when contaminated with talcum powder consistency sand. Now, the reality is that you're probably not in said environment, in which case USGI mags should work just fine. In the end, I've personally found that the PMAGs are best and more time tested than the newer entries.

blackops
June 8, 2011, 03:55 PM
pmags...easy .

Heretic
June 8, 2011, 09:48 PM
I'm sorry, I know it's just me, but I just can't do plastic mags. Or plastic frames for that matter. I use GI spec mags with Magpul anti-tilt followers and I haven't had a problem ever. Four of these mags are worn to the point they have very little finish on them, but they still work great!

kwelz
June 8, 2011, 09:50 PM
Heretic, nothing wrong with that at all. USGI mags work well enough for most.

the biggest issue with magazines in the AR is that the platform was originally made for a 20 round mag. Hence the strait magwell. The 30 round mag necessitated a curved design. However it had to eventually go strait so it would fit into the magwell. Hence the problems.

Newer plastic mags try to keep the bullets channeled better and it does help. But USGI mags have worked pretty well over the years too :)

Carter
June 8, 2011, 10:06 PM
I love my pmags and standard mags I got from bravocompany (don't remember the manufacturer). The metal ones tend to pop out a lot faster though. They also are easier to double up on in mag pouches, but unless you're a soldier I don't really see that being much of an issue.

The pmags are by far the easiest on the fingers when it comes to loading though.

Z-Michigan
June 8, 2011, 10:19 PM
the biggest issue with magazines in the AR is that the platform was originally made for a 20 round mag

And the other biggest issue is that the magazine was originally intended to be disposable, rather like M1 Garand clips. Mags would be made and loaded in the factory, shipped to troops as loaded mags, and tossed after use. Things have changed a little.

This might help to explain why a platform that is so well engineered in most other ways has been struggling with the magazine forever. Notice that there are essentially no complaints about magazines for the AK47, FAL, M14, or G3, all of which went years on their original mag design, and the latter three of which are still using the original designs from +/- 50 years ago. (The AK100 series has gone to plastic magazines, still 100% compatible with the original design.)

kwelz
June 8, 2011, 10:21 PM
I actually completely forgot about that Z. But you are correct.

LeonCarr
June 8, 2011, 10:53 PM
Pmags all the way. IMO Pmags are to ARs what Wilsons are to 1911s. They flat out increase reliability of the platform.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

mr.trooper
June 8, 2011, 11:00 PM
I did a test a while back, where I soaked a bunch of mags in an ash/sand slurry, and then loaded and fired them

I Tested P-mags, Lancers, CMMG 'Immortals', C-products USGI mags, and Brownells USGI mags. Springs, followers, and feed lips were all coated...NONE of them failed - and they were absolutely caked with nasty gritty crap, consisting of a wide range of particle sizes, inside and out.

The moral, and truth, of the story is - Any high end mag is a good mag. Some people may occasionally find a brand of mag that their individual rifle doesn't like, but as long as you avoid "bargain brand" mags, it is simply not an issue.

FlyinBryan
June 8, 2011, 11:01 PM
i voted usgi mags. im sure the others are good too.

i have 10(ish) 30rd usgi with no need to change.

Zach S
June 9, 2011, 11:23 AM
avoid anything ProMag at all cost!
I like having a few crap magazines around, for real practice clearing malfunctions.

I have a couple of USA magazines for this purpose. I keep them separate from defense and range mags, until I go to the range, in which case they just get tossed in the bag.

Maverick223
June 9, 2011, 07:09 PM
I like having a few crap magazines around, for real practice clearing malfunctions. Well...in that case look no further than Pro-Mag. :D

Dr.Rob
June 9, 2011, 10:51 PM
Zero issues with Colt Mags or P-Mags in 2 years of use. I can see the 'long term' issue of aluminum mags bending etc, where a plastic mag would just break.

In some ways I see this as an advantage for plastic, ie if it's going to fail, you'll know it.

Chris Rhines
June 10, 2011, 07:38 AM
PMags work fine. I also have some USGI 30-rounders with Magpul followers, and some C-Products steel 30s with knockoff Magpul followers. They work fine, too.

The 1st Gen Lancer magazines gave me some trouble with my 77grn. match loads, which are a little long (2.255" OAL, still just within spec.) The Lancer AWMs don't seem to have this problem, although I don't have any live-fire time with them. Yet.

-C

Leathermarshmallow
June 10, 2011, 10:48 AM
I have a couple of lancers that work great when I shoot, but when my son shoots, they tend to jam every two or three rounds...I guess he is doing something wrong.

kwelz
June 10, 2011, 11:17 AM
Are they the new Lancers or the Old? Same ammo? Same Gun?

buzzg
June 10, 2011, 01:08 PM
PMag by MagPul

Heretic
June 11, 2011, 02:10 PM
From the numbers, I guess I'll have to give those PMags a try.

Z-Michigan
June 11, 2011, 06:57 PM
Tried out my Troy CBIR at a match today and it functioned 100%.... but I expect nothing less from a quality new AR mag, so I don't consider this a major accomplishment. I still think we'll need at least 1-2 months before even the busiest trainers have enough time with them to say anything.

Have some Lancer AWM mags on order to try those out.

OP, I really doubt you would have any issues with either Pmags, Lancers, or Tangodown (my favorite), and I would guess the Troys will also prove solid.

Leathermarshmallow
June 13, 2011, 12:20 PM
same lancers, same ammo, same gun....I don't understand why they tend to jam with him shooting but do not with me shooting...unless it is just the way he reacts to the recoil.

Justin
June 13, 2011, 04:57 PM
-USGI magazines, some with Magpul followers, some without.
-Pmags
-Tripp Cobramags, though my 50 round magazine required some hand fitting.

All of these magazines have run well enough for me. I do have a couple of Pmags that have cracked when dropped.

The Lancers have a good reputation and appear to be quite solid, but I have no firsthand experience with running them, and therefore can't really comment.

modifiedbrowning
June 13, 2011, 05:21 PM
USGI mags, 20 and 30 rnd, some with blk follower some with green follower. All have worked great for me.
Original Lancers, 30 rnd. I have two of these that have been 100% as well.
Pmag, 30 rnd. I have one of these that has been 100%.
Thermold, 30 rnd. I have one of these that works fine in my AR15s but does a bolt over feed in my AR180B.

LiquidTension
June 13, 2011, 05:31 PM
I've had problems with a 20 rd Pmag and possibly one of the 30s but I'm not sure it's the mag because the gun it was running in was having some problems. No problems with USGI mags, even ones that saw serious military use. I have one Lancer that has worked fine but it doesn't have more than a hundred rounds through it. I was recently given an ARC but haven't had time to test it yet.

I also have two HK mags and they have proven to be complete junk.

Onmilo
June 13, 2011, 05:35 PM
I use 30 shot P-Mags and 20 & 30 shot Brownells magazines now.
All y other magazines have been retired.

firemanstrickland
July 8, 2011, 11:21 PM
my tapco mags are awesome, i can't mess hurt em, ive tried. just my .02

rskent
July 9, 2011, 04:42 AM
I have had great luck with the straight 20 round mags from Brownell’s.

jad0110
July 9, 2011, 07:55 AM
I've had zero problems with my PMAGs. My USGI mags OTH are either 100% reliable, or can't feed more than 3 consecutive rounds without effing up. Most are fine though.

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