Which AR mags?


January 25, 2012, 10:01 PM
I am beginning my 1st AR build and was wondering which mags are reliable? I see bulk packs of USGI that are definitely affordable. I know of magpull and they seem to have many positive comments. Are the USGI mags a compromise of cost and reliability?


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January 25, 2012, 10:06 PM
Magpul PMags


Allegedly Lancer is better than PMag because of metal follower instead of plastic, but doesn't seem to be a problem in the PMags.

January 25, 2012, 10:06 PM
New USGI real contract (Brownells, OKay) mags with the tan follower are great but a lot of people make "USGI" mags that are not always to spec. These also tend to be cheaper so be watch out. With P-Mags you know you will always get top notch ready to rock mags at a good price. Now I always see Brownells mags for about $10 at the shows and can get Pmags for 15 shipped online all day so its a toss up.

January 25, 2012, 10:07 PM

January 25, 2012, 10:08 PM
Magpul PMags


Allegedly Lancer is better than PMag because of metal follower instead of plastic, but doesn't seem to be a problem in the PMags.
The lancer has a plastic follower. Its the metal feed lips that make it "better". They are every bit as good as any other mag and I would recomend them as much as pmags.

January 25, 2012, 10:10 PM
Whatever kind you get take a marker and number them. That way if you consistently have a problem with the same mag you know it's junk.

January 25, 2012, 10:17 PM
Thanks Jerk, Thats great advice:D

January 25, 2012, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the replies. An extra 5 bucks a mag is nothing for added reliability.

January 25, 2012, 10:48 PM
I haven't had any problems with USGI mags (all mine have the green follower). PMAGS may be better, I have a few of those and like how the cover can relieve the tension on the feed lips, but I have no problem running USGI mags.
I'd say, if money is a concern, run USGI mags. If it's not, stock up on PMAGS. Both will serve you well.

January 25, 2012, 11:35 PM
PMags for me, I have had numerous issues with USGI mags /green lips- follower.

January 25, 2012, 11:45 PM
PMags for me. They're cheap and they work.

January 25, 2012, 11:47 PM
I've used real USGI mags in actual combat in crappy conditions and they haven't let me down. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.

January 25, 2012, 11:48 PM
When I deployed recently, I stored my G.I. mags and carried Pmags.

January 25, 2012, 11:56 PM

January 26, 2012, 12:08 AM
I use PMAGs, Lancers AWM, and Troy Battlemags. All have functioned well. Although some of the early Lancers had feedramp issues.

January 26, 2012, 12:31 AM
i hope the new lancer L5 AWM with steel lips works well

January 26, 2012, 12:48 AM

January 26, 2012, 01:15 AM
Pmags are the best for the price, although if you already have surplus mags you can increase their reliablity with the addition of a Magpul Self Leveling Follower.

I've already replaced the followers on all fifty of my alloy mags and discarded any which seemed to bind or didn't feed properly, but I also have twenty Pmags. The only downside I can think of about the Pmag is that they are slightly wider and don't fit most ammo pouches very well.

walking arsenal
January 26, 2012, 01:33 AM
Another for Pmags. Reliable and cheap.

I have some of the aluminum AR mags and kind of have a love hate relationship with them.

I got a new one today that fit tight in my rifle. Brand new. Doesn't fit the mag well. It's a Brownells.

I had another aluminum one that I accidentally dropped while loaded and it came apart.

Pmags won't do that.

January 26, 2012, 02:27 AM
isn't pmag lip not as strong as steel/aluminum so they include mag cover? which is a bit odd

January 26, 2012, 03:06 AM
Another vote for Pmags.

Pmags can distort (so they say) if stored loaded so thats what the clip is for.

January 26, 2012, 03:36 AM
Pmags and they look nice as well. (the one with a window)

January 26, 2012, 06:14 AM
When I deployed recently, I stored my G.I. mags and carried Pmags.

Ditto here, twice over. I've only broken one, but that was user error - overloaded it by 1 round, then went to load that mag in the weapon during reflexive fire. When it wouldn't seat I slammed the base multiple times, hard enough to bruise my hand and crack one of the feed lips. I like the status of my equipment to be binary; it either works or doesn't work. I'd rather have a plastic feed lip that's obviously cracked instead of a metal mag that may or may not be to spec with a glance.

If you decide to go Brownell's, the ones with the tan follower are what's coming out of the arms here for new mags. No griping from Joe about them. Black followers have been ordered for turn-in, green is still okay by Uncle Sam.

January 26, 2012, 06:24 AM
I had to send 3 Brownells magazines back due to the feed lips cracking.They were good about replacing them,but I worry the replacements will crack.Time will tell.Ill buy Pmags next time.

January 26, 2012, 09:27 AM
Well the overall consensus appears to be pmags for 1st choice. The USGI second, and may or may not work reliably depending on the manufacturer. Thanks or all the input.

Ghost Tracker
January 26, 2012, 09:35 AM
pmags here. But DID buy some high-quality (and high-dollar) HK mags for one of my AR variants. I'm not sure if they're a good value, but they are a mighty fine magazine.

January 26, 2012, 04:17 PM
In my experience, pmags are no more likely to have the lips crack or distort than other mags. The cover is redundant, to keep the pressure off the lips. I only use it for long-term storage. Remember, with an aluminum mag, if you drop it loaded and it lands on its lips, and they bend, it is pretty much done.

January 26, 2012, 04:55 PM
The lancer has a plastic follower. Its the metal feed lips that make it "better".

Thanks for the correction!

January 26, 2012, 05:06 PM

They have got at least two GI contracts for well over 3 million mags in the last few years.

I have several, and they always work.



January 26, 2012, 07:20 PM
I use C-products blackened stainless GI and PMAGS. Most magazines work pretty well. I think you have to look long and hard to find crappy AR magazines. PMAG's are held in reverance in the AR circles, but nothing is as good as you hear it is in the AR crowd. I find PMAG's to be of acceptable quality, nothing "special". They do look good in pictures though.

January 26, 2012, 07:35 PM
+1 on Pmags
+1 on Hk Mags (heavier steel construction, double as bludgeoning device in a bind :D)

On the subject of GI mags, green followers no, they can kink in adverse conditions, push down on just the front of the follower, it will stay in place. Tan followers yes. The biggest issue I have seen with the stamped mags in the military is the troops who smack them against their helmets to align the rounds. This mushrooms the mag and can split poor tack welds. If you go with Colt, or Brownells you should be fine, I have had problems with the Kay mags in the past. Self levelers from Pmag are a great addition to the GI mags, helps with feeding. And as mentioned before, clean your mags once in a while, taking care of your gear is never a bad idea.
I have also seen the Israeli 45 round polymer mags in use, heard great things about those too.

Welding Rod
January 26, 2012, 10:57 PM

January 26, 2012, 11:11 PM
I like pri, ar stoner, tango down, and pmags

January 26, 2012, 11:49 PM
I went with D&H USGI Mags with enhanced follower from BCM. I think a good value for $10.99. Worked great in my Spike's.http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/AR-15-Magazines-p/magazines%20dh%20bt30mf.htm

January 27, 2012, 01:52 AM
Another vote for PMags. Hard to go wrong with those.

January 27, 2012, 02:08 AM
I have Brownell's and Stoner mags. Haven't had a problem with any of them.

January 27, 2012, 02:46 AM
Real USGI are gtg; I have preban Labelle, new D&H (and Bushmaster banded D&H) and recently picked up some NHMTG straight 20s (they supply Colt's straight 20s). Haven't used the NHMTG mags yet but the Lebelles and D&Hs have been 100%, they have the green followers. I think the Labelles ran $14, the D&H $10 and the NHMTG $13.

I have several C-products "USGI" mags. They are aftermarket pure and simple. They are not as nice on the welds but they work; so far 100% and they to have green followers. They were $7.

I have 1 Brownell's "USGI" mag; I don't know who makes it but it works. It was free.

I have several windowed P-mags I use in my MSAR E4 and Sig 556. The only difference I can tell is the P-mags are longer which makes them easier to seat with 30 rounds on a closed bolt. I use them in the 2 rifles above only because they look better, more at home, than the USGI ones. Of course, the USGIs work here too. They were $17 a pop.

I guess long story short it doesn't matter, lol. As long as it's a Magpul or USGI contractor they are good; just get what you want, that's at the price you want. It's probably easier to agree on which mags NOT to buy: Promag, eagle, triple K, USA, MSAR XM117and certain Thermolds.

January 27, 2012, 06:50 AM
I prefer D&H with magpul followers. $90/10 at Aimsurplus.com

January 27, 2012, 10:23 AM
i think one should give lancer L5 awm a try, it's new so not many people have it, but based on the improved design over L5 (which is pretty good to begin with), steel lips and translucent body, should be great

January 27, 2012, 01:13 PM
Colts & PMags though I have some C Products mags too.

January 27, 2012, 10:06 PM
I've used USGI mags for 10 years and 3 in the desert and don't have a problem with them. Take care of them and I'd trust them anywhere.

January 28, 2012, 01:29 AM
I have several Brownells and P-Mags, 20 and 30 shot Brownells and 30 shot P Mags.
I also have a few Masen 9 shot short magazines, all have functioned perfectly, even when left loaded for a year or better.

About half of my Brownell magazines have Magpul followers and the others have OEM green followers.

January 28, 2012, 10:58 PM
almost all of ours are older lebelle 30rd g.i. type. also have a couple of c-products 10rd mags. the lebelle's have green followers, and the 10rd c-products just have cheap looking black followers.

none have ever stopped with the rifles we run them in now, although they had some problems in our colt's, but that was just the rifles. the ones we run them in now are far more reliable (perfect) so i dont plan to change

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