Which is the preferred polymer AR-15 magazine of choice & why?
What are the benefits of polymer magazines vs. standard steel magazines?
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January 16, 2013, 03:30 PM
Magpul PMAG without a doubt. I use some 20rd thermold mags with success.
Why, just well made.
January 16, 2013, 03:37 PM
PMags are great!
January 16, 2013, 03:47 PM
i use the colt 40 rnd mags awsome
use to hold 42 but installed the antitilt followers and now hold just 40
if you find them buy them
January 16, 2013, 03:54 PM
Magpul is certainly the most popular and highly regarded.
I do like the Lancers too though but i haven't invaded Poland with them or anything. Complete visibility is certainly superior to a little window. The hardened steel lips are a nice feature.
I'm of the opinion that if a company puts out low quality junk then none of their products are to be trusted which is why i avoid Crapco.
January 16, 2013, 04:16 PM
Most of my Mag's are PMags, I do have a few metal GI mags laying around. I have never had any issue with either.
January 16, 2013, 04:39 PM
PMAGs are great but I now like the Lancers better. A lot of folks like the Troy too.
January 16, 2013, 06:54 PM
Pmags are not indestructable, but they are pretty tough.
Best thing about poly mags is they are easier on your fingers loading and unloading.
January 16, 2013, 08:47 PM
At our local matches AR malfunctions have all but disappeared as Pmags have become what the AR guys run. A screwed up AR is now something noteworthy instead of being a commonality.
January 16, 2013, 09:36 PM
1) Lancer L5 AWM - Sturdy steel feedlips, but has a polymer mag body so that it gives when it needs to (like if it's stepped on). Also has a non-tilt follower. Best of the best since its a hybrid of metal and polymer.
2) USGI w/Magpul follower - Improves on an already good idea. NHMTG, Colt, Adventure-line, Center, Okay and D&H are favorites. I prefer this follower as it doesn't tilt at all.
3) USGI w/green follower - The standard by which all others are judged.
4) Magpul M3 PMag - The floor plate doesn't stick out quite as much and they're easier to get out of pouches.
5) Magpul M2 PMags - To get them to seat on a closed bolt you pretty much have to download them to 28 rds. That's a good idea on most mags anyway, on them it's pretty much a necessity. Floor plate sticks out a bit too much. Not bad mags at all though, very sturdy.
6) Steel (British SA-80 STANAG N.A.T.O.) English Imperial mags - Good, sturdy and slightly heavier.
7) Tango-Down ARC's - Pretty good except their OAL is longer and you can't take them apart
8) Black follower USGI - Decent, but based on their age their spring probably needs to be replaced.
9) Israeli Orlites - Not bad and they work pretty well.
10) Thermolds - Okay for range mags, just don't get your AR super hot or it'll melt.
11) Pro-mag - Pretty sucky.
12) USA brand aluminum AR-15 mag - Totally suck, better off with no mag and using it as a single shot rifle. It'll be quicker.
*Haven't tried the steel E-Lander mags, Tapco mags (I stay away from them on almost everything based on their other products) or the HK steel mags yet, don't know about them*
January 16, 2013, 09:48 PM
Which are in stock, or in hand may be the operative element of the inquiry, unless one had examples of all mentioned and was merely deciding which to use for their new favorite.
January 16, 2013, 11:06 PM
I prefer the Lancers over the PMAGs, but they both work well.
January 16, 2013, 11:19 PM
I prefer PMags over the Lancers, Thermolds, and Tapco's I've used here and there. PMags (and a Surefire 60) are the only non-USGI mags I've been confident enough in to take downrange.
My experience with Thermolds was from back in the early 90s when I was issued them by the .mil in a couple different units. Those ones were maple-leaf marked Canadian military issue, and I was told that in the run up to the first Gulf War the US government had purchased a large number of them. They ran fine, though as was noted up thread, I was mostly using them for things like going to the range to qualify, and not churning through a stack of them as fast as I could get rounds out.
January 17, 2013, 12:10 AM
Troy battle mags?
January 17, 2013, 12:24 AM
Troy Battlemags and Pmags are both top notch. (arguably tied for the best)
BCM and C-Products Teflon coated Aluminum mags are both very good (really good magazines). Both with Magpul followers
Like them or hate them, but newer production Tapcos have been pretty reliable for me. I think, do to some of the older mags quality control they are popular to hate. These mags also have a very good warranty. Tapco (IMO) is really attempting to get these right.
Surefire 60: Reliable (for the most part) for me.
Promag: Their "Blue Steel" USGI type magazines, well...SUCK!! These mags look relly good!! They are all metal construction, teflon coated black in color. They have the "old" green USGI "tilt" not anti-tilt followers. They will malfunction if loaded anywhere near to capacity.
Promag: 42 round polymer. I bought some of these as a "what the hell" kind of buy. They have been pretty good magazines. Load them to about 35-37 rounds and no problems. They are all plastic constuction...so probably do not expose to high heat.
Never tried any Thermolds
January 17, 2013, 12:57 AM
My experience is the best performance is PMags and Tango Down.
January 17, 2013, 01:06 AM
all i own are PMAGS but i have never had a problem with any of them.
January 17, 2013, 10:51 AM
My favorite aspect to polymer magazines is the ease with which the feed lips can be given a cursory inspection for function. On the older metal magazines bent feed lips were the number one mag-related failure IME. Unfortunately this couldn't be diagnosed until you were actually shooting the gun. With a PMAG it's binary: the feed lips are either solidly intact, or they're cracked. That eliminates having to function check for a very common magazine failure.
I bought my own PMAGs and carried them through 2 tours in Afghanistan, rain, snow, ice, heat, cold, dirt, etc. They work, are durable, and they last. Under normal circumstances, they're also inexpensive. I only broke one, and I don't blame the mag. I overloaded a 30-rounder prior to running "ready-up" drills. During a lull in the drill I went to swap magazines with the bolt forward. Magazine wouldn't seat when I slapped it into place. I hit it progressively harder a couple times, to the point that my hand bruised (again, this was mid-drill). When it still wouldn't seat, I yanked it out and tossed it for another one. When I picked it up at the end of the drill the feed lips cracked on the back side of the magazine. Overloading had something to do with it; beyond that it was probably me beating the tar out of it.
January 17, 2013, 10:59 AM
I recall watching a video where a Pmag was run over by a Humvee and still worked fine afterwards. Then it was shot with an AK and though the spring had to be trimmed, it too worked.
I purchased a few 20 and 30 round Pmags after watching. They work great. I especially like the dust covers that reduce pressure on the feed lips of loaded magazines while in storage.
May 26, 2013, 11:16 PM
The Lancers and Magpuls top my list, it that order followed by USGI aluminum.
I like the Lancers because of the metal lips and the ability to get ones which are translucent. In addition to being see through they also do a good job of marking where rounds 30 and 20 are so you can do a quick count of how many rounds are left in the mag.