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Clear Magazine Panels?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Brass Rain, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Brass Rain

    Brass Rain Member

    May 27, 2008
    Nowhere, Louisiana
    I've noticed that although there are some firearms featuring magazines with open panels or clear plastic inserts (Makarov, Magpul PMAG, Chauchat, and the S&W ASP that goes a step further with clear grip panels as well). But it's not a popular design feature for magazines. So in our time of modern space-age polymers, why aren't we doing this more often? I'm sure it's cheaper to just drill little holes in the backs of the magazines, but clear panels on the sides would give a much quicker, more positive round count and look pretty cool. So why not do it?
  2. Archie

    Archie Participating Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    The idea of clear grips - as you seem to understand - is to be able to look at the magazine and see how much ammunition is left. This will prevent you from running out at a critical time in a gunfight.

    The downside is, in a gunfight, no one is going to look. One pays attention to the adversary. One reloads after firing shots and when safe to so do. (I'm an old bullseye shooter and have a counter somewhere above my right ear in my head. It's an option.)

    In a normal self-defense shooting, either LEO or private citizen, one's goal is to solve the problem with as few shots fired as possible. One concentrates on making hits and resolving the matter, not checking ammo level. I would go so far as to say, if one is checking ammo levels, one is in very deep over one's head and at a serious disadvantage. An application on one's cell phone to show a safe route of egress might be better than clear grips.

    But yeah, they do look cool on some guns. I still prefer faux ivory on most of mine.
  3. merlinfire

    merlinfire Active Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    I never liked their look. I also got the feeling it is probably more useful in plinking and training than in actual combat, though I really haven't been trained in combat so I don't know.
  4. Grunt Medic TXARNG

    Grunt Medic TXARNG Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    Clear or semi-translucent mags do have applications under certain circumstances. 3-gun shooters, for example, can do a very rapid check while moving between firing points to get an idea how close they are to a reload. There are clear shotgun magazine tubes and clear Saiga 12 magazines for just this reason - and for this reason I have Lancer mags for match use (1 48-round mag to start with and a couple of 30-rounders for reloading). On the down side, opaque steel or solid colored polymer magazines allow Soldiers to keep anyone looking uncertain about their defensive posture. My opinion, anyway.

    Of note, both the G36 and the Steyr AUG were/are issued with see-through magazines
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Mentor

    Sep 26, 2006
    all over Virginia
    Collector geeky stuff, which gun would you rather carry.


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