Do you number your mags?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by USAF_Vet, Dec 12, 2015.

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  1. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I watch a lot of YouTube gun videos during my downtime, and often see people number their mags, both rifle and pistol.

    I've never done this, but I've been acquiring a lot of magazines lately, and figured it can't hurt. While I've never had a problem magazine, failures are bound to happen eventually.


    How do you number them? Location? Paint pen or permanent marker? Obvious or as inconspicuous as possible? Bright color or subdued?

    I plan on using one color of paint pen, red, and mark them inconspicuously on the floor plate, based on the type of magazine. I don't think I have more than 9 of any type of magazine, so numbers 1-9 can be used for USGI aluminum as well as Black Magpul and FG Magpul will get their own set of numbers. 20 round mags will get the same treatment, as will pistol mags.

    I figure this will better allow me to track each mag, how many rounds I put through them, and get rid of them or repair them if they consistently fail.
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I number my AR mags and put my name on them with gold paint pen marker. That sounds garish but it isn't. The gold is pretty subtle against the black mag body (looks more like shiny tan) but enough to be able to read it clearly. From more than a few feet away you can't see it, but up close it's perfectly legible.

    It's really for tracking problems. If you have a malfunction you can very promptly tell if it's a gun problem or a problem with one magazine.

    As for signing them, that's just so I get mine back after each match stage! Solves the problem of picking up random dropped mags after a squad is finished with a stage, "ok, who's is this? Who was shooting an AR today?" ... seventeen hands go up and nobody is quite sure if that's theirs or not. :rolleyes:
     
  3. housepainter

    housepainter Member

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    Sounds like a good idea. Should make feeding issues easier to diagnose.
     
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    All of my competition mags are numbered. I number the base pad, metal mags I stick a paster on the base plate and use a sharpie. Plastic base plates I use an engraver or knife.

    I have an electro/chemical etcher and a CNC mill but have been too lazy to get fancy.
     
  5. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I numbered my Glock mags on the side of the magazine body with red paint pen (put my name on the other side). That way it's very evident which mag it is and who owns it when it's out of the gun.

    On my rifle mags I've been putting a few wraps of red duct tape around the mag and then writing on that in black sharpie. Makes finding the mags after a training class much easier.
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Typically if I have fewer than three mags for a gun, then no I don't number them. More than three then they get numbered because it starts to get troublesome keeping track of them.
     
  7. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I made labels for mine with a Dymo Letra label maker. I was a little leery about using those labels at first but we had good luck labeling heavy use equipment at the PD with one (portable radios, cuffs etc.) that I tried it and have had no problem. It's a small label and relatively unobtrusive. One note, I found that for pistol magazines it's best to put the label on the side of the magazine instead of the end like I did on my rifle magazines. Labels on the end of the pistol mags get rubbed off inserting the mags.
     

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  8. dwstone1227

    dwstone1227 Member

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    Yes. I have tried tape, permanent markers, finger nail polish, etc. I now etch my mags with an engraver. The etching stays, everything else has rubbed off.
     
  9. ACP

    ACP Member

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    No. I'm not sure why I would. If my gun is jamming at the range, I'll clean it and try different ammo. If it seems to be jamming with one magazine, I'll separate that mag. and run some tests. If the gun has a problem with that mag. and no others, the magazine gets tossed in the trash. It helps that I buy only quality AR-15, 1911 and Hi Power magazines.

    Caveat: I don't do gun games or competitions, where numbering mags may have a benefit. I'm also a bit fanatical about cleaning and maintenance.
     
  10. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I've only numbered my AR magazines. I just use my last name initial and started at #1. For instance, H1, H2, etc.

    Why the initial? So when I shoot ARs with friends, I know the H mags are mine.
     
  11. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Those labels are great until they get really hot.

    My wife has the same label maker and re-did the wording on our washer and dryer. The heat in the laundry room turned them all black. :D

    It's kind of like leaving a laser printed receipt on the dash of your car in the summer time.
     
  12. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    I mark with paint, but have thought about more permanent etchings. Let me ask this...if you were buying at a gun show, would you care (i.e. pay less) if the mag was etched with a simple number?
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    If it was a collector's piece, that would absolutely detract from the value of the package. However, if you're numbering mags (and initialing them or whatever) it's usually because this is a gun you're actively using, probably in competitions and training where mags get dropped and kicked around constantly. That's not the sort of thing you'd do with an expensive, rare, vintage gun. Mags for common service pistols are wear items, semi-disposable.

    If you go to sell your M&P, Glock, 1911, or whatever and the buyer complains about a number on the magazine you're providing, tell him he can buy dozens more from any vendor.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Generally, I do not label/number my magazines. For the most part, I do not ever have more than one or two magazines in service for a particular fire arm.

    But, when I was shooting Service Rifle, my magazines were labeled "2" and "8" to indicate the round count in the magazine for rapid fire stages.

    If I think I am have trouble with a magazine, I will label it so that it can easily be identified for trouble shooting purposes.

    If I was competing where lots of magazines were used and the potential for losing them existed, i would number them and put my name on them for identifying purposes later. Who cares what the mall ninjas think.

    I use a Brother P-Touch labeler with plastic tape. Reasonably durable, reasonably removable, quite visible. I like the gold paint pen idea.
     
  15. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Must not have used the same label tape. It was 2006 or 2007 when I labeled all of my magazines. I've heated the weapons up in carbine classes but the magazines never got that hot. I've had no problem with the labels on my rifle magazines. And some of them have been abused a lot in training.
     
  16. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    You're probably right.

    What accelerated the laundry room incident was the dryer exhaust was blocked and all the heat and humidity stayed in the closed door 5 foot x 10 foot room. It was as hot as a car in the summer time with the windows rolled up.
     
  17. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    For my AR mags I use a square of masking tape and a sharpie, on the floorplate. I shoot highpower and it helps to narrow down a specific mag that develops some kind of issue - one mag sometimes spits out a round if I seat it forcefully; another likes to hold the bolt open on the second to last round (but only does it in one lower). I use another small square (unnumbered) to designate the mag loaded with 2 rounds from the ones with 8.
     
  18. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Big red 17 painted with Krylon on my competition rifle magazines.

    It's not easy to scratch off. Everyone uses Magpul mags so mine are easily identifiable.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188769&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1378705542

    I have never done so with my pistol mags, as few other shooters my pistol (BHP clone). If I was running a Glock or 1911 I'd paint my base plates.
     
  19. Coyote3855
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    Coyote3855 Contributing Member

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    Only the ones I use in competition.
     
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