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US GI AR-15 steel mags

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ghostrider_23, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. Ghostrider_23

    Ghostrider_23 Member

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    I have read some threads that surplus or US or GI AR15 steel mags are not any good or have major problems. Everyone says to just buy the P-mags.

    What problems do the steel mags have?

    Can it be fixed?

    Are the P-mags that much better than the steel ones?

    What are your experiences with the steel mags?
     
  2. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    The H&K steel mags I've seen had issues with the feed lips getting bent. As for GI magazines, the regular aluminum issue ones work pretty well till they don't. I've had a bunch that looked OK, but wouldn't work. Problem was/is that a visual inspection doesn't always show you the problem, only during live fire do the problems show up.

    PMAGs are my favorites and I have yet to have any failures with the 30 round ones in the 3 years I've been using them. I've seen some issues with the older 20 round PMAGs.
     
  3. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    I have ~30 pre-ban 20 and 30 round USGI aluminum mags. All of the my mags have new springs and the 30 round mags also have magpul gen 3 followers installed. All of my mags are 100% reliable. As far as I'm concerned they are good to go.
     
  4. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    USGI aluminum mags are fine and work well until they break...just like anything else...

    HK steel mags are overrated and overweight...

    PMAGS good mags but can't say they are that much better than USGI ones..lets see how they are holding up after 10years of service in the troops hands...
     
  5. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    I have been using the standard steel 20 round mags for 30 years...never had one that worked suddenly have problems, they either always worked or never worked until the feed lips were tweaked. Last bunch of Stoners (a dozen of them) I bought all worked perfectly and most have about 00 rounds through them now.

    I do avoid 30 round mags of all types...too long to take a proper prone position for me.
     
  6. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    What is commonly called a USGI magazine for the AR platform is made of aluminum and not steel. There are steel mags in use (HK, mostly) but they are not as common and are fairly spendy.

    Are you interested in learning about issues with USGI mags, or steel (HK) mags?
     
  7. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    The ones I was issued broke when dropped easily with even just a few rounds in them. Some suffered from easily bending lips too. I traded them to others who thought they were "cool" for some of the old faithfull green follower GI's. They are also heavier by a noticeable amount too. THat makes a difference when you add up 7-12 (my usual load out) full of ammo and all the other crap for a dismounted patrol.

    For civilian use they should be ok, but I won't trust them.
     
  8. Ghostrider_23

    Ghostrider_23 Member

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    I guess I am interested in learning about issues with USGI mags.

    I saw some for sale on either Midway or Cheaper than dirt and want to buy some,but I wanted to know if they are worth the money or just save up for some Pmags
     
  9. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    Nothing wrong with USGI mags....they have been working fine for over 40 years now.......

    PMAGs are nice but don't have a long track record ....yet....I don't know how they will last longterm....

    You can't go wrong with either one but if it comes to you needing mags just buy the USGI Aluminums...
     
  10. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I've never seen a steel GI-issue AR or M-16 magazine.
    Denis
     
  11. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    He is talking about the steel HK mags...
     
  12. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    C-Products stainless mags are fine, but the paint is thicker than on a USGI aluminum mag, it can be sticky in some mag wells til it wears in.
     
  13. marsofold

    marsofold Member

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    Fusil magazines are a one-piece steel magazine welded at the seam. I have some and like them quite a bit.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have had problems with issued mags since 1993. Replacing the followers and springs helps a lot, but right now I have seven pmag 30-rounders on my vest. They are now issuing them to the guys in Afghanistan.

    As for asking how they hold up over the long-term, that sounds just like asking how a Glock holds up over the long term because it's made of plastic. I already know that G.I. mags DON'T. If they get dropped on the lips once it can ruin them.
     
  15. The Undertaker

    The Undertaker Member

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    I have six USGI magazines that are at least 15 years old. I swapped out the factory followers with Magpul ones and installed Magpul ranger plates. Not a single problem.
     
  16. dodge

    dodge Member

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    I have a 20 rounder with Colt on it which I picked up back in 1973 never had a bit of trouble with it and it has the metal follower.
     
  17. wally

    wally Member

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    P-mags often won't fit in guns like the FN-2000 that "take AR" mags. I've had no issues with them in guns they fit and lock into.

    I've GI mags that are 30+ years old, look like crap (maybe 10% original finish) weren't new when I got them and still work 100% in all my guns.

    Mags are pretty much binary in function either they work or not. If a mag gives me problems I'll try a quick spring and/or follower replacement and if that is not the cure, into the trash it goes.

    I have a lot more confidence in mags I've been using that any new one fresh out of the wrapper.
     
  18. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Steel H&K mags I'm aware of, just didn't know they were ever issued to our armed forces & don't consider them "US GI". :)
    Denis
     
  19. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Yes, they were adopted by SOCOM and (might be wrong on this part) the USMC also issued them.

    And they're junk. SOCOM ditched them most ricky-tick. In the SOF unit I was in we had magazine-induced stoppages from day one when we got them to the range. Mostly bent feed lips, but also HK's "anti-tilt" follower tilting and binding. All around great work by the trolls from Oberndorf.

    Magpul introduced the EMag for those weapons that don't like PMags. The Brits just bought a mountain of them for their L85s (allowing them to also ditch their H-und-K wunder-maggens). I'd say check them out if you're an FN-2000 shooter (they also work just fine in ARs).

    (Sadly, for the USMC, they bought the new H-und-K IAR which won't take PMags or EMags . . . apparently the trolls figured out that if you can't sell a substandard product to the military, you can always engineer related products to be incompatible with your competition.)
     
  20. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    HorseSoldier...
    The USMC didn't issue them on any sort of widespread scale...if a unit wanted them they could order them but early in '07 that magazine was put on hold and could not be requisitioned due to some unknown "issues" (at least thats what the Supply guys said.....)

    LOL I have a few shot them a few times and not really impressed..they are heavier. In the end I went back to my same personal Colt 30 rounders that I had been using most of my career....including one 1969 contract 1st run mag with the darkgreen follower and part number on it...after 40 years it was still running strong...

    USGI aluminums are so cheap..if one quits working..toss it and get a new one for about $9... THATS a no brainer...IMHO....
     
  21. APIT50

    APIT50 Member

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    IME, GI mags work fine for normal shooting, but drop it once on a hard surface loaded and I won't trust my life to it. My personal rifle at home sees p-mags, gi, thermold, even orlite, but in the sandbox or in competition give me a p-mag. Slap a GI mag against a hard surface on the spine to seat the rounds to many times and the spot welds can let go, bump the feed lips wrong and you have issues.
     
  22. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I'd avoid the steel mags, they are costly, heavy, and have the same problems as the Al. magazines and in some ways are worse. Genuine USGI aluminum magazines (NHMTG, Brownells, Adventureline, LaBelle, et cetera) are pretty good, but I prefer the modern polymer magazines today. Personally I feel that the Lancer L-5s are the best, but PMags are great as well.

    :)
     
  23. Cop Bob

    Cop Bob Member

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    I'm not a real big black gun shooter, I have two, but never really spend much time with them.

    I have experienced some feed problems with used USGI mags, but only after they were dropped loaded. I used a brass rod to straighten the lips, seemed to work, but they are now retired except for plinking.

    One problem that I have seen, with almost disastrous results, was overloading a magazine, seems as many USGI will accept more than 20 rounds, 21 or 22 rounds. A good friend and former partner got involved in a shooting with an overloaded mag and it jammed him up 1st round. Fortunately he was able to grab his partners AR and continue on. BTW, they won.. He never carried ball on the street again either!
     
  24. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    20rd USGI Colt mags with the metal follower are my favorite. I have three 30rd GI mags, and they work fine, but the 20's are what go to the range, and are what would be in my shorty were I to grab it for HD.
     
  25. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Thanks, was not aware the H&Ks had ever been issued to our military.
    Denis
     
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