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Vietnam era mag?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WestKentucky, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I was given a straight 20rd at mag today by a coworker who was enlisted shortly after Vietnam. Guy was in army for 8 and then Air Force for 20 before retiring, and has been at his current job for 20, and he is a good friend.

    The mag is a Simmonds / Universal 20rd straight mag typical of the style used “back in the day” and it is loaded with blanks of roughly the same vintage. Before I get wild and start using this mag, is there anything I need to consider? I know 20rd curved mags are supposedly more reliable, and the followers have changed a bunch, and some of the older mags are a bit more collectible, so should I move this thing around and put it with a vintage rifle through trade or should I just use it like I do any mag?
     
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  2. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    Fill it to 19 rounds.
    At 20 things go south

    AFS
     
  3. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I have a couple of 20 round mags of that era (thats when I got them). Mine are Colt mags. They work fine, and have been used constantly over the years.

    Unless you have another reason for not using it, I dont see why not.
     
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  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Downloading mags is not only for function in the firearm. If you load to full capacity you may not be able to or it will be difficult to seat the mag with the bolt forward. The number of magazine and AR manufacturers have increased the likelihood of this.
     
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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    When i sold these, i found out some old magazines are "grandfathered in" . They could be used in areas that ban larger capacity magazines. Makes magazines worth more$$. AR223Mags5.jpg 5AR223mags.jpg IMG_3885.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  6. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

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    A very long time ago the more experienced among us loaded 16 rounds in those magazines (not 19 or 20), and kept them clean.
     
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  7. joed

    joed Member

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    I was in the ARMY in 69/70 with a tour in Vietnam. The rifle used was the M16 A1 that used those mags. None that I know of ever had a problem keeping 20 rounds in the straight mags.
     
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  8. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    We were issued straight 20's in the early 80's, and I recall having no issues with them. I still have a pile of 'em, with the aluminum follower and all, and they work just fine. Updated followers are only needed for the curved 20rd mags, AFAIK.
     
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  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    F950BBD7-34AE-49E3-AE23-A7B85F3D1967.jpeg 3822E2BC-7551-4800-8894-64D6E3C37A65.jpeg 7B85BC00-F0F9-4998-932B-A94B3D9DDFDA.jpeg 5AE7C783-D664-47FF-AC92-3D51BC48D972.jpeg Finally got around to taking pics outside of the office area.
    Blanks are marked a mix of 76/77
     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I've been using the same GI 20 rounders for nearly 30 years and they were USED when I got them in the Army in 80-81 or so.
    My ABSOLUTE favorite AR mag and was almost always what I carried in my M-16s, 203s, CARs and M-4s and then 30s in the pouches.
    Just pulled a couple this morning to dedicate to my SU-16 as a truck gun.

    Also, my favorite low-cap, when it is mandated, are the Colt's versions built on 20 round bodies.
    IMG_1086.JPG



    Todd.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  11. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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  12. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I dont think filling the mag full is a problem, unless, as Griz22 stated, you try to load the mag into a gun with the bolt closed. More often than not, they usually dont seat properly when full.

    We always downloaded any of them by at least two, for that very reason. All the mags in my chest bags right now only have 28 rounds in them.

    Its no big deal if youre reloading the gun with the bolt locked back, and I dont ever remember having function issues when shooting full mags in that manner.
     
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  13. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

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    Everyone I knew on all of the teams loaded either 16 or 17. Long ago it was often hot, dirty, wet, and nasty and much of our work was on LRRP. There was not much immediate help if things did not work out as planned and with only six guys everything has to work every time.

    Load them full if you wish. Most people use them in clean and fairly non-stressful conditions so they should work just fine.
     
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  14. joed

    joed Member

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    May have been different out in the field. I was in aviation where the biggest problem was dust and sand. As said above if the bolt was back there were no problems with full mags in my environment.

    I actually have a few 20 round aluminum mags from that era but I think the Magpul 30 rounds are the best.
     
  15. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    18 in the 20 rounders worked for me in the day. The Colt marked mags seemed most desirable. All mine left have been upgradeded with the green followers and springs 25 years back.
     
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  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    That mag is a bit newer, 80's probably. I had some 20's left over after turning in the 'official' number we supposedly had when we got new "banana clips" (as most of the REMF's in my unit called them), I kept them for my use in the field, and sorted through them before and made sure all the 'keepers' were Colts.
     
  17. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    I have a couple 20 round Universal and Colt mags that I used when benchresting my AR. They seem to have gained some collectible value so I now use the 20 round ASC blackened stainless mags. They allow for longer OAL and work just as well as the GI mags. They have all the upgrades and are reasonable at $12 each.

    faxon18.jpg
     
  18. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    We still had some 20's in my late '90s - early '00s active duty Army unit. I kept the 30 rounders in the LBE or LBV pouches, but used a 20 for the "in gun" magazine due to handiness around equipment and getting in/out of vehicles.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  19. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I have a couple of GI 20 rounders with Colt floor plates. One works fine and the other has bad feed lips.
    I used the 20 round mags back in the 80’s while in ITS (Infantry Training School).

    Even tho my mind takes me back to places I’d rather not be, I don’t worry about having my mags ready for combat.
    I have some 30 round mags for home defense, but the rest of my mags are for sports, hunting, and recreational shooting.
    20 round mags are great for shooting from a bench.
     
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  20. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I remember using 20 count mags (“Lock and load one 20 round magazine - firers, watch your lane - commence (buzzer) firing!”). I do not recall any failures with 20 rounds loaded - my A1 was very reliable and accurate. I have not seen one of those mags since 1972 - brought back memories.
     
  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The 20 round mags were pretty common in the army in the 80's when I came in, especially in training units, reserves, etc. We loaded them all the way. If there were any problems, it was probably just because we had old guns and magazines.
     
  22. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    I’ve used the 20-round GI mags with aluminum followers since combat in the late 70s with 100% functionality. Yeah, some of the old salts said they only loaded 18 rounds, but I‘ve never had a problem with 20. Bad lips are the real problem, not capacity.





    .
     
  23. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    In Vietnam I loaded my M-16 twenty round magazines with eighteen rounds per magazine.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    I usually put just 2 rounds in one mag and 8 rounds in the other.
     
  25. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I lucked into some 20rnd mags that no one wanted at an auction, different mfgs, different shades of grey and some black, some were in plastic, some wrapped in paper, I purchased the tote while listening to everyone talk bad about them (metal 20 rounders :)) I've never had an issue after cleaning each one and have now dedicated all my 30 or 42 rounders as backup.
    I'm not sure when mine were made, some had sand in them and some had dirt, there were a few that had letters and numbers but they were worn badly
     
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