Why do so many people get worked up about proprietary magazines?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Jason_W, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I've been heavily researching my options for compact .308 cal rifles with iron sights. Most of these are labelled "scout" by their manufacturers.

    Inevitably, in the comments section of various articles, numerous people engage in what can only be described as rage-shrieking when they learn that a manufacturer has designed a rifle to take a magazine that isn't an AR magazine.

    It stands to reason that not every rifle design, particularly bolt actions, can be designed to reliably operate with an AR mag. Yes, Mossberg did it with the MVP, but it required adding a fragile looking tab to the bolt and from what I've seen and read, the MVP action is like sandpaper dragging on emery board.

    If you want a rifle that takes a ubiquitous magazine, there are options for you. But why react to a proprietary magazine with the same level of personal offense you'd have if the CEO of a gun maker let his dog poop on your lawn?

    Sometimes, I think the average gun consumer just expects too much.

    Gun consumer: Wow, this rifle is great. MOA accuracy, reliability, great customer support from the manufacturer . . . Say, does it take AR mags?

    Gun manufacturer: I'm afraid not.

    Gun consumer: DIE IN A FIRE, SCUM!!

    Yes, there's some hyperbole there, but hyperbole to underscore a point.
     
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  2. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I'll opine that for a lot of younger shooters AR mags are a regularly found item with a history of working well. We all know how a mini 14 isn't all that reliable with the majority of aftermarket mags, but AR rifles can mix and match 15 different brands of magazines with no change in reliability.

    I guess the only 'rational' argument may be that proprietary mags can be expensive or hard to find...HK SL 6-7 mags come to mind as an example. Gunbroker or internet sales have improved this issue immensely, but some mags just bring a premium even when you find them.

    It's not a big deal if you have a bunch of magazines in case one dies on you, but once a gun goes out of production these types of mags can be as common as leprechaun gold.

    AR mag incompatibility is no reason to blow a gasket IMHO, but I guess to some others it is.
     
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  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I have more than a few guns with truly proprietary magazines, both handguns and rifles. I try and stock up on them when I get the gun due to the possibility of them not being available in the future.

    My angst is mostly if those proprietary magazines are expensive. That has been known to make me think twice on making a gun purchase.

    Expensive to me is anything above $30 per magazine. The price of AR mags not being counted here.
     
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  4. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    More choices usually lowers the cost. However, original magazines that the manufacturers develop the rifle with usually work the best. Some focus on cost such as AR15 mags are available everywhere and offered by a number of different sellers. Others focus on reliability. Sometimes you get both such as MecGar makes a lot of magazines for semi-auto pistols for a lot of folks including S&W, Browning, Walther, and others. The MecGar ones sell for less than a similar S&W magazine made in the same factory.

    As chicarronnes says above, magazines can be expensive and are necessary to operate the rifle. They are also a consumable if they are not fixed. Things like feed lips, springs, floor plates, the magazine shell, can and do get damaged. Thus, a high cost proprietal magazine that is only available from the manufacturer might not be so good if that manufacturer decides to no longer support the platform. It could be worse, the Krag magazine is machined into the receiver and if the magazine is messed up, then the receiver is a paperweight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Btw, I had this issue with Sig P6/225 magazines--found a cheap source and bought a lot of the surplus mags just in case. When Sig brought back the p225, it uses a new style magazine not compatible with the original. Glad I did what I did as even used copies are now very expensive and the aftermarket alternatives work as they normally do compromising reliability without extensive tweaking.
     
  6. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Due to the way that detachable magazines increase the purchase price of a rifle, I'm seriously inclined to seek out internal box magazine or tube magazine guns from here on out. A return to my start in firearms, as it were.
     
  7. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    This pretty much sums it up, IMHO.
     
  8. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I get the comparatively high price of proprietary mags can be a sticking point.

    That said, at least for me, I'm pretty confident that if I'm a little more careful with money, I can save for quite a few mags over the course of a year. A $30 magazine? I can easily spend that much on beer in a week (I'm a micro-brew kinda guy). Not only will I have plenty of magazines, I'll be trimmer and slimmer!
     
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  9. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

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    The .308 rifles historically used proprietary magazines a lot. So, by the break of the century you had:
    - AR-10 "waffle"
    - M-14
    - Metric FAL
    - G3
    - Old rock-in Galil
    - Saiga

    The latter two were especially vexing since they could easily use the FAL magazine, but the manufacturers just didn't care for their customers. And that's not even counting exotics like Walther.

    And then of course the Accuracy Intl people had to go and do their own for .308 AICS, because they wanted a single-feed.

    By this time people seem to start settling onto the SR-25 magazine. IMI adopted it for Galil ACE. I really can't wait until AI, Ruger, and everyone else see the light and let the .308 shooters enjoy the bliss that 5,56 people knew for decades now.
     
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  10. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I think a lot of it has to do with the gun control world. I live in a state that recently (well 2013) enacted a magazine limit of 15 rounds. It's a largely ignored issue around here, but it has made it harder to buy magazines. As such, I prefer guns that use AR or other very commonly available magazines, because those are easier to find (I'd have to go out of state to acquire other 20+ round magazines). Along the same lines, with standardized magazines you know you're working with widely available parts. I was shooting back in the early 1990's when the original Assault Weapons Ban was implemented. That ban expired 10 years later (only because we had a Republican president that year), but it made buying certain gun parts very difficult during that time. Part of that ban included magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. But, if you went to a gun show during those years you'd quickly figure out that commonly available magazines were very easy to find (AR/AK primarily). If you wanted a "high" capacity magazine for a Glock 22, you'd have to pay out the nose, if you could even find it. If you wanted a "high" capacity magazine for a Ruger 10-22, you'd also pay out the nose, if you could even find it.

    I think many of us who were involved in shooting through the ban years learned that there is some advantage to using a commonly available magazine!

    The other thing about these commonly available magazines is that a lot of manufacturers produce them, and there tend to be high-quality and reliable choices available at VERY reasonable prices. While you can still buy proprietary magazines of a high quality for other guns, they can be quite expensive. My Tikka takes a magazine that costs $40 (used to cost $80). My Accuracy International takes proprietary magazines that sell for $100+ each.
     
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  11. wally

    wally Member

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    I'm generally disgusted by all the proprietary mags. Misplaced creativity re-inventing the wheel. With the possible exceptions of sub-compacts where doing whatever can be done to reduce size or varying the magazine body length to increase capacity or reduce it for a flush fit its of no benefit to the consumer. Its a downright bad idea to have coalition forces fighting side by side with same caliber ammo but incompatible mags -- probably the real reason the AR-15 mag is so ubiquitous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  12. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    To a degree, I can understand if the discussion is limited to semi-auto firearms (though, there's never an excuse for shrieking). But when it comes to bolt rifles, especially ones that take larger rounds such as the .308, it seems to be a little overblown of an issue. 10+ round .308 mags are huge. How many can a person reasonably carry? I couldn't personally see having a 10-rounder locked in while hunting, just begging to snag on every bit of brush I move through. Having one 4-5 round magazine in place and two more in my pocket seems like more than enough for any non-apocalyptic field scenario.
     
  13. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I don't know of too many coalition soldiers fighting with Ruger GSRs or Savage Model 10s.
     
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  14. wally

    wally Member

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    You never know, you could end up fighting with a coalition of your fellow citizens against the Zombies :)
     
  15. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    Heh, I'll take my chances.:D
     
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  16. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Well, it could be that they're cheap and don't want to expend the money to invest in proprietary magazines for their new gun.

    It could be that they have some notion of needing a 30 round magazine because they're going to be able to get off that many shots while the deer just stands there and they repeatedly miss.

    Maybe they feel entitled.

    Apart from my ARs and my 1911, everything I own takes a "proprietary" magazine.

    Besides, I think if I showed up at the deer camp with a 30 round magazine hanging out the bottom of my bolt action rifle, the Game Warden might have some awkward questions for me.
     
  17. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Maybe a .308 is a special situation, but it's nice to have a pistol caliber carbine that takes a "standard" magazine. I have a Kel-Tec Sub2000 that takes a magazine that fits both the carbine and my Glock pistol. Thus, the magazine is well made, reliable, and relatively inexpensive, with choices from 10 rounds to 33 rounds.

    K-T could have used a proprietary magazine, but they gave you several options to enable you to match up with your handgun, Glock, S&W, etc. What's better than that?

    On the other hand, I have an early Browning BLR in .308 that nobody makes a magazine for anymore, neither the factory nor the aftermarket, good luck trying to replace that one at any cost.
     
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  18. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Not if the deer camp is in your state of residence... well, they might have some questions, and the questions might be awkward... but none of them would be legally binding.

    Game Warden: Why are you wearing womens panties
    Me: Well, that's awkward
    Game Warden: Is that a 30 rounder in your rifle?
    Me: Sure is (Glad he stopped asking about the panties)
     
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  19. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    I hate to ask, BUT...
    how does the warden know you are wearing panties? :evil:
     
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  20. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Eye dominance correction practice:
    Panty-Face.png
     
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  21. 262madmike

    262madmike Member

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    Has nothing to do with the gun.But its true Mags are exspensive.
     
  22. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    There is no limit on mag capacity on rifles of any type in GA. Oddly enough there is on shotguns, 4+1 only :thumbdown: Not that I'd use one holding more than 5, maybe 10 rounds. The negatives would outweigh any possible advantage.

    I actually like the basic "scout" concept, but not in it's strict definition. A short lightweight bolt gun in 308 is a versatile tool. But I'm not interested in any of the rifles advertised and sold as Scout rifles. A short light weight 18-20" barreled bolt gun with a blind mag, floor plate or detachable magazines holding 4-5 rounds suits me just fine.
     
  23. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I also don't care about the strict definition of "scout". What I like about some of the models marketed as such is the inclusion of aperture sights from the factory. I really want to re-learn how to use those.
     
  24. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Magazines have a much higher profit margin than firearms. As a consumer I wouldn't like it. If I were a manufacturer it would be leaving too much money on the table to not sell proprietary magazines.
     
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  25. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I have 8-9 Pro-Mag 20 round mags for my Mini-14 and they each work just as well as the one 20 round factory mag I own. And yes true factory mags for the Mini are sort of expensive at $30 each. But so what? Some choke on a couple of $30 mags and then spend $400 on a case of 223 ammo. And the mags for the Mini are made of hardened steel and are many times better made than the soft aluminum mags I have for my AR.

    And a while back Midway had CZ 22lr mags on sale. Five round mags were $35 each. Now thats an expensive mag. But they are well made and unless you lose it I doubt you will ever have to replace it. Magazines are like anything else. You get what you pay for.
     
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