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divil
September 19, 2010, 10:01 PM
I'm shopping for my first AR-15 magazine. I'm looking for something affordable with 30 round capacity. Here are the ones I've found so far - could someone recommend what's the best option (including any brand you know of that I don't mention here):

-Colt - $35
-Brownells - $25
-Magpul - $14
-Promag - $20
-various no-name models - $12-$20

I'd prefer not to spend $35 (that's from my local store that I know is usually overpriced) but I would if I thought the others were junk. I've heard Promag are junk but Magpul are OK. Opinions?

I should add that this rifle is only for target shooting, not life or death situations, so the occasional jam is not the end of the world.

OHW
September 19, 2010, 10:14 PM
The colt and brownells should be perfect.

Buy all the magpul you can and send them to the men in Afghan.

HKFan9
September 19, 2010, 10:18 PM
Magpul Pmags are hands down the best mags you will get for your AR.

RT
September 20, 2010, 04:42 AM
Promag is junk and Pmags are fantastic.

kx592
September 20, 2010, 07:22 AM
How about c-products? I got a bunch and love them.

Jo6pak
September 20, 2010, 07:55 AM
Pmags, Pmags, Pmags:cool:

got_the_itch
September 20, 2010, 08:09 AM
Don't rule out the Lancer Mags.

haley
September 20, 2010, 08:23 AM
Mag pul, I use the 20 rounders for target shooting

demigod
September 20, 2010, 08:36 AM
How about c-products? I got a bunch and love them.

Very HIT AND MISS. Sometimes they put out functional mags, and many times they don't.

I've seen WAY TOO MANY problem threads over the years about all of Cprod's line to ever waste any money on those goofballs. There's too many legitimate mag makers out there to risk having to return mags for replacement with Cprod.

NHMTG/Okay/Colt are great mags, and so ar Pmags. Never pay $35 for a Colt mag since they are made by Okay or NHMTG anyway.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 20, 2010, 08:57 AM
$25 for a Brownell's magazine is insane - they should be half that price direct from Brownells (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=51217/pid=21225/sku/30_Round_SOCOM_Tan_AR_15_M16_Magazine_w_SS_Spring?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&mc_id=10000&gdftrk=gdfV21820_a_7c187_a_7c745_a_7c080000501_d_078000107_d_1127).

Either the Brownell's (or similar USGI quality magazines) or PMAGs are what I have gone with and they work well. I've got 10-12 CProducts mags, like others have said - hit and miss on quality. When they run they are as good as any other USGI magazine; but quality control is iffy.

I've heard good things about the Lancer and Tangodown mags; but haven't used them.

lmccrock
September 20, 2010, 09:17 AM
Brownells are very good, but not $25 good. They are $18 directly from Brownells (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=21225/Product/AR_15_M16_20____30_ROUND_MAGAZINES). Bart's $12.99 link is out of stock.

Pmags are very good, but take up more space and may not fit in the same mag holders as USGI aluminum without some adjustment. If I were buying more today, I would invest the few extra dollars and get these.

CProducts are ok, and are priced well, but tend to have a high return rate. I think he has the formula down for basic 20 or 30 round 223 mags, but it looks like he uses customers as beta testers for new products. CP does have great customer service and will take care of any problems. And it is possible he is moving so many mags that even a small failure rate is a bunch of product.

Not sure who the "no name" mags are. What may look like a no-name may be a company actually supplying the military. Plug the name into Google and see what comes up. A mag which truly has no manufacturer identified...I would avoid because it is not worth the risk.

Lee

Technosavant
September 20, 2010, 09:20 AM
I tend to use Brownells or Pmags- with my C&R discount from Brownells, they're both about $12.50 each or so.

But then, at the moment, if I needed or wanted more magazines for my ARs, I don't think there's any way to do better than AIM Surplus- they have C Products for $8 each (http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=MCPAR30ATB&groupid=14). Top quality, rock bottom price.

divil
September 20, 2010, 09:23 AM
Plug the name into Google and see what comes up.

Haha, I meant it quite literally - there was no manufacturers name on them anywhere that I could see. They came in a see through plastic bag with a label that just said it was a 30rnd AR-15 magazine. I couldn't clearly see the bottom plate of the mag through the plastic.

I went ahead and ordered the Magpul PMAG for $14 from Del-Ton anyway.

But keep the info coming guys, this is a useful thread! Thanks.

B. Lahey
September 20, 2010, 09:47 AM
I have a ginormous pile of AR mags of all types, but these are what I have the most of:

http://www.44mag.com/product/nhmtg_30_usgi_ar15_magazine/223_ar15_magazines

NHMTG are the same as Colt, although I have a few marked Colt as well. They work, and $12.99 is an ok price these days.

madcratebuilder
September 20, 2010, 09:57 AM
D&H or C Products are both black teflon finish, chrome silicon spring, no-tilt follower and are USGI mil-spec. PMags if you like plastic.

azredhawk44
September 20, 2010, 10:02 AM
PMags are wonderful. I have half a dozen of them.

I also have about a dozen C-products and D&H magazines. They're okay, but they're not as resilient as the MagPul Pmags.

Get a couple of 20rd ones and a couple of 30's. The 20's allow the rifle to set closer to the ground if you're shooting from prone, and don't interfere with your support arm as much.

Also: buy the mags online. There's no reason to be paying $25+ for magazines. You can get MagPul Pmags online for about $17 each, last I checked.

SPEMack618
September 20, 2010, 10:08 AM
PMags are by far the best mag out there in my opinion that are still decently priced. I loved them in my M-4 in the Sandbox. Couldn't get enough of them. But the above poster had a valid point, they are of slightly different dimensions than a standard stamped aluminum mag, so if you are gonna be tac-vesting it up:D, you might have a problem.

divil
September 20, 2010, 10:11 AM
I ordered one 30 rounder online. I suppose an additional 20 round one would have been a good idea for the reason you mentioned, but other than that I really don't get why people end up with dozens, or even more than 2! For recreational use, I don't think I'll ever need multiple mags. When I think of all the ammo I could buy for the cost of another magazine, I think I'll stick with just 1 :)

demigod
September 20, 2010, 10:32 AM
Avoid the Chrome Silicon Springs, folks.

Magpul didn't use them in the PMAG because they failed the corrosion tests MISERABLY!!! Stick with USGI stainless springs.

thesheepdog
September 20, 2010, 10:36 AM
PMAGS all the way.

RWBlue01
September 20, 2010, 10:51 AM
The last mags I purchased were from www.bravocompanyusa.com

I think I got. AR15 Magazines with Gray Teflon Finish 30 Round - GRAY
They were very tight on the first mag of ammo, causing FTF for the first couple rounds. Since then they have been perfect.

As far a Pmags vs the above, I can not tell you. I have not had a chance/need to use a Pmag. For me it was a difference in cost. 14 and change for Pmag. a little less than 9 for the regular mags.

If I were brand new to the AR-15 and had no mags.
I would get
2 straight 20round mags.
2 curved 20 round mags.
2 Pmags mags.
2 regular mags.
Then try them out. My guess is that you will have no trouble with any of the above. You will like the 20 round mags for carrying your rifle in friendly country and range work and then the mag carrier will determine if you like the Pmag or regular mags better.

HKFan9
September 20, 2010, 10:54 AM
Some hilarious tests I found...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCFXcOOb4jc

And the video that made me buy my Pmags.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAUFHEJFf-E

azredhawk44
September 20, 2010, 02:25 PM
I ordered one 30 rounder online. I suppose an additional 20 round one would have been a good idea for the reason you mentioned, but other than that I really don't get why people end up with dozens, or even more than 2! For recreational use, I don't think I'll ever need multiple mags. When I think of all the ammo I could buy for the cost of another magazine, I think I'll stick with just 1

You probably paid as much in "Shipping and Handling" as the mag cost you.

As far as all the ammo you can buy for the cost of one mag... that's all of about 40 rounds.

I probably have about 18 AR-15 magazines, and want a few more. I bought a dozen when I got my AR... a mix of 20 and 30 round mags by various manufacturers, as well as a single 10rd mag and a single 5rd mag. The 10 and 5 were purchased if I ended up going to a AWB-compliant state that allowed AR's but not mags > 10rds. The 5rd mag was bought for coyote and varmint hunting, as my state requires 5rd mags in semiauto rifles.

5 of the rest of the original 10 mags are still new in wrapper.

The other 5 are loaded and prepared to do whatever they need to do.

My P-Mags are my practice mags, for trips to the range or for taking courses. You may find you need half a dozen mags and a means to carry them if you take any courses with the AR.

I want to swap out my "ready" mags with P-mags, and also have a complete complement of new in wrapper P-mags. I trust them more. That's 10 more mags, for a total somewhere between 25 and 30 total mags.

And then, if someone comes out with a better mag than the P-mag, I'll get half a dozen of those to try out for a year or so and then another dozen to retire my P-mags if they pass my own examination.

That's why some of us have so many mags.

B. Lahey
September 20, 2010, 02:48 PM
I really don't get why people end up with dozens, or even more than 2

I dislike loading mags, particularly while at the range when I could be shooting instead of loading.

So I tend to buy lots of them and load them while cleaning my guns after a trip to the range. That way I have lots of loaded mags ready to go the next time I go shooting.

Also, things break. It is good to have spares, and I don't think AR mags will ever be any cheaper than they are right now.

And some of us remember with dread the awful ban-times when a proper magazine was a serious investment. I doubt it will happen again, but it is not impossible. Better safe than sorry, and, as mentioned above, mags are CHEAP right now.:)

Technosavant
September 20, 2010, 03:22 PM
Why have a bunch of magazines?

1) Time spent loading mags at the range is time not spent shooting.
2) STANAGs are notoriously fragile. If you break one, you can't feed the weapon until you have another.
3) They're cheap.
4) They store very easily.
5) You might not be able to get more right when you want or need more.
6) You can keep spares loaded for defensive purposes- highly unlikely, but you never want to rely on just one magazine, it will crap out on you at the worst possible time. Having another ready to go is wise.

I can't think of a single reason to NOT have several mags. You may not need dozens, but if you can't afford a half dozen AR magazines, you can't really afford to shoot it either. Ammo costs money too. At $8-13 for quality mags, there's little reason to not buy a few here and there. I have probably 10 mags per rifle sitting at home, with a good chunk of them never removed from the plastic. If one breaks, I have spares. If I'm going to do a lot of range shooting, I can load up plenty before going. If things get ugly (even in only a regulatory sense), I have enough to keep me going.

Thing is, I still want to get some more. I'd like to have a couple or three dozen more of them just sitting there in the closet.

NWPilgrim
September 20, 2010, 03:47 PM
PMAGs are great. Very sturdy and very slick and easy loading. definitely my favorite and one of the best values in AR15 mags.

But, they don't fit all the accessories made for the USGI mags. I have several brands but the Brownell's with the Magpul follower is the best I have found in USGI aluminum and can easily be found for under $20.

Third choice would be the D&H or NHMTG mags. I replace all black or green followers with Magpul followers in alum. mags. 44Mag.com has been one of the best dealers in a variety of mags online, but I have also found good deals and service from Palmetto State Armory and G&R Tactical among others.

demigod
September 20, 2010, 04:26 PM
I ordered one 30 rounder online. I suppose an additional 20 round one would have been a good idea for the reason you mentioned, but other than that I really don't get why people end up with dozens, or even more than 2! For recreational use, I don't think I'll ever need multiple mags. When I think of all the ammo I could buy for the cost of another magazine, I think I'll stick with just 1

WOW!!

I probably have at least 25 loaded AR mags scattered around and in various gear at any one time.... and over 100 mags in total. Of course I have several ARs.

ONE MAG?? That rifle is a paper weight if that mag breaks or gets lost.

divil
September 20, 2010, 04:39 PM
ONE MAG?? That rifle is a paper weight if that mag breaks or gets lost.

Until I buy a new one :) If I'm really stuck there are local stores that sell them. (I didn't pay too much in shipping for the mag because I was already buying some much more expensive stuff like sights anyway)

I don't expect to ever need my rifle in an emergency, it's purely recreational. I don't bring it anywhere except the range and I could never use it for defence in my plywood apartment building anyway. If I am without a magazine for a few days I will put up with it and use my other guns. Reading this forum I realize that a lot of people keep large amounts of ammunition, spare mags and even multiple guns of the same type, presumably as backups or whatever. I suppose many of you have experienced shortages of ammo and mags and don't want to go through it again- I'm new to this so I didn't really think about stuff like that.

But I'm kinda coming around, maybe I should have a couple more mags. But 100!? 25 of them loaded :confused: Can't see myself doing that!

Bartholomew Roberts
September 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
As to having a lot of magazines, there are a couple of points to remember:

1. Magazines are wear items and eventually require replacement. The harder/more often you use them, the more you will see this.

2. Many of us went through the 2004 ban where even with plentiful pre-1994 AR15 magazines available, you still had to sort through piles of old mags to find a good magazine body and then often replaced the follower and spring to get a good quality magazine. Rather than spend the money and hassle in the future, many of us decided to stock up on magazines now while they are both plentiful, cheap and high quality.

3. If you do any type of training requiring you to clear stoppages, you need more than one magazine on your body. The same type of training is also harder on magazines than say shooting off a bench.

4. Most competitive shooting requires more than one magazine.

5. If you spend $0.35 a round for 1,000 rounds of ammo and another $600 for an instructor and another $240 for a hotel, you really don't want that training experience to be one of you fighting a malfunctioning rifle. The most common causes of problems in semi-automatic weapons are ammunition and magazines. Having spare magazines is cheap insurance.

In the same vein, having a spare firearm is always nice if it is an option. It gives you something to use if one firearm breaks (not uncommon if you train a lot) and switching firearms can be a lot faster way to get back on the firing line than trying to figure out why a rifle won't work, find the part, replace the part, etc.

But I'm kinda coming around, maybe I should have a couple more mags. But 100!? 25 of them loaded Can't see myself doing that!

Only you can decide what you need; but I have been shooting ARs since 1989 and haven't seen magazines this cheap or of this quality. Hopefully it keeps getting better; but just in case it is nice to have a few spares.

azredhawk44
September 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
But I'm kinda coming around, maybe I should have a couple more mags. But 100!? 25 of them loaded Can't see myself doing that!

Wisdom is a slow and arduous path.:p

I still don't see myself as "one of those guys" that has 10k rounds of .223 and a safe full of AR magazines.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/0902/preparedness-demotivational-poster-1234422204.jpg
(mods: this image has a deliberate link under it to encourage/enable linking)

I didn't think I'd end up having 20 AR mags.

I didn't think I'd end up having 9 mags for my carry gun (not that I carry 9 mags... but I have 9 total).

You learn. You adapt. You accept new ideas. You become a better rifleman, a better pistolero, a better shotgunner.

I don't consider it unlikely at all that I may have 50 AR magazines, some day not too far in the future.