View Full Version : AR 15 Mags: GI with Magpul?
September 4, 2010, 05:10 PM
Anyone see advantages to this? Metallic feed lips which MAY hold up better, and cheaper price.
But, does the follower (MP) work as well in the GI mags?
Also, where is the best place to buy the whole kit? (Spring and follower).
September 4, 2010, 05:31 PM
get the best of both worlds metal magazines with magpul internals already packaged.
September 4, 2010, 06:23 PM
Yes Magpul Pmags are awesome. As well, take any old beat GI mag(assuming the body and floor plate is still in spec.), throw in a new spring and a Magpul follower, and you will have a mag that is as reliable as any out there.
September 4, 2010, 07:43 PM
I just finished putting the newest Magpul followers into thirty-some odd GI magazines. I thought it a good investment in keeping them functioning for the next dozen or so years.
September 4, 2010, 08:25 PM
I think PMAG feed lips are more resistant to deformation than aluminum feed lips. From my untrained observation, the aluminum seems more malleable than the plastic feed lips. In addition, PMAGs come with a dust cover, which takes the pressure off the feed lips if you like to store your mags loaded.
September 4, 2010, 09:10 PM
I love Pmags and that is all I use in my AR. Noting better in my eyes.
September 4, 2010, 09:30 PM
There are test on bravo companyusa and they run over them with a truck drop them and all and the pmags function over the aluminums. The reason i would just go with Pmags in general is because the aluminums bend and stay bent pmags don't.
September 4, 2010, 10:23 PM
NY resident here. We still have the AWB therefore Pmags are a no-no. I have a have a dozen USGI pre-ban mags that have been upgraded. I have added Wolf +5% springs and magpul followers and ranger base plates to the pre ban mag bodies. Functionally, they work like new mags yet still retain the pre-ban mag body.
September 5, 2010, 02:53 PM
What Blackops2 said. GI aluminum mags will deform the feed lips if you drop them loaded on the ground. Changing the follower and spring won't keep that from happening.
Drop a Pmag loaded on the ground, the lips will bend and return to shape. Try it and find out for yourself.
The US Government thought they could supply lots of cheap mags and keep the soldiers shooting. The USSR thought they could afford three good mags for each soldier and keep them shooting.
What we've learned is to supply lots of good Pmags and keep shooting. It eliminates the three things that cause 80% of the AR's problems, bad feed lips, followers that hang up, and springs with too much tension.
Some like to quote the infamous dust test as proof that's wrong. They miss some important points - the makers provided new handpicked mags for their rifles, the Government got theirs USED from the local armory. In the second test - required because Uncle Sam saw through the slanted results - they kept the AR's lubed to Ordnance standards - WET - and rotated the mags through all the weapons. The failure rate was reduced two thirds.
Lesson learned and paid for by our tax dollars AGAIN: use good magazines, keep it lubed.
I won't buy used or surplus GI mags. They should all be crushed and sold for scrap.
September 5, 2010, 08:27 PM
I upgraded a dozen 30rd GI mags with the MagPul Gen 3 follower. Very smooth operation and they all are reliable now where before two of them gave me problems.
If buying new it's probably wise to buy PMAGs but if you have GI mags the followers are a cheap upgrade that really helps.
September 5, 2010, 09:24 PM
I've bought GI style mags and refit them with the Magpul Gen 3 follower. They work fine- if you buy quality mags to begin with, you don't need to swap springs too.
However, you're still at about the same price for Pmags. I tend to order mine from Brownells, and their mags plus the followers run right at the same as a Pmag, if not a shade more; may as well get Pmags for that.
But then, at the moment, AIM Surplus is selling C-products metal mags with an anti-tilt follower for $8 each (http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=MCPAR30ATB&groupid=14). That's a good price. Are they as resilient as Pmags? Doubtful, but if you're buying to stock up, you can ask yourself how badly you plan on treating your magazines. While Murphy is alive and well, $8 for the C-Products is about 50% less than a good price on Pmags. You can trash one out of three magazines and you're still not out anything.
September 5, 2010, 09:30 PM
I hear D&H mags are very good and they come with Pmag followers for $10 a pop at BCM - I think that is good. You can leave GIs loaded and the consensus is that the D&Hs are better than others.
Best you can do on Pmags is $14+
I thought I was getting the best of both worlds in L5s, but the ones I was sent by BCM did NOT lock my bolt to the rear - the follower did not properly engage the 'tit' on the bolt catch. NO GO. They are on the way back now. Also, the follower on the L5 was definitely NOT tilt proof!
I hear the folks here about GI feedlips getting messed up - OK - thanks. We banged ours around pretty bad in the Army, I didn't see that many go bad. But, loaded, I can see it.
September 6, 2010, 07:24 AM
The issue between PMAGs and USGI aluminium mags is that the PMAGs have better "memory." That is the magazine body can deform; but it will immediately return to it's original specifications once the pressure is removed. If the PMAG body is pushed past the limits of its memory, it will crack - giving you a nice visible indicator that your magazine is no longer in spec and may not function correctly before you find out the hard way.
USGI mags may be a bit harder to deform; but once they do deform, they don't tend to spring back or give you any visible indicator that they are no longer in spec. Short of gauging the feedlips, you can't really tell whether you've got a good mag or not by looking at it.
Both USGI and PMAGs will actually run well despite sizable dents/cracks and being out of spec lots of times; but I prefer the PMAGs just because it is nice to have a visible indicator of a possible problem instead of having the mag cough up two or three rounds at a time into the chamber while shooting.
September 6, 2010, 07:42 AM
Thanks - very informative!
September 6, 2010, 07:51 AM
But then, at the moment, AIM Surplus is selling C-products metal mags with an anti-tilt follower for $8 each. That's a good price. Are they as resilient as Pmags? Doubtful, but if you're buying to stock up, you can ask yourself how badly you plan on treating your magazines. While Murphy is alive and well, $8 for the C-Products is about 50% less than a good price on Pmags. You can trash one out of three magazines and you're still not out anything.
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That's a good price, I think I well order a half dozen. I must baby my mags because I sure don't have problems with them bending the feed lips are denting them. They get tiny dings and lots of scratches, some have been in service longer than many of the board members here.
September 6, 2010, 08:07 AM
I've replaced all my old GI mags with Pmags, and run them exclusivley in my DR200. One major advantage that has not been mentioned is the "grip" of the Pmag over the aluminum.
We do some shooting in the winter and PMags are much easier to grip and handle with gloves on. Aluminum GI mags get a bit slick when they get some snow on them.
A small issue? maybe. But when you drop a full mag in 10 inches of snow during a rapid engagement drill, it really hurts your time:(
September 6, 2010, 08:17 PM
The yield strength of aluminum is higher than polymer, but once bent, aluminum stays bent. It's exactly how aluminum is formed to shape - you bend it from flat sheets with forming dies. The dies are even designed to overbend the part to achieve the final shape. Since the sheet gauge is fairly light, a loaded magazine can hit on the feed lips against a hard surface and achieve enough impact to alter the lips. The Fix is to do that again, bend them back, all with hand pressure. They aren't the AR's strong point.
Polymer isn't like that, it requires being hot poured into a mold and cooled to final shape. Polymer will bend more easily, but it bends a lot further. You get two results, magazines that are hard to damage, and sidewalls that aren't stiff enough for some uses, like loading 6.8 SPC in a 5.56 mag. They swell, just like the old Glock non drop free mags (which Germans prefer.)
With GI's shooting mags from foot lockers at the range twice a year, and money to buy them new ones prioritized for other things, like fuel, all the dinged up M16 mags stay in the system perpetuating failure. It's a known problem, even the Army made sure soldiers getting new M4's overseas also got 10 new magazines, not a bunch of range weary old mags with followers two generations old. They don't get upgraded, but they do get used.
Avoid the hassle and get your own ten new magazines, instead of buying someone else's handpicked problem children. If you do finally get a mag that won't work, crush it. Not something you hear or see done much with AK mags, but then again, stomping an AR mag isn't all that hard - which is the point.
September 6, 2010, 10:01 PM
There is reason the PMAGS were made, and that they are so highly regarded.... the metal feed lips on the GI mags bend and deform much more easily, and do so often if you use them.
September 6, 2010, 10:06 PM
Some of my Marines went and bought their own MAGPUL's before we went into country. They swore by them & from my observation they out performed the our standard issue mags.
September 7, 2010, 09:44 AM
Have both.... use both....
As long as there's no CS spring in the USGI mag body, I'm good with it.
September 7, 2010, 10:14 AM
Avoid the hassle and get your own ten new magazines, instead of buying someone else's handpicked problem children.
I think there's some assumptions in the thread by some that "GI mags" mean "surplus." The OP does not indicate that.
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