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Who makes the best AR-15 magazines?


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#1 BrianS

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:53 AM

I've got a DPMS Lo-Pro Classic that I've been using for local multi-gun matches. This past weekend I had a few failure to feed issues. The gun was clean & I normally run it pretty wet so I don't think it was a crud or dry issue.

I'm currently using the DPMS 30 Round Black Teflon Magazine that come with the Mag-Pul Self-Leveling Follower and Mag-Pul Ranger Mag Floor Plate pre-installed. The rifle is ejecting the spent round just fine. The problem comes when the bolt slides forward it's not consistently stripping the next round off. It did it with a two of my 4 magazines, but I can't see a visible difference between any of them. Is there something better out there, or can someone point me to instructions on how to tune an AR magazine? Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by BrianS, 12 September 2008 - 06:59 AM.


#2 benny hill

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:05 AM

I use ismi springs with what you are running. Make sure the feed lips are at about .490-.500 & elongate the feed ramps into the receiver.
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#3 John Dunn

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:16 AM

In my effort to find the Holy Grail of mags I've tried D&L Sports mags, CMMG mags with the stainless follower and coiled springs, HK mags, P-mags, USGI mags with Mag-Pul internals....they all work so reliably I can't tell the difference between any of them. Find something that is reliable in your gun, mark it and use it.

What ammo are you using?
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#4 Jon Merricks

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:28 AM

I prefer the HK mags but they are well built. But saying they are the best, I'cant because I have had plain US GI mags that ran just as well for just as long.

#5 uscbigdawg

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:41 AM

Pre-Afghanistan, I ran either Brownell's mags (which are freakin' awesome out of the package!), Thermolds (that actually ran) or USGI's with Magpul followers and ISMI CM springs.

Post, I use Magpul P-Mags and carried them along with HK mags that I got from some friends (and a good armorer...some perks to being medic ;)).

Getting my gear ready for this year and next, I'm going to wholesale switch to Magpul 30's and then keep my 40 rounder and a Tripp 52 rounder in the bag for just in case.

In general though, a tip that I learned a long time ago was not to fall in love with a mag. They're cheap so if they start to show signs of wear or failure, pitch them and buy new ones.

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#6 TMC

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:56 AM

It sounds more like a gun problem than a mag problem. Does it happen with all of your mags? I have 5 AR's and over a dozen mags with various spring and follower combinations and they all work. Some of them were well used when I bought them back in 1996 and they still work.
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#7 mhearn

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:58 AM

Shameless plug for the best mag I've ever used.

MAGPUL PMAG

Magpul
30 rnd Standard PMAG
The PMAG™ (Polymer MAGazine) is a lightweight 5.56 NATO, M-16 compatible magazine. It features a pop-off storage/dust cover that alleviates pressure from the magazine feed lips, allowing for long-term storage of loaded magazines without risk of feed lip creep that often causes malfunction in standard aluminum magazines. PMAG™ utilizes a resilient stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance.

• Constant-curve internal geometry for smooth feeding
• Anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower for increased reliability
• Storage/dust cover
• Stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance
• Textured gripping surface

My only regret is that I didn't get to this product sooner.

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#8 BrianS

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:33 AM

What ammo are you using?


Winchester White Box 5.56 x 45 55 Grain Full Metal Jacket.. It's all that has ever been run through the gun.

#9 BrianS

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:39 AM

It sounds more like a gun problem than a mag problem. Does it happen with all of your mags?


It happened with two of the four I have. All four are of the same configuration; i.e. DPMS with Mag-Pul follower and basepad. I'm not able to consistently replicate the problem. It doesn't happen round to round, it's more intermittent than that.

#10 ken hebert

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:07 AM

See post #2. I had a similar problem with a rifle, did the feed ramp thing. 100% gun now.
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#11 Chris

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:13 PM

PMags for me. Saw the same issue at a recent match with a rifle not feeding properly. Turns out the barrel was cut for M4 feed ramps and the upper receiver was not. Dremeled the receiver and the problem was fixed.

You say the bolt isn't stripping the round off. Does the bolt go over the top round on the mag or does it hit the top round and strip it off halfway?

#12 Sudden Death

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 05:20 PM

PMags for me. Saw the same issue at a recent match with a rifle not feeding properly. Turns out the barrel was cut for M4 feed ramps and the upper receiver was not. Dremeled the receiver and the problem was fixed.

You say the bolt isn't stripping the round off. Does the bolt go over the top round on the mag or does it hit the top round and strip it off halfway?

I have also seen this same problem to, as Chris, So Brian do you have a adjustiable gas block on your gun is it turned down to low to let the bolt come back far enough to strip it off every time ?
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#13 maineshootah

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 05:39 PM

Shameless plug for the best mag I've ever used.

MAGPUL PMAG

Magpul
30 rnd Standard PMAG
The PMAG™ (Polymer MAGazine) is a lightweight 5.56 NATO, M-16 compatible magazine. It features a pop-off storage/dust cover that alleviates pressure from the magazine feed lips, allowing for long-term storage of loaded magazines without risk of feed lip creep that often causes malfunction in standard aluminum magazines. PMAG™ utilizes a resilient stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance.

• Constant-curve internal geometry for smooth feeding
• Anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower for increased reliability
• Storage/dust cover
• Stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance
• Textured gripping surface

My only regret is that I didn't get to this product sooner.

MHearn


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#14 StealthyBlagga

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 05:54 PM

I bought a few C-Products mags a while back that were finished in a black Teflon coating, and all of them ran poorly. I believe it was to do with the black coating, which seemed to drag on the rounds as they fed. Its quite possible that your DPMS-marked mags have the same issue. I simply sent them back to C-Prods and asked for regular mags with the GI gray finish... they have all worked flawlessly. I also run D&H and other gray GI mags, all with MagPul followers, and they all run great.

I have heard good things about PMags, and recently picked one off a prize table so I can test it myself. However, my GI mags run so reliably that I can't imagine the PMags being measurably better. I have heard some reports of PMags failing to drop free, so that has put me off them a bit (yes, I'm sure the receivers are all just out of spec). Also, the PMags do not fit all standard magazine accessories (mag pouches, mag couplers), so if you want to drink the PMag KoolAid, you might be wise to buy only one or two and check they work OK for you before you get too deeply invested in them... just my 2 cents worth.

Edited by StealthyBlagga, 12 September 2008 - 06:02 PM.


#15 el pres

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:39 PM

P-Mags !!! :cheers: At the moment ...


I have ran USGI mags and steel British mags with the black finish for a while now
with "No Malfunctions"all green followers. Then I switched to a JP rifle with an aluminum carrier and
had some problems as the bolt did'nt have enough power to strip the round out completely at times.
Fixed "100%" by tumbling my loaded ammo and adding some graphite to my loaded mags. Sometimes
its not the mag but another condition with the setup but people always want to blame the mags ??? :wacko:

Infact the only consistant mag problems I've ever had was with some well worn Vietnam era 20 rounders
with the original aluminum followers.. <_<

Currently use P-mags for 2 reasons, the rounds are so perfectly lined up and with slick plastic they just
fall out of the mag with no graphite, and P-mags coupled are just rock solid. The mags dont slide up and
down or anything. I think I'd have to cut my couplers off to remove them....no failures to feed, no dropping
problems, nothing, rock solid !!!
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#16 el pres

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:50 PM

Almost forgot,

BrianS, with your current mags you can polish the inside of the feed lips a little and make sure the
ammo is absolutely clean. Adding a little graphite will cover up most dragging issues and also you
can smack(tap) your loaded mags on the rear on something hard to set all the rounds to the rear. If any of
the noses are touching the front of the mag it could slow down the spring. Dont ask how I now this... :P

Edited by DIRTY CHAMBER, 13 September 2008 - 07:30 PM.

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#17 John Dunn

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 04:50 AM

Have you made any changes to your set-up?

A case of, "Everything worked great until I added the _______" can often be fixed by looking at the _______.
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#18 el pres

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 07:34 PM

Have you made any changes to your set-up?

A case of, "Everything worked great until I added the _______" can often be fixed by looking at the _______.



Excellent point !! I'm a big advocate of replacing one "upgrade" part at a time !!
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#19 BrianS

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:08 PM

You say the bolt isn't stripping the round off. Does the bolt go over the top round on the mag or does it hit the top round and strip it off halfway?


The bolt hits the top of the round and strips it off halfway. I played around with all my mags today, and narrowed it down to one problem magazine which now resides in the trash. The other three fed just fine today... I'm going to pick up a couple of PMags and give those a shot.

#20 BrianS

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:10 PM

Have you made any changes to your set-up?

A case of, "Everything worked great until I added the _______" can often be fixed by looking at the _______.


Nope.. Nothing has changed since my last match in which the rifle ran fine. One of mags is showed the problem consistantly today during testing and it is now in the trash. I'm going to order a couple of PMags and give those a try.

Thanks!!

Edited by BrianS, 14 September 2008 - 07:10 PM.


#21 el pres

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:23 PM

Wait, have you guys seen the video ??? :D

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
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#22 Y. Koester

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:02 PM

Cool video!!! I feel like buying more p-mags now!!!! :D
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#23 Religious Shooter

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:36 AM

The rifle is ejecting the spent round just fine. The problem comes when the bolt slides forward it's not consistently stripping the next round off. It did it with a two of my 4 magazines, but I can't see a visible difference between any of them. Is there something better out there, or can someone point me to instructions on how to tune an AR magazine? Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Check your bolt. See if the teeth are square and aren't worn. I had a bolt with a rounded tooth. It didn't strip a round 100%.

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#24 Long Range

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:46 PM

You say the bolt isn't stripping the round off. Does the bolt go over the top round on the mag or does it hit the top round and strip it off halfway?


The bolt hits the top of the round and strips it off halfway. I played around with all my mags today, and narrowed it down to one problem magazine which now resides in the trash. The other three fed just fine today... I'm going to pick up a couple of PMags and give those a shot.



I sanded the underside of the feedlips and installed a Tubb CS buffer spring to give the bolt carrier a little more push. No more loading problems even with 30 in the magazine.

Edited by Long Range, 30 September 2008 - 09:47 PM.


#25 ChrisStock

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 11:20 AM

When I think of all of the years I was serving Uncle Sam, I never had a magazine related issue, and yes, my rifle saw tough duty with me on 3 different continents. Then again, we only carried Colts...AR-16's and AR-15's that had full auto conversions done. A1's and later A2's. Standard GI mags (duh) with grey followers. Nothing tricky with the springs or followers, never even heard of anti-tilt followers until I started this game. Then again, we always underloaded our 30RD magazines by a few, more for long term storage than anything else. The 20 rounders we loaded full.

That said, my Franken-AR utilizes a mix of MAGPUL PMAGs and GI steel mags with grey and some with green followers. Not a single issue yet with any of them and I have run Rem,WWB, Wolf, and a few hundred rounds that a fellow reloader gave me after I fired them in his rifle. I do still keep the 30's loaded with 28 rds. though...old habits die hard.

The Magpuls seem to be ok, but I just like the feel in my hands of the steel 30 rounders. Just a personal preference.
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