Now that you’ve finally got your hands on a AR 15, the last thing you want is to not have enough magazines to stay prepared for contingencies. Though AR 15s come out of the box with magazines, you need to treat them as a consumable resource and not as something that’ll last the entire lifetime of your ARs.
Doesn’t matter how much you’ve invested in your AR or how good your magazine is, it is prone to get damaged at some point. This is the reason why most veterans & AR enthusiasts advise having additional magazines ready.
But the real trouble starts when you decide to get a couple of additional magazines. Because there are hundreds of magazines in the market, it can get tricky to choose the best one for your AR.
So the next obvious question would be how to find the best AR-15 magazines?
This is what we are going to answer in the article. Stay with us till the end to know how to choose the best AR 15 magazines the expert way.
Before we get into identifying the best AR-15 magazines, let’s have a look at why you need to get your hands on one.
Why do you need additional magazines for your AR-15?
As mentioned previously, AR-15 magazines are not designed to last forever. Instead, they are made to be components that deteriorate over time and as something not designed to withstand sudden impacts. While they can withstand the force during a tactical reload, they can’t withstand drops. Can you be certain that you won’t drop your mag ever?
Another prominent reason is to save time while in range. Most AR-15 magazines can hold 30 rounds and reloading them can take considerable time. This can be a major problem while you are in a range or in competitions where you are required to hit a certain number of targets in a stipulated time or if you are in a range to do tactical reload drills.
Apart from these, having extra magazines handy can make all the difference when you are in a life or death situation. Especially since magazines are prone to jam your AR!
How many magazines should I have per gun?
You can never have enough! ;)
There are no hard and fast rules on the number of magazines you should have or a one size fits all number. It all depends on how much you can afford & your purpose. For instance, if you practice tactical reload in a shooting range you’d need a minimum of three to four extra magazines to practice it. If you aren’t someone who regularly uses the range & use your AR for self-defense you’d need two mags (60 rounds)
In short, anything more than one is recommended.
How long do AR 15 magazines last?
How long a magazine lasts depends on
- How well do you maintain it?
- How frequently do you clean it?
- Do you keep it loaded or unloaded?
- How do you reload the magazine?
Because these factors vary, you can’t be certain of how long a magazine will last. Now that we’ve discussed in detail the importance of having multiple magazines, let’s have a look at the factors that qualify a magazine as good.
3 Parameters to consider before you choose a AR 15 Magazine
Choosing the right magazine for your AR becomes confusing not because of the sheer number of parameters that you need to consider before you invest in one. This section will have a look at some of the important things you need to consider before you invest in one.
1. The rounds you fire
Standard AR 15’s fire 5.56mm rounds and if you stick on to them, things can get pretty easier for you. If you were to use the standard rounds, any good AR 15 5.56 mag will do the trick. But if you choose to step out of the standard rounds, you are gonna need a mag that matches the round you fire.
2. The number of bullets you need
Standard AR 15 mags can chamber 30 rounds and they are also the widely used ones due to their affordability & reliability. But if you are an AR owner who isn’t satisfied with having 30 rounds, you can choose a mag that can chamber 60 bullets.
Note that choosing the magazine capacity is entirely a personal choice!
3. Material of the magazine
Magazines are of two types
1. Polymer Magazines (PMAGS)
2. Metal Magazines – Mostly made out of Aluminum
The rivalry between PMAGS & Metal Mags is age-old and perpetual that you’d get a different opinion on which one is better than the other. A classic example of this would be the opinion of a veteran Navy SEAL & an AR owner who primarily uses his AR for home defense or at the ranges. The Navy SEAL would for sure tell you how the PMAGs are far superior to the Aluminum USGI mags. Whereas, the AR owner would tell you how Aluminum USGI mags are an underrated product in the market.
But yeah, if you were to ask us to help you choose one out of the two, we’d ask you to go ahead with the PMAGs because of their obvious advantages over the latter.
Why PMAGS are a wise investment than metal magazines?
We’ll have a look at PMAGS from three angles
As the name suggests, polymer magazines are made from polymers that fall due to which PMAGS can better withstand impacts. Whereas, metal magazines lag in elastic deformation property owing to which they deform or dent upon impact.
It is important to note that because PMAGS have better elastic deformative properties it doesn’t mean polymer mags can resist dents or bends, it’s just that when a certain force is applied on polymer mags they’ll snap, unlike metal mags that end up with dents. It’s always better to have a snapped PMAG than a bent Aluminum mag that’d feed incorrectly in the middle of a combat situation or a shooting range.
In short, PMAGS are far more reliable than metal mags.
If you are someone who owns an AR for self-defense, PMAGs are the ones to go with. Because they are made from polymer, PMAGs are lighter than metal mags and it can make a lot of difference in Combat.
3. Ease of customization
Metal mags come in black or grey whereas PMAGs come in different shades and colors. If you are an AR enthusiast and love having a customized AR, PMAGs will give you more customization opportunities than a metal mag.
To Sum Up
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of having multiple magazines for your AR, choosing the right magazine for your needs, and on the importance of investing in PMAGS, we hope that you have better clarity on choosing a magazine for your AR 15. If you have queries on choosing a Magazine for Custom PMAGs.