One of the many reasons for the popularity of ARs among enthusiasts is the extent of customization that’s possible in ARs. You can customize any component of an AR to enhance its performance or to give it a personalized touch.
With dozens of options available in the market for customization, we’ll focus our article on choosing between PMAGs & Aluminum Mags for your AR.
PMAGs or Aluminum USGI Mags – Which one is better?
The rivalry between PMAGS & Aluminium USGI Mags is quite popular in the industry 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.
Before we move on to discussing the benefits of PMAGs over Aluminum mags, let’s have a look at what the differences between these magazines are.
What is a PMAG & an Aluminum Mag?
A PMAG, also known as Polymer Magazine, is a magazine made out of a polymer. If you didn’t know, polymers are known for being light & cost-effective because of which the PMAGS fall under the lighter & reasonable side. Apart from being light & reasonable, they also don’t corrode or dent over time adding to their reliability.
Unlike a PMAG, Aluminum Mags as the name suggests is made out of Aluminum. Because these mags are made out of metal, they are known for their durability. But unlike polymer magazines, feed lips in Aluminum magazines are prone to breaking or bending, often lowering their reliability.
Now that we’ve discussed both PMAGS & Aluminum mags, let’s look at why PMAGs are better than Aluminum magazines.
Why are PMAGs better than Aluminum Mags?
We’ll compare the two magazines based on the following factors.
Before we get into discussing why PMAGs are far more reliable than Aluminum mags, let us try and understand what elastic deformation & plastic deformation is.
Elastic deformation is the type of deformation where a material changes its shape when exposed to an external force but returns to its original shape or can be returned to its original shape. For instance, a rubber ball that deforms when force is applied to it. Whereas, plastic deformation is when a material deforms and cannot be brought back to its original shape. Plastic deformation is mostly seen in the case of metals.
Now let’s shift our attention to the materials with which PMAGs & Aluminum mags are made. Polymers, with which PMAGs are made, fall into the category of materials with elastic deformation. Aluminum mags fall into the category of materials with plastic deformation.
So, if you were to compare the two magazines on their reliability, PMAGs would score more than Aluminum USGI mags. Which explains why they are the standard issue for US armed forces.
- No dents or bent feed lips
If you have used an AR, you would know that even the slightest dent on the magazine can hamper the smooth chambering of the ammo from the mag. Aluminum USGI mags are prone to having dents on them or even end up with having a bent feed lip. If you were in a situation where your safety depends on your AR, the last thing you want is a bent magazine in your AR.
This 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. As we said, 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.
- PMAGS are transparent
Because PMAGs are made out of polymers, they can be engineered to be transparent. Whereas, aluminum mags can’t be made to be transparent. In a combat situation, transparent mags can better help you keep track of the remaining ammunition and to take the guesswork out of the equation.
- PMAGS are lighter
Because PMAGs are made out of polymers, they are lighter than Aluminum helping reduce the weight of your AR. While you won’t find this to be an advantage in shooting ranges, its lightweight can make a lot of difference in combat.
- Better customizable
Aluminum magazines generally come in black or grey whereas PMAGs come in different shades and colors. If you were to invest in PMAGs you’d have more options to customize your magazine.
To Sum up
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of PMAGs over Aluminum magazines, we hope you might have understood why we recommend you to invest in a Polymer Mag than in an Aluminum Mag. While you don’t exactly need PMAGs for home defense or in rifle ranges, they are for sure a worthy investment.
Apart from being a reliable investment, PMAGs can also be customized to give your AR a unique look. If you are tired of using AR-15 magazines with dull colors and a bland appearance, check out our online store for Custom PMAGs.