Month: March 2021

Top 10 Best Smith & Wesson Handgun Options for 2021

Top 10 Best Smith & Wesson Handgun Options for 2021

Smith & Wesson makes one of the most complete lines of handguns in the world. Everything from compact concealed carry guns to long barrel hunting revolvers and easily concealed pistols to full-size competition guns. If you’re looking for a handgun for a particular need or use, Smith & Wesson makes it.

If you’re looking to add a handgun for a certain need to your collection in 2021, here are 10 of the best Smith & Wesson handgun models you’ll want to consider:

Model 642 .38 Special Revolver

The Smith & Wesson J-frame revolvers are among the best Smith & Wesson revolver concealed carry options ever made. These great little snubbies are easily concealed no matter what you’re wearing. The Model 642 fires five full-power .38 Special rounds and is as simple and easy to use as it is reliable.

Model 340 .357 Revolver

Like the model 642, the Model 340 is an ultra concealable J-frame revolver. But the beefier Model 340 can handle more powerful .357 loads for the ultimate in compact personal defense, making it another of the best Smith & Wesson revolver models.

Model 19 Classic .357 Revolver

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. And when Smith & Wesson brought back the classic Model 19 a few years ago, it brought joy to thousands of wheelgun lovers. The medium size K-frame revolver packs six .357 or .38 Special rounds and makes for a lot of fun at the range or a great home defense firearm.

Model 686 .357 Revolver

The venerable Model 686 is one of the most respected and best Smith & Wesson revolvers ever made. The bigger, beefier L-frame wheelgun handles either six or seven rounds of powerful .357 loads with ease and is a great option for hunting or home defense.

M&P Bodyguard 380 Crimson Trace

When concealment is of primary concern, the M&P Bodyguard 380 is the way to go. The ultra compact .380 ACP semi-automatic is easily concealed in a pocket, ankle holster or anywhere you choose to carry it. And with its built-in Crimson Trace laser, it’s always ready for personal defense duty.

M&P 380 SHIELD EZ

If you or someone you know has trouble racking the slide on a standard semi-automatic pistol, the Smith & Wesson 380 SHIELD EZ is the best Smith & Wesson pistol for them. Built for personal protection and everyday carry, the M&P 380 Shield EZ is chambered in .380 ACP and designed to be easy to use, with an easy racking slide, easy-to-load magazines and an easy-to-clean design.

M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Compact

Smith’s line of M2.0 M&P semi-automatic pistols competes favorably with any other maker’s 9mm semi-automatics. And with its optics-ready slide, the M&P9 M2.0 Optics Ready Compact is one of the top Smith & Wesson pistols for home defense, everyday carry or even competition.

M&P SHIELD M2.0

If everyday carry is what you’re looking for, it’s hard to do better than Smith’s ultra-popular M&P9 SHIELD M2.0. With a great trigger and a slim, single stack form factor, you’ll be happy to carry the SHIELD M2.0 on your hip whenever you leave the house.

Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 CORE Pro Series 5″ Barrel

Sometimes you want a little more. And if you’re someone who wants a full-size 9mm pistol that has every feature imaginable, the M&P9 M2.0 CORE Pro Series is the semi-auto for you. Bridging the gap between main production and the Performance Center, the Smith & Wesson’s Pro Series represents the next step up from standard production line models. M&P Pro Series pistols add numerous enhancements yet still remain true to “stock.” They have competition specifications and features in ready-to-go factory models.

M&P45 M2.0 Full Size

Sometimes you want (or need) a pistol chambered in a bitter round. For those times, the M&P45 M2.0 Full Size is one of the best Smith & Wesson pistol options. Having a full-size M&P45 with 10+1 rounds of big boy .45 ACP on your nightstand will give you plenty of peace of mind.

Shop for the Best Smith & Wesson Pistol Magazines

At The Mag Shack, we specialize in selling top-of-the-line pistol magazines for Smith & Wesson guns, along with other leading brands in the firearms industry. From .45 ACP magazines to .380 ACP mags, you won’t find better prices on these crucial components. Shop our store and add some magazines to your cart today!

SHOP NOW

Resources Related to Best Smith & Wesson Revolver or Pistol Mags

Best Glock 9mm Magazines

If you have owned your Glock for any time at all, you’ve seen lots of ammunition magazines offered from various manufacturers for sale at gun shops and gun shows. Yes, factory GLOCK MAGAZINES are kind…

 

How to Buy Gun Magazines

In the first half of 2020 – despite the COVID-19 pandemic – more than 2 million Americans have purchased their first firearms. And guess what firearms need – magazines. Simply put, magazines hold the ammunition…

<

 

Amend 2 Glock Magazine Review

When I first saw the Glock 17 magazine from Amend 2, I was intrigued. There were many people covering it at Shot Show 2018 where it was debuted. The red follower drew my eye to the top of magazine, while…

 

Go Big or Go Home – The Best High-Capacity Magazines and Drums for Your AR-15

Go Big or Go Home – The Best High-Capacity Magazines and Drums for Your AR-15

Any day at the range is a good day. But if you want to make a day at the range better, spend less time loading and more time pulling the trigger.

The easiest way to do that is to stock up on high-capacity AR-15 magazines. Thirty rounds are great, but 40 rounds are better. And 60 or even 100 rounds mean you’ll have more time to concentrate on your shooting between mag changes.

Here are four great high-capacity magazines for getting more trigger time out of your AR-15 rifle.

Magpul 40-Round

Magpul magazines are popular because they’re tough, reliable and affordable. You’ll see more PMags at the range than any other brand. And that’s why Magpul 40-round high-capacity magazines have been such a big hit. For only about $20, it gives you a 33% increase in capacity over a standard 30-round AR magazine.

X Products X-15 Chevron Skeletonized 50-Round AR-15 Drum Magazine

The next step up in capacity is occupied by X-Products’ X-15 50-round AR-15 drum magazine. The compact chevron skeletonized model keeps weight and bulk down.

Surefire 60-Round

Want to carry even more ammo in a single box magazine? Surefire’s 60-round high-capacity magazines let you double up on standard 30-round mags. The Surefire design packs those 60 rounds into a magazine that’s about the same length as a standard 30-rounder, and does it in an aluminum-bodied magazine for strength and durability.

Magpul D60 60-Round AR-15 Drum Magazine

If a drum magazine design is more attractive to you, Magpul offers a couple of options. Their D-50 and D-60 drum magazines are made out of Magpul’s tough and tested polymer and have proven to be reliable in heavy use. That’s not something a lot of AR-15 drum magazine makers can say.

Shop for High-Capacity Magazines for Your AR-15

The Mag Shack is home to plenty of premium high-capacity rifle magazines for AR-15 firearms. From Amend2 to Okay Industries, we only sell products from top manufacturers in the industry. Browse our high-capacity AR-15 magazines and purchase now.

BUY NOW

Best First Handgun: Top-10 List

Best First Handgun: Top-10 List

Plenty of authors have offered their “top 10” lists of pistols and other products. Too often, these lists are nothing more than the top commission earners for the person(s) writing or publishing the story.

Instead of shilling for commission earners, this top-10 list is based upon my four decades of shooting, including more than two as an active firearms trainer of thousands of people, young and old. At the same time, I remain a busy student of gun training with a who’s who of nationally known top-tier instructors in courses and seminars.

What Qualifies as a Great Beginner Handgun?

First off, the “best” handgun to buy for one shooter may be completely inappropriate for the next person. As an example? I bought my first 9mm pistol – a Beretta 92 – based on Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Detective Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon. “I’m a real cop, and this is a real effin’ gun!” Looking back, that was a huge mistake.

Not only was a Beretta 92 a poor choice for me, (a beginner handgun shooter) but I wasted thousands of rounds trying to teach myself how to master shooting that pistol rather unsuccessfully. In the end, nationally known trainer Mas Ayoob taught me how to shoot it, and learning those skills on that very difficult platform made me a far better shooter for every handgun.

You probably don’t want to spend 40 hours, a thousand-plus dollars and invest a couple of thousand rounds of ammo to do the same though. So, before we talk about specific guns, let’s talk about some generalities.

If you’re a beginner handgun shooter or you’re not going to practice, a revolver will likely better serve you for defensive purposes.

Revolvers are sometimes known as wheelguns and they have a lot going for them for both beginner handgun shooters and experienced pistoleros. These benefits include simplicity of use, including loading and unloading, that help make them safer for novices.

Wheelguns remain the ultimate point and click interface when it comes to defensive handgun use. Once loaded, the user points and then pulls the trigger. Malfunctions are rare, and overcoming them often involves simply pulling the trigger one more time.

What’s more, don’t get wrapped around the axle about not being able to carry half a box of ammo in your handgun. Five or six rounds will resolve most personal defense situations.

There are other pros of owning a revolver. It will reliably shoot milder ammunition for practice and recreation and hotter loads for personal defense. The only limit to light loads is ensuring the bullet will leave the barrel. Try that with a lot of semi-automatics. In fact, revolver users have been known to load paraffin “bullets” into primed cases for fun indoor practice. Again, try that with your semi-auto.

While I’ve never fired wax “bullets,” I have fired some custom .38 Special loads that clock at about 450 feet per second at the muzzle. These allow young people and recoil-sensitive shooters a very pleasant introduction to shooting a handgun.

Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 10 best, first pistol or handgun options. These aren’t presented in any particular order as they represent 10 guns that serve different purposes for new shooters.

Full-Size Revolver: Smith & Wesson Model 64/65/10/19 Classic

Smith & Wesson’s 4-inch-barrel K-frame revolvers in .38 Special or .357 Magnum are a classic that have served about 100 years or so. They are reliable, durable, accurate, versatile and ideal for beginner handgun shooters or those who aren’t going to practice. Among these are the Model 64, Model 65, Model 10 and Model 19 Classic.

For practice, these guns will provide endless hours of fun and enjoyment with practice loads. The .357 Magnum revolvers will also shoot the milder .38 Specials all day long and twice on Sunday.

Incredibly versatile, these same guns will serve faithfully for competition, recreation, even hunting — and everything in between.

And when lives are in danger, these revolvers will stop the threat and save innocents as they’ve done for decades with hotter, .38 Special +P hollow-point ammunition. The FBI carried these for many, many years because they worked well for their intended purpose. These same revolvers will still serve today for concealed carry as well as for home defense.

Don’t feel shorted if you buy one in .38 Special caliber as opposed to .357 Magnum. Firing .357 rounds out of a revolver is obnoxiously loud with very sharp, unpleasant recoil, especially for new or novice shooters. Instead of .357 Magnum loads, the FBI employed .38 Special +P 158gr. semi-wadcutter hollow points for at least a couple of decades, much to the chagrin of countless bad guys and gals.

What’s more, used S&W 4-inch K-frame guns, including police trade-ins of these models and similar ones, offer those with tight budgets or fixed incomes an affordable option as well.

Snub-Nosed Revolver: Ruger LCR

Ruger makes a very nice snub-nosed revolver that’s widely available in their LCR. Yes, Ruger uses polymer materials for a big part of the frame, but they use metal in all the critical areas.

The LCR revolver has an excellent trigger and shoots well in a fairly lightweight package. Light enough to carry it all day long without fatigue, but heavy enough that you can shoot 50 or more rounds of practice ammo in a day without crying out in pain or developing a nasty flinch.

Affordable Snub-Nosed Revolver: Taurus Model 85

Don’t have $500-$600 to spend on a small-frame revolver? No worries. Taurus makes some very good revolvers today and if you watch sales in normal times, you can find Taurus Model 85s for $300 or even less.

I’ve owned several and they’ve all had good, manageable triggers and provided flawless service and reliability. In fact, I bought my first one as a Christmas present for my first fiancée decades ago.

No, it probably won’t stand up well to shooting 100,000 rounds, but it’s a carry piece, not a plow horse.

Taurus keeps coming out with new incarnations of the Model 85. I’d avoid the exotic metal guns that weigh next to nothing. Those are quite unpleasant to fire, especially with defensive ammunition. But the blue steel or stainless 85s will serve you and your loved ones well at an affordable price.

SIG Sauer P365

This SIG Sauer pistol stands as the single-best general-purpose concealed carry defensive pistol on the market today, period. It comes with standard night sights, along with a very good factory trigger. It’s comfortable to carry and a pleasure to shoot.

Despite a very petite frame that specs out as smaller than its competitors, it packs 10- or 12-rounds (plus one in the pipe) in a very small form factor that’s easy to conceal and light enough that it remains comfortable enough to conceal 18 hours a day.

I recommend the version without the external safety, but not everyone feels comfortable carrying a semi-auto without an external safety.

Springfield Hellcat

The Hellcat is very close runner-up to the SIG P365 and many say they prefer it to the 365. Springfield’s Hellcat holds one extra round than the 365 (11+1 or 13+1 with the slightly extended magazine). It also has an option for an RMS red-dot optic which makes it probably the best handgun to buy for those who prefer red-dot sights on their carry guns.

Springfield Armory did well with their Hellcat. It garners top marks for a general purpose carry piece with a great trigger right out of the box.

For Young People or Those With Very Small Hands: Ruger SR-22

The Ruger SR-22 is a very small rimfire pistol with an equally petite grip. It’s ideal for sharing the fun and excitement of handgun shooting with small-framed women and responsible young people with small paws. I’ve used mine at youth shooting camps and kids as young as 7 or 8 years old had no problem holding this tiny pistol securely.

First-time or new shooters usually aren’t intimidated by the mild recoil and fairly mild muzzle blast. In skilled hands with good ammo, it will deliver respectable accuracy.

Insider tip: Buy four or five extra magazines, because when you hand this little gem to a beginner handgun shooter, they’re going to have a grin from ear to ear and want to shoot it — a lot. Loading magazines typically takes longer than excited shooters can empty them while they make memories that will last a lifetime.

Plus, while shooting rimfire .22s, you won’t land in the poorhouse watching kids and maybe even a few grown men giggle while shooting through 500 rounds in an afternoon with this sweet little handgun.

The Walther P-22 is a runner up in this category, but the Walther seems a lot more finicky when it comes to ammo that will make it run reliably. And nothing kills a good-time buzz faster than malfunctions.

Glock 19 9mm

The Glock 19 is a compact 9mm pistol that many today consider a full-size duty or carry gun. With its standard 15-round capacity, the G19 carried by a million or more in city, state and federal law enforcement.

Glocks run reliably. They’re simple and they’re quite durable. The other great thing: they’re as consistent as a McDonald’s Quarter-Pounder. If you borrow your friend’s Glock, you know it will handle just like yours.

Given the millions of these guns sold over the years, there are all manner of accessories widely available including an endless array of holsters and aftermarket products.

Plus, for those on a budget, perfectly serviceable police trade-ins and other used Glock 19s can be found in the wild at gun shops and from dealers on the Internet at a couple hundred bucks or more under new-gun prices.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm Series

Smith & Wesson’s M&P 2.0 9mm line is even better than their original M&P guns, especially their double-stack 9mm pistols. These semi-autos come with adjustable back straps to better accommodate various hand sizes. The gun comes with a great, crisp trigger right out of the box, along with a pair of 17-round magazines in free states.

The M&P 9’s shoot well and have been a great seller for S&W. That means lots of aftermarket parts and accessories are widely available. That’s good news when you’re looking for a holster or two for your M&P 2.0.

While it’s a pretty fair-sized gun for concealed carry (the compact version carries more comfortably and shoots every bit as well), it also doubles as a great casual competition and home defense tool as well.

SIG Sauer P320 Series

If I was starting over today, I’d probably buy one of SIG’s P320 series guns. They have a magnificent trigger, very comfortable grips, generous magazine capacity and shoot very well. Interestingly, the actual registered “firearm” in the modular P320 is an internal “fire control unit” that you can remove from one P320 chassis and insert into another larger (or smaller) one. Yes, the chassis might even mean a different caliber in addition to a different size or type of frame.

What’s more, the 320 series runs from a standard pedigree to the high-end Legion models. You won’t go wrong with any of them.

Smith & Wesson M&P EZ .380

Ordinarily, I champion revolvers as the best first handgun for novices or those who aren’t going to practice. However I make an exception for one specific niche: those with serious hand strength issues. For those folks, the S&W M&P EZ .380 represents a huge improvement over every other center-fire semi-auto pistol on the market.

The M&P EZ shoots every bit as well as traditional defensive pistols, but manipulates easier than most rimfire semi-autos. Even my 80-year-old mother who has serious hand-strength limitations can manipulate this pistol with relative ease. The trigger is also relatively light, making it very shootable for those lacking that finger strength.

S&W offers a 9mm version of the EZ, too. While it’s easier to manipulate than pretty much any other semi-auto out there, it’s not nearly as easy as the .380. Don’t believe me? Handle both at your local gun shop and experience the difference first-hand.

Order Magazines for Your Beginner Handgun

When you buy your first beginner handgun, make sure you stock up on plenty of pistol magazines to support your new purchase. At The Mag Shack, we sell a wide variety of handgun mags, from 9mm to 40 S&W options. Check out our products and place your order now.

BUY NOW

Best AR-15 Magazines

Best AR-15 Magazines

The AR-15 platform rifle is America’s favorite rifle for more than just its incredible versatility. Indeed, the AR platform remains the single best-selling firearm in America. Just how popular is the AR platform? Americans own more AR-15s than there are Ford F150 pickups on the road. Think about that the next time you go for a drive and see a dozen F150s.

Obviously, owners of America’s favorite rifle – a semi-automatic – need the best AR-15 magazines to feed it. But, with so many manufacturers hawking their wares online, in stores and at gun shows, what are the best AR-15 magazines?

Too many of these “best of” stories are based upon commissions rather than personal experience. This one is based upon my personal experience from nearly 20 years as an AR owner, student of many nationally known instructors and as an instructor teaching the fundamentals to everyday Americans.

Even the Best AR-15 Magazines Don’t Last Forever

Magazines wear out with use. To give you an idea, the military considers their standard-issue aluminum AR-style magazines to have a 4,000-round service life. That’s about 130 loadings. After those loading and unloading/shooting cycles, the military considers them expended, and you should too.

Why do even the best AR-15 magazines eventually fail? Primarily, because their feed lips become damaged with use. They can become deformed or even broken over time. Especially with hard use in training, typically while allowing them to fall to the ground. Springs weaken from loading/unloading cycles. Interestingly, good quality springs will not “take a set” from remaining fully loaded for years at a time.

What’s more, one of the most common causes for malfunctions in semi-auto firearms is a defective magazine. This is why you should use a Sharpie marker and number your magazines. This way, while practicing in the future, if you start experiencing malfunctions from a certain mag, you can put that magazine aside.

Whether you use it for training (after marking it prominently) or destroy it, just make sure it doesn’t remain in your defensive gear rotation.

What Are the Best AR-15 Magazines?

Gun magazines need to be reliable and dependable for long-term use. Whichever manufacturer’s product you select, buy enough to use and some spare ones, especially if you’re going to train or practice regularly. So, what are the best AR-15 magazines? Here are three types of great components to consider:

  • Magpul PMags
  • Aluminum Milspec Magazines
  • Lancer L5 Advanced Warfight Magazine (L5AWM)

Magpul PMags

AR mags typically come in the old Milspec aluminum variety or polymer magazines popularized by the PMag by Magpul. I’ve shot both and watched both take a beating in adverse conditions. Both work well, so you shouldn’t worry that a “plastic” magazine will fail because of brittleness or from use in cold weather.

Many of the cool kids choose to run with Magpul PMags. Despite an extra dollar (or five) in cost, PMags are everywhere. Even the military is adopting them, because they were some of the best AR-15 magazines of 2020. They run reliably with every rifle I’ve ever seen. I especially like the “windowed” PMags that feature a clear “window” to reveal the round count remaining from either side of the gun.

Recent generation PMags come in 20-, 30- and 40-round capacities. All run with flawless reliability. However, before you rush out to stock up on 40-round mags, be forewarned that the extra length may preclude shooting from prone with good technique. Most people aren’t going to shoot from prone recreationally, but if you’re fighting for your life, this can pose serious problems.

No Frills Aluminum Milspec Magazines

For those OK with the “no frills” magazines, the Milspec aluminum magazines remain a great deal. In quantity, you can pick up 30-round mags for $10 or less. Most come in various shades of gray, depending on the manufacturer.

These are all typically very reliable and some of the best AR-15 magazines, especially if they feature modern anti-tilt followers which have become standard in this day and age. For those paranoid about followers, Magpul makes some outstanding aftermarket followers for end users to swap out with lesser units. The Magpul anti-tilt followers work so well they have become pretty close to an industry standard.

Keep in mind that there are millions of used Milspec mags floating around at gun shows and gun stores. Avoid them. You just cannot really gauge how used and possibly abused these might be. Unless the price is stupid cheap and you want some beat-around mags, steer clear of used surplus mags.

Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazines

Looking for the Rolls Royce of AR-15 magazines? Look no further than the AR-15 L5AWM by Lancer Systems. Featuring steel feedlips and a polymer construction, these mags is in the best of both worlds. Lighter than standard aluminum mags, these Lancer L5AWMs promise unmatched durability in the polymer magazine market.

These magazines feel like they have ball bearings inside. The Germans have over-engineered these like the Swiss do their watches. Also, when loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, these magazines will seat with 100% reliability on a closed bolt in ARs. Ordinarily, many instructors, including myself, urge our students to only load 28 rounds in their PMags or aluminum Milspec mags to help ensure positive seating on a closed bolt. With the HK SA80 mags, that isn’t necessary.

Other Magazines

Given the incredible popularity of the AR platform, there are a number of other manufacturers out there that provide good products. I just don’t have enough direct experience to put them into “the best” category of the aforementioned. Yes, I’ve seen a tiny handful of other manufacturer’s products, but the above dominate when it comes to those who are serious about shooting ARs.

One consistently poor performer for those who don’t know any better are the blue-steel aftermarket AR-magazines. These usually have prominent verbiage guaranteeing reliability and claims that they are “just as good as” fill-in-the-blank mags. In my experience (and plenty of other people I know and trust), these are consistently junk. Poor followers, soft metal, poor manufacturing tolerances and lousy springs lead to poor performance for users.

Frankly, given the high quality, wide availability (for now) and flawless reliability of Magpul products, Milspec aluminum mags and the HK SA80 mags, I haven’t felt the necessity to try other products. After all, when you find products that work exceptionally well, why stray from a proven winner?

Order the Best AR-15 Magazines from The Mag Shack

When you’re ready to add some more magazines to your collection, make sure you browse The Mag Shack’s selection first. We only carry the best AR-15 magazines at the lowest prices online to provide our customers with the best deals. And, you can order some of our magazines in bulk to save even more money. Purchase today!

BUY NOW

Resources Related to the Best AR-15 Magazines

Eight of the Best Beginner AR15S & Other AR-Style Rifles

There are dozens of reasons that the AR-15 and its variants are America’s favorite rifles. Most have to do with their reliability and almost infinite ways the platform can be customized for a wide range of uses…

 

How To Buy Gun Magazines

In The First Half Of 2020 – Despite The COVID-19 Pandemic – More Than 2 Million Americans Have Purchased Their First Firearms. And Guess What Firearms Need – Magazines. Simply Put, Magazines Hold The Ammunition…

 

The Schmeisser S60 60 Round AR15 Magazine Review

Yes, 30 rounds is standard capacity. But you have every right to have more than that on tap in a given session. Plenty of magazines exist out there with +30 capacity. Offerings from Magpul, Surefire…

 

How Many Spare Magazines Do I Need?

How Many Spare Magazines Do I Need?

Ever asked a woman how many pairs of shoes she needs?  Or a guy how many guns he needs?  Both will probably earn you sour looks of derision.  Edging close to that forbidden ground: How many magazines do I need for my gun(s)?

Why You Should Have a Spare Magazine for Your Gun

Everyone will have an opinion on this, but I’ll give mine as a 22-year firearms and tactics instructor and student of a long list of nationally known firearms trainers. I won’t play hide the ball, but first let’s talk about magazines.

Magazines, unlike firearms, degrade with use. To give you an idea, the military considers their standard-issue aluminum AR-style magazines to have a 4,000-round service life. That’s about 130 loadings. After that, the military considers them expended and you should, too.

Why do magazines eventually fail with use? Primarily, because their feed lips are delicate. They can become deformed or even broken with use over time. Especially with hard use in training. Springs eventually weaken from loading/unloading cycles — but not so much from “taking a set.” They can remain fully loaded for years at a time.

One of the most common causes of malfunctions in semi-automatic firearms is a defective magazine. This is why you should use a Sharpie marker to number your magazines. That way, while practicing, if you start experiencing malfunctions from your magazine #13, you can put that one aside.

If you suffer multiple malfunctions from any magazine, mark it prominently, say with orange paint, and use it only as a malfunction clearing drill training aid. Or destroy it. Just make sure it doesn’t stay among the working gear you depend on for personal defense or serious competition.

We know that the vast majority of America’s gun owners don’t practice as much as they would like to. Fewer still train aggressively. In fact, many gun owners might not shoot more than a box or two each year. For the average gun owner, they don’t need to buy magazines by the case or even in 10-packs. However, in good times, that option remains available.

For Handguns

Semi-auto handgun owners should have at least three magazines for each semi-auto handgun. That allows your handgun to be loaded for self-defense and give you two spare reloads. Three magazines also makes a nice complement for recreational shooting as well.
Additionally, if you shoot regularly or train even occasionally, you should buy three additional new replacement magazines. These will replace any of your initial magazines that fail over time from use or abuse.

What if my magazines are “high capacity”?

Given the political climate from a potential administration change, firearm magazines may face unprecedented taxes.  That goes double if the capacity is more than 10 rounds. No one is sure when new gun control legislation is coming, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Back in the late 1990s, when new magazine capacity was limited, standard capacity “pre-ban” Glock magazines sold for well over $100. Today you can buy yours, regardless of the make and manufacturer, while they remain relatively plentiful and affordable. It isn’t like they will go bad in the back of your closet or gun safe.

For the revolver shooters out there, you too should have “magazines” – otherwise known as speed loaders in the revolver world.  Like semi-auto pistol owners, revolver owners should own at least two speedloaders.  The good news is that speedloaders are less prone to failure with use.  For deep cover and less obtrusive carry, speed strips are available, but they are slower to use and reload your wheel gun.

For AR-15s and Modern Sporting Rifles

Owners of America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15, or other semi-automatic rifles should have at least three working magazines, along with three spares for a total of six magazines. Frankly, for those who will train or compete with their semi-auto firearms, a dozen or more would serve better in the long run.

Again, follow the US military’s 4000-round life expectancy for AR mags.  You can still use them for range practice or drills if you run them through 130 loading cycles.  Or you can sell them to someone else as practice magazines and then replenish your own stock.

Should the government enact some sort of magazine capacity ban on magazines over 10 rounds, milspec AR magazines or other semi-auto modern sporting rifle mags will become very pricey.

What about the bolt-action rifle owners?  As above, make sure you have at least three magazines.  If your bolt gun sees a lot of action, have three spares as well. The good news on bolt gun magazines is that they are unlikely to face restrictions anytime soon.

How Many Magazines Is Too Many?

I don’t know that anyone can really own too many magazines. Plenty of women would probably say the same out shoes or maybe purses. Heaven knows most men would say the same thing about guns.

Just make sure you have at least a couple of spares – bare minimum – for every magazine-fed gun you own.  You’ll thank yourself in ten or twenty years. And maybe sooner.

Shop The Mag Shack for Spare Magazines

When you need to order some spare magazines for your firearm, The Mag Shack is your go-to destination. We offer rifle magazines, shotgun magazines and pistol magazines for various models of guns, including 9mm and AR-15 magazines. You won’t find a better selection elsewhere. Order these products individually or in bulk at the lowest prices today!

SHOP NOW

Resources Related to Spare Magazines

Best Glock 9mm Magazines

If you have owned your Glock for any time at all, you’ve seen lots of ammunition magazines offered from various manufacturers for sale at gun shops and gun shows. Yes, factory GLOCK MAGAZINES are kind…

 

How to Buy Gun Magazines

In the first half of 2020 – despite the COVID-19 pandemic – more than 2 million Americans have purchased their first firearms. And guess what firearms need – magazines. Simply put, magazines hold the ammunition…

 

Surefeed E2 Magazine Review

OKAY INDUSTRIES co-developed the 30-round aluminum AR15/M16 magazine in the late 60s/early 70s. Prior to this, the black rifle usually was issued or shipped with 20 round magazines, which was found to be insufficent…

 

AR-15 Aluminum Magazines to Consider

AR-15 Aluminum Magazines to Consider

New AR-15 rifle owners may wonder, with all of the countless options in aluminum AR-15 magazines, which one is best for them. Actually, as someone with two decades of serious study of the AR-15 platform from nationally known instructors and teaching AR coursework for beginners myself, the answer to this question is surprisingly simple.

What Are the Best Aluminum AR-15 Magazines for You?

The AR rifle platform will run with near-perfect reliability given proper (generous) lubrication, decent ammo and good AR-15 aluminum magazines. But if you remove any one of those three components, malfunctions will plague any user, beginner or expert.

In practice, malfunctions can be frustrating and embarrassing. In life-or-death defensive situations, failures can actually prove fatal. So, selecting the right magazine is very important.

For instance, those who don’t know any better may buy some aftermarket, blue-steel magazine at a gun show, online or at their local gun shop. Yes, the packaging will often boldly and prominently proclaim guarantees of reliability. But buyer beware.

Poorly made followers can tilt inside the magazine. Followers are supposed to evenly push the ammunition up as the gun shoots and cycles new rounds. But cheap magazines tend to have poor-quality followers that may bind, rendering the magazine a trainwreck until it can be completely unloaded and cleared.

Lousy quality springs may take a set or fail to provide the necessary upward pressure to keep feeding cartridges reliably. Soft metal housings — and by extension, soft-metal feed lips — may bend or deform with use, causing additional reliability problems. Add in poor manufacturing tolerances and it’s easy to see how seemingly little things can lead to poor reliability for the end user.

So, which manufacturer’s product is right for you? Start with what the pros use. Magpul PMags dominate sales because they work and many like the “windows” in some models that show the remaining round count.

For those who like to keep things simple, Milspec AR-15 aluminum magazines offer outstanding performance at an affordable price.

Try some of each of these with your rifle and make sure they work flawlessly for you. While perfectly smooth operation isn’t necessary for an afternoon of plinking with friends, if you’re competing for bragging rights or for prizes, or you’re in a fight for the lives of you and your loved ones, you want perfect reliability and reliably perfect cartridge feeding from your aluminum AR-15 magazines.

Other Considerations

New and not-so-new AR-users should consider a couple of other points.

First, aluminum AR-15 magazines (or ones made from other materials) don’t last forever. The military, at one time, set the useful life of Milspec platform AR-15 aluminum magazines at 4,000 rounds, or about 130 full loads. Springs will eventually weaken from loading/unloading cycles, but not so much from “taking a set” from remaining fully loaded for years at a time. Also, the magazine’s feed lips can become deformed or broken from hard use.

Another consideration: make sure you use a Sharpie marker to number your aluminum AR-15 magazines. That makes it easy to identify any problematic mags so you can discard them or relegate them for training use only.

Given the wide availability of AR-15 aluminum magazines currently, now is a good time to stock up. Make sure you’ve got at least a half-dozen AR-15 magazines or more if you shoot a lot. It’s a good idea to buy now before politicians decide they want to restrict the sales of standard capacity magazines.

Purchase Excellent AR-15 Aluminum Magazines

At The Mag Shack, we specialize in selling the best AR 15 magazines online from brands that include Okay Industries, ProMag and other leading manufacturers. Whether you’re looking for aluminum AR-15 magazines in bulk quantities or individual packs, we have you covered. Browse our selection and order today!

BUY NOW