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!

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