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AR Rifle Magazines: What You Need to Know

So you got an AR15 rifle and your ready to go to the range and take it for a test drive. But, first you need some ammo. Actually, first you need a magazine to hold your ammunition (or many magazines to hold a lot of ammunition…).

There are a ton of choices out there when it comes to AR magazines, most are good some are not. The question is how does a new rifle owner know?

What AR Rifle Magazines Should You Buy?

My personal choice is MAGPUL PMAGS with or without windows. I have several and have never had an issue.

We recently bought some Lancer L5 AWM’s but have yet to try them out. They certainly feel quality to me. And the reviews are great.

Nothing can be more frustrating than magazine issues. It’s amazing how many issues are misdiagnosed as gun problems when it is simply inferior magazines. To point you in the right direction, here are our top tips when it come to buying your AR Rifle Magazines:

1. Stick with a proven name. MAGPUL, Lancer, Surefire, Hexmag, Brownells….

2. Polymer or metal? Simple answer: Both are fine. Inspect metal mags frequently for damaged feed lips. Minor damage to feed lips on metal mags can cause big problems.

3. 10 rd. 20 rd. or 30+ rd.? Your choice… and the laws of your state or local jurisdiction can dictate this.

4. How many magazines to buy? The more the better. Pre- loading mags at home can save you a ton of time at the range and keep you in the trigger instead of loading mags half your time.

5. Clean your mags like you do your gun. Disassemble and clean regularly, do not oil them as that will collect junk over time and cause issues down the road.

6. If you have multiple calibers MAKE SURE YOU LABEL YOUR MAGS!!!!!! LET ME REPEAT THIS: MAKES SURE YOU LABEL YOUR MAGS!!!! Nothing will ruin your day faster than loading a .300 BO in your .223/5.56 (it will load and it will fire but the results will be bad).

7. If you use your gun for home defense keep one mag loaded and store the rest unloaded to keep stress off them (this is personal preference. I have seen convincing arguments on both sides of this fence).

Happy shooting and remember SAFETY FIRST….

Here is a link to a good article from our friends at Pew Pew Tactical on magazines and more in depth discussion about how to inspect mags for reliability: Best AR15 Magazines

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