Whether you are a competitor, hunter, or just have an AR for self protection you count on your magazines to perform flawlessly. And this brings us to the point that not all AR-15 magazines are created equal. Hopefully after this article you will have some good information to make an informed purchase and buy the best AR-15 magazines. Let’s start off with the three most common types of magazines: polymer, aluminum, and steel.
Best AR-15 Magazines: Polymer AR Mags
As the name indicates polymer is used to form some of the best made magazines. Magpul, Lancer, HexMag are some good quality affordable magazines. Each manufacturer uses their own proprietary blend of polymer and design so you will need to find which ones work for your rifle and which ones do not.
Best AR-15 Magazines: Aluminum AR Mags
Aluminum magazines are common because they are generally cheaper and when they have a good follower they are dependable and lightweight. Most of them are made of 6061 aluminum and generally hardened for added strength. Brownell’s makes a good quality magazine and is affordable especially when caught on sale. Sometimes you can find surplus magazines very cheap and just need a new spring or follower and are a great deal.
Best AR-15 Magazines: Steel AR Mags
Steel magazines have a reputation of being very durable and reliable. Some people say they are what you really want to rely on in dire situations. With higher quality polymers and aluminum it is not necessarily any more dependable. They tend to be heavier which adds to their overall strength and can handle abuse. And generally they are not any more expensive than common polymer and aluminum magazines.
Best AR-15 Magazines: Testing
Now that we have covered the different variants of magazines it is time to get into the findings from what we have actually tested. The main thing to remember is that some guns have different tolerances and while magazine companies try their best to cater to all of them not all of these work perfectly in every rifle. Hopefully from this list you can find your best AR-15 magazines.
The first one is probably the most well known and has had a terrific track record both personally and overall, Magpul PMAG. In our own testing and my own semi-finicky rifle these magazines work very well and have performed flawlessly where some other magazines have not. They are very light and come in a variety of colors and styles. They offer magazines with viewing windows as well to see how many rounds you have left. The main colors they offer are Flat dark earth, Sand, Foliage, Olive Drab, and black.
The next is an aluminum magazine that is sold by Brownell’s. It is made from 6061 aluminum making it durable and lightweight. They are very affordable especially when caught on sale. The come with a simple coating so they are very easy to spray paint or put another coating on to camouflage them. It is extremely reliable and combined with the good cost and quality materials it is a great option for an aluminum magazine.
The last recommendation comes from the steel magazine category. ASC makes very reliable and strong magazines out of stainless steel. They come with an anti-tilt follower and chrome silicon springs making them reliable and hardy. It comes in a black color and also Flat dark earth. The strongest part to these steel magazines is the feed lips which make it difficult to damage.
Now there are other good magazines but these are the best AR-15 magazines I’ve used from each category of material. They are just the most reliable we have come across in different AR-15’s which will translate into less stress for you when you want to stock up on magazines especially with all the events that have been happening lately. There are other great brands and if you find one that works in your AR all the better but hopefully this takes some of the guess work out of it for you. Thanks for reading and check back for more content.