What is your Go To AR15 Magazine to leave loaded?

That is similar to what some guys in the SADF did back in the day.

We had standard 35 round magazines for our R4/5/6s, but also a 50 rounder.

I remember one of our senior NCOs from SFHQ used to drive to and from work in his issued pickup with a R5 and 50 round magazine sitting on the seat next to him.

He was one of the original pseudo gang operators from the Mau Mau rebellion, who then fought with Mike Hoare in the Congo, and the BSAP PATU in Rhodesia, before ending up in the SADF.

Regards.

Mark

Formerly known as ML

I have LOTS of GI 20 & 30 rd mags updated with new springs and Magpul followers. 

The "duty ready" 20 rd mags get 18 rds of 75 gr Hornady OTM, while the 30 rd mags are loaded with 28 rds of Fed 62 gr TBBC JSP. 

Range mags for practice are loaded with Fed 55 gr XM193 FMJ in them.

DocGHR, please educate me on your duty 20, duty 30, and range mag ammo choices. You are running 75 gr and 62 gr for real use and 55 gr for practice. Doesn't the difference between the rounds create a difference in point of impact, creating different results between practice and fighting, or are the differences small enough to not matter? Sorry for the quick thread side rail, just wanted to learn something new from a ballistic SME. I'm snagging the idea of different sizes for different loads. I have had concerns that my marks might not be enough in times of stress or darkness. Thanks.

For pure LE patrol duty use, just go with 62 gr TBBC or other equivalent barrier blind ammo. 

However, given the large quantity of free 75 gr OTM we had laying around, I decided to put it to good use for home defense, as it tends to violently hyper-expand and fragment, mitigating potential downrange hazards when used inside a dwelling, while still providing adequate penetration on unobstructed shots.  Thus my home AR15 is loaded with a 20 rd mag of 75 gr OTM, while the reloads are all 30 rd mags with TBBC.

Note there is minimal difference between POA/POI at close ranges with these various loads out to 100yds or so.  Definitely not something to worry about indoors....

Brock01 posted:

So just an observation some of you may find interesting. A HSLD type came into my office with a 40 round pmag in his SCAR. He said the rest of his mags are 30 rounders, but the 40 is great for sending a whole lot of F*** YOU from the back seat of a vehicle.

Relevant: 

In SF, we recognized early on that the magazine was a critical node in semi- and full-automatic M16 series weapon performance. And we substituted mags where we could. One of the first was the steel Stirling 40-round magazine. Many teams carried a Stirling mag (which were originally intended for the AR-180) in the mag-well to provide initial fire superiority in an ambush or meeting engagement. 

http COLON //weaponsman DOT com/?p=3026

I thought he wrote about it in a different post as well, but that's the only one I found in a few minutes of Googling the archives. I've been experimenting between a standard PMAG40 and one with the TTI extension. 

Weird. I had an AR180 for a long time, took some classes with it even. Went through a lot of mags (modified for the mag latch on the 180) and many bad ones. The several 40 round AR180 mags I had were right down there in the bottom of the pile for reliability. Horrible mags IME. Didn't keep any so didn't try in the AR. 

Costa Mesa 20s were beautiful. But expensive and also basically unavailable (someone stole one from me at the range one day, grrr) so worth selling when I got rid of that gun. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I have left a Pmag (I don't know what generation it is) loaded with surplus ball ammo since July of 2007. It doesn't have the  cap on it, just rounds against the feed lips. There are no obvious signs of failure so far. I can get a approximate measure of the feed lips tomorrow, but I dont have callipers to get a precise one.

______________________________________________________

 

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms." - R. Heinlen

 

Joined:  1/30/05           Location: Graham, Wa

dan187 posted:

I have left a Pmag (I don't know what generation it is) loaded with surplus ball ammo since July of 2007. It doesn't have the  cap on it, just rounds against the feed lips. There are no obvious signs of failure so far. I can get a approximate measure of the feed lips tomorrow, but I dont have callipers to get a precise one.

Side by side image with a unused one?

It's been my experience that PMAG lips don't really bend, they just crack and break if they're that far gone. I've only ever had issues with GI mags where they pass visual inspection but feed like shit.

Learn how to talk and how to fight, if you can't do one you'll be doing a lot of the other.

Linz posted:
dan187 posted:

I have left a Pmag (I don't know what generation it is) loaded with surplus ball ammo since July of 2007. It doesn't have the  cap on it, just rounds against the feed lips. There are no obvious signs of failure so far. I can get a approximate measure of the feed lips tomorrow, but I dont have callipers to get a precise one.

Side by side image with a unused one?

I can take a picture tomorrow.

______________________________________________________

 

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms." - R. Heinlen

 

Joined:  1/30/05           Location: Graham, Wa

MasterChef posted:

It's been my experience that PMAG lips don't really bend, they just crack and break if they're that far gone. I've only ever had issues with GI mags where they pass visual inspection but feed like shit.

Do those gauges separate out the miss feeding ones?

Nah, I don't go near that fancy. I was a machinist, I have the tools and knowledge to get pretty goddamned precise if the situation requires it, but I can't get them back into spec anyway if the aluminum has fatigued so it generally goes like this: one stops feeding right in training, I isolate it based on number, clean it, try it again, swap the internals for a known good mag. If neither of those fixes it I know it's the mag body, and I remove it from circulation...with prejudice. 


Learn how to talk and how to fight, if you can't do one you'll be doing a lot of the other.

MasterChef posted:

Nah, I don't go near that fancy. I was a machinist, I have the tools and knowledge to get pretty goddamned precise if the situation requires it, but I can't get them back into spec anyway if the aluminum has fatigued so it generally goes like this: one stops feeding right in training, I isolate it based on number, clean it, try it again, swap the internals for a known good mag. If neither of those fixes it I know it's the mag body, and I remove it from circulation...with prejudice. 


I was thinking gauging as a prediction of as a predictive of failure rather than a confirmation...or is mag failure a more random process?

I ask because alloy mags (apart from a shopping bag of Orlite, Gapco & C7 synthetics) is all I have and replacement is unlikely.

Being able to gauge them & predict which are likely to fail would be a boon.

When the original PMAG's were first introduced, it was stated that you could use the rear tab of the magazine cover as a go no-go gage to measure the feed lips. I recently rediscovered 8 of the gen 1 PMAG's that I had loaded up with the covers in place and tossed into a box. I tested one of them and it functioned just fine.

I just looked at a M3 PMAG's cover and it appears that the rear tab of it's cover is the same size as the gen 1 magazine cover. The only difference between the covers I could see was an original 1st generation cover had, "Remover before firing" printed on top of the cover. (If you need to be told that, you should probably be using a Nerf gun instead...)

I've experienced enough aluminum magazines spread their feed lips from being left loaded over the years to no longer want to rely on them. My agency switched to PMAGs a few years ago. No issues with spreading feed lips. If there is an issue, it's usually cracked between the feed lips. 

I keep 7 loaded PMAG's in my assigned LE vehicle. I probably have another 20 loaded PMAG's stored at my house. Most of the ones in the house have a cover on them. The ones for work that are stored in my vehicle don't have covers. I check them periodically, but have yet to see an issue. 

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Beat Trash posted:

When the original PMAG's were first introduced, it was stated that you could use the rear tab of the magazine cover as a go no-go gage to measure the feed lips. I recently rediscovered 8 of the gen 1 PMAG's that I had loaded up with the covers in place and tossed into a box. I tested one of them and it functioned just fine.

I just looked at a M3 PMAG's cover and it appears that the rear tab of it's cover is the same size as the gen 1 magazine cover. The only difference between the covers I could see was an original 1st generation cover had, "Remover before firing" printed on top of the cover. (If you need to be told that, you should probably be using a Nerf gun instead...)

I've experienced enough aluminum magazines spread their feed lips from being left loaded over the years to no longer want to rely on them. My agency switched to PMAGs a few years ago. No issues with spreading feed lips. If there is an issue, it's usually cracked between the feed lips. 

I keep 7 loaded PMAG's in my assigned LE vehicle. I probably have another 20 loaded PMAG's stored at my house. Most of the ones in the house have a cover on them. The ones for work that are stored in my vehicle don't have covers. I check them periodically, but have yet to see an issue. 

I’ve for whatever reason have never kept the covers, so this question is based in either ignorance or just plain lack of knowledge. 

Does keeping the covers on when storing loaded PMAG’s help to prevent the lips from cracking over an extended period of time?

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
__________________________
You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter

Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

Mojo, my understand of the covers has always been that it had two purposes. The first to keep debris out and the second to relieve pressure on the feed lips. My $.02 worth of edu-ma-cation told me that since the PMAGs are built to have that "extra" room in the compared to an aluminum the cover pushes down on the top round pushing it off the feed lips and thus spreading the pressure across the entire cover instead of just the feed lips.

 

I only have one PMAG I actually use a cover on and thats the PMAG that rides on the top of my duty bag as a grab-and-go reload to my rifle. The whole point of that mag is to grab it while I'm en route to a call and drop it into my cargo pocket. Because the bag gets rain and snow and the like on it while walking in and out of the PD I put it on there. And I've found that if I grab the mag I can catch the pull tab on the sun visor and rip it off before putting it into my pocket so I don't accidentally try to reload with it still on.

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Joined: 9/1/12

Thanks, brother. Makes sense to me. 

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
__________________________
You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter

Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

I got my dates mixed up, my apologies. This has been loaded since November 2008.

4FB384B3-2D53-4D19-B9F1-205EF48E858E597D4A17-D9C8-4F9B-96D7-A2E08650E1AD81092796-AC0C-4A98-A2A3-ACACAC0F19D988934E72-0090-44B7-A204-7EAF4EAA3E51

 

______________________________________________________

 

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms." - R. Heinlen

 

Joined:  1/30/05           Location: Graham, Wa

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MOJONIXON posted:
Beat Trash posted:

When the original PMAG's were first introduced, it was stated that you could use the rear tab of the magazine cover as a go no-go gage to measure the feed lips. I recently rediscovered 8 of the gen 1 PMAG's that I had loaded up with the covers in place and tossed into a box. I tested one of them and it functioned just fine.

I just looked at a M3 PMAG's cover and it appears that the rear tab of it's cover is the same size as the gen 1 magazine cover. The only difference between the covers I could see was an original 1st generation cover had, "Remover before firing" printed on top of the cover. (If you need to be told that, you should probably be using a Nerf gun instead...)

I've experienced enough aluminum magazines spread their feed lips from being left loaded over the years to no longer want to rely on them. My agency switched to PMAGs a few years ago. No issues with spreading feed lips. If there is an issue, it's usually cracked between the feed lips. 

I keep 7 loaded PMAG's in my assigned LE vehicle. I probably have another 20 loaded PMAG's stored at my house. Most of the ones in the house have a cover on them. The ones for work that are stored in my vehicle don't have covers. I check them periodically, but have yet to see an issue. 

I’ve for whatever reason have never kept the covers, so this question is based in either ignorance or just plain lack of knowledge. 

Does keeping the covers on when storing loaded PMAG’s help to prevent the lips from cracking over an extended period of time?

The covers keep pressure off of the feed lips. But as important, they cover the opening of the magazine to prevent dust and dirt from getting in. Some of the magazines I keep in my work vehicle are there in case I need to give them to another officer. Those magazines have covers on them. It only takes a second to pop the covers off. I've used the magazine well of the rifle to hook the cover on and pop it off of a magazine before. 

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Maybe just a fluke up here, but we've had several Gen 3 PMags fail to seat, even with 28 rounds loaded up here. Several......in quality guns that are in spec (BCM, DD, LMT, LWRCI)...like, insert it into the well place the butt of the mag on the deck and it wont lock with body weight on it (not just weak push-pulls).......as such, I haven't switched over to Gen 3 yet.

Goon Squad

This is a known issue with Gen 3 PMAGS due to the over insertion tab present on the back ridge of the mag. I did not know this was a "known issue" until it happened to me in February with a BCM blem lower I own. I did some research on the web and found more stories consistent to mine. 

The Gen 3 PMAGS work just fine in my BCM EAG carbine, but I encountered the same issue you referenced above with my other BCM lower (28 rounds in mag). It is a blem lower, but I don't see that impacting the fit with the mag. 

Before I searched the issue on the web, I got in touch with G&R tactical (where I purchased the lower) as well as BCM. G&R was the one who told me it was a "known issue" and BCM replied with the following:

Thank you for contacting us. The area of interference is not one which is tightly controlled by MIL SPEC dimensions. The reason is because the area has historically had no function and as a result no tight controls seen elsewhere on MIL SPEC parts. While some lower receivers may well function with protrusions in this area, others from the same lot may not. This is due to slight variances in forgings which is entirely permissible according to the MIL SPEC requirements. There are also a number of products on the market which may protrude into this area and reduce compatibility.

 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

I have a few of the Gen 3 mags, and didn't want to sell them and purchase Gen 2 or other mags. I ground down the insertion tab on one with a dremmel, and ran about 250 rounds through it along with multiple drop tests from 6' height onto concrete floors. I was worried grinding the insertion tab could weaken the structural integrity of the mag, but I haven't had any issues so far. 

 

Good to know. It was obvious that it was due to the tab. I was just under the impression that the Gen 3 was "one mag to rule them all" kind of solution. it was irritating because I'm a heavy user of other MagPul products. I use a LOT of D&H aluminum mags with MagPul internals as a result. The tab issue doesn't necessarily affect my guys who purchase their own mags, but when I'm buying the 100 at a time for my agency, it has an impact. I will dremmel my own mags, but I'm not modifying agency gear that's being issued to the masses. I need an OEM product for the usual reasons.

Another “known issue” is the second round in a PMAG walking up and preventing seating on a closed bolt. I’ve seen this on every generation but it seems to be even more prevalent on Gen 3’s (could just be my own observation)...but the issue is definitely there. A simple push down of that second round allows seating. 

By contrast, I picked up several D&H mags w/ MagPul followers and have yet to notice seating issues even with full 30 rounds (on a closed bolt). 

Joined: 6/11/13
Location: Texas

Goon Squad posted:
Ironman8 posted:

By contrast, I picked up several D&H mags w/ MagPul followers and have yet to notice seating issues even with full 30 rounds (on a closed bolt). 

While I'm still a MagPul fan, I have had really good results with D&H.

Same. The long term loading of the alum. mags is my only question mark (talking feed lips, not springs). 

As stated, poly mags will crack...which is visible and can be tossed. Alum. mags may spread but not be as visible, showing issues only when in use. 

Do you have any experience with long(er) term loading on the D&H mags?

Joined: 6/11/13
Location: Texas

A quick story I just remembered, while at a Falla class several years ago, he circled the class up to discuss magazines. He showed us that if you take a full mag and slap the bottom fairly hard, you’ll have a couple rounds eject from polymer mags (at the time, it was only PMAGs) but with a metal mag, nothing. 

Said he considers a mag unserviceable if it ejects rounds. So I suppose this would be a decent quick way to check if feed lips have spread. 

Which leads me to believe that this “issue” could be the same thing relating to the second round walking up and preventing a closed bolt seating on the PMAG. 

Joined: 6/11/13
Location: Texas

Oh, since I never shared my actual mag selections, FWIW: 

  • The home (and rarely: travel) carbine loaded with 20 round Brownells.
  • I tend to reload my range mags when done, so at least half of them are at least partly loaded. Same thing, Brownells 20s and 30s. 
    • Some of these have the green followers they came with, some with Magpul followers and new chrome-silicon springs 
    • Zero (0) stoppages on any of my guns for any reason for years. Certainly none mag related, literally ever. 
  • My home paranoid third tier backup for when the Enemy Ninja Team invades are: Thermolds. Wilson NC ones at least, but with original followers and springs. Some 20s, some 30s. 
    • Bought them in the middle of AWB, during the 2 weeks they were dirt cheap, then they all got to be $30 each like any pre-94 mag. There were years I went to gun shows and the only aluminum ones were dented and yellow.  
    • Many of these are leftover from when I had the AR-180 as they were easy to cut the slots into, also. They got a lot of range time from some training days. They worked fine. 
    • Until they didn't. They will start getting soft feed lips after about 3-4 hours in the sun. Shade for 20 minutes and they are fine again. 
    • I periodically (rarely, but sometimes) shoot these, and they still work fine even stored loaded all the time. 
    • But mostly they are loaded because they are third tier, so I am cheap and didn't want to use good mags. But I have semi-recently gotten a pile of USGI surplus Colt 30s I repainted, re-followered, re-sprung. Need to change over to some of those sometime, yes I do. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Good Squad, If you need to, the whole tab doesn't need to be ground off for lowers. Usually a few swipes with a file should clear it enough as it's tolerance staking being the issue here. 

I haven't had any issues with Gen 3s not seating in my guns. I do know that Magpul is using the same polymer formula made for the Gen 3s in new production Gen 2s and have been for a couple years making Gen 2s ALMOST like a tabless Gen 3. I'd rock Gen 2s with no issue if the tab was making to much of an issue. I have 5 D&H and 5 Brownells aluminum mags that I almost never use. Theyre range mags only for me still. 

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Joined: 9/1/12

Ironman8 posted:
Goon Squad posted:
Ironman8 posted:

By contrast, I picked up several D&H mags w/ MagPul followers and have yet to notice seating issues even with full 30 rounds (on a closed bolt). 

While I'm still a MagPul fan, I have had really good results with D&H.

Same. The long term loading of the alum. mags is my only question mark (talking feed lips, not springs). 

As stated, poly mags will crack...which is visible and can be tossed. Alum. mags may spread but not be as visible, showing issues only when in use. 

Do you have any experience with long(er) term loading on the D&H mags?

I have had several loaded with 28 rds that have stayed that way for more than a year and functioned flawlessly. Pretty small sample size (one dude, me, who owns about 40 of them and one agency, +/- 90 people, that has a few hundred of them in service). I get it, in regards to the cracked feed-lips vs.  being able to ID the issue with aluminum mags. But I needed to buy bulk mags for duty to feed a variety of guns. I have also seen and demonstrated the "slap the bottom of a Pmag" trick. Not sure about it indicating that the pmag is out of spec, but it sure illustrates a reason not to slap the bottom of a mag during a reload, immediate action, etc. One of the only ways I see a legitimate double feed anymore....

shadow93 posted:

Good Squad, If you need to, the whole tab doesn't need to be ground off for lowers. Usually a few swipes with a file should clear it enough as it's tolerance staking being the issue here. 

I haven't had any issues with Gen 3s not seating in my guns. I do know that Magpul is using the same polymer formula made for the Gen 3s in new production Gen 2s and have been for a couple years making Gen 2s ALMOST like a tabless Gen 3. I'd rock Gen 2s with no issue if the tab was making to much of an issue. I have 5 D&H and 5 Brownells aluminum mags that I almost never use. Theyre range mags only for me still. 

Good to know. I'll make sure I use that and pass it along. I'm just not sure why this is an issue with a mag that allegedly was designed to work in all AR pattern rifles. FWIW, I still have a pile of E-Mags that actually perform this function. As for the D&H, I will press along with them for now. As long as they have the MagPul internals.

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