Firearms

AR-15 Magazines

Gray AR-15 magazine on a white background

There are so many choices when it comes to AR-15 magazines that one can easily become confused as to which one is the best choice for your AR-15 rifle, carbine, or pistol. In this installment in our series on the AR-15 rifle, we’ll discuss the various types of AR magazines available.

  • Let’s start with the “tough as nails” PMAG. Magpul PMAGS are some of the best quality magazines on the market today. These mags are in extremely high demand because of their ruggedness, durability and relatively low price. The MagLEVEL PMAG has transparent windows and a painted spring for quick determination of approximate round count.
  • C Products aluminum mags are another outstanding choice for AR-15 mags. They feature Magpul brand self-leveling followers for improved feeding reliability. These mags have a moly coat finish and are designed to exceed the USGI specifications.
  • Another choice to consider is the Cammenga EasyMag. This magazine features an open case design, tip-proof follower and a chrome silicone main spring which allows for fast loading, unloading and cleaning. Constructed of high-strength spring steel and finished with anti-friction coating, the Easymag eliminates the need for separate loading devices, and can also be used with conventional stripper clips.
  • If you are looking for a standard AR-15 magazine, check out our Bushmaster Magazines. These are current production magazines made by Bushmaster to the strict guidelines our military demands. These mags feature the standard green plastic follower and grey Teflon coating.

Why is the color of the follower important? The original AR-15 magazines came with black followers. It was found these followers could tilt in the magazine during use and cause feed malfunctions.

An upgraded follower was introduced to correct this problem and was colored green for easy identification. Since then, there have been other colors introduced, like gray and orange. These are supposedly upgrades or different generations of certain companies’ followers. Some even claim to be self-lubricating.

Avoid using black followers and tilting shouldn’t be a problem.

What is your favorite AR-15 magazine? How did you decide to use it? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. Okay, now for dumb question time. I’ve got 2 AR-Stoner 40 round 223 mags, With the black followers, and yet I can get 44 rounds loaded into them. Is this OK? Should I back out 4 rounds? I kind of found this strange, as my 20 round mags take 20 rounds, the 30’s take 30, but these 40’s take more than advertised. What am I missing? Please educate us on this discrepancy. Thanks, AL

  2. I was hoping for a tech article on whats good, whats bad, and THEN some product plugging…..

    This is just a sales article, and makes me a saaaaaad panda.

  3. personally I found some almost clear magazines that work really well. I also own a beta mag which is a 100 rd. drum for my M4 and it works great, the only catch is that there is no bolt catch when the mag is empty.

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