Reviews

ProMag Changes How We Think of AR-15 Magazines

I have been shooting the AR-15 platform for many years now and have experienced my fair share of magazine-induced failures. Thankfully, companies have identified that the AR-15 magazine is the rifle’s largest weak point and continually develop new and interesting solutions to this reliability problem. Promag has done just that with the PM-30 magazine for AR-15 rifles.

I can think of no better way to take a closer look at the magazine than with breaking it down to show how ProMag took an innovative approach to a 50-plus year old magazine. Before I take the mag apart, I want to point out some of the exterior features.

Overall, the magazine has a very attractive appearance. The stippling is aggressive and well thought out providing a ton of grip. I also liked the little digital numbering system in the lower left—I will talk more about that later in the review. ProMag used their proprietary Technapolymer to build the mag body resulting in an ultra tough magazine.

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Here is a close up of that outstanding stippling.

 

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The back of the magazine has some very nice pronounced ribs that really aid in getting a solid grip on the magazine.

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The follower design is what really sets the PM-30 apart from other magazines on the market. It employs a follower with four rollers on the front and rear of the follower to reduce friction. ProMag has dubbed the design the “Rollerfollower” … Clever.

Le sigh.

Anyhow, here it is. You can see that the feed lip design is very close to the one that Magpul uses on its Pmags.

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One thing I find missing from some polymer magazines is the lack of stripper clip guides. I normally don’t use them, but every now and again, I buy ammo that is already on clips. Thankfully, ProMag saw fit to include these on the Rollermag.

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I slid a stripper clip guide onto the mag and round it to fit really nice! On some of my Magpul mags, it is a bit tight; the fit onto the Rollermag was snug, but not too snug.

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When I slid the 10 rounds off the stripper clip and into the magazine, I had no issue getting it to slide right in with minimal effort.

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Now for the last two 10-round clips. Again, they slid right in with no issues at all.

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All full up with 30 rounds and ready for the range.

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Something I found on the magazine body was the caliber is clearly marked on the feed lips of the magazine for easy reference. If you have several different AR magazines in different calibers this makes it easy to distinguish which mag is which.

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When I pulled the spring and floor plate out, I found that ProMag uses a pretty innovative design for the spring. I am sure they did this to accommodate the Rollerfollower’s larger design. ProMag uses a chrome silicon spring that they claim will retain its properties for six years when left loaded.

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The floor plate itself uses a two-stud retention design to make sure that it won’t slip off the bottom of the mag keeping the ammo where it belongs.

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One downside to the mag body design is the rib separating the smooth portion of the mag and the stippled part. This may prevent the magazine from being used in guns like the Tavor or Beretta ARX100.

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The last interesting feature of the magazine is that digital numbering system molded into the bottom of the mag. It allows you to color fill easy-to-read numbers into the mag with nail polish or model paint so that you can keep your magazines identified and track performance through each magazine.

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I took the magazine out to the range and ran a bunch of ammo through it. I was rather impressed by how the magazine performed. Unfortunately, I was by myself at the range with no cameraman—so no shooting photos. Here is a shot of the magazine in the rifle. You can see how that rib might be an issue for some rifles with deeper mag wells.

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After spending some time examining the ProMag RM-30 Rollermag I found it to be a really nice alternative to the more traditional magazines on the market. With a price tag of $12.97 at the time of this writing, I think I will have to pick up many more to make sure all my AR-15 rifles have plenty of great magazines to feed them.

What is your favorite alternative to the PMag? Which magazines have you found that work for you? Share it with us in the comment section.

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Comments (20)

  1. In the past I have purchased about seven different Promag Industries magazines for different firearms. All but two had feeding or other problems and were considered junk by me. I will not likely ever purchase magazines from this company again because of their lack of quality control.

    If you want AR-15 magazines for a .300 AAC Blackout or 5.56 x 45 rifle I would look at the following companies products:
    Troy Industries Battle Magazine
    Magpul
    Mission First Tactical

  2. Sir / Madam, I LIKE IT ,WILL YOU BE DOING THEM FOR 7.62 X 39 AMMO RIFLE CSA VZ.58 ACTION TACTICAL RIFLE , AND 308 RIFLE I HAVE PLA RANGEMASTER 308.ANOTHER PROBLEM I LIVE IN UNITED KINGDOM SEEN YOU ADD IN THIS MONTH DILLON BLUE PRESS

  3. I have a Pro-Mag for my AR15. I don’t use it. After several attempts of committing some real use to it, I quickly realized that Pro-Mags suck and do nothing but make you waste ammo from failure to feed. Don’t buy this brand.

  4. I think this new mag is pretty innovative from what I read in the article and I would like to try one out for range use. But I’m trying to figure out what the problem with the old original metal mags is. I’ve used them for years and as long as I only load them, like I was taught, with no more than 27 rounds they cycle like a dream. True the spring does wear out but that takes years if they are cleaned properly.

  5. I had an experience with a ProMag magazine for a Kel-tec P-11 a few years ago. The gun came with one factory magazine (not a ProMag). I ordered a ProMag magazine from one of the popular on-line sites for my P-11. The original factory mag worked flawlessly; the ProMag seemed to never feed a full mag without trouble. When I contacted ProMag and informed them of its failure to function, and that the hole in the magazine that establishes it’s height in the gun was different from the factory magazine, they just didn’t care, and refused to replace it. Sent the mag back to where I bought it for a refund and bought one directly from Kel-tec. Never had another feed problem.

  6. I’ve had great success with Thermold AR and Mini-14 mags over the past 30 years. I have several mixed in with the USGI and PMags I currently used. FWIW, I never had any issues with the now-defunct Ramline combo-mags.

  7. If you want to totally eliminate AR15 magazine related failures, simply load clean ammunition in original 20 round US Army magazines — semi or rock-&-roll, they will function flawlessly until you have gummed up the works due to the infamous gas impingement system.

  8. I’m not familiar with this mag, but I have one concern. Adding the rollers is adding a part to fail, get dirty and stuck. Seems to solve a problem that no longer exists. Just my .02 with no experience with this mag.

  9. Not to be negative, but I have had several bad experiences with ProMag magazines in the past in different platforms. I’ll try anything, but won’t be the first this time. Positive feedback would be good.

    1. @ Tim.

      If your looking for High-Capacity Magazine for the .45ACP Hi-Point Carbine. M1911 Taylor Mk.1 28-round metal Snail Drum (Pre-Bans) Magazines will fit, but SOME “Slight” Tweeking needs to be made. YouTube can help you there. Practice on some Metal 7-round magazines first, their “Fairly Cheap”, and you’ll probably need a Dremel Tool as well…

  10. Pro mag I believe has a history of hit or miss. Some of their stuff works fine and some of it is pure junk. However, that being said I never had any real problems with their 30 round mags even before they made this Roller mag. I thought that was one of their better products.

  11. I’m not jumping to any conclusions, but I sincerely hope these mags are of better quality than the ProMag magazines they make for the Hi Point carbines. Those mags are so bad that using them voids your Hi Point warranty.

    I currently use a variety of AR mags that includes USG military surplus metal mags, Israeli polymer mags and Magpuls. All of these have worked quite well, especially the Magpul and Israeli magazines which have worked flawlessly. I had to replace the followers on some of the metal US mags with non-tipping followers, but since I did that they have worked great as well.

    One thing I learned in my time in Iraq is that you have to disassemble your mags every so often and clean them and lube them with a dry lubricant (Teflon or even graphite) and they will be much more reliable. For that matter, I used to even wipe all the ammo down with a dry cloth every so often to ensure they wouldn’t have grit and dust on them that could cause a malfunction before reloading the rounds.

    1. @ Mikial.

      A Excellent DRY LUBRICATION is Russian Standard TY-38-1011315-90 aka Oil RZh, Extreme Temperature Rating of -70F. It was used by the Soviet Army at Stalingrad Campaign, later Used by the Germans. Because they used a Water-Based Liquid White Mineral Oil, first formulated in 1905…

    2. @Secundius That sounds promising, I’ll have to acquire some and try it out. The Germans learned quite a few lessons in winter warfare from the Russians at Stalingrad.

    3. @ Mikial.

      You might try Kalashnikov-USA or Arsenal, Inc. they might carry the Dry Lubricate. Or a Specialized Lubrication Compies, like AGS, Acheson or Schaeffer Oil…

  12. I can see the merit of “Dimpling” the Outer Surface of a Magazine, With WET or GLOVED hands make’s it easier to “Grip”. I just wish they would have Thought of it SOONER…

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