AR magazines matter. Why? Because your magazine is the first failure point of your AR. When troubleshooting your gun the first part you should examine is the magazine. The easiest way to do that is by trying a different magazine which is just one of myriad reasons why it is good to have a pile of magazines, preferably not all the same brand. Read on to find out the top 15 AR-15 mags we recommend for use in your AR.
1. MagPul PMAG Gen M3
It should come as no surprise the PMAG tops our list. Of the piles upon piles of magazines in my personal gun room, it’s the PMAGs that have withstood hard use, damage, and being tossed around the best. Whether I’m using them in my AR-15 or AR-10 platform rifles—they rock.
The MagPul PMAG Gen M3 AR-15 30-round magazine is made for ARs chambered in .223 Remington and/or 5.56 NATO.
These crush-resistant mags are designed with modified dimensions so they’ll fit a variety of models including the FN SCAR MK16 and HK416. They’re anti-tilt and include an insertion stop on the spine of the mag to stop the mag from over-inserting. Also, the stainless steel spring is billed as having a long life and the follower is self-lubricating. That doesn’t mean you’ll never have a good reason to properly clean and lube your PMAG, just that it’s not necessary with the frequency of other mags that need that attention to detail.
Anecdotal note: when I’m frustrated with failures and feeding problems while using a shipped-from-factory-with-gun magazine, I reach for PMAG first to rule out the mag as the root of the problem. You could say I’m a fan.
2. Amend 2 Mod 2
Amend 2’s Mod 2 30-round magazines are tough and capable of continuing to perform even when shooters (such as me) slam them into trees and accidentally dunk them in Texas mud.
These polymer magazines were created to withstand impacts and hard use. The stainless steel springs are non-corrosive, heavy-duty, and made to not have a memory, meaning they’re not likely to remain compressed or otherwise weakened after extensive use. The material these AR-15 mags are made from can be Cerakoted which is a cool bonus and the follower is anti-tilt. Amend 2’s mags are also made in the USA.
You can get AR-15 mags from Amend 2 in a variety of capacities in black, FDE, OD green, or gray. The empty weight of the Amend 2 Mod 2 AR-15 30-round model is 4.7 ounces.
3. Strike Industries AR-15 32-Round
With the new Strike Industries AR-15 mags, you’ll no longer need to under-load your 30-round mag and be left with only 28 or 29 rounds. That’s because this magazine holds 32 rounds. So if you feel the need to under-load you’ll still have 30 or 31 rounds. Pretty sweet deal.
This mag is also polymer – yes, there’s a trend of the top AR mags not being metal – and it has a unique profile. Unlike the vast majority of AR mags this one has a raised edge on all four sides with a flat, recessed center. It also has anti-slip finger grooves and ridged texturing which could give you an edge on reload time. If nothing else it means an easier time gripping the magazine when your hands are wet and filthy. Other features include an anti-tilt follower and tool-free magazine disassembly. An AccuRamp first-round feeding tray is also part of the design.
Find it online through the GunMag Warehouse as soon as it becomes available.
4. Sentry HexMag Series 2 AR-15 30-round
Sentry’s HexMag AR-15 mags have proven themselves to me for years. They’re easily recognizable by the honeycomb pattern and they’re made from PolyHex2 Advanced Composite, a lightweight polymer. The company created these magazines to be virtually indestructible and thus far they’ve performed as advertised.
That honeycomb HEXTURE pattern gives shooters a superior hold on magazines and looks cool, too. They’re offered in everything from 10 to 15 to 20 to 30-round models.
Something that’s nice about these magazines is the HexID color-coded system which makes it easier to identify what caliber your mags are in record time. The system is offered in eight colors and can be installed in minutes.
5. Troy Industries Battlemag AR-15 30-round
Troy Industries Battlemag 30-round AR-15 mags are made with a durable polymer for regular use. The company advertises the material used as proprietary military-grade, chemical, and impact-resistant.
Troy paid attention to detail in the form of reinforced feed lips and anti-tilt follower. These mags are made to be stored loaded with no spreading of the feed lips—something many AR owners attest to as being true and proven through their own use.
Additional Battlemag details include an extended floor plate lock, bolstered floor plate, and aggressive texturing. The bolstered floor plate is flush to the magazine body so it can be used in holsters and on carriers without snagging on its neighboring magazines. This magazine can be dropped and tossed in range bags without fear of it falling apart or failing. It’s also made in the USA.
6. MFT Extreme Duty Colored-Window AR-15 30-round
MFT (Mission First Tactical) manufactures some great, affordably-priced, long glass fiber polymer AR-15 mags.
The Extreme Duty Colored Window AR-15 30-round magazine has the added bonus of the see-through red window on either side of the magazine so you can see approximately how many rounds are in your magazine.
This magazine has quite a few features to recommend it including ribbed front and back surfaces, a four-way anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower, and an oversized bolt catch. It also has a USGI-spec stainless steel spring and high visibility coil. A flared floor plate is also part of this model which is nice for reloads and grip.
This magazine can be disassembled without tools and has a double floor plate latch. MFT has other styles of magazines that perform beautifully and are well worth checking out.
7. ATI 60-Round AR-15 Mags
Do I even have to say it? 60. Rounds. Yes, having a larger capacity means magazines weigh more when fully loaded but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for them in your collection.
The great thing about ATI’s 60-round magazine is that it straddles the line between the usual 30-round designs and the extra bulky 100-round drums. It’s a bit like the Goldilocks scenario, only with AR magazines.
The ATI AR-15 60-round G2 MLE magazine is, of course, polymer. It’s an exclusively imported magazine made available by ATI through the German manufacturer Schmeisser GmbH. This Gen 2 model has a last-round bolt hold-open designed follower which is always nice to have. In addition, it’s solidly built.
It’s worth noting this specific magazine has a strong high-tension spring made to handle the pressure of 60 rounds so if you disassemble it for cleaning and lubing be aware it may eject with above-average force. This magazine is meant for .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO rounds and may not cycle with all 300 BLK loads.
8. ProMag AR-15 30-round
The ProMag AR-15 30-round magazine is a polymer magazine designed for faster mag changes, a sure grip, and steady use. Internal springs are heat-treated chrome silicon for enhanced performance and the magazine body is manufactured from a proprietary DuPont Zytel-based polymer for longer life. A raised grid of molded squares wraps around the magazine body to improve your grip rain or shine.
ProMag is known for producing quality products at affordable prices and all made in the USA. A large number of AR owners and builders swear by the ProMag brand to keep their ARs running smoothly. It’s also worth mentioning these AR-15 mags come with a lifetime warranty.
9. Duramag AR-15 30-round Stainless Steel
In 2021 DuraMag hits ten years in business. Over that time they’ve built a well-deserved reputation for producing well-made, trustworthy magazines. The DuraMag AR-15 30-round Stainless Steel magazine is no exception with its heavy-duty body, bright orange follower, and tough EVERFLEX spring.
This is a company that has put some serious time into research and development to come up with their LIPLOCK technology and Advanced Geometry Followers. It’s that attention to detail that makes it possible for them to promise 100 percent reliability and smooth feeding.
Aluminum DuraMag magazines don’t crack, spread or swell like some polymer magazines are prone to doing. The company’s T-360 coating is used on these magazines in tandem with improved internal geometry to promote consistent feeding. These magazines are also preferred by many AR owners running heavier grain 300 BLK loads.
10. Arsenal Circle 10 AK-47 5.56 NATO 20-round
The first thing you may have noticed is this is not technically an AR magazine. This one squeaks by on the basis of its being meant for .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO.
The Arsenal Circle 10 AK-47 5.56 NATO 20-Round Clear magazine is a brand favored by a lot of AK-47 fans for its strength and reliability. Of course, it’s also clear which is a great feature for visually assessing your ammunition situation without being forced to unload a loaded magazine.
This magazine is made from polymer with the exception of steel reinforcements and a steel locking lug. Front and back lugs are metal. The Arsenal Circle 10 is meant to hold up to abuse such as being dropped and thrown around; the company promises they will perform “all the time, every time.”
11. Lancer L5AWM 30-round 300 BLK
Lancer engineered their L5AWM 30-round magazine to meet the needs of gun owners running heavy-grain 300 BLK (think 200-grain plus). The internal geometry of this magazine is designed to facilitate the stacking and cycling of heavy subsonic 300 BLK rounds. With the clear model you can visualize the rounds stacked inside.
Other awesome features of the Lancer L5AWM include a molded, raised “300 BLK” on the outside of the mag body and a brightly-contrasting FDE floor plate to mark the magazine for 300 BLK rounds. This model is available in Translucent Smoke or Opaque Black.
12. ASC AR-15 10-round
ASC manufactures classic aluminum AR-15 mags made for reliable cycling and durability. The ASC AR-15 10-round magazine is a nice choice if you either don’t want the bulk and weight of larger capacity magazines or if you’re shooting from the bench.
The spring in this magazine is made from chrome silicon wire for longevity. The aluminum for the magazine body is constructed from quality, lightweight 6-61 T0-grade aluminum and is heat-treated to T6 with the finished product being hard-coat anodized.
There is a little polymer to be found in this magazine in its bright orange anti-tilt follower. The ASC AR-15 10-round magazine is corrosion resistant and built to last. Polymer might be the current cool kid of the magazine world but aluminum is a long-standing classic that’s withstood the test of time.
13. AC-Unity AR-15 40-round
The AC-Unity AR-15 40-round magazine is a bit unique due to its 40-round capacity. If you want more than 30 rounds but hesitate to jump to the greater weight 60 or 100-rounds would hang from your AR this just might be your sweet spot. This magazine is produced using high-quality polymer and has a clear round-count window on both sides. Checkered, raised texturing aids in providing a solid grip and makes you less likely slip when your hands are wet or dirty.
This magazine is billed as military-grade and made in Bosnia. It’s available in black which matches the majority of ARs but you could also paint it.
14. Okay Industries Surefeed AR-15 30-round
Okay Industries is nearly half a century into manufacturing AR-15 magazines. They got their start making magazines for the military and now produce them for the general public as well.
These Surefeed AR-15 30-round magazines are made from lightweight aluminum and feature MIL-SPEC stainless steel springs and anti-tilt, self-lubricating followers. For those who prefer aluminum over plastic magazines, Okay Industries’ models are a good choice. Aluminum does have some advantages over polymer such as the fact they tend to be less likely to crack and the feed lips are hard to deform.
The Okay Industries Surefeed AR-15 30-round magazine is made to function in a variety of conditions whether dirty, dusty, muddy, or wet. All components of these AR-15 mags are made in America. This model is offered in black, FDE, or gray.
15. Thermold AR-15 30-round SubSonic
According to the manufacturer these magazines have a higher melting point than standard polymer magazines. That’s an excellent feature considering how heated an AR can get and also nice for those of us with a tendency to throw our magazines on the dashboards of our trucks.
It’s a polymer magazine but specifically made from Zytel Nylon. This is relevant because Zytec Nylon is used in industries including the automotive and railway businesses due to its heat resistance, strength, versatility, and fatigue resistance, among other things.
The Thermold AR-15 30-round SubSonic magazine is made to be self-lubricating, non-corrosive, and wear-resistant. It’s a brand that has been around for decades and utilized by countless AR owners. And because it is made for subsonic rounds it’s more likely to consistently feed your subsonic 300 BLK than many other designs.
Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you’ve seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master’s Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.
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