The old Luddite inside of me finally decided to venture back into the AR-15 plastic-magazine market. The plastic mags that I sampled back in the early 1990s were prone to problems such as cracking, bulging, and puking cartridges out at inopportune moments. From those golden days of yesteryear until now I have not purchased any additional plastic AR mags; if it wasn't milspec and made from aluminum there was no reason for me to take it seriously.
Both the technology and the political sentiment have improved a bit over these many years. The (above) Blue Label Colt Sporter (circa 1993) is shown with one of its original 5-round magazines (factory converted from an old style standard 20-round magazine). On the right hand side of that photo are some brand new, highly recommended, Magpul Gen 3 40-round, 30-round, 20-round, and 10-round magazines. Old meets new.
Magpul Gen 3 10-round magazine may be as close to a flush-fit as is functionally possible on an AR. By design, it has an elegant low-profile that is just about perfect for getting the rifle way down as low as you can go. Seriously, I really like this design and (as an act of faith) I purchased a half-dozen of them (each cost near as much as a Magpul 30-round standard capacity Gen 3) (EDIT: I paid $13.25ea for the 10-rounders AND the 20-rounders, $14.20ea for the 30-rounders, and $18.95ea for the 40-rounders). A couple of the 10-round mags I will downsize to 5-rounds each (for my preferred target drills; using them for hunting is also a remote possibility). I plan to retire both of my original Colt 5-round aluminum cans (too many mal-feeds; their springs are tired after all of these years and the mags are designed to be unserviceable; those old politically correct factory-converted mags are a somewhat sad piece of history but are still collectable). If these Magpul 10-rounders prove reliable, I may purchase another half-dozen.
Magpul Gen 3 20-round; in the middle is the old style 20-round aluminum Colt (factory 5-round conversion); on the right is the 10-round Magpul Gen 3.
Magpul 20-round Gen 3 mag is just a wee bit longer than the old style Colt 20-round and lacks the Colt mag's nostalgic lines, but it has a reputation for being reliable. As with the Colt 20-round mag, the Magpul 20-rounder offers decent combat capacity while allowing the rifle to get down low for prone shooting and for use around cover. I only bought a pair of these to try them out. I have a goodly number of 20-round genuine Colt mags but if the Magpul 20-rounders prove reliable, purchasing a few more of them would not hurt me any.
Magpul's Gen 3 standard size AR-15 30-round magazine. I only purchased a pair of these to try them out; I have what I believe to be a "suitable" number of aluminum standard 30-round magazines on hand. Then again, it is often said that one can never have too many magazines.
"excuse me while I whip this out." The Magpul 40-round Gen 3 mags are only a few dollars more than the Magpul standard capacity 30-round Gen 3 mags ($18.95 vs $14.20) but they give a significantly more impressive visual "hang-low." People will certainly take notice of anyone sporting one of these mags on an AR; if the "Rambo look" is what you are gunning for, this mag will get you some eyeballing. I kinda doubt that I will I be adding any more of them to the raft, but for the moments at the range when it is more fun to pull the trigger than it is to swap mags, my pair of 40-round mags will be seeing some funtime. I doubt that I would ever be able to learn how to manage them while shooting from down low or around cover.
Any good or bad experiences that I have with these mags down the line will be appended to this post. As always, thanks for stopping by.