• Mossberg Owners is in the process of upgrading the software. Please bear with us while we transition to the new look and new upgraded software.

M4/AR Magazines and Followers


Global Moderator
Magpul PMAG Review

In early 2007 Magpul announced the PMAG 30-round 5.56 NATO Polymer MAGazine for AR15/M16 platform weapons. With millions fielded to military, law enforcement, and commercial users, PMAGs have become the de facto standard for magazine reliability and durability. Magpul continues to improve existing products and expand the PMAG line to include new calibers and weapon systems.

The PMAG is a lightweight 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) AR15/M16 compatible magazine. It features an advanced impact resistant polymer construction, a pop-off Impact/Dust Cover for storage, and an easy to disassemble design with a flared floorplate for positive magazine extraction from pouches. The PMAG 30 utilizes a resilient stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance and a anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower for increased reliability.

The PMAG MagLevel features transparent windows on both sides of the body and has a painted indicator on the spring for quick determination of approximate rounds remaining in the magazine.

The latest revision has been updated with a new body ribbing design which allows for better compatibility with aftermarket mag couplers, a new follower which gives even smoother loading with military stripper clips, and the Impact/Dust Cover can now be snapped onto the floorplate when not in use to prevent possible loss. Along with larger windows and round count numbers on the body, the PMAG MagLevel's stainless steel magazine spring is now coated with mil-spec black oxide and the indicator coil painted with a high visibility orange color.

Made in U.S.A.


•Impact and crush resistant polymer construction
•Constant-curve internal geometry for smooth feeding
•Anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower for increased reliability
•Multi-use Impact/Dust Cover keeps dust and dirt out of the magazine during storage and protects the feedlips from potential hard impact damage during transit
•USGI-spec stainless steel spring for corrosion resistance and field compatibility
•Textured gripping surface and flared floorplate for positive magazine handling and easy disassembly

Additional PMAG Maglevel Features:

•Black-oxide coated (MIL-DTL-13924D) USGI-spec stainless steel spring
•Transparent windows on both sides of the PMAG MagLevel along with a painted indicator on the spring allows for easy determination of rounds remaining

Available Colors:

Flat Dark Earth
OD Green
Foliage Green

Available Models/Variants:

* PMAG 30, 5.56x45 Magazine – AR15/M16
* PMAG 30 MagLevel™, 5.56x45 Magazine – AR15/M16
* PMAG 20, 5.56x45 Magazine – AR15/M16
* EMAG 30 MagLevel™, 5.56x45 Magazine – STANAG
* PMAG 30G MagLevel™, 5.56x45 Magazine – HK G36
* PMAG 20LR, 7.62x51 Magazine – SR25/M110

Re: Magpul PMAG Review

I've been using PMags in my rifles for years. They are hands-down the best, most problem free mags I've ever used and with a variety of color to choose from they're also a great way to give your rifle a custom look. The included dust cover is a great feature that doubles as an impact plate when clipped onto the bottom of the mag. For performance and price, PMags are simply the best out there. If you haven't tried them yet, give them a shot. You won't be disappoined...
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

Good review Lazy Eyed Sniper.

There are a couple of things that I (especially) like the Pmags for.

The ribbed area inside the front of the magwell body keep the rounds stacked properly, which is more of an issue with rapid fire, or automatic fire and keeps the bullets from bouncing around inside of there, especially with a weak mag spring or when the inside of the mag body is badly fouled preventing the follower from moving as rapidly as it should.

The anti-tilt followers have been a God send and is a major advancement in mag design.


I have to admit that I like the Pmags a lot, but I also like the heavier teflon coated stainless steel mag bodies with magpul followers too but can't say that I would choose one over the other if both were laying on a table in front of me.

If I had to guess, I probably have more aluminum GI issue mags than any other though.

But out of all the AR mags I own, I keep a couple of the Pmags loaded with SS109 and 75 gr Hornady match HP's because you just don't never know.
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

Thanks John.

I also keep a cache of these bad boys loaded up and ready to go at all times. They stack and store very well.

One other thing to mention. For anyone planning to use PMags with an FN SCAR you will need to modify the mags. The rear feed lips on the PMags make contact and hold the bolt catch in the raised position when inserted and will dammage the bolt face during fire. A simple dermmel or file to the side of the feed lips will solve the problem. Here's a link to a how-to video for those interested...


I've used PMags with my SCAR 16s with no issues after performing this slight modification.
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

Another great review of this battle proven piece of gear...thanks SNIPER !!
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

Good write up.

I love the PMAG's, it's the only one I use in my AR.
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

Thanks Mike, same here.

When these PMags perform as flawless as they do, there's no reason to look elsewhere.
Re: Magpul PMAG Review

I can't say they're the only mags I have. I had a bunch of mags before the Pmags were ever more than a consideration :lol: And to be honest, the collection has grown since the picture was taken


Re: Magpul PMAG Review

I felt my project was starting to get a little stale so I picked up three of these this weekend. ;)

Man that place was PACKED! it was hard to find an oportunity to get to the counter and speak with someone to grab them from behind the counter!
5.56 AR15 follower types

As has been touched on in another topic, I wanted to make this post so I wouldn't hijack the other one too badly. Besides, there is a lot of info to add and I needed to take several pictures.

I wasn't sure which forum this would pertain to the most, so I stuck it in the MMR Hunter and Tactical forum. Hope that's OK.

The first AR15 magazine follower worked (relative term) in both 20 and 30 round magazines. They are most commonly simply referred to as the black follower.


They have a really bad tendency to let the bullets nosedive in the magazine due to the lack of extension in the front of the follower.


The next generation of followers were the green followers, although there are a couple of different styles of them to. These are currently mil-spec.


Please look over the fouling on the follower. (I use my stuff and it gets dirty)


Even though the longer legs were an improvement over the old black followers, they could still nosedive in the magazine causing cycling failures.


And the latest followers are marketed by magpul and are called the magpul anti tilt followers.


By far, they are the most reliable made because they have a lot of material added in the right places to prevent the rounds from nosediving and are very reliable.


And for giggles, a group picture of all the different variations through the decades


Hope this helps explain the major differences in the different advancements in standard AR15 followers.
Re: 5.56 AR15 follower types

Great comparison John!

Thanks for taking the time to post this...
Re: 5.56 AR15 follower types

Great comparison John!

Thanks for taking the time to post this...

Agreed! Thanks John, its def helpful to me as i'm just getting into this stuff!

The GI mags I just ordered said they had the Magpul anti-tilt followers, so really lookin forward to those! Also picked up a Magpul Pmag recently too, just to be able to try both!

Any difference that you have noticed between the GI and the Magpul with both having the anti-tilt?
Re: 5.56 AR15 follower types

The Pmags have been 100% reliable for me.

There are a couple of things I like a lot about the Pmag.

The ridge in the front center inside of the mag body that helps keep the rounds stacked in a straight row while the gun is rockin' and rollin' is the biggest plus they can do from injection molding that a steel mag doesn't have.



And a GI mag for comparison of the front ridge (or rather lack thereof)


I also like the fact that the Pmags have more precise fitted parts inside of it


My primary 5.56 hunting magazine is a Pmag that I limited to 10 rounds so I'd be legal to coyote hunt with and I have a few 30 rounders that have been fine too.

My biggest quirk with them is they're plastic and historically speaking, plastic tends to not last as long as metal magazines before the bodies swell (especially when left loaded for extended periods of time) and the feedlips are another area of concern when taking into consideration how other plastic magazines have performed over the years.

I'll use the Pmags until they crap out and then I'll toss and replace.
JohnA has agreed to help me get some info goin here! Big thanks in advance to JohnA for the contributions including a number of photos to help us, and the forum community!

Check back, we'll be adding stuff as we're able!!! :D
Thanks LES! I'm really liking my Pmags too, theyre super easy to load!

Les, Good review! It def has a place here, and I always appreciate your contributions, experience, and oppinions!!!

I really like the Pmags, and the anti-tilt follower combined with the Pmag design makes it so the follower is more like a "zero-tilt" follower! The magazines also just feel good and are easy to grip and manipulate. The corners are rounded off and the length is ribbed. I have three, but I already want more!
In no particular order, here are some of the various AR15/M16 magazines that I have collected over the years. There are many other brands that I don't have any pics of if anyone wants to add any that I don't already have here. And if you have a variant of one that is here, by all means, add it too.

Some of these are Preban, and some are Postban mags.

For anyone that doesn't know the background info and difference, the BAN mags marked for LEO/Military/Export only were made between Sept. 13, 1994 and Sept. 13, 2004 and were marked that way to comply with the (then active) Clinton Assault Weapon Ban.

The AWB basically said all firearm magazines made after Sept 13, 1994 could only hold up to 10 rounds for a civilian gun.

Mere civlilians could own PREBAN mags (made prior to Sept 13, 1994), but could not buy newly manufactured 20 and 30 round magazines after the law was enacted.

Thankfully, when the law was written, there was an exemption to extend the law or drop it altogether by Congressional vote at the end of 10 years.

Congress opted to let the law sunset (die) and thus, civilians could once again own any magazine or magazine capacity of their choosing and was verified by an Open Letter by the ATF stating that Federal Law reverted back to allowing civilian ownership and any magazine (even made during the 10 year AWB could be legally owned).

Some states and municipalities still adhere to those draconian restrictions, so you would have to check your state/local laws, but Federal law were once again legal.

AR Stoner
MidwayUSA house brand, formerly made by C Products


Often referred to as Hartsford Horsey brand. Coincidentally, these are my least liked metal magazine.



Colt's Manufacturing
Note that they don't say Colt Manufacturing





Israeli Orlite Magazine
These are some plastic composition, and note the wear near the feed lip that exposes the metal mesh added during the manufacturing process to reinforce them




Okay Center
AKA Center Industries.
You'll notice that these mags have very different markings on them as well as city of manufacture.








These are among my favorite magazines. Stainless Steel, black teflon coating






Asian Type 65
They are also stainless steel, and black teflon coating. Very nice magazine despite not having any identifying markings and I upgraded the followers myself



10 round Ban mag



Brownell's Label
20 round magazine
Note I limited the magazine capacity to 10 rounds so I could use it while hunting as you can see by the roll pin. I also camo'd it. It did not come from brownells like that.



Magpul Pmag
20 round straight magazine
note it didn't come camouflaged from the factory. Again, I modified it so I can use while hunting



30 round non-windowed Pmag



Windowed Pmag (shown on left)


These straight bodied stainless steel 10 round magazines with antitilt followers are interchangable with either 7.62x39 or 6.8 SPC. And they did not come camo'd from the factory




Black Dog Machine
Generation 1 compatible with Ceiner 22LR conversion kits



Generation 2
X Form
22LR Conversion magazine




side by side comparison. Note the Gen 2 has a bolt hold open follower as seen on the right

Wow, John A.

Props for you being our resident expert. I'm giving you +1 Rep Point for going thru all the trouble of posting all those photos! Awesome Job!

I have a pretty good collection of high quality mags, and I find almost any of the USGI mags with a CAGE Number (Commercial and Government Entity) stamping are pretty good magazines.

My favorites are some D&H Black Teflon 20-rd mags with the CAGE # and "For Gov't and Law Enforcement Use ONLY" stampings and Magpul orange followers. Flawless.
nitesite said:
Wow, John A.

Props for you being our resident expert.

That's just the polite way of telling me I'm getting old isn't it? :lol:

If so, I would have to agree. :cool:

But I feel the same about the D&H mags. They're among my favorite.

I've never handled a D&H 20 round mag though. Let's see it when you get time to add it.