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AR mags...steel vs. aluminum?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by emt1581, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I keep a Pmag Maglevel in all of my AR's. And I have a bunch more of the same mags. I also have a bunch of aluminum C Products and whichever company has a bat as a logo...

    Anyway, I'm noticing that some of the traditional AR mags are stainless and some are aluminum. Does it really matter?

    I've heard things about the feed lips stretching on the aluminum mags.

    Is it really worth the extra .50 per mag to go with steel vs. aluminum?


  2. ranger1968


    Mar 23, 2009
    I have never seen much difference between the two... but honestly..... I would get a bunch of P-mags and not look back......

  3. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    I'd just get PMAGs.

    Or USGI aluminum mags, such as Colt or NHMTG
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    The earlier Pmags were really hit or miss as far as fit went for me. Some did not drop free and I had to file them a bit. Never had any issues with the aluminum mags.

    Like I said, I do have a bunch of each and maybe I should contact Magpul and see what they say about the ones that don't drop free. :dunno:

    So no real difference eh?


  5. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    What rifle is that in?

    I am unfamiliar with that issue.
  6. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    I've used steel and aluminum AR mags as well as the PMags and haven't had one issue with them not dropping free.

    I'm curious about what gun this was with.

    The only mags I haven't had malfunction at all in any AR yet are the PMags. They've run 100%. I can't say the same for the green follower Milspec mags.
  7. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    I'm sure the well made stainless mags such as the ones made for the HK416/MR556 are a bit more durable than anything else out there but I can't justify the cost.

    The aluminum GI mags (with the Magpul followers) and PMags work too well for me to justify the cost of purchasing anything else.

    Personally, I like the PMags and they are all I've been buying for a while now.
  8. MAC702

    MAC702 Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Clark County, NV
    I've a dozen P-mags, a dozen C-Products, and a half-dozen Brownells.

    I've never been tempted to buy a steel one.
  9. skeeter7

    skeeter7 Brass Vulture

    Nov 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Same here... :thumbsup:
  10. I bought two 20 round AR Stoner (Midway) in stainless that work really well if your looking for a durable mag. Somebody told me thay are made by ASC. I would imagine the 30 round version would compare to the 30 round com block AK (beat somebody to death with it when its empty" mags.
  11. WarEagle 1

    WarEagle 1 Taco Tuesday

    Feb 15, 2012
    Can't go wrong with Pmags!!
  12. 1gewehr


    Mar 22, 2006
    Mid TN
    ALL USGI mags are aluminum except for the HK-made ones. The military is STILL buying the same pattern mags it bought 30 years ago with updated followers.

    If buying used USGI mags, check for dents and for cracks in the feed lips. The feed lips typically crack at the back of the mag, and sometimes can be hard to see. The finish is irrelevant to functioning.
  13. Sgt_Gold


    Jul 21, 2006
    If I lived in a free state I'd NEVER own another metal AR magazine. P-Mags are just that much better without all the fragility of the aluminum magazines or the weight of the steel ones. If I had to choose between metals, I'd take the steel ones. Reason being if you damage a steel magazine you have a much better chance of being able to bend it back into shape. Once you bend aluminum, bending it back is sometimes enough to make it fail. Steel doesn't suffer from this type of metal fatigue and minor dents and feed lip issues can usually be fixed.
  14. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    I swear, some people must have aluminum USGI mags that are made out of tissue paper based on how "fragile" they are supposed to be.

    I have over 30, USGI-style aluminum magazines that see a lot of use. I use them for my general shooting/plinking, going to instructor/tactical schools and I have my department use them during out yearly qualification and training. The only thing I do with my mags is make sure they have the anti-tilt followers.
  15. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Because they are that "fragile".

    They get dented pretty easily with hard use.
  16. ranger1968


    Mar 23, 2009
    For me, the weakest part of the AR platform has always been the magazines; even the last versions, that C-Products was making, with the orange Mag-Pul followers were on the fragile side for hard use;

    The P-Mags, which i have always found to run pretty much 100% and be tough as nails, solved that problem, and made the platform a better one; and they are not that expensive to boot.
  17. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    Same here!!

    I have 24, 30rd Pmags...........So far.......... 100 is the number I am after.

  18. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    I used aluminum GI mags for Highpower for quite a few years. I never suffered a failure or a crack with any of them. They were at the time mostly USGI contract magazines. I have yet to feel the need for a steel one, though I do have a goodly supply of Pmags.
  19. G19g4

    G19g4 NREMT-Paramedic

    Aug 15, 2010
  20. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    Lancer L5 AWM. Smoke/Translucent. Best of all worlds. Hardened Steel feed lips. Polymer mag body. Translucent design so you can see your ammunition.

    Mine have fed perfectly over about 1800 rounds in three different platforms and have been through a carbine course and a couple of fun shoots not to mention regular use. They get dropped, stepped on, and keep coming back for more.

    Brownells has em for a good price with a 100% satisfaction lifetime guarantee. Take that PMAG!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012