AR-15 Magazine Throw Down
Daniel Defense 32rnd, Lancer L5AWM 30rnd, Troy Industries Battlemag 30rnd, Magpul PMAG 30rnd, Hexmag 30rnd, Thermold 30rnd
We tested them in a carbine course across multiple weapons and students to see which stood at the top and what everyone thought.
The least liked was the Thermold magazine, but in all fairness, this was the cheapest option magazine we brought with us for everyone to try. The molding edges are rough in some areas, sharp in others and each magazine was slightly different on these sections. These were the first noticeable issues pointed out by students, however, they all did agree the large horizontal ribbing allowed for easy grasping of the mag. This was especially handy on a student’s rifle which the mag was an extremely tight fit and would not fall free. Loaded to 30rounds we found the mag was too tight and would not seat on some rifles with a closed bolt.
Overall, as an economically priced magazine option, and a bit of hand sanding to smooth some edges the Thermold magazines are a decent option to have on hand.
Buy Here Thermold 30rnd AR Magazine
The latest Hexmag version; offers a nice lightweight and sturdy magazine. The hex pattern gives you a good gripping surface for sweat/muddy hands or when wearing gloves. Most people knew the Hexmag name or product and all but 1 had them run flawlessly. The 1 which had issues, had the bolt dragging on the top of the feed lips. The rear of the left feed lip has marring where the bolt is contacting, which we plan to sand the top of the feed lips a touch and see if the problem gun will cycle properly at a later date.
Overall, the Hexmags are a good magazine option. Some users have reported the Hexmag will not drop free from their lower while others do not have any issues. The feed lip bolt drag is the first any of the students had heard of occurring.
Buy Here Hexmag 30rnd AR Magazine
Troy Industries Battlemag
The Troy AR-15 magazine from our experience seems to be a sleeper option. Very few people we interact with are aware of the Troy Battlemag and how it compares to the competition. The Battlemag ran flawlessly in all of our guns and offers solid grip texture for bare or gloved use. The mag has a solid feel and at no point did anyone using the mag feel it was cheaply made or would not function for them. The one issue we did find, comes from the way the floor plate lock operates. Due to the large depressible section in the bottom of the magazine floor, a random occurrence of a rock depressing the floor plate lock when the mag was used as a support when shooting prone did not keep the magazine from functioning; but did bring up questions of reliability in the field.
Overall, the multiple packs of Troy Industries Battlemags used never had a malfunction. Troy Battlemags are sold as individual or in a 3 pack option for cheaper than most competitors. This makes the Battlemag a viable option for most AR-15 owners.
Buy Here Troy Industries Battlemag
The PMAG has essentially become the baseline magazine for everyone to compete against. Many shooters, including our staff love having a window option in order to quickly see how many rounds we have in our magazines. The PMAG continues to function flawlessly in guns and allows you to attach the impact cover which can protect your loaded magazines and help relieve tension off the feedlips. (Gen3 PMags don’t have an impact cover designed for them, the Gen2 cover will work but doesn’t match up perfectly.)
Overall, the Magpul PMAG is a staff and industry favorite and what we consider the top dog in the AR magazine market. There is a reason they are the most common magazine you see in use, and it is not just because they have a good marketing team.
Buy Here Magpul PMAG 30rnd AR Magazine
Daniel Defense DD32
The DD32 magazine is the newest competitor to the magazine market and from our experience, a great option and a job well done for Daniel Defense. Many of us download our magazines by 1 or 2 rounds to ensure reliable function. With the DD32 magazine, downloading by 1 or 2 keeps you at/above 30 rounds in the same size package. No need for expensive magazine extensions on these bad boys! The biggest stand out item on these magazines are the gripping texture on most of the magazine body. Contrast to Lancer/PMAG/Troy and Hexmag’s larger hex pattern, the DD32 fine grip texture does a stand out job of giving you a firm hold.
Overall, the Daniel Defense DD32 magazine is a great option for anyone looking to add magazines to their supply. We did not find any faults with these mags or have any functioning problems during the class. Unlike its competitors, the DD32 only comes in Black and does not offer an FDE or OD color option.
Buy Here Daniel Defense DD32 round AR Magazine
The Lancer L5AWM magazine brings polymer and steel to one great magazine package. The L5AWM magazine design uses a single piece of wrap-around steel for the feed lip assembly and polymer body for a lightweight reliable hybrid magazine package. For those students whom never used the Lancer magazines, their first impression when seeing them was strength reliability since they are translucent. However, a days worth of hard use and their opinions quickly changed to wanting to add them to their equipment list.
Overall, the Lancer L5AWM magazines are top performers. They come in multiple colors both translucent and solid and will keep your weapon system functioning in every situation we’ve put them through.
Buy Here Lancer L5AWM 30rnd AR Magazine