I guess I got somewhat caught up in all of the panic buying this past week. Not that I needed new magazines, but with everything going on, and the way inventory is flying off the shelves, I figured it wouldn't hurt to stock up a little extra just in case. The way I went about it is I only bought things that I would consider a good deal and worth buying anyway. That way, if the panic frenzy turns out to be a dud, I won't kick myself for buying anything needlessly expensive. At the same time, if it turns into something, I won't be upset with myself for not buying anything either.
I was fortunate to stumbled across Cope's "Holiday Magazine Special" of ASC AR15 30 round magazines for $70 a ten pack. I was lucky enough to order two while they were still in stock (that was the limit per customer, though I should have placed two orders with two different cards). It's hard to pass up on $7 for a NIW magazine, though I was still suspicious as to what the quality of the magazines would be.
For those who don't know, ASC, LLC is a company that was born from the old C-Products magazine company. I don't recall the entire story offhand, but ASC ended up with the mag producing machinery, and the rights to produce under their own name. C-Products magazines were very affordable in price, though were known to be somewhat spotty in quality compared to genuine USGI suppliers. Most C-Products functioned just fine, but one could tell the build and quality of the magazines weren't quite up to par.
However, these ASC magazines are something else. For $7 a magazine, I was expecting a build quality similar to the old C-Products, but what I received was far superior. The fit and finish of these magazines is much higher, the quality of the aluminum or the heat treat seems much better as well. The quality of the ASC magazines spot welding on the spine and the front is also of much higher quality, and better done.
The finish on the magazine itself is very even and crisp. The magazine drops free easily from even my tightest lowers when C-products mags usually didn't. They also feed and function very well with no issues to speak of.
Unlike C-Products which used a magpull imitation follower, these ASC mags have an imitation new tan USGI style follower. As such, they stack the 30th round on the left vs the right like the new USGI ones. I thought this was a nice touch vs. just ripping off magpull's follower design. The material of the follower seems to be of a plastic, and doesn't seem to be made of the same quality material (polymer?) that the tan USGI mag followers are made from. Though I'm just basing that on look, and no empirical evidence, the follower feels "cheaper" to me. It seems to function just as well, though. And the magazines EASILY insert fully loaded into a rifle with a closed bolt which is important.
Obviously, I'll continue to use these mags, and run some of them hard just to see how they hold up to hard use down the line, but I don't really foresee them having any issues. All in all I'm very pleased with these $7 magazines. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more in the future.