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Posted: 11/20/2012 11:16:54 AM EST
Can someone tell me about pre ban magazines and why they are sought after?

I have access to a large supply of GI magazines that were made during the ban and are marked Gov't/LE use only, but i'm not sure if these are sought after?

Just give me a quick run down!

Thanks!
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 11:35:54 AM EST
The federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) was in effect from 1994-2004. A "sunset clause" was placed in the original legislation stating that the bill would expire after 10 years if it was not renewed by Congress. Luckily, it came up for renewal under a Republican House of Representative and a Republican president. Thus, it was not voted on and not renewed in 2004.

In addition to the federal law, several states, e.g. California, New York, Massachusetts) passed their own Assault Weapon laws which often included magazine capacity restrictions. Each state law is a little different than the others. The most important difference between the state laws and the federal laws is that the state laws DID NOT have a sunset provision. Therefore, in those states, even though the federal law has expired, the state law hasn't and individuals in those states are still subject to the state laws.

The original federal bill banned magazines over 10-rd capacity for sale to civilians. Existing "high-capacity" (> 10 rds) were grandfathered and could be transferred (except to States where there was more restrictive state law, e.g. California). These pre-ban magazines became much more valuable during the ban since it was not known that the ban would/would not be renewed.

So, beginning in September 1994, any new-manufacture magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rds of ammunition were marked "LEO-Govt use only." After the expiration of the ban these LEO markings meant nothing and could be freely traded to and between civilians with the exception of states with more restrictive laws than the federal law.

To sum up, if you have true pre-ban magazines, made prior to September 1994, they are worth a little more in only those states like New York where they are the only hi-capacity magazines that are legal. The LEO-marked mags are not transferable to NY, CT, MA and command no premium anywhere else as there is no longer a federal ban.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 11:39:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 11:39:50 AM EST by Ceros_X]
Sup military armorer dude (just guessing here lol).

Preban magazines are magazines created before the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, which was a federal ban on many features we take for granted today. The federal ban sunset (expired) in 2004. Some states however implemented their own bans on the state level - NY, MA, CA, etc. NY specifically disalowed any magazines over 10 rounds produced after September 13, 1994. So basically there are a finite number of pre-ban magazines in existence - they aren't making any more of them. Getting ahold of a pre-ban magazine is the only way to legally avoid a Class D Felony in NY if you want to have more than 10 rounds. Helpful link

There are three types of pre-ban magazines (basically).


  • Undated - No date on the interior or exterior. Since the Federal AWB required manufacturers to put the mfg date on the outside, by default, any magazine without a date on the inside or outside is a preban mag. If it is an older looking mag without a date (and especially with a black follower) then it is probably a preban. The exception to this is D&H (off the top of my head) which doesn't date their mags - some unscrupulous sellers will take new D&H mags and put old mag floor plates on there and claim they are 'refinished' preban mags. From what I have read something like 90% of magazines that are preban are unmarked since it wasn't a requirement to date the mags and it was more of an internal QC thing.


    [*]Internally Dated - see the link I posted above for pics, but basically the date is stamped on the inside of the mag body when you remove the floor plate. On OKay mags you'll see things like K4/92 (indicating it was manufactured in April of 1986) or sometimes just a 4 on one side and 92 on the other. These mags are more desireable because it is positive proof that the mag is a preban but a PITA because you have to remove the floor plate and explain the dating system to anyone questioning the mag's authenticity.

    [*]Externally Dated - Magazines with the month/year stamped into the outside of the magazine. Most desireable because it is easiest to prove the magazine is preban. External dating wasn't implemented until a few years before the ban so these mags are much more rare than the other two types.




This all being said, post ban magazines aren't worth anything compared to pre-ban magazines unless it is a special brand (like Colt) or it has an improved follower (anti-tilt, self leveling, etc). AFAIK ban magazines aren't collectors items (and some people are needlessly paranoid about owning a magzine with "GOVT/LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY" marked on the outside).


Link Posted: 11/20/2012 11:42:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By Hater:
[/div][div]To sum up, if you have true pre-ban magazines, made prior to September 1994, they are worth a little more in only those states like New York where they are the only hi-capacity magazines that are legal. The LEO-marked mags are not transferable to NY, CT, MA and command no premium anywhere else as there is no longer a federal ban.[/div][/div]

Gotcha, I was super confused at why people were looking for preban mags. So the virtually endless supply of mags I have that were made during the ban are useless other than the fact that they are standard capacity mags?
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 11:45:50 AM EST
I am well aware of the assault weapons ban and the stipulations surrounding it, I was just confused as why preban mags were sought after as opposed to the Gov't/LE marked mags werent
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 11:50:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 11:51:37 AM EST by Amish_Bill]

Originally Posted By GunnySwagger:
...

Gotcha, I was super confused at why people were looking for preban mags. So the virtually endless supply of mags I have that were made during the ban are useless other than the fact that they are standard capacity mags?

Nope- they are perfectly Useful. They're just not Special.

For us that don't live in a ban state, it only means that we have to be careful if we wind up moving to one.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:03:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Amish_Bill:

Originally Posted By GunnySwagger:
...

Gotcha, I was super confused at why people were looking for preban mags. So the virtually endless supply of mags I have that were made during the ban are useless other than the fact that they are standard capacity mags?

Nope- they are perfectly Useful. They're just not Special.

For us that don't live in a ban state, it only means that we have to be careful if we wind up moving to one.



Darn, I was hoping to make a ton of money
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:09:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 12:09:47 PM EST by GUNZERKER]

Originally Posted By GunnySwagger:
Originally Posted By Hater:
[/div][div]To sum up, if you have true pre-ban magazines, made prior to September 1994, they are worth a little more in only those states like New York where they are the only hi-capacity magazines that are legal. The LEO-marked mags are not transferable to NY, CT, MA and command no premium anywhere else as there is no longer a federal ban.[/div][/div]

Gotcha, I was super confused at why people were looking for preban mags. So the virtually endless supply of mags I have that were made during the ban are useless other than the fact that they are standard capacity mags?

CT has no Magazine ban but you are otherwise correct
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:19:04 PM EST
Well if anyone wants some 'Gov't/LE use only' magazines, let me know
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:40:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunnySwagger:
Well if anyone wants some 'Gov't/LE use only' magazines, let me know

Post them in the EE at a reasonable price. Somebody will buy them.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:51:24 PM EST
What what do you think is a reasonable price? They cost me $7 a piece including taxes. I might be able to get a bulk discount, but I doubt it. I don't think I'd make enough profit to worry with it, unless someone wants them just because they are Gov't marked like you said, but they'd really have to want them to pay more than a new GI mag
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:39:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By GunnySwagger:
What what do you think is a reasonable price? They cost me $7 a piece including taxes. I might be able to get a bulk discount, but I doubt it. I don't think I'd make enough profit to worry with it, unless someone wants them just because they are Gov't marked like you said, but they'd really have to want them to pay more than a new GI mag


Probably not worth your time if they cost you that much. Brand new mags aren't much more. You would probably be lucky to sell them at cost.

Link Posted: 11/23/2012 9:25:10 PM EST
What do preban mags go for? I have a few I may be willing to part with.
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