I know that the topic has come up more than a few times, but Eric had a chance to T&E these magazines, and being as he is someone who I personally know and respect, I was highly interested in seeing what he had to say. Full-Auto also did a very nice writeup, and nothing in this thread is intended to diminish his findings, rather, I think it only compliments his thread found here
These magazines have been out and being tested for a little while, and its hard to put a new spin on something like a magazine. Its a product that shouldn't have to be thought about. The last thing I want to have to worry about is a magazine and whether it is going to hold up or not, or, even worse, wondering if it is reliable.
I understand that there are people who think that magazine followers and magazine bodies don't wear out, or don't need replacing. I tend to disagree. I've thrown out magazines before for popped welds, cracked feedlips, and offset magazine catch holes. I don't believe in "range magazines", I believe in functionality out of all my equipment.
Why so many different posts on something as basic as a 30 round magazine, especially when its already been discussed? I think its a fair question, and my answers are based off the idea that longevity of a magazine may be something that becomes more important for various reasons, especially if new AWB legislation comes into play.
I think any of us who have been shooting AR15/ M16s have grabbed or been issued garbage magazines. Poor welds, sharp edges, or crimped corners are things we have dealt with. Whether its a new mag, or an old one, these are all signs that the magazine is doomed to a shortened life. Eric was nice enough to run these magazines before they ever found their way to me. I end up with no story to tell, other than what I perceive as the inherent quality of the magazine.
Corners that are smooth, welds that are nice and tight after reload drills on packed dirt and gravel, a follower that doesn't tilt, and feedlips that are smooth without dings, cracks or pits. I had been talking about these magazines to some people in both MIL and LE , and was asked for pictures. I shot some quick pics, threw them together, and cropped out that parts that didn't matter to me.
Do I think these magazines are a must have? If you play hard, train hard, or work hard with your AR15/ M16, I would say these are well worth it. If you sit on the bench, maybe they will be worth it for your kids when you pass your guns down, because you probably won't see them as anything other than another functional mag. The only downside I could see was the cosmetic finish of the early SS mags, but that has already been taken care of with a new coating.