Aside from tactical reload drills that is...
Well I got some USGIs recently and surprisingly, EVERY magazine dropped free: except one. I then poured through my existing stash and found that every one worked fine: except another one. One was an Adventure Line 20 and the other, a Parsons 30. I remember a somewhat recent post addressing which mags (by manufacturer) drop free most readily and on it was a suggestion by Troy (naturally) on rectifying the problem. I took his advice (while applying my own method) and the results were a great sucess, so I thought I'd share it with you.
This is about the easiest AR fix out there. all you need is a vice grip & 2 wooden blocks.
Put the magazine in between the blocks in the vice (the 1st inch or so aligned with the jaws of the vice, so you don't crimp the hell of the middle of the mag) and very gradually apply small increments of pressure to the vice. Baby steps are the operative words here. The gradual pressure is to ensure you don't pop a rivet.
Once I performed a minute amount of pressure, I released and tested. Then I returned the still-sticky mag to the vice, applying the original amount of pressure first, then small increments thereafter. I suggest you do the minute approach, because you can always put the mag back in for another session. Each magazine took 3 micro sessions in the vice to come out as a 100% drop free magazine.
I don't know which magazines by brand are the most reliable drop free mags. I suspect that it doesn't make a difference at all provided that the mags are in spec. It might be that some brands hold together under pressure, but again, if in spec I don't buy it. The bottom line is that loaded magazines exert pressures to expand the top of the magazine out of shape (though this can take years, even decades) The point is we all scrounge through the bins and you don't know the history of each mag. I also understand that 20s, while more reliable by design are more suceptible to this warping over the years. The best thing to do if possible is to bring a disassembled lower with you to the show and pop the used mags in. If they are sticky you can avoid the hassle of correcting them, or you can use this as a haggling point and drop the price by a couple of bucks (then fix them yourself). Now go root through the mag closet & weed the stickys out. 20 min later you'll have a 100% drop free collection. HTH.
Nice post, and thanks for the tips. Have you considered the fact that maybe loading the mags by hand (instead of a lula) could accelerate the spreading of the top of the mags (in general)? Thereby weaking them if they have been loaded re-loaded continously? Just a thought.
Originally Posted By pulpsmack: It might be that some brands hold together under pressure, but again, if in spec I don't buy it. The bottom line is that loaded magazines exert pressures to expand the top of the magazine out of shape (though this can take years, even decades)