Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 12/28/2003 7:29:22 AM EDT
im sittin here this afternoon lookin at 20 of the original colt 20rounders with the aluminum followers that i saved from an army dumpster.

i was wondering if theres any advantage or disadvantage to them (seeing as the military switched to plastic)

i dont know much about the metal followers as ive never run across any before, but any insight from someone who knows more than me about this would be really great.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 7:47:50 AM EDT

You are correct that the alloy followers were only in the 20 round mags. I believe that later production, such as the newer LEO 20's, have black plastic followers.
In my experience the alloy followers are just as or more reliable than plastic. Do not waste funds replacing them.  If you did get these dumpster diving, I would check spring tension to ensure that they will feed well. Also I think these mags can be improperly assembled with the spring backwards so that they can only hold 18 or 19 rounds.
I would check out the FAQ that troy has for much better info than I can rattle off.

Sounds like you made a great find.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 8:44:17 AM EDT
Blitzkreig is on the ball.

The few malfs I've experienced using 20 round AR mags were mags which had the plastic follower. My preference, and AFIK the general concenses, is the aluminum followers tend to be best.  Even if those mags you found are toast, the followers are a great find by themselves.

Also touching base with the springs improperly istalled, I *cough*, had this happen to a "friend" of mine...It was such an easy mistake and yet one that ALMOST led me, I mean my "friend", to throwing out a perfectly servicable mag.  I would assume however that a military armorer would be aware of this before recommending them to be tossed. (I've noted this lesson for future reference)

Since the military considers magazines to be "field consumables" I'd be willing to bet that they would be up to spec for your use. Definately check them out carefully before trusting them.

Great find and an awesome save.

Link Posted: 12/28/2003 7:36:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Blitzkreig:
Also I think these mags can be improperly assembled with the spring backwards so that they can only hold 18 or 19 rounds.
View Quote

Funny you should mention this. I found a few 20rd Colt mags for sale at the gunshow this weekend. The mags had little to no finish left on them, but were otherwise in excellent condition. I was eager to see how well they work compared to 30rd magazines as well as the plastic followers.  When I got home and loaded them up, one magazine would only accept around 18-19 rounds before it started to get all bunched up. I unloaded the magazine and inspected it closely. It had a verrry slight bend in the bottom part of the mag body which I thought might be preventing the follower from decending any further, so I dissasembled the mag to bend the magazine body back into a bit more shape. Well when I pulled out the spring and aluminum follower it didn't look right. I quickly realized the spring was in backwards and I corrected it, put it back in the mag and was able to load up the full 20 round capacity. It sure felt good since it was my first experience buying 20rd magazines, and I'm eager to buy more now.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 11:56:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 5:27:18 PM EDT
Yep, putting the follower on the spring wrong (or is it the spring on the follower?) will convert good 20 round magazines to 18 round mags easily!

USGI 20 round magazines always had alloy followers and remain the most reliable magazines ever made for this system.

Colt's commercial 20 round magazines often have plastic followers.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 1:21:42 AM EDT
new question, still kinda in the spirit of this thread,

ive found a few more pawing around, anf ive come up with some from other contracters.  However all the mag bodies have an interlocking I over U on the front bottoms.   now i believe this stand for universal industries, but i have no idea, so it raises 2 new qusestion,,,
1) what does  I U stand for?

2) does this mean that colt contracted the making of the magazines out and than slapped their floorplates on them?

and last but not least whats one of these in like/new condition worth?   i dont wanna sell them, but i have a bet with my PSG about price, and he thinks im crazy.

thanx again yall
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 3:19:54 AM EDT
IU is UI and is Universal Industries.

Colt never made any M16/AR15 magazines and doesn't still today.  Their initial contractor was Universal Industries who OEMed them for Colt and put Colt's name on them.

Universal Industries magazines are worth the same no matter which floor plate is on them although the misinformed will always pay more for Colt branding so keep this in mind if you sell to one of these guys  [;)].

Please note that floor plates interchange across 20 and 30 round mag lines, so the floor plate is no guarantee who made the mag.  Bad 3-weld Coopers 30s show up all the time with Colt's floor plates.....

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 4:13:08 AM EDT
Chuck was faster... [:)]

Anyway, here´s couple of pics of my UI mags. They have both Colt and UI base plates. I bought these 10 mags about year ago from surplus store dirt cheap. So far I haven´t tested them but overall condition looks like they are unused. Aluminum followers bear some oxidation onsurface but springs are like new.





Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:02:31 AM EDT
Not sure if it's been covered on ARFcom before, but the other interpretation I've heard is that while they are made by Universal industries for Colt, when you turn the mag sideways, so the base is to your left, it isn't "UI"-Universal Industries, It is now "CH"- Colt Hartford. (H inside a C)

This is usually the speel a vendor uses when selling 20 round mags without a Colt floor plate and with the UI/CH stamp. Also, they usually want the same selling price as mags with a Colt floor plate. Their reasoning is that it was "made by Colt you see, so it demands the same price"...Whether anyone buys into that reasoning is beyond me.

Either way, the mags are OEM and ideally the floor plate doesn't matter...Oh, but that pretty prancing pony!

Link Posted: 12/31/2003 10:58:43 AM EDT
the misinformed will always pay more for Colt branding
View Quote
-- Chuck
Link Posted: 1/1/2004 3:39:02 AM EDT
this may seem pretty dumb, but ive never really worried about mags and mag part prices, as ive been in the military since before i was legally old enough to own a gun (17) but what do various parts of the mags retail for anyway?
Top Top