I have been running a rifle since I was 18 years old, both in the military and law enforcement worlds. I have taught hundreds of rifle courses for military, law enforcement and civilians and been able to see how different magazines perform in various conditions. I own several brands and types of AR magazines, from polymer to aluminum to steel and hybrids. Biggest thing I’m looking for in a magazine is reliability. Duramag is one of those brands that produces magazines built with that in mind. A brand born from C Products Defense Inc. with advanced technologies and top construction techniques followed up with strict quality control, supplying most U.S. firearms manufacturers as well as police and military around the world. In the past few years, Duramag has produced several caliber specific magazines to include the .450 Bushmaster and .350 Legend for the AR platforms.
I grabbed some aluminum and steel 5.56 magazines of various colors and capacities and a pair of 26 round steel 6.5 Grendel/6mm ARC magazines for a future build. First observation was how much lighter the steel mags felt compared to other steel magazines I have owned, primarily H&K ones. The two biggest differences between the two steel magazines are the thickness of the walls and Duramag uses a polymer anti-tilt follower instead of the steel one found in H&K magazines. That thinner wall also allows for a longer cartridge loads. Even though specifically made for the 6.5 Grendel, 6mm ARC loads and runs smooth in them. I ran them through an upper and they were able to load on a closed or open bolt, feed flawlessly and finished with a last round bolt lock. Of note, I had a couple of the Geissele 6mm ARC magazines and there was a significant difference in how much smoother the rounds went into the Duramag magazine at about half of the price. I also noticed the follower is molded for even numbers to be on the left feed lip vs standard (earlier/original) magazine followers (except the military’s new tan or blue follower). The 10 round steel 5.56 magazines felt almost as heavy as the 20 round 5.56 aluminum magazines but at that size and weight it doesn’t really matter to me. The point of the smaller magazine capacity is to run on bipods or shooting bags without resting on the ground or obstacle I’m shooting off of. The stainless Steel magazines are made from 410 steel for maximum durability. The 5.56 magazines come in black with either orange or black followers with an option for FDE in 30 round capacity.
The 20 and 30 round aluminum magazines reminded me of my GI magazines from the Army, except for the anodized colors I received. The aluminum magazines are made from 6061-T6 aluminum and are type-III hard coat anodized thus the color is part of the magazine and not just a coating. All Duramag AR magazines are coated inside and out using their T-360 technology for smooth loading and longevity. They are robotically welded using their Post and Hole process to provide strength and durability. The feed lips are designed with their LipLock Technology to keep rounds secure in the magazine and ensure proper alignment during the firing sequence. Finally, they are all fitted with Advanced Geometry Followers and EverFlex anti-fatigue springs for long life and durability. The metal magazines and these features allow for reliability even during long term storage while loaded. The feed lips won’t change shape or weaken from the environment and pressure of a loaded spring. Meaning you can leave them ready to go. The 5.56 magazines come in a variety of colors: black, gray, pink, red, blue, bronze, OD green and desert gold. You can catch Special Edition colors as supplies last.
Final Thoughts: These magazines performed as I expected them to with positive lock up on closed bolt loads and exchanges, fed flawlessly, were easy to load and download. I expect these to last as long as my firearms, even when left loaded in kit or go bags for extended periods. These are an upgrade to the original US GI magazines. These magazines are all made in the USA and have a lifetime guarantee against manufacture defects.
By the numbers:
Durability – 5/5 These magazines were designed with reliability and durability as a top priority. Between the coatings, construction and components these magazines will take a beating and function flawlessly.
Functionality – 5/5 With anti-tilt followers and T-360 coating on the interior (and exterior) these magazines were easy to load, seat and function flawlessly.
Weight – 5/5 The steel magazines are lighter than the competition and aluminum are lighter than most polymer magazines.
Value – 4.5/5 The aluminum magazines are a little more expensive than other similar quality and featured magazines but the steel are significantly cheaper than most of the quality competition magazines.
Overall rating – 4.9/5 These are quality magazines that were designed with reliability and durability in mind. You will be able to trust them for a long time.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience with the product.
*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.