By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
February 8, 2015
Last updated on 2/09/15.
Sometimes it’s the little things that are some of the biggest hits at industry shows, and at SHOT Show 2015, four of them were the new MagPul Industries mags (magazines), specifically the MagPul Sand PMAG 30 AR/M4 Gen M3 Tactical AR-15/M4/M4A1 Magazine, MagPul PMAG 17 GL9 17-round Glock 17 (G17) 9mm Mag, MagPul PMAG D-60 AR/M4, 5.56×45 60-shot 5.56mm NATO drum mag, and MagPul PMAG 30 AK/AKM 7.62x39mm Magazine with steel inserts. As interesting as the new PMAG D-60 60-rounder is, most of the chatter we heard at SHOT revolved around the Sand PMAG 30, PMAG 17 GL9 and PMAG 30 AK-47/AKM mag.
MagPul’s Tim Roberts was kind enough to take DefenseReview (DR) through the particulars on all three mags in a single video, which you can see below, but we can take you through the main points on each real quick, first. The two main claims to fame for the new PMAG Sand PMAG 30 Gen M3 AR mag are its high-impact polymer construction and its ability to soak up whatever dye coloring you want to apply to it, whether it be the solid color of your choice or a combat camo (camouflage) color scheme. Color scheme-wise, you’re only limited by your skill at applying the dye. The Sand PMAG Gen M3 is actually constructed from an even stronger polymer than the black PMAG 30 Gen M3.
The new MagPul PMAG 17 GL9 Glock 17 mag generated even more excitement at the show (from DR’s perspective) than the Sand PMAG, since it’s so inexpensive, coming in at only $15.95. Other than it’s low price, the the PMAG 17 GL9’s construction is interesting in that it doesn’t contain any metal inserts, since it doesn’t need to, instead relying on an ultra-rigid high-impact polymer, and thus negating the need for metal inserts. Roberts demonstrated this aspect to DR by trying to squeeze the PMAG 17 GL9’s feed lips together, to no avail. If the PMAG 17 GL works as advertised at its low price point, it’s gonna’ sell like hotcakes, and could put a real dent in Glock’s G17 factory mag business.
Next up, we’ve got the mechanically interesting and high-capacity “big guy”, the MagPul PMAG D-60, 5.56×45 60-shot AR drum mag (4179 STANAG), which has a very handy built-in load-assist lever, making for super-easy loading. The lever ratchets to reset. There’s a small window on the back of the D-60, so you can see the rounds start to show when the magazine gets full. DefenseReview would prefer a translucent (complete) back panel to be able to immediately view your round count during a fight, if possible, but the D-60 still looks pretty good. The D-60 will hold the bolt carrier back after the last round, and is apparently approximately the same height as a PMAG 30.
That said, when it comes to 60-shot AR mags, DR still prefers the ArmWest (also written Arm West)-developed SureFire MAG5-60 quad-stack (4×2) 60-shot box mag, which is easier to handle and carry on a plate carrier/tactical vest or battle belt, and is so far, the more proven and evolved of the two. Note: DR also just likes box mags more than drum mags, in general, for the reasons stated. They’re simply more ergonomic and space-efficient to use than drum mags.
And, last but DEFINITELY not least, is the MagPul PMAG 30 AK/AKM 7.62x39mm Magazine with steel inserts (front and rear), which is being carried by Brownells. While our favorite tactical rifle is the AR-15/M4/M4A1 platform (direct gas impingement and/or gas piston/op-rod), we’re also big AK fans, so we wholeheartedly welcome a new quality polymer mag to the mix. It should be noted that MagPul also introduced some other Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM polymer furniture at the show, but we’ll be covering that in a later piece. You can see the new polymer AK mag in the video and photos below.
Defense Review will also be reporting on a number of other new and interesting MagPul products, soon. In the meantime, enjoy the video.
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