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In its simplest form, a gun magazine is an essential component that stores and feeds ammunition into a firearm and has played a crucial role in the evolution of gun technology.
The history of gun magazines dates back to the late 19th century, where James Paris Lee developed the first successful detachable box magazine for his Lee-Metford rifle.
Over the next few decades, detachable magazines became increasingly popular, particularly for military and law enforcement. For example, rifle high capacity magazines like the 30-round mags for the M1 Carbine and the 20-round mags for the M16 revolutionized how soldiers fought and significantly increased their firepower.
In the civilian market, pistol magazines became popular in the early 20th century with the advent of semi-automatic pistols. For example, when the Colt M1911 was adopted by the US military in 1911, it used a seven-round detachable magazine.
Over the years, magazines have continued to evolve and improve, with new materials, designs, and features being developed.
Today, gun mags are made of various materials such as plastic, polymer, and metal and come with advanced features like polymer feed lips, self-lubricating followers, and anti-tilt followers.
Purchasing a Gun Magazine
Purchasing a gun magazine can vary depending on location. This is because different laws and regulations apply in different places.
Determine the type of magazine you need: Magazines are designed to be compatible with specific firearms or types of firearms, so it is important to determine the specific type of magazine you need before making a purchase.
Check local laws and regulations: Some jurisdictions have restrictions on the sale, possession, or use of certain types of magazines. Before making a purchase, check the laws and regulations that apply in your area to ensure that you are in compliance.
Maintain the magazine: In order to ensure that your magazine functions reliably and lasts for a long time, it is important to maintain it properly. This may involve cleaning and lubricating the magazine on a regular basis, and replacing any worn or damaged parts as necessary.
Given the vast number of manufacturers, calibers, and capacities in today's market, having a dependable gun magazine is critical to the smooth operation of your handgun or rifle.
Whether you're hitting the range for target practice, hunting, or ramping up your home defense, you'll find the gun magazine that best fits your needs at a price point that won't break the bank at Ammunition Depot.
Gun Magazine Features
MAGAZINE CAPACITY The number of cartridges that the magazine can hold. Depending on the firearm's design, this can range from a few rounds to several dozen.
MAGAZINE DESIGN Gun Mags can be designed in various shapes and configurations, such as a box or drum magazine. The design can affect factors such as ease of loading and the ability to fit within the firearm.
MAGAZINE RELIABILITY The reliability of a magazine refers to its ability to function consistently and without jamming or misfeeding. The reliability of a magazine can be affected by factors such as design, material, and manufacturing quality.
MAGAZINE COMPATIBILITY Gun magazines are designed to be compatible with specific types or models of firearms. Therefore, ensuring the magazine is designed to work with the specific pistol or rifle it will use is important.
Additionally, each gun mag will vary in compatibility with accessories depending on the make and model of the firearm. Standard gun mag accessories include magazine extensions or base pads, which can increase their capacity or improve their ergonomics
MAGAZINE MATERIAL Steel Magazines are durable and often have reliable tensile strength springs and precision machined feed lips to aid feeding rounds. These mags also tend to have a polymer follower, which will help keep the magazine's spring from binding inside the body.
Polymer Magazines are well built, incredibly durable, and the advances in polymer technology have enabled several developments in magazines. For example, witness holes allow people to keep track of their round count. Many magazines come standard with a wire spring and polymer anti-tilt follower. This prevents rounds from binding in the body.
Body: The main component of the magazine that holds the cartridges. It can be made of various materials such as metal, plastic, or polymer.
Follower: A spring-loaded component that sits at the bottom of the magazine body and pushes the cartridges toward the top of the magazine as they are fired.
Spring: A coiled spring that provides tension to the follower, pushing the cartridges up towards the magazine lips.
Baseplate: The bottom of the magazine is usually removable for maintenance and cleaning purposes. The baseplate is also used to attach the magazine to the firearm's magazine well.
Lips: The top of the magazine body that retains the cartridges in the magazine and guides them toward the firearm's chamber.
Gun Magazines FAQ
QUESTION: What are Gun Magazines?
ANSWER: Magazines are firearms accessories that hold ammunition for semiautomatic handguns and long guns. Some guns, such as most slide action shotguns, have internal magazines that cannot be detached or sold separately from the gun.
Many bolt action rifles have a similar attached-magazine arrangement. In semiautomatic handguns, the magazine is most often stored inside the grip. Rifles tend to have a magazine mounted forward of the trigger guard.
When the magazine release is pressed, the magazine drops free of the gun. This allows you to rapidly load another magazine and keep shooting. Magazines are not to be confused with clips, which are blocks of rounds bound together by a metal binder or strip, which may be inserted into a gun's magazine as a unit.
QUESTION: Where can I buy magazines?
ANSWER: Gun magazines are for sale almost everywhere you can buy ammunition or a gun, including here at Ammunition Depot. Your local gun store is likely to have many of the most popular magazine types in stock, while less common models can be found online.
In many states, you can buy a gun magazine from anybody selling one without having to register the sale or fill out a Dealer's Record of Sale (DRoS) form. In states with strict gun laws, you may be limited to buying only from a licensed gun dealer. Check your local laws before agreeing to buy magazines from anywhere but a gun store.
QUESTION: How many Gun Magazines should I have?
ANSWER: There is no correct number of gun magazines you should have. Instead, you should carry the number of magazines that allows you to shoot consistently without pausing to reload, balanced against the cost of extra magazines and the added weight of carrying them.
Most magazine-fed guns come with one or two factory mags out of the box, with the option to buy aftermarket magazines later on. Each gun you own has a different optimum number of magazines, which is different from one gun owner to another and from one purpose to another (think hunting versus target shooting at the range).
QUESTION: How should Gun Magazines be organized?
ANSWER: People organize their magazines in several ways, depending on how they intend to use them. You can efficiently store more than a dozen magazines over the long term inside a steel ammo box, many of which conveniently stack in tight spaces, such as closets or truck beds.
Shooters who frequently visit the range might keep a few magazines ready to go in their range bag. Hunters might opt for wearable pouches and web gear. Even a large enough pocket is adequate for some magazines that you need to carry on you.
QUESTION: How should Gun Magazines be stored?
ANSWER: Most Gun magazines are durable and rugged enough to be stored for short periods under reasonable conditions. However, if you plan on storing your magazines for an extended period of time, the best practice is to keep them unloaded to preserve spring compression.
For storage periods longer than a few months, you can stack polymer magazines in a sealed container without further preparation. All-metal magazines can corrode with time, so applying a thin layer of oil before storage can help prevent rust for decades.
QUESTION: What is a stripper clip?
ANSWER: Stripper clips, also known as speed loaders, strip cartridges off the clip, decreasing the time required to load ammo in your AR-15 magazine by allowing 10 rounds to be loaded in one motion rather than individually.
Stripper clips are also a great way to save time and organize loose ammunition for long-term storage in ammo cans.
QUESTION: What are the laws for buying Gun Magazines?
ANSWER: The BATFE does not regulate gun magazines as weapons, so there are no federal laws restricting the purchase or possession of magazines, though imports may be restricted.
Individual states sometimes regulate magazine ownership or trade. In some states, such as California, magazines are limited by size and capacity. The sharing, selling and lending of gun magazines is sometimes restricted by state and local laws. *Check with an attorney who handles gun laws in your area to make sure your magazines comply with legal requirements.
QUESTION: Can Gun Magazines be shipped through the mail?
ANSWER: In most states, there are no restrictions for purchasing a rifle magazine online. However, if you live in a state with restrictive gun laws, you might have to purchase your rifle mags through a licensed gun dealer.
Even in restrictive states, you can usually order magazines online that would otherwise be legal to own where you live, provided you have them shipped to a gun dealer in your area rather than to your home.
If your state regulates the importation of magazines, be careful not to bring magazines across the state line on your own without consulting with an attorney.