About AR-15 Magazines
Introduced by ArmaLite in 1956 and sold to Colt in 1959, the AR15 rifle has gone from humble beginnings to the most popular modern sporting rifle worldwide.
From an operational standpoint, the AR15 is a gas-operated rifle that fires from a locked bolt, meaning that when a cartridge is chambered, the bolt closes behind the case and rotates 15 degrees.
When it comes to essential components, magazines are easily ranked among the most critical, and having the right magazines for your AR15 is incredibly important.
Thanks to the AR's infinite modularity, there's no shortage of magazine options to meet the demands of your usage and personal taste.
Ammunition Depot is proud to provide AR15 magazines for sale available in many different styles, capacities, and finishes from reliable brands.
Whether you're looking for a single 30-round magazine like the Magpul PMAG Gen 2, or a 6-pack of Amend2 MOD-2 magazines, we'll have the AR15 magazine you're looking for that fits your needs.
AR-15 Magazine Features
All AR-15 magazines are interchangeable with each other and will work in any standard M16/AR15 style magazine well (with the exception of the AK47).
This means AR15 owners can use any brand's magazine in another brand's rifle without having to worry about whether or not it will fit right or load properly.
When it comes to style and looks, owners have dozens of AR15 magazine options to choose from. Many brands offer a wide variety of graphics, images, and some even offer custom wraps.
Another (more expensive) option includes custom Cerakote Magazines. Similar to anodizing, but at a much higher degree; Cerakote helps prevent corrosion, reduces wear, and will not mar the finish of your rifle.
The standard magazine capacity for an AR15 is 30 rounds. However, many magazines are available with much higher capacities, such as Drum Magazines, which can hold 50+ rounds.
State laws have created regulations to limit the number of rounds a magazine can legally hold. Generally, the limit is ten rounds or less.
Polymer AR15 Mags tend to be built exceptionally well and are extremely durable. Advances in polymer technology have enabled a range of developments in magazines. An example of this is witness holes, which allow you to monitor your round count.
Many magazines come with a wire spring and polymer anti-tilt follower. These features help to prevent rounds from binding in the body.
Steel AR15 Mags are known for their durability. They use reliable tensile strength springs and precision machined feed lips for better feeding.
These mags also tend to have a polymer follower, which will help keep the magazine's spring from binding inside the body.
Although individual magazines can slightly differ according to the manufacturer, there are generally four main components to an AR15 mag.
- The Follower: The follower is the tray that lifts the cartridges into position.
- The Spring: The spring powers the follower, generating the force needed to push the rounds upward.
- The Base Plate: The base plate secures the spring in place and can be swapped out for additional customization.
- The Body: The body houses all internal components of the magazine in place and is typically composed of metal or polymer.
AR-15 Magazine FAQ
QUESTION: Which are the best AR15 Magazines?
ANSWER: Many trusted brands currently produce quality and reliable AR15 magazines in today's market. Quality standards for an AR 15 magazine vary from owner to owner. Three factors to consider are durability, round feeding, and price.
In the United States, popular AR15 magazines include:
- Magpul PMAG
- Promag AR15 mags
- Amend2 AR15 Mod2 magazine
- Mission First Tactical AR15 Magazines
QUESTION: What calibers fit in an AR15 Magazine?
ANSWER: Most AR15 rifles use the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) magazine. This magazine is designed to be compatible with multiple shooting platforms.
Almost all AR15/M16 platforms run STANAG magazines with no issues, including modern sporting rifles. In addition, several manually operated rifles, such as the bolt-action Mossberg MVP Predator, also work with the standard AR15 magazine.
QUESTION: Are all AR15 Magazines compatible?
ANSWER: Generally, most AR-style and modern sporting rifles accept STANAG magazines from reputable manufacturers. Some manufacturers, like Bushmaster, are known to have trouble operating with older AR15 Orlite magazines.
However, this is rare and shouldn't hinder your rifle's performance. Owners should be cautious of discount magazines from unfamiliar brands (generally made overseas). These AR15 mags are sometimes made to different standards than brand-name AR15 mags and may not feed properly in every rifle.
QUESTION: Are 223 and 5.56 Magazines the same?
ANSWER: The most significant difference between 223 and 5.56 rifles is in the freebore spacing of the chamber. Because the two cartridges have nearly identical dimensions, almost all AR15 magazines for this caliber can feed both cartridges without noticeable issues.
While all 5.56 NATO rifles can run 223, it may be unsafe to shoot the 5.56 in a rifle chambered just for 223 because of the elevated pressures. Firearm owners should always check the head stamping on their ammunition to know which type they're shooting.
QUESTION: Can you keep AR15 Magazines loaded?
ANSWER: Generally, yes. Although it's a much-debated topic, many manufacturers state that leaving magazines fully loaded won't weaken their springs.
Most firearm experts agree that creating a steady rotation can help avoid compromising the springs and will prolong the life of your AR15 mags. Another helpful practice is underloading your AR magazines by two or three rounds. Doing so will help reduce spring compression for short-term storage.
QUESTION: How should you store AR15 Magazines?
ANSWER: Most AR 15 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: How many AR15 Magazines should you have?
ANSWER: Objectively, there is no required number of AR15 magazines that an owner should have. Instead, the number depends on the needs of each individual shooter.
Most AR15 rifles come standard with at least one or two magazines, but most shooters add more to their collection over time.
QUESTION: Can I purchase an AR15 Magazine in my state?
ANSWER: Nearly all retail gun stores will have AR 15 magazines in stock since they're one of the most popular platforms for modern sport shooting. Additionally, almost all online retailers also offer magazines from several different manufacturers.
The key takeaway is understanding various jurisdictions based on your residence. Some states have banned online sales or home shipments of firearm accessories, so be sure to know your local and state laws before ordering your AR15 magazine online.