Factory Magazines are Trustworthy
Dr. John Woods 06.08.15
Something makes me squeamish about aftermarket firearm magazines. Most shooters put full faith in their pistol or rifle factory issued magazines at least and until there is a breakdown, failure to feed or function, or some other negative issue.
One has to assume that the OEM factory magazines are top quality and perform without issue or question. In my own practice, I have had very few magazines of any kind fail outright. Some needed an extra boost to engage them in the magazine well ready for action. Sometimes a magazine feeding lip will get bent or scarred, but even so that is rare for ones well maintained and cared for.
If you drop yours a lot on the concrete floor at the range or otherwise obviously abuse them, then your rates of failure or issues are likely to increase significantly. I recall once dropping a .308 magazine from my Rock River LAR-308 on a hog hunt that went down into the fine coastal sands of the Gulf Coast. That magazine locked up tight, and it took me forever to clean it enough to get back into service. Good thing I had a couple backups on that hunt.
So, what about pistol or rifle magazines not manufactured by the original gun maker? I suspect that trial and error is the best approach. When I shop magazines at gun shows, I see a lot of “no name” magazines for sale, and I stay away from them. There are several brands of gun magazines on the market that have a good reputation for function and reliability. I would stick with those for sure.
In particular with the popularity of the AR rifles, the market seems to be flooded with all kinds of 10-20-30 and even 40-round 223/5.56 magazines. Some are aluminum, steel, plastics of various kinds, and some mystery materials. Again, stick with a known brand for quality like Magpul when picking an aftermarket magazine. Then, if a problem arises, the company will stand behind their products.
The ammo magazine is obviously a critical component of any semi-auto pistol or rifle. They have to be high quality and function reliably every time the trigger is pulled. If you can’t obtain an original factory magazine, then choose an aftermarket product with a good reputation that warranties their products.