Review: OKAY Industries SureFeed Genuine Mil-Spec Mags
Major Pandemic 02.15.17
While doing some research into the origins of the AR15, I stumbled upon OKAY Industries SureFeed AR15/M16 magazines and was surprised to learn that the SureFeed mag was the first 30-round AR magazine ever developed.
OKAY developed the first 30-round M16/AR15 magazine in 1973, when the military wanted to bump up capacity from 20 to 30. The result was so good that it remains THE preferred U.S. Government M16/AR15 magazine today.
OKAY’s military magazine manufacturing history dates much further back than the company’s 1973 development of the 30-round AR mag we now know and love. The company, previously called B Jahn, was one of the manufacturers of WWII M1 Carbine magazines, which they made in the millions.
What Makes Surefeed Magazines Special
OKAY has a long-standing and well-earned reputation for reliability. All SureFeed magazines are 100% USA made with components that meet or exceed MilSpec requirements. All SureFeed magazine bodies and floorplates are made of lightweight aluminum that’s been heat-treated for strength and durability. OKAY then hard-anodize the mags and finish them in either Mil-Spec dry film lube grey or Tactical Black PTFE.
A four-way, anti-tilt, self-lubricating, non-hygroscopic resin follower and high performance Mil-Spec stainless steel spring keep rounds properly aligned and tensioned. After running these mags for about a month through all manner of AR15 rifles and pistols, I am satisfied that they deliver total reliability.
“But My Mags Sucked in the Military!”
Of much debate within the military ranks have been the reliability of issued mags and some of those mags may have been OKAY SureFeed mags. With millions of SureFeed mags issued and re-issued over and over in military service since the mid-1970s, you can bet that many of them have been abused to the point of affecting reliability.
It should be noted that although a process is in place to remove damaged mags from service, many damaged mags end up back in service.
Also, keep in mind that SureFeed has updated its follower design several times over the years, and older followers might not do as well as newer ones.
The point of this background is that you should not judge the reliability of a magazine that may have been used and abused for twenty years. Factory-fresh SureFeed mags are regarded as the gold standard of reliability of M16/AR15 metal mags.
Metal vs. Polymer
Polymer magazines have come a long way in terms of reliability over the last couple decades, but metal mags still have a lot to offer. Aluminum magazines hold the advantages of avoiding the potential for shattering or swelling in extreme temperature conditions, and they retain compatibility on all US Military STANAG magazine based firearms.
For these reasons and more, the military as a whole still uses metal magazines instead of polymer magazines. Aluminum mags are similar in weight to polymer mags, and in some cases they’re even lighter.
If damaged, aluminum magazines can possibly be bent back into usable shape; not so with polymer magazines.
All OKAY SureFeed magazines are made under strict ISO quality manufacturing standards. Each SureFeed mag, weld, and spec is inspected and function-tested before shipment. OKAY calls this non-destructive testing the ”magazine scuffing process” because the testing process does scuff the mags and cosmetically mars the finish.
No other manufacturer tests every magazines this thoroughly. SureFeed has a well-earned reputation for being the most reliable USGI magazine available, but this quality does not mean unobtainium prices. Most retailers are selling SureFeed 30-round magazines for $12.99, which is about the same as most polymer mags.
My perspective on AR magazines is that they must be reliable, and I have personally tested many polymer and metal magazines that fit that criterion. I have also tested some metal and polymer mags that do not. Thankfully, most magazines do offer very good reliability.
My only challenge with a polymer magazine was when a very old hard-used polymer magazine failed during a freezing cold day, and I have had many more problems with metal magazines over the years.
I’m not going to be the guy who says metal mags are better than polymer, because I do not believe that to be true in all cases. Both have their place.
The bottom line is that SureFeed mags are arguably one of the highest-quality metal magazines available, and for only $12.99, why choose anything other than the original SureFeed if you’re buying a metal magazine?
- 30-round, 20-round, & 10-round – $12.99 MSRP each
- 100% USA made with all American MilSpec level components
- Bodies and floorplates are made from heat treated lightweight aluminum
- Hard-coat anodize
- Finished in either Mil-Spec dry film lube grey or Tactical Black PTFE
- Four-way, anti-tilt, self-lubricating, non-hygroscopic resin follower
- High performance Mil-Spec stainless steel spring keep rounds properly aligned and tensioned for flawless performance