Calling all AR15 aficionados…Get ready to load up with the absolute best AR15 magazines! Our staff has spoken and we have our top picks for flawless feeding and rapid reloads. It’s time to lock and load with the Ultimate AR15 Magazine Showdown. Let the battle of the mags begin!
Notice: State to State magazine capacity regulations vary. Make sure to check out your local laws or even consult a reputable dealer.
Table of Contents
AR15 Magazine Criteria & Poll
I asked our staff what their pick for the best AR15 magazine would be. It was a simple question – what is your pick for the best AR15 magazine and why? With no huge criteria set, much was based on personal preference and experience. Even within our own group of experts, there was no consensus on a single best magazine.
Cast Your Vote: To make things interesting we wanted to add all of you kind folks into the loop and give you the chance to cast your vote in our poll and live results at the bottom of the page!
1. Magpul AR15 Magazines
In recent years Magpul has established itself as an AR15’s best friend. With their rugged polymer build, smooth stainless steel springs, and anti-tilt followers, Magpul delivers reliable performance in any AR15.
AmmoToGo did some testing and found the springs withstand over 80 years of use. This reliability made Magpul a top choice for off-the-shelf AR15s and enthusiasts alike. Their reputation for durability and consistent function, from the firing range to the field, makes Magpul mags a go-to for ARs today.
Steve’s Input: Magpul PMAGs
I use Magpul PMAGS with my AR-15 and Duramag with my 6.5 Grendel. Both work well.”
Sam H’s Input: Magpul 20 Round PMAGs
Travis’ Input: Magpul Gen M3 PMAGs
“Might be a boring choice, but for me, it’s the only one that makes sense for a dependable, modern rifle. These aren’t the absolute cheapest mags around, but cost to performance ratio is better than any other. They’re reliable, durable, and don’t have any issues with fit. You can also get a loaded 30 rounder to seat on a closed bolt, which basically no other mag does. They work, and that’s all a magazine actually has to do.”
Cameron’s Input: Magpul Gen3 PMAGs
“My favorite is the Magpul Gen3 PMAG. They’re aesthetic, feel great, and function flawlessly with any rounds I put in them, including M855A1. Gen3 PMAGs also sit higher in the magwell in comparison to other magazines, making the angle that rounds insert into the chamber more inline with the feed ramps.”
Anonymous Input: Magpul Cerakote 30 Round PMAGs
“As a passionate AR-15 owner, having cerakoted P-Mags that perfectly match my FDE and ODG builds is a game-changer. These magazines deliver flawless performance, never missing a beat. Their compatibility with Magpul accessories like Ranger Plates and Mag Pods adds even more convenience. Trust me, these cerakoted P-Mags are a must-have for any AR enthusiast!”
2. Duramag AR15 Magazines
Duramag magazines are renowned for exceptional durability and reliability. Made in the USA by C Products Defense using advanced materials, they deliver smooth, consistent feeding across platforms like AR-15, AR-10, and AR9.
With their rugged metal construction tested by military professionals, Duramag mags earned trust through proven consistent performance. Their reputation for unwavering reliability makes Duramag a trusted choice.
Randy’s Input: Duramag Stainless Steel AR15 Magazines
“Thanks Army…I’m institutionalized. Duramags naturally speak to me, just having handled soooo many GI mags. I’ve seen their resiliency to use-&-abuse, first hand, in the most austere environments.”
Sam S’ Input: Duramag Aluminum Speed AR15 Magazines
“I admittedly do not have many Duramag magazines but that is mainly because the few I have work extremely well. I like their durable construction and their reliability is fantastic. They come in either aluminum or stainless steel so I can go with the lightweight ones or the tough as nails ones.
To those that know me know that I am an old soul. Putting most legitimately aforementioned valuable attributes aside they look sort of old school and have that classic feel.”
3. Hexmag AR15 Magazines
Hexmag AR15 mags have become popular for good reason. Their lightweight polymer build comes in cool colors to personalize your AR. But don’t let the feather-light feel fool you – these mags are plenty rugged.
The anti-tilt followers and slippery springs give smooth, reliable feeding. Capacities from 10 to 30 rounds let you balance firepower and maneuverability. Hexmag just gets it right – lightweight and stylish but seriously reliable.
Kevin’s Input: Hexmag Series 2
“I like Hexmag magazines because I haven’t had any feeding issues with them, I also like the feel of them in my hand. They won’t slip out of a wet or sweaty hand while doing quick reloads. I like the ability to use different color followers or grip tape to quickly ID what magazine you have in your hand; to know if you have a 5.56 or something different is critical in that self-defense situation.”
Jordan L’s Input: Hexmag Series 2
“The Hexmags are my choice, they feed great, they are reliable, the hexagon pattern gives it a really nice texture and they look cool. And looking cool is what it is all about.”
4. Lancer AR15 Magazines
Lancer’s translucent AR15 mags let you see every round in the mag – pretty sweet for all you visual learners out there! But they’re about more than just looks. These lightweight hybrids mix see-through polymer with steel feed lips to keep those rounds flying right. So you get quick visual round checks to know your ammo status, paired with smooth feeding you can rely on.
Form meets function with Lancer mags – they look awesome and perform fantastically. These clear mags add some flair while still getting the job done. Who knew practical and pretty could pair so nicely?
Travis’ Input: Lancer L5AWM
“Bit of a bonus pick. Again, like the Magpul PMAGs these are reliable, have a great track record, blah freaking blah, LOOK AT ALL THE COLORS! I always try to pick up whatever goofy translucent shade Lancer comes out with whenever they drop!”
5. UTG AR15 Magazines
UTG, more known for their AR15 accessories also has a lineup of quality magazines (windowed and not). Made with tough materials, UTG AR15 magazines are built to handle tough shooting conditions. They use strong polymers and reinforced steel parts, so you can rely on them to last and resist damage. With their sturdy design, these magazines are a reliable choice for anyone, whether you’re a casual shooter or a pro.
JP’s Input: UTG Windowed
“PMags are great, but when it comes down to it my wallet (and wife) need to agree. At only ~ $12/pc these UTGs don’t sacrifice on build quality or features. The window cuts are super helpful while at the range when I get a misfire or forget my count. I like that the flared floor plates allow for magazine lanyards and other attachments. When it comes down to it, why pay more for the same thing as Magpul? Build quality, check, features, check, price point, Trippel check.”
Poll – The Audience Has Spoken
Come one, come all! Place ya picks in the poll below. Let’s settle this once and for all. Who amongst us picked “the right magazine”? Did we even mention the right one? If you feel we missed a particular brand let us know in the comments and we will get it added to the poll ASAP.
The magazine discussion doesn’t end there! Load up on some more magazine info below!
Yes, they typically are interchangeable. This is assuming they are 223/5.56 magazines going into a 223/5.56 AR15. The only reason they would not be interchangeable would be they have a proprietary feature of some sort. This is not common.
Yes, it is perfectly alright to keep magazines loaded. One worry is that the spring will wear out due to continuous compression. Compression does not wear out springs. Constant compression and constant expansion are what wear springs out. You will wear them out far faster by shooting them than by keeping them loaded. In fact, AmmoToGo recently did some testing that showed that a PMAG’s spring would take 80 years to wear out.
Polymer magazines such as a Magpul Pmag do however have a tendency to expand over time (mostly in the feed lip region) this is why their Gen 3 magazines come with a cover for the feed lips for extra support.
Polymer! This may seem unlikely but back when PMAGs popped up they were basically one of a very small pool of reliable polymer AR15 magazines.
Made in the USA!
Many branches of the US military have switched from metal STANAG magazines to Magpul Gen M3 PMAGs.
To be determined. Check out the poll above!
One Last Tip
If there’s anyone that knows the AR-15 platform, it’s the US military. As a special offer for our readers, you can get the Official US Army Manual for AR-15/M4/M16 right now – for free. Click here to snag a copy.