Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • JD

    Because of this testing I bought some more Lancer AWM’s. I’ve broken a Pmag or two so that aspect is no surprise. I’ve learned that if I plan on diving in bleach to use Pmags, but general hard use the Lancer mags are cream of the crop. I just wish the M3 mags were out for this test (and my magazine hoarding purposes).

    • JMD

      Agreed. A little rust on the feed lips is the worst that happened to the Lancer L5 AWMs. They shrugged off every other kind of abuse. Granted, the tests aren’t done as of the time of this writing, but so far they appear to be head and shoulders above every other design. I was already in the process of switching over, and these tests confirmed what common sense indicated about that design, so I’ll continue. For only a dollar more than PMAGs, I see no reason not to switch completely.

    • We just spent the last 3 years developing the M3 PMag to replace the venerable MRev PMag that was launched back in 2008.

      Despite being a five year old design the MRev PMags have shown themselves capable under “hard use” in hundreds of actual combat firefights and multiple deployments.

      Building a polymer M4 magazine is a study in compromises (Reliability, Strength, Compatibility, Environmental and Chemical Resistance etc).

      Our balance of these design limitations has resulted in the MRev PMag being deployed/issued for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than all other polymer M4 magazine designs, COMBINED.

      The soon to be released M3 PMag adds substantial strength without sacrificing the balance of features that made the PMag the most popular polymer M4/16 mag in US combat history.

      • Oglee

        Have yall figured out how to make a translucent mag that works yet?

        As nice as the M3 may be I will stick to lancer mags.

  • matt

    It doesnt seem like he tried very hard to find corrosive chemicals. Only really bleach and brake cleaner. A lot of people know that bleach and steel dont mix. Just looking at one shelf at my place, I see things like 85% pure phosphoric acid, tetrahydrofuran, naptha, lightning strip paint stripper, etc.

    • JMD

      Those chemicals you listed are not things that a magazine would ever be exposed to under any kind of normal situation. If you’re handling a magazine while it somehow gets immersed in 85% pure phosphoric acid, then the condition of the magazine is probably going to be the least of your concerns. He used the kind of chemicals that are normally used to clean firearms (with the exception of bleach), which is reasonable.

      Tests with the things you suggested would not be reasonable, realistic, or helpful to anyone, since those situations don’t fall within the realm of what can reasonably be expected to happen. You may as well demand he find out if the magazines can withstand sandblasting with moon dust, or immersion in lava.

  • gunslinger

    i wonder if i could get manufacturers to send me stuff to test…

  • zack991

    I find over the many years of shooting the old GI mags with a chromed metal follower has served me very well with one mag shooting over 9,000 rounds plus with no issues. Pmags are cool and all, but I have never had a single issue with the GI mags when they are properly taken care of. Even the ones that I have abused horribly still work just fine when used with a good follower and cleaning them from time to time.

    • JMD

      That’s all well and good, but it’s not about which magazines will continue to work over long periods when maintained. Magazines are disposable, short-life equipment. A magazine needs to be reliable, but also able to endure extreme abuse through short periods of intense use. GI mags may continue to work well for long periods of time when maintained, but they simply cannot survive the level of abuse that other designs simply shrug off. I think these tests confirm that idea.

  • Boxer

    I’ve done lots of shooting professionally over the years. No matter what I always come back to the standard issue GI mag. When it comes to after-market magazines; I, like most folks chased the new shiny object. They all failed. These torture tests are a cool academic endeavor, but they rarely if ever replicate an accurate field environment. From the beginning when everyone clamored over the HK magazine to the current Pmag/Tapco/Tangodown/etc. fever, they never lived up to the hype. If you take care of the GI magazine like you were taught in boot camp it will serve you well. It’s the same with the DI gas system vs. gas piston argument. “SOS”-Shiny Object Syndrome.

    • With G.I. type mags with Magpul or tan follower for about $9 from several scources, I tend to agree. Bent feedlips can be bent back into shape, at least until they work harden and crack. They are very noisy when empty though.

    • “I, like most folks chased the new shiny object. They all failed”

      PMags have been combat fielded in the millions over the last 5 years with great success. They have consistently been shown to out last and out run USGI magazines in the same environment.

  • michael

    funny, in theatre pmags held up to every abuse immaginagible

  • Just like everything else at ARF.com! Over dramatic and not very well thought out.