New TangoDown ARC AR-15 Magazine

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Over the past four years TangoDown have been working with the Navy Special Warfare Command and the United States Special Operations Command on a new polymer M16/SCAR/AR-15 magazine called the ARC. Although the magazine prototypes have been around for a few years, the ARC is finally entering production and should be on sale in January 2009.

Click to expand.

As the photos suggest, the magazine is manufactured in two parts. These parts are then “glued” together (I am sure they use a fancier word). The join is supposed to be very strong.

An o-ring type silicone seal prevents dirt getting into the action through the magazine well.

The design has no floorplate which adds to its strength. Cleaning is done by holding the magazine upside down and spraying water or compressed air through holes in the follower. If the spring needs replacing you throw out the magazine and buy a new one.

I dug up this forum post from earlier this year:

The two-piece housing assembly allows us to use optimum ammunition ‘stack’ in the design. We can tightly control the molding process at the same time, as we are making 2 small shots instead of one long one. Material freeze off is no longer an issue. The industrial adhesive we use to join the 2 halves exceeds the strength of the base material. Additional benefit is that we can mold the entire lower half of the magazine in a transparent/translucent material for ammunition viewing, keeping the superior strength reinforced material up top for the feedlips, etc.

The ‘gasket’ between magwell and magazine is actually a soft durometer silicone seal that is bonded to the magazine. It can’t shift or migrate on the magazine body. We used a foam seal at the Show for demonstration purposes. A specific type of magazine carrier design is underway, to answer that question. It will be trick.

In all the studies we researched, the primary mechanical cause of magazine failure to feed was due to feedlip issues. Springs and followers were down the list. By using a high quality coated spring, our sealed design would need to be replaced only when the lips were worn out and/ or damaged.

The follower is pretty novel, and is driven differently than existing baseline G.I.-type followers

This photo by SMGLee of a rapid prototype model shows the follower design and the o-ring/gasket seal clearly:

The retail price is $24.95. The magazine is currently available for preorder at At that price I can’t imagine it going up in price or going out of stock due to excessive demand.

A video of SMGLee testing the magazine:

More photos and the full press release after the jump …
Some more photos:

The TangoDown press release:

The ultimate polymer magazine has arrived! A true 30-round capacity magazine for the 5.56x 45mm cartridge fits all M16/M4/AR-series/FN SCAR-Light/M-249 weapon systems*. Advanced design and construction allows for the strongest, most reliable combat magazine ever produced.

Proprietary state-of-the-art polymers are combined to allow smooth, dependable feeding in a corrosion-proof unitized body. Oversized feed lips take constant abuse that would easily damage aluminum or steel magazines. Unique low-friction anti-tilt follower combined with a premium spring maintains reliable round delivery. Sealed modular design allows ideal straight-to-radius feed cavity, unavailable on any other polymer magazine.

Additional benefit of modular design means no floor plate to fail upon impact. Magazine body becomes a five-sided box, setting a new standard for strength. Impact that crushes USGI magazines has no effect on the ARC. Magazine cleaning is a snap, requiring no disassembly thanks to the slotted follower. A soft seal joins against the weapon magazine well on insertion to prevent entry of dirt and other contaminants, a crucial bonus in desert warfare**.

We designed in several features that make ARC user-friendly in harsh conditions. Large serrations on the front and back straps eliminate slippage when doing ‘push-pull’ magazine insertions. Deep ribbing on both sides enable a fast, sure grip when retrieving from mag pouches. An Open Water version is available, which features a self-sealing drain tab for OTB operations.

· The ARC magazine is available in several color options, including translucent for visual round count.

· The ARC magazine is manufactured using the latest in polymer Quality Control procedures, guaranteeing properly dimensioned components.

· The ARC will drop free from weapon systems, regardless of origin, and will also seat easily in a bolt-forward weapon with a full 30 rounds.

Note: ARC magazine model ARC/L-001 may not fit some magazine pouches, however custom pouches are available from TangoDown, Inc. Contact TangoDown for details.

* ARC/l-001, -001C magazines will NOT fit H&K model 416 rifles. New model for H&K 416 available soon.

** Military model only, commercial model ARC/L-001C has this feature deleted. ARC/L-001C fits all existing M4 style magazine pouches.

ARC is U.S. and foreign Patent Pending.

Color: Black, SOCOM Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green, Translucent (available soon)

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • Nature223 Nature223 on Feb 12, 2009


  • ACT ACT on Mar 13, 2009

    I have just finished testing on 15 mags I supply magazines to people who use them for a living, and have to say, SS mags, P mags, colt mags, can't compare to the tango down arc mag. the 20' drop loaded on the feed lips and the run over with the expedition sold me. Those who bitch about $10 hopefully respect the fact that regardless of equipment cost it should not fail. I will say the arc mags were prototypes and production pieces are coming, if they perform like the prototypes this is the best mag on the market. size is a slight issue but I believe new pouches are being offered.