PMAGS tested in cold conditions

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

TaylorWSO @ dropped a loaded Magpul polymer PMAGS onto concrete in -30 degrees, feed lip first:

So to the drop test. I wanted to see what they could do in the cold. I dropped it from the same table (3′ high) I have dropped metal mags from on the range. If you drop a metal mag on concrete from the same height it will damage the feed lips as to be unuseable-but you can bend them back. I was planning on dropping them on all sides but it broke before I could try it. From the table, fully loaded, no cover, both feed lips shattered when they hit the concrete. I expected it to break/crack but these things shot off and rounds went everywhere. I stopped the test right there as didn’t want to try it with any others on the other sides. You can see in the AK HTF that if empty they do fine in the cold.

So what does this mean.

IF you drop ANY mag loaded on the feed lips it will be useless. The Pmags might survive during the summer but all metal mags will bent hot/or cold. The metal mags can be bent back.

The plastic shatters when cold (duh) it doesn’t just crack.

I finally got a answer as to what these can do.

This test was dropping on concrete in cold weather. I had to clean off a spot to get down to the concrete. If the mags are dropped in the snow vs just concrete they do just fine. So the possibility of hitting on the feed lips in cold weather on a hard surface-very unlikely

The covers are great to keep out the snow – huge plus.

Overall they do just fine. I was surprised at the complete breaking vs. cracking buts that’s what cold can do.

The result: cracked/split feed lips:

uafgrad tried a simular experiment in even colder weather:

Ok Back to tougher in Alaska

Here is where it set for a period of about 18 hours. This was the “hi” temp for the period

The mag was fully loaded and dropped from a height of 36″ directly onto the feedlips (as previously requested) striking bare concrete.

Once it hit the ground, all but 6 of the rounds exited the magazine on to the ground.

Some plastics becomes become brittle in cold conditions, so this is not surprising. The good news is that Magpul are not sitting on their laurels. Their latest version of the PMAG can survive a drop from 5 feet onto concrete feed lip first, fully loaded in -30 F. See this video shot with a high speed camera:

A big thanks to Jay for the link.

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 11 comments
  • Big D. Big D. on Mar 15, 2012

    The pmags that i have are a very not worth the money. Three out of six have broken on me and not from abuse. The other three i sold at a gun show with a warning to the person just to let him know.

  • KAH KAH on May 25, 2013

    Don't get me wrong, Magpul Pmags are awesome magazines. Rarely do I get Failure to feed with them, but they do crack in Afghanistan. And unlike most, I have been there and had it happen to me. The reason why most believe it is because its happened on our patrols where we'd pull a mag out of our rig and our rounds would fall into our mag pouch.
    Some think its the extreme fluctuations of hot during the day and freezing at night. Regardless, when it's freezing at night and you have a man who weighs 200+ with his full kit on going prone on his gear, shit's gonna happen. there's always that one little rock to hit it jussssttttt right.