308 Magazine Showdown – Whats The Best AR-10 Option?

    Over the last few years, I’ve been flooded with the same question about what 308 magazine is best for AR platforms. In a perfect world, I could sum this article up in about two seconds by saying buy Knights Armament SR-25 magazines. The problem with the Knights SR-25 magazine is the staggering price of $95.79 per magazine. Typically I like to have at least 10 magazines to run through guns so I’m not constantly loading at the range.

    It’s nice to have spare magazines in the safe in case I ever do break a magazine or they start to malfunction. With this thinking, I have absolutely no desire to spend a cool thousand bucks on 308 magazines so let’s look at some affordable and reliable alternatives. Now keep in mind there are different types of 308 magazines so before buying some make sure you know what kind your rifle takes. For this article, we will focus on the more common SR-25 style magazines.

    Magpul LR/SR PMAGs

    By far the most common magazine on this list has to be the Magpul PMAGs. These magazines are offered in 10, 20, and 25 round capacities. If you really want to go full boogaloo you could always buy their D50 drum magazine that holds 50 rounds but for a 308 that seems excessive. Don’t get me wrong though this is America so if you want to mag dump a 50 round drum out of your 308 AR10 I salute you, good sir. Now, these mags are definitely some of the most affordable on this list with prices being from $18-$22 depending on where you buy them from. They are lightweight sturdy magazines and the newer versions of these magazines have been extremely reliable for me in the last few years.

    Early on, I did have three or four magazines break on me with the feed lips cracking and one cracking down the spine making the ammo eject like a freedom geyser.  I dropped it on concrete and the magazine exploded in a pretty spectacular show, but since buying the newer magazines with red followers, I’ve had great luck. The 20 round magazines are great for shooting prone and having a lighter weight magazine to carry around. I haven’t ever had an issue with feeding or fitment out of the 20 round magazines. The 25 round magazines are nice with the window to see how much ammo is left in the magazine. If I had to pick between the two I would probably stick with the 20 round magazines because they’ve been bulletproof reliable in the last 8 years I’ve used them.

    Lancer L7 AWM AR10 Magazine

    The new Lancer L7 magazines are kind of the wildcard on this list since they are fairly new on the market. These are the best of both worlds with a polymer lower body with metal feed lips and front guard so rounds aren’t pushed through the polymer front section. Lancer did a really nice job fixing issues seen previously in the L5 system of magazines. I ordered two of the 20 round L7 magazines and so far they have been extremely reliable feeding every type of ammo I’ve put into them and consistently locking to the rear on the last shot. So far, I only have about 300 rounds through the two magazines but it looks like they will be extremely reliable.

    There are a few minor drawbacks to these magazines though. The first thing that I don’t like about L7 magazines is the price. They are selling online from $38-50 depending on where you buy them, but they do have metal inserts. It’s a higher-priced magazine but the level of quality is worth the price in my opinion. The only other small thing that I am struggling to get used to is the overall design of the magazine. I always think the magazine is backward when it’s seated inside the gun. The baseplate is reversed from Magpul and other magazines so it tends to look a bit off. I also have indexed the magazine in the wrong direction from the design. Honestly though, in the grand scheme of things its a very minor issue to me.

    ASC Metal Magazines

    Ammunition Storage Components or ASC is making an affordable option for the SR-25 or AR-10 platform. Some of you may prefer a stainless steel metal magazine rather than a polymer or hybrid magazine. These are often very affordable for the larger online stores like Brownells or Gun Mag Warehouse. ASC metal magazines feel very solid and well built when in the hand. For the most part, I’ve had very good luck with ASC magazines. Typically, the ASC 20 round 308 mags can be found for $17-20 depending on where you order them from.

    In my experience, the ASC mags can be somewhat temperamental with various ammo types or various AR-10 variants. I have noticed with the magazines I have they do not like polymer tipped 308 ammunition. I had a few malfunctions across different AR-10 variants and it was only with polymer tipped ammo. With regular FMJ rounds, the mags ran flawlessly, so it’s more of a side note to let you guys know.

    Overall Thoughts

    There are a ton of different options in today’s market for affordable reliable magazines for your 308 AR-10. I’m not sure there’s a magazine out there that is absolutely perfect. There are some very good options on the market for magazines though. If the price was what your most concerned about and want reliable magazines I would say go with the PMAGs. PMAGs are fantastic for their price and I have had 100% reliability with the newer magazines with the red followers. I have had some issues in the past with PMAGs catastrophically breaking at the range. Luckily, these issues seem to have been fixed with the newer magazines.

    If you want great quality with fairly reasonable priced magazines I would go with the Lancer L7s. They are more money than PMAGs but have functioned flawlessly over my last few range trips. Overall, I’m really impressed with the Lancer L7s so far. If you want the absolute best no matter what it costs, I would consider the Knights Armament SR-25 magazines. I have never owned one but have had the opportunity to try them at the range. From my experience shooting the Knights magazines, I think they are fantastic but rather heavy.

    There are other options out there like the Hex mag, ProMag, and CPD magazines. If you’d guys like part two with a few other magazines let me know in the comment below.  I will gladly grab a few different mags and see how they do over the course of a couple months. If you have any questions about magazines or just general questions feel free to message me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!

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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.