Best AR-15 Magazines of 2019 – Top Picks Reviewed

Are you looking for the best AR-15 magazine? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Having the right kind of magazine for your rifle is key for any application. You may settle for 30 rounds in one magazine or you can go for fewer (or even more). Regardless of how many you need, there’s a magazine that will be reliable and will hold all kinds of rounds that you’ll be dying to fire off at the range or in a hunting situation.

To get you started on the search, we’ve handpicked eight of the best AR-15 magazines that are currently on the market. Before we get to our list, we’ll be discussing why you can never have too many magazines. And we’ll also discuss what sets a great AR-15 magazine from one that is considered crappy and low-quality.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Magazines

Product

Our Rating

Price

D&H 5.56 30rd Aluminum Magazine

Best Overall

AR-15 30Rd PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56

Runner-up

200 Rounds Federal 5.56mm NATO 55GR FMJ-BT Ammunition & Ten Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm Magazines

Best for the Money

Magpul - AR-15 D60 60-RD Drum W/ 2 30-RD PMAGS

Best Drum Magazine

Magpul - AR-15 10RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine223/5.56

Best 10 Round Magazine

Brownells - AR-15 25-rd Straight Body Steel Magazine

Best 25 Round Magazine

SureFire High-Capacity Magazine, 60 Rd

Best 60 Round Magazine

D&H 7.62x39mm 10 Rd AR-15 Magazine

Best 7.62x39 Magazine

Why You Can Never Have Too Many Magazines

In our point of view, it’s not always a bad thing to have a lot of magazines. In fact, there is no such thing as having too many. There are a few good reasons why you should have extra magazines handy. Here are a few advantages that you might enjoy if you choose to have additional magazines on hand:

When One Jams You Have Extras

Things happen. Especially when you’re a seasoned AR-15 user. There will come a time when your magazine won’t be as reliable as you think. It can be due to a wide variety of reasons. The magazine might easily jam and it won’t allow you to fire a single shot.

At this point, you’ll need to release it quickly and replace it with another magazine. You’ll have a fresh magazine that’s fully loaded and ready to go just in case the other decided to jam and freeze up on you. Just press the mag release button and quickly reload.

Faster Reloading

This might come in handy in a handful of applications. If you have additional magazines, you’ll have them all ready to go for quick reloading. It’s a lot better than having to rely on just one magazine. Plus, it saves you a lot of time and headaches that you would otherwise suffer just from reloading a magazine manually. Once a magazine is empty and time is not on your side, you can simply drop it and add in a new one in a matter of seconds.

Different Capacities to Test Out

What if you feel like 30-rounds just isn’t enough? What if you want lesser amounts of rounds? While it might sound a little crazy, you should try and use magazines that have different capacities. For example, you should have a few magazines that will have capacities of 20 rounds. Or, if you want more you can consider magazines with a capacity of 40. Either way, find an increment that’s slightly more or less than your magazine’s original capacity.

What Makes a Great AR-15 Magazine

The question that often gets asked a lot is this: what distinguishes a great AR-15 magazine from one that is considered ineffective and crappy in quality? There are a few distinctions that make most of these magazines stand head above shoulders among the rest of those that currently flood the market.

If you’re a first-time buyer or someone looking for an upgrade, you should follow this list to help you along with your search in finding a better magazine. Here’s what you need to look out for:

How Many Rounds Do You Need?

The standard AR-15 magazine will have 30 rounds. However, you might be able to get magazines that will have lower capacities or even higher capacities. Either way, it all comes down to your personal needs and preferences. Another thing to note is that it can also depend on your intent and purpose. Sometimes, having more than 30 rounds would be ideal for one application while it can be overkill for another.

Material

Of course, the material will matter when you’re looking for a great magazine. There will come a time when you’ll need to release a magazine due to it being empty or perhaps jamming. You’ll want a magazine that is made from a material that will be impact resistant.

In other words, you’ll be faced with situations where magazines will fall freely to the ground, albeit on a hard surface like concrete or pavement. One of the best materials made to take on these elements is polymer. So if you want magazines that won’t break easily, this kind of material will be your best bet. Other materials may include aluminum, which is available in some types that have been battle-tested to take on hard surface impact.

Price

As is the case with all budget shoppers, there is a good chance that you may consider price as one of your deciding factors. While looking for an affordable price tag on your next magazine, it’s important to find some secondary qualities that will be a driving force towards your decision.

For example, take note of the material that it’s made from. If it’s made from high-quality material, there’s a good chance that it will last you a long time. Yes, high-quality magazines that are affordable do exist. The only difference is, the price will be on a higher but affordable scale compared to magazines that are actually cheap.

Review of the Best AR-15 Magazines

The following is a list of eight of the best AR-15 magazines that are currently on the market. As you go through each one of these, you’ll want to pay special attention to what the features and functions are. These magazines are chosen as one of the best in a certain subcategory (most of them are best in a certain round count).

Regardless of what you’re looking for, give each of these magazines a chance by looking through each of them. You might find one that might be much better than the one you may consider your ideal AR-15 magazine. With that said, let’s begin with the “best overall” choice:

Pros

  • Super durable construction.
  • No issues after a thousand rounds.
  • Lightweight. Doesn’t add any unnecessary weight to your rifle.

Cons

  • Some have had issues with the loading/reloading.
  • Edges are a little sharp. May need to be filed down.
  • May not lock into rifles that fire .300 Blackout rounds.

First on the agenda, we’ll be taking a look at the D&H 5.56 30-Round Aluminum Magazine. One thing that we notice right off the bat is that it’s made from high-quality 6061-T6 aluminum. This will be a durable kind of magazine that won’t easily bust apart if you decide to drop it freely and it hits the hard surface.

Before any of these magazines hit the market, they are heat-treated and battle-tested to ensure that they are fully functional and free from any reliability issues. Once they pass with flying colors, they’ll be set and ready to rock just for you. This contains 30-rounds, which is the standard count for most AR-15 magazines.

The follower is available in either a foliage green or anti-tilt yellow. Either way, it’s bright enough to give you an easier load each time. This has a Teflon coating from the inside and out. So in plain English, this is basically the toughest and most durable magazine you can possibly find on the market.

If you’re looking for a magazine that’s the best of the best and will stand the test of time, the D&H 5.56 aluminum magazine might be the magazine you’ll want on you. These are so good, you may want to buy extras just to be on the safe side.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to AR-15 magazines, then you might be quite happy with the D&H brand magazines. They are tough all over and do pretty good for your standard AR-15 magazines.

Whether you’re using it for target practicing or hunting, you have a reliable magazine that will hold your usual 30-rounds. If you don’t want to settle for anything more or less than that, then this might be the magazine that you can choose as your go-to.

Pros

  • Fits nice and tight in most magwells.
  • Tough as nails. Will likely last you a lifetime.
  • No jamming issues after hundreds or thousands of rounds.

Cons

  • Might be a little difficult to fit or remove from some magwells.

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at the Magpul AR-15 30-Round PMAG Gen M3 Magazine. If you’re looking for a magazine that works with either .223 caliber or 5.56 NATO rounds, then this might be exactly what you’re looking for. The body of this magazine is made from high-quality polymer, making it resistant to all kinds of hard surface impact.

It’s also crush-proof, so you’ll be dealing with a tough customer of a magazine. It’s a toolless assembly that you can easily take apart in case you want to clean it from the inside out. There is nothing that will last a magazine longer than taking good care of it.

This magazine has a feed lip that is designed to give you a reliable feed each time. So it won’t easily jam on you whenever you have a shooting session at the range or when you need to get a shot off quickly while bearing down on a big game target. Either way, it’s going to be reliable when you need it the most.

This holds the standard 30 rounds that you can use for almost any application. And it’s probably one of the best PMAG-style magazines currently on the market. If you fancy yourself to be a fan of PMAGs, then the Magpul could just be exactly what you’re looking for.

Bottom Line

Will this be a direct competitor to the D&H magazines for years to come? By the sounds of it, it will be. Both magazines are tough as nails and are much better than standard 30-round magazines. Yet, this might overtake the best overall spot at some point in the future because of its ability to take on 5.56 and .223 rounds (don’t quote us on that).

But don’t be shocked if there is a tug-of-war going on between the two magazines. But Magpul has long been considered to be one of the best brands when it comes to accessories. If you’re willing to give this brand a try, then start by getting this magazine for your AR-15 rifle.

Pros

  • Very reliable shooting. No jams.
  • No issues after 100 rounds fired.
  • Magazines are virtually indestructible.

Cons

  • Some users have had ammo retention issues.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at our choice for those who want to buy a magazine, but will have a certain budget set in place. The honor for “best for the money” is given to the Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm magazine. Actually, you’ll be getting quite a package deal out of this. You’ll be getting 10 magazines, each filled with 20 rounds of Federal 5.56mm NATO 55 Grain FMJ bullets.

If that isn’t something that isn’t impressive for those on a budget, then we can’t tell you what is. The magazines are Magpul brand magazines that are made from high-quality impact resistant and crushproof polymer.

Here’s where the magazines make their bones: they are self-lubricated. This will make your shooting smooth and reliable. So it won’t jam or get stuck in the magazine itself. Plus, you won’t be able to lubricate them manually (which might be a major pain for some shooters).

The magazine design is slightly curved, making the loading process a little easier for those who find it a challenge with other magazines. If you’re looking for a design that promotes better ergonomics, this magazine might be right up your alley. Of course, let’s not forget that these magazines are the best for your money, especially for a budget shopper like yourself (assuming you are one).

Bottom Line

For someone on a budget, you know for sure that you’re getting a dang good deal out of this. Think about it: ten magazines with rounds loaded and ready to go. Plus, you have some spare mags handy that will be compatible with 5.56 rounds. So it’s a win-win for you, especially when you want spare mags on hand should one of them jam on you in the future.

All of these magazines are reliable and designed to last you a long time. In fact, we won’t be surprised that you might have all ten magazines still functioning after a few years. If you’re looking for magazines that will last you for as long as possible, the Magpul PMAG magazines are your best possible option. Why get one when you can get ten?

Pros

  • Super durable magazines.
  • Extra P-Mags are a great added convenience.
  • Functions are flawless. No jamming after numerous rounds.

Cons

  • None.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the best drum magazine for an AR-15 rifle. Once again, the Magpul brand will be the focus of this magazine in particular. The drum magazine itself can hold up to 60 rounds. Aside from the drum magazine, you get two standard magazines each with a 30 round capacity.

So with all that, you’ll get a total of 120 rounds in one complete package. Pretty nice to have some extra magazines handy along with the one you’re initially buying, right? The drum magazine is best used for those who are more apt to shoot their AR-15 rifle from the prone position.

Plus, it’s the magazine you’ll want if you’re planning on spending an extended day at the range. If you’re looking for something that’s best designed for those kinds of days, then this drum magazine will be your best friend.

Each magazine is made from high-quality polymer that is impact proof and crush-proof. So these will be tougher than anything else that you might find on the market. Best of all, they are resistant to all kinds of corrosion. For added reliability, all the magazines are self-lubricated so you won’t have to deal with a single jam, even when you’re going through hundreds or even thousands of rounds.

The design itself is great if you want to make loading much easier for you. The anti-tilt followers included in each magazine will allow for even more ease in terms of the loading/reloading process. If you’re looking for simplicity in reloading your magazines, these Magpul PMAGs (and the drum magazine) will be your best possible options.

Bottom Line

Don’t you love getting package deals? We do. But if you’re looking for something that will give you as many rounds like a drum magazine can give you, this Magpul magazine will be your best bet. Especially if you want something that will be your go-to magazine for extended shooting sessions at the range.

Plus, the addition of two PMAGs is always good to have. Especially when you want spare magazines handy in case one of them goes south.

Pros

  • Great for bench shooters.
  • Super durable construction.
  • Best fit for hunting applications.

Cons

  • Some users have complained about feeding issues.
  • Follower may need some tweaking before initial use.

For our last Magpul brand magazine, we’ll be taking a look at the best 10-round magazine that’s currently available. This PMAG can contain .223 or 5.56 NATO rounds. Either way, you’ll be able to use a magazine that won’t give you any grief if you use either caliber rounds.

This is an ultra-compact magazine that will be excellent for the purpose of hunting or self-defense. Like all other Magpul magazines out there, they are made from high-quality polymer that is designed to take on all kinds of damage. If you’re dropping this freely on a hard surface, they won’t shatter.

If that’s what you look for in a magazine, then at this point you know that Magpul is a good brand to go with. Even for a 10-round magazine like this, you still get the same reliability and smooth shooting that you can get from just about any other magazine out there.

The curved design will make loading and reloading more easier. If you’re tired of struggling with the loading or reloading process, then you’ll love this Magpul magazine. Then again, since you’re dealing with a ten round capacity the reloading will be a little quicker than reloading a 30-rounder. Not bad at all, we think.

Bottom Line

If you don’t fancy yourself a fan of the 30-round or more capacity magazines, then maybe 10 rounds will be your cup of coffee. In that case, this Magpul magazine will probably be your best choice. If you’re a hunter, odds are you don’t really need so many rounds to land a big game target.

Most hunters will agree that 10 rounds will be sufficient. If you plan on using your AR-15 rifle for hunting applications, then you’ll need a reliable magazine just for that purpose. So why not get the Magpul PMAG 10-round magazine and put them to the test the next time you’re out in the field.

Pros

  • Tough as nails thanks to the steel.
  • Excellent for all kinds of applications.
  • Super reliable compared to the 25-round mags of ages past.

Cons

  • None.

So, 10 rounds might be too little of a count for you. But 30 rounds might be too much as well. Why not go with a happy medium like 25 rounds? If you’re looking for that many rounds, the Brownells AR-15 25 round straight body steel magazine could be exactly what you’re looking for. This magazine is exclusive with .223 caliber rounds.

So if you happen to have some of them laying around, then you’ll have a magazine that will accommodate them. This is made of high-quality steel. It’s a magazine that will be the closest that you can get to a classic AR-15 style magazine. If you’re a sucker for a classic design, this Brownells brand magazine could just be what you’re looking for.

It’s been said that due to reliability issues, 25-round magazines were lesser in existence. But now, they are making a comeback only this time with more reliable shooting than ever before. So if you want to go back to the golden age of AR-15 shooting with the reliability that apparently was a miss beforehand, then this is your opportunity to grab these magazines for your own use.

Bottom Line

If you’re a long time AR-15 shooter, then you’re probably happy to see these 25-round magazines make a comeback. For something that might be considered a “blast from the past”, this magazine from Brownells might just fit the bill. It doesn’t matter what kind of application you’re using it for, if you really want to know what it was like firing an AR-15 rifle back in the day, you’ve got the magazine for it.

Pros

  • Excellent for those who want more fire capacity.
  • Great to use for extended target shooting sessions.
  • Lightweight. Doesn’t add on any unnecessary weight.

Cons

  • Some have had issues trying to fit this in some AR-15 lower receivers.
  • May not be legal to own in some jurisdictions. Please consult your local and state gun laws before purchasing.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the best 60-round magazine on the market. For our choice, we’ll be taking a look at the SureFire High-Capacity Magazine that will have the ability to hold 60 rounds at a time. What’s more interesting is that this is not a drum-like design.

So if you’re not a fan of drum magazines but still want the same amount of rounds, this will be the solution. The magazine is made from high-quality aluminum. They’re designed to last you a long time and won’t easily break if they somehow hit the hard surface. You’ll want to have these puppies handy if you’re planning on making it a long day at the range.

You can have a lot of rounds for a shooting session with magazines like this. Other than that, they are reliable and will always provide you with smooth feeding and shooting. Don’t be shocked if you don’t go through a single jam after hundreds or thousands of rounds.

Bottom Line

Maybe 60 rounds are more of your speed? If so, then you’ll want a high-capacity magazine like this. These will take your standard AR-15 caliber rounds and will be perfect just for target shooting or competitive target shooting.

You can have a lot of rounds just for the sake of these applications. However, it might be a little bit of overkill if you’re considering using this many rounds for hunting or self-defense.

Best 7.62x39 Magazine:
D&H 7.62x39mm 10 Rd AR-15 Magazine

Pros

  • Super strong quality.
  • Fits great on most AR-15 rifles.
  • Flawless performance. No jamming after 100 rounds.

Cons

  • Might not be able to fit the last two rounds in the magazine as it might be difficult.

For our last AR-15 magazine, we’ll be taking a look at the D&H 7.62x39mm 10-Round AR-15 Magazine. This magazine will contain up to 10 rounds of 7.62x39mm caliber bullets. If your rifle is chambered to handle these types of ammo, then you’ll probably want this magazine to be your go-to in almost any application. At 10 rounds, this will definitely be your magazine of choice if you’re more of an AR-15 hunter.

The body is made from high-quality aluminum that is designed to be durable from the inside and out. So in essence, it will last you a long period of time so long as you take good care of it. If you’re no fan of the magazines that have more than 10 rounds, you can probably settle for the D&H AR-15 magazine for 7.62x39mm caliber rounds.

Bottom Line

It’s not uncommon for people to fire off 7.62x39mm rounds. But we think it’s only fair to include a magazine that would best fit these kinds of shooters. The D&H magazine is reliable and will deliver superb performance for those who want smooth, accurate shooting in many applications including hunting. Since it’s durable, don’t be surprised if it ends up lasting you a year or beyond.

Conclusion

The best AR-15 magazine is out there. But it comes down to some of your personal preferences and needs. What are your intents and purposes? How many rounds do you actually need? No matter how you answer these questions, there will be a magazine with your name on it. Consider the eight AR-15 magazines above and make your decision while you still can.

People Also Ask

As a way to help you find the best AR-15 magazine, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few frequently asked questions that will pertain to your search. Use these questions and answers as a guide so you can make the decision process a lot easier. Here are the following questions:

How to Load an AR-15 magazine?

To load an AR-15 magazine manually, you’ll need to press the bullet downward. Use the follower to load a magazine. Line the bullet up with the imprint that is seen on the follower. Press down and keep loading until you reach the capacity limit.

How Many Rounds Does an AR-15 Magazine Hold?

A standard AR-15 magazine will hold up to 30 rounds. However, there are other magazines that will have a lower number capacity like 10 and higher capacities up to 60 rounds.

What Calibers Fit in an AR-15 Magazine?

The most popular rounds that will fit in AR-15 rifles are 5.56 NATO and .223 calibers. Other calibers include .308 and .300 AAC Blackout.

How Much Does a Full AR-15 Magazine Weigh?

Since the average unloaded AR-15 rifle weighs roughly six pounds, a fully loaded 30-round magazine can bump up the weight to seven pounds. So the magazines will roughly weigh one pound once fully loaded.

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