Best M16 Magazines – 2022 Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated:
September 7, 2023

Are you looking for the best M16 magazines? If so, you’re in the right place. You need a product that is reliable and does a good job providing smooth feeding and shooting no matter what you use your M16 rifle for. There is nothing more exciting than firing a powerful semi-automatic rifle quite like this.

To help you get started, we’ve taken the liberty of hand-picking six of the best M16 magazines currently on the market as of this writing.

Before we begin our list, we’ll talk about why you need a variety of magazines and how you can choose one for your own M16 rifle.

Comparison of the Best M16 Magazines

  • Best overall M16 magazine.
  • Heat treated and hard coat anodized.
  • Made from high-quality aluminum and coated in Teflon for added durability.
View Latest Price →
  • Holds up to 30 rounds.
  • Curved design for a more ergonomic shape.
  • Made from high-quality polymer for superior durability.
View Latest Price →
  • Can contain up to 20 rounds.
  • Made from high-quality polymer.
  • Available for either .223 or 5.56 rounds.
View Latest Price →

Perks of Carrying a Variety of Magazines

It’s never wise to rely on just one magazine while you’re using an M16 rifle and there are a few good reasons why. To better explain it, we’ve compiled a brief list of advantages that you might enjoy should you decide on carrying multiple magazines on hand. They are as follows:

Quick Replacement

Every M16 owner is faced with the potential disaster of a faulty magazine. More specifically, one may jam or have other feeding issues that may render it useless. Carrying extra magazines will give you extra preparedness. Once a magazine jams, you can simply release it quickly and replace it with a fresh magazine that is set and ready to go.

Try Out Different Capacities

An M16 magazine will have a standard capacity of 30 rounds. But what if you want fewer rounds? What if you want more rounds? Either way, it’s important to try out other magazines that may have a lesser or greater capacity than a standard version.

Quicker Reloading

Having extra magazines loaded and ready to go will also give you more time to use your rifle and less time reloading. Plus, it’s a lot better than having to reload bullet by bullet. That alone is a time-consuming process and won’t fly in many applications. The more magazines you carry, the better off you are. Loading a new magazine will take a matter of seconds so you won’t have to take your eyes off the target.

How to Choose Quality Magazines

It’s not wise to blindly choose a magazine that won’t be reliable for your M16 rifle. That’s why it’s important to follow the quick list below to help you choose one that will stand head and shoulders above the ones considered crappy and ineffective. If you’re a first-time buyer of these magazines, you can use this as your guide to help you distinguish the good from the bad. With that said, here’s what you’ll need to look for in a magazine:


If you’re on a budget, then you’ll always hold price to higher importance. To find the best you can afford, be sure to take a look at the quality of the product. If the price tag is within your budget range and the quality is excellent, then you might have found a winner. But don’t confuse “affordable” with “cheap”. Cheap is usually low-quality, flimsy, and easy to break.


To ensure you’re finding a magazine that’s high in quality, you need to be aware of the materials used for manufacturing magazines that are dang near indestructible. In this case, most are made from polymer. Some others will be made from something like high-quality aluminum or steel. A smart gun manufacturer knows that magazines made from these materials will often last the longest and be able to withstand all kinds of damage.

How Many Rounds Do You Need?

The standard capacity of M16 magazines is 30. The question that you need to ask yourself is: is it enough? Alternatively, you can ask if it’s too much for you. The answer will really be based on your needs and preferences. It will also depend on your intended application.

If you’re a hunter, you might want to settle for something that’s less than 30 rounds. It may seem like overkill needing that many rounds for varmint or big game targets. If you’re more of a target shooter, 30 rounds might be sufficient. Some may even settle for more than that.

Review of the Best M16 Magazines

Below is a list of six of the best M16 magazines currently on the market as of this writing. While the list is subject to change, this gives you an opportunity to take a look at what’s popular among M16 users. Remember, you’re not looking to get one sole magazine for your rifle.

You’ll likely need multiple magazines to work with, in case one of them malfunctions. So choose wisely as you look through this list. Also, note the features and functions it has so it will give you a good idea of whether or not it matches your personal preferences or needs.

Having said all that, let’s begin with our best “overall choice”:

Best Overall:
 D&H 5.56 30rd Aluminum Magazine


  • Super Durable and Can Take All Kinds of Abuse
  • Very Light in Weight. Doesn’t Add Too Much Weight to Your Rifle
  • Reliable Feeding and Shooting With No Jams Even After 100+ Rounds


  • Sharp Edges Near the Lips
  • If You’re Using Certain Rounds (62-Gr Green Tips), They May Bind in the Magazine
  • One Reviewer Was Having Trouble Securing These in Their Rifle’s Magport

First on the docket, we’ll be taking a look at the D&H 5.56 30-Round Aluminum Magazine. If you’re looking for something that’s as close to military-style for your M16 rifle, then you’re definitely going to enjoy using these magazines. They are made from high-quality 6061-T6 aluminum.

So in plain English, they’re pretty dang durable. If you allow these magazines to free-fall to the ground, they won’t easily break. Slam it on a hard surface as many times as you can and it will still work fine. That’s how strong they are.

In fact, they don’t leave the factory until they are battle-tested for durability and usability. Once they pass flying colors, they go straight to the market and become yours to own (if you so choose).

The magazine is coated in Teflon for that extra layer of durability. So you’re getting a magazine that is tough all over and has the potential to last you for many years. It’s no wonder why we decided on this as the “best overall”.

For easier loading, you have a follower that can be colored in either anti-tilt yellow or Magpul foliage green. Regardless, you will get a follower that will allow for easy loading every time. If you’re looking for something that’s the best of the best, the D&H 5.56 Aluminum Magazine might be right up your alley.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a product deserving of the “best overall” title, the D&H Aluminum Magazine might be exactly what you’re looking for. Light in weight, easy to load, and super durable, this product will definitely work to your advantage in any application.

Even if they’re designed to last you a long time, it never hurts to have a few extras hanging around. Especially these, in particular.

Best for the Money:
Magpul PMAG 30 M3 MagLevel, 5.56x45 Magazine


  • Very Easy to Look at Your Ammo Level
  • Super Strong and Doesn’t Break Easily on Hard Surfaces
  • No Failures or Feeding Issues After Hundreds of Rounds


  • A Little Bit on the Pricey Side
  • Window Might Be a Little Blurry, so it May Be Hard to See How Many Rounds You Might Have

Now we’ll be taking a look at the Magpul PMAG 30 M3 MagLevel 5.56x45 Magazine. One thing you’ll notice right away is the slightly curved design. This will make the loading a little easier.

Plus, it’s a lot less of a challenge to load this kind of magazine by hand. So if you’re looking for something that is ergonomically better for you, look for similar designs to this. This will hold up to the standard 30 rounds you can use for just about any application you can think of.

It may be too much for one application or enough for another. Just because it takes 30 rounds, doesn’t mean you always have to load it with that many. This also has a feature that will give you visual identification of how many rounds are left. You’ll notice a small window on the side. This way you can tell how many are left and know exactly when it needs to be reloaded.

The follower uses a stainless steel spring that won’t easily wear down. Plus, it will make loading easier for you. So you add in one round and then another until you’re satisfied with how many you’ll need. If you’re looking for an item that has reliable feeding, is durable all over, and provides a little more of an ergonomic design, look no further than the Magpul PMAG M3.

Bottom Line

The added convenience of the window indicating how many rounds you have left is what impressed us the most. Don't you wish all magazines were like that? On top of that, the magazine itself is quite durable. It can withstand abuse and handle the impact of a hard surface.

So feel free to free fall these from your magwell when you're finished. Just remember to pick them up afterward, of course. These are durable and will definitely give your M16 more reliable functioning. So, get yourself a few of these and be ready to fire them off at the range if these are your kind of mags.

3. Magpul - Ar-15 20-RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 223/5.56


  • Great for AR-15 Pistols
  • No Failure or Feeding Issues
  • More Compact and Works Better With Bench or Prone Position Shooting


  • None

If you’re not a fan of the standard 30-round capacity magazines, don’t worry. We didn’t leave you out in the cold or anything like that. For our choice for the best 20-round magazine, we’ve gone with the Magpul AR-15 20-round PMAG Gen M3 Magazine.

These are available for either .223 or 5.56 NATO rounds. This is made from high-quality polymer that will prevent it from getting crushed or easily busted if it hits a hard pavement. They’re as tough as they get and will probably stay that way for as long as you need them.

Of course, these can hold up to 20 total rounds. So if you’re looking for a product that will be the best fit for hunting or target practicing applications, this Magpul item will likely be the best choice available. This is also shorter than the standard ones, which means it will be easier for you to shoot in the prone position.

You probably can’t do that with a standard 30-round magazine, can you? If you’re more of a prone shooter at the range or if you want to stay stealthy out in the field, you’ll need a magazine that won’t make your rifle stick out like a sore thumb. If you want 20 rounds that will be tough as nails and reliable for years to come, Magpul has you covered.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a magazine that’s compact and will definitely work with all kinds of applications, then you’re probably going to like this Magpul brand product.

It’s compact in size and really works for a lot of shooters who want something that is small in size and that keeps the rifle as low-profile as possible in some settings. Other than that, this goes great with M16 rifles or AR-15 pistols. If you have both, why not get a set of products like this for each of them?

4. Sig Sauer Romeo5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight & Ten Magpul PMAG 30 5.56x45mm Magazines


  • Sight Co-Witnesses Perfectly With Iron Sights
  • No Jamming or Reliability Issues After 100+ Rounds
  • Solid and Built to Last Years or Even Decades


  • Some Have Complained That These Don’t Drop Freely

Our next magazine up for review is yet another package deal from PSA. This includes ten Magpul 30-count 5.56x45mm magazines with a Sig Sauer Romeo 5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight. You’re getting quite the deal here.

First, you have a red dot sight you can add onto your M16 so your accuracy will be improved considerably as soon as you install it. Once attached, why not give your new magazines a whirl at the range? Just load these puppies up and put that red dot to the test at the range.

The Magpul PMAG magazines will fit most 5.56 NATO rounds and are tough all over thanks to the high-quality synthetic materials that protect it from hard surface impacts. These are self-lubricating which allows for reliable, jam-free operation to last you a long time.

It’s a whole lot better than having to manually lubricate them ever so often. The design is slightly curved and it makes the loading so much easier for users. Because straight line loading just doesn’t seem like the ideal thing to do these days.

If you’re looking for a package deal that won’t break the bank, you can get this Sig Sauer Red Dot and ten extra Magpul magazines to go along with it. You’re killing two birds with one stone here. Not only do you get a reliable red dot sight, but you also get the additional magazines you’ll need in case one of them ends up on the fritz.

Bottom Line

This is the second package deal on the list in which you have the opportunity to get extra magazines out of it. It definitely covers a lot of ground on your end. Not only will you have one magazine, but you’ll have nine extra handy and ready to go.

Once you’ve installed the red dot sight, you can have yourself a ball at the range. If you want to increase your accuracy and take care of another personal need at the same time, then this package deal from PSA will be something that you’ll need to jump on.

Best M16 30-Round Magazines:
Ten D&H 5.56 30-RD Aluminum Magazines & Ten Magpul PMAG 5.56 30-RD Magazines


  • Super Durable and Can Last You Years
  • Easier to Load in a Quick Amount of Time
  • Run Great With No Feeding Problems


  • Some Say the Magpul Magazines Won’t Stay Secure in the Magwell

Lastly, we’ll be taking a look at one last package deal. This time, you’re getting a total of 20 magazines. You’ll be getting ten D&H Aluminum Magazines and ten Magpul PMAG 5.56 30-round magazines. If you’re looking for a huge collection you can use right out of the gate, then you’d be insane to pass up on a deal like this.

Both are made from high-quality materials that are designed to last you a long time. They’re crush-proof, impact-proof, and can handle just about any application you can think of. Plus, you get all kinds of magazines that you can have handy when one decides to jam up on you.

The D&H magazines are as close to military-style as you’re going to get. Plus, they’re built like a tank, so don’t expect these to be flimsy in the slightest. For easier loading, they come with your choice of Magpul green or anti-tilt yellow followers.

Either color will be bright enough for you to use the follower to your advantage for easier and quicker loading. The Magpul magazines have a curved design to make loading easier, also. It’s ergonomically better compared to other magazines.

Either way, you cannot lose if you’re looking for some that are easy to load and don’t take too much time. Once these puppies are loaded and ready to go, you'll be dying for a trip to the range before sundown.

If you just want to build up a stash, these sets from D&H and Magpul are sure to be yours if you want them. Best of all, they come in one great big package at a price you can afford.

Bottom Line

You get ten each of probably two of the best magazines on the market. How can you not love a deal like that? If you want additional magazines to get you through any kind of application, these might be all you need. Just buy these at one affordable price and you’ll be all set for a long time.

6. D&H 5.56 30-RD Magazine (5 Mags) & 100 Rounds of Federal 55-Gr XM193 5.56 NATO


  • Very Reliable and Proper Feeding
  • Works With Almost All Kinds of 5.56 NATO Rounds
  • Extra Magazines Are an Added Convenience in Case One of Your Other Mags Decides to Malfunction


  • Mags May Be Too Tight to Fit in Some M16 Rifles

Next on the list, we’ll be sticking with the D&H brand to review their 5.56 30-Round Magazine. In fact, this is more of a package deal that consists of five magazines. Along with these are 100 rounds of Federal 55-grain XM193 5.56 NATO rounds.

So you’re killing two birds with one stone by getting this package deal. And it’s the best deal you can possibly get while on a budget. So if you’re looking for reliable options with additional rounds, why not take advantage of this package deal while you still can?

The are made from high-quality polymer that will withstand all kinds of damage and abuse. If these fall on the ground, they won’t break. These are available with anti-tilt yellow or Magpul green followers for easier reloading.

If you’re looking for magazines you can keep around as extras so you won’t have to buy additional ones separately, you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of this special package deal that PSA has put together. Who would say no to that?

Bottom Line

If you’re on a budget, then you probably will have a hard time saying no to a package deal like this. Extra magazines with rounds already included? Yes, this is not a dream. This is what you get if you choose to go with this set. You’re already addressing the need of finding additional magazines.

Plus, you know what kind of rounds you need once you go through the first 100 rounds. Even if you’re not a fan of Federal rounds, you can be confident in knowing they also work with all kinds of 5.56 NATO rounds. If you’re looking for a package deal that will have you set for quite a while, then the D&H 30 round magazine package deal is exactly what you’ll need.


Finding the best M16 magazine may not take as long as you think. If you choose one of the six products featured above (or even one of the package deals), you’ll have one that is reliable, super strong, and guaranteed to give you better jam-free shooting whenever you use them.

Don’t forget to buy as many as you need, since one just won’t be enough for every intent or purpose. Plus, with extra magazines, you never know when they’ll come in handy. 

Looking for more M16 buyer guides? Read them here.

Michael Lutes

Michael Lutes is the managing editor and owner at Gun Mann. He is a veteran, gun enthusiast, 3 gun competitor, and 2a advocate. Mike has a passion for innovation and education across the industry to create great content, training, and insights from the best and brightest.

Leave a Comment