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Steel Colt AR15 Magazines?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sks39, Feb 22, 2018.

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  1. Sks39

    Sks39 Member

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    I went to a local store today and seen a steel 30 round AR15 mag that said it was a Colt. Did Colt make a 30 round steel magazine? If so were they reliable? If they were Im going back to get them. Thank
     
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  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Colt had aluminum mags with steel baseplate.. you sure they weren't C-products? C-products are good to go.

    There were some steel mags imported during the ban that had COLT stamped on the baseplate that were NOT Colt mfg. They are considered junk.
     
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  3. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Member

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    There were a number of contracts issued for mags during the life cycle of the weapon. I have never seen a steel one and I would assume they are after market as the drawings for the M16 have a aluminum call out for gov't contracts unless something has changed. Now there have been several revisions on the followers for M16 mag, first aluminum and I think they are on the third revision for plastic followers now.
     
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  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have a couple of the 30-rounders that I bought years ago that are steel-bodied. They weren't from the usual gov't contractor types (O-Kay, Center Industries, etc) they are unmarked on the sides and floorplates.

    I don't recall any issues with them, they have been as reliable as any of the aluminum contract ones I have.
     
  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I have several of the 30-round Heckler and Koch (HK516) mags- steel body and follower. There seems to be some hate out there on the Interweb for these, but mine have never been anything but reliable. Of course, I always download my 30s to 25 rounds, not sure if it makes a difference here.

    Strangely, I just bought what appears to be a new-production "knockoff" HK516 magazine. All steel, very nicely finished, it appears to be identical- maybe even stamped on the same machinery, but the markings are slightly different and there are no manufacturer's marks. Bought it at a gun show, the seller didn't remember where he got it. Can't wait to try it- it seems to be very high quality.

    The new Florida made C-products steel mags are supposed to be pretty good, though I haven't tried them myself. They still use plastic followers though. I need to get my hands on one- maybe I should stop by the plant, its right around the corner from where I work......

    Interestingly, Barrett makes an an amazingly nice all-steel 30-rounder for their 6.8mm ARs...but they just use PMAGs for their factory 5.56 guns.
     
  6. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    never seen it, but I have seen aluminum NHMTG made mags with legit Colt markings -these were made for Colt- labeled steel by gunshops, and have been told they are steel by a few employees, though they are not. C products are steel as stated, but I have several, and none reliably lock the bolt back, and none of them hold more than 19 rounds (they are 20 round straight mags), but they feed perfectly. As far as I know Colt does not make magazines.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Not Colt, just some old ones i sold. 5 AR 223 mags.JPG AR 223 Mags 5.JPG
     
  8. Sks39

    Sks39 Member

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    The ones in question their floor plates say Colt industries on them if that helps. I believe the follower was plastic.
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    SKs39

    All of my Colt 20 and 30 round mags are made of aluminum and have the following stamped on the bottom of each baseplate:

    Colt AR-15
    Rampant Colt trademark in a circle to the left/ Cal. 5.56 mm. or else Cal. .223 on the right
    Colt's Pt. F.A. Mfg. Co. Inc.
    Hartford, Conn U.S.A.
     
  10. Sks39

    Sks39 Member

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    Thank you, at this point I'm thinking they are fakes.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have seen other pistol magazines supposedly made by Colt (typically they just have Colt stamped on the baseplate), but if they don't have that little Rampant Pony logo on them I don't believe they're the genuine article.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    From the books I have read, at the time of the adoption of the M14, the Infantry school did not want magazines because they had gotten used to the enblock Garand clips. The Infantry school, in 1952, wrote a memorandum to the Chief of Army Field forces recommending the elimination of 20 round box magazines for any service rifle. Any and all service rifles! You can find this on page 65 of The FAL Rifle and page 119 of US Rifle M14 from John Garand to the M21 The user declared that box magazines weighed too much, had limited durability, and caused battle field loading problems, might have been too expensive, etc, etc. The basic problem was that box magazine was not an enblock Garand clip.

    The user, if you ever meet and talk requirements, the Infantry likes what it has, wants something better but only a little different, and totally rejects revolutionary change. A box magazine was too much change.

    Reviewing early M14 literature and training tapes, the developer installed a stripper clip slot on the top of the rifle, and the magazine was called "semi detachable".

    UkZyI5E.jpg

    I saw familiarization films showing the loading of the "semi detachable magazine" with stripper clips in the rifle. I have tried this, and it is a thumb buster. When the M14 was introduced to civilian target shooters at Camp Perry, they were required to load the thing with stripper clips during the rapid fire sequences. All of the written reports indicate how difficult that was. I never saw anyone ever reloading a M1a with stripper clips, through the top of the rifle, everyone dropped the magazine, and put a fresh one in the magazine well.

    Stoner had to have heard it all, wanted to keep the user happy, and he designed his magazines to be cheap, light, and early literature called them disposable. The Infantry got what it wanted, except for the part about the magazine being unreliable, because cheap, lightweight, aluminum magazines have lip spreading issues. I think I saw a steel AR15 magazine, a bud was selling the thing but I did not want it. It must be a real trick to make a steel magazine that fits within the receiver envelope of the AR15, because you don't see the things around. The only Colt magazines I have seen are aluminum 20 round and 30 round.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  13. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    OK now I see the edit.. I've seen numerous references to the original magazines for the M-16 being 'disposable'.
     
  14. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Member

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    When I was cranking up the M16A1E1 testing we were looking for the machine rest test fixture that had not been used in years and were digging through a warehouse and I found a box of 20 round mags that had the most incredible wear on them ( like post 7 above top left mag) except they just had traces of black in the grooves.

    The most amazing thing was that looking at the inside front rib there were indentations where every bullet nose had impacted the plate and the plates were deformed at those spots. There must have been 500 mags in that box, maybe 800. I could not believe the wear on them and yet they were not disposed of. One of the older test directors told me the original M16s were subjected to million round testing and those must have been the original ones and rotated through several million round tests. I inspected maybe a dozen of them for the normal mag failures and I did not see one I would not have used myself.

    I think I had about 20 mags all numbered and those 30 round mags fed 244,000 rounds of ammo and I think I dead-lined one because the same mag had caused malfunctions in more than one rifle. Might have been two but as malfunctions occur the mag number and the round position in the mag was recorded and when the same mag number and same stoppage showed up in one or two more rifles the malfunction designation was changed from a failure of the rifle to a failure of the magazine. Thus the rifle was not designated as the failure initiator.
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The Military always fiddles with its failure definition and scoring criteria to ensure the favored test article passes. It is my recollection that when the M4/M16 was sand tested against several other rifles, including the just canceled HK rifles, all the magazine failures of the M4 were counted as "one". Turns out the magazine was the least reliable part of the rifle and if you counted all the M4 magazine failures, as failures, the M4 would have been shown to the be the least reliable of the rifles tested. However, lumping all the incidents of magazine failures to count as "one", well, guess what, the M4 was not that bad after all....
     
  16. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I have friends that use steel AR mags, I really don’t care for them. The reason I don’t care for them is the possibility of extra wear to the mag well.
     
  17. GAF

    GAF Member

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    I have some steel bodied AR 15 magazines that are made in South Korea.
    The one I have taken out of the package and use has not given me any trouble.
    None of them say Colt on them.
     
  18. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    More than that. While I was in I saw black, green, and yellow followers. Toward the end of my contract, units were ordering Magpul 4-way anti-tilt followers that were either brown or yellow. The Magpul followers reduced many common magazine related problems. And very worth the pain installing. I separated with 7 older magazines the Army didn't want back. I picked up the Magpul followers from Bass Pro and put them in well after I hung up my uniform.
     
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  19. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Only Colt branded steel AR mag is for the 9mm variant.
     
  20. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Steel AR-15 magazines have definitely been around for quite some time now, though I'm not sure who the primary manufacturers of these magazines are.

    I bought some in the late 1990's at a gun show (during the ban years), and did so because they seemed like they'd be more durable than aluminum magazines (this was long before the P-Mag came on the scene, which is what I use now).

    The magazines seem durable, are noticeably heavier than aluminum ones, and have a sticker on the side of the magazine body that says "England". The baseplate isn't marked at all, and there are no other markings on the magazine. They don't have the modern no-tilt followers, just a black plastic follower. I seem to recall that they functioned fine, but I honestly haven't used them in quite a few years. I'll have to take them out to the range sometime just to compare them to some of my magazines that are in current use.
     
  21. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Contributing Member

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    The folks at ar15.com are my resource for all things AR. Their mag info is found here: https://www.ar15.com/forums/AR-15/Magazines/17/ IIRC Stirling made a steel mag, but there may have been other UK sources as well.

    In light of my experience with Pmag, Lancer, ETS and others, steel's an answer to a question I never asked.
     
  22. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I'm not aware of any Colt steel AR/M-16 mags. Steel mags are usually from ...

    - H&K
    - Domestic companies in the US like ASC and C-Products.
    - The UK manufactured mags for their SA80 (Radway Green, Imperial and Royal Ordinance).
    - UK contract mags manufactured for Singapore and marked as such on the base plate (Singapore may have made their own mags after that further confusing people running across 'Singapore' marked mags).
    - Israel (E-Lander).
    - Korea.
     
  23. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    English made steel AR-15 that were available here some years ago.
     
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