Hi all. First post! Thank you all for great contributions to this forum. I bought a SCAR 16s FDE with Eotech EXPS3 and have it waiting for me to pick up this weekend. I am looking foreword to learning and sharing more about my SCAR here. My apologies for the essay in advance. I prefer to be thorough.
First off, I know there are numerous threads on magazines and the various issues for the 16s but some of the information out of date, incorrect, misleading, or unsubstantiated. Further, most posts focus on one or 2 types of mags but I thought it might be nice to have a comprehensive review of aftermarket magazine options, potential issues on current models, required fixes and side by side comparisons. The stickied post Check all your mags, especially PMAGS, but check all mags!! had some great tips on PMAGs and a select few additional magazines but I think it would be nice to build a more comprehensive knowledge-base of all potential options here.
My understanding of aftermarket Polymer options for the SCAR 16s and the associated issues/ fixes is as follows:
*Please note that I am speaking from my internet research and not practical experience. I know the internet is never wrong but I am extremely fallible.
- PMAG M2s.
- Should never be used stock.
- Simple fix with a dremel or file.
- Great photo of issues in that first post
- Pros: cheap, widely available, plenty of color options, window available in variety of colors
- Cons: needs to be modified to operate SCAR w/o causing damage to the bolt group
- Bottom line: If there is not a polymer option available in a variety of finishes that does not require modification this seems like a solid option given the popularity of the magazine and the wealth of knowledge and tutorials available on the modification procedure.
- EMAGs, while rumored to work with the SCAR, have the same issue. Don't be mislead by the marketing language on the Magpul website.
- PMAG M3.
- Supposedly works.
- Anyone with actual experience?
- Can someone post a photo of what Magpul did to fix the issues (side by side with unmodified M2 or with SCAR factor Mag, or an unmodified M3 properly seated)?
- Pros: A Magpul that supposedly works with a SCAR?
- Cons: Currently only available in black, limited supply
- Bottom line: There is too much unsubstantiated information on this mag. I need to know more and see pictures.
- Lancer L5 AWM.
- Should never be used stock.
- Can fix bolt catch issues with dremel "but because of the follower design, the follower can get pushed out of the way and fail to lock the bolt open." -Strongbow
- Anyone with a picture of a modified L5 AWM or a side by side with a factory FN mag?
- Pros: Available in numerous configurations, translucent option, different colors and capacities
- Cons: Needs to be modified to function, still may not function after bolt catch modification.
- Bottom line: I view this Mag as bad purchase decision given the fact that it needs to be modified and still might have additional problems after the fact. If choosing a mag that requires modification to the bolt catch, I am more apt to opt for a Pmag M2 based on current information.
- Tango Down ARC MAGs.
- TD designs parts specifically for the SCAR but the current production version of this Mag is rumored to have issues dropping free on the civilian 16s* However this information is from 2010.
- Does anyone have experience with this mag?
- If you have had issues dropping free did filing it work. Which sides appear to be the problem...picture?
- Pros: Available, multiple color options. metal upper part of the mag, easy to clean, great brand, designed for and tested on SCAR by factory
- Cons: Might have a drop issue due variation in opening in the civilian 16s magwell that deviates from the more consistent milspec model.
- Bottom line: TD makes quality gear specifically for the SCAR (already have stubby on order). I would be surprised if TD and FNH have not ironed out this issue by now. This is the mag I am leaning towards at least trying. Worst case, I am sure they will allow a return (See old 2010 post below).
I have listed the most popular magazines that I have come across. I naturally shied away from metal mags because I prefer the price, the durability (minus certain chemical reactions), look, and feel of the polymer mags. Also, given the plethora of filing and dremeling happening, I am nervous to invest in a piece of metal that could cause damage to my rifle and prove more difficult to modify. I could be off-base here and would not mind hearing some non-polymer options as well. Let me know what you have and if there are any issues (after thorough inspection not speculation or limited use). Pictures of after market metal mags to prove the absence of the aforementioned bolt-catch issues would be a plus....anyone have a solid closeup pic of a Bronwell?
If I missed any obvious contributions please add to the list but be sure to provide a comprehensive review : )
*We [Tango Down] made a small change to the mag upper which has been a problem in about 20% of the SCAR rifles out there. We have done dimensional inspections of about 20 commercial lowers and we feel that FN is having trouble controlling the shrinkage in the lowers ,so the combination of our very minor change and excess shrinkage is the problem.
My personal SCAR (commercial) will not drop Colt 20 round mags free, and is sticky with NHMG mags also. Oddly enough this is ONLY a problem in the commercial guns. We have SOCOM MIL lowers at our shop that we use to check fit and they drop free without and issue...in fact they seem loose. And we have never had a single Mil-operator complain about dropping free.
If you would like to return you mags just let me know.
- AR15 Forum 5/6/2010