Number Your Magazines

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I know this will be old hat to many, but not everyone will know about it.

    If you use an semi automatic pistol or rifle, consider numbering your magazines on the base.

    Many will go to the range with a few mags and while there may have some jams or feed problems. Others might not seat properly, failing to lock in place without a fiddle. By numbering the mags you will know if any in particular give you problems. If it's used for defence, you know which mags not to use.

    Whenever I had a magazine that gave repeated problems I used to bin it. Other options are to paint the base red and use it for mag change practice, some determined souls even used to fill them about a third with lead, to replicate the weight loaded.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2008
  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Fine idea, Tran. :)

    I have been IDing them by scratching a small mark in the side if it acts up. Numbering would certainly be easier.

    I only use Wilson Combat on the 1911s so they are always reliable. Have the most problems with large capacity mags for the Browning Hi-Power.

  3. That is indeed a good technique, Tranter, and one I have used for many years, especially with 1911 mags because I have so many of them. I normally mark an unobtrusive number on the bottom of the mag with a small brush and white appliance paint. It certainly helps weed out magazines that need to be retired or at least rebuilt.
  4. I have never numbered my pistol magazines, but have numbered the mags I use for service rifle competition for years. I don't number then in order(1, 2, 3, 4...) but by the number of rounds I need to load for each stage.

    For example, the rapid fire stages require firing two rounds, a magazine change and then firing eight rounds. I have two magazines that fall out of my AR's magazine well I use for the first two rounds and are marked with a 2. My reload magazines stick a bit but reliably feed and I have them marked with an 8. My single load magazine for the slow fire stages is marked with a 1.
  5. USMC...the fastest dropping mags I know of are steel H&K mags. Aside from being a good bit heavier than other brands they are also very reliable and tuff. I dunno if you've played with any. Only bad thing about 'em is the prices.
  6. Delta, I've never tried any H&K AR mags. I'll have to give them a try. Who carries them?

    The ones I'm using for rapid fires are old Colt 20 rounders. They work great for across the course shooting. Very reliable feeding and the shorter length makes it easier to use in the prone position.

    Of course I have a pile of 30-round issue aluminum mags from the 80's and 90's that followed me home somehow. Adventureline seems to be the best overall brand. Sanchez seems to give me the most trouble. I also have some old steel 20, 30 and 40 round mags made by Sterling that I kept when I traded off my AR-180. They work very well also.
  7. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Good information to pass on to those that didn't know.
  8. If you have a HK dealer around, the item # for the mags is 233614. Their website has dealer locations. To avoid confusion, they are magazines for the HK 416, which works in M16, M4, AR15 etc etc. Don't get 417 mags because they are not 5.56mm. I got mine left over from gov contract issue that were dropped off my hand reciept when I left, but I'd buy more if necessary.

    Midway USA has them for $50 each. Cheaperthandirt they are like $60. I really think a local HK dealer may get you a better deal.
  9. Thanks, there are at least a couple HK dealers around here that I know of.
  10. Anytime.

    I saw a guy this summer with a spanking new S&W M&P15 for a plinker and it would fail to feed any magazine except H&K's. Other mags were so light that recoil rocked them back enough to prevent the bolt carrier from hitting a new cartridge most times. Tightening the mag release didn't help. Putting in an M4 bolt still didn't work, so gas system wasn't the prob. Just needed a heavy duty mag....somebody recommended it after every other fault was eliminated. Problem isolated to just that rifle as far as I know...other M&P15's I saw so far shot fine. Anyways, the weight difference with those is quite a bit over other mags.
  11. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Phoenix, Az
    Good stuff and great ideas for all.
    I have done as Marlin. I have marked mine with an X on the side and keep them for my practice mags. I want to have failures during practice to cause me to have go through the failure drills. But once marked they are never reintroduced into my "ready" bag.
    The good thing about these failed mags is you never know when or if they will fail so the drills are actual/real when it happens.

    Stay safe, always.

  12. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    All the Butler Creek 10/22 25 rd. mags I purchased after the 2004 ban expired, I ended up marking "BAD"... because allll of them were... I wonder if Butler Creek would make good on those horrible mags? All of the one before the 1994 ban still work great!
  13. Last year I started having some problems with one of my semiauto pistols. My suspicion was a magazine problem so I started numbering the mags for that gun. Sure enough, all the feed problems were with the same magazine, so I rebuilt it (new spring, follower, etc.). Since then, I have numbered the mags for all my semis, rifle and pistol. I use a Sharpie silver felt tip marker; the number is on the bottom of each mag. If solvent or something starts affecting the number, I just clean it off, let it dry and then put the number back on. I decided against etching on the mags' sidewalls, firguring that's just another way to introduce a potential rust surface.
  14. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    All my mags have always been numbered.
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