Fixing AR-15 Magazine Issues

The magazine is critical to any self-loading firearm and the AR-15 is a very popular self-loading rifle. Here’s how to maintain yours and your customers.

by RK Campbell

A few years ago at iiGun Tests magazine we did an exhaustive test of AR-15 magazines. This included soaking magazines in water and mud, throwing loaded magazines a distance, and running over them with a vehicle. I learned a great deal about magazines. Some highly touted magazines were made to sell, not function in a harsh environment while others cracked and failed. Interestingly enough, feed issues were few. Load and insert the magazine and they ran; it was hard use that did them in. The tests began with a properly lubricated AR-15 rifle. Loading was done with the bolt locked to the rear and a loaded magazine inserted, then the bolt was released.

I went back and consulted this test and the original text recently when a good friend had problems with feeding issues with his AR-15. This wasn’t a cheap rifle but among the best manufactured. I checked my notes and found that, strangely enough, most issues occurred with high end rifles. The cheaper rifles may not be accurate and the buttstock may rattle but they accept just about any old magazine and function. I suppose loose tolerances are at play. Still, this isn’t a definitive conclusion. It was time to delve more deeply into the problem.

The rifle itself must be…

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