Polymer vs. Steel vs. Aluminum Magazines

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Deciding what type of gun magazine you want to use can be a difficult process. With so many options available on the market, it can be hard to tell what will be the best fit for your needs. We will look at polymer vs. steel vs. aluminum magazines to determine what their benefits are so you can make an informed decision.

Polymer Magazines

Polymer magazines have been growing in popularity over the last 15 years. This is thanks to polymer magazines being lighter, being more cost-effective, and having additional features some metal magazines don't have. When you buy a new rifle, many manufacturers include a polymer magazine thanks to their comparatively low price point. One of the greatest advantages polymer magazines have over metal magazines is the construction of their feed lips. Feed lips are the weakest point on any magazine, but also the most important part when it comes to feeding a bolt to the chamber. While steel feed lips are able to stand up to greater damage, they can deform over time, making it hard to tell when your magazine won't reliably feed bolts into the chamber. Because polymer feed lips are elastic, they will either return to their proper shape or break entirely, meaning you will know whether or not you need to discard your magazine.

Steel Magazines

One of the greatest benefits of steel magazines is their durability. When dropped on the ground, steel magazines are able to stand up to the shock better than aluminum or polymer magazines. Because their feed lips are made from steel, they are less likely to break and cause jamming issues. Their increased durability can sometimes work against them, though. Deformed feed lips can be difficult to spot and can lead to issues when trying to load your gun.

Aluminum Magazines

Aluminum magazines carry the same benefits of steel magazines, but their feed lips can be weaker than even steel or polymer. Feed lips on aluminum magazines are prone to breaking off or bending, making your magazine completely unusable.

Before choosing any magazine, be sure you know what is the recommended type for the firearm you are using.



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