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Review: Brownell's high-capacity AR-15 magazines

By Stephen Dukes

Having been in business since 1939, Brownells has earned the reputation for being the world's largest supplier of factory gun parts, gunsmithing tools, equipment and firearms accessories. Therefore, it was no surprise when they announced that they had entered into a contract to supply the US military with more than 336,000 high capacity 30 round magazines for their M-16 and M-4 rifles.

Brownell's has been producing high capacity magazines for M-16/AR-15 rifles for civilian or law enforcement purchase since 2004. The high capacity 20 and 30 round magazines are constructed of heat-treated aluminum and are mil spec hard coat anodized with a dry-lube coating. They feature the improved MIL-STD green colored polymer followers, which have proven to aid in more reliable feeding. Interestingly, they are offered with the option of two different types of springs. One option is the chrome silicone spring, which according to Brownell's offers greater resistance to retaining a memory and is more durable than the MIL-STD spring. If you prefer, the magazines are also available with a MIL-STD stainless steel spring.

When Brownells decided to start producing high capacity AR-15 magazines, their primary goal was to manufacture the most reliable magazines available. They simply refused put the Brownells name on a product that didn't set the standard for the rest of the industry.

I recently had the occasion to test some of Brownells high capacity 20 and 30 round magazines. I used the magazines in three different brands of AR-15's with several different types of ammunition, and experienced no malfunctions so I decided to throw a curve ball at them. My police department purchased several AR-15's a few years ago and had a problem with them feeding a particular hollowpoint round. What the heck, I figured I'd try the same bullet/firearm combo with the Brownells magazines. These rounds would not feed properly with the gun manufacturer's own magazines, but the Brownells mags fed them without any trouble. I have been so impressed with the performance of the Brownells magazines that I carry them in my departmentally-issued patrol rifle. As with all of the products Brownells sells, the company guarantees 100 percent customer satisfaction on its high capacity AR-15 magazines. If they don't meet your standards, send them back for a full refund or exchange.

If you are in the market for an outstanding quality AR-15 magazine at a very good price, I highly recommend Brownells High Capacity AR-15 magazines.

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