Are you currently looking for the best magazines for your AR-10? If so, you’ve come to the right place. That’s because we’re going to talk about the top three best AR-10 magazines that the market has to offer this year.
Best Budget Pick: Magpul AR-10 .308 M3 PMAG
If you are looking for an inexpensive, lightweight, and yet durable polymer magazine for your AR-10, you would be ill-advised to ignore the Magpul M3 PMAG. One of the most popular choices for an AR magazine in general, the PMAG also comes with a robust anti-tilt follower and quality non-slip texturing.
Best Value Pick: D&H Industries AR-10 308 Magazine
The D&H Industries AR-10 308 magazine is an overall excellent value. It’s built out of very durable and tough steel and drops freely once you hit the magazine release button. It comes equipped with either a bright orange or green follower that instantly signals to you once the magazine has run empty. The stainless steel spring behind the follower also helps to ensure proper feeding into your weapon.
Best Overall Pick: Lancer Systems AR 308 Magazine
The Lancer Systems AR 308 magazine comes with a very durable and lightweight polymer body construction with the addition of stainless steel feed lips to ensure longevity and proper round alignment. While admittedly pricey, there’s also no question that Lancer produces some of the very best AR magazines on the market today.
A high quality magazine is just as important as a high quality firearm. That’s because even the most reliable guns can suffer from feeding issues if there are any problems with the magazine itself. The AR-platform is no exception.
Ultimately, investing in good magazines for your AR-10 is imperative to ensuring proper overall function. In this article, we’ll dive into the merits of the AR-10 rifle, the top qualities to look for in an AR-10 magazine, the number of magazines that you would be wise to stockpile. and then we’ll take a look at our choices for the top three best AR-10 magazines on the market today.
Why Go With The AR-10?
The AR-10, simply put, is one of the most versatile rifles that you can own today, and for more reasons than one.
The AR-10 is a larger version of the AR-15. Contrary to what many people think, it was actually the AR-15 that was born out of the AR-15, and not the other way around. The AR-10 is designed to fire larger rounds than the AR-15, including .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor. Even though many components are interchangeable between the AR-10 and the AR-15, several are not, including the magazines.
The reason that the AR-10 is so versatile is because it simply fulfills so many functions that you need a rifle for, to the point that it could be reasonably argued that the AR-10 is the one rifle to have if you could only have one. As a semi-automatic rifle that fires larger centerfire rifle rounds such as .308, the AR-10 can be used for both big game hunting and for tactical purposes.
Calibers such as .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor can drop anything in North America, and they also have excellent long range capabilities. Intermediate rifle rounds for the AR-15, such as the 5.56x45mm NATO, are too light for larger game such as elk or moose, and also lack the effectiveness at long ranges that .308 or the 6.5 Creedmoor has.
And due to the fact that it’s a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable box magazine, the AR-10 can still be used for most tactical uses, and even for home defense if necessary.
Further adding to the versatility of the AR-10 is the fact that it’s very easy to customize. In fact, the AR is one of the most customizable firearms in history, to the point that you can just buy different components and put them together to build a unique rifle on your own. You can either pick all parts separately or look into AR-10 build kits.
This is not to say that the AR-10 has no disadvantages. It is larger and heavier than the AR-15, and therefore not as wieldy in tight conditions. The .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor rounds can also be excessive for home defense purposes, and a lighter round such as 9mm or 5.56 may be more desirable. The calibers the AR-10 is chambered for are also usually more expensive than the smaller AR-15 calibers.
But still, the AR-10 has excellent long range capabilities, its accurate, it can drop North American big game, and it can be used for tactical purposes. For these reasons, there is simply no denying that it is a highly practical and versatile rifle platform. There are honestly few other rifle platforms that can fulfill as many purposes and roles as the AR-10 can.
The AR-10 is also a very reliable rifle, and if anything, the reliability of the AR-10 has increased drastically over the last ten to fifteen years with most manufacturers (along with the AR platform as a whole, which a few decades ago was known for sometimes having reliability problems). But remember, having a quality rifle is only one part of ensuring reliability. Another big part of ensuring reliability is to invest in a good magazine.
A good magazine with a robust spring, anti-tilt follower, and firm feeding lips ensures that rounds can load reliably into the chamber of your AR-10. You can have the best and most expensive AR-10 on the planet, but if you pair it with poor quality magazines, you’re going to get poor reliability. This is why investing in quality magazines is so important.
Here’s one question you may have: how many magazines should you stockpile for your AR-10?
How Many Magazines Should You Stockpile For Your AR-10?
How many magazines are worth stockpiling for your AR-10? Well, let’s put it this way: you can never have too many magazines. But you can have too few.
In other words, there is no maximum number of magazines at which point you would be wise to stop stockpiling. But there is a minimum number that you should aim to reach – that number is six.
No, this does not mean that you need to have six magazines on you each time you use your AR-10. For most circumstances, you will only need one to three on you at once. But it’s a good idea to have spares in storage. Assuming that you have one magazine in the gun and two extras on your person, by having six magazines you will have a full replacement set ready to go.
But again, six is only the minimum ideal number. If at all possible, and if you can afford it, you would be very wise to stockpile more.
What you need to understand (if you don’t already) is that magazines are a commodity that may become more precious if economic and societal circumstances become worse. There is only a finite number of magazines in the world, and anything can happen that can cause you to lose them: they can become lost, stolen, damaged, or the springs can wear out.
This year in particular, we have witnessed a pandemic, social unrest, and a massive economic recession. The result is that firearms, ammunition, and magazines have been flying off the shelves at levels we’ve never before seen. Today, it’s much harder to find magazines than it ever has been before.
As a result, if anything were to happen to your existing magazines, it’s no longer guaranteed that you can go to the store or online to just order more to resupply yourself. Just as you should always have a steady supply of food, water, medicine, and other essential items on standby in your home, so you should have a steady supply of magazines as well.
The best strategy, in summary, is to treat magazines as a commodity and to stockpile as many of them as you can, just as you want to stockpile as much ammunition as you can as well. Aim to buy six magazines initially, and then add on to your stockpile gradually from there as you see fit. Remember, you can never truly have enough, so there’s no point at which you should tell yourself to quit adding onto your stockpile.
Just make sure that the magazines that you do buy are reliable and well made. With that in mind, we’ll next talk about the top features to look for in an AR-10 magazine.
Suggested read: We also covered AR-10 stocks. In this article we tell you everything you need to know in order to buy a stock that fits your needs.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best AR-10 Magazines
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new magazine for your AR-10:
Magazines these days can be made out of a wide variety of different materials, including polymer, aluminum, and steel, or a combination of those. For example, Lancer magazines use a polymer magazine with a steel follower and lips. Meanwhile, other magazines such as Magpul are made exclusively out of polymer with the exception of the spring. G.I. style magazines, meanwhile, are usually made out of 6061-T6 aluminum.
If your magazine has any metal components or is made entirely out of metal, it should also come with a high quality finish such as anodizing, Teflon, nitriding, or so on. Polymer components to a magazine will not need to have a finish, because they are already inherently rust and corrosion resistant. Besides an actual finish, another option is to go with a magazine that has a rust and corrosion resistant coating such as Cerakote or Duracoat.
Ease of Ejection
When you hit the magazine release button to your AR-10, the magazine should fall right out. You shouldn’t need to have to grab the magazine with your hand to yank it free. Allow the laws of gravity to take effect so the magazine just drops out freely on its own; this also frees up your hand to simultaneously grab a fresh magazine to reload while getting rid of the old one.
Spring and Anti-Tilt Follower
Each magazine should come with a good spring and anti-tilt follower in order to ensure reliable feeding. The spring should be made out of metal (such as stainless steel) and the follower should be made out of either polymer or aluminum. The spring needs to be robust so it should not wear out over time; a worn out spring is often the number one cause of failures from a magazine, in which case it will need to be replaced.
Last but not least, make sure that your magazine comes with a good texturing over the surface. The texturing should make it easy for you to grab onto the magazine, and it should also be non-slip so you can use it in wet conditions. If the magazine does not have a non-slip texture, the best alternative is for it to have a flared base that can make it easy for you to get a grasp over it too.
The Best AR-10 Magazines For 2020
Now that we’ve covered why you need to upgrade your AR-10 magazines, here are our choices for the top three best AR-10 magazines for 2020:
D&H Industries AR-10 308 Magazine
The D&H Industries AR-10 .308 is a solid choice for a steel AR-10 magazine. This is a tough little magazine that is designed to be used in rough or abrasive tactical missions. Steel magazines are heavier than polymer magazines and also admittedly more vulnerable to rust and corrosion, but they also are more rugged and tough.
Another big benefit to steel magazines is that because of their heavier construction, the laws of gravity allow them to drop more freely from the magazine well.
The ten round version of this magazine comes with a bright orange follower, while the twenty round addition has a green follower. Both are very easy to spot so you can quickly have a visual indicator that your magazine has run dry. The followers are both built out of high quality polymer with a durable steel spring to ensure proper feeding and reliability.
All in all, the D&H Industries AR-10 308 magazine is a solid and inexpensive choice for an AR-10 magazine thanks to its solid aluminum construction that is both strong and damage resistant. The bright orange or green follower is another welcome addition to signal to you when the magazine has run empty.
- Comes with an orange or green follower
- Solid steel construction
- SR-25 pattern
- Lack of witness holes
- A little heavy
Magpul AR-10 .308 M3 PMAG
The Magpul AR-10 .308 M3 PMAG is one of the most popular choices for an AR-10 magazine. In fact, if anything Magpul is the most common choice for an AR-platform magazine in general amongst the American shooting public. Beyond magazines, Magpul also manufacturers many other parts and accessories for the AR platform as well. In other words, they are a very reputable and trustworthy brand.
The Magpul M3 PMAG is built out of a very durable and lightweight polymer, and with the exception of the stainless steel spring that supports the quality follower. Some additions of the PMAG also come with a window installed so you can quickly see how many rounds are loaded into your magazine.
Additional features of the PMAG include a robust anti-tilt follower, a non-slip textured grip, and the fact that the base plates are interchangeable other Magpul manufactured base plates as well (including the Mag Pod, which is essentially a stabilization tool for when you are shooting in the prone position).
Overall, if you are looking for a lightweight and yet strong polymer magazine, the Magpul PMAG is one of your best choices. Widely available and easily affordable, you would be wise to have at least a few PMAGs in your AR-10 magazine collection.
- Easy to disassemble
- High quality polymer construction
- High quality anti-tilt follower
- Very lightweight
- Less likely to drop freely than a metal or aluminum magazine
Lancer Systems AR 308 Magazine
Lancer has established themselves as one of the primary competitors to Magpul in the AR magazine market. The Lancer magazines themselves are notable for having a durable and lightweight polymer build just like the Magpuls, but with the addition of stainless steel feeding lips.
These steel lips are designed to ensure that the rounds are aligned properly and feed reliably, while also ensuring good longevity as well.
Meanwhile, the polymer construction of the rest of the magazine is very lightweight and also very resilient against inclement weather or surface damage. Rusting is also not an issue with polymer either.
Lancer Magazines are among the more unique on the market due to their use of both polymer and stainless steel to craft a quality magazine. They may be expensive, but if you want a magazine that you know can likely last you for a lifetime of use, Lancer is a great way to go.
- Very reliable feeding thanks to the quality follower
- Has a stainless steel feeding lip
- High quality polymer build construction
- Very expensive for a magazine
Any one of the three magazines that we have covered here today will be a solid option for your AR-10. Alternatively, you can follow the buyer’s guide that we discussed earlier as well if you would like to continue your search beyond the three that we have covered here today.