Unless you've been living under a rock the past year or so, you know that aftermarket parts maker and polymer wizards Mission First Tactical have released their new set of polymer magazines.
Before we go out and knock these mags around, we'll take a look the feature set these mags bring to the table. First impressions of the system are very positive. The magazine has a slimmer profile than other magazines on the market, and feel good in the hand due to this. The magazine feels lighter overall as well when compared to other polymer magazines on the market, such as the Lancer L5 AWM and the Magpul PMAG.
A lot of questions have been asked about the stippling on these magazines, as they are the first big-name mags to come with stippling as standard. The short answer to "how aggressive is the stippling?" is that if you have held a MFT grip, you've felt the stippling. It's the same texture that is on their pistol and vertical grips. It feels just right on the magazines, not too aggressive, not too subtle, and provides a positive grip with both gloves and bare hands. Many shooters modify their mags with grip tape, these stippled areas make grip tape unnecessary with the MFT magazines.
The MFT mags use an anti-tilt follower, which is a bit shorter and thinner than the Magpul Generation 3 PMAG follower. It slides smoothly through the body of the magazine, and does not tilt or bind. Its smaller overall size adds the the lighter feel of the magazine.The spring is captured by the follower so that removal of the floorplate or internals does not launch the follower across the room.
The follower stacks to the right like most modern designs. The follower and spring allow for a full 30 rounds to be loaded, and the magazine to be seated on a closed bolt, even on rifles with a tight fitting magwell. The magazine will actually accommodate 31 rounds, a testament to the generous relief MFT provided in the magazine.
MFT's new mags are constructed of the same durable DuPont polymer the rest of their polymer products. I have been testing MFT gear since 2011, and have had zero concerns or issues with their polymers bending or breaking. I would put them in the class of Magpul or LaRue quality. The magazine spine has a deep cutout to positively engage the bolt catch. The exterior ribs are lower profile than the PMAG, with the stippling making up for the lower profile by providing a large area of positive grip.
MFT provides a flared floorplate for positive extraction from pouches. In execution, this floorplate is narrower than other current polymer magazine designs. This still allows the operator extra purchase when pulling the magazine from a pouch, but also reduces the potential for the magazines to "stick" together by the floorplates when stored in tight double and triple pouches.
The floorplate also features a small dot matrix field for marking with a paint pen. This is a nice feature, as it allows the operator to assess their magazine load looking "top down" into their pouches or gear. The floorplate is captured by two tabs of the lock plate that protrude through the floorplate. The forward hole for the tabs is slightly elongated. This is a clever design that allows the operator to begin to slide the floorplate off, while the longer notch captures the lock plate, allowing it to be depressed prior to complete removal of the floorplate. This stops the lock plate from popping out of the magazine body under spring tension. The floorplate also has two drain holes, one located at the front and back of the plate to allow water and other liquids to pass through the magazine without pooling in the body of the magazine.
After running hundreds of rounds through these magazines, dropping them into the dirt, kicking them around, dropping things on them, and generally abusing them, I have to say that they run great. Using them in several different carbines and AR pistols, as well as .300BLK rifles, the magazines have never missed a beat. The texture on their sides makes them easy to pull from a pouch without grip tape, and they are slimmer than many other designs on the market.
Takedown is a breeze with the enhanced floor plate, and the magazines have proven reliable even when dirty, muddy, and wet.
If you are looking for a reliable polymer magazine, I would give good look at MFT's offerings. They hold up just as well as other popular brands, and feed reliably while bringing an expanded feature set. Their FDE is very close to the Magpul color for those who like a little tan in their life.
I've been very impressed since running these magazines, personally I put them up there with Magpul's offerings.
Get your own here.