FN Herstal Firearms banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all. First post! Thank you all for great contributions to this forum. I bought a SCAR 16s FDE with Eotech EXPS3 and have it waiting for me to pick up this weekend. I am looking foreword to learning and sharing more about my SCAR here. My apologies for the essay in advance. I prefer to be thorough.

First off, I know there are numerous threads on magazines and the various issues for the 16s but some of the information out of date, incorrect, misleading, or unsubstantiated. Further, most posts focus on one or 2 types of mags but I thought it might be nice to have a comprehensive review of aftermarket magazine options, potential issues on current models, required fixes and side by side comparisons. The stickied post Check all your mags, especially PMAGS, but check all mags!! had some great tips on PMAGs and a select few additional magazines but I think it would be nice to build a more comprehensive knowledge-base of all potential options here.

My understanding of aftermarket Polymer options for the SCAR 16s and the associated issues/ fixes is as follows:
*Please note that I am speaking from my internet research and not practical experience. I know the internet is never wrong but I am extremely fallible.


  • PMAG M2s.
    • Should never be used stock.
    • Simple fix with a dremel or file.
    • Great photo of issues in that first post
    • Pros: cheap, widely available, plenty of color options, window available in variety of colors
    • Cons: needs to be modified to operate SCAR w/o causing damage to the bolt group
    • Bottom line: If there is not a polymer option available in a variety of finishes that does not require modification this seems like a solid option given the popularity of the magazine and the wealth of knowledge and tutorials available on the modification procedure.
      • EMAGs, while rumored to work with the SCAR, have the same issue. Don't be mislead by the marketing language on the Magpul website.
  • PMAG M3.
    • Supposedly works.
    • Anyone with actual experience?
    • Can someone post a photo of what Magpul did to fix the issues (side by side with unmodified M2 or with SCAR factor Mag, or an unmodified M3 properly seated)?
    • Pros: A Magpul that supposedly works with a SCAR?
    • Cons: Currently only available in black, limited supply
    • Bottom line: There is too much unsubstantiated information on this mag. I need to know more and see pictures.
  • Lancer L5 AWM.
    • Should never be used stock.
    • Can fix bolt catch issues with dremel "but because of the follower design, the follower can get pushed out of the way and fail to lock the bolt open." -Strongbow
    • Anyone with a picture of a modified L5 AWM or a side by side with a factory FN mag?
    • Pros: Available in numerous configurations, translucent option, different colors and capacities
    • Cons: Needs to be modified to function, still may not function after bolt catch modification.
    • Bottom line: I view this Mag as bad purchase decision given the fact that it needs to be modified and still might have additional problems after the fact. If choosing a mag that requires modification to the bolt catch, I am more apt to opt for a Pmag M2 based on current information.
  • Tango Down ARC MAGs.
    • TD designs parts specifically for the SCAR but the current production version of this Mag is rumored to have issues dropping free on the civilian 16s* However this information is from 2010.
    • Does anyone have experience with this mag?
    • If you have had issues dropping free did filing it work. Which sides appear to be the problem...picture?
    • Pros: Available, multiple color options. metal upper part of the mag, easy to clean, great brand, designed for and tested on SCAR by factory
    • Cons: Might have a drop issue due variation in opening in the civilian 16s magwell that deviates from the more consistent milspec model.
    • Bottom line: TD makes quality gear specifically for the SCAR (already have stubby on order). I would be surprised if TD and FNH have not ironed out this issue by now. This is the mag I am leaning towards at least trying. Worst case, I am sure they will allow a return (See old 2010 post below).
I have listed the most popular magazines that I have come across. I naturally shied away from metal mags because I prefer the price, the durability (minus certain chemical reactions), look, and feel of the polymer mags. Also, given the plethora of filing and dremeling happening, I am nervous to invest in a piece of metal that could cause damage to my rifle and prove more difficult to modify. I could be off-base here and would not mind hearing some non-polymer options as well. Let me know what you have and if there are any issues (after thorough inspection not speculation or limited use). Pictures of after market metal mags to prove the absence of the aforementioned bolt-catch issues would be a plus....anyone have a solid closeup pic of a Bronwell?

If I missed any obvious contributions please add to the list but be sure to provide a comprehensive review : )

- ImUrBoyBlue

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*We [Tango Down] made a small change to the mag upper which has been a problem in about 20% of the SCAR rifles out there. We have done dimensional inspections of about 20 commercial lowers and we feel that FN is having trouble controlling the shrinkage in the lowers ,so the combination of our very minor change and excess shrinkage is the problem.


My personal SCAR (commercial) will not drop Colt 20 round mags free, and is sticky with NHMG mags also. Oddly enough this is ONLY a problem in the commercial guns. We have SOCOM MIL lowers at our shop that we use to check fit and they drop free without and issue...in fact they seem loose. And we have never had a single Mil-operator complain about dropping free.


If you would like to return you mags just let me know.


Thank you,


Todd Smith
TangoDown, Inc.
[email protected]

- AR15 Forum 5/6/2010
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
What is the issue with Lancers? Seller gaveme two new in the wrapper 30 rounders and they work 100% fine and don't cause the bolt catch to ride up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Lancer AWMs do not cause any issue, good to go out of thr box. Gen3 pmags were built to work for the scar 16s yet many report still needing to file them down a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
The MOST popular magazines for the 16 are good old GI aluminum magazines. They are inexpensive, reliable, and share few of the issues listed above. I have tested numerous plastic magazine options over the years, specifically Magpul, Tango Down, Troy...and several metal magazine options such as Fusil, Mako, and factory steel FN SCAR magazines. All have had issues arise except for the factory steel SCAR magazines and GI magazines. Funny how those are exactly the TWO magazines the SCAR was designed to use.

Issues I have personally experienced:

Magpul. I started out as a fanboy buy buying a bunch of P-mags, and a "twinkie, twinkie, cupcake, secondary mag T-shirt (If you don't know what this is then you aren't a fanboy). Of course they all take "dremel" modifications even though they are advertised as SCAR compatable. Even the E-Mags, which are also advertised as SCAR compatible need to be ground on to even get them to NOT damage the rifle. I also experienced on cracked feed lip after a few years of use. Plus, P-Mags due to thier fat base plates which extend beyond the width of the body of the magazine create a tolerance stack-up that inhibits magazine deployment. These issues result in a "no-go" magazine for me, and I have since matured and given up the fan-boy lifestyle reguardless of how awesome Chris Costa's beard may be.

Tango Down ARC. As previously stated, these were supposed to be designed to work in the SCAR from the ground up. I have been impressed with other TD products so wanted to give these a try. I initially bought 3, and had failure to drop free on all 3. TD replaced all 3 free of charge and sent me new ones. These "new" 3 experienced failure to lock the bolt back when empty. Again, TD replaced them with the latest, greatest newest models at the time (which was about 2 years ago). I have still have them and they seem to be working ok...but after the first two bad experiences I haven't really tested them much. They are NOT easy to clean, as you cannot really disassemble them, just rinse with water and hope they dry out.

Lancers. I have no experience with these.

TROY
. These had promise. Were supposed to fix alot of the issues with the above plastic magazines. Could be easily disassembled (as opposed to the TD ARC mag). They had flat bodies that did not flare and were not oversized. I ran these for a while with pretty good results and had about 8 or so in my training rotation. Then an issue surfaced. When going prone, and placing weight on the magazine on a hard surface (like concrete) I could experience a failure to feed. Not every time, but it could happen about once in a magazine, and happened in all my Troy mags. This issue however could not be recreated in an AR15...only the SCAR. All 8 of my Troy mags now have a good home with my fellow AR15 shooters.

Fusils . These probably aren't out there anymore. They were designed with stainless steel and were heavy. They had sharp edges. They worked pretty good, but the feed lips were unsupported and would dent if dropped on concrete rendering them useless. This happened to me a couple of times, and they have since been retired. The followers would also tilt, althought I never had a failure to feed.

Mako. Made in Israel these came out during one of the Obama scares and were available when others magazines weren't. At about $15 each I picked up a few for testing. I think I still have one in my rotation. Many AR owners complained of issues, often related to the magazines not dropping free. These are steel, and heavy. Have anti-tilt followers and all components are proprietary. Mine have been okay in the SCAR but are nothing special.

Fn SCAR magazine PN 98880. These are REAL Scar 16 magazines and are available from FN. The bodies are stainless steel and have anti-tilt followers. They are a proprietary design. They are a bit heavy, but work every time 100%. They are IMO the highest quality magazine for the Mk16. The extra weight helps an empty magazine drop free, and I don't think I have ever had a failure of any kind with these. However they are super expensive...$25-$30 each. The cost is the reason I don't have more.

Good Old GI magazine for $10.
And here we are, at the end of a journey and the most available, least expensive, and completely untrendy magazine is my go-to. These are the nemesis of cool, actually made by "the man" but by God they work. These are boringly reliable. Basically unchanged in design since the early 70's...sans followers (just upgrade to magpul followers for $2 each if you want the best) these continue to be issued to our troops. I have about 40 in my rotation and use them constantly. They get abused, ran suppressed, most of the followers are black from fouling and some have mud inside the feed lips. They don't need a dremel to work, they drop free, they hold the bolt open...They are light, inexpensive, easy to clean. But be aware, these are your daddy's magazines. They are a republican's magazine. They are a working man's magazine. They are not gonna make you the envy of college boys that drive around in the new prius. The kid in tortorse shell glasses sitting in his pajammas drinking a latte is not gonna friend you on instagram. That's just how it is.


 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
687 Posts
PMAG M3.

  • Supposedly works.
  • Anyone with actual experience?
I can say that all of the Gen3 PMags I own work just fine in both my SCAR 16s. Yes, I've checked each and every one with both rifles. I know some people report otherwise. My only thought on that is that perhaps not all Gen3 PMags are created equal. Perhaps when they were produced is a factor? Mine are all fairly recent purchases, within the last four to five months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Pmag gen M2 and emag both require dremeling, as their geometry at the rear is identical. The Pmag M3 has a more vertical notch on the rear of the magazine, which reduces the lift on the bolt hold lever prior to the magazine becoming empty (at which point the follower lifts the lever).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Pmag gen M2 and emag both require dremeling, as their geometry at the rear is identical. The Pmag M3 has a more vertical notch on the rear of the magazine, which reduces the lift on the bolt hold lever prior to the magazine becoming empty (at which point the follower lifts the lever).
Note, I did slightly shave the left side of my pmag M3s. Not nearly as much material had to be removed as on the M2s, just a thin slice with an xacto knife with the M3s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts

Good Old GI magazine for $10.
And here we are, at the end of a journey and the most available, least expensive, and completely untrendy magazine is my go-to. These are the nemesis of cool, actually made by "the man" but by God they work. These are boringly reliable. Basically unchanged in design since the early 70's...sans followers (just upgrade to magpul followers for $2 each if you want the best) these continue to be issued to our troops. I have about 40 in my rotation and use them constantly. They get abused, ran suppressed, most of the followers are black from fouling and some have mud inside the feed lips. They don't need a dremel to work, they drop free, they hold the bolt open...They are light, inexpensive, easy to clean. But be aware, these are your daddy's magazines. They are a republican's magazine. They are a working man's magazine. They are not gonna make you the envy of college boys that drive around in the new prius. The kid in tortorse shell glasses sitting in his pajammas drinking a latte is not gonna friend you on instagram. That's just how it is.


LOLOL Nicely put.

I use cheap STANAG spec aluminum mags also. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,618 Posts
+1 for cheapo uncle Sam specials. New followers and they are good to go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 00stormbringer

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,512 Posts
Another big +1 for plain ol' aluminum mags. I have a good number of D&H and Brownells mags and they simply do what they are supposed to do and do it well.

I will say I have a few of the Lancer L5 AWM mags and they have no issues. The older L5 do require modification, I believe. I have some but haven't tried them with the SCAR.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
Fn SCAR magazine PN 98880.

Good Old GI magazine for $10

My go to solution as well. Still have PMAGs to beat, but I'm back to metal 20s and 30s.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top