Gear Review: Lancer L5 AWM (Advanced Warfighter Magazines)

Lancer designs magazines for law enforcement, military, and competition use; Three masters demanding perfection from one product. They have tried to design their magazines to suit all three uses, and in my opinion their previous generation magazines succeeded for all three consumers. But they didn’t stop there. The next generation Lancer magazine is here: the Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine. And it’s better than ever . . .

Magazines for the 5.56x45mm NATO platform were originally made of metal. They were a little heavy and clunky. The shooter couldn’t tell how much ammo they had left. Magpul’s polymer PMAGs were the first polymer AR magazines generally accepted by shooters and designed to address some of the issues metal mags had.

PMAGs had a couple of flaws relating to the all-polymer body. As I know from firsthand experience—JUST when I needed a fresh mag in a competition—the back of the PMAG magazine had a tendency to split. The magazine catch cutout could wear down with use, and the feed lips left something to be desired. The original Lancer magazines fixed the issue with the feed lips, but nothing else.

The new Advanced Warfighter magazines fix everything that the old ones didn’t, and do it well.


The metal feed lips are now a solid “U” shaped band of metal that encircle the top of the magazine, strengthening the rear seam of the magazine to protect against splitting. This metal band practically eliminates any possibility of the metal separating from the magazine due to the pressure of the rounds loaded inside.

The extended feed lips even extend far enough to make the top of the magazine catch. This makes seating the magazine feel a lot more solid than with the other polymer magazines.

The feed lips are still metal as well, completing the trifecta of magazine improvements. But Lancer wanted to build a better mag.

Instead of the standard “slick sided” magazines, Lancer has placed stippling on their magazines to make it easier to grab and hold. They placed the stippling on the front and the top of the side of the magazine, to make it easier to pull out of magazine pouches.

I just used these magazines in a competition this Memorial Day weekend Sunday. They performed perfectly, with not even the slightest hint of trouble. Well, except for the trouble I caused myself (dropping a magazine).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlLr6jjkFHY

Oh, and did I mention that these are going to be made available in two shades of green, brown, and black as well as the standard see-through variety?

The Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter magazines are it. And I’m not just saying that as someone who used them once, I’m saying that as someone who’s just replaced his entire stock of competition magazines with something better.

Specifications: Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazines

Weight: 4.4 oz.
MSRP: $15.75 – $28.84

Ratings (out of five)

Feel & Function * * * * *
With the caveat that it’s still basically a standard 5.56 magazine in shape, this magazine feels a lot better than its Magpul competitor and even its Lancer predecessor. Gripping, seating, and ripping it out during a double feed drill all feel much more solid and easier, thanks to the steel lip and the grippyness.

Overall Rating * * * * *
Your best buy.