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I may be roasted in the comments for this, but you don’t always need a 30-round magazine. There are circumstances where 10 rounds is sufficient, and anything more is just extra weight. When I went deer hunting last year I used the smallest magazine I had on hand, a 20-round magazine, and never went beyond the first pull of the trigger. Having some extra buffer room is nice if you need to take an extra shot, but when you’re lugging your rifle all over God’s creation, then every ounce you can shed makes your life that much easier. Enter Magpul’s latest creation: the 10-round PMAG . . .

Having hunted for a couple years now, I finally understand why people prefer lightweight hunting rifles. The recoil sucks, but compared to lugging a boat anchor up and down every hill in Texas, it’s definitely preferable. So when Magpul announced their 10-round magazines at the NRA Annual Meetings this year, I understood why.

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Having put the finishing touches on my 300 AAC Blackout SBR, the final thing on my list of weight-saving modifications was getting a smaller magazine. There’s a distinct difference in the weight of a 300 BLK round compared to a 5.56 NATO cartridge. Namely, the bullet weighs three times as much. So having extra rounds in the gun for 300 BLK means significantly more unwelcome weight.

While I could load only ten rounds in a 30-round magazine, that still leaves a rather large object protruding from my gun that doesn’t need to be there. Having just spent many months and many thousands of dollars on making my gun as small as possible, it only made sense that the magazine should follow suit. A slimmer profile gun would let me get in and out of vehicles easier, something essential for hog hunting in the hill country of central Texas.

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With the 10-round PMAG, the bottom of the magazine is about as flush as you can get with the bottom of the mag well in a polymer magazine design. It makes the gun much more “low profile,” and, again, keeps the weight down.

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The 10-rounder will also fit in every gun that I tried that accepts standard 5.56 magazine, like that TAVOR SAR. But while it fits everywhere, it doesn’t always fully work. For example, it fits in my SCAR 16S, but it fails to lock the bolt back on an empty magazine. The spring in the magazine just isn’t strong enough to flip up the (admittedly quite hefty) bolt catch.

The lack of heft in the spring leaves me feeling a little uneasy about the ability for the magazine to hold up to repeated usage. I’ll test it out and report back in a year or so, but for now that uneasiness translates to a hit in the ratings.

Despite the spring’s shortcomings, this is still a fine magazine. If you’re hunting or doing some benchrest shooting, this magazine makes the gun much lighter and slimmer than even the best 20-round magazines could achieve. Then again, sometimes you really do need that 30-round “standard” magazine for everything to work right.

Specifications: Magpul PMAG 10 M3

MSRP: $13.95

Ratings (out of five):

Feel & Function * * *
It works just fine in my AR-15-based rifles, but pop it into something with a more substantial bolt catch and it won’t always lock the gun open.

Overall Rating * * * 1/2
If you have an AR-15, I would recommend getting at least one of these. It makes benchrest shooting a lot easier, and works like a charm. But be aware that it might not always work perfectly. Definitely a range toy, and not something to trust your life to.

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51 Responses to Gear Review: Magpul PMAG 10 Gen M3

  1. No flaming here. I have 5rnd mags for deer hunting.

    Lighter for walking & more maneuverable in a stand.

  2. I feel they have a place and you have found it. Wondering if they will work in the mossberg mvp….

    WRT the spring, small package means smaller spring. I think you hit the nail on the head, nick. Probably just doesn’t have the spring pressure to lock back on heavy guns. Simple physics. How much smaller than a m3 20rd mag is it?

      • Well, that’s a nice theory, but anyone who owns an MVP and lots of mags knows that some of them (20rd gen1 pmags) don’t lock in.

        But, good news for PhoenixNFA: I happen to own the new 10rd pmags, and they work just fine in my MVP.

        I actually had trouble getting a loaded 10rd pmag into my Tavor without locking the bolt back; I had to download it by one. Ditto for my D&H 10rd mags. *shrugs*

        • Awesome. I’ll have to grab one of these and one of the 40-rounders just to cover all the bases. I can see the short length being handy for shooting the TAVOR from a rest for accuracy testing purposes. The long mag sticking down in the back can get in the way just like it can be in the way on an AR also (prone or on a bench).

          I can also see these not working in some of the billet AR lowers that have extended and otherwise non-standard mag wells.

  3. Perfectly reasonable. Sometimes I need a a hammer. Sometimes I need sandpaper. Different tools for different jobs. When you’re boresighting your weapon or in a shooting competition that is low speed then sometimes a larger magazine is just bothersome. I don’t have a ten round magazine, but if I did then I would certainly use it for most of my shooting, because I simply don’t load up thirty or even twenty rounds at a time in most instances.

    But I don’t own all my weapons for target shooting. I own others as a deterrent to the government and as such I have regular sized magazines as well.

    • I use the 10 round Tapco AK mags more than my 30 round mags because I’m a lot more careful with my shots when I have to reload after ever 5-10 rounds.
      That’s not to say a 30 round mag fully loaded and spray-n-pray target shoot isn’t fun.

    • I need to pick a couple of these up for just that purpose. For $14 you really cant beat a 10rd PMAG.

  4. “No hunter worth his salt uses an AR-15 hunting.” – DiFi

    “I don’t agree with Feinstein.” – Millions of AR owners.

    This will be great for AR hunters. I’ll pick up some of these, but still want a 6.8 version. For whitetail 50-250 yard shots, I’d take a 6.8 over a 5.56 or 300 BLK any day. I really want a 300 upper, but ammo prices are insane.

    Still, I can use 5.56 for whitetail inside 150 yards or so, and have a great woods gun.

    Thanks for the review, Nick.

  5. So, for those of us that require 5 round mags for hunting. What is the best way to do this with 5.56 and 7.62 magpul mags?

      • Those limiters limit a 20-round Pmag to 5 rounds, putting it in this would make the limiter stick out of the top of the mag a few inches. They also make a 10-round limiter, which would reduce this to… zero.

        For states where hunting is explicitly limited to 5-rounds mags, Magpul might come out with a limiter for this mag, but they do already have the one for the 20-round mag, so I wouldn’t hold out for it. You could always carefully shave down one of the Pmag-20 limiters until you could use it to just get five rounds into this mag.

        Nick: Where on earth did you manage to find these mags? I’ve been waiting since Magpul announced them, I thought they’d never get around to making them now.

  6. The old 20 round GI issue mags were a curse and a blessing. We were issued a mix of 20 and 30 rounders, more of the 20 than the other. When the 20 rounders came in handing was when you were pushing thru the thick stuff and tight places. Also with 20 rounders you could have a mag in the weapon and several mags in your pockets for when you wanted to be armed but not burdened with all your web gear and accouterments.

    The only real downside to the 20 rounder was when somebody with a 30 rounder was shooting at you. But that’s a real specific situation that you won’t encounter deer hunting.

    Of course here in California our benevelent leaders have unburdened us from having to make those decisions for ourselves.

    • I’ve always wondered about that. I don’t think I’ve seen troops with 20 rounders other than videos of Vietnam.

      • I’m an old fart. There was a transition period when 20 rounders and 30 rounders were both in use. There was a time when the 30 rounders were doled out like they were gold.

        • You? An old fart? Say it ain’t so. :p

          Are 20s used by the military at all anymore? In 5.56, anyway.

  7. Living in MA, I have very little say in the matter. If I can’t find pre-ban magazines, I’m stuck with ten-rounders. That said, I like them. As Nick noted, they keep things light and they don’t get in the way. They’re a useful addition to any shooter’s toolbox, not as a substitute for full-size magazines, but in addition to them.

  8. They’ll sell a ton of those here in 10-round CT.
    Y’know, for all those ARs that will be ‘registered’ by year’s end.

  9. Anyone know where these might be available to order? In Colorado, we have our ban going into affect next week. Perhaps it is being paranoid, but a guy in New York still got arrested under the Safe Act, even though, the DA refused to prosecute.

    It is legal to own them here, but I would prefer to avoid any trouble by having just the 10 rounders when I am out and about.

    Even in Texas, I hear all it takes is for a cop to “feel” threatened and all of a sudden, you have lost your rifle, got arrested and charged, and that guy was just out for a stroll.

    Stay safe out there.

    • Not quite. Open carry of a long arm in public in texas is very specifically ambiguous. “Carried in a manner not to cause alarm”. If the guy in temple with the ar-15 with a single point is what you are talking about.

      Him carrying it in that manner would certainly cause alarm in downtown Dallas or Houston.

      Slung over his back with mag out? Sure.

      He was in the wrong, he knew it, and it wasn’t his first brush with bell county LEO.

  10. I don’t see why anybody would flame you for that. Plenty of shooters will tell you they don’t need a 30-round or more magazine for most applications, but that’s not the same thing as demanding the government step in and tell us that we can never own them again.

  11. If I had to use hunting or neutered mags a 5rd-10rd aluminum mag does it just as good with out the bigger pmag price.

  12. TO: All
    RE: Another Recall

    The petition to recall Colorado State Senator Angela Giron—my neighbor, by two blocks—has been approved by Colorado Secretary of State Gessler.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    Keep up the fight for Freedom!

  13. “I may be roasted in the comments for this, but you don’t always need a 30-round magazine.”

    I’m actually a fan of twenty round AR magazines myself. They get in the way less when shooting from prone or a supported position. Twenty is a good solid number, that just happens to be the standard number of rounds in a box. They’re light and easier to manipulate.

    I want to stock up on twenty round PMAGs, but they’re pretty much impossible to find. I’m guessing that Magpul has been focusing their production on the thirty-rounders, which I guess is understandable.

  14. Nick, I am worried about your safety. You are limiting your ability to save yourself or your loved ones should something very foreseeable and possible occur. For instance, you are out hunting deer in legally sanctioned space when you see the perfect deer to harvest. You fire one shot and easily dispatch the deer. What if, on your way to claim your deer, poachers arrive first and a vicious firefight breaks out? And then, ninja assassins join the melee due to your position being given away by the poachers not using suppressors. All the while, a rogue group of ATF agents decides that they might bump you off for upsetting their apple cart. And then, zombies. Now, don’t you feel a little unprepared knowing you are down to 9 rounds.

    Seriously though, a 10 rounder will make things a little easier on range days.

    • much like a gun control advocate, you fail to realize an emergency reload by a normal person takes 2 seconds. nick can do it quicker since he competes im sure.

      BAM beta mag.

      BAM 100rds of kickass.

      • Ah, yes, But he stated that he liked the 10 rounder for the reduced weight while hunting. If he is willing to carry a Beta mag with 100 rounds of .300 BLK, then having a 10 round magazine is just silly.

        I want one because my normal bench rest does not work as well with a 30 round magazine in my AR. When I release the gun it has a tendency to fall over when resting on the magazine.

        • Anyone who can find, much less afford 100 rounds of 300BLK, had better keep them close enough to smell.

          Damned laser-guided pigs, always digging up those expensive government surveillance truffles.

  15. For hunting use a 20 rounder for 308 or 223 & put in as many rounds as you think you’re going to need. I’ve never needed more than one round to drop a deer with my ARs but I always put 15 in the mag for Yotes & fun shooting during the lull in mid-day. I agree with the 10 round mag for range work.

  16. 10 rounders are nice when shooting from field positions (and the bench) like prone and seated and when using the sling for support, where you want the support side elbow directly below the barrel. The 10 rounder won’t interfere with your support forearm, unlike a 30 rounder or a 20 (depending on the individual). I’ll be picking up 4 of these when they become available again and I live in a semi-free state.

  17. I just received 4 10 round Pmags and none would hold open the bolt, the follower seems to get stuck opening the bolt catch, I opened the Pmags and wiped with Armor All, I soaked them for 10 minutes assembled the mags, I only wiped off the top of followers they work great now no problems, I guess new mag is tight and to much friction with the spring and mag body, this may allow some break in time for mag to loosen up.

  18. I’m interested in using a 10 round mag in my dpms sportical ar15 but not sure if the magpul 10 will work could one of you more knowledgable gentlemen help me with this?

  19. On the way to the Silver Spurs Gun & Blade show here in San Angelo, Texas. Mr. Richard Scott (who comes from “The Colony” and sells strictly magazines) had these 10 round PMags. I’ve been buying from him for years. Great products, fair prices and backs up what he sells. I have NEVER had an issue with ANY magazine he has sold to me over the years and, he ships if you can not get to the gun shows. Excellent customer service. Anyway, I own a Colt LE6920 MP-B. The PMag should work well and compliment this weapons platform for use at the range. Will probably purchase 2 just to have in the range bag. A lot of good comments on this forum.

  20. Tried three of these Gen M3 Magpuls in my two ARs and Sig 556. Feed problems, jams and no bolt holdback on both ARs, but they work perfectly in the Sig 556. All other of a variety of metal and plastic mags I own work fine in all three 556 rifles with the same factory new 223 ammo. In one AR with a magwell grip, the mags won’t release because the large base jams in the magwell. Sending the Magpuls back. ARs are a nearly new S&W M&P Tactical and a Core XV, both clean, lubed and running well.

  21. I live in CA so I don’t get to choose. With that said, If I could choose, the 10 round pmag has real utility when hunting. Outside of hunting, the 20 round Pmag has a enough clearence to allow me to shoot with a bipod and rear bag, both prone, and from the bench.

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