The Truth About Guns

Gear Review: M&H Machining CNC Machined Aluminum Magazines

Cars have chrome wheels. Rappers have chrome teeth. But for guns, the best “bling” we can muster is a cerakote finish on the rifle’s exterior. What about for those who want to jazz up their favorite Evil Black Rifle™ by adding something a little more flashy? Something smooth and precision-machined, perhaps? That’s where M&H Machining’s precision machined polished aluminum magazines come into the picture . . .

M&H is a small machining shop on the outskirts of Austin, Texas. Machining jobs used to be plentiful in the area, thanks to the oil and gas industry and their massive drilling operations in the south Texas area. But with the downturn in the economy things were getting a bit slow around the shop. Brandon (son of one of the founders of the shop) had some free time on his hands, so he got to work designing something that the shop could produce to keep the doors open. And for his first project, he turned to his favorite hobby – guns.

The first prototypes were a little rough around the edges. They fit the bill in terms of the physical dimensions, but there were issues with feeding. Brandon had taken the term “tilt free follower” a little too seriously and the nose of the rounds were being pushed down into the magazine instead of up into the chamber. Thankfully, with the feedback of the shooters at Best of the West Shooting Sports (as well as some minor help from yours truly) the magazines were finally feeding properly.

Since the final version of the magazine arrived for testing, I’ve been making like I was a teenager again and started sticking it everywhere it would fit. Every gun that’s come across my desk for testing has used this magazine, and all without a single failure. From the TAVOR to the SCAR, and every AR-15 in between, the magazine has performed flawlessly.

Well, nearly flawlessly. Most magazines are made with an over-travel stop in the area of the magazine catch cutout. It prevents the magazine from being inserted too deeply into the rifle, which would cause the bolt to slam into the feed lips instead of gliding between them and picking up the next round. I have, from time to time, smacked the magazine into the gun with a little too much gusto and needed to re-position it before it would work. But when properly seated, it always worked. Every time.

While the magazine is nifty in and of itself, there’s another side benefit for those in less than gun friendly states. The bottom of the magazine is machined as one solid block of aluminum — there is no floorplate, and the magazine instead opens like a clam shell. So for those states that require new magazines to be incapable of being modified to take more then X number of rounds, I get the feeling that Brandon can whip up a compliant version in no time.

Before we talk about price, I should remind you that this isn’t a magazine designed for use in combat. It’s essentially a fashion accessory for your rifle, meant to add a splash of color and sparkle to your rifle, which has proven especially popular with the women I’ve taken out on the range. My boss’ wife (the day job boss, not RF), for example, is a huge fan of shiny metal parts, which is why she loves the SD9 VE that she got from Tyler.

Like most shiny, pretty things, this one comes with a hefty price tag. For the polished 20-round version, you’re paying $125. You can also get one in a matte finish for the same price. An additional $10 will get you one in a polished black finish. Not cheap, but then again I’ve spent more than that on a muzzle brake.

If you’re looking for the perfect accessory to make your rifle stand out in the crowd at the shooting range, this is the ticket. All flash with zero reliability issues.

Specifications: M&H Machined Aluminum Magazine
Part number: 20RD223
Price: $125
Website here

Ratings (out of five):

Feel & Function * * * *
Works in everything I threw it at. The only issue is the ability to seat it too deeply, hence why I dropped one star.

Overall Rating * * * *
It really is the perfect fashion accessory for your AR-15. Slightly on the expensive side, and it could use an over travel stop, but other than that I love it.