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The AR-15 platform is fantastic, partly because of the ability to swap from one caliber to the next with very few parts changes. That also can make it a little bit dangerous. What if someone tries to shove a magazine of 5.56 ammo into your .300 BLK gun? The day could end in tears. Or worse. That’s where a new nifty idea from Faxon comes in: magazine bands . . .


It looks like these are basically the same kind of stretchy bands Lance Armstrong used to peddle. The idea is that you can temporarily dedicate specific magazines to specific calibers, and the bands will let you quickly and easily see if that dumb newbie you brought is trying to shove a square peg into a round hole — so to speak. Available from Faxon for only a few bucks, it seems like a pretty cool idea.

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  1. The day I can’t ID my own mags is the day I go blind and loose my hands.

    Pistol mags I can understand, some are very similar, but rifle mags are very different for most guns. Even how they feel and how they’re made is a little different for each mag. Maybe I’m just lucky…

    If these things are designed with other people in mind, then other people shouldn’t be in control of your property. Or should at least be trained better before being allowed to handle stuff that’s not theirs.

    • The standard AR mag can hold several types of ammo. Mixing them up could be easy for some people. I could see this being handy for range rental guns, new/young shooters or marking mags that have differnt types of ammo. Things like tracers, soft points, fmj and the likes

    • I think he is talking about AR mags, specifically 300BLK/556 mags as you can feed both rounds interchangebly through the magazine without changing anything at all. You can also quite conveniently close the bolt and drop the hammer on a 300BLK round chambered in a 556 chamber especially if the crimp is weak and allows a little bullet setback (Nick got the order wrong as a 556 round will only go about 2/3 of the way into a 300BLK chamber as the shoulder is way further forward) which would be a bad day all around even if you just destroy a $800-$1200 upper receiver. With other calibers it would be annoying but at least you cant chamber and potentially fire a 458 Socom/ 6.8SPC/ 6.5 Grendel/ 7.62×69 etc in any chamber other than one for that caliber, and you would have trouble loading 6.8/6.5/7.62×39 into an unmodified 556 mag further decreasing the likelihood of a catastrophic accident.

      This is a good step towards preventing that in the heat of the moment; however you might want to find a way to affix one to the upper receiver as well, if both colors match we are good to go. Otherwise there is still a potential for an inexperienced shooter to grab a 300blk mag thinking they had a 300blk upper on the gun and boom. Previously friends I shoot with put matching Magpul ladder rails on the upper that match the color of mags they are shooting, like maybe FDE for 300BLK and OD for 556. If the mags match the ladder rails you are good to go.

    • You are missing the point. By clearly marking the magazines a .300 BO it makes it FAR less likely that some OTHER shooter picks up the wrong mag. We had this happen on our range recently. A novice shooter guest was getting to shoot a guy’s AR. He accidentally picked up a magazine belonging to a different person at the next table not realizing it was not his host’s magazine. Boom.

  2. Great idea for the .300blk crowd, but I am seriously concerned if you cant identify the AK mag in a game of “one of these things is not like the other”. I read some comments (on another site) from one of the Faxon employees talking about how they like to use them with one band on the gun to match the band on the mag to make the color coding more intuitive.

    Id probably just use colored duct tape and a marker but that may be my redneck raising coming out.

    • What AK mag? There isn’t any AK mag in that photo.

      I’m with you on the duct-tape/marker comment, though. Blue painter’s tape is another short-term option, maybe just for when other folks use the gun/mags temporarily at the range.

      In another thread a couple if weeks ago, someone here mentioned just using different colored PMags for .300 BLK, and matching the AR furniture to the appropriate-caliber mag (FDE mags go in the FDE-dressed-carbine, etc.). As several of my ARs are already color-coded, I kind of like this idea.

      EDIT: Maybe it was user Defens, who commented below while I was taking a phone call and this post was waiting in limbo.

      • The AK esque mag 🙂 I fell into the 7.62×39 AR pitfall. I like the furniture Idea a lot as well, sadly I only have one AR currently so I may just end up another upper for .300blk and doing it that way.

    • Not a bad idea, although I use different colored P-mags to identify my 6.5 Grendel, 300 Whisper, and 5.56. The head stamp comment isn’t even foolproof – some of my BLK ammo is hand loaded in .223 brass.

    • So you know where to buy 6×45 brass? I run ARs in 5.56×45, 6×45, .300BLK and 6.5 Grendel. Yeah, I can eyeball .300BLK and 6.5 in a heartbeat, but 6×45 uses necked out 5.56×45 brass, and both use the same headstamped brass. It’s hard to pick out 5.56, 6×45,.17×223, .20 Practical, .22×6.8, .25×45 and .25×6.8 at a glance. Mind you, $1/band is a bit too much. I can get a bag of 30 fat rubberbands for $3 ( and label my own. Or I can just keep using colored electrical tape and add customized load info on the labels.

  3. If you can’t strip a fracking round or simply check the headstamp on the top round of the stack I have a feeling you will be too lazy to make these work properly.

  4. It seems like the firearms are more in need of identification of caliber than the magazine. And if that is the case, then it should be identified with something along the lines of a dust cover that designates the chambering of the upper receiver. Those can be purchased from many different suppliers.

      • I’m told–I haven’t lived there in quite some time–that standard protocol after taking someone shooting is to check the soles of their shoes and to shake out loose clothing for spent casings. Possession of those without the required paperwork is a felony. “Ammunition components” or some such.

  5. What’s wrong with dedicated magazines? They might be cheap enough. Maybe a sharpie and the rubber bands from fresh broccoli? A little duct tape? Cloth tape?

  6. This would be great for rental guns at a range. One on the mag, one on the magwell. It might not be “tacticool” but I’m sure your average Joe renting an AR at the range will get over it.

    My thing now is marking my mags by specific ammunition type. XM855, XM193, Mk 262, .223 JSP, etc…

    • That’s why I love my translucent smoke Lancer L5 AWM’s (far left in photo above). Instant verification of mag level and ammo type. No dust covers to lose either. Don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of PMags but I am definitely partial to my Lancers. Anything used for Home Defense or hunting goes in the those for instant identification.

  7. Not a bad idea when you’ve seen firsthand when the wrong ammunition is fed into a rifle. I still have vivid memories of a FN49 destroyed when 8mm Mauser was used in a .30-06 chamber.

    Considering how many cartridges can use the standard Colt magazine with little-to-no modification, this can be very useful.

  8. Now we need 6.5 Creedmoor labels :). For now I will just reverse the .308 /7.62 bands and mark them with a sharpie.


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