Reviewed Item: C Products Stainless Steel 30 round AR15/M16 magazine.
Iíve been using a few of the 30 round C Products SS mags for about a year now. Theyíve been used in various classes, qualifications, drills and just screwing around.
C Products is the only manufacturer Iím aware that offers a stainless steel magazine for the AR15/M16 weapon. There are other manufactures that produce steel bodied magazines, but not all are created equal. Unmarked mystery steel mags are junk. Imported SA-80 mags are decent. HK mags are nice. The C Products mags retail for about $18 each. The inevitable question is how do they compare to HK mags? As far as function goes, I have had no issues with either. The finish is nicer on the HK mags, if that matters to you. Iím just not willing to shell out $40 for a single magazine.
Appearance wise, the stainless steel 30 round mag is just about a dead ringer for a standard USGI 30 rounder. The finish is darker than the medium gray moly dry lube that USGI mags have. C Products uses what they call a Mar-Lube finish, which is similar to the moly, but darker in color. The external dimensions appear to mimic USGI mags, so they will fit in standard mag carriers. Disassembled is exactly the same as well.
CP gives us the option of a chrome silicon or stainless steel mag spring. I initially opted to go with the chrome silicon spring, since they are designed to resist taking a set. Actually, my understanding is that the CS springs do take an initial set upon being compressed (loaded) but donít continue to do so under additional compressions or load. Standard SS springs are supposed to keep taking an additional set after each compression cycle, albeit minimal. There is no free lunch, however. CS springs can develop a bit of rust, which is less likely to occur with the SS spring. During the winter I was doing some M4 testing and my mags were being dumped in the snow. A few hours later, I found that the CS springs had indeed rusted. This prompted me to check on few mags that I had stored, and a bit of rust had developed on them as well. There were no function issues with the rusted springs, but I just donít get that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that rust is anywhere in my weapon system. Most of the rust did wipe off with a CLP soaked rag, but they were ultimately swapped out for CPís SS springs and a couple were outfitted with the Specialized Armament Red springs. C Products wisely chose to use standard USGI style springs, instead of a proprietary style (like HK).
The SS mags that I have used all locked into place and dropped free in various weapons. They actually will hold a full load of 30 rounds and still have the mag lock into place on a closed bolt. Itís nice to be able to do tac loads with a full capacity mag. Since the SS material is stronger, itís able to be thinner. The thinner material allows for more interior room in the mag body, thus giving the spring, follower and rounds more space.
I have not experienced any magazine related malfunctions with these magazines. Iíve dunked them in dirt, mud and snow and they still work. No, I havenít ran them overÖsorry.
The SS mags are 5.7 ounces versus 4.1 ounces for the aluminum mags. The weight difference is minimal and just about undetectable when theyíre loaded.
Construction of the magazine body is clean and uniform. I did find a sharp edge on the magazine catch cutout, enough to cause a small cut to my thumb. I lightly stoned the area to knock down the edge. Problem solved with about 60 seconds worth of work.
C Products uses a variant of the Magpul anti-tilt follower. Since the internal dimensions are ever so slightly different, a proprietary follower was created. A standard Magpul follower does fit and it functioned fine for me, but the correct part was put back into place.
The mags that I have been using were produced about a year ago. I have heard that there were some folks having issues with some of the magazines that were produced later on and I did witness some of those problems during a carbine class. In that particular incident, the rounds were getting hung up inside the mag body. I donít know what the cause was, but I am aware that C Products has stood behind their product and is willing to take care of any issues that crop up.
I donít use the C Products SS mags exclusively, since I have a boatload of magazines that function as they should. However, there currently is a C Products SS mag fully loaded and inserted in my patrol carbine, so that should say something.
Two SS mags that have been used.
SS mag on top and aluminum C Products mag on the bottom. Both have the Mar-Lube finish.