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Discussion Starter #1
I heard that HK has designed a transparent polymer mag for the HK416. Is that mag in service? Does anyone know how those mags hold up under rough handling, drops and high round counts? I'm kind of skeptical about using transparent polymer for the thin dimension STANAG mag well.
 

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Don't know about a transparent HK made mag, but Lancer makes transparent polymer AR mags that seem to work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don't know about a transparent HK made mag, but Lancer makes transparent polymer AR mags that seem to work fine.
IRRC, the Hk transparent mag doesn't have steel reinforced feedlips. I'm worried about the feed lips not being durable enough b/c Canadian soldiers who I talked to said that was one problem with the thermold mags.
 

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What are you basing this scepticism on? And why are you worried? Are you shooting them?

No issues with G36 mags or HK417 mags, as far as I know. Only thing I have seen break on the G36 mags are the coupling lugs on the magazine body.

Here is the magazine in question:





The norwegian mil tested these, along with some other polymer mags, but I haven't heard anything about us replacing the HK Steel mag yet....
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
What are you basing this scepticism on? And why are you worried? Are you shooting them?

No issues with G36 mags or HK417 mags, as far as I know. Only thing I have seen break on the G36 mags are the coupling lugs on the magazine body.

Here is the magazine in question:





The norwegian mil tested these, along with some other polymer mags, but I haven't heard anything about us replacing the HK Steel mag yet....
I was kind of skeptical due to the Canadian Army's experience with thermold mags. I know that's an apples to oranges comparison. Thermolds were made out of crappy material and thin dimensions, which was the reason that they were not durable. The CF has ditched thermolds and switched to metal mags. Not sure if there are still thermolds in the reserves right now but I know an airforce guy who completed basic training with the C7 last year and he said he used USGI mags with black followers during basic training. One of the moderators on lightfighter forum who was involved with the FN SCAR said that transparent/translucent polymer generally don't have glass fill reinforcement and thus need to be thicker in order to be durable. From what I heard, Pmags were holding up pretty well b/c it uses advanced polymer materials that are durable.

G36 and HK417 mags can be more durable b/c they have thicker dimensions and generally speaking polymer needs to be 2-3x thicker than their metal equivalents to have the same strength. G3 kurz, the Magpul reps, and the lightfighter moderator who was involved with SCAR all say that was the reason why it's easy to make a durable translucent/trasnparent mag if you use dimensions that are thicker than the STANAG mag well.

Anyways, how did the HK transparent mag do in the Norwegian test?
 

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Yeah, well, everything breaks....and magazines are only good when they are good. If they break, or cause feeding issues replace them as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Just to make sure everyone knows, I am not trying to bash the HK polymer 416 mag and I do wish HK well in the polymer AR-15 mag business. It's just that without seeing more testing data about the transparent mags, I kind of feel skeptical that they will hold up as well as pmags b/c the CF had bad experiences with thermold mags and ditched the thermolds for metal mags.

IIRC, the Swedish use translucent mags for the AK-5 so maybe people who have experience with the AK-5 would know if translucent polymer materials have gotten stronger over the years.
 

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Problem is not with polymer, translucent or not. Problem is that polymer mags for AR15 and other platforms that use STANAG mag must fit in confines of AR15 magazine well. This requires thin walls and make them weaker. Polymer mags for rifles like G36, HK417 can have much thicker walls, as outside dimensions are not restricted - mag well size was developed with polymer mag in mind.

M16 was developed to use disposable magazine, that is made of thin aluminium to lower cost and was supposed to feed reliably 20 rounds of ammo preloaded at factory. This is source of all problems with AR15 mags - they were not designed to last. All later designs are bound within confines of this idea.
 

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^^^ This ^^^
There are a host of companies now pushing AR15/M16 mags at well under $10 each. It's a *disposable* component. When you go for longevity and reliability, you wind up with the HK uber mags that cost (and weigh) a lot more...
 

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Understand about the AR magwell being designed for thin metal-walled mags, but given the success of the Magpul series, and the fact that others like Lancer and now HK have now make polymer AR mags, it seems to me that solutions have been found. I suspect polymer technology has advanced some from the first ones.

My understanding is that negative experiences with the Canadian Thermold mags were due to them being made of a different (inferior) material than the original US Wilson NC made Thermolds. I have a number of the original US mags and they have always worked fine.
 

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Understand about the AR magwell being designed for thin metal-walled mags, but given the success of the Magpul series, and the fact that others like Lancer and now HK have now make polymer AR mags, it seems to me that solutions have been found. I suspect polymer technology has advanced some from the first ones.
Magpul mags, due to use of elastic polymer are more durable than aluminium USGI mags in case of HMMVW running over them. But from my experience, as well as fellow shooters and 'profi' users here, they do not last longer then USGI mags in normal use. Soft feed lips and soft springs (to not give too much pressure on soft lips) give up even faster (if loaded to capacity - I see not excuse to underload mags - it either is 30rd mag or not). There are those magazine covers that are supposed to remove pressure from feed lips, but I do not know of serious user that carry mags with covers on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Don't worry, I know translucent polymer is not the problem. When I said I was worried about the durability of the transparent mags, I meant the transparent HK416 mags, not the G36 and HK417 mags. I'm just worried about the durability of translucent polymer feedlips with STANAG dimensions would not be as durable as the Pmags, G36, SIG 550 and HK417 mags. As Montrala has said, Pmags have stronger polymer material and the G36 and other proprietary mags are thicker than AR-15 mags so they can have durable feedlips even while using translucent polymer.
 

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Anyways, how did the HK transparent mag do in the Norwegian test?
Like I said, I do not know the results from the testing.

And again, what are you basing this worry on? Have you experienced breakage of polymer magazines before?

And if they break or get worn, replace them....not much more to it than that....everything breaks; Pmags, Emags, GI aluminum mags, HK steel mags...
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
My understanding is that negative experiences with the Canadian Thermold mags were due to them being made of a different (inferior) material than the original US Wilson NC made Thermolds. I have a number of the original US mags and they have always worked fine.
I know the Canadian thermolds were inferior to the US ones, I forgot to mention that in my last post. Thank you very much for reminding me. The reason I am concerned is because the poor performance of the thermolds in the CF has caused our army to ditch them for metal mags. I was under the impression that if the problem with the thermolds was simply QC and using a poorer material than the originals, the CF could of just bought the originals rather than adopting new mags. The guys who I talked to said the thermolds broke very easily during military exercises in the Canadian Arctic.

I suspect polymer technology has advanced some from the first ones.
That's my guess (and I hope that is the case) as well for HK's choice of using translucent material for the 416 mag. I'm not an expert on polymers but I was under the impression that translucent polymer is weaker b/c it cannot have glass fill reinforcement. From what Magpul has said, their transparent mag was a training mag, Lancer uses steel reinforced feed lips for their transparent mags and Tangodown only uses a transparent lower part for their mags. Please correct me if my understanding of polymers is wrong.

But I do agree it's not possible to judge the HK416 mags without seeing further testing and maybe HK uses a more durable transparent material and it's most likely that polymer materials are more advanced now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
And again, what are you basing this worry on? Have you experienced breakage of polymer magazines before?
I don't have experience with polymer M16 mags but I know people in the CF who had and they hated the thermolds. The soldiers who I talked to said the thermolds broke down easily, especially during exercises in the Arctic. I know mags are disposable items but I don't think it's a good situation if the mag breaks during an exercise in extreme environments. The problem with the thermolds in CF use was that they broke more often than other magazines and actually broke down during exercises in the Arctic. CF has ditched the thermolds as a result and while the CF is really satisfied with the C7 and the C7 performed well in Afghanistan (from what I was told by an officer), the soldiers I know believe the metal mags the CF now uses are much better than the thermolds for their mission and needs.

I do know this is probably an apples and oranges comparison.
 

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Well, to put it into context, most magazine breakage is user induced; ie slapping the magazine hard to seat it in the magwell or when dropping partial magazines during speed reloads.

As far as the thermold magazines, it is an old design, and really does not qualify as a good frame of reference....
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Well, to put it into context, most magazine breakage is user induced; ie slapping the magazine hard to seat it in the magwell or when dropping partial magazines during speed reloads.
That's totally true but I think the breakage with the thermolds was more extreme temperature induced since they were breaking during exercises in the Arctic. The officer who I talked to about this issue seem to know end user induced magazine breakages and how to avoid them and he still had bad experience with the thermolds.

Also, crappy materials in the thermolds was probably another reason for breakage.
 
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