What AR-15 magazines would you stockpile for a complete SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation? Lets think about this for a minute. The quick answer might be pmags. But how long do pmags last? Will they last 10, 20, 30, 40,,, or more years?
We know that aluminum magazines will last just about forever, unless they are abused or smashed with a hammer. From time to time a feed lip might become bent. Or an ear might break off while taking the baseplate off. But for the most part aluminum magazines are pretty solid.
If you are stockpiling survival gear for a long term SHTF situation, do you want to put all of your eggs in one basket?
Are you considering buying a rifle chambered in 308 Winchester to help you and your family through a long term SHTF situation? The three main rifles on the market are the M1A, PTR-91 and the FN/FAL. There are a lot of articles out there discussing the points of each rifle. What is rarely talked about is the overall cost of ownership.
Why should we worry about the cost of ownership? You save to buy the rifle, then you find out how expensive spare parts are. To some people, the price of spare parts and magazines might be a deciding factor.
Lets look at 2 topics, spare parts and magazines.
What will not be discussed is tacticool items, such as rails, slings and scopes. With so many options on the market, there is too much to discuss when it comes to scopes and slings.
Lets look at just the basic rifle, something that can be used to protect your property, protect your crops, livestock and hunt with.
For this project lets stockpile 25 magazines. This provides 3 rifles with 7 magazines each, and 4 spares.
The following prices are samples taken from random websites.
Magpul posted a comment on their facebook page about the recent price increases,
We’ve received a lot of comments about some retailers charging extremely high prices for our products.
We strongly discourage pricing strategies like this with our direct customers, as we just don’t feel right about it. Those retailers who are buying through distribution, and not direct, may be worried about supply and reacting to the market with this pricing increase.
We are firm believers in free capitalism, and as long as no one is damaging market value through their pricing strategy, we will allow the market to correct this situation, as it appears it already is. We intend to continue to produce and sell our products to support the MSRPs we have set.
Magazines will continue to flow to those retailers, distributors, and OEM customers with whom we have direct relationships.
That is all fine and dandy, but talk is cheap.
If Magpul “really” wanted to make a statement, then cease operations with companies that are doing the price gouging.
Over the past 15 – 16 years I have been building up a stockpile of AR-15 magazines. My buddies and I would go to various gunshows where I would buy various AR mags.
Then I realized a lot of the AR-15 magazines I been buying were junk. Either the followers would stick, or the feed lips were bent. When I replaced the followers of GI mags with anti-tilt P-mag followers, I had to cull several magazines.
One day a buddy of mine who served two tours in the middle east told me how much he liked P-mags. I took him at his word and bought some. Lets just say I was impressed right off the bat.
From now own, all I am buying are P-mags. I see no reason to buy gunshow surplus aluminum AR-15 magazines that I am either going to have to fix, or cull if the follower sticks. Even if the gunshow surplus magazines work, the factory follower will have to be replaced with P-mag anti-tilt followers anyway.
If I am going to spend the money for surplus magazines, then buy the anti-tilt followers, why not just buy a new P-mag to start with?
This began about 20 years ago when I started stockpiling AR-15 magazines for some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. My buddies and I would make trips to the local gun shows, and pick up magazines here and there. I never intended to stockpile hundreds of magazines like some hardcore survivalist do. All I wanted was a couple of dozen magazines for every AR-15. I think 2 dozen mags for every rifle is reasonable.
Fast forward 20 years. Improvements have been made to the AR15 rifle and magazines. Due to those improvements, my current setup is outdated. Its like anything else. Technology improves, and to get the best out of your gear you need to keep up with the times. A buddy of mine who served two tours (1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan) told me about Magpul Pmags. When a combat vet tells you he loves something, its in your best interest to pay attention.
Due to my buddies recommendation I ordered 2 Magpul Pmags with the windows on the side.
As soon as I handed and shot the Magpul Pmag I fell in love. The Pmags are light, window to see how many rounds are in the magazine, and anti-tilt follower.
Ok, so what do I do? I have dozens of AR15 magazines that have been collected over the years. But the anti-tilt follower technology improves the reliability of the weapon.
Since I do not want to replace my AR magazine inventory, I bought several packages of the Magpul enhanced self-leveling followers, and started replacing the followers in all of my older AR magazines.
If something is not broke, don’t fix it. My AR mags were not broke, but they did need to be upgraded.
The FN/FAL has been used by militaries all over the world, so why are the magazines so expensive on the consumer market? Take the AK-47 magazines for example, their usually dirt cheap. Years ago I remember AK mags being around $3 – $5 each. Just about every newsletter I subscribe to, every gun parts magazine, and every gun show I go to has AK magazines from all over the world.
Maybe the abundance of AK magazines is because their coming from money strapped communist countries that are phasing out the AK-47 in favor of more modern rifles? While the countries that used the FN/FAL are in a stable financial situation?
But with the FN/FAL, the latest prices I have seen are in the $20 – $25 price range.
Even the PTR-91 magazines are cheap. Several months ago a buddy of mine found some PTR-91 magazines for around $1 each.