Posted on August 17, 2012
With all the accessories and different magazines you can buy for an AR15 today there is a debate growing between the battle proven Magpul magazines and the Lancer L5 Magazines. Taking an in depth look at the two side by side comparing the similarities and differences, this is what we came up with.
So to be fair we took the Magpul Pmag with Window and the Lancer L5 Translucent. Both Magazines provide an easy to see indicator of how much ammunition is left. However the two have some significant difference in this respect as the Magpul Pmag with window let you easily see how many rounds you have left in you magazine in 25,15 and 5 round markers, but you can’t see the entire bullet, just the part exposed through the window. While the Lancer L5 translucent has the 30 and 20 round reference markers and you can see your bullets in their entirety. Also the Magpul Pmag has a bright reference marker marked just below the follower which is easy to see in the window. The Lancer L5 doesn’t provide the easy to see counter, you just need to read the marker and the follower level to determine you magazines ammunition.
Our Winner for Accurate Ammo Counting: Magpul Pmag
The ability to quickly access how many round you have left is very important and though we can’t see the entire bullet, we can quickly and more accurately know how many of them we have left.
Also the Lancer L5 and Magpul Pmag really differ with some of their magazine body and outer traits. The Magpul has the Classic waffle that we have come to expect from them. In addition the Magpul Pmag has the option to use ranger plates on the bases for a better or more consistent grabbing point. The many uses of the Ranger Plate and Magpul have many shooters using them. However the Lancer L5 Magazines don’t have any such plate out yet that compares so you will likely put a Magpul on the bottom of this magazine anyway. The Lancer L5 texture is a diamond cut within the waffle textured design making for a great grip. Great for gloved or bare hands, the Lancer L5 has more of a texture design built into it. One of the most notable traits of the Lancer L5 compared to the Magpul Pmag is the steel lip. Lancer put a steel lip on the L5 magazines creating great durability and making them wear really well. Though Magpul’s durability is unquestioned you sometimes have a bit of body bulge with the dupont lip on the Pmag. Lancer decided to fix that problem when keeping magazines loaded over long durations there is no worry with the Lancer L5.
Our Winner for Magazine Body: Lancer L5 Magazine
This was a really tough choice for us to make, as we have used Magpul Pmags for a very long time and never had any significant problem, and no durability issues. The Lancer L5 Magazine does address the mag lip bulging problem and has a very suitable grip with the integrated texturing in the waffle mag design.
For starters both of these magazines performed very well and each fit consistently and tightly into any AR15 we put them into, but let’s compare. The tried and true Magpul Pmag fed every round without any failings. The Magpul Pmag easily and comfortably is loaded and reloaded, dropping from the receiver when we need it to. The Lancer L5 also feeds without any issues or failings; however it is a little depressing seeing the bullets quickly disappear from the translucent magazine. The Lancer L5 because of the grip and texturing makes for very easy reloads again being used with or without gloves with great efficiency. The steel lipped Lancer L5 fits well in the magwell and you know it will consistently because it is steel instead of composite. However a minor detail is that the follower in the Magpul Pmag magazines fills out the magazine a little bit better.
Our Winner for Performance: Undecided
These are both phenomenal magazines that have a very reliable performance and great design features, but to really give proper tests to the Lancer L5 we need more time and lead to be put through it. Using Magpul Pmags for such a long time it took a lot of will power just to try the Lancer L5. They are happily in my range kit and it has yet to have a problem. Neither one of these is a lesser to the other, but the strengths and traits of each will certainly leave you with a tough decision to make.
All prices are in USD.