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E-Lander AR-15 mag review and fix
#1
CAUTION: Before attempting this fix for yourself, I just wanted to point out that I didn't take my AR to the range yet for a function test. I will update this post once I do.


I wanted to do a quick review on these mags which seem to be the only ones we can get right now (January 23, 2013). I also want to show a quick fix for those of us that have an AR that is “out of spec” according to Mako Group.

These are the E-Lander mags made by Mako Group. http://www.themakogroup.com/product_p/earm30%20w.htm

Here is the description copied directly from their website.


E-LANDER MAGS are high-performance durable steel magazines.

30 round steel magazines for AR-15/M16/M4 magazines.

Made in Israel for the Tavor, M16, and common sidearms, they were tested by special military forces
and anti-terror units. These magazines have proven to withstand severe combat conditions and requirements.

Backed by over six decades of experience the company has specialized in the manufacturing of precision-stamped metal parts and tools with an uncompromising commitment to quality and reliability. A wide range of the company’s products are exported to worldwide customers.

• High performance steel body - strong heavy-gauge steel

• Tested by special military forces and anti-terror units

• Fine resistance body coating, enduring up to 96 hours salt-spray test.
This exceeds the military salt-spray test requirements.

• State-of-the-art anti-tilt self-leveling followers in several colors.

• Improved reinforced floorplate



My first impressions on these mags are that they seem durable, feed nice (based on my range visit) and look nice. They seem like something that will hold up in the long run which is something I look for in my “battle mags.” The price is also currently less than $20.00 a piece which is much better than spending over $100.00 on used USGI mags that I’m seeing elsewhere.

This leaves me with my only complaint about these mags, which may be a deal-breaker to some or a quick-fix to others. According to a rep from the company (posted on AR15.com) these mags are made to “military specs” for Colt ARs. It seems that many people without these rifles are having issues inserting a full or semi full mag into the magwell and getting the mag to latch in place. My Stag Arms is no exception. Based on what I had read, here is a quick fix which took me all but 2-3 minutes to complete with a Dremel. These pictures are the best I could take with my current lighting.



Here is a picture of the mag in its entirety.
[Image: IMG_1440_zps40bbfff5.jpg]

Here is a picture of the 2 spots that will need filing. The mag catch hole will need to be filed on the top. I only needed to put a slight angle on it with my Dremel. The other place to be filed is the bump just below the mag catch hole. I’m not sure what this bump is called. I’m assuming it’s just to keep the mag tight in the magwell. Again, I only had to file down a little bit.

[Image: IMG_1427_zps4363fbae.jpg]

Here is what my mag looks like now. I will be smoothing out these two spots and applying some kind of rust preventer to them. My loaded mags are now able to be inserted without force, lock in place, and drop free.

[Image: IMG_1442_zpse083b356.jpg]
Sent from iPhone
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#2
Gonna try the dremel on the opening on the mag that I didn't file the bump on and see what that does.

Will let you know what happens.
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#3
Emptymag;71743 Wrote:Gonna try the dremel on the opening on the mag that I didn't file the bump on and see what that does.

Will let you know what happens.

Sounds good. I'm going to try my mags out today to see if they still feed good.

The one thing that pisses me off by what the Mako guy is saying, other than all of our ARs being way out of spec, is that mags need to be inserted with an open bolt. I can see doing this when reloading but not when it's the first mag. That means you would have to pull the charging handle while pushing the bolt catch button on the side. It doesn't make sense to me.
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#4
I got my order in and pulled one (YES A SAMPLE OF ONE) out to try. As others have previously noted here and elsewhere, construction, fit and finish seems very good.

I tried it out on a few different AR-15 combinations that I was able to pull together to test for fit only - no live fire testing yet.

Uppers: Armalite forged and RRA forged
Lowers: RRA forged and Seekins Precision billet

There was no significant difference with any combination of upper and lower NOR of loaded/unloaded status of the mag.

- In all combinations the mag was easy to insert into the magwell and dropped free once released.
- In both styles of lowers-only (no upper) the mag was easy to seat and release.
- All combinations of complete upper/lower , mag empty/full, bolt closed or out required the mag to be VERY FIRMLY slapped/slammed-up to engage the magazine catch.
- In all complete upper/lower combinations the mag was VERY DIFFICULT to release using the mag-release button and IMPOSSIBLE using a Norgon Ambi-Catch on the left.

From direct observation while the magazine was inserted and the bolt carrier removed and inspection of the wear spots on the mag, it appears that magazine is indexing against the bottom of the bolt-carrier track flare on the upper with the front and rear of the magazine feed-lips just above where they start to turn in (about 3/32" above the initial bend in from vertical.)

I also noticed noticeable longitudinal scoring of the top round (probably from the bolt lug) when the bolt carrier was drawn back over a fully loaded and inserted mag.

At this point, I would have to conclude that, without the modification of the mag-catch notch like described above, they are emergency use only for me in an AR.

I'll be doing some digital caliper measurements when I get a chance and will compare them against some C-Products stainless and P-Mags. If I find any clear variance I'll report back, but the 2-D cross-sectional geometry may be tough to cross reference.

I haven't seen the recent stuff on the ARFCom thread but I'll have to take a look. I believe the reality is that Mako/E-Lander is running full-out, with people buying every mag they can get out the door, because it is a box that pushes bullets up with a spring. That will make them loath to address manufacturing tolerance issues, or even design spec. issues in their product - especially retroactively (i.e. fixing the design/manufacturing and replacing possibly 10's of 1000s of already shipped mags.)
-JD-, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
I haven't gotten around to modifying the mag slot yet.

My solution can be found in my current sig line.
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#6
I really want these mags to work. I just prefer heavy duty mags over aluminum or plastic. With that said, I shouldn't have to modify a mag. I'm going to wait and see if they change their mags in the future in order to have them fit in all our junk ARs. At that point I have to decide if I even want to do business with Mako anymore. I'm not impressed with their posts on the other forum.

Does anybody know of any other steel AR mags?
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#7
JasonK007;73497 Wrote:I really want these mags to work. I just prefer heavy duty mags over aluminum or plastic. With that said, I shouldn't have to modify a mag. I'm going to wait and see if they change their mags in the future in order to have them fit in all our junk ARs. At that point I have to decide if I even want to do business with Mako anymore. I'm not impressed with their posts on the other forum.

Does anybody know of any other steel AR mags?

Several brands offer stainless steel for right around the same price.
Aside from corrosion resistance, I don't know how stainless compares to steel in other aspects.
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#8
Emptymag;73501 Wrote:
JasonK007;73497 Wrote:I really want these mags to work. I just prefer heavy duty mags over aluminum or plastic. With that said, I shouldn't have to modify a mag. I'm going to wait and see if they change their mags in the future in order to have them fit in all our junk ARs. At that point I have to decide if I even want to do business with Mako anymore. I'm not impressed with their posts on the other forum.

Does anybody know of any other steel AR mags?

Several brands offer stainless steel for right around the same price.
Aside from corrosion resistance, I don't know how stainless compares to steel in other aspects.
My C-Products stainless mag are much thinner metal and flex/bulge noticeably more than the E-Lander does. I have no doubt that I could relatively-easily make it work 100%. Shouldn't have to, but ...
-JD-, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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