The Precision Rifle Market is exploding right now and it seems like every manufacturer is coming out with some kind of chassis rifle to fill the demand. One key component of these rifles is the detachable magazine system that they employ. This detachable bottom metal or DBM, was first introduced by Accuracy International, but is now used in almost every notable precision rifle on the market.
The AICS DBM used to be an aftermarket upgrade unless you were willing to drop thousands of dollars on an Accuracy International Rifle System. Badger Ordinance is most famous for making the bottom metal to use these magazines in a bolt action rifle, but needed to be installed by a gunsmith to function properly. Fast forward to 2017 and many chassis systems are now available to use the AICS magazine system, as well as others manufacturing DBMs to be fitted in fiberglass stocks.
In 2016, Magpul started shipping their Precision Hunter stock for Remington 700 rifles. Along with that came their DBM and polymer AICS magazines, built to the legendary PMAG standards. Why is this such a big deal? Before this, an AICS magazine would run anywhere from $70-$80 depending on where it was purchased. For someone shooting PRS competitions, this would get very expensive having to purchased 5-6 mags for competition. An AICS PMAG is roughly $35 and comes in 5 or 10 round flavors just like the original from AI, and they work.
Just like other PMAGs, this magazine has a removable floorplate for cleaning that can be easily removed with a bullet tip. They feature a Paint Pen Dot Matrix for applying identifying marks to the magazine body. Both the 10 round version and the 5 round version have durable polymer followers. The five round version has a tab on the inside of the floor plate that limits the magazine to five rounds. According to Magpul, part of this tab can be easily shaved down to allow 6 rounds to be loaded in the magazine. This is a pretty cool feature for those not limited by state hunting regulations and also does not compromise the reliability of the magazine.
I have been using the 10 round version in short action for some time and I am very pleased with their performance. Not only has function been 100% reliable but they are easier to load and insert in the bottom metal than my more expensive AI magazines. I also don’t have that cringe factor when they are dropped on concrete that comes with a $70 magazine.
For me its a no brainer, but there are reports of some small issues with actions other than Remington 700s. Of these reports, it seems that some Custom actions or Tikka actions may require some fitting. Due to the polymer construction, the feed lips may be too thick in some areas and my need to be sanded a bit to fit properly. Not a deal breaker in my opinion but worth noting.
Like other Magpul products they are proudly made in the USA and are backed by some of the best customer service in the industry. It doesn’t happen often, but in this case you could say that cheaper is sometimes better.