Magazines are important and just as you need a great airsoft gun, so you need a great magazine that will fit it.
There are all sizes of airsoft magazines on the market starting with low-capacity to mid and high-capacity types for rifles, SMGs, pistols, shotguns, snipers other airsoft gun types.
You’ll find most airsoft magazine variations for popular platforms such as M4 or M16 and there are unique magazine designs that can only fit one platform.
For instance, a typical AK magazine won’t fit the M4, and certain pistols will only fit the exact match magazine from the same series.
In this article, I’ll explain a few things that matter when choosing a magazine for your airsoft gun and give the recommendation for M4/M16 and AK47/AK74 as these magazines are not strictly dependent on a single model.
If you are looking for a specific model magazine, such as for Glock 19, or Colt M1911 you’ll need to look for specific magazines that will fit the series, as there won’t be universal alternatives.
Thus, I won’t mention those specific magazine models in this article.
Lancer Tactical M4/M16 Mid Cap Magazine
Lancer Tactical makes reliable airsoft magazines, so I thought this would be a good recommendation.
This 120-round, M4/M16 mid-capacity magazine is among the best due to the fact that it’s universal within the M4/M16 platform, and has a lovely hex textured smooth surface finish.
While I know the grip finish isn’t more important than reliability, the reliability of this magazine is not questionable as this magazine is made from reinforced polymer for extra strength.
This magazine has everything a decent magazine should have, and I had to highlight the amazing feeling of its surface and how nice it’s to handle it.
|PROS||Great quality||Great grip|
|CONS||Not metal (Yet polymer is outstanding, so it’s good)||/|
Elite Force Mid Cap Magazine for M4/M16
Elite Force mid magazines are a great choice as they are made to universally fit M4/M16 platform.
What’s even better is the offers I could find such as 10 mid-caps in a package for a great price, meaning you’ll never run out of BBs in the field.
Elite force mid magazines hold 140 rounds and are constructed from a quality polymer, and don’t easily malfunction from what I have seen and heard.
While I am keener on the Lancer Tactical mid magazine due to a better finish, these are probably your better budget alternative that still works great.
|PROS||Great deal||Decent quality|
Lancer Tactical M4/M16 High Cap Magazine
This extended Lancer Tactical magazine is made to fit almost every M4 and M16, and while you might have a bit more room when inserting this magazine into some rare models within this gun platform, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
This High Cap Magazine holds an astounding 300 rounds making it ideal for those who like to spray and pray and carry the least possible amount of spare magazines.
Now hear this, it’s FULL METAL! meaning it will last you a long time even if you are not the most careful person in the field.
Due to its high capacity nature, you’ll need to wind it each time you want to feed the BBs, but this is effortlessly done by winding it once due to its quality winding mechanism.
|PROS||Holds 300 rounds||Great built and quality (METAL)|
|CONS||Requires winding||Noisy compared to mid mags|
LCT MID and HIGH Capacity magazines
LCT is in the opinion of many the best manufacturer of airsoft AKs, and it doesn’t surprise that they produce the best AK magazines on the market.
These magazines don’t malfunction, never give up on you, and are designed with only the best of the criteria in mind.
So for your best AK magazine, I recommend either LCT MID or HIGH capacity magazines made from steel, with high-quality internals.
The difference is that the MID cap magazine holds 130 rounds while the HIGH cap magazine holds 600 rounds.
Both magazines will fit most AK models from any brand besides their obvious compatibility with LCT AKs.
|PROS||Highest Quality Build (Metal)||Elite brand|
Sentinel Gears AK Drum Mag – High Capacity
If you are sold on the idea of high-capacity magazines, why not bring it to the extreme with Sentinel Gears AK DRUM magazine which holds 3,500 rounds?
This drum magazine is powered by a small high-speed internal motor which makes the feeding of BBs effortless and you’ll never run out of ammo.
Moreover, this drum is made from high-quality polymer, lasts for ages, and looks super cool when you attach it to your AK.
I always adored AK drum magazines because they transform the AK into a complete machine that allows you to put an unbelievable amount of pressure on the enemy team and makes your AK appearance stand out from others in the field.
|PROS||High Quality Build||3500 Rounds with no winding|
|CONS||Makes the gun heavy and big (not necessarily a bad thing)||/|
Lancer Tactical Mid Capacity Magazine
This Lancer Tactical MID capacity magazine holds up to 140 rounds, is built from high-quality polymer, and is among the better magazines you can get for your AK.
While this magazine seems to fit almost every other AK model, so you shouldn’t worry about the compatibility, I’d love it if it was also made from metal for increased durability in case you hit it onto concrete.
However, on the other hand, the lack of metal could be an advantage due to its lighter weight as it doesn’t make the whole gun heavier.
Overall, this is a great choice for a mid-capacity AK magazine that is good for a budget as it’s pretty affordable for most players.
|PROS||High Quality Build||Budget-friendly|
|CONS||Not made from metal||/|
Factors to Consider When Choosing Airsoft Magazines
When selecting airsoft magazines, several factors must be taken into account to ensure optimal performance in the long run.
Airsoft magazines can differ a lot, and if you are not satisfied with the magazine you own, you’ll have to face the issue every time you step into the field to play a game.
So, choose your magazine based on the following criteria.
The capacity of an airsoft magazine refers to the number of BBs you can shoot prior to reloading or winding.
High-capacity magazines can hold a large quantity of BBs but require winding, the manual inserting of pre-stored BBs by rotating or pulling the winding mechanism.
While high-capacity magazines solve the problem of carrying multiple smaller magazines, this breaks the realism and they can be quite noisy due to rattling BBs in the storage section.
Mid-capacity magazines strike a balance between capacity and realism, while low-capacity offer enhanced realism for hardcore players.
It is essential to choose magazines that are compatible with your airsoft gun model. Different airsoft guns may require specific magazine types, so it’s crucial to check compatibility before purchasing.
Some airsoft magazines are universal within the same or similar platform or models under the same brand, but this is not always the case.
The build quality of airsoft magazines directly impacts their durability and longevity. Magazines constructed from high-quality materials, such as reinforced polymers or metal alloys, tend to withstand rigorous use and provide reliable feeding of BBs.
In the long run, you’ll drop your magazine numerous times whether you are careful or not, so it’s better to get something that can take a blow.
Moreover, the quality of the spring is a big deal as some magazines just wear down after continuous use as the pressure weakens the spring and it starts to malfunction.
Reliability is of utmost importance when it comes to airsoft magazines because you don’t want to arrive at the field with a magazine that will give up in the middle of the match. Malfunctioning magazines can lead to misfeeds, reducing the overall effectiveness of your gameplay.
Researching and selecting magazines with positive user reviews and a strong brand reputation for reliability is something you should look for.
Budget considerations are essential for any airsoft enthusiast, but just like with anything in life, you’ll get the value you pay for.
While it’s tempting to opt for cheaper alternatives, investing in high-quality magazines that offer reliable feeding and durability will save you money in the long run.
If price is the issue for you, I’d recommend that you buy one high-capacity or drum magazine from a quality brand such as those on this list.
Moreover, if you are still choosing between which guns to buy, expect that gas guns use gas magazines which are always more expensive than magazines used in electrical airsoft guns.
When you add the costs of gas required for filling those expensive mags and the fact that there are no high-capacity gas magazines for rifles, you’ll see why AEGs are the most popular airsoft gun type.
Types of Airsoft Magazines
Airsoft magazines come in various types, each catering to specific needs and preferences.
Standard magazines are designed to resemble real firearm magazines and typically hold around 30 rounds. They enhance the realism of gameplay but require frequent reloading which makes them a relatively unpopular choice.
High-capacity magazines, also known as hi-caps, can hold a significantly larger number of BBs, ranging from 100 to 500 rounds.
They often feature a winding wheel or button to feed the BBs into the gun. While they sacrifice some realism, they provide extended firing without reloading making them an excellent choice for beginners and people who watched too many Chuck Norris movies.
Mid-capacity magazines strike a balance between capacity and realism. They hold fewer BBs compared to hi-caps, typically around 100 rounds, and do not require winding mechanisms.
While reloading is required, it’s still required less frequently, enhancing the immersion of gameplay while still offering you some freedom when taking shoots.
With the help of BB speed loaders, manual reloading isn’t a problem, but if you forget a loader at home, you’ll regret the day you begin to play airsoft while manually inserting a bb after bb with wrinkled fingers.
Drum magazines are designed to hold an exceptionally high number of BBs, ranging from 1000 to 5000 rounds. They offer an incredible capacity, ideal for sustained fire or extended battles.
Disadvantages? They can be bulky and will add weight to your airsoft gun.
I personally, love drum magazines because you set them up once prior to the match and forget about reloading.
Realism? Who needs that when you are winning?
Gas magazines utilize compressed gas, such as CO2 or green gas, to propel the BBs. They provide a realistic blowback action and are used in gas-powered airsoft guns.
Gas magazines offer consistent performance but may require regular gas refills during gameplay and have certain vulnerabilities.
For instance, green gas won’t work during cold winter days at low temperatures, the magazines are harder to maintain, and there’s a chance of leaking unless the brand is on point and they are the most expensive type of magazines on the market.
Tips for Maintaining and Caring for Airsoft Magazines
To maximize the lifespan and performance of your airsoft magazines, it’s essential to follow proper maintenance and care practices.
Here are some tips to keep in mind which will assure you and your magazines have a good time together:
Cleaning and Lubrication: Regularly clean the magazines to remove dirt, debris, and BB residue. Apply a light coat of silicone lubricant to ensure smooth operation and prevent jamming. There’s one exception, you don’t need to apply any additional lubricants with green gas magazines as green gas already contains some silicone oil.
Proper Storage: Store your magazines in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures (especially important if the cartridge or gas is in it). Consider using magazine pouches or cases to protect them from impact or accidental damage.
Regular Maintenance: Periodically disassemble the magazines for thorough cleaning and inspection. Replace worn-out parts, such as springs or O-rings, to maintain optimal feeding performance.
You can check my dedicated article on magazine maintenance for more details.