Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MFT Mission First Tactical MAGS AR15 SCPM556 Review

MFT Mission First Tactical MAGS AR15 SCPM556 Review

I think we are all at that point where we are both welcoming of polymer magazines and also a little annoyed by the amount of “new” AR15 magazines that have hit the market in the last couple years that were… well, total crap. MagPul definitely set the pace and quality standard by which everyone else followed, however that doesn’t mean they are automatically the best or still are. Troy, IWI, and Lancer all delivered polymer magazine designs which equaled the famed MagPul PMag in reliability, durability, and quality and as of SHOT Show 2015, MFT has their own polymer MFT MAGS as well. Now MFT has introduced a full color spectrum of mags including Black, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green, Grey, and Scorched Dark Earth.

MFT - Mission First Tactical is one of the significant companies who is chomping away at MagPul’s lunch stealing floorspace at retailers and matching innovation and new product offerings in a style that offers people a choice of another high availability manufacturer. While Magpul was idling a bit from a product development perspective after the company’s sale, MFT was very aggressively moving onto retail shelves which were previously dominated by MagPul. MFT certainly has the capabilities as part of the very large and well funded Fobus family of companies and already had expansive sales and distribution channels established. MFT ended up on shelves everywhere very fast and has proven its brand to be a great alternative to MagPul everything guns. So now we get to MFT MAGS which are I must admit have attributes I like better than the venerable PMAG.

I was fortunate to actually test a few of the early prototypes the middle of the year in 2014 and provide some feedback. What we saw and tested back then we were impressed with, however MFT has definitely made some tweaks since then.

If you dropped a Troy BattleMag, IWI Mag, and MagPul PMAG into a dimly lit box, put on some Barry White and poured a bottle of tequila over them, it's likely the Menage-Et-Trois that would occur would net a child that looked something like the MFT MAG or specifically the SCPM556.  The MFT MAG has the slimmer profile of the Troy BattleMag, but not quite as slim because of the reinforcement ribs. The MFT MAG still fits into those super tight mag pouches much more easily than the PMAGs.  It has the overall exact same height and width profile and size of a PMAG, but without the bulky base plate. Thanks to the specifically developed reinforced super tough polyamide body from Dupont’s Military Plastic Division, it seems stronger than it should be like the IWI brick shit-house magazine.

Where the Troy BattleMags and IWI Mags barely hold 30-round with only 1/16” of movement left after the 30th round, the MagPul has a more forgiving ⅛” of movement left to improve closed bolt reloads on completely full magazines. MFT is actually a 31-round magazine if you completely fill it.  I tested this 30+1 capacity with everything from PMC to Hornady round on my publicly released MFT MAG provided in a retail package from SHOT. According to MFT, they were not satisfied that the ⅛” of movement was enough to assure totally positive magazine insertion on a closed bolt, so they designed enough movement to allow one extra full round to reduce insertion force and guarantee positive lockup. MFT noted that this satisfied the military folks typical need to run typical 30-round GI mags with only 28 rounds to assure closed bolt reload reliability.  In my testing, I did find that the MFT had a noticeably easier closed bolt reload lookup on a full magazine, however do not expect the magazine to seat at with a closed bolt with a 30+1 full MFT MAG.

MFT also designed in an oversized bolt catch notch for more positive bolt hold open even on slightly out of spec receivers. If you have been buying blems parts, you know you have some receivers and parts that are just a little off.  The magazine features a stainless steel spring and four-way anti-tilt non-jamming follower.

Other features are the MFT MAGS sharper reinforcement ribbing and stippled grip; both of which net a more positive feeling magazine during the reload push/pull cycle similar in feel to the improved grip of the Troy mags, however I like the MFT’s better simply because you do have just a little baseplate lip which helps with handling, indexing, and grip. A few other unique baseplate features are drain holes and a paint pen matrix pad for magazine ID use.

The baseplates are also unique with a simple tool-less disassembly with double safety release tabs. The baseplate is designed to allow for quick magazine dump unloads without the spring and follower flying around the room. Toggling through the three positions with the two buttons is simple, smooth, and quick while providing total control over the spring pressure.

So do we have another premium polymer magazine on the market equal to the PMAG? I say definitely. At this point I like the features of the MFT MAG during actual use a bit better than my PMAGS. MFT MAGS are not only just going for features, but they are jumping in at an MSRP around $5 less than MagPul’s equivalent mag with a $14.99 MSRP. MFT is offering the 100% USA Made MFT MAGS in a full range of colors including Now MFT has introduced a full color spectrum of mags including Black, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green, Grey, and Scorched Dark Earth. You might want to give a few of these magazines a try. I was certainly impressed.


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MFT - Mission First Tactical - http://missionfirsttactical.com/

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