MagPul PTS and its Legendary PMAG
MagPul Industries was founded in 1999 by & Richard Fitzpatrick in Boulder Colorado. The company got its name from their first product, the MagPul mag pull. Since then, the company has been making magazines, sights, stocks, rifle grips, hand guards, trigger guards, magazine enhancements, slings, vertical grips, and much more for Real Steel rifles.
In 2007, MagPul Industries opened up another branch of its company, MagPul PTS. MagPul PTS (Professional Training & Simulation) was created to meet the need of the growing airsoft market. Based out of Hong Kong, MagPul PTS produces high quality products that closely match their RS counterparts. Using products that are built to closely match their RS counterparts allows users to train with airsoft without the dangers of live ammunition. In the airsoft field, the MagPul name is synonymous with high quality. But these amazing products are not cheap. Because MagPul PTS produces such quality goods, many people feel as if they are too expensive. But when it comes to airsoft, you usually get what you paid for.
But wait! It even gets better. With such a high popularity in the airsoft market, many MagPul PTS products have been cloned. ACM MagPul products are made in China and sell for a fraction of the price. Buyer beware! Like with many Chinese clones, the quality is not quite there. You get the same general look, but with lackluster performance. As far as I know, these ACM products are not endorsed by MagPul PTS. So you will not likely find any type of warranty with your purchase.
As I stated earlier, MagPul makes a ton of RS goodies for your AR rifle. Thus many of those are reproduced in the airsoft version by MagPul PTS. One of the most popular MagPul PTS products is the PMAG.
The RS MagPul PMAG has proved itself on the battlefield time after time and is so durable; you can even run it over with a truck! With such a history, the PTS PMAG is a very popular product in airsoft. MagPul PTS has released a few different types of PMAGs. A few of the popular PMAGs include the 20 round "real cap", a 70 round short-style "mid cap", and the popular 120 round "mid cap". Seeing as how the 120 round PMAG is currently the most popular and sought after MagPul PTS magazine, it will be my next focus.
The MagPul PTS 120 round PMAG is a full size mid capacity m16/m4 polymer magazine designed with a ribbed body and a pop-off impact cover for storage. In 2012, MagPul PTS updated the 120 round PMAG to the "M " version, which features a slightly slimmer profile. These magazines are the highest quality when it comes to durability and bb feeding. I have had great experiences with them. And unlike many AEG magazines, they are easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble. Surprise, they are on the more expensive side. One on these magazines typically sells anywhere from $22 - $28 on the Internet. If you are paying anything less than that $25, you should be concerned.
Maybe "knock-off" is not the politically correct term with dealing with the following product because it is actually licensed by MagPul PTS and not an ACM. I am referring to the "MagPul PTS 75 round PMAGs". These magazines typically come in packs of 5 for less than $45. Sounds great? Well read on. While these magazines carry the MagPul PMAG label, they are actually manufactured outside of Hong Kong by the Chinese companies Green Label or Beta Project. While I could not gather any information of the companies Green Label or beta Project, I can tell through first-hand knowledge that their PMAG is not even in the same league as the real MagPul PTS PMAGs.
From afar, these two magazines (the PTS 120 round and the Beta Project/Green Label75 round) look similar. But when compared, the PTS magazine shines. While the 120 round PTS PMAG is easily disassembled, the 75 round licensed PMAG is not built to be disassembled. If you look closely, you can also tell that the color is slightly off. There is a weight difference as well as a build quality difference you can see when handling the two mags. The base plates are also very different from each other. The true PTS mags have a sliding plate that locks into place with the use of a button on the bottom of the mag allowing you to replace the plate with a Magpul "Ranger Plate" and have it lock into place. The licensed mags just have a false base plate that can slide out easily with no way of locking it into place. This doesn't allow you to use a "Ranger Plate" as they slide right off of the mag. Also, the materials used to construct the two mags are on two very different levels. The true PTS mags use Magpul's polymer design that allows for quality and durability while the other mags just use a plastic that is easily broken and is not durable.
Which To Buy
So you are in love with MagPul and short on cash. No one is going to think any less of you for buying the Green Label/Beta Project magazines. They are technically MagPul PTS PMAGs, but just PMAGs of a lower quality. But if you want the real deal, here is a guide for recognizing the difference.
The Real MagPul PTS 120 round PMAGs will...
-Cost at least $25 each
-Usually sold individually
-Made in Hong Kong (different than China)
The licensed MagPul PTS PMAGs will...
-only be about $8 each
-be manufactured in China buy either Beta Project or Green Label
-hold only 75 rounds
-These new licensed PMAGs have a little viewing window with fake bullets(like in the EMAG)
But beware; I have seen airsoft websites that list the Green Label PMAGs as "manufactured by MagPul PTS"(which is a fallacy). Another method I thought would be great for finding out which products are actually made in Hong Kong would be the MagPul PTS website. But unfortunately, MagPul has not put much time and money into this site so it seems outdated and incomplete.
There are literally tons of magazine options for the m4 style airsoft rifle. But my favorite is the genuine MagPul PTS 120 round PMAG. It is costly, but will almost never break. I highly recommend this product over the licensed 75 round version.
Special thanks to ProtectionPerfection for his help.