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Daniel Defense AR-15 Magazine

By Alton Chiu

Daniel Defense (DD), with their 32-round polymer AR-15 magazine, enters a saturated market where a plethora of other options already exist. Given the MSRP of $20, one may be tempted to bypass this option as another overpriced “Tactical Tupperware” when Okay Industries USGI aluminum magazines can be had for about $10 and Magpul Pmags for $15. Instead, the DD magazine warrants serious consideration by distinguishing itself with a well-designed form and durable construction.

Feeding

The most important function of a magazine is to feed the firearm, so it is only fitting that this is the first item discussed. As expected, the DD magazine fed flawlessly even when the author applied pressure from different directions in an attempt to induce malfunction. Feeding is accomplished by three components: follower, spring and feed lips. The following paragraphs deal with the first two items, while the last section is devoted to the third.

The magazine follower functions by evenly directing the spring pressure to push the column of ammunition towards the bolt for feeding. An improvement upon the original USGI magazine is the anti-tilt follower where it is given extra-long “legs” in order to prevent it from canting longitudinally or laterally where it can bind and impede feeding. The DD follower is designed in such a manner, but while the front “legs” are as long as that of a Magpul anti-tilt follower, the rear legs are the same size as the old USGI follower. Despite the author’s best efforts, he could not induce tilt and binding in the DD follower, and he did not suffer such a malfunction during testing. It is noteworthy that the DD follower has a 45-deg chamfered front, and the followers from USGI, DD, Magpul and Lancer magazines do not interchange with each other.

The magazine spring must be strong enough to push the next round into position in the split second between the bolt clearing the magazine in its rear traveling ejection phase and it coming forward again during the feed phase. Complicating this is the fact that spring force is proportional to the compression distance (F=kx), which...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N2 (March 2017)
and was posted online on January 27, 2017

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