Even though they’re commonplace today, there was a time---not all that long ago---when the introduction of polymer AR magazines was as revolutionary as Anton Glock’s use of a synthetic plastic frame on his signature 9mm pistols. Acceptance, you may recall was guarded initially, but with time the mechanism and technology more than demonstrated its prowess, and today has become entrenched as the oft-copied world standard.
Within the realm of AR-compatible polymer magazines, the first company to establish itself as a premier producer of affordable, uber-reliable bullet boxes was the Magpul Corporation, originally hailing from Erie, Colorado. Embodying the mantra, “Reliability Saves Lives,” this veteran-operated company has sought, from its inception, to provide its military, law enforcement, and civilian customers “with a polymer magazine that could not only meet, but exceed, the durability and reliability, of the standard USGI aluminum magazines.” Annually co-producing tens of thousands of their MOE, M2, and M3 iterations,’ you’d have to admit that their mission statement has been fulfilled--- in spades.
Enter, one of the newer kids on the block, the fine folks from Sentry Hexmag. Originally conceived in 2013 as a prototyping exercise in 3-D design and printing by a group of friends in Loveland, Colorado, the first ‘fleshed out’ 30 round Hexmag magazines hit the market in March of 2014. Arriving just in time to feed the Obama administration’s anti-AR/detachable magazine frenzy and subsequent scarcity, sales of the fledgling mag were brisk right from the start. Like its closest competitor, Magpul, improvement through innovation seems to be the catch phrase at Hexmag. Listed below are some of the stellar features that have made Hexmags a true contender in the industry.
Introduced with the Series 2 model, all Hexmags are molded from an advanced fiberglass-reinforced polymer nicknamed PolyHex2. Sounding more like a witch’s concoction than a modern laboratory formulation, the PolyHex2 Advanced Composite is fashioned into a lighter, stronger, and more durable magazine than the original composition, and is every bit the equal of a vaunted PMAG structurally.
MAG BODY AND UNIQUE ACCESSORIES-
The tough magazine bodies are available in four popular tactical colors: black, O.D. (olive drab) green, F.D.E. (flat dark earth), and my personal favorite, gray. Hexmags sport a slick matte finish compared to the PMAG’s grainy textured exterior, which I feel offers superior manipulation and retention under wet or stressful conditions. To compensate for this low-frictional surface, Hexmag engineers added high-relief hexagonal ribs (hence the name) on both sides of the mag body and horizontal ribbing on the narrow front and back surfaces; a feature known as Hexturing! To further increase the frictional surfaces, end users can purchase Hexmag grip tape. These self-adhesive hexagonal tape segments seat perfectly into the hex slots and can be arranged into the pattern that affords the best grip possible for the individual. The grip panels are available in black and gray. They’re awesome.
A magazine is nothing, if it’s not flawlessly reliable, so to ensure uber-reliable feeding, Hexmags are fitted with self-lubricating 4-way anti-tilt followers powered by heat-treated stainless steel springs. Working in conjunction with their reinforced feed lips, you are assured of dead-certain cartridge feeding no matter how long the mags have been sitting around fully loaded, or what type of climatic conditions they are exposed to; they will work. Additionally, the mag bodies are molded with stripper clip guides to accept mil-spec stripper clips for rapid, convenient mag charging.
COMPATIBILITY WITH NUMEROUS AR CARTRIDGES/PLATFORMS-
To my mind, the most notable feature of the Series 2 magazines is their compatibility to the evolving number of AR-style platforms. Enhancements within this newest generation allow the magazine to fit and function flawlessly within AR 15, M16, IWI Tavor, Beretta ARX100, SCAR 16, and CZ Bren models; that’s amazing versatility offered, at this time, by no other manufacturer. Additionally, the Series 2 mags efficiently feed many of the new 5.56-based specialty cartridges crowding the market, such as the .300 Blackout, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowolf. Again, I’d call that unmatched versatility. Recently, they’ve begun shipping AR10/SR 25 7.62x51 NATO (308 Winchester) mags to feed the larger tactical/sporting rounds. They’re currently available in 5, 10, and 20 round capacities.
Now here’s a feature that I really love. They call it the HexID system, but I call these ammo identification accessories, a brilliant innovation. Since Hexmags are capable of accommodating so many different 5.56-based cartridges, and since many AR enthusiasts own a number of these slick little semi-autos, the menacing possibility of chambering the wrong cartridge in the wrong gun could range anywhere from merely annoying to downright disastrous. Judicious use of the HexID components can prevent such a calamity. Composed of six brightly colored mag followers and latch plates (from Zombie Green to Panther Pink), the system allows the user to color code his AR magazines for specific cartridges and loadings. For example, you could use the black magazine body with a black follower/latch plate for your .300 Blackout range loads and substitute the Crimson Red follower for your home defense rounds; the possibilities for customizing unique cartridge/loadings combinations are almost endless.
COMPLIANCE WITH STATE AR MAGAZINE RESTRICTIONS-
For AR owners compelled to live in ‘less-than-free states or communities, Hexmag offers their True Riser system that unalterably restricts the 30 round-sized magazine to 10 or 15 round capacities. Their website (www.hexmagstore.com) provides an interactive map that allows you to keep abreast with all infringing mag restrictions within our 50 states and banning communities.
Be sure to check out the Sentry Hexmag website and then visit your local retailer or shop online at www.gunmagwarehouse.com to put the ‘Hex’ on your AR system; in my opinion, after two years of constant testing; they’re the BEST!