Ivan Loomis of Kit Badger on How to Choose the Best Magazines

When most people shop for magazines, they look for whatever is cheapest.

While there are plenty of aftermarket magazines that work fine, if you aren’t sure what to look for chances are good you’re going to be disappointed.

Despite being a relatively boring piece of kit, a bad set of mags can ruin your shooting experience. 

If a magazine doesn’t fit your gun just right, or doesn’t stay locked in place, or pushes on the bullets too much or too little, then you’re going to have misfeeds, jams, and other unpleasant shooting shenanigans.

What’s more, even the best magazines wear out eventually, so learning when to replace them is equally important as learning which mags to buy in the first place.

So, what should you look for in a good magazine? 

How do you know when you should replace an old magazine?

Should you buy plastic or metal magazines, or a combination of both? 

Ivan Loomis answers all of those questions and more on this episode. Ivan served in the Marines and Air Force and worked as a police officer and security contractor. Now, he works full time reviewing the latest and greatest military and outdoor gear, and he’s handled more different kinds of magazines than most people have even read about. 

So, if you want to learn how to choose the best rifle, pistol, and shotgun magazines for competition, training, plinking, or your next deployment, you want to listen to this episode. 

Click here to check out the show on iTunes, or click the player above to listen now. You can also subscribe to the show on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

Mentioned on the Show


Kit Badger YouTube Channel

.300 Blackout ammo

STI Staccato P pistol

MagPul Gen 3 PMAG

MagPul PMAG 17 GL9

Sig Sauer P365 pistol

Glock 43X pistol

HK P30 pistol

Lancer Advanced Warfighter AR-15 magazines

Q (firearm manufacturer)

The Fix bolt-action rifle

The Tactical Games

The Honey Badger SBR

The Sugar Weasel pistol

Sig Sauer 21-round pistol magazines

Time Stamps

3:00 Why good magazine design matters 

5:40 Ivan’s worst experience with a magazine failure

8:15 Why guns are built around magazines (not the other way around)

10:25 What exactly is a gun magazine? 

11:25 How magazine technology has changed since WW2

14:00 The pros and cons of metal vs plastic magazines

17:00 How do new magazine technologies improve reliability?

19:10 What features should you look for when buying a new magazine

21:45 What rifle Ivan used to compete in the Tactical Games

22:35 Ivan’s thoughts on extended base plates for pistol magazines