How to disassemble your AR Mags

It’s becoming clearer each day that high capacity magazines are a thing of the past. Even more troubling though is that standard capacity AR mags could soon be banned as well. Shooters may soon need to take better care of their magazines. This means disassembling and replacing springs or components after wearing down.

We’ll use a PMAG as an example. The process will be similar for any brand of polymer magazines.

Disassembling the Magpul PMAG

Assembling the Magpul PMAG

What’s different about disassembling an aluminum magazine?

Aluminum magazines will have an aluminum base plate without a button to push. You might need to bend a small piece of the magazine’s shell to move the base plate. Keep in mind that the aluminum may wear down each time you bend that part.

Why disassemble your AR-15 magazines

Why do you need to know how to disassemble your AR-15 magazines?

We feel high and standard capacity magazines will soon become a thing of the past in the civilian sector. To keep them lasting a lifetime, you may need to clean or even replace parts in your AR-15 magazines.


If you took a proper tactical rifle course, you likely sprinted, slid, and laid in the dirt, grass, or mud. Your magazines might have become dirty in the process. A simple disassembly, wipe down, and reassembly might be all you need.

You might also put a light coating of lubricant on the internal components. Don’t put too much lubricant on the magazine parts though – it’ll just help to retain dirt and mud.


You might also want to customize the base plate of the AR-15 with a different color. Some gun owners like to get their magazines Cerakoted or laser engraved.


You might want to get your base plates or AR-15 laser engraved to identify the ammunition or caliber inside it. Some people shoot different bullet weights or manufacturer’s ammunition. While your AR15 magazine storage solution works great – it probably isn’t separated by brand or type of ammunition. Getting a magazine or base plate that identifies the specification or brand will help you find it faster.


Magpul and other popular AR mags have plenty of accessories to reduce or increase capacities and customize your AR mags. Shield Arms offers an extension plate that increases a magazine’s capacity by 5 rounds.

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