I run 5.45x39mm Russian surplus through my AR-15s exclusively. Consequently, I use C-Products and ASC magazines made specifically for the 5.45 cartridge. I’ve always wanted a higher capacity magazine or drum, so when Surefire came out with their MAG5-60, I was curious. Would such a quad-stack design provide a reliable high-capacity alternative to my usual magazines?

The Surefire is not designed for the 5.45 cartridge. It’s designed for the 5.56 round, but I’m pig-headed and wanted to see if it would work for me and my cheap commie bullets. I loaded it with 55 rounds instead of the full capacity of 60 so as not to stress the springs. I then took the thing out to the range and proceeded to burn my way through some ammo.

I did not do any magazine dumps, nor did I bump-fire my carbine. Instead, I fired short bursts, engaging targets at 25 yards. I only encountered one problem, a failure to feed. This was fixed by a quick racking of the Gunfighter charging handle and then I was back in business. While the Surefire is a bit bulky and significantly heavier than a standard magazine (as one would expect), it didn’t bother me. The extra weight was much closer to the rifle’s center of gravity which meant the carbine kept its balance quite well.

Storing the magazine while it is loaded can lead to problems. Once, I noticed that the followers in the magazine were stuck, causing the rounds to rattle inside the body. I simply smacked the body of the magazine with the heel of my hand and the follower became unstuck, rising slightly and once again pushing rounds to the top.

While the Surefire MAG5-60 isn’t designed for the 5.45 cartridge, it is almost on par with the C-Products and ASC magazines I use. There are occasionally feed issues, but overall, the performance is quite satisfactory. If you are looking for a high-capacity magazine with which to spray your cheap Soviet bullets downrange, look no further.


By: Allen Cosby

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53GR is an avid shooter, hiker and tinkerer. Introduced to guns at an early age, the hobby became a passion in his early twenties. After two years in Iraq as a contractor for a defense company, he developed an unhealthy addiction to military surplus gear. Though he's currently in treatment, the prognosis is that the condition is chronic.

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