Best AR-15 Magazine Releases in 2020 – A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Best AR-15 Magazine Releases

A Brief Introduction on AR-15 Magazine Release

A magazine release is essentially a button or a lever that when depressed, it will release the magazine from your AR-15 rifle. Most of the stock magazine release works fine, releasing the magazine smoothly. But, after a long time of using the same magazine release, some people may be looking for some upgrade. 

Now, if you are looking to upgrade your AR-15 magazine release, you’ve come to the right place. Similar to a magazine speed loaders, a standard Mil-Spec magazine release works just fine but an upgraded magazine release can really enhance and give a smooth shooting experience. It might even put a smile on your face after the upgrade. 

Whether or not you realise it, a good magazine release can bring you even more benefits than you thought. For people who are looking to upgrade their AR-15 or simply build an AR-15, a good and bad magazine release can make a difference in your overall performance. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits that a good magazine release can bring you. 

The Benefits of a Good AR-15 Magazine Release

  • Quick-release – The most crucial benefit of a magazine release is to allow you to quickly release empty magazines. After emptying the current magazine you would want to reload as quickly as possible and the first step of that is to have a good magazine release that releases your empty magazine faster. With a good magazine release, you should be able to release the magazine smoothly with just a touch of the button. 
  • Suitable for any sizes and shapes of hands – Another benefit of having a good magazine release is that it can allow shooters with small or big hands to smoothly release the magazine. You should be able to access the magazine release button easily on your AR-15 as long as you are holding it properly. However, some stock magazine release button for the AR-15 can be harder to engage so if you have had trouble with that then you will understand how good it is to have an upgraded one.
  • Durability – Yes, a stock AR-15 magazine release can last you for a long time but a good and upgraded magazine can last for a longer time and improve the overall performance of your AR-15. With a good AR-15 magazine release that you find best for you, it can last until you decide to change it again. If you are building your own AR-15 then you won’t have to worry about your magazine release breaking. 

Now that you have understood the benefits of a good AR-15 magazine release, it will be up to you to decide which AR-15 magazine release that is mentioned in this review suits you more. Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best AR-15 magazine release in the market.

Best AR-15 Magazine Releases – Rated and Reviewed

1. Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release

The first on the list will have to be the Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release. Magpul is an industry-leading company that manufactures high-quality products like the Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release.

This is a two-piece construction magazine release that is made of Mil-Spec anodized aluminium which is durable and meant to withstand harsh conditions. Two-piece construction allows you to install this AR-15 magazine release with ease in just a matter of minutes, saves you a lot of trouble and you won’t need a gunsmith for it.

The Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release is also very low-profile and won’t be a disturbance when you’re shooting. It is very small so chances of you being obstructed by this magazine release are extremely low. 

This AR-15 magazine release also has a large contact surface that allows you to easily release the magazine. Besides getting the magazine out easily, it also increases your speed of changing out the magazines. 

If you are looking for an upgrade from a stock AR-15 magazine release, the Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release will be a great choice as it offers pretty much what you need from a magazine release. 

Pros

  • Compatible with most AR-15 – Can be fitted on to most of the AR-15 in the market.
  • Durable – Constructed with high-quality aluminium that can withstand harsh condition and last long. 
  • Improved magazine drop speed – Large contact surface for more activation and resulting in an easier and quicker magazine drop.
  • Easy to install – Two-piece construction, can be easily fitted on without going to a gunsmith.

Cons

  • May require filling before fitting – May not be a perfect fit for your AR-15.

2. ODIN Works AR-15 Extended Mag Releases

The ODIN Works AR-15 Extended Magazine Release is ODIN Works’ flagship product. It is also one of the best magazine release upgrades that you can get for your AR-15. This AR-15 magazine release can also be installed easily. Here’s a video on how to install an ODIN Works AR-15 Extended Magazine Release.

With the installation video provided by ODIN Works, you will be able to install it by yourself in just a matter of minutes. After installing you will realise a major upgrade from your stock AR-15 magazine release. 

The ODIN Works AR-15 Extended Magazine Release is four times bigger than a stock magazine release and with such large contact area, you can have easier activation and lead to quicker magazine drops. Besides that, it is a magazine release that is made for shooters with all shapes and sizes of hands and finger to easily access it. 

In addition, the quality of this AR-15 magazine release is superb. The ODIN Works AR-15 Extended Magazine Release is made of high-quality billet 6061 aluminium and meant to work with KNS pins. With this high-quality magazine release, you do not have to worry about it breaking if you ever dropped your AR-15.

Pros

  • Easy to install – Can be installed within minutes. Video available to aid in installation too.
  • Durable –  Constructed with high-quality material and does not break easily.
  • Good for all hand types – Suitable for any shape and sizes of hand.
  • Easy activation – Large contact surface area for easy activation and faster magazine drop.

Cons

  • May not fit some AR-15

3. Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Magazine Release

Next up is the Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Mag Release, an extended magazine release, not a magazine release that supports extended magazines only. The Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Mag Release has extended length making it longer than a stock magazine release and hence why it is called an extended mag release.

The extended length of the Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Mag Release allows you to easily release the magazine without changing your grip position. It can be a very convenient feature especially for shooters who finds it difficult to reach the stock magazine release button. 

This extended AR-15 magazine release is also textured to make sure that it doesn’t slip easily. The textured surface allows you to easily activate it even under wet conditions or if your hands get sweaty. 

The Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Mag Release is also a durable magazine release. It is made of good-quality aluminium and anodized or cerakoted finish. This ensures that the Armaspec AR-15 B1 Extended Mag Release will last for very long and won’t be scratched easily, maintaining its aesthetics. 

Pros

  • Durable – Constructed with high-quality materials and high-quality finishing.
  • Easy activation for the magazine release – Extended length to easily release the magazine and accessed without changing grip.
  • Textured – Can be used under wet conditions, won’t slip easily.
  • Fits most AR-15 – Can be fitted on to most of the AR-15 in the market.

Cons

  • The magazine may not drop freely – Might need to press a bit further to get the magazine to drop freely.

4. Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Mag Release

The word ambidextrous means being able to use both hands equally well. What it is implying is that the Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release is a magazine release that is made for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. 

The Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release is also an easy-to-install magazine release. All you need to do is just remove the current AR-15 magazine latch, drop in the Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release and you will be done with the installation of this magazine release. 

This magazine release has a very simple design and chances of it snagging is also very low. Safety is also improved because you won’t accidentally release the magazine. If you like how this magazine release performs on your AR-15, you can still get it for your other rifles like the M4 and M16 as the Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release are compatible with those rifles too. 

The downside of this magazine release is that it is only a magazine catch so you will need to get a magazine release button and a spring. However, it shouldn’t be much of a problem if you are only replacing your mil-spec magazine catch. 

The durability of the Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release is definitely not something that you need to worry about. This magazine release is constructed with 12L14 solid billet steel. It makes this magazine release a strong part and has a smooth surface. The surface also reduces friction making this magazine release last for a long time. 

Pros

  • Ambidextrous – Suitable for right-handed and left-handed shooters.
  • Simple design – Does not have additional features that increase snagging possibility. Won’t accidentally release the magazine.
  • Easy to install – Drop-in design, can easily install to your AR-15.
  • Durable – High-quality material construction. Smooth and low-friction surface to prolong service life. 

Cons

  • Magazine release button not included – Only a magazine catch.

5. Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release

Ever feel troublesome releasing the magazine especially if you’re a left-handed shooter? Well, with the Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release, left-handed shooters like you will find this ambidextrous magazine release a relief for releasing your AR-15 magazines.

If you have gotten used to a stock AR-15 magazine release, you will find the Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release feels just the same. This ambidextrous AR-15 magazine release is made to replicate the feeling of a stock magazine release button. If you prefer to have a magazine release button with a bigger surface, you can change it too. 

Besides feeling like a stock magazine release, the Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release can also be installed like a stock AR-15 magazine release. This makes the installation process simpler and you can easily install it on your own. 

The Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release is made of high-quality and heavy-duty materials. With such construction, you will not have to worry about this magazine release failing on you. It also has a matte black finish giving it a nice and clean look. 

This ambidextrous AR-15 magazine release may seem like it is made for left-handed shooters. However, right-handed shooters may find the Troy Industries Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release useful as well especially if the situation they are in requires them to shoot with the off-hand. 

Pros

  • Easy to install – Can be easily installed like a factory magazine release.
  • Ambidextrous – Good for left-handed shooters and right-handed shooters that requires them to shoot with their off-hand.
  • Can accommodate enlarged magazine release buttons – Can be used with the factory AR-15 magazine release button or an upgraded one with a larger surface. 
  • Durable – Constructed with good-quality and heavy-duty materials. 

Cons

  • May break if not installed properly

6. V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 Ultra-Light Magazine Catch

If you are upgrading your AR-15 by reducing the weight of the parts, the V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 Ultra-Light Magazine Catch can be a great choice. This AR-15 magazine release weighs about 4.9 grams which is approximately 0.17 oz only. Weighing at 0.17 oz puts this magazine release about 48% lighter than a normal Mil-Spec magazine release. 

Although it is lighter than a Mil-Spec magazine release, it definitely works just as well. The V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 Ultra-Light Magazine Catch is essentially a Mil-Spec magazine release but lighter by almost half. So if you want to upgrade your AR-15 magazine release’s functionality, then this may not be the magazine release you should be looking at. 

The V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 Ultra-Light Magazine Catch has a hard coat anodizing making it fully corrosion-resistant. V Seven Weapons Systems is so confident in the quality and durability of its products that it has a lifetime warranty for this magazine release. 

This AR-15 magazine release is not entirely shy of improvement for functionality. Yes, the V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 Ultra-Light Magazine Catch works just the same as a Mil-Spec magazine release but it does have an aggressive texture on the release button. This may not be a big upgrade but it can definitely improve the feedback you receive when you press on the magazine release button.

Pros

  • Lightweight – 48% lighter than a standard Mil-Spec magazine release.
  • Durable – Lifetime warranty provided so it is likely very durable. 
  • Textured release button – Improve feedback when you press on the magazine release button.

Cons

  • No improvements to functionality – Works like a standard Mil-Spec 

Conclusion: The Best Overall AR-15 Mag Release

The best AR-15 magazine release overall will be the Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release. If you are looking to upgrade your AR-15 magazine release, this would be a good choice. 

The Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release is compatible with most of the AR-15 so you don’t have to worry if it will fit on your AR-15. It can also be installed easily since this AR-15 magazine release is a two-piece construction and you do not need a gunsmith to fit it for you, saving you some time and money. 

Its large surface area also gives more activation when you press on the magazine release button. The result of that would be a faster magazine drop speed allowing you to reload faster. The Magpul AR-15 Enhanced Magazine Release is also made of good-quality material making it very durable. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Are a clip and a magazine the same thing?

A: No. A magazine is used to hold ammo. A clip is to hold ammo together so that it can be loaded into a magazine. A magazine will feed ammo to the chamber while a clip feeds rounds into the magazine. 

Q: What is the best overall AR-15 magazine release for left-handed shooters?

There are a few ambidextrous magazine releases mentioned in this review but the best overall would be the Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release. This AR-15 magazine is suitable for shooters who are left-handed and right-handed as well. 

In any case, you have to shoot with your off-hand, you will still be able to access the magazine release easily. Even though it can be accessed easily, it doesn’t mean that it will accidentally release the magazine. The Arms Unlimited Ambidextrous AR-15 Magazine Release has a simple design that reduces snagging chance so that the magazine only releases when you press it. 

It is also a drop-in design so that it can be easily installed on your AR-15 and also made with durable materials. The only minor downside of this magazine release is that it doesn’t come with a magazine release button. 

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