Lancer Systems is an American company that specializes in industrial fiber optics, seals, and industrial components. Moreover, Lancer Systems also has an entire line of firearms accessories. Lancer System’s flagship product is the highly compatible polymer magazine, the L5AWM, one that works with any weapon system that takes normal AR-15 style magazines.
For those unfamiliar with the NATO draft standardization agreement (STANAG 4179), it was proposed in 1980 as an effort to bring all NATO partners together by accepting standardized dimensions for magazines being used in military firearms chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. Because civilianized weapon systems are often based 90%+ on their military counterparts, the use of STANAG magazines has emerged as an industry standard even if never completely adopted by NATO. That means you can run the L5AWM in any AR-15, M4, M16, SCAR 16, HK 416, Beretta ARX160, CZ BREN 805/806, IWI Tavor, SIG556, SA80 or the Bushmaster ACR. Calm down, don’t get excited yet, that in itself doesn’t set it apart from the competition.
Given Lancer Systems experience with high grade polymers and fibers, the L5AWM incorporates industrial grade expertise into the design, manufacturing, and quality assurance/control process. It would be wrong to say other companies like Magpul, Troy Industries, and Heckler & Koch don’t have equally as adequate levels of production, but the L5AWM is certainly a solid delivery to the market.
The L5AWM is made from impact resistant polymer (body, floor plate, follower), a slim-style design available in translucent or opaque color options. Internally it features a non-tilt follower and there is a constant curve to the internal geometry of the follower and spring. The spring itself is made of quality stainless steel. The floor plate slides off easily for disassembly and is made from the same impact resistant polymer as the magazine body. On the exterior, the L5AWM features an aggressive texture that results in a positive grip for the shooter when loading or unloading the weapon system. Lancer Systems covers all the bases by offering the L5AWM in 10, 20, or 30 round capacity and color options that include both opaque (black, FDE, OD, foliage) and Translucent (clear, smoke) magazines.
The key concept behind the L5AWM is the incorporation of wrap-around hardened steel feed lips and magazine catch. While many polymer magazines excel in nearly all areas over steel magazines (weight, finish, flexibility) the feed lips and magazine catch can present a challenge. While we can’t discredit all polymer magazines with polymer feed lips, we can lend credit to the reliability of the L5AWM design. The L5AWM represents a hybrid option for those who want to keep with the reliability of steel feed lips, but with a polymer body.
Testing and Evaluation
To be honest, when testing the L5AWM it became evident that it would be a question of durability of the feed lips. While steel makes for reliable feeding, it is prone to altered specifications if impacted. This is where the L5AWM proves the quality steel is more than adequate enough compared to the polymer feed lips featured on competitors magazines. The L5AWM survived a 6ft drop on to solid concrete with 30 rounds loaded directly to the feed lips. The impact resulted in no altered specifications and the magazine maintained integrity perfectly. The only noticeable adverse result from the drop test was that one of the two small polymer lips at the front of the magazine (forward of the feed lips) was slightly bent. It was returned to the proper location without any weakening or cracking, which we confidently say is a result of using high grade polymers.
In terms of chemical testing, the L5AWM was coated with CLP, Industrial-strength Clorox bleach, and WD40 to see how the polymer would react after exposure. Upon rinsing and drying, there were absolutely no indications of chemical reactions, weakening, discoloration, etc.
Lancer Systems affirms that as they have developed the L5AWM to be corrosion and chemical resistant. The L5AWM passed military chemical testing, which included exposure of every service member’s favorite, DEET.
Like firearms, magazines also have loyal followings. At Serpent Tactical LLC, we focus on completing magazine reviews, particularly testing and evaluation (T&E) without bias. We have tested a number of magazines and stand by the methods we use and the criteria we have developed. The L5AWM is what should be considered a prime-grade polymer magazine as it received an outstanding score during our T&E.
Magazines that prove themselves when subjected to harsh treatment, exposure, and heavy use deserve to be recognized. When magazines exceed the requirements of military professionals, law enforcement officers, and professionals in private security, they offer one of many options to those who rely on magazines for their weapon system. For those looking for an outstanding magazine solution for numerous weapon systems, the Lancer Systems L5AWM is truly worthy of your consideration. You can find Lancer L5AWM magazines in the Serpent Store at www.serpenttactical.com and be sure to ask if the color option you desire is not in stock, we’ll gladly order and get it to you promptly.