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Field Tests - ProMag 12, And 20 Round Drums

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A couple of weeks ago I contacted Pro Mag about testing their new 12 and 20 round drums. Since their introduction, I have been curious about them and wanted to see how they would perform with my guns. Kristy, the company representative was very helpful and within a week of making my request, one ProMag twenty round, and one ProMag twelve round drum arrived at my workshop. After seeing the twenty round drum, my friend Tom decided he had to have TWO and promptly ordered two for himself. A few days later I had three ProMag twenty round drums, and one twelve round drum at the workshop. I asked Tom if I could use his ProMag drums for test samples as well, and he said "sure".


Before going any further, I need to disclose that I personally own two MD Arms twenty round drums. I am very happy with them and wouldn't part with them unless someone offered me far more that Mike is currently selling them for. Likewise, my friend Tom owns a thirty round Wraithmaker drum that he is absolutely crazy about, and would not sell, so we decided to test them all, along with a few Surefire twelve round stick mags, and four factory five round mags.


After looking at the range of mags we had available we decided to expand our horizons and see if one brand or size of mag performed better than another. We had around 1,500 rounds of federal bulk pack bird shot (we went and got more later), so there was no shortage of test ammo.


We started with the ProMag Drums. Right out of the box, the ProMag Drums fit three of the four S12's we had at the range. A quick check of the fourth gun revealed that the top of the mag catch had a slight cant, and appeared to be a hair longer than the others, so that gun was excluded from the ProMag tests.


All three twenty round drums were loaded to capacity with Federal bulk pack 7 1/2 bird shot and discharged at varying rates of fire. The first couple of times through - two of the 20 round mags, and the one 12 round mag we had on hand experienced FTF's with one or two shells. After the initial break in, the mags just worked.


No one bothered counting but we must have put 300 rounds through the ProMag drums with no FTF's or FTE's after the initial break in cycles. I personally found the load assist levers on the back of the ProMag drums helpful, especially until the drums limbered up a bit.


I found the twenty round mags to be solid and reliable at all rates of fire, something I have come to expect from the MD Arms drums I already own. There are some differences in the ProMag and MD arms drums. Notably the direction in which the rounds load, the attachment mechanisms for the drum backs, the diameter (Promag 6 5/8" and MD Arms 7" exclusive of screw ports, or tabs), the weight of the drums (MD Arms - around 930 grams, ProMag - around 1,030 grams). Both drums are of high quality with the ProMag appearing smaller and denser.


The BIG surprise was the little ProMag twelve round drum - which in my opinion beats any twelve round stick mag on the market hands down for convenience, ergonomics, and usability. If I had to pick just one mag or drum to have with me at all times for self defense or a SHTF scenario - this is definitely the one. It's only about four and a half inches in diameter, loads a full twelve rounds, and is small enough to cart around in quantity in a rucksack, or to have a couple ready in the glove compartment. Very reliable, very compact, very handy!


Next we ran about 100 rounds through the MD Arms 20 round drums. No surprises there. They're a great drum and we experienced no FTF's or FTE's. The drums ran great.


In the interest of fairness, Tom loaded up his 30 round Wraithmaker, and proceeded to burn up about 300 rounds of ammo all by himself. The drum is constructed from solid billet aluminum, and just plain runs, and runs, and runs.


We finished up with three Surefire 12 round stick mags, and four factory five round mags. All ran flawlessly.


So the verdict is, every mag we ran - from every maker - worked exactly as it should. I am as impressed and confident with the ProMag offerings, as I am with the reliability of my own MD Arms 20 round drums. Once again - I DO have a new favorite - the ProMag 12 round drum. The 20's are great for the field, but in a confined space like the interior of an automobile or a building, I want that 12 round drum attached to my S12, and have just ordered a bunch more to have handy.




Michael Rogers

Lone Star Arms

2501 Baylor SE

Albuquerque, NM 87106



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