Load to 30
Those promoting loading mags to 30 rounds argue that this was the intended round count for these magazines. They were designed to be fully loaded to 30 and can be loaded successfully as such. Giving up 1 or 2 rounds simply takes away from the user’s capabilities and with an in-spec rifle, you should not have issues.
This group believes that loading to 28 or 29 provides more give in the magazine spring when doing a tactical reload. This also requires less force to seat the magazine. Less upward tension is also placed on the magazine spring when sending home an open bolt. This reduces the chance of the bolt not fully going forward and into battery. The shooter is giving up 1 or 2 rounds, but this is a price paid for insurance. When changing the magazine it will be easier and more efficient to get another magazine properly inserted and get the gun back into the fight.
There are many factors that affect this decision. An important factor is what type/brand of magazine is used. Accessories such as ranger plates and magpods also play a role.
Even if one brand works I would prefer to set my gear up so it works across various brands. For those worried about the round count, there are plenty of options from magazine extensions to Magpul D60s.
I have yet to hear of a single scenario where the 30th round in a magazine saved someone’s life. However, I have seen multiple times at classes where shooters loaded a 30 round mag under stress and failed to seat the magazine. This was followed by their mag embarrassingly falling to the floor. For me, I’ll take my chances and load one less round.
Special thanks to @marlisphotos for the pictures.
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Richard lives in southern Indiana and has a strong interest in training, modified pistols, optics, and low profile gear/tactics. Some may consider it hoarding or some form of addiction, but he never tires in his pursuits as a stamp and lumen collector!
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