Well I own about 20 PMAGs and was contemplating buying some windowed ones when i decided to try making my own version of a windowed PMAG. This modification takes about 15 minutes total. Here is a brief tutorial on how to make your own:
Items needed -
-PMAG magazine (any color, disassembled)
-1/8" Carbide flat cutter/endmill
-1/4" drill bit
-1/4" half round hobby file
-1" flat, fine tooth file
-3"x1/16"x1" aluminum flat stock
-a 4-5" vise
-a pad for the vise to prevent damage to the magazine (i used a piece of scrap rubber matting)
-a 1-2" C-clamp
-Devcon 5 minute Epoxy (buy the bottled stuff, it lasts a lot longer than the syringe type)
-something to mix the epoxy with, i used a hobby paintbrush, a popsicle stick works too.
-a small piece of cardboard to mix the epoxy on.
Here are the steps:
1. There are three index holes in the non-windowed PMAG where the window would normally be. I'm not sure if these were part of the die process or for other reasons, regardless they make great pilots for the cutting. Take your drill and chuck up the 1/4" bit and center over these three pilots, drill them out slowly, speed isn't needed.
2. Plug in the dremel and attach the endmill. I use a higher speed setting on this to prevent chatter, this bit will destroy a magazine quickly, so move slowly and deliberately. Make your way from one hole to another trying to stay as close as possible to the lower edge of the outside chamfer.
3. Once you have the window cut out and relatively cleaned up you can dress up any bumps or chatter marks with the flat file.
4. After cleaning the edges up well enough you can begin the process of creating an inner and outer chamfer along the edge of the new window. This creates a tapered edge allowing the epoxy to lock up with the magazine and prevent it from breaking free.
5. On the radius ends i use the 1/4" half round file to smooth out the edges and create a nice transition on the chamfers.
6. Once the edges are clean and smooth you can setup for the epoxy. first you want to use the aluminum flat stock for a backing plate, so the epoxy doesn't creep into the follower's ways. It is important that you smear a thin coat of beeswax across the aluminum so the epoxy won't stick to the aluminum...otherwise you'll end up with a non-functional and useless PMAG.
here is a pic of the beeswax, flat stock, C-Clamp and PMAG ready to go:
7. when applying the beeswax try using some rubber or nitrile gloves, as your fingerprint will leave striations in the epoxy (you can see these striations in the final pics). If you don't have gloves a piece of saran wrap stretched across you finger will do the trick. You don't want the beeswax too thick, it may prevent thorough coverage of the epoxy and cause adhesion problems.
here is the beeswax coated aluminum flatstock loosely fit in the magazine:
8. Once you have the magazine completely setup for the epoxy you can prepare it for mixing.
good stuff right here:
9. cut the caps and break the seals:
10. dispense even amounts of epoxy and hardener, mix thoroughly for 30 seconds and use your paintbrush or other applicator to fill in the window area of the PMAG, being careful not to put too much on at once (it can get messy and overflow onto the magazine)
11. window has been filled in with an ideal amount of epoxy:
Now this is labeled as 5 minute epoxy, but i would wait at least 1 hour for cure time. Once cured the C-Clamp and flatstock can be removed, then you can wipe off the beeswax from inside the window...here are some pics of the end result:
you can see the fingerprint striations real well in this one...
Overall, i think it's a viable solution to those who don't want to spend the extra few dollars on windowed PMAGs. Also note that in the long run the materials purchased for this will be way cheaper than choosing to upgrade. The modification is stable and simple. I only did one side of the magazine as a personal choice more than anything.
If you are thinking about rejuvenating your old mags, DO IT! This is simple, quick, and makes em look like NEW.
First, I ordered two cans of PermaSlik-G dry moly lube to coat the mags with. It was $16 a can, and I was able do all 28 mags of mine and still have some left in the first can. I imagine a can will do 35 mags single coat, and 20-25 mags double coat.
Here is a shot of some of my mags before getting started. Note, most of the original moly finish is gone, and some of the anodizing is even worn off.
Next, you remove the floorplates. On the 30 round mags, you simply *CAREFULLY* pry the plate from the mag on the "bent" edge of the plate, just enought to clear the keeper lips on the plate:
20 round floorplates are easier, you need a bullet tip to depress the keeper lip:
Then just slide the floorplate away from the mag body.
Next, remove spring and follower:
Then, you are ready to clean. I used warm soapy water in a small tub. I scrubbed the inside out with an old toothbrush, and scrubbed the outside with fine steel wool, to remove any paint, grease, and old loose moly finish. You dont have to get them spanking clean. I spent about 1 minute per mag cleaning. Rinse well.
After cleaning, I wanted to make sure that I had them real dry, so I put them all on a plate, seperated by paper towels, and put in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Also, it is COLD in my garage, so I made sure I left them warm from the oven straight to painting them.
Let the painting begin! I took an old broom handle, and wedged it into my workshelves in the garage to fashion an amateur hanging rig. I cut 8" pieces of coat hanger to make the hangers. Spray evenly around entire mag.
After I let them hang for 24 hours, I put them back in the oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees, to bake/cure the finish. Here is a shot of the final product:
The finish comes out very flat, dull grey.
I invested $10 per used mag, plus $2.50 for the new spring and green follower, and about $1 a mag in paint.... and I end up with a brand spanking better-than-new mag for under $14 a mag. Plus it was a lot of fun. (keep in mind this was when the ban was in effect, and NIW's were $25.)
After cooling, I wipe off the overspray with a paper towel: