Lancer Systems L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (Lancer L5 AWM) 30-Round 5.56mm NATO Translucent Polymer AR Mag (AR-15/M16 Rifle Magazine) to Debut at SHOT Show 2011

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

December 3, 2010

Speaking of polymer magazines, and, more specifically, translucent polymer mags, Lancer Systems plans to introduce the Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (L5 AWM) at SHOT Show 2011 in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada in January (2011). DefenseReview (DR) readers may or may not remember that we published a heads-up article on the 1st-generation (Gen 1) Lancer L5 translucent polymer 30-round 5.56mm NATO AR mag (AR-15 magazine) almost two years ago, in January 2009. Lancer Systems subsequently introduced their 2nd-Generation (Gen 2) L5 30-shot AR mag (known as the L5A) at SHOT Show 2010. The Lancer L5A mag did away with the Gen-1’s prominent side rib (a little more than half-way down the magazine body), so the user can stack it in a double mag pouch.

So, in keeping with Lancer Systems’ tradition of annual evolutionary product improvement and display, they’ve decided to up the ante one more time and improve the L5 translucent polymer mag even further (and perhaps even perfect it) with the development of the L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine, and then officially launch it at SHOT Show 2011. L5AWM pricing and availability information won’t be available until then, but we already know that it will be available in opaque Black, FDE, O.D. Green, Foliage Green, and tinted Translucent (DR’s favorite).

When DR spoke with Scott Vilardi of Lancer Systems by phone, recently, he told us that the L5 AWM represents a virtual complete product redesign, one that makes the L5 mag even more reliable and durable than it already was, including making it impervious to the chemical DEET (used in insect repellent), which was previously the L5 mag series’ Achilles’ heel. The key to the L5AWM’s imperviousness to DEET was, according to DR’s understanding, redesigning the way the one-piece, wrap-around hardened steel feed lips (PTFE-coated for corrosion resistence) are integrated with the magazine’s polymer body.

The L5 AWM can withstand a 5-foot (5′) drop onto solid concrete. It can also withstand temperatures from -40-degrees to +180-degrees fahrenheit, and can be stored loaded for extended periods of time without feed-lip spreading. The L5AWM incorporates constant-radius geometry and an anti-tilt/no-tilt follower for reliable feeding. Lancer Systems refers to the L5 Advanced Warfighter Mag as a hybrid magazine, due to the integration of steel feed lips and a high-impact polymer body.

As you can see from the accompanying photos, Lancer Systems has also added aggressive texturizing to the mag’s polymer body for enhanced gripping and easier mag pouch retrieval.

Defense Review contributors Mike Pannone and Jeff Gurwitch, both U.S. Army Special Forces (SF) veterans, like and use Lancer L5 mags. Mr. Gurwitch uses them for tactical 3-Gun competition.

Here’s Mike Pannone’s take on Lancer L5 series mags:

Dave, I still have 3 of the 4 magazines I bought 3 years ago and I’ve been using them nearly non-stop since then. I’ve frozen them loaded and dropped them on the feed lips in my garage 5 times each and they still run fine to this day. I really like some of the upgrades Lancer has done and have been a fan of their magazines for a while now. The hybrid metal feed lips and polymer body is a formidable design to compete with.

Mike is currently testing and evaluating some “early samples” of the new L5 AWM, and will hopefully write something up on them for DR when he’s done.

Since the Lancer L5 AWM is a 4179 STANAG magazine, it’s compatible with multiple weapons systems (assault rifles), including, but not necessarily limited to, the AR-15/M16/M4/M4A1-platform weapons, HK416, SA80A2, FN MK16 SCAR-L (SCAR-Light), and the Beretta ARX160.

The L5 and L5A 30-round Advanced Warfighter Mags are NTOA member tested and recommended, so the L5AWM will likely follow suit. NTOA stands for National Tactical Officers Association.

The following information comes from the Lancer Systems L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (L5AWM) data sheet:

“The L5 AWM is a hybrid magazine that combines the best features of polymer and steel magazine designs. Unique to the AWM is the one piece wrap-around hardened steel feed lip assembly that is permanently attached to an impact resistant polymer body. The hardened steel feed lips won’t bend, break or deform due to rough handling or long term storage. An aggressive surface texture has been applied to the polymer body to improve gripping and retrieval from pouches. The combination of steel and polymer result in a lightweight, robust magazine tough enough for professional use.

The internal geometry of the Advanced Warfighter Magazine is a constant curve that has been maximized to feed the 5.56X45mm NATO round and includes a non-tilting follower for trouble free feeding. The feed lips are made from a single piece of precision formed steel that is hardened and then PTFE coated for corrosion resistance. The body and component materials are corrosion and chemical resistant, passing military chemical testing including exposure to DEET.

The L5 AWM is designed to work in multiple weapon systems; M4/M16/AR, HK416, SA80, SCAR-L / Mk16, ARX160 and is available in 20 and 30 round capacity with a translucent or opaque polymer body.

– Translucent & Opaque Body
– Hardened Steel Feed Lips
– Textured Surface & Round Count

– Made in the USA.
– Available in opaque Black, FDE, OD, Foliage Green and tinted Translucent
– Polymer body that is impact resistant through a wide range of temperatures
– Can be dropped onto the feed lips without damage
– Withstands 5’ drop, fully loaded onto concrete at -40o F through +180o F
– Can be stored loaded for extended periods of time without feed lip spreading
– Body and component materials that are corrosion and chemical resistant,
passes military chemical testing including exposure to DEET.
– One piece hardened steel wrap-around feed lip assembly that is permanently
attached to the polymer body.
– Steel feed lip assembly is PTFE coated for corrosion resistance.
– The Translucent version has round count markers at 20 and 30 rounds
– Aggressive surface texture
– Constant radius geometry and non tilting follower
– Same basic envelop as the USGI aluminum magazine


– Weapon Type: Multi-platform
– M4 / M16 / AR15
– HK 416 [HK416] – SA80 (SA80A2)
– ARX160
– SCAR-L / Mk 16 Mod 0

– Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm NATO
– Capacity: L5AWM30 – 30 rounds
– L5AWM20 – 20 rounds
– Weight: Unloaded: L5AWM30 – 4.4 oz
L5AWM20 – 3.5oz”

Click here to read the actual L5 AWM data sheet.

Company Contact Info:

Lancer Systems
7566 Morris Court,Suite 300
Allentown, PA 18106
Phone: 610-973-2600
Fax: 610-973-2601
[email protected] General Info Email
[email protected] Sales Email Website Lancer Systems on Facebook Lancer Systems on Twitter

© Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This content/material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without first receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Lancer Systems L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (Lancer L5 AWM) 30-Round 5.56mm NATO Translucent Polymer AR Mag (AR-15/M16 Rifle Magazine) to Debut at SHOT Show 2011 by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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