There is no shortage of places to find cost-effective solutions for AR-15 in the modern market. The specific pieces we’re talking about today include magazines, pistol grips, and forearm grips. Companies like Magpul, Hexmag, and Amend2 are providing quality products that compete with each other, which results in some pretty economic prices.
Despite all these options, it’s still more important for the consumer to know the quality of the product they buy it. Knowing that can prevent the need to buy replacement products due to being unhappy with what you got the first time. Today, we’ll look at some Amend2 products to test their function, durability, and overall build quality to see if their products are up to snuff with American firearm enthusiasts.
Amend2 was kind enough to send us some of their products to review. As with all our reviews, we always try to take an objective approach to each product test and give you the good with the bad.
Amend2 Mod-3 30-Round AR Magazine
If you’re like me, you have a stack of AR-15 magazines stashed away somewhere in your house. If you’re not like me, you should think about buying AR-15 magazines and stashing them somewhere in your house. There’s no shortage of companies that provide mags to the gun community, but you need something you can train with for a long time without worrying about magazine wear. While all magazines wear out eventually, Amend2 has a brand new “Mod-3” AR-15 Magazine that claims to offer higher temperature resistance and durability. Here’s a review of Amend2’s brand-new AR mags.
Generally, you can go with two different types of AR-style magazines, steel, and plastic. I like using plastic for my drills and training while using steel mags in my plate carrier. Both styles have their pros and cons as you’ll see from the full review we’re doing on these polymer mags from Amend2. Amend2 is among some of the larger magazine manufacturers and has recently been releasing products that have held my attention for some time now.
One of these products is their new Mod-3 mag which is a third generation from their original line of magazines. Some of the claimed benefits the Mod-3 has over the Mod-2 are better durability, ammo retention, and most importantly, temperature resistance. All three will be fully tested, so let’s start from the beginning and see if any of those improvements are valid.
Out of the box, you can tell there was some thought put into making the body a little thicker. When comparing the Mod-3 to the Mod-2, you can see that Amend2 added more stippling and texture squares so you would be able to have more purchase on the mag in tense or slippery situations. These were really nice additions, and they didn’t feel cheaply made. Any comparison pictures you see throughout this article have an Amend2 Mod-2 mag on the left and a Mod-3 on the right.
The spring on the Mod-3 is very firm and loading these up with a full 30 rounds by hand was a struggle with the last 4 or 5 rounds. This made me even more excited, as a stiffer spring means that the mag should feed exceptionally well. After loading up all 5 mags with cases, the feed lips looked to hold all the rounds very securely. I left them sitting overnight, which some people have commented on the old Mod-2 mags cause the rounds to pop out of the magazine due to improper feed lip retention. They ended up sitting for around 48 hours which includes the time it took to test them out. No rounds were observed to come out of the magazine due to improper feed lips or too much spring tension. All the cartridges that ended up popping out of the mags were caused by the durability test.
Durability and Retention
Wow, I dropped these magazines a lot. A magazine is only as good as its durability. It is important to note, however, that magazines, in general, are like car tires. They will wear out, and you will have to replace them. That being said, there were absolutely no expectations walking into this test.
Four of the five magazines were loaded with regular 223 cases, while I did fully load one magazine with live ammunition. Each mag was dropped from head height onto concrete from the side, and both ends. Dropping the mag on its feed lips was the drop that seemed to do the most “damage”, and I put that in parenthesis because aside from what I would call normal scraping on the plastic, there was no major damage done to these magazines while being loaded with 30 cases. Overall, each magazine was dropped three times and I only lost one single case from a mag that had been dropped on the feed lips. In past generations, Amend2 magazines obtained the reputation for not being able to retain ammo when dropped from a few inches off the ground, so seeing these pass the test at head height was reassuring.
The next drop test only involved one mag. I went out to the middle of the street and tossed one of the Mod-3s up in the air only for it to land on the feed lips (which was unintentional). That specific mag suffered a critical failure from what was the equivalent of a 2-story drop. The critical failure was a large crack that went from one side of the feed lips and down the spine while another crack developed from the other feed lip that led to the side of the mag. Even with the large crack that caused the feed lips to separate, only 4 or 5 cases popped out (I picked up 4 but could be missing one). Unfortunately, this magazine was completely compromised, but I am impressed with the retention capabilities, as I would have expected that failure to lead to all 30 cases spilling out all over the road.
A plastic mag’s worst enemy is concrete, or in this case, asphalt. It does suck that I pushed one of these Mod-3s to failure, but at least that gives us a line for application. If my shooting discipline was three-gun or other competitions that required AR-15 magazines, I wouldn’t be worried about the results of that toss that resulted in a compromised mag. Very rarely would you ever see a two-story drop onto a concrete pad in competition, and you can definitely get away with tossing these out of your gun and onto the ground as hard as you can for the sake of speed. A fully loaded magazine from two stories is a lot to ask from any polymer design, so even though there was a critical failure, this doesn’t worry me all that much. Even if you’re tossing these onto gravel, it won’t have near the effect that concrete or asphalt would, so if you do end up going with the Mod-3, you should be comfortable with what to expect from it.
Bringing on the Heat
My oven goes as low as 170 degrees, and I wanted to mimic a hot day with the magazine being left in the car. I wasn’t trying to melt them, but normally polymer swells from heat and makes it difficult or impossible to get into an AR mag well when that swelling has occurred. Amend2 has emphasized with the Mod-3 that there is a higher resistance to both heat and cold than their previous generations. Since I like to leave some of my AR mags in my car for days at a time sometimes, I thought I would test this out in a controlled environment… a controlled environment being my oven.
The Mod-3 took half an hour at 170 degrees, which is actually hotter than your car would get on a 100-degree day. After 30 minutes, the magazine went flawlessly into the mag well of the AR. In previous models, the magazine would be too swollen to fit into the AR, which would be useless if you ended up having to use it. I never recommend you keep plastic mags in your car, but these would be okay if you left them there on a long hot summer day. Everything functioned fine and it’s definitely a useable magazine after being heated up.
The improvements advertised by Amend2 are starting to show. The temperature resistance is a real thing, and I’m super happy that they accommodated heat in their newest model. There are some very positive things that go into these new Mod-3 mags that weren’t included in the Mod-2 and these are what I noticed:
- Notable improvement in cartridge retention
- Magazine spring felt amazingly stiff
- More grip than previous generations
- Resistant to at least 170 degrees for 30 minutes
A stiff magazine spring means that there’s more pressure being applied to the cartridges inside the mag. With more pressure towards the chamber of your rifle, the feeding was on-point with the Mod-3. After cycling multiple 30-rounders from these magazines, there were no observable issues with feeding through my AR-15.
The feed lips on the Mod-3 are much beefier and stick out more than the Mod-2. It’s almost like the feed lips surround the cartridge more than in past generations, which is most likely what resulted in such pleasant cartridge retention. I am surprised that these beefier feed lips didn’t mess with the feeding or with the heat test, but I’m here to say that they don’t.
Heat resistance is a big deal for people who like to keep mags in their cars. While I’ll always recommend metal mags for long-term car storage, I think you could definitely get by with these Mod-3 mags. This is something that magazine manufacturers have been trying to fix ever since polymer magazines were invented.
Finally, having more stippling and grip panels makes it easier to manipulate these mags if you’re wearing gloves or if you have wet hands. It might not be a huge advantage, but I also like to think it makes the magazines look nicer as well. The added beefiness of that mag will help support long-term life if treated properly.
Polymer magazines are more widely used than any other type in the AR world. But no matter how much they’re used for whatever discipline, it’s important to know what they can and can’t do. There are limitations to these mags as we found from the durability test. Let’s look at all the cons we found on these mags.
- The magazine mouth is weaker than the rest of the magazine
- Can be difficult to take out internals
The split that developed in our compromised magazine was a direct result of landing on the feed lips. I have all the confidence in the world that if the mag had landed on the heel, spine, or even the side of the mag, everything would have been fine. That does bring into question, however, how sturdy or brittle the feed lips are. If anything, this just solidifies that polymer mags are just fine for general application, but I would sleep a little better knowing that if my life were on the line I would probably go with a metal mag.
Finally, this is a con, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. Because the internal spring is so good, the internals of this magazine can be very difficult to take out. One must compress the “2” on the bottom of the magazine while sliding the retaining heel off the magazine. The experience I had was somewhat difficult, and the plastic that fills the gaps on the “2” bends fairly easily. It’ll be interesting to see how these magazines age and if anything starts loosening up.
As someone who shoots off a bench for 90% of their shooting, I have no problem whatsoever using these magazines. Even if I was shooting a three-gun or fast-pace shooting competition, I wouldn’t feel under-gunned with the Mod-3. If you have a mound of mags, it would be a good thought to add some of these to your hoard.
The only application that I would use caution in recommending is anything involving life-threatening situations. I have all the confidence in the feeding and cartridge retention of the magazine, but I’m not entirely sure how brittle or hard the feed lips are. The last thing I would want to happen is for someone to break off some feed lips when they need the magazine the most. Aside from that application, I think this is a great all-around option for the everyday gun enthusiast.
Final Thoughts on the Mod-3 Mags
I’ll use this to repeat that you should have as many magazines as you can. They’re disposable equipment, which should set your expectations for what these can and cannot do. I’m very impressed with how Amend2 has applied the lessons learned from previous generations. Any feeding or cartridge retention issues from the Mod-2 can officially be put to rest with the Mod-3. As for the magazine I broke, I fully plan on going through Amend2’s warranty program to get it replaced as a way of testing their customer service. As for the other 4 mags, I intend to keep them in my ammo box for as long as they work for me. Give Amend2’s website a look if you’re in need of any magazines, and check out the exchange deal they have going on where you send in your old mags and get a 50% off code for your new mags.
Amed2 MOD-C Translucent Magazines
There was a lot of initial thought of how to structure this review. Whether to start with these magazines or finish the review up with them. AR shooters are often the most picky regarding their magazines since they can be the cause of many different malfunctions in the rifle. It’s for that reason that I decided to cover the magazines before anything else. That, and I was very excited to get my hands on Amend2’s clear “MOD-C” magazines. Let’s get into the details of these magazines.
Like many AR fans, I’m a magazine hoarder. Some of my ammo crates are specifically dedicated just to AR magazines that I can grab on the go if I have a last-minute range trip. These were my first translucent magazines, as I usually just buy the regular polymer mags for my purposes. The polymer that made these mags up didn’t feel any less than what normal mags were made of. They fit into my AR very snug and with no wiggle or wobble. Overall I was very happy with the first look at these new mags and was ready to put them to the test.
When these magazines were first received, they were loaded with 30 rounds and then promptly unloaded by hand. While that was a bear to do, I wanted to see how the mags interacted with being fully loaded and unloaded. With 30 rounds, you could feel the feed lips start to widen ever-so-slightly under the pressure of the spring. This didn’t affect how the mag fed into the well, however, you do have to put some pressure to make sure the magazine locks into the gun when you have all 30 rounds loaded up.
This is something that’s pretty common in AR mags, but when your bolt is closed and you’re trying to load a full magazine, the first round in the mag makes contact with the bottom of the bolt, and in order for the mag to lock into the gun, the bolt has to push the rounds down into the magazine by just a few millimeters before the lock clicks home. None of this detracts from the magazine, as it’s usually something you run into with any other brand.
The other part about their function was their feeding. They were used AFTER the drop test, so the snow, muck, and water from the concrete they were dropped on were exposed to the ammunition and the firearm. Each mag fed all their rounds flawlessly and held the bolt open after the last round was shot. I might not be taking these things into war, but it’s good to know your mags can handle water, snow, and a little bit of dirt.
This magazine is part of Amend2’s 3rd generation magazine rollout. The problem some people had with their previous generations was heat. In the hot summer, magazines would sometimes swell if they were kept in the hot weather for too long. This would lead to mags failing to get into the magwell, which would obviously ruin the mag. The only thing I could do to simulate that in Western Nebraska during March was to place the mags next to a personal heater I had that was constantly blowing at 90 degrees. The mags fed fine and there was no issue with swelling.
The other test for durability these mags went through was a drop from shoulder height. The magazines were inserted into the mag well, and while the rifle was shouldered, I hit the mag release button. The biggest thing that happened in this test was that sometimes the first round popped out of the magazine. Each magazine was dropped 3 times, and there was no single magazine that consistently lost a round when it was dropped.
As you can tell from the pictures, the mags were loaded with 10 rounds, 20 rounds, and 30 rounds respectively. Each mag was dropped onto concrete that was wet from melted snow. Considering these mags were dropped onto dirty, wet, and snowy conditions, I’m quite impressed by how they performed when used.
Considering the worst that happened to these mags was some roughing of the bottom due to being dropped on concrete, I’m very happy with how they performed in the durability test. I will be excited to use them in the future to see how they hold up to repeated use.
Now that the MOD-C Mags have been thoroughly reviewed, we’re going to go in the order of lease boring to most boring. The M-LOK Vertical Foregrip by Amend2 is their first forearm grip they’ve put on the market, and quite frankly, it shows. Before I give it all away in a paragraph, let’s take a look at my first impressions on this attachment.
I really wanted to like this grip when I first received it. I was running a forearm grip that required a picatinny rail on my M-LOK forearm, so by converting to Amend2’s foregrip I saved myself from having to deal with 2 extra screws and an additional piece. Being able to directly mount this grip to the forearm is smart, and probably the best part about this grip. The less parts you have to make sure are tight, the better. With this grip, you have two M-LOK screws and you’re done.
The good news is that it was easy to install and use. It also had good texture on the grip for your hand to really grab onto. The bad news that really rubbed me wrong with first impressions is that it is NOT a capped grip. The bottom of the grip that allows you access to the screws that hold the grip to your forearm does not have a cap. My first thought was that if you were to go prone with this on your gun, and you accidentally ran the grip into the mud, you would be left with a dirty mess that could get into your screws. This is something I would later test in the function part of the review.
My last critique on first handling this grip is that it did feel just like cheap plastic. But it’s hard not to feel that when you’re handling a hollow piece of thin-walled polymer. The function and durability tests will decide what my final thoughts are on this grip and if I would recommend it for your setup, so let’s get into that.
I’m the kind of shooter that has one forearm grip for one AR that’s been in my possession since I turned 18. An attachment like this is easy to just slap onto your rifle and leave it there for the next 10 years. When rapid-firing my rifle, the grip was fine to use as it was meant to. You could either hold it like the old-fashioned “broom stick” forearm grips or you could C-clamp your forearm while using the grip as a stabilizer for the base of your hand. Personally, I will always implement and recommend the C-clamp grip. It feels better, more natural, and it’s way more stable.
That being said, I had a hard time getting used to the feel of this grip. That’s not the grip’s fault, as I’m usually a bench-shooter. Toward’s the end of my testing, however, I was already feeling more comfortable with this grip. If you’re someone who just needs a cost-effective forearm grip and you don’t care too much about getting mud into the screws of your grip, then this would be a fantastic choice.
It functioned exactly how a grip would and you can mount it directly on an M-LOK rail instead of having to install any adapters like I had to on my original grip. Overall, I confirmed my initial thought that this grip was as average as a grip could be. The function is exactly what you want, but it’s far from being anything fancy.
Let’s start off by saying that I really wanted to break this grip. It felt a little bit like cheap plastic, but I could tell by the construction that it wouldn’t fail as easily as I was hoping. When first getting back from the range, I immediately took the grip off the gun. I then went out into the middle of the street and tossed the grip up in the air to see how good old pavement would treat it.
I was hoping for a crack that would tell me how cheap the plastic was. All I got, however, was a scuffed up grip that still functioned fine after a few drops. As you can tell from the pictures, a few scuffs here and there to break in the stipling is all you need to see.
While I didn’t test the grip with any mud, it would be curious to see how the screws would be affected by mud getting into the recess at the bottom. My assumption is that water and mud would get into the threads of the screws and you could have a real headache when it comes to taking your attachment off. If you’re like me though, you’re probably not going to be taking that grip off anytime soon, so while you may still take that hole in the bottom into consideration, it may not affect your or your rifle.
Finally, we’re onto the more boring part of the product review. There was not a lot to like or hate about this pistol grip, and if I were to put the most basic review on this product, it would be that it’s a basic/standard pistol grip. For a $20 grip, it serves the purpose it’s meant to. There are still some details worth sharing, so we’ll move onto the first impression.
The first thing I did with all these pieces was put them on my AR. When I put this pistol grip on, it was simple and fast. The pistol grip is capped at the base so no mud or muck can get in places you don’t want it. The texturing on the grip is sharp and needs some wear to break in, but I would rather have that than a grip with no texture at all.
When I first put the gun up to my cheek to see how the grip fit, I realized it was a little more vertical than what I’m used to. Granted, most of my previous pistol grips were brushed back a bit more than usual, but if you’re the same as I am, you would notice the difference if you used the Amend2 grip. None of that is necessarily bad, but it’s just what comes with a $20 grip. But how did it function? Let’s find out.
This change in furniture was by far the least noticeable out of everything I changed on my rifle. Working with this grip solely reminds me of the standard A2-style grip. When given the option though, I would choose this over a standard A2. The stipling on the grip didn’t dig into my hands as much as I thought it would.
Usually, new pistol grips have sharp stipling that might make you feel less comfortable when shooting the gun. That was not the case with this one. Using this in combination with the forearm grip allowed me to bring the gun into my shoulder quite nicely, while still being able to use it behind the bench. I wish there was more to say about this attachment, but it was perfectly average in it’s function, so I don’t think you could go wrong in using this for a build with the intention of upgrading later down the road.
I pulled the same test with this pistol grip that I did with the forearm grip. I took this off my rifle and went out to the street to throw it up in the air in order to see how pavement would rough it up. The results were very similar to the forearm grip’s in the sense that there was some scuffs on the stipling of the grip, but nothing major that was even close to noticeable.
Since this pistol grip is made out of the same hard polymer that the forearm grip is, it’s not surprising that it can take the same amount of hurt as the forearm grip can. I really wish there was more to say on this piece, but it took everything I threw at it and asked for seconds. At the same time, if you’re working with a pistol grip that is fragile, can’t stay on the gun, or is not functional, you have some serious problems with your build. Amend2’s pistol grip would be a great piece to put on your rifle.
I think it’s worthy to note that everything reviewed in this article performed better than expected. The pistol grip does not come with a mounting screw, but it turned out to be a cost-effective start-up pistol grip. The forearm grip may have felt cheap, but if you can throw it into the pavement with no issue, it’s a win in my book.
Finally, the magazines tested performed admirably through being dropped, thrown, used, worked, and weathered. All three mags held the bolt open after the last round and there were no cracks, swelling, or deformations whatsoever. Knowing the complaints on Amend2’s previous mags, I think they’ve taken into consideration the feedback of their customers and have made it their mission to create a better product.
If I were building an AR-15 for the purpose of home protection, or rapid fire/target selection, the pieces being reviewed would almost instantly be added to my cart. The fact that you can get it all on one website makes it even better. If you’re looking for some cool translucent magazines along with some decent grips, Amend2 would be a great place to look.
Growing up, Buck was taught about firearm history and appraisal. Getting to know so many different firearm platforms eventually lead to his long-distance shooting exploration. While his main hunting past time is coyotes, he still find just as much satisfaction punching steel at distance. Every shot taken is with the purpose to become a better shooter.