At a Glance: Best AR-15 Magazine Couplers
Comparison of Best AR-15 Magazine Couplers
Our Top Pick
|Brownells AR-15/M16 magazine coupler||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Mercob Security Group AR-15/M16 PMAG magazine coupler||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Dreamplastics AR-15/M16 PMAG magazine coupler||View Latest Price|
A magazine coupler has become a popular accessory among AR15 users thanks to its ability to reload mags at a faster pace. A magazine coupler is also a great way to keep a spare magazine handy, especially when a magazine carrier is not an option, such as for home defense purposes.
In this article, you will learn how a magazine coupler can upgrade your shooting, how to use one, and what factors distinguish the best AR15 magazine couplers from the vast array of choices on the market.
Our pick of the 5 best AR15 magazine couplers in 2020
To reduce overwhelm, and prevent you from wasting your money on cheap, low quality, ineffective products, we’ve reviewed and compared the top 5 magazine couplers for AR15’s currently on the market. For each product, you will find a list of pros and cons for easy comparison and quick evaluation.
Brownells AR-15/M16 magazine coupler
Brownells AR15 magazine coupler is designed to bind a backup magazine directly to the mag in the gun, giving you fast tactical reloads without the need to move your trigger hand.
The magazine coupler is made from tough, molded nylon. It features three steel bolts allowing an adjustable retention force. This means that magazines cannot slip out even during vigorous combat maneuvers.
Brownell’s magazine coupler uses a side-by-side design with staggered heights. Plus, there are fixed standoff points between the compartments which work to ensure the magazines don’t wobble or rattle.
The coupler comes with a Top Round Protector (TRP) to protect the feed lips of the backup mag and prevent accidental dislodgement of the top round, and keep out dirt. The TRP can be detached instantly by pressing downwards on the release tab while pushing forward.
I did find this coupler to be a bit difficult to adjust. This is since it has long screws which require a screwdriver and some skill to adjust. Therefore, it is not the most convenient coupler to adjust when out on the field. However, the good thing is that the coupler rarely does require adjusting.
Other than this small issue, the coupler gives a rock-solid hold and brilliant value for money. It holds the mags tight and works effectively with no issues. Furthermore, it offsets the mags perfectly so that the ejection port does not get blocked.
- Constructed with tough materials
- Holds mags together securely with no wobble or rattle
- Offset staggered design
- Features a Top Round Protector
- Can be a bit difficult to adjust
- Does not fit PMAGS
Mercob Security Group AR-15/M16 PMAG magazine coupler
The AR15 PMAG magazine coupler from Mercob is a lightweight, low-profile system that firmly clamps two PMAGs to give faster reloads in all shooting situations such as combat or competition shooting.
The coupler attaches the backup magazine directly to the one in the gun, giving the user the ability to make ultra-fast reloads. It is compatible with both 20 or 30 round Magpul PMAGs and securely holds them together in a side-by-side position. The tension-adjustable coupling also prevents the spare magazine from shifting out of place.
Mercob’s magazine coupler is precision-machined from billet aluminum. It features smooth, radiused edges to prevent friction against your hand. This coupler is a rugged and reliable option for both tactical and competition use.
The design of this mag coupler is appealing. It is slim and unobtrusive, with no bulk whatsoever. It has also been designed exactly for the dimensions of the PMAG, but I found this coupler to work better with 30 round PMAGs than 20 rounds. This is because 20 round PMAGs are too short to offset, and the second one tends to hit the ejection port cover.
That being said, this coupler’s construction is perhaps the best out of all the models I tested. It holds mags solidly together and doesn’t loosen over time. Overall, Mercob’s coupler does what you desire. It allows you to make a tactical mag change with ease and extreme speed. For shooters that use 30 round PMAGs, this is undoubtedly one of the best AR15 magazine couplers for you.
- Designed specifically for PMAGs
- Slim, lightweight design with no bulk
- Solid construction giving a tight hold
- Tension-adjustable coupling to prevent any movement
- Smooth, radiused edges to prevent friction
- The best option for 30 round PMAG shooters
- Doesn’t work so great with 20 round mags
Dreamplastics AR-15/M16 PMAG magazine coupler
The Dreamplastics AR15 magazine coupler securely clamps a backup PMAG to the one in the gun for fast and easy access. Installation is just as speedy and hassle-free as it can be installed in a matter of seconds using a standard slot-head screwdriver.
The coupler is made from durable glass-reinforced nylon, which is corrosion, weather, and impact resistant. The steel cross-bolt provides a high level of tensioning force to give both mags a secure, rattle-free grasp. Moreover, the coupler’s deep surface ribbing gives you a solid, non-slip hold, while the rounded outside edges prevent any snagging on your clothes and gear.
Dreamplastics offers models available to fit four popular 30-round magazines, including Magpul PMAG and GEN M3 PMAG. Note that the PMAG model is only compatible with generation II PMAGs manufactured after July 2009, whereas the GEN M3 PMAG coupler will only fit the third generation Magpul PMAGs.
I was very impressed with the construction and performance of this coupler. It is very sturdy, made from quality material, and can take a beating too. The coupler does not just hold the mags via the tension of the middle screw, but also from the insides of the front and rear clamps. These clamps have been molded to fit around the P-Mags’ external horizontal ribs so that they don’t slide up or down.
It’s probably one of the most durable and long-lasting couplers I tried out. One small downside is that it is bulkier and heavier than most of its competitors but with the strength and longevity it gives, this is a very minor issue.
- A very durable coupler that will last a long time
- Gives an extra secure hold with no sliding or shifting
- Corrosion, weather and impact resistant
- Fast and easy installation
- Can fit PMAGs and GEN M3 PMAGs
- Quite bulky and heavy
Lancer Systems AR-15/M16 L5 magazine coupler
The AR15 magazine coupler from Lancer Systems uses a lightweight, yet impressively strong, polymer-and-steel clamping system to join together two 30-round magazines. This system allows you to reload your mag immediately.
This coupler is specially designed to fit the ridges molded into the Lancer L5 magazine, giving a non-slip installation. However, it will also fit USGI-contour aluminum and steel magazines from other manufacturers.
The coupler is made from reinforced, injection-molded polymer with a clamping system that is made from steel. It features protective aluminum spacers to prevent over-tightening the clamping screws on L5 magazines.
I found this model holds magazines in place at a perfectly aligned angle. It’s so simple to operate. The magazine will pop out and is ready to go with just one push of your thumb. This model ticks all the boxes for what you need from a magazine coupler. It’s sturdy, durable, prevents overcrowding of magazines, and allows quick access to switching the mags.
As it is designed for Lancers L5 magazines, it is not the best option for PMAGs or other mags. However, if you do use Lancer L5, this is the one for you. What’s more, this coupler’s design and construction make it one of the best AR15 magazine couplers for intense competition shooting.
- Made from high-quality polymer
- Lightweight but strong
- Features aluminum spacers to prevent overtightening
- Compatible with magazines that hold up to 30 rounds
- Top choice for shooters using Lancer L5 magazines
- Not a good fit for PMAGs
Magpul AR-15/M16 PMAG Mag-link magazine coupler
The Magpul Mag-link coupler binds two 30-Round PMAGs together, giving super-fast reloads and top-notch stability and security. Constructed with reinforced hard polymer, the links are secured by two steel bolts to hold both mags firmly, with no rattling or play.
The Maglink is one of the strongest couplers I’ve come across. It solidly holds two mags together like a rock, allowing zero movement. I like this model because it is its ability to set your magazines up how you like them. They give the fastest, most efficient swap when placed side by side, but can also work with a staggered configuration.
The coupler installs very easily. It can be tightened with a screwdriver for extra assurance that the mags won’t come loose. It’s amazing how high the quality and construction of this coupler is at such a low price. It offers awesome value for money and is easily one of the best AR15 magazine couplers for PMAG users.
Note that this coupler is designed for use with current-production 30-round PMAG and MagLevel PMAG only. It will not work with the first generation PMAG, 20-round PMAG, EMAG, PMAG 30G, or 7.62/.308 PMAG.
- Holds magazines super securely
- Can work side by side or staggered
- High quality for a low price
- One of the best options for PMAGs
- Not compatible with many mags
- Does require some tightening with a screwdriver
What is an AR-15 magazine coupler, and why do you need one?
A magazine coupler is used to fit two AR15 magazines together to keep extra magazines handy until you need them.
- A magazine coupler has a series of ‘teeth’ on both sides, which hold the coupler tight to the magazine body.
- This fit ensures a solid pair of coupled magazines supporting the recoil of the platform.
- It is designed to improve the reloading process by increasing your speed and efficiency.
- It also allows you to keep some extra ammo handy at all times.
- When installed, the fit is very tight and may require some force when being slid onto the magazine body.
A magazine coupler is a useful and convenient addition for all shooters. Regardless of whether you use your AR15 for hunting, target practice, or competitive shooting, a magazine coupler will save you time when reloading your rifle.
As a magazine coupler attaches a second loaded magazine to the one being used, your additional magazines are much closer to you. This allows you to reload much faster than by using the traditional single mag reloading method.
Although it does (at least initially) require some thought to shift the mag over rather than going to a mag pouch, the majority of shooters will still experience an increase in their reloading speed.
Instant jam resolution
Magazine couplers can also serve as a vital accessory for emergencies. If your magazine jams on you, a magazine coupler can give you an instant resolve. Knowing you have two extra magazines handy just if one fails will provide you with greater peace of mind when out on the field.
What makes a great AR-15 magazine coupler?
When looking for a magazine coupler for your AR15, one thing you’ll be wanting to know is how to distinguish the very best AR15 magazine couplers from the lousy quality, ineffective ones.
There are a few factors you should consider when shopping around to ensure you choose an accessory that performs well and lasts a long time.
The better the quality of material your coupler is made from, the longer it will last.
- You should opt for a high-quality material such as a polymer.
- Polymer is super tough and able to withstand all kinds of damage.
- Paying a little bit more for higher quality material is a wise decision as it will last for years or even decades.
Ease of use
Thankfully, magazine couplers can be installed extremely easily with their drop-in installation style. This means there is no need for any gunsmithing skills, and installing the coupler on your AR15 will not require any more than a few minutes of your time.
Moreover, all the best AR15 magazine couplers will allow you to release magazines as quickly and simply as possible.
- They will fasten and stay in place until you need them.
- While they are fastened, they will remain tightly in place even when you’re running or firing multiple rounds.
- A good quality coupler will keep the screws tightened adequately, so you don’t have any worry about losing your extra magazines.
This is an important consideration as some magazine couplers can handle any caliber magazines while others cannot.
- There are some universal mag couplers on the market, but most of them will not be compatible with all calibers.
- Because of this, it is essential to know what your AR-15 rifle is chambered in.
- If you fire 5.56 NATO rounds, you will need to look for a coupler compatible with those magazines.
- If you’re firing .300 Blackouts, you may struggle to find a coupler that has been designed for this caliber, but you can find the coupler that’s the closest one capable of handling those kinds of mags.
Because you’ll be carrying more mags on your rifle, it’s only natural that your rifle may feel slightly heavier than usual. This might make it more uncomfortable to carry around. If you’re using a magazine coupler for the first time, it’s advisable to carry no more than two additional magazines at once.
It’s also worth checking the coupler’s weight, as some are more lightweight than others.
How to use and reload with an AR-15 magazine coupler
If you’ve just purchased your first AR15 magazine coupler you will be wondering about how to use it and, in particular, how to place the additional mags.
- Many couplers will allow you to set your magazines up how you like them.
- You can place your mags side by side, or you can stagger them.
- While the side by side placement may give you the fastest, most efficient swap, many shooters prefer to stagger.
- This is because if the mags are level with each other, they could create conflict with your dust cover/ejection port and block clear access to it.
Are AR-15 magazine couplers legal in every state?
Some states and localities have restrictions on magazine capacity, Nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning large-capacity magazines. These states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
However, magazine couplers are not magazines or ammunition feeding devices. They are simply a floorplate replacement allowing for the connection of two like magazines. Therefore, buying one may not be illegal, but you must check your state, county, and local laws for magazine size restrictions before purchasing.
Why not just tape the mags together?
“Jungle Mag” is a term used for the method of taping together magazines that has the secondary magazine inverted from the one loaded into the gun. This practice originated in World War II. Thompson submachine gun users regularly taped two 20-round magazines together for faster reloads and compensated for the limited capacity. Taping magazines together then became consequently common among troops in the U.S. military.
Although it is possible to just tape mags together, it is not recommended. Not just is it impractical but it can cause many problems too, such as the following.
- Firstly, it is not a secure method of holding magazines in place. You could easily lose your second mag if they aren’t taped together well.
- A lot of dirt can get inside and become jammed because you can’t properly clean your mags when they are taped together.
- It can also create more recoil that can force rounds forward in the mag.
- Depending on the weapon, it can also interfere when in the prone firing position
That being said, there is a proper way to do it, which may reduce some of these issues. However, it does require skill and knowledge. Here are a couple of tips if you decide to try this method.
- You should ensure both magazines are facing the same way, not one up and one down.
- Put a spacer between (such as a small branch) and tape them tightly together.
- Make sure to test to see if it can be used.
Summary – Which AR15 magazine coupler is the best?
The type of magazines you work with will determine which magazine coupler is best suited to you. As many shooters use PMAGs, I will share my opinion on the best coupler for these. There are many brilliant AR15 PMAG couplers on the market, but the one I prefer the most is the Dreamplastics PMAG magazine coupler.
I like so much about the Dreamplastics coupler is its sturdy and strong construction and the longevity it gives. The high-quality material means the coupler gives a super-secure hold with no sliding or shifting at all. It’s also corrosion, weather, and impact-resistant, so it will last a long time despite the conditions you use it in.
For me, this coupler has everything you need. It’s very quick and easy to set up, and it results in fast access to your additional mags.
From reading this article, you’ll now have a deeper understanding of how a magazine coupler can improve your AR15 shooting experience. Moreover, you’ll know exactly what to look for to find the best AR15 magazine couplers out there.