June, 16

Pre Ban AR-15 Magazines: How to Identify Them Easily

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Are you a gun enthusiast or collector who is interested in finding pre-ban AR-15 magazines? If so, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will delve into the topic of how to tell if an AR-15 magazine is pre-ban.

For those not familiar with the term "pre-ban," it refers to firearms and accessories that were manufactured before certain restrictions and regulations were put into place by various governmental bodies. Pre-ban items are highly sought after due to their rarity and value.

But how can you distinguish between a pre-ban AR-15 magazine and one that was produced after the ban went into effect? That's what we will explore in this article. So sit tight, grab your reading glasses if needed, and let's get started!

How to Tell Pre Ban AR-15 Magazines

If you are a gun enthusiast, then you probably know that the AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in America. However, not all magazines for this rifle are created equal. In fact, some magazines are considered "pre ban" and can be quite valuable to collectors and enthusiasts alike. But how do you tell if a magazine is pre ban or not? In this article, we will explore everything there is to know about pre ban AR-15 magazines.

What Makes a Magazine "Pre Ban"?

Before we dive into how to identify pre ban magazines, it's important to understand what makes them special in the first place. The term "pre ban" refers to firearms or accessories that were manufactured before certain laws went into effect.

In 1994, the US government passed an assault weapons ban which restricted certain features on firearms like folding stocks and high-capacity magazines (magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds). This law expired in 2004 but during its period of enforcement many firearm manufacturers stopped producing high-capacity magazines as they were banned under federal law.

Therefore any magazine made before September 13th 1994 is considered by definition “Pre Ban”. Since these types of mags aren’t subject any longer restrictions around capacity size and therefore have become highly desirable collectables.

Identifying Pre Ban Magazines

Now that we understand what makes a magazine "pre-ban", let's talk about how to identify them:

Look for Date Stamps

One way of telling whether your AR-15 magazine is pre-ban or not by looking at its date stamp marking: If it has no date code stamped on it – typically found near where ammunition would feed into the chamber – then chances are good that your mag was made prior September/13th/94 which means they're free from legal limitations with regards their capacities.

Research the Manufacturer

You can also identify pre ban AR-15 magazines by researching the manufacturer. Some companies, such as Colt or Bushmaster, stopped producing high-capacity magazines during the assault weapons ban and resumed production after it ended. Therefore any magazine from these models produced before September 13th 1994 is considered "pre-ban".

Check for Restricted Features

Another method of identifying pre-ban mags involves checking for restricted features like steel lip feeders or a visibly extended length protruding from an AR-15’s magwell which would be banned under post-assault weapons legislation enacted in some states.

Benefits of Owning Pre Ban Magazines

Now that you know how to identify pre ban AR-15 magazines, let's talk about why you might want to own one:

Collectors' item:

Pre-Ban Magazines are highly valued among collectors due to their rarity and historical significance.

Legal possession:

As mentioned earlier this type of magazine is not subject any longer restrictions around capacity size which may make them an attractive option for owners who wish still wish to have greater ammunition capacity than what's currently allowed by federal/state law..


Knowing how to tell if your AR-15 magazine is "pre ban" can be a valuable skill when buying or selling firearms accessories. By looking at date stamps, researching manufacturers and checking for restricted features on these types of mags, enthusiasts can ensure they have authentic pieces with little legal limitations surrounding their usage. While owning a pre-ban magazine has its benefits – both in terms its historic value as well as practical use – gun owners should always take caution when traveling across state lines since certain states do enforce laws governing this type of firearm accessory differently than others..


How can you determine if an AR-15 magazine is pre-ban?

If you are a gun enthusiast, collector or shooter, and you own an AR-15 rifle, then it's essential to learn how to distinguish pre-ban AR-15 magazines from post-ban ones. The federal government imposed a ban on the manufacture of certain types of firearms between 1994 and 2004. These types included assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds. However, this law was lifted in most states after its expiration in 2004.

To determine whether your AR-15 magazine is pre or post-ban depends on some factors such as factory markings, date of manufacturing stampings or the type of follower installed in it that may indicate its production year.

The majority of recognized pre-ban manufacturers stamped dates inside their magazines; these stamps include months followed by years for example "04/86" which means April 1986. So if your magazine has any date marking before September 1994 (the time when the ban came into effect), then there’s a good chance that it is a Pre-Banned Magazine.

Another way to tell if your magazine belongs to this category is by examining the body construction material design; Older generations were created using stronger materials like metal instead of plastic polymers used today for newer models resulting from advances in technology.

What are some ways one can identify which specific type(s)of Pre-Banned Magazines they have

Pre-Banned Magazines come into different varieties depending on when they were manufactured since multiple companies produced them during those times.
One way someone could identify their particular kind would be through knowing what company constructed them based primarily through recognition marks unique only to select corporations like Colt Industries who marked theirs with either “9mm,” ".223," ".308," along with other markings only found at specific locations.
Secondly identifying Followers within said Magazine since each company had a specific design, like Colt who used Green followers in their 30 round magazines built between 1968-1990.
Finally, knowing the production date would be greatly helpful; however, since not all Pre-Banned Magazines have said stamps, this would be the most challenging method to determine your Magazine's particular type.

Can one still find pre-ban AR-15 magazines for sale?

Pre-Banned Magazines were produced before September 1994 when a Federal Assault Weapons Ban was put into effect. However, it is still possible to come across them even though they are no longer in production. As mentioned earlier pre-ban refers to any product that existed before the ban took effect.

Some gun stores and private sellers may carry them as collector’s items or antiques. Online marketplaces such as or also provide an avenue whereby one can purchase these firearms from dealers who specialize in the trade of rare and antique weaponry.

What should I do if I discover that my magazine is banned?

Suppose you own an AR-15 magazine with markings indicating it was produced after September 13th of '94; In that case what you have on hand might be considered illegal depending on where you live.
The safest course of action would involve disassembling it rendering incapable of holding rounds – this change means they cannot function as intended and therefore become legal under federal law again.

If someone lives within states which impose additional restrictions beyond those set by federal law (such as California), then selling possession or transporting such firearms could land them into trouble with local authorities hence disposing off through safe means like surrendering at police stations provided for residents’ use.

Are there any penalties associated with owning prohibited magazines?

Yes! Owning Prohibited High-capacity firearm accessories could lead to felony charges against individuals found guilty under US Law unless exempted by state laws at various locations throughout America.
Some states have banned certain types of magazines while others restrict them to ten rounds, so it's essential to know what is legal in your state or city before making a purchase or transporting high-capacity magazines across state lines.

In summary, the best course for anyone who still wishes to own post-ban AR-15 magazines would be living within states that allow such items and adhering strictly to their regulations governing such ownership.

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