Hera Arms H3T Polymer Magazine: Legitimate PMAG Alternative?

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Last Updated on October 14, 2021.

The Hera Arms H3T Polymer Magazine is one of the few magazines that offers a direct alternative to the venerable Magpul 30 PMAG Gen M2 window magazine.

But is the Hera Arms H3T any good? It’s less expensive than the Magpul PMAG, which is great. It needs to work as well as a PMAG to be a legitimate alternative, though. The PMAG has a long history of being durable and reliable.

Our field tests revealed just how durable and reliable the Hera Arms H3T polymer magazine is.


JAMES MILLER
James Miller is a defensive firearms coach, certified through the ICE Training Company. He teaches Intuitive Defensive Shooting fundamentals and tactics to shooters of all skill levels.

Ergonomics

I only mention ergonomics because some polymer magazines have interesting shapes that are outside the ordinary form factor. Those bear mentioning and talking about.

However, the Hera Arms H3T is pretty much the same shape as a PMAG. And the grip texture on the belly and spine is very comparable to the PMAG grip texture. It feels very similar to a PMAG in the hand.

The big difference is that the H3T magazine has no texture on the side of the body. It didn’t bother me. But this may not be your jam if you prefer a textured magazine surface.

Additionally, as you can see, the caliber is super clearly marked on the magazine. Probably not the biggest selling point. But you definitely won’t confuse this one with your 300BLK magazines.

Functionality

The big deal in functionality is the window. That’s really what separates this magazine from standard polymer magazines.

And I found the window to be surprisingly handy. Puting the window on the back of the magazine is a good design choice. It’s easy to visually check and see if you still have rounds in your magazine without removing the magazine. The window is easier to use than the window on a PMAG.

Admittedly, this isn’t a huge deal. But it’s a nice design.

Another nice feature is that the H3T has drain holes. Interestingly, drain holes come standard on USGI magazines. But many polymer magazines have no drain holes. You may not need them. But the H3T has drain holes, which is a good functionality touch.

My only complaint about the design of the H3T magazine is the base plate design. The base plate is somewhat tricky to remove. It’s super secure. But if you want to remove it, you have to monkey with it a bit.  

Durability

Speaking of the base plate, it does make the H3T magazine more durable. The base plate never came loose from being dropped.

Additionally, the clear polymer for the window was never an issue, either. However, given how rigid the window plastic feels, I suspect it might develop cracks over time. Though, it seems that cracks in the window would be purely aesthetic, since it seems to be fixed to the inside of the magazine.

However, the window never cracked from being dropped on the cement down at the range. It will probably hold up to quite a bit of abuse before the window starts to break.

Also, the feed lips are relatively thick. Reinforcing the feeder pawls is a nice touch, even if the thinner feed lips on the old PMAGs seem to hold up just fine. The thicker feed lips also keep rounds from popping loose if you drop a full or partial magazine, most of the time.

Overall, the H3T is quite durable, probably just as durable as a PMAG. 

Reliability

All the other things are great. But does the H3T work as well as a PMAG?

In short, yes. Zero malfunctions through a few hundred rounds. No problems on the 14.5” rifle or the 11.5” shorty. Also no problems with suppressed fire or locking the bolt open when the magazine was empty.

The Hera Arms H3T worked just as well as my old and my new Magpul magazines. That’s as good as a PMAG alternative needs to be.


Mag dump

All in all, the Hera Arms H3T magazine turned out to be a legitimate alternative to the windowed PMAG M2 magazines.

The H3T is just as durable and ergonomic as a PMAG. The window is actually easier to use than the window on a windowed PMAG. And the H3T appears to be just as reliable as a PMAG. For a few dollars less than a PMAG, that’s a pretty good deal.

If you want a windowed magazine for less than the cost of a PMAG, the H3T might be your best option. The window design is, in fact, an improvement over the PMAG window.

However, if you don’t care about the window, there are comparable magazines that don’t have the window. And it seems that the H3T window is slightly less durable than the standard black polymer. You would probably be just as happy with a non-windowed magazine that didn’t have the potential durability liability.The end result is that the Hera Arms H3T is a great deal if you want a windowed magazine for less than the price of a PMAG.