As a pretty big fan of the original Mission First Tactical Polymer Magazines. However, the Mission First Tactical EXD Polymer Magazine intrigued me, mostly because “EXD” stands for “Extreme Duty.” And I’m a sucker for anything with the word ‘extreme’ in the name.
But, more seriously, the original Mission First Tactical polymer magazines are tricky to find right now. And the EXD polymer magazines are in stock around the internet.
Naturally, I wanted to know if the EXD model would be a good alternative to the standard MFT polymer magazines. And how well the MFT EXD magazine stands up next to the classic Magpul PMAG.
So I bought the MFT EXD polymer magazine and beat it up to see just how extreme it is.
Ergonomics aren’t a huge aspect of your magazines. However, polymer magazines aren’t like metal magazines, which are all pretty much the same shape. Polymer magazines come in different shapes and sizes that have some impact on how ergonomic your magazines are.
The MFD EXD has an enhanced form factor that gives different ergonomics than the standard MFT polymer magazine or the Magpul PMAG. The MFT EXD magazine has a bulkier body than most polymer magazines.
The MFD EXD is wider and more square than most polymer magazines. On one hand, the EXD magazine has finger notches on the belly and spine that actually work pretty well. The magazine is easy to keep hold of, even if your hands are oily or sweaty.
However, the bulky form factor is just that: bulky. For me, it’s not as comfortable or easy to hold as thinner polymer magazines.
Your mileage may vary, though. I have relatively small hands. People with larger hands will probably find that this magazine works quite well. But, if you prefer the slim form factor of standard magazines, you may want to stick with the standard MFT magazines.
This section is going to be short. The MFT EXD magazine works pretty much exactly the same as a Magpul PMAG or standard MFT magazine. Even removing the base plate is just about the same as removing a PMAG base plate.
In terms of how it works, the EXD magazine is pretty much a one-to-one replacement for a PMAG.
It’s disappointing when anything with “extreme” in the name isn’t durable. So I expected the MFT EXD to hold up just fine.
And it did. The EXD magazine was still quite intact after I threw it around the range for a bit (not literally. I just did a bunch of shooting and reloading and dropping my magazine on the cement floor).
The beefy base plate on the MFT EXD probably helped a lot. This magazine has a substantial base plate. But it doesn’t make the magazine any longer than any other polymer magazine.
Also, the base plate has drain holes. Many polymer magazines leave the drain holes out.
But it’s not just the base plate. This magazine lives up to its ‘extreme’ name pretty well. The feed lips are very similar to the Magpul PMAG feed lips. It’s a proven design that holds up for a long time and runs reliably.
While it may not be super ‘extreme,’ it’s plenty durable. The MFT EXD will probably live just as long as your PMAGS.
This magazine ran flawlessly through a couple hundred rounds. No malfunctions with any of the rifles I jammed it into (14.5” and 11.5” AR-15 rifles). No issues with suppressed shooting. And the bolt locked back every time the magazine ran dry.
The durability is just as good as a PMAG. And the MFT EXD costs about the same as a Gen M3 PMAG. So, dollar for dollar, the Mission First Tactical EXD is just as good as a PMAG in terms of reliability.
How extreme is it?
Is ‘extreme’ the right name for this magazine? Maybe. But it’s a very good magazine that has a few advantages over more traditional polymer magazines.
The grip notches on the EXD offer better grip than the grip texture on a PMAG. The feed lips and follower are almost the same as you’d find on a PMAG. And the base plate is beefier than the base plate on most other magazines.
The body might feel a little bit too bulky for some shooters. But this magazine is a solid PMAG alternative that offers about the same value as a Magpul PMAG, with slightly more emphasis on durability.
If you’re the type who favors a focus on durability, this could be the polymer magazine for you.