Marking Your Magazines

I’ve recently started marking all my gun magazines. I’m doing this for a couple different reasons.

First – if I have any type of firearm performance issue I will be able to differentiate the suspect magazine from other mags for the same gun. This will help narrow down if the performance issue is related to a specific magazine or possibly ammunition or a gun problem.

Second – ownership is a consideration. Numerous times I have been shooting with friends and having common armament has led to confusion on who owns which magazine. Marking them solves that dilemma.


For rifle magazines I use a stencil with numbers/letters. As can be seen above the first few I had some overspray. I took the plastic front cover off a 3-ring binder and cut a square to place the stencil. This stopped the overspray issue. 


I am using large characters on the AR magazines for easy recognition. A small number on the floor plate would work but I want maximum visibility.

For pistol magazines a simple Sharpie does the trick.

Some shooters I know only mark magazines they have problems with and then chuck ’em if the problem repeats. That’s fine just not my preference. I’ve seen in forums that some people put their initials and even their address on them. Gotta pass on those two choices.

One last use of magazine markings is to identify the type of ammunition used in the magazine. It may be advantageous to know that Magazine #4 is loaded with 28 rounds of XM855 while the others have standard XM183’s.



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