If you have an AEG M4 that shoots at a fairly high RPS (rounds per second), chances are that you will find many magazines failing to keep up with your gun and it might be time for some better mags.
There's some other variables thrown in the mix too, such as ammo weight. People who run heavier weight ammo will see this problem even more as the stock springs inside your typical midcaps might not be able to push the heavy ammo as effectively when you fire radiply.
There are a few options out there and most commonly these magazines are going to feature a really strong spring that will allow it to keep up with your guns. We have found in our own testing that while this is what's required to get the job done, sometimes the springs being too stiff causes another problem with the hopup. You see, when something is pressing the hopup really hard, you might get feeding issues on the first couple of rounds or worse yet, experience the drag of the nozzle against the hop up. Either situation is far from ideal and can cause anything from jams to low velocity or inconsistent shooting on the first couple of rounds. How do people deal with it? We have found that loading short by 10-20 rounds is the way to work around that. That is far from ideal but that is something people don't tell you when they run their $30 mid caps which are touted as the best.
in comes Lancer Tactical with their budget friendly mid caps that are claimed to be high speed. These are inexpensive coming in at around 15 dollars each or 50-60 or so for a 5pack. They hold 130-rounds and have a bunch of little features built into it. First of all, how do they feed? I have tested it with my 40rps gun with .28's and so far so good. I don't have a wide variety to test with so we will leave it to the airsoft scientists for the complete and comprehensive empirical testing. I will say that the gun fed without skipping a beat and it did not exhibit any of the problems I mentioned earlier found in mags with ridiculously overpowered springs. So what does that mean?
I believe that the spring tension is better than your average mid cap but not so overpowered like these "high end" mid caps such as PTS or other ones we've seen. Even ICS factory mid caps can be too much for the hop up chamber on the first few shots. But my initial impression of these LT mags is they are at a good spot.
The magazine body is constructed entirely out of polymer. It feels a bit light so it's not as substantial feeling as a pro line level magazine like a VFC QRS magazine or ICS TMAG. It's definitely built with budget in mind, however I would not rule these out as flimsy -- just lighter. The body features textures and grooves for easier gripping. The baseplate has a raised flat portion to allow you to set your gun on the deck and act as a monopod, and it has a built in loop which could function like a pull tab much like a Magpul or something. The magazine features a number matrix imprint that you can fill in to mark your magazines and identify them. The baseplate comes off easily for maintenance, which is important to any mid cap. The colors available are black, tan, or grey. At Fox we currently stock black and tan.
That said, these cost just a tiny bit more than the Elite Force mid caps we commonly sell. What's better? If your gun is definitely outrunning your magazines, you have to get yourself better magazines otherwise those upgrades are pointless. With that, you do have to spend a tiny bit more for the Lancer mags, but now that option exists and you don't have to break the bank. The Elite Force ones are my go to when budget is important and your gun shoots within the window of what most magazines can feed, meaning unless your gun is built for speed and high rate of fire, you might not see the need. Either way, now you have more options and that is always a good thing. Personally, even on my fastest shooting AEGs, I am not a big fan of the overpowered mid caps. They create more problems for me than solve and no one talks about it and I do not know why. This is not a slam on any one particular brand or model but just something I have encountered when trying to feed my AEGs with the best. Sometimes I have been let down by the most hyped thing and in this instance the cheaper versions have worked out. What are your experiences with different magazines out there?