I’m still experimenting with my .50 Beowulf (12.7x42mm) rifle and pistol that I have posted about previously. I wanted to find better magazine options – both in terms of looks and reliability – than my modified D&H aluminum magazines. I tried a number of different options and then happened on using Tromix followers in Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighters Magazines (AWM).
A small cottage industry has popped up of people 3D printing followers to center the various big bore cartridges in a given model of magazine. I’m still tinkering with some of the 3D printed models but during my surfing, I came across a machined aluminum model from Tromix Lead Delivery Systems. Tony Rumore and his colleagues at Tromix specialize in the .458 SOCOM round but they came up with a really slick follower design that would work with the really slick Lancer hybrid AWM Magazines.
I ordered in a few for testing and they are really nice. Here are a number of views for you:
Lancer Hybrid L5 AWM Magazines
So the above Tromix followers are made specifically to work with Lancer L5 5.56/.223 AWM magazines. The AWM considered a hybrid design because the feed lips are steel The lips can be a weak point in the design of some polymer magazines.
At any rate, the AWMs are really nice. You have a bunch of colors and capacities and are a very nicely made. They also have a number of capacities *but* for the Beowulf, stick to the 10 or 20 round magazines. The Tromix follower is relatively tall and can’t negotiate the curve in the 30s. It can be made to work with the 20s and I’ll detail that more in a moment. I have some thoughts on how to modify the Tromix follower to get it to work in a 30 but haven’t had the time to tinker with it yet.
The 10 round 5.56/.223 magazines can hold 3 Beowulf rounds without any tuning. The slight curve to the 20 round magazines can cause the follower to jam and we’ll cover how to address that next.
Tuning and Installing the Follower
Push the the button on the bottom of the follower and slide the base plate off. Note, the magazine spring will want shoot out so just be prepared to control the spring’s expansion.
The tuning required has to do with making the follower slide as easily as possible in the 20 round magazine. If you don’t then you are going to find that the Tromix follower jams inside vs. reliably pushing the cartridges upwards the way it should.
Now whether you do it before you install the spring or after, use a buffer and go all around the Tromix follower and make it nice and smooth. I used a 6″ buffing wheel with buffing compound. The reason I said you could either do it before or after is that I had already assembled four magazines before I realized I needed to do the polishing. Just rub off any buffing compound left behind. You’ll notice that the follower surface is far smoother to the touch than before.
The next step is to apply three coats of Teflon to the follower and the inside of the magazine body. I’d recommend using a dry lubricant inside a magazine body so it doesn’t attract dirt the way a liquid or grease would.
The trick I do is to use a heat gun to warm up the parts before I spray and then hit it with the spray lightly. I then warm it up again, let all of the solvent evaporate and then repeat for a total of three coats. I’ve hard far better luck getting a consistent thick layer of Teflon this way vs. trying to do it all in one spray.
I spray the inside of the magazine body and all sides of the follower. Your goal is or there to be Teflon where ever the follower males contact with the magazine body. When everything is dry, reassemble each magazine.
One quick comment – I do not recommend testing with live ammo. There are just too many things that can go wrong. I use A-Zoom 50 Beowulf Snap Caps to do my testing. They come in packs of two and I’d recommend having 4-8 rounds total for testing. Ideally, you’d like to load the whole mag you want to test so it really depends on what you plan on testing.
With the Tromix followers, the L5 AWM 10-round mags can hold three Beowulf rounds and the 20-round mags can hold seven. They are far, far more reliable than what I have been trying thus far.
The bottom line is that I am very happy with the pairing of the Tromix big bore follower with the Lancer L5 AWM 10- and 20-round magazines. I’ll experiment more to see if I can get the 30-round L5 AWMs to work but that is for another day.
I hope this helps.
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