Dyeing your Sand PMAG from Magpul with Rit Dye colors: the ultimate guide

Rit Dye Color Chart as displayed on PMAGs

What do Rit Dye, Magpul, a sand PMAG (actually several PMAGs), and a writer with an artistic muse have in common? Read on and you’ll see.

In June of 2016, we posted a review of the Magpul Sand PMAG. In that article, I briefly went over the steps to dyeing a SAND PMAG using Rit Dye. During that test, I noticed some colors did not turn out the same as what the bottle says it is supposed to be. So I decided to try every color and have a comprehensive color chart. I would not try mixing dyes or dipping a PMAG in different dyes to get different colors.  I reached out to Rit Dye and they sent us 25 bottles of their most popular colors for testing. This meant I had to raid the Gunmag Warehouse (no pun intended) for 25 Sand PMAGs.

It’s very difficult to find PMAGs in that color these days, though not impossible. This article will apply mostly to those of you who still have some, are able to find some, or are interested in seeing what sort of results you get with a brown PMAG or one of our other mags available in FDE). Many of the latter are light enough that you might have some luck with it.

Note: this article was originally published on December 30, 2016. It remains a perennial favorite with the Mag Life reader community so we’ve updated and reposted it.

Rit Dye Color Chart as displayed on PMAGs

A good sample of the Rit Dye Color Chart as displayed on a selection of PMAGs.

After a few stops, I found a bread pan that is just the right size for the PMAG. This way I won’t need as much water. In order to stay consistent, I only used three capfuls of dye for every color. I used the same bent wire coat hanger to lower and raise the PMAGs into the dye. I decided to dip the PMAGs one minute at a time up to three minutes. Only a couple of colors went on to five minutes.

Below are the results of the dyeing.


Rit Dye colors as displayed on Magpul PMAGs


Black turned out a very dark blue compared to the factory black 40rd PMAG to the right.


Sand PMAG turned black with Rit Dye



Sand PMAG turned Pearl Grey with Rit Dye



Sand PMAG dyed golden yellow with Rit Dye

This Sand PMAG from Magpul has been dyed “Golden Yellow” with Rit Dye. It’s not a “Banana Clip,” but it’s close.



The bottles look different but they are the same color. Not sure why the yellower bottle says “NEW”.

Rit Dye "sunshine orange" on a Sand PMAG

Also in keeping with the fruity them: an orange dyed PMAG.



"Harvest" is the color used on this sand colored magazine from Magpul



Yes, Camel. Much like those giant boxes of Crayons we had when were kids, the Rit Dye Color Chart has some interesting and very specific colors.

the "Camel" color from Rit Dye as it takes on a PMAG

Not sure if this is Camelus bactrianus or Camelus ferus, but it’s certainly reminiscent of a mud hut (or FDE).



As you can see, taupe does not come out as you hope or expect.  In my previous attempt, it turned green on me.

Taupe, from Rit Dye, as it shows up on a sand PMAG

Maybe more “bad apple green” than taupe.


Speaking of apples.

Rit Dye's Apple Green on a sand PMAG




A new Magpul color: Rit Dye "Dark Green" on a dyed sand PMAG

You may already have a favorite Magpul Color, but might as well expand your options a bit. This one would look good with a woodland camo battle belt – assuming you care about sartorial matters in your tactical gear!



Magpul color: Emerald (thanks to Rit Dye)



Sand PMAG dyed "Teal" with Rit Dye



Unfortunately, Kelly Green is another color that does not turn out as you would expect.

Though it didn't take well, this is "Kelly Green" on a sand PMAG colored with Rit Dye

This could actually be the odd green color from a 3rd world country military uniform.



Magpul colors: Aquamarine (thanks to Rit Dye)



A new Magpul color: Enamel Blue (thanks to Rit Dye).









sand PMAG colored with Rit Dye's "Cocoa Brown Chocolate"

With a little work and maybe just a bit of green, this might be something you could use to match the “Army Greens” gabardine color.














As you can see in the photos above Taupe, Kelly Green, Pearl Gray and Black do not turn out as expected.


I hope this has been helpful. A Tutorial Video will be coming soon showing every color seen here and how each mag was dyed.

Nicholas Chen is a firearm aficionado. Growing up in California, He learned about firearms and hunted with his father growing up in Southern California. Once he moved out to Pennsylvania and then spent a few years in New York State, he learned to truly appreciate firearms and the second amendment. It was in New York State where he became a USPSA competitive shooter and learned about 3Gun. He is an avid fan of running and gunning. Nicholas is a fan of pretty much anything that shoots although the slicked-up race guns are what interests him the most. Having spent time with FFLs and other friends with NFA items he has begun his collection of NFA items and has learned that everything should be suppressed and full auto where possible and legal.

    • John Dorr

      These actually work. You can use the ratios listed. Different polymers may yield different results.

      • Magnum Winchester

        I wouldn’t follow the Rit chart for colors. The colors don’t come out like they would on fabrics

        • John Dorr

          No, wrong the chart gives the color, the color is the color regardless of the material, plastic or fabric. That said, testing and adjusting is recommended to get the color the way you want because as I said different materials may yield slightly different results.

          • Magnum Winchester

            Did you actually try these colors on pmags? They don’t turn out like the rit color chart. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is quite a lot of issues that people have with the colors.

          • John Dorr

            I have done many and have been able to get what I was looking for. All kinds of poly parts and pistol frames, charcoal, plum, maroon, gray…Let me know if I can help you, it takes a little trial and error or adjustments and second tries. One color over the other, mixes of different colors…

          • John Dorr

            To clarify I have never had to do MP FDE or OD but will try that also. One trick is to not go too dark at first, grey can go black as an example. One problem is consistent coverage or light spots, not usually with the pmags though.

          • Snowman

            Is there a formula for dyeing FDE pmags to make them Grey ? I only here people mention sand color mags being died? Thank you

          • John Dorr

            No vinegar needed just rinse with cold water. Use the pearl gray dye but do not leave in too long or you have black. The original color does not really matter as long as its not black. The formulas for gray are a bit different and will yield colors like shark skin and have a slight blue green tint?

          • Snowman

            PS. Also I read that everything needs to soak in vinegar or something afterwards is this true? Thnx

  • John Dorr

    You have to be careful with the pearl gray as it will go dark as in you example. I was able to get a match to magpul stealth gray but you can’t leave it in too long and need to check constantly and pull it out earlier than indicated. Your wine example is much too light, this is a color you can leave in longer to get a better match to burgundy, if you want it more maroon you can follow up with a quick dip in the gray, too long in the followup gray and it will start to look purpleish.

    • Jason

      Can you die a complete magpul sand color furniture set?

      • Lamon Fortycal Atkins

        Yes, I did a my AK zukav furniture


    So, is dieing the magazine worth the extra trouble over taping off areas you don’t want colored and using epoxy paint of a fairly close match? Just don’t like sand as I don’t play in the sandbox.

    • Mark Mitchell

      Epoxy will change the tolerances, so real tight fitting mag wells will be even tighter. Plus epoxy ends up chipping.

    • Magnum Winchester

      Diying is better than any paint. The die acts more like a stain. If you die multi color camo patterns you will not add those extra paint layers to the mag.

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  • Errol Williams

    i want the same camel color as in picture but i tried the dust cap and it went green so i checked bottle exactly the same as in your picture can you shed any light on this.

  • justin

    How is the scratch resistance does it scratch like spray paint

    • Magnum Winchester

      No. It does not scratch like spray paint. It acts more like a stain. If a scratch is deep enough it will show the original sand color in the scratch

  • kth

    Figures an article about bright dye-colored magazines would come from some butthead from The People’s Republic of California.

  • Grendel Medlord

    IDK what you did differently but I tried dying some sand mags with the Chocolate Brown and they turned green. I don’t mean they were brown with a greenish tint. They were an almost perfect match to my Magpul forest green, shade of green.

    • Magnum Winchester

      Yes. Same thing happened to me on my second attempt with the dark brown. Not sure what caused this.

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  • Magnum Winchester

    Anyone know why magpul discontinued the sand color? Did are they just shifting their efforts to the military approved Medium Coyote Tan color?

  • JustTheMessenger

    Rit has another product called DyeMore that is specifically formulated for synthetics. I’ve had good results (with the black especially) on 3d printed nylon parts. May be worth a try for total saturation on black.

  • Magnum Winchester

    I have had mixed results with the brown/s and black. They have been coming out with different levels of green tints to them. I even used distilled water Any one know what is going on or how to fix it?

  • Karen Covalt

    I have bathroom rugs I dyed they came out too orange rust and I want golden brow

  • pblarted

    Why have you not shared how to match things like Magpul FDE or Magpul OD Green? They make lots of furniture for ARs in these colors, but no corresponding magazines. What’s the secret formula to match Magpul FDE? Why in the hell doesn’t Magpul provide a formula and way to go about it if they have no plans of releasing magazines in these colors (which I’ve emailed and asked them)? Has anyone had any success, with a repeatable process, in dying the sand mags to match Magpul FDE?

  • Allen Okeefe

    I’m trying to turn robin’s egg blue, to tan/flat dark earth/ coyote brown (whatever just not robin’s egg blue). Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • David Higginbotham

      Did you buy blue for training, or just for the color?

  • hellbent

    How permanent is the color change?

  • Tom Lingenfield

    Nicholas Chen,
    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to do this test.
    I appreciate it.


  • Grintsum

    Thanks for doing this project. I was looking at dyeing a set of my MOE furniture to get a version of foliage green since Magpul has discontinued this color. Now I know I’ll have to experiment mixing the dyes to get the shade of green I want.

  • Mark982

    and then Magpul discontinued the Sand colored mags.

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