Review: Sand PMAGs, Not FDE But a Blank Canvas

Some people have mistaken Sand PMAGs for Flat Dark Earth PMAGs. Unfortunately, they are not the same at all. Flat Dark Earth (FDE) has been made ubiquitous by Magpul. However, their new Gen M3 magazines only come in black or sand. These sand-colored magazines look almost white and something akin to the color of vanilla ice cream. This makes it difficult to color coordinate with your gear and gun.

Sand PMAGS
The off-white color of Sand PMAGS clashes with most guns.

However, this does not mean you should forgo a sand PMAG or get rid of your sand PMAGs. They are the perfect platform for dyeing custom colors.

 

As shown in the Magpul video above, dyeing a sand PMAG is easy. It does not even require the use of the outdoors and a campfire. You can do it in your home.

How to Dye Sand PMAGs

1. Gather the Materials

You will need a few items. Rit Dye is what they use to dye the sand PMAG a different color. Rit Dye comes in either a bottle of liquid dye or a box of dry powdered dye. These can easily be found in the laundry detergent aisle at your local Walmart.

Sand PMAGS, RIT Dye, aluminum pan, hanger - materials to color coordinate sand PMAGs.
Supplies for dying sand PMAGs: RIT dye, wire hanger, disposable aluminum pan, and of course, the PMAGs.

While you are at Walmart go pick up a disposable tin pan to hold the dye and allow you to dip and soak the PMAG in the dye. The use of a metal wire coat hanger is optional. The hanger makes it easier to lower and raise the PMAG in and out of the dyed water. Be careful with the dyed water as it is not safe to be ingested, so if you are working around your kitchen be mindful of where you spill.

2. Prepare the Dye Solution

To start dyeing the PMAG, get hot water, boiling if possible. Fill the pan with enough hot water to cover the PMAG. Also, make sure you have a clean PMAG before you start dyeing it.

Fill the pan with enough water to completely submerge the sand PMAG.
Fill the pan with enough water to completely submerge the sand PMAG.

Add the Rit Dye to the hot water. If you have the liquid bottle version then make sure you shake it up before pouring it into the pan. If you have the powdered Rit Dye, then just empty the contents into the hot water and stir until it is dissolved.

RIT dye solution for sand PMAGs
If you have the powdered Rit Dye, then just empty the contents into the hot water and stir until it is dissolved.

If you decide to use a wire hanger for dipping the PMAG into the solution, set it up as shown in the images and disassemble a sand PMAG so that the PMAG slides over it and it holds on well.

Sand PMAG wire dipping tool for dying Sand PMAGs with RIT dye.
If you decide to use a wire hanger for dipping the PMAG into the solution, set it up as shown in the images and disassemble a sand PMAG so that the PMAG slides over it and it holds on well.

3. Dye the PMAG

Dip the PMAG in the hot dye solution. I went with yellow Rit Dye to be a little different. It took about 20 minutes to get the level of yellow I was happy with.

sand PMAG dyed yellow
It took about 20 minutes to get the level of yellow I was happy with.

Check on the sand PMAG’s status every couple of minutes to see how well it took the dye. Once you have achieved the desired color saturation, rinse the PMAG in cold water.

For Best Results Test Smaller Parts First

Now, some colors of Rit Dye are misleading and have surprising results. I tried to dye a 30-rd PMAG with Pearl Gray and it came out blue.

Before

Sand PMAG in Pearl Grey RIT Dye solution before the color has taken.
This is what the sand PMAG looked like before the color took.

After

Surprisingly, the Pearl Grey dye turned the sand PMAG this blue color.
Surprisingly, the Pearl Grey dye turned the sand PMAG this blue color.

Even Rit Dye’s Camel color is not what it shows on the box.

Sand PMags, one dyed with RIT camel colored dye that turned green.
It turned out a bright green color.

I tried to salvage the blue PMAG and dipped it in the camel-colored dye. It came out rather well. I also wrapped the blue PMAG in Saran Wrap to block off sections to keep the blue color.

Sand PMAG dyed blue and green.
It looks like one of the velociraptors from Jurassic World.

When dyeing with multiple colors, just remember that you can always go darker. But you cannot go from dark to light. For example, you obviously cannot further dye a black PMAG.

Dyeing Sand PMAGs does take some trial and error, so go slowly. Test smaller parts like the base plate and dust cover if you want to see the desired colo beforehand. Let us know what worked for you in the comments!

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.

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