“The Army has ordered that soldiers may use only government-issued magazines with their M4 carbines,” military.com reports, “a move that effectively bans one of the most dependable and widely used commercial-made magazines on today’s battlefield . . . [The P-MAG’s] rugged design has made it as one of the top performers in the small-arms accessory arena, according to combat veterans who credit the PMAG with drastically improving the reliability of the M4.” Which raises a simple question: why ban it? ‘Cause the U.S. Army has improved its standard-issue aluminium M4 mag and it doesn’t want its supplier facing competition from P-MAG, for one reason or another. Some withering analysis of that idea after the jump . . .
The improved magazine uses a redesigned “follower,” the part that sits on the magazine’s internal spring and feeds the rounds into the M4’s upper receiver. The new tan-colored follower features an extended rear leg and modified bullet protrusion for improved round stacking and orientation. The self-leveling/anti-tilt follower reduces the risk of magazine-related stoppages by more than 50 percent compared to the older magazine variants, PEO Soldier officials maintain. Soldiers are also authorized to use Army magazines with the older, green follower until they are all replaced, the message states.
Military.com asked the Army if the improved magazine can outperform the PMAG, but a response wasn’t received by press time . . .
The same infantryman serving in Southwest Afghanistan had this to say about the new and improved magazine:
“Like any magazine, they work great when they are brand new and haven’t been drug through the dirt and mud. I haven’t noticed much of a difference between these tan followers and the older green ones. After some time training up for the ‘Stan, the same issues started to occur: double feeds, rounds not feeding correctly so on and so on. While it seems to occur about half as often, it’s still not a great solution.
“The magazines still get bent at the opening and are still prone to getting crushed in the middle. I haven’t seen any issues like this with the PMAG due to the polymer casing. I have seen an empty PMAG get run over by a MaxPro [vehicle] and operated flawlessly later that week when we tested it at the range. Last time I saw this happen to a standard issue magazine, it was scrap metal after that.”