New US Army M16 “Tan” Magazine

I first mentioned the new “Tan” M16/M4 magazine back in June.

New and old, and older

The Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier agency has just blogged about it

“With the improved magazines, we’re taking weapons reliability up another notch,” said LTC Chris Lehner, Product Manager Individual Weapons. “By incorporating a heavier, more corrosion resistant spring, along with a new follower design that does not tilt inside the casing, our engineers were able to develop a magazine that presents a round to the weapon with even greater stability. Increased magazine reliability results in overall improved weapon system performance.”

“Soldiers can remember it like this: ‘Tan – is the plan. Green – start to lean. Black – take it back,’” said LTC Lehner. “While the improved magazines increase reliability to an even greater degree, the new magazines by no means reduce the importance of Soldiers keeping their weapons clean and lubricated appropriately for the environment. Also, Soldiers must be proficient on conducting immediate action (SPORTS) if their weapon has a stoppage.”

Video of the new follower in action.

The Army has also developed a nifty tool to check if the feed lips are worn out. It is kind of a no-go gauge for magazines. If this does not already exist for civilians or law enforcement, I imagine it would be a popular accessory.

Feed lip wear tool.

[ Thanks to Solomon and Daniel for the link ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • I like how in the animation, the entire cartridge and case is pushed through the barrel downrange. I had no idea how guns worked but I do now! (Hah, I’m just kidding, it’s funny though. I know that most people will be following the action in the magazine and that’s what they are showing off)

    • Mike, LOL, didn’t even noticed that. yea, I was watching the mag.

  • I retired from 21 years combined active and Guard service in the Army in 2007 and we were still preaching SPORTS (Slap the mag, pull the charging handle, observe the chamber, release the charging handle, tap the forward assist, shoot the weapon) at the end of 21 years as we had in the beginning of my service. Its funny how the professional non-military shooting crowd now frowns on the use of the forward assist (can jam the bolt forward and make a bad situation worse) and the shoot at the end of the cadence is replaced with “assess”. Tap-Rack-Bang was causing a muscle memory reflext to pull the trigger without assessing the target which is in violation of the 4 cardinal rules of shooting safety. Now its Tap-Rack-Assess. I guess maybe SPORTS should be SPORA? (slap, pull, observe, release, assess)

    Just as a sidenote, the small indentation on the right side of the AR bolt carrier visably through the ejection port was the original bolt forward assist, that is why it is big enough to get your thumb in it.

  • Toth

    I also notices that the Follower moved teh bullet tot he other side. I will guess so (assuming full mag) you can see the “Good” mags from the “Bad”.

  • Toth

    I really need to drink more coffee in the Morning. …and spell check.

  • Freiheit

    It’s nerdy, but mag design is fascinating. On the surface its a box, a spring, and a plate. In reality it’s really a key part of the firearm.

    “If this does not already exist for civilians or law enforcement, I imagine it would be a popular accessory.” I agree, it will be popular. Necessary for civillians, I’m not so sure.

    How long does it take to wear out feed lips? 10k rounds? 5k rounds in rough conditions? Using mags to level a table and chock wheels? I have no idea. I wouldn’t think that anyone but the heaviest users would really *need* it. Now *wanting* it or giving it as a stocking stuffer, sure.

    It seems like one of those tools that you should know which gun shop or which shooting buddy has one so you can borrow it to triage a mag issue rather than something to invest in for the toolbox.

  • Matt Groom

    My friend at Camp Lejunne says that Marines are now receiving Pmags on deployment, which I find interesting. Are these new “tan” followers the same as the Magpul design? If not, why not?

    I saw a tool at Gunsite in AZ in their pro-shop that was designed to reshape the feed lips on an AR magazine, but they wanted, like $260 for it. Even at that price, I was strongly considering it, but I didn’t have the moolah. One side was a gauge to check the lips, the other side had a form tool that would reform them with the use of a bolt and a clamp component.

  • The US Army tested a couple of feed-lip gauge designs back in 1968. However, they gave up on them when they found that many of the magazines rejected by the gauge still worked reliably.

  • No need for SPORTs on AK 🙂

  • Regolith

    Why tan? Maybe it’s the color settings of my monitor, but that “tan” looks very close to brass, which one would think would be a bad color to have for a follower, since it may, after a cursory inspection, give the impression that the mag still has rounds in it.

    • Regolith, you make an interesting point.

  • D

    this mag sucks for reloaders, how do they expect to recover their spent casings now?!?!

  • jdun1911

    The private sector still make use of the forward assist. The only people that don’t like it are the internet commandos.

    Some private training schoold does skip the forward assist phase because it a step that they think isn’t necessary in SPORTS. One less step means it comes back online faster.

    The majority of automatic rifles has a forward assist. Its called the charging handle.

  • Lance

    Awsome I wounder when thell sell it?

  • Mark

    Presentation about this(?) project from 2006:

    “Available in supply: Q307” -just 2 years behind schedule?

    • Mark, interesting. Maybe they are just publishing it now. Any Army guys reading this? When did you get the mags?

  • Matt Groom

    I also agree with Regolith. I saw the bullet shaped part and I didn’t like it for that very reason. It didn’t occur to me that it is nearly the same color as well, at least not consciously.

    Stoner himself was supposedly vehemently opposed to the forward assist, having seen jammed Browning Machine Guns as a Marine in the South Pacific during WWII. You force a 1919A4 air-cooled closed when it doesn’t want to, you will ruin the gun. He fought tooth and nail to keep the Forward Assist off the M-16A1 and you will note that the SR-25, which Stoner designed for Knight’s Armament, does NOT have a Forward Assist.

  • MNStan

    One of my co-workers is putting together a retro Air Force AR at work. No forward assist, teh AF didn’t think they required it.

  • Lance

    The USAF didnt have farward assits on there A1 series rifle both M-16 and GAU series. untill the M-16A2 came into Air Force service in the mid to late 1980s. Ive used a farward assists and it can help in some cercomestances. So no I think a farward assits can help.

  • bombloader

    The AF still had M-16s with no forward assist when I went thru basic back in 1999. They were mainly for issue to guys like me, flightline maintenance and others that they thought probably wouldn’t have to fight. We got A2s when I was at my first active duty base.

  • jdun1911


    Yes, the Airforce has the best infantry fighting force in the world. That’s why everybody should trust their judgment on small arms.

  • Wolfwood

    Why tan? Maybe it’s the color settings of my monitor, but that “tan” looks very close to brass, which one would think would be a bad color to have for a follower, since it may, after a cursory inspection, give the impression that the mag still has rounds in it.

    C’mon man, think with your head! It’s tan to be camouflaged in desert environments, and it has a realistic bullet design so your enemy never knows when you’re empty! Sheesh, the things they don’t bother to teach kids in schools these days…

  • I have never had significant issues with GI mags but maybe my experiences are lucky. As for the feed lips just looking at the thing is a pretty solid go/ no go. If they are all bowed out the mag is a no go.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Hello. I linked over from EOTAC forum.

    According to the M16 histories I’ve seen, the US Marines also opposed the forward assist button. When I trained with an M14 in 1975, we were trained to tap the op-rod handle when chambering a round. Presumably, the rotating bolt of the M16, plus the recessed chamber makes the M16 more susceptible to damage from forcing than the M14’s bolt.

  • Shep,

    That is not the reason. After all, the M14 bolt also rotates.

    In 1967, Gene Stoner testified in the Ichord Subcommittee hearings that if something in the chamber is preventing the cartridge from fully chambering, you are probably making things worse by attempting to force the bolt closed. After all, if you still can’t get the bolt fully seated, you have now made it even more difficult to try to exact the unfired cartridge.


    Does anyone know were I can purchase a lip feed wear tool. Please email me at JeffCamis [at] yahoo [dot] com Thanks.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Daniel, I was stuck by limited vocabulary. I wasn’t sure how to distinguish the differences between the M14 bolt from the AR’s. IIRC, a gentle tap was recommended on the M14 (the equivalent of a push with the thumb on the AR bolt), to ensure loockup. Of course, it is very easy to overdo it and hit the op-rod handle, at which time the risk of a stuck cartridge becomes very real.

  • Jeff,

    The tool shown is a government design. I don’t know if the manufacturers will be allowed to sell it commercially.

    FWIW: MagPul has claimed that the Pmag dust covers can also serve as a Go/No Go Gauge for the feed lips.

  • BassPlayer


    Well, it’s not that they wear out from use. The problem is the real danger of feed lip spread on magazines that have been stored for a lengthy period whilst fully loaded. Especially if they have been jostled around in a pouch or a bandoleer.

    This is the rationale behind the Magpul P-Mag cover. Not only does it act as a feed lip gauge but when it’s on the magazine, besides sealing out dirt and gunk, it pushes the top round down so it doesn’t contact the feed lips at all.

  • Destroyer

    no thank you, ill stick with my PMAGs (which are, hands down, the best AR15 mags on this gods green earth)

  • Tahoe

    Does anyone have oen of those feed lip gages, or have dimensions on one? Looks easy enough to machine one from stock, I’d like to try, even if it’s a little gimmicky.

  • Hotgun

    This is but a minor upgrade to the best available magazine for the M16 weapon platform. You’ll find none better. This is an improvement to the weapon system that is not based on political pressure.

    As for the inspection “tool”: Most machine shops don’t have inspection equipment or machine tools accurate enough to make a military grade weapon gage, whether for headspace, barrel straightness, or magazine inspection.

    As far as P-mags, I certainly wouldn’t waste my time & money on them. Sure, a protective cover to keep from ruining the feedlips sounds great until you have to get the thing off to use the magazine……and, I bet the soldier will dilligently keep track of the cover when not on the magazine (NOT)…..Without the cover…..well, these things are a disaster waiting to happen.

    BTW, the M16 was designed to accomodate a thin sheet-metal magazine and there isn’t enough clearance to allow for a plastic magazine with the necessary durability……Durability requires thick plastic…..duh!

  • Keith Applegate

    Notgun you are missing the point of the P-Mag cover. It is to be used for long term storage of the magazine. When loaded it keeps the tension off the feed lips which is a concern for ALL M16 mags. Also, loaded or not, it keeps debris out of the mags.

    Only a moron would carry a P-Mag into conflict with the cover on. And while I consider the P-Mag to be one of the best magazines ever created for the M16/AR-15 (as been PROVEN by actual use in a real combat environment) there are now several reliable polymer magazines available.

    But hey, don’t take my word for it (you probably think I’m an idiot anyway)just check out David Fortier’s AR Mag torture test in the November 30, 2009 Shotgun News.

    And if you choose to use only metal mags that’s all well and good.
    Just don’t disrespect us polymagists.

    Freedom of choice is a good thing.

    Informed choice is even better.

  • Hotgun

    No, I haven’t missed the point….What does the soldier do with the P-Mag cover when he’s on patrol…where does it go, what does it do…it will be lost, trashed or whatever….it won’t get used. Therefore, it may as well never exist. In reality there is only ONE magazine that has a long-term proven reliability.

    AND, your totally wrong with this “tension off the feed lips which is a concern for ALL M16 mags”. There is NO concern of damaging the standard GI 30 Round magazine from storing it loaded….5 years plus (it’s been tested).

    Try loading a P-Mag (or any other plastic magazine)…..put it in an oven to condition it to say 160 deg F, see wht happens. Try dropping them in hot and cold weather, see what happens. How many rounds can you REALLY fit inside…..will it hold 31 ? ….if it does a GI will do it….then, will it feed ammunition (likely NO).

    My perspective is aimed at and FOR the military user. So, all others can take any advice they like.

    Hotgun (known to have warmed a barrel or two)

  • Lance

    Im with hot gun on this Ive never had covers on my GI mags I own for well over 5 years and no fails.

  • Destroyer

    hotgun, keith’s comment was that spring pressure increased the pressure on the lips, which results in double feeds with AR15 magazines. The PMAG cover is designed to alleviate pressure on the feed lips…

    anybody who has had time on a military range experiences failures with STANAG magazines, due to the fact that the feed lip space is widened (especially when soldiers tap magazines on their helmets).

    id like to see a comparison of PMAGs versus GI mags during rapid fire. The key weakness for GI mags are their non-stabilized followers (which is being remedied with the tan followers).

    Note: anybody who has served with a line unit does not load 31 rounds into their magazines. they will fail and are difficult in loading into the magazine well (resulting in soldiers abandoning them and struggling in placing new ones in). also, infantry units load their magazines with 25 rounds, 29 rounds, 27 rounds, etc…because you do not want everybody reloading at the same time.

    im with keith. the PMAGs are the best AR15 magazine (in terms of overall cost, reliability, and durability) available now.

  • Lance

    Strange ive never had bad mags while on the range except one old old mag I had and fixed.

  • j

    I measured two 30 round Bushmaster mags that had been stored with 15-20 rounds for several years with a micrometer. I didn’t have a before and after but the lip diameter was average compared to seven other Bushmaster new mags. Intuitively, it seems very unlikely a few pounds of spring tension could bend sheet metal. I also know of a Walther pistol mag that stored fully loaded for decades with no apparent effect. Does anyone have actual study data rather then hearsay on this matter?

    As for polymer mags, on a hot day in the desert, I inserted an Orlite with too much force and the mag dissentegrated in the mag well and required several minutes of scraping to clear. Occurred to me that perhaps that is why the Israelis went back to aluminum mags. If I were really concerned about mag reliability, I’d get the HK ‘Marine’ mag made of stainless steel as obviously metal strength and tolerances determines reliability.

  • Lance

    Im with J on this id never had issues with GI mags.

  • Destroyer

    if you fire them enough, GI mags (like every other magazine) will eventually expand and fail, though the only issue i have with them is the tilting followers (which are obviously being remedied with the tan follower). I understand the idea behind the PMAGs because it reduces pressure off of the feed lips (intended to keep those from being stressed, though the spring itself is survivable after being loaded for long periods of time). Anybody that has served in a line infantry unit (where you shoot, and shoot, and shoot) knows most of the malfunctions of the M16/M4 are magazine induced.

    Yes, orlite magazines are terrible. PMAGs are a significant improvement over Orlite and thermold magazines and the two shouldnt be even categorized in the same universe. I favor Lancer magazines too, though i have only six polymer magazines (3 pmags, 2 lancers, and 1 tango down) and eighteen aluminum ones (all retrofitted with magpul GEN II & III followers of course).
    I love the H&K magazines but they are sure expensive. Everybody take into consideration that magazines are disposable items to be replaced rather systematically.

  • openminded

    mags made of steell would make some differnce…?

  • Keith Applegate

    “No, I haven’t missed the point….What does the soldier do with the P-Mag cover when he’s on patrol…where does it go, what does it do…”

    On the new Rev-M P-Mags they are able to rest comfortably on the bottom of the magazine.

    When discussing the effects of long term storage one cannot compare a double stack rifle caliber magazine against a single stack pistol caliber magazine. The stresses on the double stack rifle magazines greatly exceed the stresses incurred by a single stack pistol magazine.

    The most common damage to magazines in a combat environment seems to occur when they are dropped while fully loaded. Which is why there have been so many torture-test articles written recently that focus on dropping loaded mags from realistic heights (such as from the back of a truck).

    In actual use as well as these torture tests the latest generation of polymer magazines all seem to perform as well or slightly better than USGI aluminium magazines.

    There is nowadays ample photographic proof that some US Troops ARE using P-Mags and if first person reports on several forums can be believed they seem to be performing admirably.

    The best feature of any polymag is its ability to be constructed with a continuous curve in its inner dimensions. It’s a well known fact that the 5.56 round feeds much better from a curved magazine than it does from a straight one and the curved-to-straight transition has always been a problem area for all of the Stoner designed rifles. Heck-fire it was a problem way back with the M2/M1 Carbine. What the hell were they thinking? Didn’t history teach them anything? Anyway, the smoother feed geometry available from a molded magazine is something that is nearly impossible to achieve with any metal magazine that will fit inside of an AR-15 magazine well.

    The truth is that there are good polymags and bad (read poorly designed/produced) polymags. Just as there some really bad aluminium and steel mags out there too. (And just how some of these companies stay in business simply amazes me.)

    “mags made of steell would make some differnce…?”

    Yes steel mags may be stronger but they also weigh considerably more.
    That’s why polymer mags are gaining such popularity even though there seems to be a surge in black coated stainless steel magazines from several reputable companies. If weight doesn’t matter, then quality steel mags can be a very good choice. I especially like the PRI “waffle” mags and, so far, the Korean Mariners (HK clones) seem to be great.

    The biggest problem I see from the latest high quality polymags is their size. Most of them are longer than USGI (a trait shared by the HK Mariner and Cammenga Easy Mags) and as a result those mag pouches with flaps just might not close over them. For instance the USGI MOLLE-II three pocket, six mag bandoleer won’t even begin to fasten over ANY mags that are the least bit larger than USGI 30 rounders. Of course folks using Ranger floorplates on their USGI 30s have that length problem as well.
    I think this is why so many of those who carry polymags (and ranger’plates) into harms way are carrying them in open top shingle pouches. With their open top and shock-cord retention, the added mag length doesn’t really matter.

    Alas, several of the new mags, such as the Tapco and the Microtech E-4 have a much larger width that precludes their use is just about anything except a single shingle pouch. They are just too wide to fit two deep and still allow withdrawal without using a backhoe. I say just about anything because the lowly ALICE triple 30 belt pouch seems to hold three of any 30 round AR magazine available. At least the half dozen or so that I have, will easily hold (as well as close and latch) a trio of every brand of 30 round magazine I have. Including the Microtech E4s and Tapcos.
    Users of the original stretch-to-fit type mag-pulls on their USGI mags know all to well about the width problems of certain pouches.

    Personally I have, and use, polymags (from over a half dozen companies), aluminium mags and steel mags. I also have quite a few 20 round mags too. I feel they all have their place in the grand scheme of things. It’s up to each and everyone of us to determine which type is best suited for our own personal use.

  • Hotgun

    I don’t consider it wise for a soldier in the field to be the “test” bed for the producer…..
    remember, hese have not been fully tested, nor approved by the weapon managers.
    …..And, the minimal testing of these magazines shows they are no better than new issue….Also, they cost twice as much and weigh more than an aluminum magazine, too.

    Storing the “cover” on the base sounds good…except, it needs to be removed and stored prior to use. How does the soldier know it will soon be needed, then remove/store the cover.

    More magazine choices are good for a commercial consumer….let them choose it if they want.

    BUT, our military should only be using fully tested and approved products. I know they’ve been down this road before.


  • LTC Chris Lehner

    LTC Lehner here. My program office is responsible for the development, production, and fielding of the Improved Magazine (tan follower) along with all the pistols, shotguns, grenade launchers, sniper weapons, rifles/carbines, and even airburst weapons that our Army uses.

    Hotgun, you are on target! Our Improved Magazine has been thoroughly tested in every environmental condition for the last several years. We have fired 40,000+ rounds through them, filmed their performance with high speed cameras, and did things to them to try and make them fail. Bottom line, these Improved Magazines offer a 50% reduction in the risk of a magazine related weapon stoppage over our previous Green follower magazines. P-mag, H+K, and others may have “tested” their magazines, but no one has the resources to test the way we do. When an Improved Magazine is fielded from my office (along with all the other kit we provide) there is a commitment and promise to our Soldiers that it will serve them extremely well in combat. The other manufactures of magazines (commercial magazines) usually will not or can not make this promise because of all the unknowns their magazines will face in battle.

    As a side note, our Improved Magazines (with the tan, anti-tilt, follower) were developed a few years before similar magazines hit the market. The reason our magazines are only now available is due to the extensive testing regime we must put all of our equipment through. And it is a good thing we do, because there are many commercial magazines that our soldiers bought “off the shelf” that are starting to give them problems. More on this in the future.

    For all Soldiers in OIF or OEF, be sure to keep your eyes open for the Armed Forces Network (AFN) Infomercial due out at the end of this month. You will actually learn valuable information on your Improved Magazine and where they are being issued in theater. Also you can log onto the PEO Soldier Web site to learn more about the magazine, new weapons, night vision devices, and body armor that we are fielding. Thank you for your time and keep up the fight!

    Chris Lehner
    LTC, SF
    PM Individual Weapons

    • OIF vet

      Sir, I for one am satisified with your response and appreciate your time in commenting here. Thanks!

  • Ian J

    Hotgun: “As for the inspection “tool”: Most machine shops don’t have inspection equipment or machine tools accurate enough to make a military grade weapon gage, whether for headspace, barrel straightness, or magazine inspection.”

    Really? What do you consider accurate enough? Is accurate down to ten-thousandths of an inch (.0001″) accurate enough? That’s the measurement precision (and arguably accuracy) of tools I own, and my machine tools are far from high quality enough to be considered for use in a commercial shop, although they can be made as accurate with correct set-up.

  • Hotgun

    Ian, If you can “work” to about +/-.0002 and inspect to .00001 you could be there.
    From there, your inspection equipment is critical to the process, otherwise it just won’t shake out. BTW, inspection gear needs direct traceability to NIST. All official gages have a gage record card and must be inspected periodically to be sure they are calibrated. All gages are checked before going to the field.

    Regards & God bless our troops,

  • M4Wilson

    It seems to me that the IW comity borrowed heavily from the Magpul enhanced follower and moved the molded bump on the follower to the opposite side to avoid having to pay MagPul any royalties. It is really great, now when I load a mag I have to retrain muscle memory to learn the new correct side for a full magazine. The Pmag dust cover comes with a go/no go gauge built right in. Hotgun, not trying to pick a fight but how many rounds have you put down range in your life time? I have averaged @ 3,500-4,500 a week for over 7 years (do the math). I have used nearly every magazine made out there and the Pmags out run the GI mags every time in any condition from 120 to -50, followed by the GI mags with the Pmag enhanced follower and CS spring kits. Pmags will out last the GI mags for total round count to mean failure as well. The biggest problem with reliability is armorers that keep reissuing defective mags (hence the need for the go/no go gauge) Uncle Sugar doesn’t want to have to spend a lot of $$ to push the Pmag through the procurement/supply system and a new follower (of dubious origin) is far cheaper. I know many line units and guys that don’t exist in places they never were who will not use anything but the Pmag because of its reduced fouling problems when faced with moon dust and debris. As soon as the brass leaves they bring out the stuff they know works. No offense to LTC Lehner and his program but IMHO and experience the Army suffers greatly from a “not invented/thought of here” syndrome. There are many, many things that military has passed up on because some desk guy didn’t like the presentation/presenter and blackballed the company/item that was an improvement on the existing items that us poor line guys love.
    Just my $0.02

  • M4Wilson

    Also why didn’t you guys just use the Magpul enhanced follower instead of spending the $$ on your “own” design? Seems like that would have been cheaper and been out sooner. The only difference between the old mag and the “new mag” is a new follower and a different spring? You had COTS solutions available but chose to ignore them. Why?

  • LTC Lehner, my understanding is that you are a man of integrity, but I’m highly underwhelmed with those you were forced to support.

    That a COTS item was already available, but your staff decided to develop its own as a copy so that pats on the back, bonuses, and patents could be awarded is inexcusable. Perhaps the civilian crew needs to be reminded that we are a military at war, and the time saved may have meant lives saved.

  • Steve R.

    “Also why didn’t you guys just use the Magpul enhanced follower instead of spending the $$ on your “own” design?”

    Because they probably convinced themselves that it would be better to just steal the design and switch the molded bullet from the right to the left. Seriously, think about it. That molded bullet has been on the right side for how many years? And when they make their “own” anti-tilt follower, they switch it to the other side? Pretty obvious that they are trying to avoid patent violation issues.

  • Jamie

    about the pmags i agree they suck i hate them as far as feeding in my weapon i havent had any real problems so for the normal guy out on the range with a ar 15 they would be fine but try rushing with them ive had problems with my rounds falling out of my mag and i never had that problem with my steal mags

  • psmash

    some of our new soldiers got issued the tan mags and fielded them at ranges and training. Much better than the green ones but still to cheap to be reliable through a deployment. I tell my soldiers if they want good equipment pony up the cash and buy it aka PMAGs.

  • Mutt


    I could care less how many rounds you have put down range. Unless those rounds have been put down range “in combat” then they don’t mean nothin.

    Yeah, Pmags are great. But, keep them at the range. They don’t belong in the field. USGI mags are the only thing that should be used in the field. Besides, when in combat, you drop your mag on the ground and leave it, and keep moving. You don’t go around policing up empties in combat. They are expendable. The whole purpose of a USGI mag is to load and use once, drop the empty on the ground. If you can possibly recover and reuse a mag, that’s nice. But, not neccessary.

    There is no place in combat for a dust cover on a magazine. If there was, it would have been used a long long time ago. Keep your pmags, and pmag dust covers at home where they belong. They don’t belong in combat.


    • SFC Earnán


      Spare us your Call of Duty “expertise.”

      Leave magazines on the ground and guess what? You don’t have any magazines at the end of the day. Just getting enough in the first place is an ongoing problem for soldiers. Abandoning magazines as you advocate would get you brought up on charges in any competently led Army unit.

  • Jason

    I’m with the Magpul guys for my AR-15. The stock metal mag jammed liked a bitty, but my PMAG Level mags are smooth as butter at feeding 30 rounds+ through flawlessly.

  • Gimmick

    @Jason If your rifle malfunctions with USGI magazines, it’s broken and might get your buddies killed. Fix your gun.

  • Keith Applegate

    I have five of these improved “unavailable to the public” mags that I have been testing.
    (I’ll soon be sending some photos to Steve so he can post them if he so desires.)

    First of all, the body and floorplate is exactly the same that Brownell’s has always used on their mil-spec magazines.
    But more importantly is that it’s not just the follower that’s different in the “new” magazines but the magazine spring as well. The tan follower will ONLY work with the new spring and the old style spring will NOT work with the new follower.

    Up until now the magazine spring was fifteen coils of approximately 1.675″ x 0.675″.
    The new spring is fourteen coils of approximately 1.955″ x 0.500″.

    The old springs were contained in the rear of the mag body and the large rib (groove?) in the side kept the coils from moving forward.
    But new spring is narrower and longer so its coils are free to float anywhere inside the entire body.
    The new spring is attached to the follower in the middle as opposed to closer towards the rear as before. The decreases the propensity for the nose of the follower to tip downwards as compared to the green GI follower.

    The biggest differences in the follower are:
    the first round (when fully loaded) now feeds from the left.
    the shape of the “cartridge” molded in the follower
    the sides are reshaped to increase stability at the tip of the follower while making it muck easier to remove/replace for cleaning.
    the front and rear skirts are now full width like the Magpul followers but they have zero taper so there is no side-to-side tipping.

    So the new follower seems to offer all of the benefits of the Magpul design with the added benefit of better distribution of spring force.

    However I have noticed one flaw that keeps it from being the best.
    Both the black and green USGI followers as well as the black/gray British and all versions of the Magpul followers have a narrowed vertical channel in the front skirt. The channel creates two bearing edges at the front corners that reduce the contact surface.
    The new tan follower has a full width, completely flat front skirt. If the magazine gets dirty either from outside dirt or from powder/gas fouling friction will therefore increase.

    So far I’ve experienced zero malfunctions with any of the five I own.
    When new they felt smoother than both GI green and Magpul followers both when loading and when just pushing the follower down with my fingers. The tan followers depressed easily and there was zero feeling of any tipping in any direction. In fact I took a long 0.25″ dowel and pushed down from the very front of the follower and could easily push it to the bottom and then back up with no binding whatsoever anywhere.
    However, after about 20 loadings and firings each they no longer feel any smoother than any of my well used Magpul replacement followers. And you can see rub marks on the front skirt caused by friction inside the magazine body.

    So while I really do like the new spring (especially its new attachment point) and the ease of follower removal/replacement is great I don’t see all the greatness previously bantered about by PM Soldier Weapons.

    If Magpul would incorporate the new spring (and attachment point) in it’s replacement followers it would be the hands down best available.

    Just my observations and opinions. YMMV

  • We are the manufacture of the Lip Wear Tool. Just looking for some feed back on the tool.