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.


  • Zach

    The comic is terrible, just like the training comics that the army used in the late 70’s/early 80’s when all their “volunteers” were high school dropouts and drug addicts. I hope the actual quality of soldiers today isn’t anywhere near that level. I have no other reason to think that it is.

    The magazine is also awful. Not quite as good as the magazines that the rest of us have been using since 2004.

  • Matt Groom

    Ironically, the comics will be in the hands of the troops before the magazines are available.

  • SpudGun

    The reputation of the US Army and the intelligence of it’s soldiers just gets stronger and stronger. I’m willing to place bets that as soon as troopers receive this visual aid, the magazine in the woman’s hand will ‘changes shape’ and end up on a latrine wall.

    Can’t wait for the next exciting issue, maybe Man Faced Blond Woman can have a thrilling adventure starring a bolt carrier and a forward assist…or fight Wolverine, whatever.

  • Ah, Connie and Bonnie……

    I guess we’ll start seeing a flood of green mags at gun shows now….

    and the PMag is being issued too I hear….

    good for our troops

  • Meltron

    You misspelled “New Improved Magazine”

    • Meltron, thanks, thats a typo not a misspell 😉

  • Other Steve

    Wow. Worst “comic” ever. Still waiting for the satire. Are military purchasers so dumb they need cartoon explanations of their job?

    Really, that is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like if you swap some of the pictures around you could have an Ad for child gun safety.

    I really hope tax dollars were not spent on this.

  • Andy

    I used to read these all the time as a kid. Dad would bring them home and I’d absorb them all. Which, really, was the way I always remembered to idle down before shutdown, always keep your M-16 clean, etc..

    I wonder if there’s an archive of this anywhere.

  • Just get a PMAG.

  • Eric

    I like how the say it “should” provide greater reliability. *sarcasm off*

  • I’m curious of the source of that cartoon. Any idea where it came from?

  • Raymond

    There’s an old M16 illustrated manual drawn by Will Eisner

    Great read.

  • I remember when Connie Rodd was hot…

  • jdun1911

    They should also mention in the cartoon that the old spring will be incompatible with the new design.

    IIRC I think they spent 3 years and 10 millions of tax payers’ money to develop the new follower. The Magpul rep on was livid that so much money and time wasted on it while there was already an acceptable better alternative. Not only that the Magpul and other anti-tilt designs will be compatible with the current standard GI magazine.

    Government employees are so unproductive. A lot of money and time could have save by giving a starving mechanical engineer college student $200 for him to design an anti-tilt follower within a week and a bonus of a $100 if he finishes the job early.

    • jdun1911, lol, I think thats now the govt operate with just about all their projects.

  • Lance

    No there phaseing out the older black follower mags right? The tans are still around? Any mag improvement will make thing better anyway. Reminds me of the Vietnam comic for M-16A1s.

    By the way it mentions M-16s as well as M-4s I think some emailers who said there hardly any M-16s in military use is wrong on this.

  • jdun1911

    Comics are effective because we’re talking about 17-20 years olds kids. Doesn’t matter what era they came from or how smart they are. They’re still kids.

  • El Duderino

    Reminds me of the comic-book FM for the M-1 Abrams from the early 1980s. $4,500,000 vehicles manned by guys with room-temperature (Celsius) ASVAB scores.

    I was never a logistics guy, but I believe the NSN replaced was the only one for aluminum 30 rounders. So if you order magazines, use the new code. I have no idea if any branch is going to mass-replace green-follower mags. If there are about 3 million men and women in uniform, and say 1 million are issued an M16/M4 (very conservative), and the standard load-out is 7 magazines, that’s 7 million mags — not going to happen all at once.

  • Maigo

    Now are they issuing new bodies to go with the followers or are they just refurbishing the old mags?

  • jdun1911


    It’s all new magazines. No refurbishing.

  • spacecadet

    Boy there are a lot of armchair commandos in the comments here. THis comic is from PS monthly, which has been in print for….decades upon decdades. WHo’s its target audience? Really not sure. It’s mostly, IMHO, still in print for nostalgia and tradition. 19 year old joe snuffie doesn’t read it unless he’s waiting for a denatl appointment or something and there’s nothing else to read. It’s real audience by subject matter, is unit armorers and supply sergeants. Not 19 year olds and not people who do much learning from comic books. NSN numbers do nothing for that 19 year old, but does mean something to that company supply sgt, that company armorer, that company xo. The comic, as it has always been, is justa way for that info to get out there. Most of its travel will be word of mouth, perhaps instigated by that tidbit of info gleaned from this throw away line in a comic. So enough on the “stupid” military “purchasers” commenters have no clue about.

    And low ASVAB scores among tankers? Yeah, spoken like a true pogue. It’s not 1970. It’s 2010, the shirkers are staying well clear of the combat arms. Ask any 1SG of any MOS–which soldiers do they have the most problems with? Who are those 5% of soldiers that take 95% of theri time? It’s disproportionately cooks, truck drivers, mechanics, fuelers, etc. Ask that 1SG would he rather be Top in a pogue company or a company full of infantrymen, tankers or cav scouts. There are definately smart soldiers that are MI weenies, computer techs, etc. But let’s not discount the fact most trigger pulers are suburban white kids who have a action junkie itch–far from the knuckle dragging stereotype.

    Aw, who am I kidding. Tankers are simple–Tankers like explosions.

    🙂 I sound defensive. I’m just tired of those “who haven’t been” talking like they have. I’d say leave it for the internet, but here we are…

  • Zach

    From the military perspective mags are semi-disposable. And that would be your perspective too if you were stuck with USGI aluminum mags and you carried them 150 hours a week while hopping in and out of vehicles and occasionally getting shot at.

    I’m not aware of any units issuing Pmags but I believe a lot of soldiers buy them privately and use them without a hassle.

    The COTS options (Pmag, Lancer, TangoDown) are so much better it’s just sad to see this triumph of army procurement “not invented here” arrogance.

  • Beaumont

    Do we have REMFs at the Pentagon stuck in 1968? Today’s enlisted troops probably have higher IQ test scores than officers of the Nam era. I’m calling my Congresscritter over this waste of money.

  • Destroyer

    i agree 100% with space cadet. As a former 11V, ASVAB scores never mean jack s–t when the soldier was motivated, hard-working, and loyal. Usually those that ridicule combat arms MOSs have a envy that they never had the guts to take that extra step.

    Yes, tankers like to blow stuff up. Scouts like to sneak and shoot. Infantrymen will walk a mule to its early grave. There is more than just running and jumping. Ever give a detailed OP order? apply TLPs (troop leading procedures) in a METT-TC environment? it actually requires a good brain.

    “I sound defensive. I’m just tired of those “who haven’t been” talking like they have. I’d say leave it for the internet, but here we are…”

    don’t forget what is the bathroom wall of the world…the internet 😉 here, nobdy’s opinions are going to be the same because people’s experiences range from soldier-wannabes to former professional soldiers.

  • Ken

    PS has been around a minute. Its basic info put out simply and with no BS. I read it at work. It has useful info.

    @spacecadet- I agree with you on the armchair commandos comment. I disagree with the comment about who is the most problem. Bad apples are in every unit.Period.You can hate on “support folks” as much as you like but without them you have no food or ammo brought to you. Also the guy fixing the tank is Ordnance Corp not Armor.But you knew that.I have the utmost respect for combat arms guys.My dad told me to learn from the guys with the combat patches.I did.I was a Machinist when I was in.I worked my a** off when many “non support” folks were enjoying their 4 day weekend.I understand both sides.I would also like to point out that everyone in the Army,not just combat arms,are getting shot at.Mr. Insurgent does not have any scruples about who he kills.Frankly,all things considered,and from a tactical perspective, a “specialized support person” is actually harder to replace than say an Infantry soldier.So targeting one of them has far more reaching effect on a “specialized mission”. No I am not hating on the grunts.See my previous comments.Opinions are like,well,you know…
    @ the other tools running their internet yaps about the IQ of the soldiers-Stop guessing,the more you type, the dumber you look.Join the service to find out what the real deal is.On a similar note,my ASVAB score allowed me to have ANY job in the Army….lol.

  • Lance

    There are alot of smart tankers even in the 1960s they had to be smart enough to operate the computers and optical devise then and now there 10 time more complex on any current MBT.

    I dont think green mags are going anywhere for a while there still alot of black follower mags left as well they go first. I say let the rifleman pic his mags if he likes GI fin or if its a PMAG fine let him decide.

  • Vic Thomson

    The idea of a white suburban middle class army is simple not true. The officers may be mainly white but the enlisted sure as hell aren’t. Less than fifty percent of the enlisted are white and an even lower percentage of NCO’s are white. Not that there is anything wrong with that. A lot of the people who join are intelligent but they simple don’t have any other opportunities and never really excelled. There is a lot more gang banger and ghetto culture buried underneath a thin veneer of civility then you would imagine. A lot of people join because they like to see things die.

    Of course the air force is different they really are geeks.

  • Concerned_Soldier

    I didn’t know this was going to cause such a stir. I just wanted to get some good info out to other shooters.

    For all those interested, you can see more of the publication here:
    A lot of good information on weapons and maintenance.

    Although the we jest about the comic book, the purpose of the publication is to get information out about Military Technical Data, there are millions of pages in books about maintenance of military equipment, this publication condenses that information into a one-source document that allows information to be passed to the force quickly. It also provides Tactics, Techniques and procedures that have come about through experience in operations from around the world.

    Interesting that people degrade those who serve their country, we would rather a thank you, or you could always move.. We provide you those freedoms at our cost, you do not have to degrade us for it. But that is your right, we just pay for it..

    Zach and Spacecadet thanks for your support. Spacecadet, where have you served?




    • Concerned_Soldier, I have no idea why it is so controversial! Still, I am pleased you sent it to me!

  • CY

    spacecadet, Thank you from a room temp (93.333333..)Celsius, 1984 recruit. I was too love explosions, caused a lot of them myself.

  • jdun1911

    Pmag aren’t military issue. No DoD contract. However many units and individual use them. They are either bought by unit or private funds.

  • d

    so they decided to reinvent the wheel when the magpul follower has been out for years?

  • jdun1911

    I don’t want to go off track but this need to be corrected. I debated this few years back on minorities in the military.

    Minorities represented about the same in military as in the general population for enlisted.

    Blacks in the officer corps are overrepresented compare to the general population.

    American soldiers are more educated than their peers.

    Members of the all-volunteer military are sig­nificantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods.

    You can read the rest of the report here.

    • G3Ken

      I don’t know if the writer that stated less than 50% of enlisted are white, but I know that is far from true in the Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corps.

      I served as a Navy Corspman for 5 years, had off-the-charts ASVAB scores and Navy recruiters crawling up my ass to go into their nuclear program. No thanks. I wanted to be in the field. I was a suburban, middle class white kid whose HS grades didn’t match my ASVAB scores. I just didn’t care for HS all that much. The military changed that for me. Eventaully went to Radiologic Technologist School (X-ray) and became an MRI tech in the vcivilian world, making a six figure income, so anyone who says there’s no opportunity in life is FOS.

      My son is half white (my side) and half-Asian (my wife). He graduated USMC OCS in March and is now at TBS (The Basic School). Yes, even officers have to be riflemen first in the Corps. He heads to aviation school in Pensacola after TBS, which is 6 months long and ends in December. The officer corps is very white. Her had finally unpacked at TBS after a couple weeks, wating to ensure he wouldn’t be moved. He went in 50-50 with another 2nd Lt on a computer printer and was moved that very day to another platoon because, as he put it “they needed more diversity, as that platoon had too many white guys”. What a bunch of crap though. If they wanted true diversity, they would have had him room with a 100% white Lt. Instead, they had him room with a black Lt from an African nation (don’t want to make this too obvious and have him get in some trouble). His roommate is an “International” student.

      The vast majority of the Marines I served with in infantry units were white. Sorry, but look on TV and you’ll see that most front-line combat units are white boys, middle class and gung ho.

      Most folks have NO IDEA how hard it is to get an officer spot in the USMC today. My son went to a private, very prominent school in D.C., received a presidential scholarship, had an SAT score of over 1400 on his first try (never bothered taking it again) and a 282 PFT score (of a possible 300).

      When the OCS recruiting command deems your “package” fit for submission, they do so, and only then. You get three tries. If you don’t make it, you can no longer be considered for OCS.

      My son was a “non-select” the first time, passed over because there were two Merchant Marine Candidates in the pool. Never knew that was a military academy.

      Second time, we were sure, and he was passed over as there were two selectees that were prior-enlisted with multiple tours in the sandbox. He was upset, but mature enough to understand the other guys deserved it based on their service records.

      He was one of three OCS candidates picked in New York South on his final try. It probably helped that my best friend’s brother is an 0-6 and CO of an elite SPECWAR command and did us a solid by writing a glowing recommendation. I had to pull out all the stops for #3.

      Officers don’t often get a lot of respect, but I can tell you, as a corpsman who spent 13 months stationed at a Parris Island Battalion Aid Station, getting in and getting through is way harder than getting through boot camp. Do they know what NCO’s know? Of course not. That comes with EXPERIENCE. My son respects NCOs as he knows they have put in their time and “have their shit together” in his words.

      I know I went a bit off opic, but the front line guys are primarily white. This is true especially in the SPECWAR community. There are few black Navy SEALs for certain. It’s not the fault of a particular minority group, but a fault of society in general. The family unit is crap in minority communities and the values required for “brotherhood” in the military, discipline, knowing a guy has my back etc. just don’t exist in the minority communities. Don’t mean to hurt feelings.

      I would never want to fight alongside a “draftee”. I want someone who WANTS to be there, who I know will stand sided-by-side with me during the hard times and now whine about having to do something.

  • dj

    BTW, the folks that put the PS magazine together at LOGSA are a nice group of people. Worked down the hall from them last summer…

  • Lance

    Wow this is going off topic. No matter what race or asvab score the recruit got. He is the dbast equiped and trained solder on the battel field and is far better than any British German or Russian and Chinese (theres a joke) solder ot there. PMAGs or GI no matter the deadliest weapon on the battel field is a marine and his rifle.

  • Squidpuppy

    The original Sgt. Connie Rodd was created by Will Eisner; sigh. The new improved Connie, isn’t…

    Online archive of PS:

  • Edward

    Amusingly, the comic makes NSN 1005-01-561-7200 look like a stuck-up jerkass…

  • Xstang

    So, uh, anyone care to explain why the last round is on the other side now?

    Are the feed lips thicker, rolled better, better shape?

    Anyone put hands on this thing yet? How does it compare to a PMAG or an HK high-durability?

    I may be an idiot civilian, but giving three 20-round extended M9 mags to my truck driving friend felt better than giving a million to the united way.

  • Zach

    “So, uh, anyone care to explain why the last round is on the other side now?
    Are the feed lips thicker, rolled better, better shape?”

    This blog had an earlier post regarding the mag. No one is aware that the magazine body has been improved, or why they switched the round to the opposite side.

    It really appears to be nothing more than a better spring and a slightly improved follower, which is probably not as good as the Magpul followers that us civvies have had for a decade or so. Although the USGI mag is o-k, it is basically 1960’s technology and originally meant to be basically disposable. There are several newer mags that are far better – Pmag, Tangodown ARC, Lancer L5, maybe others. The HK “high reliability” mag is probably not on that list, for what it’s worth. Too heavy, too expensive, and doesn’t seem to live up to its name.

    The whole thing is a travesty and an example of how poorly army procurement can work.

  • Lance

    Dont know Zach ive seen guys with pamags have more malfunctions while im useing old black follower gi maks havet had a malfuntion. its all up to the man who uses what mag he likes.

  • VIC Thomson: Sorry bud, in the combat arms the vast majority of soldiers ARE young white 19-24 year olds, mostly middle-to-lower middle class. THink about it. If you were trying to use the military to get out of poverty, why, in 2010, would you CHOOSE to be a trigger puller? When you can actually learn a trade, like computer tech or topographical analyst or air traffic controller? Don’t have the scores? Well, where do you think fuelers and truck drivers come from? Either of those povide much better opportunity in the “real world”. IEDs may not discriminate but no average person chooses to make “close with the enemy” as their job description. Action junkies a lot of us. Cynical ones at that. But certainly not desperate–there are much easier, more fruitful jobs in the military.

    Less than 50% of enlisted are white? What are you smoking? Even Army-wide that’s a ridiculous claim.

    This is from the horse’s mouth: most 11Bs and 19Ks and 19Ds are skinny white kids that were average in every way in high school THey weren’t the valedictorians and they weren’t the captains of the football team. THey were in key club or wrestled or ran cross country or played a lot of videogames. I’m not speaking as someone who merely watches CNN and “knows everything” about the military. Joe, in a combined arms battalion, armored reconnaissance squadron, stryker bn, infantry bn, are predominantly average white boys you went to HS with. You are indeed right, though, when you mention diversity in the “useful” MOSes. THe Army in total is diverse. Cav scouts, not so much.

    BTW, I’m not trying to make a disparaging remark on any “support” guys. OUr mechanics, for example, were expected to do the same things as our tankers–tank plts are short manned, expected to do things that infantry PLTs do with an organization the size of infantry sections. We have 16 19Ks vs 32 11Bs. A tank company has the same amount of work thata mech infantry co does, but they sleep less because we need to man patrols that an IN company can split with sections. And we’re all dismounted the same amount of time–we didn’t even bring tanks our last deployment. I relied on CRT (tank mechanics) to man guns and walk the same patrols. They were outside the wire the same amount of time as my tankers.

  • Destroyer

    Vic, you need to look at your facts. 77% of US soldiers are white according to this statistic…

    provided by the Department of Defense.

    lance, ill believe it when i see it. give the technical comparisons between the PMAG and black follower GI mags

  • jdun1911

    All magazines are disposable, including Pmag, Lancer, etc. From what was commented a few months ago the new GI magazine has an anti-tilt follower with a new spring to hook it.

    I don’t have problem with GI magazine (green follower). I did have a lot of trouble with the black follower version. GI magazine are cost effect. The last gunshow I went to I bought 4 new Okay GI magazine (green follower) for five buck each. I did replaced the green follower with Magpul anti-tilt version, tho. I should have bought more but then again my AR15 magazine collection is in the three digits.

    I believe the Pmag is five years old. IIRC the anti-tilt follower was first introduced by South Korea, but don’t quote me on it.

    While I don’t own any HK magazine from what I gather on AR15, they aren’t as good as GI magazine.

  • Destroyer

    Jdun, HK magazines are excellent and superior to the GI mags. This tan, anti-tilt follower is supposed to be more cost effective than the HK mags (which cost anywhere from 45-60 bucks!).

    I had some issues with GI mags in my career, though with proper loading and care, the issues were minimal. In actual combat conditions, GI mags will break down and fail. Not surprisingly during my unit’s stint in the sandbox, we bought the magpul followers, which made the magazines just as good as the most expensive ones.

  • jdun1911
  • Lance

    Im with Jdun I never had hardly any problems with GI mags in both dusty and muddy conditions.

  • Destroyer

    I never had any problems with anything in those conditions either if i don’t use it or it just sits in one of my pouches 🙂

  • Lance

    Plastic mags have there faults. Isreal used plastic mags for year but droped them recently for metalic ones. Pmags are nice for a day at the range but it can be debated.

  • Destroyer

    *sighs* comparing apples to oranges. Everybody would agree that there is a difference between Orlite and PMAGs. Difference between Thermold and Lancer. Saying that they are all “plastic” mags is like saying Pakistani and Russian AK47’s are “all made of metal”.

  • Texas_Dave

    I put about 500 rounds through my AR-15 over the course of two days at an Appleseed shoot in Davilla Texas last month. I used two MAGPUL P-MAGS to do the mag change evolutions.

    I am happy to report that without an overnight cleaning….and with constant fine prarie dust being wind-blown into my PMAGS and up into my AR’s chamber duting the cease-fire and show-clear periods of the shooting exercises, I mean A LOT of dirt was blown up into my AR and the two Magpul PMAGS I was using. So much so that by the end of the day my rifle looked as if I had buried it and pulled it out of the ground.

    The PMAGS functioned flawlessly with no feed problems. The almost new CMMG 20″ upper and the Bushmaster lower that made up my AR-15 handles to dust and dirt well with no function problems, frozen bolt or failure to release the PMAGS.

    I had to completely dismantle the AR to get all of the fine dirt and greasy sand out of it. The PMAGS I just dipped in a bucket of water, scrubbed and shook out.

    IMHO…the U.S. military should adapt the PMAG immediately as its front line magazine and get those aluminum pieces of crap out of theatre. But since the M-4 / M-16 is still in use even though it has proven itself to be too tempermental, unreliable when hot-dry-dirty-needed, underpowered, and limited in range…why are we not suprised that the USG will elect to adopt an inferior replacement magazine for it?

  • IRgRunt

    I bought a full set of PMags for my last deployment. Since I made the switch and started using Rem-Oil on my weapon before going out, I haven’t had a single misfeed, jam, or stoppage. The only downside: you have to file down the lip on the front of the mag or it won’t drop out of the mag well when you press the mag release, rendering “passing in flight” impossible. As for the new mags? They’re alright. Not great. Just alright. They feed better and load well, but a common problem I’ve had with them is that they don’t always seat properly, even if you follow up with a slap to the bottom of the mag to ensure it’s in there nice and tight, so that when you ride the bolt home the round doesn’t always chamber. And even if you try to rechamber it’s 1/3 that A) you’ll just come up empty again B) you’re charging handle won’t rack all the way to the read because you caught half the round or C) it’ll chamber and fire. A and B require you to free the charging handle and remove and reseat the mag. But if you get it to fire the first round, I haven’t had any problems with double feeds or any other such issues. End prognosis: PMag>Brown(Tan) follower>Green follower

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    Holy cow! LOL I haven’t seen Connie in…21 years.

    I remember her as way hotter, though.

  • richiecotite

    for what it’s worth (not much at all):

    my buddy is a USAF PJ, he’s told me he’s had issues with his pmags, and the tan follwer mags run with less problems.

    off topic, he thinks they train with the m9 to practice malfunction drills…hehehe

  • I appreciate you sharing this blog post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.