Soldier Systems Compares the D60 to Brethren & Competitors

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Announced in January, MagPul’s new D60 drum magazine has the potential to be quite the hit. However, I feel there is some reserve to the magazine, as its just starting to be seen in the wild. Historically, drums have been quite bulky which offsets their utility, especially when constructed of metal.

However, the D60 continues Magpul’s history of innovation with polymers and is quite the compact package. To showcase this, Soldier Systems (which is lucky to have their hands on one already though they are shipping) was able to put the polymer drum next to a few of its competitors its brethren magazines.

Vs a 30 round sand PMAG. Click here to be taken to Soldier Systems.

Vs a 30 round sand PMAG. Click here to be taken to Soldier Systems.

Turns out the bulk on this one is quite manageable. The D-60 looks to be slightly shorter than common 30 round PMAGs and only about twice as wide as the SureFire coffin magazines. Nice.

But, “bulk” is not just limited to physical size, there is also a weight component. In this case, the D60 is quite the portly offering, coming in at 20 ounces, empty. For comparison, the SureFire is 7.7 ounces. Extrapolating to a loaded magazine, the D-60 is roughly 44 ounces to SureFire’s 32. By comparison, the original X-Products loaded at 50 rounds is 3 lbs or 48 ounces and holds 10 less rounds.

For the complete run-down, including extra pictures, hit the link here to visit Soldier Systems. 

 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Garmanarnar

    Fewer, not less. The X-products drum holds 10 fewer rounds.

    • nadnerbus

      I hate it when some guy with more than ten rounds gets in front of me in the 10 rounds or less line.

  • iksnilol

    It’s twice as wide as a magazine holding the same amount of ammo, while being slightly shorter? Also it is 350 GRAMS HEAVIER!?

    Seriously, why bother with the drum when the quad stack is easier to handle, probably more durable due to not being as complex and made out of plastic (sorry, polymer) and actually lighter? Bear in mind that this is for the same amount of rounds.

    • youngun21

      Yeah and the added benefit of being able to use current mag carriers (or stretch some out slightly) for the quad stack. I don’t see a practical way of carrying the drum. I guess you could have the drum loaded in the gun and then have your back up bags be standard p-mags and when you run out of the drum you would just dump it in a SHTF situation. Other than potential aftermarket support or durability I don’t see this as an innovation from the surefire method. I would love to see a quad stack with magpul quality control and market support. Im sure they could make a big ole p-mag for far less than surefire is making their metal quad stack and you could could actually find it in the wild.

    • ostiariusalpha

      The main difference is that the drum mag will dependably work even in a defensive situation, not just for plinking or competition where a mag failure is more disappointing than lethal. The same can’t be said for the Surefire quadstack.

    • Kyle

      It does look really neat though. It has that going for it. Meanwhile I’m slowly expanding my collection of twenty round p-mags cause I just like them.

    • john huscio

      The surefire has a track record of crapping out. I’d choose the magpul drum over it.

    • John

      I’d imagine that if you have an actual mag-supplied machine gun–like many of HK’s products–a drum will help differ the machine gun ammo from the rifle ammo by sight and touch. At night, that might be a big deal.

    • JSmath

      Of note, I believe iksnilol is getting at the idea that there are more coffin style mags than just the surefire, that have better track records, that would do similar jobs with less added weight. I would trust that magpul considered it first, being that they got their start on (-magpullers-) spring-and-follower magazines.

      I think 60 is a good compromise between going over their own 40-rounders, but not being on the same basis as 100-plus-round linked boxes. It’d be an odd fit for sure, but seems right up the alley of the current intent and usage of new LMG designs (extended fire capable carbines).

      • iksnilol

        Yes.

        I wish Magpul and Circle 10 would make coffin mags. would love a 50-60 rounder for my AK and I am sure that Mapgul could make a coffin mag cheaper and more durable than Surefire.

        • Not sure how feasible a polymer coffin mag in a STANAG well would be. Because it was spec’ed for aluminum mags that were originally intended to be cheap enough to be disposable, there isn’t a while lot of extra room.

          Coffin mags need a certain amount of room to go from four columns to two, and I don know if it is really feasible to do with the wall thickness of polymer mags, unless your “merge lanes” are fully complete before you enter the mag well area… And that means extra length if you want to go to 50 or 60 rounds.

          • iksnilol

            Extra length like Surefire did? Yeah, that won’t be a problem.

          • Yeah, now, imagine the Surefires, but even longer…

  • A.WChuck

    My guess is that the guys downrange who actually need mags like this have a selection criteria that might be something like this:

    1) Is it reliable?
    2) Is it reliable?
    3) Is it reliable?
    4) Does it make my mag bag look fat?

    • CommonSense23

      Probably going to be, where I am suppose to store these on my kit? Where do I put it when its empty?

      • A.WChuck

        I was thinking more along the lines of setting an ambush or breaking contact and finding the exit, but I have never done either so maybe all that is needed is harsh language.

        My thought was one drum in the gun and regular mags for reloads.

        • CommonSense23

          Yeah, great for the times you have a close range ambush, absolutely horrible every other time you swap mags.

        • jcitizen

          I would think these are better for duty back at base camp to defend the perimeter. I’d have to think twice bringing them on a mobile mission, unless you are mech infantry of course.

      • It’ll fit in a SAW pouch, with room to spare… Probably fit just about perfectly in any pouch that could hold 4 standard mags side by side.

        Might even be able to get two of these in a SAW pouch (certainly one a skosh bigger) in a “69” position.

        I could see using it like the old Soviet doctrine for the RPK drums – one for initial contact or the assault, the other to use when you go o the consolidate and reorganize phase afterwards, standard boxes in between.

        For units using a rifle or carbine for base of fire (like the IAR, or a small recce team not carrying a SAW), it could be useful, and I could see specialty use for clearing buildings or trenchworks in deliberate assaults. I don’t see the point as a standard mag for PVT Snuffy.

        But it comes down to reliability. Unless it’s as reliable as standard boxes, it’s a range toy.

  • Mister Thomas

    Awesome drum. Looks awesome on a Tavor, and okay on an AR-15

    • John Bear Ross

      It does look very cool in a Tavor.
      Best,
      JBR

  • Esh325

    There have been a lot of higher capacity magazines developed for infantry rifles, but I have yet see anybody actually field them. 30 is still the standard. The magpul does look like a good offering though as they don’t make junk usually.

    • Major Tom

      The Russians are increasingly using their 60 round casket mags for their AK-74M’s and the new A-545 and AK-12 rifles.

      Like STANAG stuff, it works in everything designed to take 5.45 AK mags. Stuff like the RPK-74 machine gun, AK-74M assault rifle, and AKS-74U carbine.

      The 30 rounders they still have are only in use until they’re expended.

      • Esh325

        The 60 rounders don’t appear to ever been been issued though. I haves seen 45 RPK magazines in use with AK-74’s from time to time with Russian soldiers.

        • Major Tom

          There was a video from Russia some months ago showing RGF troopers (Kadyrov militia?) engaging separatist insurgents in Chechnya. Most of the troopers had AK-74M’s with the occasional VSS or AKS-74U but the common thing apart from the guy with the 74U using an RPK-74 mag is that about half of them had 60 round casket mags.

          If troops in Chechnya (Kadyrov militia or front-line Putin guys) are being issued the 60 rounders, what makes you think the boys currently based at Sevastopol or Moscow or whatnot aren’t getting them as well? Yes I’m well aware that the geopolitical situation worldwide makes photo shoots with RGF troops a rarity anymore.

      • iksnilol

        50 round caskets, they reduced the capacity from 60 for increased durability.

        • Major Tom

          Citation needed.

          • iksnilol

            And you’ll have it.

            http://russianoptics.net/AK74_50rd.html

            They did make a 60 round one. I think they still do, but they’re moving towards the 50 rounder. It’s more reliable when stored loaded for longer time.

      • John

        How reliable are their casket magazines? I’ve heard less than desirable, but they’re still fielding them cuz Russia, the same guys that have no qualms using texas dogleg rails and Vortex sparcs in combat

  • USMC03Vet

    AR drums are stupid priced especially when a brand new 762 Romanian 75 round steel goes for $65.

  • Warren Ellis

    Hm any issues with jamming for this drum magazine? From what I remember, aren’t drum magazines noted for not being the most reliable?

    • JoshCalle

      I think reliability was an issue specifically for Beta C drum mags. I remember the aurora shooter’s beta jammed.

      • Well, Beta C drums have a lot going on inside. I haven’t gutted one to see if they dealt with the issue by using feedribs to reduce the friction area (the fairly straight walls of the 5.56 can make for a lot of friction), but such ribs can create problems of their own.

    • buzzman1

      How is all of this weight going to effect the mag release. Its not designed to retain a mag that weighs 2x plus of a 30 rd mag.

  • buzzman1

    Have to laugh about the mags. I see discussions all the time where guys are whining about how heavy their 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 pound rifles are. Imagine what the crying will be like when they start trying to carry their rifles with one of these fully loaded in them.

    • Also, extra weight puts extra strain on the mag catch assembly – both on the gun and the magazine. I’ve seen guys go Moosecock from a simple “jungle clip” (although they probably should have tighter there mag catch by another turn or two…)

      • buzzman1

        Rick,
        Although I could see one might justify a larger mag for initial engagement requirements, all I see is a range mag that says “see I’m more of a man than you because I have a bigger Mag!”
        30 round mags are about as long as I would want. Longer heavier mags would just get in the way,

        • While I’m not a big fan of the technique for a rifleman, I can see the argument that having one or two guys that have an extra large capacity magazine for gaining initial fire superiority is a reasonable approach. And another for stuffing in during consolidation and reorganization.

          But *definitely* no more than that, unless you are humping a magazine fed, Honest-to-God LMG. However, true MGs ought to be belt fed anyway, unless you need magazine compatibility with the riflemen, or your LMG with mags and a standard load of ammo is lighter than a belt fed would be. (For example, I believe the L4 Bren was lighter than an FN MAG GPMG [M240 to us Americans], until you got to 600 or so rounds per gun, at which point the weight of the Bren mags outweighed the additional weight of the GPMG. And, of course, the Bren could feed from L1A1 mags if it had to.)

          A drum mag that doesn’t stick down any farther than a standard 30 wouldn’t be a particular problem for a rifleman, although they are horribly inefficient in storage space compared to a standard box.

          All of this is true *IF* (and only if) it is just as reliable as the standard box, and doesn’t screw up the mag catch with the weight.

          • buzzman1

            The mags would make the rifle to heavy for modern soldiers to carry. Also make them to hard to maneuver around.

          • Rick Randall

            Every soldier, especially every magazine per soldier? Certainly.

            One or two magazines for one or two soldiers per squad? Hardly.

  • USMC2090

    Thank you! People make these kinds of silly comments all the time and I can’t help but think all of the things you just wrote. Even when small companies come out with a new product for example that may very well be 5 dollars in material. People don’t understand that even simply getting the correct patents to protect ones ideas can easily cost in excess of 50 grand, let alone the CAD designers and prototypes and sheer man hours necessary, let alone the Marketing cost to get the product out on the market the right way. Unfortunately many people simply want a cheap product without thinking what that actually means to them.

    • Lt_Scrounge

      They should look at how much it took for X Products to get their 308 drums to market in a reliable format. They were showing prototypes for years before the production models hit the ground.

  • L. Roger Rich

    $150. shipped….just piggyback 2-30’s

    • Ned Weatherby

      Or even two 40’s. They’re longer, but I have yet to have one cause a problem. Looks like a solution in search of a problem…

  • Ned Weatherby

    Is it really better when one considers storage options? Seems like two 30’s would store a lot more compactly.

    • jcitizen

      The old Soviet drums come with bags, but I wouldn’t try using them. I think just finding a good canvas bag with the right dimensions, so you can put two them in a “69” orientation would be good enough – if I thought about it long enough, and perused the military surplus market, I’d probably find one made for something else and special purpose it for storing these mags. A carrying strap would be icing on the cake. The new load bearing equipment standards for the GWOT show many useful potential candidates for this usage; just look at all the camo gear on eBay and you might be able to spot what I’m talking about.

  • BlackLivesSplatter

    why si there even a discussion on the merit of thee ….of course you will buy one if can ,,,more fun at the range etc , and of course its gonna work …magpul is not known for junk after all …i bet they got it to work just fine … so stop your whining and get back to shooting ok internet warriors