LTC Chris Lehner of PEO Solider wrote a comment on the blog that I thought deserved its own post. He addresses the issue of why the Army did not just adopt one of the existing anti-tilt follower designs instead of developing their own.
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!
PM Individual Weapons
Read more about the Improved Magazine here.