Will the US Army Adopt the Magpul PMag? US Army Explores Procurement of “Polymer Magazines” [NDIA 2017]

    Will the US Army adopt the Magpul Gen M3 PMag? Until recently, it seemed the answer was “no”. The Army had produced several magazine iterations replacing the legacy “black follower” design, culminating with the latest Enhance Performance Magazine (formerly High Performance Magazine), which they claimed reduced malfunctions by two-thirds. However, buried in the back of Lt. Col. Steven Power’s presentation┬áreleased with the 2017 NDIA conference records last month, was a reference to a Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) begun in February to┬áprocure and test polymer magazines with the possibility of procuring them for the Army proper. The overview of the program was confined to a single slide on Lt. Col. Power’s presentation:

    This SEP appears to be a response to recent events which began with USMC, Crane, and Army tests which showed the Gen M3 PMag as performing considerably superior to other AR-15 magazines, including the current USGI pattern. As a result of this testing, the USMC pushed forward and adopted the Magpul PMag Gen M3, which led several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to question the Army in an open letter about their magazine recommendations and why the PMag was not one of them.

    At the same time, the Army’s new Enhanced Performance Magazine has reportedly met with problems, including out of spec magazine bodies and other flaws, making the initial deployment of what was supposed to be the ultimate Army M4 magazine something of a disappointment. All this together appears to be driving the Army to consider the PMag and other off-the-shelf magazines as alternatives to the evolving standard USGI pattern.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]