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My boy is the SAW gunner in a Combat Engineer unit. He's already seen more action than he admits to. Today my phone rang at 7 AM, was my daughter informing me that he is ok, but was knocked unconscious by the shockwave from a roadside IED. My daughter is a Combat Medic, been to Iraq for two tours already... if she says he is ok, I believe it. Nosebleed and blurred vision from the pressure wave, both cleared up now. He texted her, she emailed me, we all got online together in 10 minutes. Incredible technology today.

In talking to him, he told me that he uses both a SAW and an M16. He doesn't want to even USE the M16, due to the magazines. His load-out for the M16 is seven 30-round magazines, none of which have markings on them. All are, in his words, "iffy".

If he replaces one M16 mag with a privately procured one, regulations say he has to replace all seven magazines. I will make this happen, if I have to sell a kidney or something. I want my boy to have GOOD magazines.

I know little on this subject. Price is not a factor. Stone-cold reliable in the desert is what I want to get.

I need some help, brothers-in-arms... suggestions?

+Side note - he has "seen the elephant" 3 times so far. He rides up top, in the gunner's hatch on a "Caiman". The armor stopped the shrapnel, the straps held him in when the shockwave knocked him out. No other casualties. IED was remotely armed, detonated by a passive laser beam.

*second side note- I want to go to Iraq and beat seven colors of crap out of the coward who planted it. But the Army will take care of that, he says. So I'll just have to settle for outfitting him from here in PA. Hope you all can steer me in the right direction...
 

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igli said:
.... If he replaces one M16 mag with a privately procured one, regulations say he has to replace all seven magazines. I will make this happen, if I have to sell a kidney or something. I want my boy to have GOOD magazines.

I know little on this subject. Price is not a factor. Stone-cold reliable in the desert is what I want to get.

I need some help, brothers-in-arms... suggestions? ....
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Magpul-P ... 0black.htm

Go to the above link and look at those magpuls. They're about $15.00 apiece so for a tad over $100 dollars plus shipping you can change out all seven mags.
Don't be fooled because they're "pastic." These magazines have gotten high marks from a lot of people, and people have driven humvees over them and they have still worked!. It wore off some "pretty," but they still worked! I have a bunch of 'em and I like them.
A lot of the metal ones found on that sight work well too.
In the M-16/AR platform, the magazine is one of the weak links. Many malfunctions are mag related and I've heard a lot of stories from soldiers who have old worn out mags who have problems with them.
This ought not set you back big dollars. I don't know what shipping 'em will cost though.

God bless your son and daughter for their service. I pray for their success and their safe return home soon!
 

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Plus 1 on the Magpul mags; the local Swatski's run them... a lot.

They're phasing all of the metal ones out.
 

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The one caution on Mag-Puls is that the magazine base is wider than the magazine body. This can futz up stacking mags in pouches unless you can stagger the magazine height. Retention straps/flaps may not permit this. It's something of an problem with the 3 mag pouch that's in common use.

Brownells has a metal bodied magazine that does very well that they've branded with their name.

The major issues with the issue mags are followers and springs. Both are available separately.
 

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First I will send good thoughts for his speedy recovery.

I served in Al Anbar from 2006-2007 as the Company Commander of a Combat Engineer unit hunting IEDs. Many of my men suffered the same sorts of injuries. Do not underestimate the severity of it; he needs time out of the field and on a lesser level tell him to follow up with this unit on his Purple Heart. That is important on two levels; first it is the recognition he deserves, it is the only combat award that has a purely objective standard; additionally it will be important later for documenting his combat injuries to the VA.

As to the question at hand, the easy solution is to buy him 7 Pmags or even new USGI mags - the USGI mags are not bad magazines; most magazines in units have simply been abused for years just like the average weapon.

There are no regulations that state he can only have all his own or issue. I would just recommend he mark his own so he can be sure and get them back at the end of the deployment.

Best wishes to him and a speedy recovery.

Eric
 

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Brownell's magazines are getting high marks and they're a USGI contract maker for the military.

You have a number of choices as to finish and two choices on springs: Stainless steel or the new silicon springs that won't take a set or weaken.
They also sell the P-mags and most other M16 mags that are worth having.
I "think" that Brownell's will drop ship direct to him so they'll get there faster.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/cid=1127 ... -Magazines
 

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Sounds like a supply problem. Some supply pukes obsess with inventory numbers, not quality. Worn-out mags should be replaced or repaired before issue. One problem I see with personally-owned rifle mags will be keeping up with them; in the confusion and bedlam of a combat zone, losing track of the mags will be easy.

As above, thanks to your kids for stepping up and putting it on the line!
 

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PMAG's, PMAG's and PMAG's. Don't send your son anything else. Also get him a .22 caliber Boresnake for GP if he doesn't already have one.

If your son will set up an account with Brownells (in reality, provide them a .mil email address), he'll get the mags for less than $13/ea.

ArmyCPT
OIF 2004-2005
 
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has anyone tried a Pmag, or Emag in a 249? do they fit ? do they fair better than the usgi mags when the last rounds goes out?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the prompt replies and support for my Army kin. I ordered 7 Magpull 30 rounders last night, with the clear window in them. I'll engrave his name on every one, and send them to him in Iraq.

Wasn't expecting such agreement on a single brand... Magpull ran away with it, both here and with a few salty vets I spoke to. Unusual to see such unanimous opinions. Looks like Magpull did it right.

And thank you all again for your help. This matters, and you all came through for me and my boy.

I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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Casual said:
has anyone tried a Pmag, or Emag in a 249? do they fit ? do they fair better than the usgi mags when the last rounds goes out?
There's a video (YouTube, I believe) of the Magpul folks running mag after mag after mag through a SAW without a hiccup...
 

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I hear the Army is now buying Magpul P-MAGs, which is good.

There are a lot of good M16 magazines out there. The Brownell's magazines get high marks also.

Here's the thing

It's all about how you take care of your magazines. The issue magazines are very good magazines, the problem is, who knows what kind of treatment they've had; this is why they're "iffy"

The PMAG's are much more forgiving than the aluminum magazines, but aluminum magazines are good. What is equally important is how he carries his magazines. If he has to hit the dirt, it's important he's not landing on his magazines (especially if they're aluminum). This is where M16 magazines get tweaked.

Again, I would recommend the P-MAG's from Magpul; but you need to inform him that he needs to come to an agreement with his magazines...he just can't afford to dammage a magazine.

You can have the best military arm in the world, but if you tweak the magazine, you have a very frustrating single shot while in a firefight. Another reason I'm an AK fan; no better magazine in the world.

Remember Baby Those Mags
 

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Another historical problem with the M16 series. No matter the brand of mags that you sent him, send him a couple of rebuild kits for each one. That will enable him to deal with any minor issues. You might also consider sending him a few rebuild kits for the issue mags. If he happens upon a few decent looking mag bodies, he can add them to his stash, utilizing the kits to make them reliable.

No matter where one is in combat, or when that is, or was, logistics is always a problem. The supply chain is always the weakest link, and the humans in it tend to be even weaker. They aren't on the sharp end of the stick, so they don't see the rush.
 

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First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their fast replies and genuine concern. I asked my Dad to pick out some good magazines for me, because I don't know a lot about the aftermarket aspects of the AR-15 platform. I operate an M16A4 rifle, which I requested instead of the M4 Carbine. I wanted the extra ballistic oomph. The new M4s are all made by "Colt Defense", and my M16A4 is made by "Colt Mfg Co". That in mind, the M16A4 feels like a much more well-constructed, sturdy weapon than any of the M4s do. It's not loose, it doesn't rattle, and everything in it is smooth, despite it being a bit older. I don't like the way the M4's feel. The seven aluminum magazines I have are also made by "Colt Defense". And they suck--there's some obvious manufacturing deficiencies in the magazine bodies, they are malformed and uneven at the edges, and it's not from use, I took these things out of the bags. I immediately took out the springs and followers and replaced them with stronger springs and orange followers the supply guy had laying around. Cleaned them, and went to ranges with them. Tested four of them with the original followers, and three with the orange ones and new springs. One of them was loaded with "iffy" ammo, one was loaded with pristine ammo. I spent hours setting up all kinds of crazy variables to test. I also had three older magazines filled with 5.56 to try in the magazine port of my SAW.

In the M16, I experienced a lot of double feeds (orange followers) and complete stoppages or magazine jams, fixable with S.P.O.R.T.S. (green followers/original springs).

For those who aren't BRM savvy, SPORTS is immediate action taken when a weapon doesn't fire.

Slap (the bottom of the magazine, this fixed most of the stoppages immediately)
Pull (the charging handle)
Observe (check out the side of the weapon and the ejection port--see a double feed?)
Release (the charging handle)
Tap (hit the forward assist)
Squeeze (the trigger)

When SPORTS fails, we perform remedial action, all the way up to an armorer disassembling the weapon if needed. Quick fixes are made at the "Observe" stage of SPORTS, this usually pertains to double feeds. My double-feeds (and a triple-feed, those do exist) were so enthusiastically shoved into the upper receiver of the weapon that I had to pry them out with my Leatherman. This took around 12 seconds. Totally unacceptable in a combat environment. The stoppages of the older springs and followers was actually preferable, because I could just smack the magazine into functioning, or at the worst toss out the magazine for a new one.

In only 300 rounds fired, I suffered five weapon failures--every single one caused by the magazines. The three magazines fired through the SAW didn't fail once, I think because of the vibration of the automatic weapon and the intensity of the open-bolt action, they didn't have a chance to double-feed or stop. But I have 200-round belted drums for that, so it's not a very redeeming factor.

One of my buddies has HK1 magazines, which are heavy and metal, but impressive looking--he had two weapon failures, one magazine related, another was a problem with his M4. Another of my buddies has the Magpuls I've read about here, with the clear (acrylic?) sides and the plastic bodies. Not sure what kind of followers are in them, but I assume the ones they came with. He's pretty happy with them, he has ten. He loaded three of them sloppily (we always smack them against our helmets to get the rounds lined up nicely, he didn't) and fired those three on burst, which has a notorious tendency to make M4 and M16s double-feed at the end of the burst. He didn't have a single weapon failure.

Now it's worth mentioning that none of our Squad-Designated Marksmen, with their M1A M14s, had a single stoppage either. But that's a gripe for another day.

So with my little range experiment, I think it's safe to say that the magazines are the biggest failures of the AR-15 platform. Despite the fact that I think my M16 is better than anyone's M4, that didn't really seem to be a factor in anyone's experience. And five out of 300 isn't a lot, but my weapon was very well-maintained, and the magazines were brand-new, and I had upgraded some of them on top of that. There was no sand blowing, and the rounds were also very clean. The guy with the Magpuls didn't have a single problem.

So I guess I'm getting seven of those. I'm excited, and thank you all. Reliability is a big factor for me, I haven't taken the M16 on missions since I went to that range, and I've been lugging my SAW around inside vehicles. It's big, heavy, and for a great part totally inappropriate for some of these missions (which is why I've got both, and I decide which to take) but I KNOW it will fire until it's out of ammo, no questions asked. I think with these, I'll be able to say the same about the M16.

Myself and my weapon thank you!

 

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First of all, thank you for your service. :thumbsup:

We've got a lot of vets and experience here and will help any way we can.

Given the conditions you have is there any SOP for cleaning magazines?
 

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2-1 Golf, I'm sure the mags will be an improvement over what you have. You have a good Dad to think of your safety this way. On this Memorial day I say "Thank You!" Stay safe and may God be with you and all that are serving in our armed forces.
 

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You can add my kudos to Charlie's and Joe's, Golf 2-1.

Some of us out here in the world appreciate what you and your brothers do.

Good hunting.

Good for you - not so much for the other guys...
 

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Another tip... Segregate your magazines into ones for your M16 and ones for your SAW. The magazine feature of the SAW will greatly accelerate the wear on the magazines.

:thumbsup:
 
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