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Air Force to Replace Army-Issue Magazines with PMAGs

The U.S. Air Force put out guidance in July that all government-issued M16/M4 magazines – including the Army’s new Enhanced Performance Magazine – will be replaced by the Magpul PMAG.

The announcement occurred in the “USAF AUTHORIZED SMALL ARMS and LIGHT WEAPONS (SA/LW) ACCESSORIES (as of 28 July 17).”

Military.com has reached out to the Air Force for comment, but so far has not received a response.

The document states that 1005-01-615-5169 (Black) and 1005-01-659-7086 (Tan) Magpul - Gen 3 Polymer Magazine (PMAG) with window will replace 1005-01-630-9508 through attrition. The 1005-01-630-9508 is the Enhanced Performance Magazine (tan mag w/blue follower) the latest U.S. Army magazine.

The PMAG will also replace 1005-01-561-7200 MAGAZINE, CARTRIDGE (tan follower) and 1005-00-921-5004 MAGAZINE, CARTRIDGE (green follower), the document states.

This goes for all M4/M4A1 carbines, M16 rifles and M249 squad automatic weapons.

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Marine Corps Systems Command in December released a message which authorized the PMAG polymer magazine for use in the M27 infantry automatic rifle as well as in M16A4 rifle and M4 carbine.

The U.S. Army TACOM unveiled its new Enhanced Performance Magazine in 2016. The new mag was engineered to address feeding issues with M855A1 ammunition.

Military.com reached out to the Army for comment on the Air Force decision to dump the Enhanced Performance Magazine but has not received a comment.

In May, Army weapons officials said the service will evaluate how well the service’s M4 and M4A1 carbines perform using a polymer magazine as part of a Solder Enhancement Program project that was approved in February.

Soldiers have used PMAGs in their weapons in combat for years because of their proven reliability.

The Army has purchased polymer magazines and is finalizing a plan to evaluate them later this year, Army weapons officials said at the NDIA’s Armaments Systems Forum.

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