U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command recently released a message authorizing units to purchase the Magpul Gen M3 PMAG, but maintains that the service’s Enhanced Performance Magazine is still the primary magazine for M4 carbines and M16 rifles.
Soldierssystems.net was the first to release Maintenance Information Message 17-045.
The Marine Corps created the NSN for the window Gen M3 version and then added itself as an authorized user Dec. 16. Then U.S. Special Operations Command, a long-time user of PMAGs, also added itself as an authorized user of the Gen M3 in January.
The Air Force did the same thing in July after using the Army’s 2015 test report to make the decision to replace the Army Enhanced Performance Magazine with the Gen M3.
The Army has been reluctant to trust the PMAG’s performance. Program Executive Office Soldier was unsure that this latest version of the PMAG is safe for use in Army weapons, Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings, the commander of PEO Soldier, said in a Sept. 22 interview with Military.com.
PEO Soldier is close to wrapping up an exhaustive test on the PMAG Gen M3 to ensure it doesn’t damage Army weapons.
In my Sept. 25 Military.com story, Cummings maintains that he didn’t trust the Army’s own 2015 test report that shows the Magpul Gen M3 PMAG performed better than the Enhanced Performance Magazine, so he decided to field the EPM in 2016.
Now after firing more than 100,000 rounds though the Gen M3, Cummings maintains he is satisfied that it’s reliable and safe to use in Army weapons.
The latest Army test on the Gen M3 PMAG did not include the Enhanced Performance Magazine.
The TACOM message states that "Tests demonstrate PMAG magazines crack/break in cold (below 0 degrees Fahrenheit) environments when dropped and units should use Army-standard aluminum magazines in basic to severe cold environments."
This is an interesting point. I just keep wondering why other fighting units, particularly the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command, have chosen the Gen M3 PMAG over the Army EPM.
Here is the text of the TACOM message authorizing units to purchase the Gen M3 PMAG:
BT UNCLAS SUBJ/TACOM LCMC 17-045, M16/M4 NEW MAGAZINES
Subject: Maintenance Information (MI) Message, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, (TACOM LCMC) Control No. MI 17-045, (Informational), M16/M4 New Magazines.
Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A2 (NSN 1005-01-128-9936); Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A4 (NSN 1005-01-383-2872); Carbine, 5.56mm, M4 (NSN 1005-01-231-0973); Carbine, 5.56 mm, M4A1 (NSN 1005-01-382-0953)
Total Density of Equipment Affected is 900000, and Density of Equipment affected in SWA is 50000.
X “ATTENTION” X
X THIS MESSAGE CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS VITAL X
X TO THE SAFETY OF ARMY PERSONNEL AND THE OPERATION X
X OR MAINTENANCE OF ARMY EQUIPMENT X
REFERENCES: TM 9-1005-319-10
MAINTENANCE INFORMATION (MI) MESSAGE, #12-039 dated May 2012
This is a Maintenance Information (MI) Message. Commanders/Directors of Army Commands (ACOM)/Army Service Component Commands (ASCC)/Direct Reporting Units (DRU), Army National Guard (ARNG), US Army Reserve (USAR) Command, US Navy (USN), US Air Force (USAF), US Marine Corps (USMC) and other Service Commanders and Responsible Offices will retransmit this message to all subordinate Commanders/Activities.
- Message Library:
This message will be available on the Maintenance Messages Web Site located on the TACOM Unique Logistics Support Applications (TULSA) portal within twenty-four hours of transmission. Access to the Maintenance Messages Web site requires CAC authentication. You must first request access to the Maintenance Messages Web site. To request access go to [CAUTION] https://tulsa.tacom.army.mil [CAUTION]. For assistance, email the TULSA Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maintenance Messages Web site also has the capability to email maintenance messages directly to your inbox. To subscribe to the mailing list, click on, -E-Mail Subscriptions-, on the Navigation bar.
Units are now authorized to requisition the following polymer magazines NSN 1005-01-615-5169 (BLACK) and NSN 1005-01-659-7086 (COYOTE TAN) as Additional Authorization List (AAL) items.
- User Actions:
- The Enhanced Performance Magazine (NSN 1005-01-630-9508) is still the primary magazine for the M4/M16 series rifles and carbines, and will still be included as a Component of End Item.
Units are now also authorized to requisition, at the commander’s discretion, polymer magazines NSN 1005-01-615-5169 (BLACK) and NSN
1005-01-659-7086 (COYOTE TAN) as AAL items.
- Field Level, Operator
- This message supersedes TACOM LCMC, MAINTENANCE INFORMATION (MI) MESSAGE, #12-039 dated May 2012.
- NSN 1005-01-615-5169 (Black), P/N MAG556-BLK, 1LX50
- Units and Soldiers are authorized to procure and use polymer magazines in M16 and M4 rifles & carbines at the Commander’s discretion. Ongoing testing, due to be complete in 1QFY18, demonstrate Magpul PMAG Gen 3 Black magazines are currently providing adequate performance and reliability in the M4A1 Carbine under virtually all conditions and are appropriate for use. Tests demonstrate PMAG magazines crack/break in cold (below 0 degrees Fahrenheit) environments when dropped and units should use Army-standard aluminum magazines in basic to severe cold environments.
- Unit Commanders:
- Commanders are authorized to requisition polymer magazines NSN
- Contact your local TACOM LCMC Logistics Assistance Representative
- TACOM LCMC/PM actions:
- Publications: TM 9-1005-319-23&P Estimated completion date 2nd Qtr CY 2018
TM 9-1005-319-10 Estimated completion date 1st Qtr CY 2018
- Follow-up action(s): N/A
- Assistance to the field: N/A
- Supply Status:
- Parts required: NSN 1005-01-615-5169 (Black), P/N MAG556-BLK,
- Requisitioning instructions: Units are required to requisition the magazines through the DoD supply system
- Disposition/Availability: N/A
- Cost Impact: NSN 1005-01-615-5169 $14.00
- Who pays: Units requisitioning AAL items
- The originator of this message is Kenneth Hiltunen, XXX.
- There are no appropriate POCs