Gear makers still have a few days left to respond to the Marine Corps' call for ideas for new magazine pouches designed to fit the service's new PMAG polymer magazines.
Marine Corps Systems Command put out a request for information Oct. 4 to identify potential sources for magazine pouches that will fit Magpul PMAGs as well as standard aluminum magazines for the M4 carbines and M16 rifles.
The Corps authorized PMAGs for use in late 2016 after testing showed that the Army's M855A1 enhanced performance round did not meet the reliability requirement of the Marine M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.
The baseplates on PMAGs are slightly larger than standard-issue aluminum magazines, which makes them difficult to fit in the current double and triple-stack magazine pouches. The newer Gen M3 design helps to mitigate fit problems, according to Magpul's website.
Despite the improvement, the Marine Corps "is planning to purchase a minimum of 60,000 with a possibility of up to the maximum quantity of 500,000 magazine pouches" if a contract is awarded in the future, according to the solicitation.
Companies have until Oct. 31 to respond to the Marine RFI.
Designs for the pouches should:
- Be compatible with the current Pouch Attachment Ladder System for attachment to current load bearing equipment.
- Provide a retention mechanism that allows for the magazine to be retained during normal combat operations.
- Allow the magazines to be smoothly drawn from the pouch with one hand.
- Be configurable to allow for a single Marine to carry a minimum of six magazines on their person.
The magazine pouches should also be "lighter than the current M4/M16 double/single rifle magazine pouch for a double magazine design (T= 0.27lbs) or lighter than half the weight of the current M4/M16 double/single rifle magazine pouch if a single magazine design (T=0.14lbs)," the solicitation states.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.