US Air Force Approves Use of PMag GenM3 Polymer Magazines on M4s and M16s

Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington D.C., United States (4E) – The U.S. Air Force has approved the use of PMag GenM3 polymer or plastic magazines made by Magpul Industries for use in its Colt M4 carbines; M16 automatic rifles and M249 squad automatic weapons (SAWs) chambered for the 5.56mm x 45 NATO (.223 Remington) round.

PMags will replace all government-issued M16/M4 magazines, including the Army’s new Enhanced Performance Magazine. U.S. soldiers have used PMags in their weapons in combat for years because of their proven reliability.

Each PMag GenM3 polymer magazines for the M4 and M16 holds 30 rounds. Air Force units are authorized to purchase polymer magazine through existing Defense Logistics Agency contracts. The mags come in two colors: black and coyote tan.

PMags will replace the standard aluminum magazines used by the Air Force for decades. The new magazines cause far fewer stoppages than aluminum magazines; are more durable and have a side window showing how many rounds remain inside.

An Air Force document states that 1005-01-615-5169 (Black) and 1005-01-659-7086 (Tan) Magpul-Gen 3 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) and is the latest U.S. Army magazine.

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 SAWs.

The Air Force approved the use of the PMags after analyzing the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center’s testing of commercial magazines.

“When pursuing any capability-based requirement, and before conducting any tests, the Air Force will first work closely with our joint partners to see if they have conducted any testing,” said Vicki Stein, a spokeswoman for the Air Force.

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