The United States Air Force is set to replace its existing magazines with the polymer Magpul GEN M3 PMAG.
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News of the switch was confirmed in an official document obtained by Soldier Systems entitled “USAF Authorized Small Arms and Light Weapons (SA/LW) Accessories (as of 28 July 17)” which states that the GEN M3 PMAG PMAG in black and tan will be used in all M4/M4A1 carbines, M16 rifles, GUU-5P carbines and M249 SAWs.
All older USGI magazines, as well as the Army’s newer Enhanced Performance Magazine, will be phased out in a process the USAF refers to in the document as “attrition.”
At the beginning of the year, the USMC announced it was following in USSOCOM’s footsteps by approving the Magpul GEN M3 PMAG for use in combat and training. According to Military.com, the Army wants to evaluate how well its M4 and M4A1 carbines perform with a polymer magazine as part of a Solder Enhancement Program project that was given the green light earlier this year.
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When Soldier Systems contacted Magpul regarding the USAF’s adoption of the GEN M3 PMAG, here’s what they said:
We are certainly pleased that another major service component has taken their own look at the test data and come to the same conclusion as the Marine Corps and USSOCOM. Given the body of existing data, the extensive fielding history since 2013, and the current experiences of the USMC after their adoption, we hope that Army leadership can put aside their concerns over the viability of their own magazine program and give soldiers the reliability advantage that is enjoyed by the USMC, USSOCOM, and now, the USAF, with the GEN M3 PMAG.
Read the entire USAF document here.