Darn Tough Vermont

Army Comes Out Hard on Commercial Magazines

In case you had any doubt that the Army considers the war over and is circling its wagons to recreate the peacetime Army, read this –

TACOM LCMC MI 12-021 M4-M16 Improved Magazine and the Use of Commercial Magazines
DTG: 301307Z Apr 12
Precedence: PRIORITY
DAC: General

Subject: Maintenance Information (MI) Message, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, (TACOM LCMC) Control No. MI: 12-039, M4/M16 Improved Magazine NSN 1005-01-561-7200, Part Number: 13021312, Cage Code: 19200, Old Magazine NSN
1005-00-921-5004, Part Number: 2411362962382, Cage Code: 13629, and the use of commercial magazines. End Items: M16A2 NSN 1005-01-128-9936, M16A3 NSN 1005-01-357-5112, M16A4 NSN 1005-01-383-2872, M4 NSN 1005-01-231-0973, and M4A1 NSN 1005-01-382-0953.

1. Distribution:
a. 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.
b. This message will be available on the Safety First Web Site located on the TACOM Unique Logistics Support Applications (TULSA) portal within twenty-four hours of transmission. Access to the Safety First Web Site requires CAC Card authentication. You must first request access to the Safety First Web Site. To request access click here
https://tulsa.tacom.army.mil. For assistance, email the TULSA Helpdesk at XXX. The Safety First Web Site also has the
capability to email Safety and Maintenance messages directly to your inbox. To subscribe to the mailing list, click on, E-Mail Subscriptions, on the Navigation bar.

2. Issue: TACOM has become aware of units ordering 30 rd. commercial (i.e. polymer, etc.) magazines for their M4/M16 family of weapons. The M4/M16 Army authorized magazines are the following: NSN 1005-00-561-7200 (improved magazine) and NSN 1005-00-921-5004 (older magazine; use until exhaustion).

3. User Actions: TM 9-1005-319-10, the Additional Authorized List (AAL), states that NSN 1005-00-921-5004 is authorized, as well as NSN 1005-00-561-7200. Units may use the older magazine NSN 1005-00-921-5004 with the green follower until exhausted. The improved magazine is available in stock, NSN 1005-00-561-7200, and has a tan follower. The improved magazine features an improved follower and follower spring. These new features help to reduce the risk of magazine-related stoppages. Units are only authorized to use the Army authorized magazines listed in the technical manuals. Remember; “tan-is the plan, green-start to lean, black-take it back.” Magazines with the black follower are the oldest and should be turned in to your unit supply sergeant or local supply point.

4. Unit Commanders, contact your local TACOM LCMC Logistics Assistance Representative (LAR) or your State Surface Maintenance Manager upon receipt of this message for assistance. For assistance in locating your TACOM LCMC LAR, see below.

So there is the message. Once again, right hand has no idea what left hand is doing. In at least one case (Magpul PMAG) these so-called ‘commercial’ magazines have NSNs. This means they can be ordered right through the standard stock system. It’s amazing that TACOM has so much free time to write messages about issues that don’t exist. Naturally, you can still use the older magazine that had to be replaced by the development of an improved model, but you can’t use a ‘commecial’ magazine with an NSN. Classic.

16 Responses to “Army Comes Out Hard on Commercial Magazines”

  1. NMorrison says:

    Sigh…. So typical, as usual. Two more years and I am never looking back.

  2. Debo says:

    Totally off topic, but i wanted this bumped TTT. Has anyone had issues since the “Share This” feature was added to SSD on 09 May 12? The website continues to work as advertised at work with NMCI. When I get home and open it w/ Google Chrome the page “jumps around”. Am I crazy or has anyone experienced this?

  3. AttackBlue1 says:

    The day that I was PCCing my kit prior to a cordon and search mission and heard the magazine rattle and then while tipping it over all the rounds came spilling out everywhere because the follower was stuck to the bottom…yep, that day is when I went to MAGPUL. Basic maintenance only goes so far before flawed engineering takes over.

  4. Bill says:

    Sigh, I can’t believe I will be expected to enforce this. A lot of us use/used PMags deployed or back stateside since most M4 stoppages are caused by crappy mags.

  5. Bill X says:

    Here is how that memo came about.

    CSM: Sir, we need to increase the standards of our Army.
    GO: Sure, CSM, that would be kick ass. What should we do to fix these non-discipline troops.
    CSM: Sir, these guys are walking about with these plastic magazines on their rifles. They look totally unprofessional, black and black just doesn’t look right. From my 40 years of experience, grey magazines look the sharpest with our rifles.
    GO: You are right, when I was a LT, my BC commended me on how shiny my M16 look with a polished mag. What else you got CSM.
    CSM: Next thing, they need to start pressing those damn uniforms, look so unprofessional. How can you fight a war without well pressed uniforms.

  6. Erik H says:

    Interesting. I’ve been in Afghanistan for three months now. Everyone on my team uses PMags because they were issued to us by the Army at MOB station.

  7. killslowly says:

    I just want to go slap whomever came up with this moniker:

    β€œtan-is the plan, green-start to lean, black-take it back.”

    Because… because he/she thought it was cool. What a retard.

    • Nick the Brit says:

      Yeah, but I bet they got a sweet bullet point on their OER!

      • Brad says:

        Look, sometimes we have a hard time coming up with those OER bullets. Gotta stay above center of mass you know.

  8. FormerSFMedic says:

    This is ridiculous. Those kids that are fighting over there need quality gear, not to look cool or professional, but to stay alive. I would love/hate to see a study on how many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have been killed due to policy and regulation. I’m guessing that’s the only thing that really gets our guys killed.

  9. John says:

    I agree with everyone above, I commented on this issue in a separate topic and I must say that the Army does not know what it’s talking about. PMAGS have been used by the armed forces for 7-8 years and are in issue by the tens or hundreds of thousands, they also have their own NSN numbers so they’re official.

    How does the army expect individuals to replace tens of thousands of GREAT magazines with ones that are deficient or reused when they should be destroyed? The aluminum mags were supposed to be DISPOSABLE, but they continue to be used beyond their intended life span.

    This is going to get people killed and should be ignored.

    • Brad says:

      But maybe when your unit starts tossing PMags, Soldiers can “reappropriate” them. πŸ™‚ Could be a hell of a yard sale for some enterprising young Joes…

      I’ll take at least 30.

  10. straps says:

    The mnemonic makes sense. Also, remember that Sergeants Major Eat Sugar Cookies. The tan followers are the Magpul self-levelling followers, no? Cool, I was getting tired of springing for those…

    Problem is that (a) as pointed out the message makes no mention of the PMAGs in-system, how to PMCS them (in case someone busted ’em up with stripper clips) or (b) how to PMCS the metal mags. Because PM is the domain of a bunch of TACOM folks who were on Payday Activities that day.

  11. Cam says:


    I’ll use what I have to on the range, but downrange I’ll use what works the best. I bought all my PMAGs before they got an NSN and it was damn worth it. This goes along the lines of the rumored changes to AR 670-1…. You want me to shave when I’m on leave?… good luck with that.

    As far as color goes, I will spray paint my PMAGs grey if need be

  12. JLM says:

    TACOM could probably fuck up a cup of coffee without even trying too hard. Jesus…

  13. Longrange says:

    Pmags were introduced in mid 2007 and therefore they can not have been in use for 7-8 years. More like 5 uears or less. Early specimens were factory recalled to boot.

    I can take all those not-to-be-used Pmags and I will not charge Uncle Sam a penny πŸ™‚