B5 Systems

US Army Introducing M4 Enhanced Performance Magazine

According to a TACOM Maintenance Information Message (16-039) released last week, the US Army is introducing a new M4 Enhanced Performance Magazine.  While we haven’t seen an example yet, it will be easy to discern from previous magazines. Sporting a Tan body and Blue follower, it was engineered to address feeding issues with M855A1 ammunition. 

The M4 EPM has been assigned NSN 1005-01-630-9508 and will be introduced through attrition of the current magazine. The M4 EPM may also be introduced with M4 carbines going through conversion to the M4A1 configuration. 

39 Responses to “US Army Introducing M4 Enhanced Performance Magazine”

  1. Matt says:

    I’m gonna guess they didn’t do something as simple as ask Magpul to dye the follower of the M3 Sand PMAG blue to fix this.

    • Oscar says:

      That would have been too easy Matt. They probably had to study it to death before they opted for the blue color.

    • Erin says:

      I’m sure it was an intensive 7 year process that involves 15 different manufacturers going through testing after testing.

      • Darkhorse says:

        I’m sure the government will submit it’s own version that’s eerily similar to what’s already commercially available.. then select themselves as the winner..

  2. Lucien Callow says:

    That’s good news. My unit deployed to Iraq with the old 20 round magazines. If they’re introducing the new mags through attrition, my grandson might get issued them.

  3. David Hensley says:

    Did anyone point out to TACOM the blue is the universal color for training munitions?

    Although not visible while being used, making the follower blue is a bad idea.

    • Erin says:

      Lol I can already see this being an issue.

    • Jim says:

      Aaah, but what shade of blue? We, Britain use light blue as training and dark blue to indicate inert…

      • Jon says:

        For US Munitions, Blue is blue. There isn’t light or dark really. Blue with white markings indicates practice round. Inert rounds can be actual HE colors, just have “INERT” written on them. For small arms we also have dummy rounds…I think a blue follower would be a bad color choice because it will not be as easy to see as Orange or Red or even Green…I don’t know what they will choose, but it should be interesting to see from the peanut gallery.

  4. Gerard says:

    Dont be so cynical, the Secretary of Defense presonally approved this change

    • Chris says:

      No – if this SecDef had any input, the follower would have been rainbow.

  5. Non-Operator says:

    But will it cycle reliably in a SAW?

    • CWG says:

      Live M4 mags work fine in a saw, blanks run like shit consistently creating the urban legend/PNN of its ineffectiveness.

  6. PNWTO says:

    A tan body? That’ll definitely help the signature reduction of a black M4 with optic, 203, and PEQ…

    • lcpl1066 says:


    • straps says:

      PEQs are tan. So are more and more optics.

      Though implementation is spotty, Army has published guidance for painting weapons.

      So yeah, something to be said for tan mags (especially since all but one of them sit on your rig).

      There are still M203s out there. The M320 is a nice system,–I just wish they did a little more work on the ergonomics.

  7. Chuck says:

    They actually discovered during Phase IV of the Army Magazine Follower Improvement Effort that cyan was the best color for the follower, however the Army didn’t want to pay two cents per follower to Crye Precision for licensing fees for the cyan colorway. They decided to adopt a color previously designed by Crye in association with the US Army known as “Blue W2”.

  8. Stephen says:

    WOW, so that new green tip even needs a new mag designed for it! Sounds like SOST really should have been chosen after all!! At least marines know better! And poor choice color for the follower, blue shouldn’t have even been a option, I guess those OD magpul followers aren’t a good option either for mags these days. It seems current mags are the “problem” and should be destroyed? If after 50 years you need to improve one of the most common mags in existence for one type of round you should be thinking twice about it real hard. This is a no brainer!

  9. Google says:

    anyone want to guess who got the sole source contract for the production of these magazines? Center Industries was one of six companies that provided USGI NSN magazines to the DOD. When USSOCOM did their first holistic look at improvements on the M4A1 based upon complaints from the field, several findings and changes were made. This improvement program got you the black doughnut that goes around the extractor spring and a couple of other little things that slip my mind because it was 16 years ago.

    One of the things Crane did was live fire test NSN magazines from all six suppliers. two companies were highly recommended, one company was considered acceptable and three were immediately ordered to be stop use’d. The SOPMOD Program Manager at the time Lucious Taylor got the USSOCOM commanding general to sign a stop use message on those three companies for magazine use within the command. He also authorized units to stop ordering magazines by NSN through the DOD supply system because mags from the three non-use companies would be in the pouches that arrived from the golden warehouse. He instructed units to purchase their magazines commercially using a govt credit card or contracting officers to purchase. This was a HUGE deal in the DOD small arms world. USSOCOM basically told the DOD that 50% of their issued mags were completely unacceptable.

    The three companies that made substandard magazines deemed unacceptable by Crane…… Adventure line, Natchez, aaaaaaannnnnnnnddddd CENTER INDUSTRIES.

    SO Industry…. remember that time 16 years ago when you were selling bunk ass magazines to the warfighter and you got fucking caught? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

    • Jian Hong says:

      Lol not surprising, never been a fan of Center mags. Still got brand new in factory wrapper ones from the armory before I EAS back in 2013.

      Okay mags are consistently the best USGI mags IMO but I still used PMAGs and Lancers over them.

    • Chuck says:

      This is full of win.

  10. 1c3 says:

    So can we expect a shit load of used USGI mags to hit the market eventually?

    • CWG says:

      Yes, units will be ordered to destroy the old ones eventually, even NIW ones. Just like when black followers, then green followers were phased out the unit armorers all seemed to have duffle bags filled with new Gi mags they would trade for a bottle of titos

  11. BufordTJustice says:

    These were developed because the exposed & hardened steel tip of that abortion of a new service round was gouging the aluminum portion of the upper receiver; the lower part of the extended M4 feed ramps where the barrel extension mates with the upper receiver.

    This is turning into the F35 program of the small arms world.

  12. Seamus says:

    With Magpul making PMAGS for pennies why do I get the feeling this will be an expensive boondoggle that will be terrible. I sure hope not. Every now and then a silly project gets handed off to someone with a brain and something magical happens (woobie, smoking jacket, fleece cap, round hand grenades, etc) but sadly those are few and far between.

  13. Justin says:

    PEO posted an overview that shows the new mag and design.


  14. Chuck says:

    The Marine Corps better get these, too. I’m so sick of failures to feed due to the 20+ year old magazines we have. These will always be the weak link in the M4/M16 weapons system (note that I did not say the AR-15, as those work fine when you clean them well and use decent mags).