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First Look – New US Army 30 Round Enhanced Performance Magazine for M4A1

Last month, the US Army released Maintenance Information Message #16-039 announcing the 30 Round Enhanced Performance Magazine for M4A1 but up until now, we hadn’t seen it yet.

According to the message, the EPM was designed in order to reduce wear on the weapon when firing the new Enhanced Performance Round (M855A1). It sports a Tan body making it easy to identify and as you can see, the Blue follower is really more of a Grey color.

Below, you can see examples of the last few versions of issue 30 round 5.56mm magazines.

The magazine has been assigned NSN 1005-01-630-9508 and the previously issued magazine is NSN 1005-01-561-7200. The old magazine is now terminal with no material on hand, but can be acquired via a contact until Mar 2017. Minimum buy is Qty 100. Tye item managers are removing the current magazine from the assigned APL/AEL, leaving only the new magazine. The new magazine costs $11.20 while the old magazine is $13.35 so for once, we’re getting something less expensive.

17 Responses to “First Look – New US Army 30 Round Enhanced Performance Magazine for M4A1”

  1. MK says:

    Sweet. Wonder where I can get a few.

  2. BAP45 says:

    Nice to see an acquisition work out. At least so far.

  3. Reality Calling says:

    OK…this is questionable gouge. The old USGI cost about $7 or so. The initial pricing on this new, painted magazine was the $13 number. When everyone pushed back on that price, it was reduced to $11.20. This new magazine actually costs 50% more than the previous magazine at this current $11.20 pricing, which is higher than US Govt pricing on just about every other option. SO, this isn’t the acquisition system working…this is more waste and abuse for an inferior product to COTS solutions.

  4. Hobbs says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with M855A1 being loaded to near-proof pressures in order to get the promised performance. Change the magazines all you want, it won’t do anything to stop the broken locking lugs, burned out, copper fouled barrels, blown out gas rings, and worn out extractors and springs I see becoming a much more common problem. Better tack on another week’s worth of troubleshooting training at 91F school for this rifle/ammo combination alone.

    • Hodge175 says:

      I am very interested in the long term wear this round will have on the current M4’s as well, it will be interesting to see the wear on rifles once it gets more adopted state side. I know SDZ’s had to be changed because of this round.

      Seem like in the end this round is going to cost alot of money for the US Army, compared to the SOST round.

      • dudeabides says:

        100%. When we took over the range at Shank, the first thing we had to do (since 2-87 didn’t), was get my Master Gunner out there to measure and certify the new SDZs for the A1.

      • The SOST round that SOF uses is four times the cost and doesn’t have the armor penetration that M855A1 has.

        The broken lugs aren’t often reported from field use. Broken lugs happened in a SOF torture test (3000-6000 rounds fired on full auto) and appear to have been made a much bigger issue than the actual damage being done.

        No doubt the round is hot but barrels are supposed to be replaced at 10k rounds. Copper fouling? First I heard of it being anymore severe than M855 which caused even more barrel erosion compared to its predecessor when it was adopted.

        • Joglee says:

          Copper fouling shouldn’t be any worse than any other copper round, however an all copper round does foul more in my experiences than lead rounds like M193.

  5. spqr476 says:

    The standard presentation angle of the green/tan follower USGI put the sharp steel tip of M855A1 into the ramp/chamber face with greater regularity.

    This has to do with the fact that the GEN M3 PMAG has a presentation angle that feeds M855A1 flawlessly and with less ramp and chamber face damage than all previous versions of USGI, and with greater reliability, from govt test data.

    So, instead of a COTS solution that they themselves knew was superior from internal testing, PICA spent your money to arrive at a follower angle that is “very similar” to the GEN M3 PMAG, but in a painted aluminum body, made by one of the same vendors that was involved in the Stop Use message regarding substandard USGI magazines.

    And…now they want to charge the user (US MIL) $11.20 per, which is about 50% more than the previous USGI mag. For a coat of paint.

    The best part is that I’m not so sure this whole thing actually helped any in the reliability and damage issues they were quietly trying to address behind the scenes.

    Think about it this way…PICA has been pushing out press releases about this new magazine with great regularity recently, about cost savings efforts, etc., all around the time of some other acquisitions activity regarding magazines from a COTS provider. Curious, is it not?

    • William says:

      Why not just issue new followers? I bought PMAG followers for my green top mags and they feed better than the tan tops and I got a package of 3 followers for $7. The PMAG followers don’t fit in the tan top mags but it wouldn’t be a stretch to just talk with the company and issue a kit for the tan tops.

  6. Ian says:

    I tried these last week at an M4 qual. A lot of guys were reporting issues with feeding regular M855…not sure if it was just our batch, but my mags were having some issues too.

    • SSD says:

      So you used the new Tan mag with standard M855 and it gave you issues with that combo?

      • Seamus says:

        If you got Tan mags so soon your unit supply guy is seriously on the ball. If you had issues, take some pictures with the new mags and the green tip and send them in, I am sure SSD would like that for an article.

  7. CWO John Miller (RET) says:

    Since we required our NATO allies to adopt the P.O.S. M16 magazine
    across the board, have ANY of the “ROCKET SCIENTISTS” tried this
    new magazine in the other rifles that were forced into using a sub-
    standard design ?? The original intent for the AR15 Mod 01 was to
    have ammo packed in mags at the factory, and the magazine was to
    be expendable, hence the ultra light weight design. This, of course,
    didn’t work out & we were then saddled with the steel ” WAFFLE”
    mag that wouldn’t work past 18 rounds. We are STILL stuck with the
    too small magazine well on the M16/M4 and no place to go. We should ask L. James Sullivan (one of the finest designers of the last 60 years) to chime in on the problem
    Ye Ole CRAB