Skip to comments.Magazine capacity for military issue rifles
Posted on 01/09/2013 9:03:11 AM PST by GOP_Party_Animal
Just wondering - what is the "standard" capacity for magazines issued to our soldiers for the M-16 and M-4? 10 rounds? 20? Any difference from the Vietnam era?
Originally in Viet Nam they started with 20rd. The springs sucked. They switched to 30rd and use it to this day.
There are plenty of exceptions and special applications. Special ops uses 100 rd drum mags and the like. The biggest change since 'Nam is in the number of mags carried. Guys I know that served in the sandbox tell me that they routinely carried over a dozen M16 mags and 4-5 M9 mags. That's a lot of firepower.
I never used anything more than a 20-round in my ROTC, active duty, and reserve time from 1973-84.
I have a buttload of MILSPEC magazines I got for $9.95 ea in a good deal online a couple of years ago (CTD IIRC)....they are from various manufacturers with all the contract info, mfr. and FSN#s, still brand new - never loaded (yet).....they are 30 rounders.
AK-47 mags seem to be mostly 30 but I recall every time I would see an interview with Osama he would have one which was longer than standard, probably a 40 round one.
During most of Vietnam 20 round mags were used. Some guys taped two back to back for quick change. Advantages and disadvantages to that. 30 round mags made there way to Vietnam at the end.
bump for later
I still remember the criticisms of the M-16 when it was first adopted. It was clear that the WWII mentality was still at work.
1. The handle was too high exposing too much of the soldier’s head if fired above a barracade.
2.The magazine was too long making it impossible to use in the prone position.
3.Too light to be used in a bayonet charge. The buttstock too flimsy to be used to hit after the bayonet thrust.
4. A full auto blast would empty the firearm too fast causing a waste of ammo(shades of “that old fogey” Ripley).
In other words, excuses, excuses.
Many carried 2 or even 3 bandoleers. Also, magazine pouches on web gear/ALICE . But all were 20 round. In my day...Unfortunately, we were also ordered to load only 18 in each magazine as the springs were prone to "breakage."
You realize, of course, that you are sitting on a major asset today until the Feds come along and outlaw them.
2) Who EVER shoots prone in the field without finding SOMETHING to use for a rest? (And to take cover behind, if someone's shooting at you?)
4) Load more.
3) My favorite: "As long as I've got a round in the chamber, there ain't gonna be no bayonet fight."
*Some operators use the 100 rd. Beta C-Mag dual drum magazines.
Would you store magazines in a loaded condition, or would that weaken the spring?
At present they are fully legal, likely to still be legal for me when the Senate RINOs acquiese to the DEMs....I believe the House will stop the bill.
If/when things turn out different, well......they get sold or dispersed to friends.
I keep a couple three mags fully loaded and ready.....I swap out the loaded vs. unloaded on a few-week timetable.
“5. Carbine, cal. 6.67 NATO, M4 29 rd. or 30 rd.*”
Change: “6.67 NATO” to “5.56 NATO”.
Change: “29” to “20” rd. magazine.
“I have a buttload of MILSPEC magazines ...”
YOU sir are sitting on a goldmine!
I prefer my FAL or M1A1 to my AR for excuse #5, the 5.56 won't penetrate obstructions on its way to the target (cinder blocks, small trees, mud walls. And excuse #6, I might want to put something down at 500 yds.
The standard US military aluminum GI mag is supposed to be 30 rounds but you cannot physically cram more than about 27-28 rounds in it. When you see a GI pull out a mag and knock it again’st his helmet a couple of times he is making sure that the follower is aligned so it will feed properly. The govt issue mags are inferior to the P-mag.
But the P-mag will carry a full 30 rounds and some even have a cute litte window to see how many rounds you have left. They do not fail, they do not break and you don’t have to slam them on your helmet. This is why our troops in Afghanistan buy their own P-mags even though command does not want them to. When our guys go out into Indian country as soon as they get away from base they dump the govt issue mag and pull out their own P-mags. They won’t tell you that but they do.
Downloading a milspec magazine..
Breaking springs may have been an issue with the early 20 rounders, but today, the reason for 18/28 round loading is because it is very difficult to insert a fully loaded 30 rounder into the rifle with the bolt-carrier forward (admin reload or tactical top-up). The mags were built to hold their capacity without much extra wiggle room.
NOT the case with any capacity MagPull P-Mag! Fill it to the rim!!!
It has always been about handguns. Assault rifles are just a decoy to try and get their anti-gun foot in the door.
Once they get a ban on AWs then they will use the same reasons to go after handguns.
John Kennedy killed with a 5 shot bolt action rifle.
Medgar Evers, shot with a 5 shot 1917 bolt action Enfield rifle.
Martin Luther King, shot with a 4 shot Remington 760 pump action Gamemaster rifle.
Bobby Kennedy with a .22 Iver Johnson Cadet revolver.
George Wallace wounded with a 5 shot Charter Arms .38spl revolver.
Gerald Ford attacked with a 7 shot 1911 semi auto.
Edmond OK post office with two National Guard 7 shot 1911 pistols.
Ronald Reagan and Jim Brady with an RG-14 .22 revolver.
What do they all have in common? NONE over 7 rounds, yet after each one came a cry of panic to ban them.
The anti-gunners will not stop when they get a 10 round limit on magazine capacity.
The fact they also want to ban the 10 round SKS proves that.
However, in the case of the current gun grabbers, they think this is their closest opportunity to get the sweeping bans they want.
No more grandfathering, but possession bans and confiscation. This has always been the Left’s wet dream and they're telling gun owners to “hand them over or ‘we’ will kill you”.
OK, you've got the hard part done there, Skippy. Now, let's get down to the “wet work” shall we? I guarantee you a**holes on the Left aren't going to like the blowback.
Depends on the TO&E for the MOS, doesn’t it?
< /annoying acronyms >
I went into the Corps in early 72 and we used the M-14 in Boot then switched to the M-16 after that. The 16 seemed like a toy but it only had 20 rounds then also
Very strange. I can get 30 rounds in each of my MilSpec 30 round aluminum magazines, and have never had a failure to feed.
Not really: I was with the infantry at the time we got those pieces of crap and we lost a lot of good people because they weren't ready for actual combat use.
1. Their extractors often tore off the back of the cartridge case and left the remainder of the cartridge in the chamber, then shoved a new cartridge into it, jamming the damn thing up. Because it was crappy design, you can't access the chamber to remove the stoppage, so we had to carry assembled cleaning rods to try to shove the mess out and get the weapon running again, like having a muzzleloader. Try that while people are shooting at you with perfectly functional AKs. A lot of our guys died by their broken-down M-16s.
2. On the early M-16s, the safety detent was too deep and when some geniuses higher in the chain of command demanded that we carry them on Safe, the stupid thing stayed locked on Safe. We had to hammer on them with a rock or a Kabar butt to get them off Safe. Needless to say, we avoided using the safety after some of those incidents - or found an M-14 (my own solution).
3. The front and rear sights were ridiculous to try to adjust - required a bullet tip and lots of shooting to adjust to any kind of accurate zero and of course, we had to learn to wind the front sight down to make the bullet go up. The end result was a lot of missed VC for a while.
4. The finish on the early M-16s flaked off, giving a charming "leopard spot" look that didn't give us much confidence that the quality control was all it should have been.
That was the upshot of our impressions of the M-16 in early 1967: we had a "least bidder weapon" as kind of a final insult to the few of us who had had the gumption to face fire for our country.
Other than that, no hard feelings.
If it were me, I'd keep half my mags loaded at any given time and cycle them out of service every few months.
Are any units still equipped with the M1 or the M1 carbine? I have always believed that both were finally retired from reserve use by the mid-1970s. I am aware that a few small demonstration and ceremonial units still have Garands (albeit parade guns), but I can’t think of any US unit still equipped with the carbine.
Go ahead and store them loaded. What weakens springs is cycling them, loading them and unloading them.
In Viet Name, we would have killed for 30 round magazines. The standard magazine capacity at that time was 20 rounds. It was later when the 30 round magazines were introduced and fielded.
I'd like to know what they do with the issue mags. We used to order 10ea, 30 round mag for every troop we deployed. Come next deployment, they couldn't be located. Talk about wasting repair parts dollars..
As part of Obozo’s enhanced “Nation Building” strategy, all full auto weapons will be exchanged for the venerable Stevens bolt action, single shot .22LR and each trooper will be issued a single round to be carried in the left vest pocket. The weaponn is not to be chambered until hostile enemy fire has been encountered and at least 3 members of the patrol have been wounded or killed.
I pulled two kinds of guard duty in 1970.
One was infrequent and was protecting the perimeter of an air base. We were issued, I think, one bandolier containing about six magazines, fully loaded. We also had two bandoliers of boxed rounds.
The other more frequent duty was guarding an inner perimeter around a communications site. The guard shack contained a foot-locker with an easily-broken, tamper-proof lead seal. I never saw the inside of it, but was told that it was full of ammo for both M-16s and the M-79 grenade launcher.
When reporting for this duty, the prior soldier on duty would turn over the magazine for the guards rifle. This magazine contained TWO cartridges. We operated more in a "Dial 9-1-1" mode. The guards first responsibility was to warn everybody else that there was a problem.