I am currently stationed at the Joint Readiness Training Center, in Fort Polk Louisiana. I work in the Live Fire Division. We run 21-24 platoons of up to 40 personnel each through Attacks, Raids, and/or Convoy security each month. We fire a combination of ball,tracer, blank, SRTA (Short Range Training Ammunition) and UTM (Basically like Simunition man marker rounds) We normally expend about 25-30K rounds a month. Thats not a huge number compared to some of the training classes guys go through, but it would give good exposure to many different Soldiers/Marines and a good indicator of long term durability. I spoke to Drake Clark at Magpul and asked if was interested in some more military exposure and what feedback he was interested in getting. He initially sent out 300 PMAGS in OD and FDE in windowed versions and non-windowed versions in August, 2007. We immediately began issuing these mags to the Marines who were here at that time. We also conducted several tests for durability at the same time. We currently have over 600 PMAGs in the field with manufacture dates of 08/07 and 10/07. Tests: M249 SAW test. As most who use them know, the SAW has a provision to take 30rd magazines in the event belted ammo is not available. This system is extremely unreliable and not preferred. It is to be used only in the event of an emergency. I was still interested to see if the PMAG would increase reliability. The SAW fired 11 magazines worth of ammo before having a case head separation and ending the test. While certainly not definitive, I have never witnessed that kind of functioning with magazines through a SAW. Marine 7-Ton test. Having seen the youtube.com test with the truck running over the mag, I was interested in seeing how far we could go. We took a fully loaded magazine in OD with window, placed it under the front wheel of the 7ton and put the wheel on top of the magazine and then turned the wheel back and forth several times. This was on gravel and resulted in severe road rash, but the magazine then fired all 30 rounds without a problem. One note, the rounds will become deformed inside the magazine, but it did function just fine. We did note that subsequent tests with 20rds or less in the magazine resulted in the failure of the magazine. All in all, this is a pretty tough test for a plastic magazine. The Marine 7 ton is rated at 7 tons off road capacity and 15 tons on road. I’m not sure how much weight is over those front wheels, but its got to be significant. Oh, and for those wondering, the USGI mag flattened, broke at the welds and shot its guts all over. The take away from this is that the plastic used in the mag is extremely resilient. It will damage the rounds inside, but the mag will be useable. If you accidently get your gear run over, I recommend changing out the rounds in you mag at the first chance. Sand Test. The Marines were anxious to make the mags fail, so in typical fashion, proceeded to throw them on the ground, pour handfuls of sand into them and one even used it as a shovel in the sand. I completely expected the magazine to fail at this point, but to my great surprise, it functioned flawlessly, multiple times. Not sure if the tolerance on the side have anything to do with this, but it was pretty remarkable. General Observations Good: Resists damage better than aluminum magazines, and even HK magazines magazines, specifically in urban operations Better reliability over USGI magazines – 3FTF’s reported so far, with soldiers who had accidently loaded 31rounds and did not ensure the mag was seated. Smoother feeding/loading than USGI magazines Not as heavy as HK Magazines Easier to seat magazine into rifle Similar cost to USGI Easier to disassemble for cleaning – This is a big one. Soldiers don’t do this and its is just as important as maintaining your rifle. The Magpul system is easy to diassemble and unlie the USGI mags, won’t get damaged in the process Easier to grasp due to reinforcement ridges Windowed magazines were preferred over solid ( I think, just because of the novelty more than anything else) Bad: Ability to load 31 rounds results in difficulty seating for soldiers who did not know it held 31 rounds, but was only meant to be loaded with 30. This extra room is what lets you get easy seating in the rifle. This is really only an issue when loading loose rounds. For those using 10rd stripper clips, no big deal. No witness marks on windowed PMAGS for 10/20/30 rounds. Hard to determine actually rounds. My personal opinion is that the windowed version isn’t really worth it. Those who shoot for a living will change mags after any contact and can tell by weight if they are almost out. The dust cover/feed lip protector isn’t practical for military application. It is easily lost and only would be used when not on patrol, when you don’t really need to worry about dust. As Drake has mentioned, there hasn’t been any feed lip expansion in fully loaded magazines, loaded for over 10 months. No Ranger Floor plated currently available. Original Magpul’s can be slipped over the body though with some effort. For those that liked to put 550 cord pulls on the USGI magazines though the hole in the bottom, there is a way. I drilled a ¼” hole directly over the Magpul symbol in the floorplate, through the disassembly plate (sorry, don’t know what to call that) and used 550 cord run up through it to accomplish this in minimal time. Very strong and secure and did not affect functioning of the magazine. Takes a little more time to disassemble and reassemble, but that is an option to use for those that prefer this method of retention. Overall, very positive feedback so far. As with all magazines, test in your rifle before you trust your life to them. I’ll update periodically, based on our observations. UPDATE 11/22/07 Ok, just wanted to add a few more things about the PMAG. Here is a picture of PMAG after doing 100 drops from the magwell of my rifle onto concrete. Magazine was unloaded. Other than some scuffs, no damage to the magazine. Functions perfectly. Here is another one, after 55 drops on concrete, loaded with 20 rounds to simulate dropping a partially loaded mag. This would be more severe than most would subject their magazine to, since most would retain this mag. Also, the was a straight drop down onto the concrete which really stresses any magazine. In most instances, you will be moving and the blow would be glancing. Still, the PMAG functions fine. This is the same magazine, but showing the feedlips. Normally, the magazine would bounce when it hit the floor and about half the time lose a round or two. You can see a small crack starting to form on the back spine of the magazine. This did not effect function or retention of a full 30rds Now, for the USGI. It faired about as well as I thought it would. For the empty mag on concrete test, after 10 drops it had shifted so much as to change the feedlip geometry. I did not try to fire this magazine to test for function, but you can clearly see the damage in the picture. This is why the original MAGPUL's or the ranger floor plates help out in multiple ways. Now, for those concerned with the windowed version strength vs. non-windowed. I placed this magazine on the concrete on its side and hit it with a brass hammer right on the window. The window was fine, but resulted in a crack on the spine of the magazine. I then took a 3/16 punch and put it on the window itself and hit it about five times before I could get on side to start to move out. The window is set in place during the molding process, so its part of the magazine. The window does not effect strength as far as I can tell. Here is a picture of the window insert so you can see how it is retained in the body. Here is a picture of the mags three methods of retention. From right to left, 550 cord through a 1/4 hole drilled in the floor plate. Normal Magpul slipped over body and pre-production Ranger floor plate. And no, the translucent magazine is not available yet. Now for the drop test on the feedlips. This is probably the toughest test of a magazine. Here is where the PMAG is most vulnerable. When empty, the mag can be thrown against the ground, stomped on, dropped, run over and anything else you can think of and have seen on youtube. The problem comes when you add the weight of the column of loaded rounds and drop the mag straight on its feedlips. I'll try to explain why this happens. The magzine is open at the feed lips and therefore that is the weakest point. When dropped feed lips down, the mag contacts the concrete floor/street and the column of rounds tries to keep moving. The right top round is already in contact with the ground and the only open area is immediately to its side. This would be the 29th round. All the weight tries to push next to the 30th round. This causes the lips to wedge apart. The PMAGs I tested survived 7 drops before developing cracks down the spine. They were black windowed and non-windowed. If you continue to drop them after they crack, the crack will just grow down and out to the side of the 29th round. Now, the good news. The mags that eventually split, still could retain the majority of the rounds. One or two would spit out. The benifit of the PMAG is that when it does crack, it doesn't break completely off. The magazines that where dropped after cracking, where able to be loaded into the weapon with no additional effort from a normal magazine. Once inside the weapon, the magzine functioned normally. So, even if you somehow get a split magazine, you can still use it. Now, the USGI didn't even compare. After four drops it could not even be inserted into the mag well, let alone feed anymore because the feed lips where totally jacked up. As for freezing, I took a couple magazines and froze them in my freezer for a couple days and did the same drop tests. I did not notice any difference in strength. As an added bonus, if you should somehow damage your mag, MAGPUL will probably send you a new body. Their customer service is a front runner in the industry.