As my tour winds down here in Afghanistan I wanted to pass on my thoughts on a new piece of kit I just received.
As part of turning over with the new unit we had to turn in our ammo for issue to the new unit. As part of this process I turned in my magazines, and we were issued one magazine of force protection ammo which is handed over before we get on the plane. With this issue I got something different, this time instead of the standard metal old school magazine, I was issue a PMAG 30 – MAGLEVEL magazine with my force protection ammo. It seems a lot of militaries are converting over to plastic magazines.
The PMAG 30 MAGLEVEL is a plastic magazine for the M4/M16 made by MAGPUL industries. The magazine is very light weight, comes with a dust cap to cover the exposed rounds when stored in a vest, and the MAGLEVEL has a clear window so you can see how many rounds are remaining. The PMAG 30 is the same magazine, just without the window. My initial impressions are this is a pretty cool magazine. It feels lighter than a standard magazine, and for some reason the plastic seems to not make as much noise as the metal magazines. This could come in handy in a patrol situation or when trying to quietly insert or take out a magazine.
As far as any criticisms, I would say that the dust cover – which is cool and can snap on the bottom of the magazine when inserted into a weapon seems like an easy piece to misplace. Also, you can keep a lot of dust out of a magazine simply by storing it upside down in a vest. Secondly, I do like the window; however, there are times when you actually are not issued ammo. I’ll give you an example. After 9/11 our unit was sent to guard the gates at Fort Hood, Texas. Pretty standard duty, stopping all cars, verifying ID’s and post access stickers, and not letting any terrorists on base. We were told to be in full kit, with weapon. However, not a single soldier, except for the MPs actually had ammo. Hence, a standard magazine in the weapon had to leave the motorists guessing, are there bullets in that weapon? Clearly with the PMAG MAGLEVEL a trained eye could simply look and tell if someone in a similar situation was bluffing. I prefer to keep them guessing. They retail for $17.95, which in comparison is really not that bad for a good product. All in all, I like the MAGPUL, and just wish I had an opportunity to cycle a few rounds through it at the range before I get on the plane. Might be worth investing in a few when I get back. What do you think?