I got my hands on a couple of the new generation of the Magpul Pmag. The Pmag needs no introduction by me or anyone else at this point in time. If this is the first you have heard of the Pmag, well then,I guess I can not help much. The Pmag has been a huge hit since it hit the market even if some of the 1st gen had a few “problems”. The only problem with the 1st gen mags was that magpul made them to work in a true milspec magazine well ( colt) since that is the proper spec and it is what every military M16/M4 is made to as well as any other companies clone worth its salt. People with cheaper guns that had corners cut or slightly out of spec lowers were quick to point the finer at magpul of course. Blaming ones own pet brand of fire arms is unheard of!!!
The mags are now on the 3rd generation having had most of the functional problems long worked out assuming you have a quality made weapon. Magpul made the Pmag for the M16 family and the Pmag clearly works in it. Other weapons that take the M16 magazine pattern may not work perfectly with Pmags so Magpul came up with the “Emag”. It is made to work in all the other weapons that take the M16 pattern metal mag but had trouble with the Pmag. The mag has gotten better every generation and has some small extras added to each at different points to make the mags even more attractive. Now Magopul has the new gen out.
At first glance, I could not really tell much of a difference. But after a look longer then 3 seconds, the changes are clear. The first thing I noticed is those of you who like to put the dust cover/feed lips protector over the bottom to keep up with it are not shit out of luck. That feature is gone. No loss in my opinion because I toss them in a parts bin never to be touched again anyway. But I know some like them, so that may be a small let down.
From the picture above, you can see the one thing I really like. The texture on the mag to help you grip it. I found the gripping texture a nice touch. It is becoming common on other mags now so I would have been surprised to not see them on the new magazines from magpul. It has a good feeling and when I sloshed water on it and mixed a little gun oil, it still helped with a good grip. The best part is ( in my opinion) it is right where I need it. The way I grip the bottom of the mags to pull them from a pouch and load them requires me to grab the portion of the mag with the biggest part of my grip. So to me, this is just where I need it.
It is not just the sides either, they also put grippy texture on the front and back spine of the mag.
It not quite as aggressive on the front/rear as the sides though. And its not super aggressive on the sides.
Another new thing is, the unnecessary over insertion tab on the new mags. I do not see any advantage to this and it may turn out to be more trouble then its worth. The same feature on the “colt spec” 308 Pmags seems to be giving troubles that the standard 308 Pmags do not cause. Time will tell. The floor plate is also slightly smaller then the older versions, but not by much. I assume this is meant to make it easier to put two mags in one pouch. It does not always work out to have two older mags in one pouch so this could help. I could not tell that it helped out much in my pouches. I tried it out in military issue SDS MOLLE II pouches. OF course, its a moot point since the USMC is not allowed to use the Pmag now anyway! ZING!!! Yeah, it is not really funny, but you can thank H&K for that, not Magpuls quality.
Above is the follower and feed lips of the new mag. Oddly I found it slightly harder to load the new mags compared to the other generation Pmags. I can not say if this is a fact, but it felt that way which could mean something, or nothing other then I am getting weaker… Who knows. The new Mags will work with the stripper clip charger ( spoon ) and stripper clips. One additional disappointment to me is the new mags will not take the older ranger plates that I like to add to my other Pmags as standard practice. I really like those and was hoping to be able to use them on the newer mags. Now we have to wait until the versions that fit come out, if they indeed do come out.
The mags did work great after 100 rounds through each fired from colt carbine. The ejected fine and locked the bolt back on after empty. I have not started to abuse them yet, but I will very soon.. I will submerge them, try to smash, put too much oil on them, freeze them and throw them off a 50 foot rock cliff and see what happens. I will dutifully report what happens back to you.
Right now, I have to say. meh. No big deal really. I think they would have been great back in 09 but I have a hard time getting very excited about them now that the Lancer Advanced Warfighter mags are out. Those are the best Mags I have used/tortured and I really, really like them. I like Pmags too so we will see. After my abuse tests I will make a personal recommendation. Magpul makes great mags, but I think in the future, it is going to come down to the little details that will show a clear choice in mags for the serious shooter. Check back in a few days to see how the gen 3 holds up to harsher testing.