It wasn’t that long ago the Magpul Masada and FN SCAR were just prototypes being talked about in gun magazines you would purchase at the store. On the online gun discussion boards, excited people talked about these designs, but you would hear detractors point out that they shouldn’t have used AR15 mags. As AR15 magazines are the “weak point” of the system. That the H&K XM8 was such a smarter design as it had it’s own, better, magazine design.
I was talking to Shawn about this on the phone. He pointed out how it was a subtle change from people disliking the unreliable AR15 magazine, to wanting all new 5.56 rifles to use it.
It has been an odd change of mind set. It wasn’t that long ago that the AR15 was considered just inaccurate and unreliable. Plenty of outspoken people online would parrot that you needed to clean the gun every 100-200 rounds or it would jam up. This was considered common knowledge.
I think we have come a little way since then.
There are a few factors to credit for the old wives tales and horror stories, as well as many to credit for getting us out of that mentality. During the dark days of the Assault Weapons Ban, people were spending top dollar for old worn out mags. I know while I was in the Marines I was issued mags that may well have been older than me. Tons of old mags, that long should been disposed off, certainly didn’t help the situation. We had plenty of people, repeating stories that had been repeated over and over before, of how terrible the M16 was in Vietnam. Much like the telephone game, these repeated and changed comments sometimes become comically ridiculous. But suddenly we had combat vets, coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have used their weapons and could report that they are performing well. The AWB sunset and we had new magazines to buy. Companies like Magpul, and all these defense contractors producing high volumes made quality magazines cheap and plentiful. I remember people saying things along the lines of “now that we have the Pmag, we finally have a good mag for the AR15.”
We even see people now replacing Magpul Pmags with the USGI aluminum mags. The argument being that the USGI mags handle aging better.
Now it seems that it is expected any new 5.56 rifle will use the good old STANAG comparable mag. Maybe the design isn’t so bad.