5.56 Timeline

New Gen 3 Magpul Pmags

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.

The Violinist.

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.

The Violinist.


Imagine you are a professional violinist or even a skilled amateur with professional training.  One day a friend or acquaintance approaches you.  They ask to borrow a violin.  You know that this person does not know how to play a violin, they’ve never even held one. They explain to you that there is an important concert tonight and they may be expected to perform.  If they don’t do well, their whole life will change for the worst.  Perhaps very badly so.  Obviously it would be no problem to borrow one of yours, perhaps one of the better ones of course.  Certainly you would be willing to help someone in their time of need.


It should be pretty obvious that lending them a violin would not help them and likely be bad for you.  If they attempt to use the instrument they will only look more foolish then they already are and there is a pretty good chance that your violin may be damaged, possibly even lost or never returned.  Who in their right mind would lend an instrument for such a situation.  I would not, would you?  Yet people ask to borrow guns.


Yup, ‘I don’t like the looks of the new guy next door’, ‘I was threatened by my ex-whatever’, ‘Rioting is getting closer’, ‘ If things get bad I’ll just use one of yours’ and on and on.  A gun is an instrument of deadly force, even if some specific gun was intended only for recreation.  Using guns requires knowledge and skill.  Not just technical knowledge of the ‘How to do it’ but the knowledge of how to avoid unnecessary harm or damage from accidents. The use of a gun for defense requires a different addition set of knowledge.


When’s the last time someone asked to borrow your car?  I’ll bet that each of us knows a good number of people to whom we would lend our car if there was some emergency but that we also know people to whom we would never lend it.  What if the person asking to borrow your car might know how to drive, that is, how to operate it, but had no idea what the road signs meant, which side of the road to drive on, speed limits, or even what stop lights and stop signs meant?  Yet people who have never even touched a gun assume that in an emergency they could use one just fine, and they have no clue whatsoever about the legalities involved. Regrettably, this also applies to those people who bought a gun for ‘Just in case’ and it’s been in the closet for the last 10 years.


Don’t be one of these people.  If, no, not if, when you encounter them, gently attempt to educate, though often their resistance to education, truth, and facts is extreme.  And, please, examine your own level of preparedness.

Ryan’s Steak House


The story below did not happen to any member of loose rounds nor did any member of loose rounds write it or have anything to do with it.

This is a story as told by a member of popular gun board www.ar15.com.  The unfortunate soul posted his  miss adventure up a few years ago and he has went down as one of the funniest things ever written.  As far as anyone knows, it is a true story and the author swears  to every word.  Since the original publication, it has become infamous and is worth every minute it takes to read. I would say it may be the funniest true story I have ever heard.



Now, I know that there is a lot of embellishment that occurs on this group and I am aware that a small number of things are perhaps sheer fabrication, but I have a story to tell that is the absolute truth.

Funniest damn thing that has ever happened to me. A couple of weeks ago we decided to cruise out to Ryan’s Steakhouse for dinner. It was a Wednesday night which means that macaroni and beef was on the hot bar, indeed the only night of the week that it is served. Wednesday night is also kid’s night at Ryan’s, complete with Dizzy the Clown wandering from table to table entertaining the little bastards. It may seem that the events about to be told have little connection to those two circumstances, but all will be clear in a moment.

We went through the line and placed our orders for the all-you-can-eat hot bar then sat down as far away from the front of the restaurant as possible in order to keep the density of kids down a bit. Then I started my move to the hot bar. Plate after plate of macaroni and beef were consumed that evening, I tell you – in all, four heaping plates of the pseudo-Italian ambrosia were shoved into my belly. I was sated. Perhaps a bit too much, however.

I had not really been feeling well all day, what with a bit of gas and such. By the time I had eaten four overwhelmed plates of food, I was in real trouble. There was so much pressure on my diaphragm that I was having trouble breathing. At the same time, the downward pressure was building. At first I thought it was only gas, which could have been passed in batches right at the table without too much concern.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. After a minute or so it was clear that I was dealing with explosive diarrhea. It’s amazing how grease can make its way through your intestines far faster than the food which spawned the grease to begin with, but I digress… I got up from the table and made my way to the bathroom. Upon entering, I saw two sinks immediately inside the door, two urinals just to the right of the sinks, and two toilet stalls against the back wall. One of them was a handicapped bathroom. Now, normally I would have gone to the handicapped stall since I like to stretch out a bit when I take a good shit. But in this case, the door lock was broken and the only thing I hate worse than my wife telling me to stop cutting my toenails with a pair of diagonal wire-cutters is having someone walk in on me while I am taking a shit.

I went to the normal stall. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to the large, handicapped stall even though the door would not lock because that bit of time lost in making the stall switch proved to be a bit too long under the circumstances. By the time I had walked into the regular stall, the pressure on my ass was reaching Biblical portions. I began “The Move.”

For those women who may be reading this, let me take a moment to explain “The Move.” Men know exactly what their bowels are up to at any given second. And when the time comes to empty the cache, a sequence of physiological events occur that can not be stopped under any circumstances. There is a move men make that involves simultaneously approaching the toilet, beginning the body turn to position ones ass toward said toilet, hooking ones fingers into ones waistline, and pulling down the pants while beginning the squat at the same time. It is a very fluid motion that, when performed properly, results in the flawless expulsion of shit at the exact same second that one’s ass is properly placed on the toilet seat. Done properly, it even assures that the choad is properly inserted into the front rim of the toilet in the event that the piss stream lets loose at the same time; it is truly a picture of coordination rivaling that of a skilled ballet dancer.

I was about halfway into “The Move” when I looked down at the floor and saw a pile of vomit that had been previously expelled by one of those little bastards attending kids night. It was mounded up in the corner so I did not notice it when I had first walked into the stall. Normally, I would not have been bothered by such a thing, but I had eaten so much and the pressure upward was so intense, that I hit a rarely experienced gag reflex. And once that reflex started, combined with the intense pressure upward caused by the bloated stomach, four plates of macaroni and beef started coming up for a rematch.

What happened next was so quick that the exact sequence of events is a bit fuzzy, but I will try to reconstruct them as best I can. In that moment of impending projectile vomiting, my attention was diverted from the goings-on at the other end. To put a freeze frame on the situation, I was half crouched down to the toilet, pants pulled down to my knees, with a load of vomit coming up my esophagus.

Now, most of you know that vomiting takes precedence over shit no matter what is about to come slamming out of your ass. It is apparently an evolutionary thing since shitting will not kill you, but vomiting takes a presence of mind to accomplish so that you do not aspirate any food into the bronchial tubes and perhaps choke to death. My attention was thus diverted. At that very split second, my ass exploded in what can only be described as a wake…you know, as in a newspaper headline along the lines of “30,000 Killed In Wake of Typhoon Fifi” or something similar. In what seemed to be most suitably measured in cubic feet, an enormous plug of shit the consistency of thick mud with embedded pockets of greasy liquid came flying out of my ass.

But remember, I was only halfway down on the toilet at that moment. The shit wave was of such force, and of just such an angle in relation to the back curve of the toilet seat, that it ricocheted off the back of the seat and slammed into the wall – at an angle of incidence equal to the angle at which it initially hit the toilet seat. Then I sat down. Recall that when that event occurred, I was already halfway to sitting anyway and had actually reached the point of no return. I have always considered myself as relatively stable gravitationally, but when you get beyond a certain point, you’re going down no matter how limber you may be. Needless to say, the shit wave, though of considerable force, was not so sufficient so as to completely glance off the toilet seat and deposit itself on the walls – unlike what you would see when hitting a puddle with a high-pressure water hose; even though you throw water at the puddle, the puddle gets moved and no water is left to re-form a puddle. There was a significant amount of shit remaining on about one-third of the seat rim which I had now just collapsed upon.

Now, back to the vomit…

While all the shitting was going on, the vomit was still on its way up. By the time I had actually collapsed on the toilet, my mouth had filled up with a goodly portion of the macaroni and beef I had just consumed. OK, so what does the human body instinctively do when vomiting? One bends over. So I bent over. I was still sitting on the toilet, though. Therefore, bending over resulted in me placing my head above my now slightly-opened legs, positioned in between my knees and waist. Also directly above my pants which were now pulled down to a point just midway between my knees and my ankles. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing not just pants, but sweatpants with elastic on the ankles. In one mighty push, some three pounds of macaroni and beef, two or three Cokes, and a couple of Big, Fat Yeast Rolls were deposited in my pants…on the inside…with no ready exit at the bottom down by my feet. In the next several seconds, there were a handful of farts, a couple of turds, and the event ended. Yet I was now sitting there with my pants full of vomit, my back covered in shit that had bounced off the toilet, spattered on three ceramic-tiled walls to a height of about five feet, and still had enough force to come back at me, covering the back of my shirt with droplets of liquid shit. All while thick shit was spread all over my ass in a ring curiously in the shape of a toilet seat.

And there was no fucking toilet paper. What could I do but laugh. I must have sounded like a complete maniac to the guy who then wandered into the bathroom. He actually asked if I was OK since I was laughing so hard I must have sounded like I was crying hysterically. I calmed down just enough to ask him if he would get the manager. And told him to have the manager bring some toilet paper. When the manager walked in, he brought the toilet paper with him, but in no way was prepared for what happened next. I simply told him that there was no way I was going to explain what was happening in the stall, but that I needed several wet towels and I needed him to go ask my wife to come help me. I told him where we were sitting and he left. At that point, I think he was probably assuming that I had pissed just a bit in my pants or something similarly benign.

About two minutes later, my wife came into the bathroom not knowing what was wrong and with a certain amount of worry in her voice. I explained to her (still laughing and having trouble getting out words) that I had a slight accident and needed her help. Knowing that I had experienced some close calls in the past, she probably assumed that I had laid down a small turd or something and just needed to bring the car around so we could bolt immediately. Until I asked her, I’m sure she had no idea that she was about to go across the street and purchase me new underwear, new socks, new pants, a new shirt, and (by that time due to considerable leakage around the elastic ankles thingies) new sneakers. And she then started to laugh herself since I was still laughing. She began to ask for an explanation as to what had happened when I promised her that I would tell her later, but that I just needed to handle damage control for the time being. She left.

The manager then came back in with a half-dozen wet towels and a few dry ones. I asked him to also bring a mop and bucket upon which he assured me that they would clean up anything that needed to be cleaned. Without giving him specific details, I explained that what was going on in that stall that night was far in excess of what I would expect anyone to deal with, what with most of the folks working at Ryan’s making minimum wage of just slightly above. At that moment, I think it dawned on him exactly the gravity of the situation. Then that manager went so far above the call of duty that I will be eternally grateful for his actions. He hooked up a hose. Fortunately, commercial bathrooms are constructed with tile walls and tile floors and have a drain in the middle of the room in order to make clean up easy. Fortunately, I was in a commercial bathroom. He hooked up the hose to the spigot located under the sink as I began cleaning myself up with the wet towels.

Just as I was finishing, my wife got back with the new clothes and passed them into the stall, whereupon I stuffed the previously worn clothing into the plastic bag that came from the store, handing the bag to my wife. I finished cleaning myself off and carefully put on my new clothes, still stuck in the stall since I figured that it would be in bad taste to go out of the stall to get redressed, in the event I happened to be standing there naked and some little bastard kid walked in. At that point, I had only made a mess; I had not yet committed a felony and intended to keep it that way.

When I finished getting dressed, I picked up the hose and cleaned up the entire stall, washing down the remains toward the drain in the center of the room. I put down the hose and walked out of the bathroom. I had intended to go to the manager and thank him for all he had done, but when I walked out, three of the management staff were there to greet me with a standing ovation. I started laughing so hard that I thought I was going to throw up again, but managed to scurry out to the car where my wife was now waiting to pick me up by the front door.

The upshot of all this is that I strongly recommend eating dinner at Ryan’s Steak House. They have, by far, the nicest management staff of any restaurant in which I have eaten

Why I Will NOT Study With TRAVIS HALEY.

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield

Why I Will NOT Study With TRAVIS HALEY.


I learned that he will be teaching in my area, I have the time and the opportunity to attend.  I want to attend but I’m not.  I asked for and received the application.  The problem is, I read it.


Haley seems like a great guy.  I have read about him. I have read interviews of him.  I have seen portions of some of his videos.  He seems to know what he is doing and more important, why he does as he does.  Seems like someone I would really like to study under, however, there’s a catch, the waiver.


Now days everybody wants waivers in case something bad happens, shooting classes, martial arts seminars, parachuting, rafting, hot air ballooning, everybody wants waivers and that’s ok, I sign them, but not this one.


I’ve signed many waivers.  I understand this in our ‘sue anyone for anything’ society.  But this one has two words which makes this waiver different, ‘including negligence’.


Every reasonable person knows that ‘stuff happens’.  Equipment can break, the unexpected can occur, malfunctions happen, even something as a persons feet slipping and their hand reflexively grips tighter on the gun in their hand leading to a shot being fired while they fall and the gun points any which way.  Things can happen.


There’s also the ‘DUH’ moments, the mental slip, the ‘Oh, That’s what you meant’, and sometimes just what some people refer to as ‘brain farts’.


Perhaps an injury or accident is caused because a person did the wrong thing, could be due to lack of needed skill or knowledge, or it was the first response they could think of while under stress in a bad situation.  Could even be due to a reflex movement without any conscious thought.




The ‘Reasonable Man’.


There is a concept in law known as the ‘Reasonable Man’, sometimes as the ‘Reasonable and Prudent Man’.  This is a standard by which ones actions can be judged.  The example is: Suppose you were in some situation and ‘really screwed it up’.  The court would consider: What would a ‘reasonable’ person have done if they were in the same situation.  If a person is injured because someone else did something which a reasonable person would not have done, that can be grounds for negligence.  The waiver for class specifically includes that if you are injured due to negligence, you will take no legal action and hold Mister Haley and his agents harmless.


Think about it!  This includes if some instructor or assistant willfully, knowingly, or even deliberately does or fails to do something which leads to a student being injured, you agree to do nothing and just accept it.


I have seen people get hurt in classes.  I have been hurt in classes.  I have hurt other people in classes.  Luckily never anything serious.  Accidents happen, especially in the various fighting skills.  It is a risk which we understand and accept.  However, the waiver for the Haley Strategic classes changes things so that even if an injury was not an accident, you will just accept it.  Is this also a statement about their own level of care?  Their forms do state that they will use their ‘…best efforts to provide a reasonably safe…’ and we students know and accept that there can be serious risks in classes of this type.  But to demand that students must agree that if an instructor or staff screws up and you are hurt because of it, and it’s NOT an accident, you just accept it, that is not acceptable.


Is it possible this says something about what they consider to be an acceptable level of risk or quality of the instructors?  Or did Haley just let his lawyers get carried away with the paperwork?

My Favorite Mags of the Year

A lot of magazines for the Ar15/M16 family was sent to loose rounds  this ( our first ) year for testing.   In trying out new guns, I used a lot of mags from as many different mfgs as I could get my sweaty little hands on.  The usual crew was of course tested, like the Pmag, the USGI mags as well.    Below as my three favorite mags tested this year.

The top three in my opinion are the Tango Down ARC mag, the Lancer advanced warfighter and the surefire 60 round mag.

The Tango Down and the  Lancer are tied for my all time favorite.   IF I had to pick one it would be the lancer.  I tried to  make them both stop working in ways that stopped just short of destroying them. I tossed the both off of a 50 foot cliff loaded and they still worked perfectly.  I Left them soak in muddy silty water, froze them and poured dirt into them.  I even stomped on them and ran over them in my jeep.   These are tough mags.  I love the metal feed lips of the lancer and really feel it is the best mag on the market right now and like it more then the Pamg,  I have not tried the new generation of Pmags yet. But I doubt I will change my mind about the lancer.  I am sure that will stick in some peoples craw but,  too bad.   I know what I saw.

The surefire 60 is  my third favorite. I tried really hard to causer it to stop working, I did not  toss it off a cliff or run over it because I know it will not take the same level of abuse. But, I am not sure it was meant or expected to.  I see the sure fire 60 as a specialty mag for matches or breaking and ambush or what have you. I think anyone who gets one for fighting would still treat it gently  as the some what specialty tool it is.  Now, thats not to say I was not rough on it. I was. I could not get a malfunction from doing stuff I think of as likely abuse.  I poured dirt a pebbles in it, water soaking, pressure on it etc. You can read my test of it earlier this year on this site.   I think most people using it to fight with will likely just have the one, and keep it in the gun and keep up with it and be slightly more gentle with it when not in use.

The surefire still has a ways to go before its gotten the same confidence of Pmags, but nothing beats having 60 rounds in the gun ready to go, without causing the gun to feel a lot heavier or un balanced. For that, it makes my list and I feel its worth its price easily.  I have not tried the 100 round mag yet, but will be soon.    I feel these are way better options then the Beta Cmag. The Cmag is a toy for people with NFA stuff or goofing, they are just not tough enough for real use. And I have seen the problems first hand.

The Pmag will probably remain every ones darling for a while to come. But I feel right now, the new lancers are a much better mag. and you should give  one or two a serious look.   The Tango Down suffers from a couple of problems but nothing that can not be over looked,  It is a very tough mag and is in use by some big names.  I do not use that as a guide since a couple of the big names are pretty much shills in my opinion, but it does matter to some people.  The follower on the TD is a real work of art. I feel confident in  saying the TD would also be a great choice if you are looking for a upgrade from the Pmag.