There is rarely a piece of gear that’s universally praised and loved by the military’s men and women. The poncho liner is one, um, and besides today’s topic, that is about it. Today’s topic is Magpul Pmags, specifically the Gen M3 model. The Magpul PMag is a beloved magazine option approved by both the Marine Corps and Army for use. Some units have gone as far as even buying and issuing Pmags over the standard aluminum G.I. magazine.
Pmags – The Professional Choice
The Magpul PMag Gen M3 is also the favorite of SpecOps bubbas through the military. Google Marine Raider, Navy SEAL, or Green Beret and look at their rifles. I bet they got a PMag. Don’t Google it; I did it for you, and here is a Raider:
And a Green Beret:
They are all rocking and rolling with PMags. The PMag stands for polymer, and the PMags claim to fame is the first dedicated polymer magazine that wasn’t a piece of junk. Polymer magazines existed before, but for the M4 or M16 platform, they typically sucked. Magpul fixed that, and then they offered their magazines at an incredibly affordable price.
The price was low enough your lowly Lance Corporal could afford to buy a couple a week to replace his ailing and failing aluminum magazines. I know because I was one of many who did just that.
Why PMags Are So Beloved
That’s the big question. Hwy do so many professional armed men choose the PMag? Well, there are several reasons why the PMag has become the defacto choice of everyone from mechanics in the air wing to Raiders hitting houses.
This is the biggest reason why the PMags are so beloved. They work, and they work so dang well. They can be abused and used for years without issue. Drop em, kick, and occasionally clean them, and you are good to go.
They feed reliable regardless of the condition, and it takes a lot of abuse to knock a PMag out. PMags are heavy hitters and are designed inside and out to reliably feed thousands and thousands of rounds. The constant curve internal geometry ensures the ammo travels smoothly throughout the magazine.
The follower is a big part of the magazine’s success. The follower is the portion that touches the ammunition and guides it upward. The Magpul follower is a four-way anti-tilt design has proven to be a more reliable follower than previous M4/M16 designs.
When the United States was just using the M4 and M16 series of rifles, things were easy. A standard magazine worked, but that’s not what’s happening today. Several platforms use the same ammo and same magazine design as the M4/M16. We have the HK 416, the M27 IAR, the SCAR L, and the SIG Sauer MCX.
The problem is these other platforms have their quirks, especially in the magazine department. The Pmag Gen M3 has been designed and tested to work with all of these new platforms. Beyond that, they even work with some foreign platforms like the British SA-80.
The internal design ensures smooth and reliable feeding. The exterior design is all about ergonomics and ensuring that reloads are easy and intuitive. The Pmag Gen M3 is heavily textured on the outside with a ribbed spine and curve. The right and the left side are easy to grip as well, and you can grip and rip the mag from your mag pouch and shove it into your gun regardless of your hands being sweaty or the presence of gloves.
The bottom of the magazine features a dot matrix that allows you to mark the magazine. This way, you can date it for the beginning of its service, with an identification number, or whatever else you need to mark it with.
The windowed variants add in the ability to quickly take a peek and observe how much ammo you may have left. The magazine is marked with 5, 15, and 25 round marks, but a quick look also gives you a good idea of what’s left in the mag and when to reload.
The popularity of PMags has driven the aftermarket to deliver lots of upgrades to the magazine itself. The one is this example has an extended base plate that adds five rounds. You can add a bipod like device for more stability. You can also add a Ranger plate to make it easier to draw from a mag pouch.
The Polymer Revolution
Polymers are increasingly replacing metals nearly everywhere they can. They tend to be more durable under regular use, lighter, and cheaper to manufacture. The Pmag is just one more advancement in polymer military equipment. I keep a range backpack full of these things. It just so happens to be a beloved piece of gear used by the best for a reason. Magpul is a veteran-owned company created by a former Force Recon commando, so they know what works and what doesn’t.