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The US Army has taken one more step towards further improving the reliability of the controversial M16 and M4 series of rifles, according to a TACOM announcement. The Army is introducing a new pattern ofmagazine to supplant the older black, green, and tan follower magazines, respectively. Called the “Enhanced Performance Magazine”, the new pattern sports a tan magazine body and a blue follower, for identification, and boasts a 300% increase in the mean number of rounds between stoppages when used in the M4 Carbine. Unlike previous magazines, the EPM uses a new, modified magazine body (and therefore not interchangeable, hence the different color) which presents the rounds at a more favorable angle to the rifle’s feedway, improving reliability and, importantly, preventing the hardened steel tips of new 5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds from contacting the aluminum feed ramp section on M4 type rifles.

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This model from a 2014 PM Soldier Weapons presentation illustrates how the new magazine body differs from its predecessors; the new magazine is shown in grey, the old in orange.

 

The new magazine began development by ARDEC and the Army Research Laboratory in July of 2013, and was first made public through NDIA in 2014. Finally, these improved magazines will now be in the hands of our fighting men and women!

According to Soldier Systems, the National Stock Number for the new magazine type is NSN 1005-01-630-9508.

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