CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Marine Corps has selected Magpul Industries as the exclusive maker of ammunition magazines that Marines will use in combat.
Magpul is a private company that makes accessories for firearms, including magazines, grips, sights and slings. The company also recently started selling soft goods like hats, belts, shirts and gloves.
The operations, shipping and manufacturing portion of Magpul is based in Cheyenne, while its headquarters is located in Austin, Texas.
A press release from Magpul says the Marine Corps selected Magpul’s GEN M3 PMAG series of magazines after several years of testing.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that the company had added a second shift to handle demand for its products. Magpul started with 102 employees in Cheyenne but now employs 380.
Magpul, which used to be based in Erie, pulled out of Colorado last year in protest of a gun-control bill that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law in 2013 prohibiting the sale of gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds in the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting.
I’ve seen comments to the effect that the Marine Corps has been using these for a while. Yea, well, not so much.
Perhaps individual Marines have had these magazines shipped to them by their families while deployed, and their commanders allowed their use rather than throwing them away, but I suspect most Lt. Colonels wouldn’t want to see pictures of their men using these things, only to have the promotion board asked if there were other instances of use of unauthorized equipment.
These guys can be rather puckered when it comes to authorized equipment, especially if some Marines have it and some don’t. This way, everyone will have the best, and they will have the same thing.
Preliminary results of an Army test to see how the service’s M855A1 5.56mm round performs in Marine Corps weapons show that the enhanced performance round causes reliability and durability problems in the Marine M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, service officials say.
The Marine Corps in March added the M27 and the M16A4 rifles to the Army’s ongoing testing of M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland after lawmakers questioned why the Army and the Marines use two different types of 5.56mm ammunition.
“One of the reasons we were doing that test was because of congressional language from last year that said ‘you two services need to look at getting to a common round,’ so we heard Congress loud and clear last year,” Col. Michael Manning, program manager for the Marine Corps Infantry Weapon Systems, told Military.com in a Dec. 15 Interview.
Lawmakers again expressed concern this year in the final joint version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act, which includes a provision requiring the secretary of defense to submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees explaining why the two services are using different types of 5.56 mm ammunition.
[ … ]
The Army replaced the Cold War-era M855 5.56mm round in 2010 with its new M855A1 EPR, the result of more than a decade of work to develop a lead-free round.
The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have said. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and penetrates 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials maintain.
First of all, my former Marine Daniel laments the transition from the SAW to the IAR. It’s all part of the softening of the USMC. They should still be deploying the SAW. But let’s assume that whatever problems they’re having with the IAR, they would have with the SAW too.
About this being a better round, I think the Army is lying. That isn’t what I hear.
The Army M855A1 had a LOT of problems in development. Wearing down barrels, damaging the chambers, requiring new magazines because of the feed angle
Folks, they threw ballistics to the wind, didn’t consider what’s best for killing, and decided to go all green with their ammunition (this isn’t the only area they did this, witness the push for solar panels on military bases with the use of defense dollars).
And about this, commenter Fred tells it like it is. “It’s green, why won’t you understand that? It’s green for everyone’s benefit especially the children. What is wrong with you people who can’t understanding destroying whole countries in a friendly, environmentally sound, and loving way is green?
Lets wreck this whole motherfuckin’ city and blow it up and kill millions of people but, let’s do it in an environmentally responsible way.”
The bill has already passed the House and is expected to be voted on and approved by the Senate this week before going to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
This is not the first time Congress has gotten its dander up over this subject. Lawmakers asked both services to explain the same thing last year, but Marine Corps leaders said they need to do more testing of the Army’s M855A1 enhanced 5.56mm round.
I reached out to the Marine Corps yesterday and the Army today to ask about how they planned to deal with the request. I could almost hear the head-scratching as if neither service had heard anything about it.
According to the provision, the report must be submitted within 180 days after the bill, which includes the entire defense budget for the coming year, is enacted.
If the secretary of defense does not determine that an “emergency” requires the Army and Marine Corps to use the two different types of rifle ammo, they must begin using a common 5.56mm round within a year after the bill is passed, it states.
OK so here is the back story for those you out there who don’t know it.
The Army replaced the Cold-War era M855 5.56mm round in 2010 with its new M855A1 enhanced performance round, the end result of more than a decade of work to develop a lead-free round.
The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have maintained. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing, Army officials maintain. It penetrates 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855.
The Marine Corps had planned to field an earlier version of the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that the bismuth-tin slug proved to be sensitive to heat which affected the trajectory or intended flight path.
The setback prompted Marine officials to stay with the current M855 round as well as start using the MK 318 Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead. Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a better bullet after the Army’s M855A1 round failed.
Since then the Marine Corps has purchased millions of MK 318 rounds.
The MK 318 bullet weighs 62 grains and has a lead core with a solid copper shank. It uses an open-tip match round design common with sniper ammunition. It stays on target through windshields and car doors better than conventional M855 ammo.
The Army quickly replaced the bismuth-tin slug in its new round with a copper one, solving the bullet’s problems in 2010, Army officials said.
The new Army round also weighs 62 grains and has a 19-grain steel penetrator tip, 9 grains heavier than the tip on old M855 ammo. Seated behind the penetrator is a solid copper slug. The M855A1 consistently penetrates battlefield barriers such as windshields more effectively than the M855, Army officials contend.
The accuracy of the MK 318 may not be what it’s cracked up to be. However, for any of these heavier than 55 grain rounds, there is a detriment in muzzle velocity (these rounds lose up to 200 FPS), and that can actually make a difference in penetrating capability.
Suffice it to say that creation of an environmentally friendly round for the armed forces is laughable, and the main thing to be concerned about is ballistics. It would be interesting if someone still in the service would weigh in on this debate.
But as for Congress being briefed on the details of the ammunition being chosen by the armed forces, I agree with one of the comments. You may as well try to teach physics to a pig.
In a series of experiments this year, units from 2nd Marine Division will be silencing every element of an infantry battalion — from M4 rifles to .50 caliber machine guns.
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, Maj. Gen. John Love, described these plans during a speech to Marines at the Marine Corps Association Ground Dinner this month near Washington, D.C.
The proof-of-concept tests, he said, included Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, which began an Integrated Training Exercise pre-deployment last month at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
“What we’ve found so far is it revolutionizes the way we fight,” Love told Military.com. “It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn’t really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires.”
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, the division’s gunner, or infantry weapons officer, said the Lima companies in two other battalions — 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines — now had silencers, or suppressors, on all their rifles, including the M27 infantry automatic rifles. All units are set to deploy in coming months. The combat engineer platoons that are attached to these units and will deploy with them will also carry suppressed weapons, he said.
Suppressors work by slowing the escape of propellant gases when a gun is fired, which drastically reduces the sound signature. Used by scout snipers and special operations troops to preserve their stealth, the devices are also valuable for their ability to minimize the chaos of battle, enabling not only better communication but also improved situational awareness and accuracy.
“It increases their ability to command and control, to coordinate with each other,” Wade told Military.com. “They shoot better, because they can focus more, and they get more discipline with their fire.”
Readers Joe and Jack sent this to me. I have no difficulty in believing that suppressors have this kind of positive effect on small unit maneuver warfare tactics, techniques and procedures. Anyone shooter knows that you either wear hearing protection, or you prepare for part of your pain to be sustaining the damage to your hearing. I can only imagine attempting to control a small unit in warfare with this kind of noise.
My only caveat with this would be what this does to (1) muzzle velocity, and (2) barrel length. Suppressors reduce muzzle velocity, but I don’t know how much this particular suppressor affects the M193 or M855. Even a little reduction can cause a whole lot of ballistic differences, and that in itself may cause the need for another compensating change to small unit tactics.
Finally, as my former Marine tells me, heavy front end rifles are tiring and Marines looked for ways to reduce front end weight when they can. Reduction in this case can only take the form of reduction of barrel length, which means yet another reduction in muzzle velocity.
Frankly, I see this as a positive move for the Marine Corps, but I’d like to see more data on this before jumping to any conclusions. Wouldn’t you?
Field medicine. Matthew gives us an interesting run down of what he learned. My son Daniel went through a combat lifesaver course in the Marine Corps where they used live pigs, shot them in select places, and had to do things like find and clamp arteries to prevent bleed-out, all the while laying down suppressive fire. I’m not too worried about what PETA has to say about this. They know it happens, just like when doctors use pigs in medical school because of the anatomical similarity. The pigs are sedated.
At any rate, Daniel told me out of all the training he received in the Marines, room clearing, CQB, field markmanship, sniper school, etc., the medical training was the best he had.
“While I am concerned that America’s current gun laws are too relaxed, this does not mean that I oppose gun ownership,” Hess continues digging himself into a hole. “I have always enjoyed shooting as a hobby.”
Yeah, this guy’s a willing tool, meaning there’s really no need to fisk the rest of his propaganda screed, except to say that “law-abiding” is a relative term used to disqualify rights in “progressive” strongholds, and that trying to ban what he calls “military grade assault rifles” is an act of utter betrayal to the oath he swore. Evidently Hess is not ignorant of what that oath meant—he’s just contemptuous of it.
But if he is a former Marine, David has responded as best as anyone can. He is an oath breaker. His word means nothing. As for the appended note at the end of David’s column, sure there are former Marines. My son is one. What there isn’t is an ex-Marine. Unless of course you’re an oath breaker.
The Army granted a West Point-educated officer a rare religious accommodation that will allow him to wear a beard and turban, requirements of his Sikh faith.
Capt. Simratpal Singh, 27, was granted the appearance waiver last week that will allow him to grow his beard and hair and wear a turban through at least Jan. 8, Debra S. Wada, the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, wrote in a Dec. 9 letter. Singh is the fourth Sikh soldier in recent years to be granted such uniform exemptions.
Not to be outdone, the Marine Corps caved on females in combat after the pathetic Ashton Carter made it clear that the conclusion was done before the studies and bitching was ever started, and Commandant Robert Neller joined the chorus.
The top officer of the Marine Corps sent an unequivocal message to troops: It’s time to get behind the mandate to integrate women into combat units.
Gen. Robert Neller released a sternly worded video late Friday, a day after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that all military jobs — including infantry and special forces positions — would be open to female troops by the start of next year.
The commandant tried to feign toughness when he said they are in danger of becoming Gucci gear people.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller is proving to be quite the quotable general.
His way with words was on display last week at the I/ITSEC (Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference) in Orlando, Florida, when he reportedly said, “We’ve allowed ourselves to become Gucci gear people.”
That was his way of saying that military gear has become overly complicated, according to Jen Judson, a reporter for Defense News who attended the show.
Blah, blah, blah, yawn, blah, blah blah. Yea, that’s the problem and that’s the answer. Gear. And take it away and make them use second rate gear. Good grief. I’m unimpressed.
This ain’t your grandfather’s or father’s army or marines. They’re a shell of what they once were, and destined to become worse. And the Air Force is focused on how to stop their football team from praying before games. If you had as your intent to destroy the armed forces of the U.S., what would you have done any differently?
The drill Sergeant and his discipline has no place any more.
A Marine Corps officer who sent classified material from an unclassified email account in an attempt to warn fellow troops about a corrupt Afghan police chief had his honorable discharge upheld on Monday by a senior Navy Department official, The Washington Post reported.
Maj. Jason Brezler’s attorney, Michael Bowe, said the next step is a lawsuit to be filed against the Marine Corps.
“We will now proceed to a real court and prove that Commandant [Gen. James F.] Amos and his generals illegally retaliated against Major Brezler because they were more concerned with politics and their careers than the lives of their Marines and the service of a good Marine who did the right thing,” Bowe told The Post in an emailed statement. “I look forward to their cross-examination.”
Amos was the Marine Corps’ top officer when the investigation into Brezler’s actions began. Brezler attached classified documents to an email alerting fellow marines in August 2012 that Taliban-linked police chief Sarwar Jan was corrupt and sexually abusing kids.
If you aren’t familiar with the case of Major Jason Brezler, you ought to be. Thus does the DoD, and USMC side with murderers, child abusers and pedophiles and against honorable men.
This is to be expected by the likes of the man who made the decision, Juan Garcia, who said:
Leadership at all levels of the organization, by both military and civilians, is essential to eliminating discrimination and encouraging the acceptance of differences … We acknowledge the Department of the Navy LGBT community as a vital force in our work and integral part of our success
“Vital.” An “integral part of our success.” Well damn. I sure am glad this administration is spending time and effort on the right things.
The U.S. Marine Corps is sticking with its Vietnam-era, M40 sniper rifle series, despite complaints from scout snipers who say they need the modern, longer-range weapons used by special-ops snipers.
Marine scout snipers are considered to be among the best snipers in the world, but many are frustrated at the limitations of the current M40A5 sniper rifle. The A5 is based on the Remington M700 short-action design that’s chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO, like the original M40 Marines used in Vietnam.
Seasoned scout snipers are deadly accurate with the A5 out to 1,000 meters.
Elite special operations units use sniper rifles chambered in more potent calibers such as .338 Lapua Magnum, a round that allows snipers to reach out to 1,600 meters.
U.S. Special Operations Command is currently in the final stage of selecting its new Precision Sniper Rifle for all of its sniper teams. USSOCOM awarded contracts to Remington Defense and another company in 2013 to make two different versions of the PSR – a multi-caliber sniper rifle that allows operators to choose .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7.62mm NATO by simply changing barrels assemblies.
The U.S. Army has watched the PSR program, but for now, it is sticking with its Remington M2010 sniper rifle chambered for .300 Win. Mag., a round that allows snipers to engage enemy targets out to 1,200 meters.
Currently, only the most elite Army and Navy special operations units use the MK21 Precision Sniper Rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.
The Corps will be upgrading the fifty-year-old M40 to the A6 version, which appears to be little more than a stock upgrade. Don’t get me wrong; the M40A6 will be a fine platform for inside 1,000 meters, against unarmored targets.
But we simply don’t live in a world where that is is “enough gun” for either anti-material or anti-personnel use, now that so many of our opponents are issuing body armor that can stop the 7.62 NATO round at point-blank range, much less at preferred sniping distances.
Why are the Marines being stuck with using the same short-action cartridge in a military sniping landscape now dominated by magnum-class cartridges?
Factory match-grade ammunition for the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester family is cheap to manufacture, and the military already has tons of it contracted. Upgrading the M40A6 to even another short-action cartridge with better range and down performance such as the 6.5 Creedmoor would cost more than the meager Corps budget allows. Upgrading to a .338 Lapua Magnum, where both the gun and the ammunition cost more?
[ … ]
But snipers only destroy enemy soldiers and equipment, wreck their morale, cripple their battlefield leadership, and take out key infrastructure while providing a protective overwatch for our Marines on the ground and vital real-time intelligence for our commanders. They don’t create post-retirement jobs for generals, nor line the pocket of defense contractors, or contribute to the reelections of politicians.
The Marines on the ground will be forced make do, as they always have, with outdated equipment.
And of course, that’s just how the Marine Corps wants you to think about the issue. Thanks Congress! The problem is that this isn’t the whole story. When the U.S. Marine Corps deployed the 25th MEU to the Persian Gulf in 2008, they deployed several Scout Snipers, one of whom I know. He deployed with a .50 “Sasser.” The Marine Corps armory is full of a broad array of weapons, including not only the .308 rifle for DMs, but the .50 Barrett as well. If a Scout Sniper is qualified to the .50 and chooses to, he can carry it on deployments. Be warned. It has to be taken apart and carried on your back, but you can carry it.
As for the venerable .308, Carlos Hathcock made many of his kills with a .30-06 Winchester Model 70 (albeit not a .308). and only used a .50 (modified M2 for his longest kills). Considering the traditional tactics of stalking, shooting and egress, Hathcock is still the most prolific sniper in U.S. history. The ballistics data shows that there isn’t much difference between the .308 and .30-06, and if I was going to chose a new round to shoot as a Scout Sniper (and it wasn’t going to be the .50), I would probably choose the .300 Win Mag. Of course, none of these compare to the effect of the .50 in range, power or capability against armor. Suffice it to say that if the Marine Scout snipers cannot accomplish kills with their .308 rifles, they can with the .50, and they certainly have access to the large caliber rifle if they want it and are qualified to it. They aren’t left wanting when it comes to firepower.
As for the Marine Corps’s decision to train exclusively with the M4 rather than the M16A2 or M16A4 (via Mike Vanderboegh), it must be remembered that the difference between them in muzzle velocity is negligible. In fact, I cannot imagine having deployed my son to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007, with anything but his SAW or M4 (he was a SAW gunner who sometimes used an M4 if the specific mission called for it). Again, I cannot imagine him having to swing an M1A or M14 through a doorway clearing rooms. It would have been a reprehensible thing to issue something like M1As or AR-10s for CQB (the .308 being much slower to recover sight picture).
The Marine Corps always makes the decisions they need to make to support the mission. When I deployed my son in 2007, his entire Battalion went with M4s, SAWs, M4s with M203 mounted, or Scout Sniper rifles of some sort. The M16s were nowhere to be found. So what’s all this stuff about the Marine Corps leaving the M16 for M4s?
It’s propaganda. The Marine Corps want everyone to think that they are the poorest of the poor, when in reality they threw billions away on the ridiculous EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle), pretending that we are actually going to perform a land invasion from the sea with full armor capabilities like we did in the South Pacific. They Marine Corps has wasted enough money (every MEU is a waste of money) that you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them when it comes to sniper rifles, Owens and his views notwithstanding.
When it comes to the M1A, you should spend some time watching these M1A torture tests.