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Thread: Tapping magazines on your helmet... What's the point?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    When you are executing IMT (Individual Movement Techniques) the rounds in the loaded magazines in your pouches can shift around. Tapping the mag against a hard surface can help push the individual rounds back against the rear of the magazine and aid in reliability. Since most Soldiers don't IMT with a combat load, most of the time this is a useless gesture, though.
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  • #12
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    Above statement is correct, it shouldn't be done to "look cool". When I was in the Marines I did it all the time, government magazines are horrible enough as it is, it does have a purpose, I used my knees sometimes, but most of the time I used my helmet. If the rounds aren't seated in the back of the magazine properly, there is a greater chance for a weapon malfunction.

    The better solution: buy pmags

  • #13
    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    USGI magazines as issued are extremely reliable. The problem is that most Soldiers/Sailors/Marines/Airmen do a LOUSY job of taking care of them - and the same goes for armorers. You can't take critical equipment (and magazines ARE critical) and fail to maintain it, neglect it, and throw it in a box to sit before reissuing it to another Serviceman (as is standard practice for ALL armorers I've known) - and expect it to work well. The same problem is the reason the M9 pistol has a reputation for being unreliable - nobody bothers to pull maintenance on the magazines, and then people wonder why they have failures to feed (primarily), extract or eject - and blame it on the weapon. I was the Range Safety Officer on an M9 qualification range 3 weeks ago, and we had 21 people qualify - with ZERO failures, primarily due to following basic maintenance and lubrication guidelines - and even those turned out to be spotty, as we ended up having unprepped magazines thrown into the mix. We still had no failures of any kind - which i attribute to the pistols being properly lubed.

    I have had no problems relying on USGI magazines. I also own PMags - both with and without windows - and Lancer magazines, HK civilian magazines, UKGI mags - both before and after the HK contract, Orlite magazines, and a couple of others - and I have yet to see a clear winner in terms of reliability. If anything, my recent experience shows me that brand new USGI magazines should be disassembled, cleaned and re-lubricated and manually cycled through 30 round or so before use - as we had brand new magazines for our recent M4 ARF qualification range, and the first firing order saw increased malfunctions, making me think these mags required some use to get a degree of 'wearing in' to be reliable.
    Last edited by Grunt Medic TXARNG; 08-05-2011 at 08:06 PM.
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    Not to cause conflict, but I guarentee if you put your index finger in an empty mag and push down on the spring towards the front, the spring will get stuck. That doesn't happen with mags that have better springs. Not to mention all the mags we got in the Marine Corps, were handmedowns. So some of them were rusted weak failing springs since the second we got them. New mags work, but old mags...don't rely on them, I still say PMAGs or any Mags featuring double springs are more reliable, and when your life and others is on the line, that's when it counts. I do distinctively remember though there was no training on magazine care ever in my career, I just saw some people doing it and learned from them.

  • #15
    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    No conflict, Matty - Heck, you can flat disagree with me and I'll respect you, although I may politely debate you on your reasoning. The windowed PMAG I have disassembled in my lap has a single spring just like my issued USGI magazines. There have been several generations of USGI magazines over the 24 years I've been in - from black to green to tan and now orange followers, with different designs made to reduce tilt and aid in reliability. I agree that during USMC boot camp we were given little if any instruction on how to care for the magazines - but in '87 we hadn't yet widely realized that the majority of failures were being caused by the mags. When I got to my second unit, a Reserve infantry weapons platoon, we had quite a few old timers including an OIC who was a Vietnam vet and he made DAMNED sure we took care to verify that our magazines were cleaned, lubricated and free of rust!
    68W4P, 31B4P, 0341, 0844
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    "Even if you know that a certain illustration in an art book is from the Kama Sutra, don't point that out to your art history class. They will think you're a pervert." - seen at learnfrommyfail.com

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    I agree with proper care they will work, but we had a box (bad magazine box) just full of gi mags with weak springs. I guess it's more of a comfort feeling, knowing I bought my mags new and I took care of them, as opposed to some tird bird who didn't take care of them and you can see rust on the springs when you are issued them

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    We had a hard rule that all before entering into a possible combat deployment that all magazines were inspected by Squad Leaders & Platoon Sgts & those that were questionable were replaced or repaired if possible & tested. Then it was up to the individual Soldier to maintain them. Magazine problems were at a minimum. (I think the bad ones were sent to the Marine Corps, lol.)
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    The gun writers I trust all recommend the same solution to a magazine that gives you problems - put it on a concrete surface, smash it flat with a hammer, and replace it. replacement springs are an option for GI mags that have taken a 'set' from being stored loaded for too long - although with the newest manufacturing techniques the latest generation of magazines (like Pmags) can be left loaded with no problems.
    68W4P, 31B4P, 0341, 0844
    24 years and DONE!!!

    "Even if you know that a certain illustration in an art book is from the Kama Sutra, don't point that out to your art history class. They will think you're a pervert." - seen at learnfrommyfail.com

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    I always thought it was to line up all the rounds, then my dad who fired many a BAR in WW2 explained that it was to shake the powder up inside the rounds because sometimes the primer port in the base of a round would get fouled.
    It's just good juju for both i guess.

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    Why are you reviving a long dead thread?
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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