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Monday, June 27, 2011

G&C at the Front! Commenga Easymag

Cro sent this in from Afghanistan-

So I entered the Connex where my M4 had been stored while I was away and as I always do when entering an arms room, casually glanced around to see what kind of fun toys might be laying around that could make my job a little easier.  The Specialist who had opened the door asked me what I was looking for, and I answered with “just browsing”  We had a short exchange of my enthusiasm for the shooting sports and he reached into a shelf and handed me a small white box saying “ here you will probably like this then, we still have a few left.”  I opened the box and inside was a Commenga easy Mag.   I had seen the magazine advertised in shotgun news for a while and was happy to be able to try one out without having to buy it.  I put it in my ruck sack and began my journey back to my FOB.

After arriving at my tent I was able to examine the EasyMag more closely.  It is an all steel construction, coated black.  The mag is noticeably heavier than the issue GI aluminum mags, and the slot for the magazine catch is milled out of the side wall, but does not create a hole like the Issue mags do.  The magazine is a little longer than the standard issue GI mags, but still fits inside of the standard 2 mag ammo pouch. 

The sliding front section of the magazine can be released by gently but firmly pulling down on the magazine.  When the front section is down it compresses the spring and follower with it, leaving a open tray for the rounds.  The front portion stays in the open position without having to do anything special.  This does make cleaning the interior sidewalls of the magazine easier than the old mags as I was able to take a piece of rag and run it inside instead of swabbing back and forth with a cleaning rod. 

Loading the mag was pretty simple.  I had an ammo can of loose 556 laying around so I just grabbed a bunch of rounds and started tossing them inside of the mag body.  Every 10 or so I gave the back spine of the mag a firm tap with the palm of my hand and the rounds aligned themselves properly allowing me to feed a full 30 inside of the mag.  Once 30 were loaded I grabbed the front part of the magazine and slid It back into position.  It went into place with little resistance until just about fully closed where the spring must have a disconnect because I could feel it releasing and putting the pressure onto the rounds.  

The loaded mag did seem to exhibit a bit more noise than the GI Mags when shaken.  The mag seated with no problems in my M4, and dropped free when the magazine release was pressed.  I was not able to do a range review yet.  It’s a lot harder to schedule a range trip here than back at home, but the mag in my vest and I will run it through the M4 when I get a chance

Did the mag save me time in loading it?  To be honest I don’t know.  I have been loading mags for so long that it’s just kind of second nature to me.  Now did it make it easier to ul-load the mags?  Yes!  I just had to pull the front down and tilt the mag to drop all the rounds into a box.  Now If My ammo is issued on strippers why wouldn’t I just load all my mags on stripper clips?  Well I don’t empty my mags by shooting them all.  Routine maintenance has me un-loading them and cleaning and lightly oiling them along with each round before re-loading the mags.  Believe it or not it’s pretty dusty here.  Now I have never found disassembly of GI mags difficult, but this is definitely easier.  Can the EasyMag be fully disassembled?  I do not know, I didn’t try. 

Would I want them to replace my GI Issue mags?  No.  they are heavier, and they are a little noisier.  But then again I have not completely drank the cool-aid yet and I still use the standard aluminum mags instead of buying p-mags like many of the other guys here.  Why would I stick with GI mags?  Well I have brand new mags in the wrapper that I got at the beginning of the deployment, and I have rarely had issues with Issue mags that I was able to inspect beforehand.  Also I have access to more magazines than I would ever use here,  If I have to leave a mag its not a big deal.  All of the extra ammo I have in my truck is in loaded mags, and it’s a lot of loaded mags. 

Now for a day at the range I think this is a good system if you just have a couple mags and a bunch of boxes of ammo like I often do.  You will save your thumbs a lot of stress with these magazines, and especially if you shoot in sub zero weather in Wisconsin.  The loss of dexterity will not be as greatly affected by this style of magazine.  I personally would not drop this mag  onto a hard surface a lot, but that’s just me.  At $15 dollars a pieces, which is what I found on cheaper than dirt, it’s the same as a p-mag.  Also they do have a NSN for those of you that want the taxpayers to get you yours for trying out before you buy it yourself.


Owen said...

You should not be lubricating your ammo at all. When the cartridge is fired, the brass casing is supposed to grip the chamber walls. This seals the gasses in the bore and reduces the forces on the bolt. Lubing the ammo can lead to things like premature bolt failure and blown cartrdge cases.

atlharp said...

I would recommend looking at the Troy Battlemags. They are much like Pmags, but do not have that annoying habit of having rounds getting parallel near the top and not allowing your mag to seat. About the same price as Pmags, and just as durable. This isn't a knock on Pmags, they are good mags as well.

Fred said...

I do have a couple of the Troy mags in the cycle right now. Give me a couple months to beat them up.

Drang said...

Maybe I'm not following your description of the procedure to "open" the mag, any possibility of doing this with the mag in the rifle? I became well acquainted with Sergeant Murphy during my 20... (I once had to load a mag by feel in the dark during an FTX, managed to cram all the rounds into the mag backwards!)

Fred said...

That's also my largest concern, the possibility of catching the front when inserting it in the rifle and opening the front halfway up.

Hopefully Cro will be able to expand on the likelihood, either that or I'll break down and add one to the pile-o-mags myself.