The Pentagon has clarified the Army’s stance on a recent safety message that effectively banned a certain high-performance, commercial M4 magazine, which means soldiers can keep using their PMAGs.
The confusion began when Army officials from the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command issued a message in April, declaring that the only government-issued aluminum magazines were authorized for use in the M4 and M16 rifles.
TACOM officials released the message to address reports of Army units using “unauthorized” commercial, polymer magazines such as the popular PMAG, introduced by Magpul Industries Corp., in 2007. The decision left combat troops puzzled, since the PMAG has demonstrated its extreme reliability in combat and has an Army-approved national stock number, which allows units to order them through the Army supply system.
Army officials acknowledged June 6 that TACOM’s message was poorly written and not intended as a directive on the use of PMAGs. Matthew Bourke, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon responding to questions from Mililtary.com, said the message should have included guidance that the final decision rests with commanders in the field.
“At best, the message is incomplete; at worst the message allows soldiers to jump to the wrong conclusions,” Bourke said. “Maintenance Information Messages [from TACOM] are permissive. They are not an order. They are not a directive. All content and direction in those messages are optional for the recipient.”
Read the rest of the article: