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Old December 29, 2019, 12:02 PM   #1
cjwils
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Military magazine capacity

I should already know this, but what was the capacity of standard military issue magazines used with the M-16 during the Vietnam era? Is that still the standard for most US military rifle magazines?
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Old December 29, 2019, 12:10 PM   #2
dontcatchmany
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We had M16s with 30 round magazines but put only 28 in them...for some reason.

I mostly carried an M14. Most magazines hasd 20 round capacity, but we has some that were 30 round capacity. Again loaded at 28 for the 30s and 19 for the 20s.

Do not remember why we short loaded...probably jams.....that was just the way it was....lol!

Dang I would love to have one of thos M14s from then. And of course the automatic capability. I would sleep with it nightly as I did in Vietnam and have it buried with me.
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Old December 29, 2019, 12:16 PM   #3
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I was in RVN in late '68/'69 and we only had 20rd mags back then, and yes, we downloaded them to 18-19 because of the rust and dirt issues we had. In Germany, before I went to RVN in late '67/'68, we had M14s and we only had 20rd mags.
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Old December 29, 2019, 01:17 PM   #4
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I was in Vietnam between 1969-1970. We all had 20 round mags, I never saw anything else. Many loaded 18 rounds in the mags but I know many of us did not.

May have been different for anyone out in the field but I was in aviation. Never had to go through swamps or mud so maybe that was the reason I had no problems loading 20 rounds.
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Old December 29, 2019, 02:51 PM   #5
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Served from 2004-2011 we had 30rnd mags and we didnt down load them. We did have some 20 round mags we used during training exercises with either blanks or painted blue for use with sim rounds.
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Old December 29, 2019, 05:23 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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Many local agencies still download to 28 rounds. The original black follower and green follower USGI magazines were so tightly packed with 30 rounds that they could be difficult to load with the bolt forward (even with a vigorous slap, the magazine sometimes wouldn’t seat and would drop out after the first round was fired).

Thus the push-pull mag change Pat Rogers used to teach, loading 28 rounds, etc. Magpul PMAGs, third generation USGI mags with the tan follower, H&K mags, and several other aftermarket magazines are all a tiny bit longer where that is no longer an issue and hasn’t been for over a decade now.

If there is any other practical reason to download AR mags, I haven’t come across it. But like a lot of gun stuff, what was once recommended continues on as superstition long after it is no longer necessary (like leaving an empty chamber under the hammer of a revolver with a transfer bar safety).
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Old December 30, 2019, 07:33 AM   #7
imashooter
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68-70. "Unofficial" combat load was 18 in a 20-round magazine. Everyone I knew / saw loaded 20. I say unofficial because that's what was stressed from boot through AIT to final assignment.
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Old December 30, 2019, 03:08 PM   #8
raimius
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Original mags were 20rds. Current standard is 30rds, except for the USMC--they are also handing out some 60rd drums (not sure the ratio, but something like 5x 30s and a 60, I think.)
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Old December 30, 2019, 03:09 PM   #9
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M16 =20rnds M16A1=20rnds later 30. All others after 30rnd standard.

Quote:
The original black follower and green follower USGI magazines were so tightly packed with 30 rounds that they could be difficult to load with the bolt forward (even with a vigorous slap, the magazine sometimes wouldn’t seat and would drop out after the first round was fired).
This was a problem with the 20nd mags too. Officially the mags were either 20 or 30 but we were all "advised" to down load them a round or two, "for reliability". Some did, some didn't.

Here's an "old trick" used by some of us with the 20nd mags, they fit in your GI shirt pocket (and you could button the flap). yeah more crap to carry, but if you didn't have your web gear on, you still had a little ammo in reach.
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