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DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5-60 and MAG5-100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) “Quad-Stack” AR Rifle Magazines: 60-Round/Shot and 100-Round/Shot AR (AR-15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly-Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All Sorts

DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5-60 and MAG5-100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) “Quad-Stack” AR Rifle Magazines: 60-Round/Shot and 100-Round/Shot AR (AR-15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly-Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All Sorts

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pf button both DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All Sorts

By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

December 3, 2010
Last updated on 9/25/13.

SureFire MAG5 60 HCM High Capacity Magazine 60 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 1 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsSince DefenseReview (DR) has been covering polymer AR magazines in our previous two stories, it's only fair that we publish one on some very cool enhanced-capacity metal mags (aluminum mags)–and this one's a biggie, folks. O.k., he're we go: SureFire is getting into the tactical rifle magazine game with a vengeance; They'll be debuting two very-high-capacity, expendable 4179 STANAG aluminum AR mags (AR-15/M16 rifle magazines) at SHOT Show 2011. One is a 60-shot (60-round) box mag called the MAG5-60 HCM, and the other is a 100-shot (100-round) box mag called the MAG5-100 HCM. "HCM" stands for "High Capacity Magazine". Both Surefire HCM's are 4×2 "quad-stack" configuration, and are designed to be even more reliable than current standard MILSPEC USGI 30-round mags.

The SureFire HCMs, currently available at Brownells (9/25/13), are the result of a previously-secret program run by SureFire in (invaluable) partnership with the dynamic duo of Jim Sullivan (L. James Sullivan) and Bob Waterfield of ArmWest, Inc. Mr. Sullivan is a pretty lengendary figure in the military infantry small arms design and development field. He's essentially the modern day equivalent of a John Browning or Hiram Maxim. For example, Sullivan co-designed and developed the Armalite AR-15/M16 (M16A1) rifle, the original 20-round 5.56mm box magazine (4179 STANAG), and the 55-grain M193 5.56x45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO) cartridge. He's also designed and developed a number of other well-known and successful military infantry and tactical firearms, since then. Sullivan and Waterfield designed and developed the ST Kinetics Ultimax 100 LMG/SAW/IAR and it's proprietary (and reliable) 100-round drum magazine for the Singaporese Army, in the late 1970s. Sullivan and Waterfield are masters at their craft, and probably the best and most experienced infantry small arms/tactical firearms design and development team in the world. Surefire made a very wise decision in strategically teaming with ArmWest, and they deserve tremendous credit just for that. It says a lot about the intelligence and forward thinking of SureFire's leadership (Dr. John Matthews).

SureFire MAG5 100 HCM High Capacity Magazine 100 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 1 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsAnyway, the SureFire High Capacity Magazines have the potential to be real game-changers by providing significantly increased immediate firepower to U.S. infantry warfighters, particularly for dynamic, high-round-count full-auto engagements, thereby increasing their chances of survival in combat. “Our men and women fighting overseas are engaged in an evolving battle where needs are constantly changing,” said SureFire Chief Administrative Officer, Joel Smith. “The threat comes from every direction and often by surprise. These high-capacity magazines will make our soldiers better prepared for the next evolution of defense [defensive] tactics.“ SureFire's Marketing Director, Derek McDonald, has reportedly referred to the new high-cap mags as "anti-ambush" mags, although DR prefers the term "counter-ambush", since it sounds better, and is the traditional term. If you find yourself in an ambush, God forbid, you obviously want as much immediate firepower on-hand as possible, as the outcome of the fight can be decided in 30 seconds or less.

According to SureFire:

In battle, it takes the average soldier 4 seconds to reload their weapon and reacquire a target; time that could be spent engaging threat targets. At best, 30-round magazines allow an individual soldier to fire no more than 150 rounds in 30 seconds.*

 

SureFire MAG5 60 HCM High Capacity Magazine 60 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 3 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsSureFire's 60-Round Magazine increases that figure to 240 rounds. And its 100-Round Magazine: 293 rounds. This magazine is also meant to increase the effectiveness of group that intends to give full-auto firepower to their operators.

In addition to enabling the warfighter to dramatically increase his full-auto and semi-auto firepower-per-minute (FPM) capability, the SureFire HCMs' 4×2 "quad-stack" configuration and other special design aspects allow them to be stored indefinitely while fully-loaded, since they won't take a spring set. This means that they can be pre-loaded to full capacity at the factory (either at Surefire or any of the various ammo manufacturers) and stored as long as the military ball powder and environmental conditions will safely allow, before they can be supplied to infantry warfighters/soldiers on the battlefield. The goal is for infantry warfighters/soldiers to be able to pull fully-loaded/pre-loaded Surefire HCM's out of the crates, load one into the weapon (probably the 60-shot version), load some spare mags into their mag pouches, and go fight. When the mags are used up, the warfighter can either discard them (thus the "expendable", aspect) or save, reload, and re-use them, just like with any 30-round MILSPEC USGI AR-15/M16/M4/M4A1 mag.

SureFire MAG5 100 HCM High Capacity Magazine 100 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 3 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsIt would seem logical that the SureFire MAG5-60 60-rounder is likely to be the most popular HCM mag with assault rifle/carbine-armed infantry riflemen and IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle) gunners. However, the SureFire MAG5-100 HCM could potentially find favor with IAR guners, where an ultra-high-level of immediate firepower may be welcome. Both mags would appear to be well-suited to the IAR role, and may assist mag-fed IAR-type weapons in supplanting the belt-fed FN M249 SAW for a number of infantry combat applications.

Regardless, the 60-rounder doubles the warfigher's immediate firepower with a fairly reasonable size and weight deficit (approx. 1 lb) versus a standard 30-round USGI mag. The 60-shot MAG5-60 weighs 2.02 lbs fully loaded, which is about 8 ounces (8 oz) less than two (2) 30-round mags clipped together with a Redi-Mag, according to Mr. McDonald. In fact, the additional weight of the fully-loaded HCMs should logically aid both semi-auto and full-auto weapon controllability, at least until they (mags) start running low on rounds.

While the MAG5-100 HCM looks a bit long in length–let's face it, no one's gonna' be goin' traditional prone with it (only "urban prone" will be possible)–and weighs 3.3 lbs fully loaded, it's DefenseReview's understanding that Marines that test-fired both magazines often ended up asking for another 100-rounder (unconfirmed/unverified report, and did NOT come from PM-ICE or PM-IWS). Hmh.

By the way, military operators aren't the only ones who can potentially benefit from the new SureFire enhanced-capacity mags. DR sees the 60-shot magazine potentially becoming popular with both law enforcement officers (LEOs), citizen/civilian tactical shooters, and 3-Gun competitors. Four Surefire 3-Gun shooters, including Barry Dueck, reportedly used SureFire MAG5-60 mags at Fort Benning 3-Gun (FB3G) Challenge 2010 (unconfirmed/unverified). The Surefire MAG5-60 would be a logical choice for dynamic, high-round-count select-fire/full-auto tactical rifle/carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) training scenarios (tactical rifle courses) that stress a combination of high-speed tactical and technical semi-auto AND full-auto shooting, unless of course one wants to practice a lot of speed reloads.

Defense Review would like to run some MAG5-60 and MAG5-100 sample mags at at the range as soon as possible, so we can follow this article up with a range test and review. DR is particularly interested in how the two mags effect weapon balance and handling, and that has to be tested first-hand.  

DR would also like to know if the Surefire/Armwest R&D team can design and develop reliable SR-25-config 30-shot (30-round) and/or 40-shot (40-round) 7.62x51mm/.308 Win. HCMs for the AR-10-type battle rifles like the Colt CM901 modular battle rifle and KAC M110 SASS (Semi-Automatic Sniper System)/MK11 SWS (Sniper Weapon System)/SR-25.

In the meantime, stay tuned!

Estimated MSRP is $129 for the MAG5-60 60-rounder and $179 for the MAG5-100 100-rounder. Not exactly cheap, but prices will probably come down a bit as production numbers increase (DR's guess), over time, just like with many other new products.

Addendum 9/25/13: The SureFire MAG5-60 60-rounder is currently available at Brownells for $111.30 USD, and the SureFire MAG5-100 100-rounder is currently available at Brownells for $139.30 USD.

SureFire MAG5 60 HCM High Capacity Magazine 60 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 2 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsSureFire High Capacity Magazine Specifications:

SureFire MAG5-60 HCM Specs:
Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
Capacity: 60 Rounds
Height: 8.7" / 22.1 cm
Width: 1.66" / 4.2 cm, .88" / 2.2 cm
Weight-Empty: 6.4 ounces / 181 grams
Weight-Fully Loaded: 2.02 lbs / 920 grams
Box Material: 6000 Series Aluminum
Follower Material: Nylon
Construction: Spot Welded
Finish/Color: MIL-L-46010 (Grey)

SureFire MAG5 100 HCM High Capacity Magazine 100 Shot AR 15 M16 Box Magazine 2 DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5 60 and MAG5 100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) Quad Stack AR Rifle Magazines: 60 Round/Shot and 100 Round/Shot AR (AR 15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All SortsSureFire MAG5-100 HCM Specs:
Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
Capacity: 100 Rounds
Height: 12.2" / 31 cm
Width: 1.66" / 4.2 cm, .88" / 2.2 cm
Weight-Empty: 9.6 ounces / 272 grams
Weight-Fully Loaded: 3.3 lbs / 1.5 kg
Box Material: 6000 Series Aluminum
Follower Material: Nylon
Construction: Spot Welded
Finish/Color: MIL-L-46010 (Grey)

Standard MILSPEC USGI 30-Round Magazine Specs (data provided by SureFire):
Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
Height: 7.1”
Width: 0.88”
Weight-Empty: 3.9 ounces
Weight-Fully Loaded: 1.06lb/16.9 oz

DefenseReview received the following information on the new SureFire HCMs from SureFire:

"In the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a soldier’s ability to respond to an attack with overwhelming force is critical. Ambushes are commonplace and the outcome of the ambush is often determined in the first 30 seconds. Firepower and the ability to stay in the fight are key.

SureFire’s High Capacity Magazines are designed to provide the war fighter with 60 or 100 rounds of ammunition in a single magazine, thereby decreasing the number of reloads a soldier must perform and increasing the number of rounds available to a soldier to engage threat targets.

In battle, it takes the average soldier 4 seconds to reload their weapon and reacquire a target; time that could be spent engaging threat targets. At best, 30-round magazines allow an individual soldier to fire no more than 150 rounds in 30 seconds.*

SureFire’s 60-Round Magazine increases that figure to 240 rounds. And its 100-Round Magazine: 293 rounds. This magazine is also meant to increase the effectiveness of group that intends to give full-auto firepower to their operators. Estimated MSRP is $129 for the 60-round and $179 for the 100-round.

Do I have to download my magazine to seat it in the weapon with the bolt closed?
A. No. SureFire HCMs will fit into the host weapon with the bolt closed when loaded with the maximum round count. The design of the magazine takes into account the allowable tolerances of cartridges manufactured to NATO and SAAMI specifications.

Q. Will my 60 round magazine fit into my nylon gear for 30 round magazines?
A. The SureFire MAG5-60 will fit into most nylon pouches with Velcro cover flaps intended for two 30 round magazines. Double magazine pouches with stitched partitions may require alteration.

Q. Will SureFire be offering nylon pouches for these magazines?
A. Yes. Product specifics and pricing is still to be determined.

Q. Can SureFire HCM’s be disassembled for cleaning?
A. Yes, the SureFire HCMs can be disassembled for periodic cleaning or as required. A punch, the tip of a cartridge or common tool can be used to remove the floor plate from the magazine body.

Q. What dealers will have access to HCM’s?
A. Authorized SureFire dealers in states with no high capacity regulations. Rules and processes are being developed for dealers located in states with regulations (CA, HI, IL, MD, MA, NY, OH, DC)."

DefenseReview readers may remember our article on MagPul's developmental 4×2 quad-stack mag, which we published in June (2010). It'll be interesting to see how the developmental MaPul hi-cap mag stacks up (excuse the pun) against Surefire's 60-rounder, and vice versa, when it (MagPul quad-stack) makes it to market. SureFire has a number of built-in advantages, though: Surefire got their product to market first, they're a larger company than MagPul, and they have the ArmWest design/development team assisting them.

Photo(s) Credit: SureFire

Company Contact Info:

SureFire, LLC
18300 Mount Baldy Circle
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Toll Free: 800-828-8809
Phone: 714-545-9444
Fax: 714-545-9537
Customer Service Email: [email protected]
International Sales Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.surefire.com

© Copyright 2010 DefenseReview.com. All rights reserved. This content/material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without first receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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DR Exclusive!: SureFire MAG5-60 and MAG5-100 High Capacity Magazine (HCM) “Quad-Stack” AR Rifle Magazines: 60-Round/Shot and 100-Round/Shot AR (AR-15/M16) 5.56mm NATO Box Magazines for Significantly-Increased Firepower during Infantry Combat and Tactical Engagements of All Sorts by
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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

8 comments

  1. I have nothing but respect for the small arms designers mentioned in the article, but because it was not mentioned in the article I’d like to say that this design looks to be a US version of the Izhmash quad-stack 50- and 60-round magazines developed for the AK-74M, which have been in limited production since at least the late 1990′s. I have been told some rare examples of the Russian quad magazines have been procured by some US manufacturers.

  2. To choose the right tactical gear is really hard. Recently I have tried to choose a tactical flashlight. Many companies produce various LED tactical flashlights and sometimes we think what light is better or even the best. A month ago I purchased Armytek Predator 670 lumens and happy that this light met all my needs. The price is not high, about $100. It’s good for this well made and multifunctional light. Variety of modes attracts me because I can choose any mode I need.

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