By David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
December 29, 2008
If you’re looking for an alternative to standard USGI 30-round AR-15/M16 magazines, but you’d prefer to stick with metal mags instead of going polymer with the MagPul PMAG, TangoDown ARC mag, or Lancer Systems L5 Translucent Polymer Mag for your tactical AR-15 carbine, Fusil-USA, LLC has just the thing for you. The patent-pending Fusil magazine (30 rounds, 4179 STANAG) is made from spring steel and weighs 6 ounces (6 oz), which is 2 ounces (2 oz) heavier than a standard USGI aluminum AR-15/M16 30-round mag, which weighs 4 ounces (4 oz). By comparison, the Heckler & Koch (HK) "High-Reliability" 30-Round Steel Magazine weighs 8.64 ounces (8.64 oz), which is over 2.5 ounces (2.5 oz) heavier than the Fusil mag.
The Fusil 30-round Spring-Steel Magazine was initially introduced at SHOT Show 2008, and, as it turns out, DefenseReview received one of these magazines from CMMG owner Jeff Overstreet while we were at his booth. We actually…
forgot about this acquisition until recently when we spoke with Dennis Carroll of Fusil USA on the phone. We’d been referred to Mr. Carroll by our friend and professional contact, National Tactical 3-Gun champion shooter Taran Butler. Anyway, after one of our conversations with Mr. Carroll, we recalled being given a metal AR mag at SHOT Show 2008 from Mr. Overstreet, so we went into a box of SHOT Show goodies and found it. And, sure enough, it was a Fusil mag! Somehow, it had gotten lost in the shuffle, buried in the plethora of products with which we were inundated at the show.
Needless to say, we’re going to try to try to get our hands on a few more Fusil mags so we can do a serious T&E (test and evaluation) on them. We’re also going to try to get several into the hands of several of our professional/industry contacts to assist us in T&E’ing them for reliability and durability/ruggedness. Ruggedness shouldn’t be a problem, as the Fusil mag is, according to the Fusil-USA website, "the only steel one-piece MIG-welded magazine available anywhere in the world today and offers incomparable strength, reliability, and endurance." The company also claims that the Fusil mag "sets a new higher standard for 30-round magazines."
We’ll see. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding, especially after our industry friend and professional contact Mike Pannone (a.k.a. Michael Pannone) gets his hands on a bunch of them and runs them through the ringer–and his ringer is tough. DefRev’s professional contacts Ferdie Sy of FERFRANS Specialties and consultant Chen Lee a.k.a. "SMGLee" also have pretty serious tactical-product-testing regimens, so we’re going to try to get a few Fusil mags to them, as well.
In the meantime, here are some Fusil magazine specs and pricing:
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO)/.223 Rem.
Weight: 6 ounces (170 grams) Max.
Size: Same as standard USGI AR-15/M16/M4/M4A1 Mags (Fits in standard mag pouches.)
Material: 1050 Steel (Body, Follower, Floorplate and Retainer) 17-7 Stainless Spring
Heat Treatment: Nitride to Rc 60 Surface (Diamond Hard / Scratch Resistant for 2 to 3 microns)
Crush Weight: 1,000 pounds min. (300 pound unlimited number of cycles)
Salt Fog: 96 hours without additional coatings
Warranty: Two-year limited for defects in material and workmanship
Care: Periodically disassemble, clean and lightly lubricate with CLP or equivalent per MIL-L-63460 (lubricant should be allowed to dry to prevent sand and dust accumulation)
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): $39.95
Editor’s Note: Retired U.S. Army Special Forces (SF) operator and active tactical instructor (and DefenseReview professional contact) Mike Pannone (a.k.a. Michael Pannone) told us on the phone that he really likes the aforementioned Lancer Systems L5 Translucent Magazine (polymer magazine), and has had very positive experiences with them. According to him, the Lancer L5 translucent polymer mag works as advertised. However, although he says it’s good in its current state, he has recommended a few slight modifications to Lancer Systems in order to make it even better-suited to his personal operational needs and requirements. Mike’s got A LOT of trigger time behind M4/M4A1 carbines (and semi-auto AR-15 tactical carbines). Defense Review has not tested the Lancer L5 mag, yet, but we plan to do so, soon.
Company Contact Info:
M4/M4A1 Carbine Reliability Issues: Why They Occur, and Why They’re Our Fault! (By Michael Pannone a.k.a. Mike Pannone)
Tactical Response ‘Fighting Rifle’ Tactical Shooting Course Review (By Chen Lee a.k.a. "SMGLee")
Colt Advanced Piston Carbine (APC): Meet Colt’s New Piston-Driven HK416 Killer