Dear Preppers and Survivalists,
United States Military
Before I begin today's article, I need to remind you: Without magazines, a semi-automatic rifle is a single shot rifle.
So, ... Stock up!
With that said, .. Let us begin.
Both sizes of magazine are still available from several sources.
But, ... There were problems with the early magazines' reliability. It seemed the original follower would 'jam' or 'tilt' causing the rifle to malfunction.
These United States military developed a solution. They added a front 'leg' to the follower.
Like any good improvement, more followed.
These United States' military quickly learned that one 'leg' wasn't enough, so they added a second rear leg and improved the spring by making it heavier and more corrosion resistant. Needless to say, you can quickly tell each improvement by looking at the color of the magazine follower.
Black, Green, Tan, and ... Yellow
Originally, I was going to highlight each magazine follower with individual pictures. As you can see, it didn't happen.
As you can see from the picture, I don't have an example of the military's 'new' tan magazine follower because I'm not in the military anymore ; - )
With that gleefully said, ... Here is a picture with different views of the various magazine followers.
But, ...What about for you, the prepper?
First, the black magazine followers should be replaced immediately with improved followers.
Second, magazines with green followers are still serviceable (usable). They should still be used by you and your family.
Lastly, 20 and 30-round magazines with tan military or yellow (now in 'foliage green,' too) aftermarket magazine followers should be purchased in the future.
If you're like me, and bought a lot of magazines when they were inexpensive, you can purchase Magpul followers from several sources. (Brownells) (Midway USA)
Wikipedia - M-16 Rifle: Magazine
PEO Soldier Live - Army’s Improved Magazine Increases Weapons Reliability: “Tan is the Plan” for the New Magazine
Triangle Tactical.net - AR-15 Magazine Followers: Magpul vs. Brownells' USGI Tan
Midway USA - MagPul Enhanced Self Leveling Magazine Follower AR-15 Polymer Package of 3
Not Part of the Narrative
As always, some of the pictures didn't fit the articles.
As you can see, the color of the magazine follower is easy to identify while it is still installed in the magazine.
They were replaced with yellow Magpul enhanced self-leveling magazine followers that I received as Christ's Mass gifts.
After replacement, these obsolete followers were thrown in the trash because they are less then useless. They are dangerous.
O.K. That's a little hyperbole, but you get the point. Right?
I forgot to mention, yesterday. You might want to stock up on a few extra magazine springs "If" you're planning for a longer-term event.
Say, ... one spare magazine spring per magazine that you own and one magazine floor plate for every five magazines you own.
Almost lastly, if you plan to buy magazine bodies, you might as well buy complete magazines with spare springs and floor plates.
Lastly, if you replace the improved green followers with the 'new' improved enhanced anti-tilt follower, you might want to save the green followers as spares ; - )