G&R Tactical

View Poll Results: Enhanced Performance Magazines are...

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  • The best USGI mag ever!

    3 23.08%
  • The worst USGI mag ever.

    0 0%
  • No better or worse than previous USGI mags.

    7 53.85%
  • Okay if you have M855A1, but useless otherwise.

    3 23.08%
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Thread: Questions about M855A1

  1. #1
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    Questions about M855A1

    1. Why is it so horrifically expensive, given that it costs about the same as M855 to make?

    2. Will the price come down eventually? If so, how long will it take?

    3. What is the opinion on this forum of the enhanced performance magazine? Is it really more reliable like the Army says, or complete crap like the Marines say? Or is it no better or worse than previous USGI pattern mags?

    4. Re the EPMs, is OKAY still making them, or is Center Industries now the only supplier? I can only find Center Industries EPMs for sale, and would obviously prefer OKAY.

    5. Despite being fugly as hell, is it correct to say that the Surefeed E2 is basically a civilian version of the EPM? Better than the EPM? Or am I comparing apples and oranges?

  2. #2
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    My guess on cost is because of availability - I donít think Iíve ever actually seen it for sale commercially. I have not used the EPM as they are reported to be unreliable. I have a slide somewhere that shows increased failure rate over M3 PMAGs. While some of it wasnít the mags fault, I believe the M3s are superior either way, so might as well stick to using those. Iím not aware of any of my coworkers having issues with theirs, but theyíve seen very limited use so far. I was pretty impressed with the accuracy of A1.


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  3. #3
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    I would like to get some factory loaded stuff as well as some projectiles and load some of my own at acceptable pressures,from what I hear itís pretty hot stuff.
    I founds projectiles for 1$ a piece...still a little to high for me,iíd Pay .50$ a piece just to try and make up my own @ around 3,000ish fps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milspec78 View Post
    I would like to get some factory loaded stuff as well as some projectiles and load some of my own at acceptable pressures,from what I hear it’s pretty hot stuff.
    I founds projectiles for 1$ a piece...still a little to high for me,i’d Pay .50$ a piece just to try and make up my own @ around 3,000ish fps.
    I heard the pressure thing was blown out of proportion. Crane basically said that the breakages were due to using relatively short barrels and an intense firing schedule, and indicated that M855 would have produced the same breakage rate given that same firing schedule.

    Either way, bolts are cheap, especially when compared to how much ammo you would have to shoot to actually break one. And I wouldn't be shooting it full time, either. I would sight in with it, do some reliability testing, and then switch back to whatever's cheapest for the range.

    But when M855A1 gets affordable, I will be stacking that shit deep. I don't think it's quite dawned on people how great it is yet. It's not just better than M855. For all around performance, it's better than anything else on the market. Just incredible stuff.

  5. #5
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    Here's something I've been wondering about M855A1 for a while: I don't have a complete understanding of how the US military classifies it's equipment, so why does the nomenclature of M855A1 seem to essentially designate it as a derivative/improvement of M855 when as far as I can tell, the M855A1 is quite distinct in it's specifications, It seems like it is as different from standard M855 as M855 is from, say M193 for instance. Given it's relative uniqueness compared to other 5.56 loadings in the US inventory, I'm surprised it would'nt warrant a more distinctive designation, such as, just as an example, "M998" or something.
    Last edited by Circle_10; 04-01-19 at 12:14.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle_10 View Post
    Here's something I've been wondering about M855A1 for a while: I don't have a complete understanding of how the US military classifies it's equipment, so why does the nomenclature of M855A1 seem to essentially designate it as a derivative/improvement of M855 when as far as I can tell, the M855A1 is quite distinct in it's specifications, It seems like it is as different from standard M855 as M855 is from, say M193 for instance. Given it's relative uniqueness compared to other 5.56 loadings in the US inventory, I'm surprised it would'nt warrant a more distinctive designation, such as, just as an example, "M998" or something.
    I think everyone is wondering that. It almost has to be political. Like whoever designated it did it to mislead people into thinking it was just an updated M855. I think that's a big part of why people aren't all over it like flies on a dogpile. It just hasn't dawned on them yet that it's in no way related to M855. Because of the name, I imagine lots of people are thinking it's just more M855 crap that icepicks and can't hit the broad side of a barn. It's ironic that the best round ever developed by the military shares the same designation as the worst round ever developed by them. Or anyone for that matter...

  7. #7
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    Why stick with the M855A1 designation? Probably because it is a general issue round whereas the M99x series are unique use rounds and are far more costly in their manufacturing. In other words it makes ordering for resupply easier for the whole chain of approval.
    Last edited by MorphCross; 04-01-19 at 13:05.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by okie View Post
    3. What is the opinion on this forum of the enhanced performance magazine? Is it really more reliable like the Army says, or complete crap like the Marines say? Or is it no better or worse than previous USGI pattern mags?
    I would call them no better or really worse than the previous tan follower mag, but just optimized for M855A1 by adjusting the feed angle to present the round slightly higher as it enters the chamber. I don’t recall anyone experiencing any issues with them in my last unit, but Army testing are Aberdeen apparently showed them to be a little less reliable than the tan follower mag. I would caveat that by saying that the vast, vast majority of EPMs currently in service were made by Center, and I’ve never thought their quality control was as good as Okay, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see an occasional issue related to how the mag was assembled and finished, not because of the design itself.

    4. Re the EPMs, is OKAY still making them, or is Center Industries now the only supplier? I can only find Center Industries EPMs for sale, and would obviously prefer OKAY.
    Center was the original manufacturer of the EPM and until recently held the sole contract to produce them for the military. As I alluded to above, I haven’t been too impressed with the quality of Center’s EPM (mostly just subjective visual observation), and I learned recently that Okay is now producing EPMs (within the last year). I haven’t seen any myself, but an Okay rep asked me if I had seen any of theirs in circulation, and I heard from a member on another forum that he has seen them in a Marine Corps unit. I’d like to get hold of one to see how the compare to the Center version, but I’m not in a line unit anymore.

    5. Despite being fugly as hell, is it correct to say that the Surefeed E2 is basically a civilian version of the EPM? Better than the EPM? Or am I comparing apples and oranges?
    The Okay E2 is not a civilian version of the EPM. From my email conversation with an Okay rep, the E2 is designed to allow the rounds to strip off the top with less resistance (friction) to allow for more reliable feeding. This is done with a combination of the follower design and the cut back feed lips. However, he said that an unintended result of the design is that the cut back feedlips allow the rounds to angle upward sooner (at a point where the full feedlips of a standard GI mag would still be holding the round in a horizontal position). This may allow M855A1 to feed up the ramp with less resistance, but that was not the intent of the E2 design, because it was designed for civilian use, and Okay doesn’t expect civilians to have regular access to M855A1.
    Last edited by 3ACR_Scout; 04-01-19 at 13:32.

  9. #9
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    While I have one in my rotation, no issue with it and have to check on manufacturer. My observation was with 3 classes, 855A1 and the said mags, 12-16 shooters, 800-1000 rounds each with no noted issues mag related. While the class had staged malfunctions, no obvious issues otherwise. I don't remember who made this magazines either.
    GET IN YOUR BUBBLE!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle_10 View Post
    Here's something I've been wondering about M855A1 for a while: I don't have a complete understanding of how the US military classifies it's equipment, so why does the nomenclature of M855A1 seem to essentially designate it as a derivative/improvement of M855 when as far as I can tell, the M855A1 is quite distinct in it's specifications, It seems like it is as different from standard M855 as M855 is from, say M193 for instance. Given it's relative uniqueness compared to other 5.56 loadings in the US inventory, I'm surprised it would'nt warrant a more distinctive designation, such as, just as an example, "M998" or something.
    Both the M855 and M855A1 are 62gr with steel penetrators. The M193 is neither. Regardless of that, the M855A1 was SUPPOSED to have the same trajectory as the M855, allowing the same zeros and use of ACOG M855 BDCs. That was the intent, and likely the reason for appending “A1”. The reality is that it’s not quite the same external ballistics, but that finding was after naming it.

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