Military Dopers - why tap the magazine on your helmet before loading the weapon?

All the tough guys in the movie just pitch their spent magazines over their shoulder, when they are empty, which is damned seldom.

When I was in the army, you would end up paying for that sucker out of your own money. Not to mention hand loading your weapon as a breech loader after you ran out of magazines. But, hey, you would look so cool doing it, right? :rolleyes:


Well, magazines were only ~$8 each at army prices, so occasionally losing one really wasn’t a huge deal until 30 rd mags became evil assault weapons.

I don’t have a problem with the aluminum mags. They’re light weight, don’t rust, sturdy enough, and CHEAP so we can have more of them. I don’t really think any bean counter will approve the use of steel mags on the M-16 FOW because of the steel-on-aluminum-scoring issue. The magazine housings are never problem, almost all magazine problems stem from the spring and the follower.

FWIW, I tapped my magazines in the Fireeating Danish Army - not on my helmet, admittedly, but it was just SOP to whap the magazines on a sturdy object after loading. I seem to recall that we were taught to do so, but it wasn’t in the official weapons manuals. The idea was to “settle” the rounds, but I’m doubtful it worked.

Incidentally, those were H&K G3 7.62x51 mags, and they came in two varieties - a very robust version that hardly ever jammed - it was good for opening bottles as well - and a somewhat lighter one that was prone to all sorts of trouble. (Some of the light-weight ones were so sloppy that they’d accept 21 rounds instead of the conventional 20. Made for interesting ammunition inventory mishaps.)

Heh - in my Army days (in Denmark) a magazine was a Weapon Part and you did not want to lose something like that, ever. The replacement cost was probably about the same, but the paperwork was immense, there’d almost certainly be some sort of disciplinary action and you’d be on a lot of people’s short list of Soldiers Well Suited For Really Unpleasant Tasks.

Well, relatively speaking, it wasn’t a huge deal. Certainly you will be on the shitlist for a while, but there are lots of other more important things you could lose than a $8 aluminum can. :slight_smile:

On an excercise in the US I stumbled across an old USGI mag that must have been in the mud for years. Still worked after I cleaned it out and lubed it up. knocks on wood

A friend of mine once trained with U.S. Marines, and said the best part of the experience was scouring the training grounds after the Americans were done with them and picking up carelessly discarded magazines. It was like Hannukah in July!

Yeah, but you’re a poor excuse for a soldier if you let it get that far. After all, why else would God invent spares? Any good soldier (and especially any good sergeant) always has his own personal stash of “issued” gear he hadn’t, technically, signed off on.