Jeff, in your feed ramp damage article the Army's photos stink of something bad.
The photo with the ripped-up left-hand side ramp and lower left quadrant locking surfaces shows the right ramp apparently undamaged:
This photo shows what appears to be a barrel with M16 rifle barrel extension fitted into an upper receiver with what looks to be M4 carbine ramps. Damn near ANY ammunition would show/make the same damage if all rounds came out of new OR modified feed angle magazines:
So I feel I should clear some things up.
The first photo is mine, and nothing is damaged. It's whiteout, and it was done to show where M855A1 strikes the feed ramps during cycling from a variety of magazines. That little black dimple near the top center of the left feed ramps??? That's where the bullet tip struck the feed ramps during feeding, this imagine was from either the M3 or EPM....I can't remember which.
Originally the post was made on arfcom by me.
It was not meant to be definitive or scientific, but just a rough demonstration of how magazines fed M855A1, and where the hardened tip strikes. I did the whiteout bit because it was requested to better demonstrate the bullet's path during feeding.
The issue is this. The 82nd Small Arms Master Gunner saw my post, and took it and my photos and ran with it on the internet. It was then picked up by other publications like the one Chris Bartocci runs, and since the 82nd took my photos and took the context out of them, they've been used to show how bad M855A1 feeds.
Truth is, it couldn't be farther from the truth. See, when I did my little test, every magazine fed the round. Sure some were lower on the feed ramps, and came closer to striking the aluminum M4 cuts....but at the end of the day none of them did.
Now this was important, because if you had one of the lower feeding magazines like the Tan Follower GI mag, once it gets worn out and it doesn't feed as quickly, it will run into issues of striking the aluminum lower faster than others. This however isn't an issue with new magazines.
End of the day, the M27 is the only gun that has immediate issues with M855A1 and requires 100% use of M3 Pmags to not receive damage.
This is solely due to using no M4 cuts in the receiver and M16 feed ramps in the extension, as well as using a nearly flat chamber face forcing cone and the cyclic rate of the M27 being around 200-250rpm faster than the M4.
The issue just isn't there in the M16 and M4, unless you're running beat to shit mags that barely feed as is.