My machine gunner brain works fairly simply. When I see an option for more ammo, I assume it’s better than less ammo. It’s like a tic I have but can’t control. The good news is that it causes me to reach out and try out a variety of extended magazines just to see if they work. I’ve tried various drums, extendo clips, and mag extensions, but this is my first coffin mag. The Schmeisser S60 Gen 2 wears a German name and comes from a German company but is imported by ATI (American Tactical Imports).
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The Schmeisser S60 is a 60-round, quad stack magazine made from polymer. The magazine is massive and packs 60 rounds of 5.56 NATO. This magazine is specifically made for 5.56, and Schmeisser warns about using other calibers in the gun. Even rounds like the .300 Blackout, which typically works well with 5.56 magazines, are not supposed to be used in the S60.
The Schmeisser S60 features a massive window that allows you to track your magazine capacity from 60 to 30 rounds total. Even when that window no longer displays ammo, you still have 30 rounds of 5.56. The magazine weighs 33 ounces when fully loaded and is 9.75 inches long overall. It’s two inches wide, and overall, it’s just a hoss of a magazine.
The best part about the whole thing is that you can get one for 40 bucks right here. Most other options like the Magpul D60 and Surefire quad mags are two to three times the price of the Schmeisser S60. The real question is, does the Schmeisser work?
The S60 – A Modern Coffin Stack Magazine
Coffin magazines (also “quad stack” or “casket” mags) are a lot like drums. They’ve been around forever and getting them to work right has always been tricky. People have always wanted compact means to carry extra ammunition, and quad stack magazines were one such method. They’ve had lots and lots of problems, so when a new one comes out, I approach with caution.
Loading extended magazines isn’t always easy, and they can be downright difficult beyond thirty rounds. I will say the Schmeisser S60 gets stiff fairly quickly *snicker*. I loaded it the first time without the use of any tools, and my poor thumbs were tired, but it’s completely doable. A Maglula magazine loader is nice to have, but I won’t argue it’s necessary.
Take note I used both steel cased and brass cased ammunition, with the majority of ammo being brass cased 55-grain FMJs. I also tested the magazine in an AR rifle. It might not work as well in your Tavor, SCAR, etc.
Can We Break It?
In terms of testing, I’ve loaded it up and fired 300 rounds through it in the last year or so since I’ve owned it. In my time, I’ve only had it malfunction once with a failure to feed. That failure was something I sort of set up during my reliability testing. Quad stack magazines have improved, but they still have a weakness that occurs when partially loaded.
When these magazines are partially empty and are dropped, the rounds can occasionally shift, and this can cause feeding issues. In testing, I shot the magazine down to about 40 rounds and then dropped it. I dropped it on both sides and on the feed lips and tossed it back in the gun to see if it would have an issue. Only once out of five sets of drops did I make it malfunction.
That’s not bad for a forty-dollar quad stack magazine. I expected a lot less out of it, especially since the Surefire models cost a fair bit more and still have some problems.
At the Range
The Schmeisser S60 works. At least it works well enough for most shooters who will purchase it and me. With that established, let’s examine how such a big, beefy magazine changes how your firearm handles. First, you are strapping two pounds of ammunition to the gun, and that does add a fair bit of weight to your standard AR15. You wouldn’t think an extra pound would make that big of a difference, but you certainly feel it.
The magazine is absolutely massive and does provide a hand-filling amount of magazine to grip and grab. It’s easy to shove the magazine in and yank it out. The aggressive texture on the polymer body both works and looks good.
Where you’ll run into some difficulty in getting a good low prone, the couple extra inches the magazine offers make it tough to get low, but hey, the magazine makes a good monopod. Another issue you might find is locating some kind of pouch to fit this behemoth. Most double magazine pouches just aren’t long enough to really support the design and its odd shape. Maybe a SAW pouch, but it won’t be orientated correctly for an easy draw.
Inside the Schmeisser S60
For fun, I removed the bottom plate of the mag to take a peek inside. Do so with caution because the magazine is obnoxiously tense and will fly out if you aren’t careful. Inside you’ll see two magazine springs and two followers. It’s huge, but sometimes you got to be bold to make things work. That second spring ratchets up the tension to ensure the rounds feed properly.
Once everything is apart, you notice the neat design features. The follower appears to be proprietary and designed to follow two ridges inside the magazine. This alignment system likely ensures reliability and keeps things moving smoothly through the massive magazine.
The Schmeisser S60 seems easy to clean and maintain too, which will likely help ensure it runs reliably.
Slapping One On
So why would you want 60 rounds over thirty? Well, I can’t answer that for you. I don’t have to justify all of my purchases with some obscure use case. Sometimes I just want a thing.
I could see it being fairly handy for competition use if allowed in certain sports. For forty dollars, I’m fairly shocked that they work so well, and that’s less than half of the price of a D60.
I can’t tell you why you’d want one, but you can tell me. Is the S60 for you? If so, let us know why below.
Note: Valid answers include pissing off tyrants and authoritarians.