Blame it on my history of being a machine gunner, but I always like having more rounds in my gun than less rounds. I love extended magazines, and as long as it’s practical, I want to shove as many freedom seeds as possible into a magazine. As such, magazines like the Schmeisser S60 tickle my fancy.
This 60 round, quad-stacked casket magazine brings Cheech and Chong levels of high to the phrase high capacity. The Schmeisser S60 comes in both Freedom and Communist varieties with options for both the AR and AK series, respectively. Today we are going with the freedom side of the coin and reviewing the Schmeisser S60 for the AR 15.
Breaking Down the Schmeisser S60
Schmeisser is a German firm that teamed up with American Tactical Imports to bring the Schmeisser S60 to the United States. Like most modern AR 15 magazines, Schmeisser made use of lightweight but durable polymer to construct the magazine. Keeping with the theme of modernity, the magazine is even windowed with round counters allowing you to visually keep track of your ammunition from 30 to 60 rounds.
This is the second generation of the Schmeisser S60. The first generation reportedly had issues interacting with the last round bolt hold-open devices. The newest generation promised to fix that, and spoiler alert, it did. I never found a problem with the magazine engaging my LRBHO device.
On the outside, we get an aggressive texture that makes gripping the magazine easy. While it is a wide-body casket magazine, it’s not tough to grip and rip into a magazine well.
Why 60 Rounds?
Thirty rounds seem plenty, right? A standard capacity AR 15 magazine gives you thirty rounds of 5.56, and that’s long been the standard. Why would you go from 30 to 60? Well, because reloading sucks, duh! Why the heck not? The Schmeisser S60 provides 60 rounds of freedom without complaint.
From a practical perspective, 60 rounds of ammo does give double the ammo for a home defense scenario. You likely won’t be wearing a plate carrier with a few extra reloads when something goes bump in the night. Having 60 rounds will probably be overkill, but more ammo brings more comfort than less ammo as far as I’m concerned.
Admittedly there are a few disadvantages of a hefty extended magazine. When fully loaded, the 60 round magazine feels hefty for sure. Price-wise they will also cost a good bit more than buying two comparative quality 30 round magazines. Admittedly when you go from a double-stack magazine to a quad stack casket magazine, you also have a more complicated magazine.
Drum or Mag?
Right away, we know the main competition for a magazine like this is the Magpul D-60 and similar drums. Both the Magpul D-60 and the Schmeisser S60 achieve the same goal by different means. Which is for you? The Magpul D-60 has proven itself to be the preeminent drum and is known to be highly reliable, and the Schmeisser S60 is relatively new to market comparatively.
The Magpul D-60 does have a lower overall length and is roughly the same length as a 30 round PMAG. That being said, it doesn’t make it smaller than the Schmeisser S60. It’s much wider than the Schmeisser, which makes it a pain to carry more than one on a plate carrier or chest rig.
The thinner S60 makes it easy to carry multiple S60 magazines (or an S60 with standard 30-round magazines on the same carrier). Lengthwise the S60 is longer, but it’s approximately the same size as a 40 round extended mag. The Schmeisser S60 also comes in at about half the cost of a D-60, making it a more budget-friendly option.
Load It Up and Let It Loose
I expected difficulty in loading this hefty magazine. Anytime you expand capacity, you typically expect magazines to become challenging to load. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Schmeisser S60 easy to load. Don’t get me wrong; the magazine isn’t as easy as your typical 30 rounder. You’ll need to apply a little more effort to squeeze in the last ten rounds, but never in a frustrating way. I never needed a tool or magazine loader to finish the S60 off.
For my initial testing, I just loaded it up and fired 60 rounds through my BRN 180. It fed perfectly and without issue. That’s not much of a test, but it ensures the Schmeisser S60 completes its core function of feeding the gun.
After loading this sucker back up, I hit the range once more. This time I used the Schmeisser S60 as a monopod. I dug it into the ground and let loose with it. I fired 20 rounds and saw not a single failure. Next, I loaded it and applied front and rear pressure. I shoved it against my simulated cover training barrier and let loose 20 rounds pressing the magazine against the barrier and another 20 pulling it against the barrier.
Not a single issue was presented with the Schmeisser S60 when faced with pressure from a variety of angles.
With the magazine empty, I dropped it several times on its feed lips, on its back, front, and sides. The Schmeisser S60 dropped freely faster than a golf ball from a cheater. I do like when my mags drop free as it makes reloads a good bit quicker and more intuitive. After the empty drops, I loaded the magazine up once more.
Now I repeated my drop tests with a fully loaded magazine. Most of the time, a round or two would pop out, but the magazine still fed without issue. The body of the body magazine was dirty, but nothing cracked, broke, or chipped. The feed lips look pristine, and the mag feeds.
However, like any quad-stacked magazine, you want to be careful dropping it. Dropping it fully loaded typically won’t cause a problem. Dropping it partially loaded is where you’ll often find your issues.
The insides of a quad stack magazine rely on a very particular organization of rounds. When fully loaded, there isn’t much room for the cartridges to move. When partially loaded, the rounds can bounce off course and cause the follower to stick or create an issue with the cartridges feeding out of order. This is an issue casket magazines have always had and is a downside to the casket, quad stack design.
Getting Frisky with the Schmeisser S60
The Schmeisser S60 allows you to keep 60 rounds of 5.56 on tap for when you need it. These big boys offer up plenty of firepower for the range and competitive use. The modern polymer design works well and delivers on its promise of smooth and reliable feeding. As long as you understand the downsides to casket mags, you’ll have zero issues wielding the Schmeisser S60 – try it today
Have you wielded one of these chunky boys? If so, let us know below what you think and share your experience in the comment section below.