Sunday, February 7, 2010

Praxis: Responses on Multiple Magazine Holders

GV offers the picture above and this comment:

Though this is a different brand, the idea's the same. Here it is on my lefty AR. Makes weapon clumsy to carry and handle, and HEAVY. Good gear for gun-shop commandos who envision standing off hordes of bad guys from a static position. A pose-tool IMHO.

Dr. Richard offers this comment:

I am a huge fan of the Magpul magazine pull tabs. There was one in the upper right hand side of the Thor Defense picture. These are worth the cost and are available for both 5.56 AR-15 style magazines and .308 M1A magazines. The .308 size also works well for Saiga 12 gauge shotgun magazines. They do make it easier to grab a magazine and load it.

I am not a fan of the various schemes to tape or mechanically attach two magazines together. These are awkward and do not fit well with most web gear. These will slow you down, particularly when you need to fumble to put the used one back into a magazine pouch. If you really need a larger magazine, get one of the 100 round Beta Mags for AR-15s or M1As -- however these are heavy and really only useful for use in fixed defense positions.

Spend your money on good webgear and then practice, practice, and practice your reload / malfunction / transition to pistol drills. Load a bunch of magazines with 2-3 rounds and use them to practice your reloads. If you have practiced enough such that you have the right muscle memory, you do not need the mechanical attachments. Smooth is fast. Magpul Dynamics has two "Art of the Carbine" DVDs that do a good job demonstrating how to do these transitions and how to run drills that will make this second nature. If you get the opportunity take one of the Magpul Dynamics classes. I also highly recommend taking the two day weekend carbine and high threat contractor classes that Tom Perroni and Joe Trindal teach at Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy - they are one of the best bargains for world class training.

Brock writes:

I tried a similar brand on my AK, but it seemed to throw the weight off kilter, so I went back to just changing 30 rounders, and it's about as fast if you have your extras on your side/front.

The Trainer writes:

Locking/Taping Mags together: BAD idea! The tried and true method of single magazines for designed loads (20 to 30 rounds per mag) ensures optimum performance in a bad situation. The additional weight of the loaded mag taped or locked onto the inserted mag could, depending on the free play of the magazine locking device, put just enough space between the bolt and top round in the inserted mag to cause a failure to feed, among other things…Believe it or not, you can learn/teach others to count rounds so they are pretty sure of how much remains in the mag. Add in the practice of loading one less round than full capacity to ensure the mag spring is not over-compressed when inserting a full mag into the well of a rifle with the bolt closed. These, coupled with the time-tested practice always replacing a partially loaded mag with a full one during any lull and then topping off the partial mag as circumstances allow is a lot more ‘sure fire’ (pun intended) than the practice of locking/taping mags together for the following reason: Psychologically, the shooter will tend not concern himself with fire discipline because of the false sense of security provided by having so many rounds at his disposal. Additionally, ‘murphy’s law’ will come into play, and that bottom mag’s feed lips will get bent, mud will get caked on top of the rounds, or something else will happen when the shooter least expects it. Sure, you can put a rubber cap on the bottom mag, but that negates the purpose of having two readily available mags in the first place. So why do it?

FWIW, folks who are seriously training need to keep it simple, keep it effective, and not fall into the trap of ‘reinventing the wheel’. Repetitive practice with the chose platform is what makes the shooter accurate, smooth, and fast.

Getting threepers to the necessary level of skill mastery is hard enough without adding 'gucci gear'.

Try herding's similar!

Bob S. from Wyoming sends:

On mag couplers: These have their use, but I don't belive I'll ever buy one. Guess I'm too small of a niche market, having to account to myself for everything dropped. Your comments on prone use, and about replacability of the gadgeted two mags lost, are in line with my thoughts. My opinion for a person without a logistical tail, is that it is better to train realistically for the fight that you don't want to have, rather than to buy a widget that addresses just a tiny bit of the Big Life without a logistical tail.

On the M1 Carbine mag dust covers: They are not so much of a bad thing to have and use in any circumstances. Especially if you have gone down the road of temptation and have put a stock pouch on the Carbine. That's a bad thing in and of itself, since it takes so much away from the handiness of the gun. But if you have done so, then use those dust covers on the mags in the stock pouch. The Carbine is a niche weapon, it serves best unadorned. Piling weight onto it (even though that was done in WW2) is not a smart idea. Put spare mags somewhere else: Alice M1956 small arms ammunition pouches, Sneaky Bags, pockets in clothing, bandoleers, etc. Any of these ammo carries frees up the gun to serve better in its intended role.

MG writes:

When I was a squad leader in Iraq a lot of the guys were buying these mag
couplers and having issues with them. I actually found a cheaper and superior
way to solve most of their problems. We all sat down, ate the crackers out of
an MRE then folded the wrapper up. Then I had them electrical tape the wrapper
near the middle of the mags then tape the bottom half of the mags together,
keeping them perfectly aligned. When you perform a reload the mags split apart
just enough at the top half to clear the mag well. The best part is how much
space was saved. You didn't have to waste precious seconds to flip the mags
over or do anything funny and they'd fit just fine in a double mag pouch. I've
always said that electical tape is a grunt's best friend and these mags lasted a
whole deployment and worked far better than the guys who had spent money buying
couplers. I hope this explanation made sense. Keep up the good work.

Esto Perpetua,



Pat H said...

I'm not one who favors the "double bound" magazines. They add significant weight without a significant increase in your capacity. Further, the weight added is off center and tends to try to rotate the weapon in your hands and puts a lot more stress on the weapon's magazine well and latch.

If you need more than one magazine, you should have either a magazine carrier capable of at least four more magazines or a load bearing vest or chest pack capable of six to eight additional magazines. I favor the vest style which is easily transported when not worn in either an aviator's helmet bag, tote bag, or something like that. The vest also has the capacity for other things, ABD's, water, and so forth.

Anonymous said...

I tried that multiple-magazines-connected-together once during an FTX.
Bulky, heavy, unwieldy, and if it wasn't done JUST RIGHT, I got failure-to-feed.

Lesson learned. Never again.
B Woodman

Will said...

Anyone have experience with the Redi-Mag? I read that it was going to be an issue item for one of the military groups, but have not heard anything further.

No added weight to the active mag.

Second mag is protected.

Less likely to cause a fumble in a fast reload. The spare is trapped by your hand while the empty drops. The latch can be adjusted to stagger the release point for both mags, for when you want to pocket the empty.

You are handling a single mag just as you would normally do it. No having to learn to line up an offset mag.

You can use it only when an emergency reload is needed, and just swap out the empty for one out of your normal carry pouch.

If an unloaded weapon is mandated, you can have a very fast load ready to go, if a mag is allowed to be attached. (only problem is that from the side it might appear to be a loaded weapon)

If you carry a second type of ammo for special applications, you could designate this carrier for it. (probably not a common use, I'm thinking, but who knows)

It adds some bulk to the side of the weapon. May make it a problem to fit some cases, unless clearance can be made. Shoulder slinging with it may be uncomfortable to some.

The original model made it difficult to access the bolt hold-open. Newer model added a remote button to address this. I have not used that one yet, so can't add any comments regarding it.

Adds a little weight, even when not in use.

Limits how far the upper can pivot open when the rear pin is pulled. (The handguard ring hits the clamp at the front of the mag well.)

In a rifle class or three gun match, they may not allow you to use it. (unfair advantage?)

gandalf23 said...

I have a Redi-Mag on my AR15 carbine. I like it. I bought mine last summer at a gun show for $150, right before they dropped the price to $80 :(

But, a few weeks ago I bought one at an estate sale for $10. It was missing the rubber pieces so that it would not mar the finish of the rifle, but a quick email to the manufacturer and $5 later (including shipping) I had all the missing pieces!

There are two different models. the original released both mags at once. The used one I bought is that style. The new model (gen II) has a separate release for the mag in the Redi-Mag.

After I bought mine last summer I found several for sale on's equipment exchange for @$50.

It is hard to use the bolt release with the Redi-Mag installed, although not impossible, and you can get the hang of it pretty quick. The one I bought last summer came with Boonie Packer's aluminium extended bolt release, but I did not like it. Instead I use a Magpul Battery Assist Device. It's $30, and lets me manipulate the bolt with my trigger finger, which is excellent. It really speeds up clearance drills.

The Redi-Mag does add some weight, so some folks skeletonize theirs, and at least one company sells them pre-skeletonized. I think it's Blue Force Gear.

Prior to the Redi-Mag I had a buttstock pouch that held an extra magazine. I liked that it put the extra weight at the back of the firearm, but I did not like that my beard kept getting caught in the straps and on the velcro and getting ripped out painfully. Hence the move to the Redi-Mag. :) Both work great for keeping an extra mag on the gun and ready to go, which I like. It's a lot easier to get to the mag in the Redi-Mag than in the buttstock pouch.