Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tacticool Tuesday - The Redimag/BAD Lever Combo

Having spent most of my adult life with the M16/M4 family of weapons, the platform just comes natural to me when I pick one up.  The ease of shooting, ergonomics, and modularity make it an easy weapon to shoot.  Since the Global War on Terror kicked off and defense spending went through the roof, firearms manufacturers have been cranking out the latest widgets and gizmos at a dizzying rate. Some work. Some are quite silly.

Pretty Ninja, huh?

Mostly due to the flood of useless crap, the pendulum has swung the other way and the rifle purists are becoming happy once again.  While we may never get back to just iron sites, I am seeing more unrailed weapons than before.  I am completely ambivalent to keymod, picatinney, or plain jane.  To each their own.  But even the rifle purists understand that there are utilities in at least some of the toys available today.  In my very humble opinion, every weapon needs a light and I am certainly not alone.  Talk to a cop or Marine that has had to clear a room in the dark without night vision and you can quickly see the advantage.  Especially for your home weapon, lights prevent angels, as the saying goes.  Other than lights, installing a quality trigger on your M4gery is the single best thing you can do to aide accuracy.

What I would like to talk about in this post is the use of the Redimag in conjunction with Magpul's BAD lever to get your weapon back in the fight after you have expended a magazine or need to clear a malfunction.  What this will do for you is get your weapon back into the fight quicker than you could otherwise by utilizing economy of movement by eliminating unnecessary sweeping motions from your hands to your gear to bring your weapon back into the fight.

Okay, great but what does that mean?  The best way to illustrate this is visually.  Please see the videos below:

What it looks like:

How it works (pretty much) with your gear:

It should be noted that neither of these videos do the platform justice, but I think you get the gist. Not to say that the guys that made the videos did a bad job, it is just difficult to explain how these things work if you are not familiar with it.  Also, your gear may be different than the other guys.  Mine sure is. Just understand that the entire idea is to prevent you from wasting valuable time in motion grabbing that things when you can have everything right there.

The Redimag is a bolted on accessory that attaches around the mag well that enables you to hold another mag on the weapon without the use of a mag coupler.  The Gen 1 version of the Redimag (no longer in production) dropped both the mag in the mag well and the mag in the redimag simultaneously.  The new version makes you first drop one mag and then drop the other.  This is not terrible as in a real world, not getting infinite supplies from Uncle Sugar, you will want to hold on to those mags for future reference.  One more thing of note for the determined Tacticool Geardo, the Redimag can hold a Surefire 60 with a regular aluminum or plastic mag sitting in the mag well (and of course vice versa).  Potentially 90 rounds on your rifle may seem heavy and overkill.  Normally it is.  But you may not be doing normal things all the time.  Exactly the reason you have the weapon in the first place, right?

The BAD lever is covered in many articles from many different companies.  At around the price for a large pizza, it is a pretty good deal to eliminate movement of your non-firing hand touching the paddle for the mag release.  You simply sweep your finger up, tap the release and you are ready to rock.

Easy peezy, right?  Utilizing the technology available to get you back in a fight, or to determine good guy from bad guy quickly, or aide you in putting rounds where they should go should not be taboo.  Adding stuff to the rifle will cause it to get heavier but it is not the end of the world.  Making a rifle that is 6 to 7 pounds heavy when loaded into a 7 to 8 pound weapon but gaining those abilities mentioned above is a pretty good trade off.  I will close this out with this final very important tip that neither of these things will work if you do not train with them.  Especially for the guys that have had one for years, there is a learning curve you will have to overcome in order to actually make this system work faster.  Practice, practice, practice. And when you are done practicing, repeat it again.

Check it out.  Give it a chance.  If you have another whiz bang, holy smokes gotta have it widget, let me know in the comments.  Just do me a solid and no "AK or _____ is better than the crappy mutilated M16 I fired for familiarization in Airforce boot camp"posts.  I get it, and you are absolutely right.  Now lets move on.


Sean said...

I cut a pencil in two, and used a little duct tape, or that wrapping gauze, and got mags to hold together, for 60rds used right away. Cost, about 40 cents, and it works fine. The two guys in the videos went 90% too long explaining it, as anyone who has an AR-15 could figure it out. Tacti-crap. In a shoot out, you can get excited, and still drop the magazine on the ground, grab around for it, screw up putting it in, etc. Bottom line, this kind of stuff is extraneous bullshit that people employ as a way to avoid PT, or something that could actually help in the Big Change. Waste. Of. Time. I appreciate you putting this on, it may actually help some of the younguns move along. But sooner or later, they need meat.

B-4 said...

There is a point where Tacticool is only dangerous to the "Operator". Guccified is another area I see all the time. Throwing money at LR gear thinking money spent on top of the line kit, will but lead on target where reading mother-nature is king. Kills them when a rack stick an cheap scope gets it done. B-4

Chiu ChunLing said...

There is stuff that is useless, stuff that is of marginal utility, stuff that is highly useful, and things that are relatively essential (in that if the other guy has it and you don't, you'll lose). I'd say that this is marginal, there are a few specific situations where you might find shaving a few seconds off a reload essential (proper planning should prevent most of them, though) or at least worth the time lost in less critical moments both to feed this (overall it does actually increase the time you spend moving mags about) and due to the extra bulk.

I think it's a valid assessment that, if you train rigorously on using it, it might turn a couple of seconds of terrifying fumbling helplessness in an exposed position into a couple of seconds shooting back. Whether that time would be better invested making sure you don't run dry at the worst possible moment really depends on the individual, people have different learning styles. Learning to track your round count adequately in a stressful situation is really hard for some people who can quickly learn to effectively use something like this, for other people it's a natural skill or one already so trained as to seem so. I will say that it strikes me as much better than a mag coupler, cheaply improvised or not...but I'm not fond of those either (at least for AR style mags).

Anything you go with can gang awry in combat, you can lose track of your round count, you can get some crap that jams a mechanical addon like this, your mags can come uncoupled. Most problems can be addressed if you recognize them before the worst possible moment. I do worry that this system is a little more likely to let you know it isn't working right when you desperately need it to work right (especially if you realized that it's usually easier to just drop and replace the magazine in the well rather than fiddle with a three-way swap and thus only use the extra mag "when you really need it"). I would prefer something simpler that allowed you to simply yank down the extra mag without needing to press anything...actually I'd prefer several...and I'd rather have them on my load-bearing equipment than my weapon, which is just to say I'd prefer an entirely different system, I guess.

So it's a little hard to be completely fair to this. If I could make one simple change it would be making it so that you got the extra mag out with a firm pull rather than having a mechanical release like that...I don't really see the point and it seems like the most likely thing to go wrong.

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michael said...

Via Bracken I assume?

Anonymous said...

Its kind pointless to have a gee whiz bang anything gun if you dont have the courage to fight to keep it and use it effectively to ensure you can always keep it...at that point a plain jane stipped down anything rifle is better than no rifle at all when the gun banners come knocking again AFTER they have successfully disarmed you. Just saying...gadgets and widgets are meaningless without the spine training and strategy to actually use them.

SGT Matt, you posted a story below about half hearted foolishness by Irishmen..did no one learn anything from that example? Range day tacticool will never make up for lacking everywhere and everything else. At which point i mention Sun Tsu and that revolutions or civil wars are not fair weather outings except when they are complete failures.

Sign me, Neal Jensen

Crustyrusty said...

Hey, I *liked* the crappy mutilated M-16 I had in the AF.

Dutchman6 said...

"Guccified" is a pointless waste of money. No argument here. Duplexed mags are fine. Bracken is a fan of them and detailed in some post about how he utilized the tape and pencil trick with the SEALs in the 80's. For those readers doubting the utility, I am guessing mag pouches are either not being employed or, say in the case of a three mag pouch, they will only be able to fit two due to the increased width of the mag coupler. I say there is a better way.

I will reiterate, gear they you can readily get now, that enhances your skills, is usually money well spent. Does everyone want to spend the time and money to train on quick mag changes? Absolutely not. But then, Tacticool Tuesday is not aimed at the subsistence farmer with the single shot shotgun. It is also not aimed at the Soccer Mom/Dads whose interest generally stops at in-home defense. It is aimed at the guy that wants another opinion on the stuff that will aid in keeping them alive in a two way shooting range. I will not pretend to be the bearded former contract operator that is telling you how you should be more operator. I want you to be safe in everything you do and have every advantage that is available to you to get the job done. I will do that any way that I can to include what I think works given what is being practiced in modern combat doctrine.

DTG said...

I've had the B.A.D. on a M4gery for a few years before I sold the piece. It was sweet! It does make a difference in how fast you're back into shooting. The only con I see (and because of it, when I had the B.A.D., I trained with another M4gery without one regularly to avoid what follows) is in a 'pick up' situation where the AR in question doesn't have one, and the shooter is in the habit of using the B.A.D. Could slow the shooter down for a couple seconds as he overcomes muscle memory to get the piece back in action.

Today, I'm liking the Surefire 60 round mag and Bracken's 'old school' method, which I've tried, but am a bit skeptical of the redi-mag concept. But, as you say, to each his own.

IAs an aside, in my younger days, when I carried a FA M14 type rifle and full kit (9 mags, etc,), folks used to say they didn't like it because it was 'too heavy'.....and today, you can routinely find tricked out AR's that weigh as much as a '14 with optics, sometimes more. Ironic.

PS. No mistaking you for anyone else, Matt, even only after having had lunch with you and your Dad once a few years back. It was good BBQ!

Dutchman6 said...


It took me talking to JC Dodge last night to jog my memory of who you were. Of course I remember. I also remember tossing a few good natured barbs back about the Air Force. Those still stand, of course.;) You are absolutely correct about muscle memory when you introduce a way of doing things and then have to switch over. I had not considered that. But like learning how to drive a stick before you drive an automatic, if you have the fundamentals in place, there is a substantially reduced learning curve.

If have the surefire 60, be sure to get the aftermarket base plate. I do not know if it is how Surefire assembles the mag, but a point of failure has been damaging the floor plate when you have to drop the mag on the ground (as in with a mag change). I have seen this used as a good prophylaxis to prevent having a $120 paperweight.


I have a Scout M1A in an EBR Mod 1 stock that I have not had a chance to play around with. It is handy but, yes, substantially heavier than what I would normally carry with the M4gery. With the flood of aftermarket AR parts now, there are so many ways to lighten your load. I consider a quality optic, BUIS, and a light to be essential peripheral equipment. The heaviest it would get is with the introduction of a weapon mounted NVG, and even those things are not that bad.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sean!

Been shooting for decades. No, I am NOT an expert. I am not a SWAT 'guy' or wannabe. I've shot long enough that 'muscle memory' is set on M1, M1A and AR's from various shoots and practice. As a general rule, if I make a change or put something extraneous on my rifles, it first has to perform it's assigned task, be worth it's weight in gold, and not significantly alter my tried and true shooting regimen. Sure, I'll change my regimen, but it has to yield significantly better results.

I've tried the BAD lever and it generally works as advertised, but I found it interferes with my existing reload sequence, so I took it off and prefer the standard bolt release.
Also, if I put the BAD on one AR, then I've got to put it on ALL. What if I borrow a rifle for a shoot? This is not unheard of for guys to have a malf and borrow a rifle to complete a leg or shoot another leg, or just try out another build. If I'm 'programmed' for a BAD lever and it's not there, I'll be fishing for it and then revert to previous training. Bad form. The BAD lever is not for me. Not to mention field pickups in a SHTF scenario.

Redi-mag is neat, handy, etc. Go for it if it works for you. I don't want to add the weight or width. I'm with Sean, the 'Ranger Tape' method works great, expedient and is el cheapo. See MTN Gorilla for how to. I found it works best with aluminum or stainless 30rd mags as the bases are clean and the block of your choice to make the 'V' is small. P-mags take a bit more spacing material and the bulge at the base is better offset than directly adjacent. Besides a pair of 30's, I've got two 40's taped up. That's 80rds at the ready for the cost of the two mags, carved styrofoam and a generous strip of Gorilla duct tape. No extra bullshit on my rifle. Naysayers will lament getting tape residue all over a couple of mags. Waaaa. You can't buy a couple extra mags for less than the other extraneous crap?? Get over it.