I have loaded thousands of magazines over the last 20 plus years. Most by hand, some using devices that utilized military stripper clips and some that need the ammo to be oriented in a certain way for the device to work. I have found the most efficient way to load magazines is to have a technique that minimizes excess movement (key to efficiency and speed) and to keep the talking down to a minimum. I have got to the point that loading is a subconscious movement for me, unless I have to load a specific number of rounds for a drill. I am also aware that with the thousands of repetitions loading magazines, that I am faster (spelled: more proficient) at loading than the casual or weekend shooter. Most of the devices seem to break-even with loading by hand for me, when you have to include the prep-time for most of the devices, excluding the stripper clip loaders.
Mag Pump sent me their pro versions of the 9mm and AR-15 loaders and a Magdump to review. The pro versions have machined steel and aluminum internal components and an upgraded aluminum handle from the standard models. They have an Elite model in the AK-47 and AR-15 loaders that in addition to the upgraded internals and handle, includes an aluminum billet and laser engraved body. All the models come with a removable base plate that is capable of being secured to a table top. Additional base plates are available to have multiple locations to secure the loaders. The loaders break down in two parts; the hopper and the main body. They are secured together using two retaining pins. The loaders have built in safeties to prevent damaging rounds and stop loading when the magazine is full.
The 9mm Pro Magazine Loader comes with six adaptable retainers for the most popular manufacturers with double stack magazines (CZ, Glock, Springfield, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Sig). There are additional retainers available for Canik, Hudson, H&K, Walther, Beretta, Browning and FN, plus single stack G43, S&W M&P Shield. The retainers for the different manufacturer’s magazines are simple to change out and securely locks into place. The magazines lock in to the retaining clips the same way they do in the pistols. The hopper is capable of holding 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition and requires no specific orientation. Meaning you can just dump the rounds in the hoper from a 50 round box or by the handful from a bulk can.
The AR-15 Pro Magazine Loader comes with a 90-round capacity hopper and is compatible with all mil-spec AR-15 magazines. The magazines securely seat and lock into the loader similar to the way they lock into the AR. The loader is capable of loading .223 Rem, 5.56 Nato and .300 Blackout rounds. The ammunition can be oriented in either direction in the hopper and still function. I was able to easily load both polymer and metal magazines to include: Magpul, ETS, H&K (both polymer and steel), Hexmag, Lancer and DSG Arms aluminum GI.
Both loaders function as advertised and load a round every second. They do require a deliberate, full range of motion on the handles to prevent jams in the machines. If you try to go fast, you tend to end up short stroking the mechanism and creating hang-ups. I own several different magazine loaders; the Glock Magazine Speed Loader, ETS C.A.M. Loader, AR15mold.com QuickLoadAR, Beta C-Mag LCMS10 and LCMP05 Speed Loaders. Each requires their own special way the ammo gets fed into them to load magazines. Depending on how its packaged you can build in some efficiency by systematically opening and transferring to the loader in the proper orientation. The best feature of the 9mm Pro is the ability to just dump up to 50 rounds in to the hopper and you can load up to three magazines consecutively. The AR-15 Pro takes a little planning to ensure the rounds are properly oriented in the hopper, but again you can load three magazines consecutively.
The Magdump is an AR-15 magazine unloader that is very fast at emptying magazines without causing damage to the magazines. It is made with the same quality design and injection molded polymer as the loaders and securely locks in mil-spec AR magazines. It safely stripes off each round without causing damage to the feed lips on the magazines. It’s a simple design that still requires a deliberate, full range of motion to function but will not cause jams if short stroked. This unloader is small enough to throw in your range bag if you are a shooter that stores your magazines empty.
Final Thoughts: These loaders, especially the Pro models, are quality made in the USA products built to last. If they break, they are backed by a lifetime, transferable warranty. The price point for these loaders are high, unless you take in to consideration the fact that they are compatible with multiple makes of pistol and AR magazines and you can load three magazines before having to top off the hoppers. The Elite Magazine Loaders are definitely in the price range of Gucci gear shooters, but the standard loaders are on par for the quality and wide range of compatibility. These loaders will make short work of range prep prior to leaving the house (or the night before) and would be a good addition to the tables at a formal range/gun club where regular training occurs. These would have been a benefit at any of the high round count training courses I have attended or taught, saving thumbs and shortening loading breaks. I find them a little bulky for me to drag back and forth from home to the range for personal use, especially when I can load faster by hand. Where these can make a big difference is new or less frequent shooters or for those that have trouble loading magazines by hand. I will be mounting these to my work bench and bribing my sons into pre-loading all my magazines for the range.
By the numbers:
Design – 5/5 Light weight polymer construction with an option for upgraded parts, the ability to mount them to a workbench or table, compatible with all the mil-spec AR magazines and inserts to load the most popular double stack pistol mags and the two most popular single stack mags makes these a pretty versatile loader.
Durability – 5/5 These loaders are constructed of polymer parts and upgraded models have steel and aluminum internals and handles making these almost indestructible (except for maybe the polymer handle on the base models). If you do break them, they do have a lifetime warranty!
Functionality – 4/5 The loaders function as advertised with minimal hang ups that are easily remedied. 9mm loader is a dump and go, but the AR-15 requires a little extra time to make sure all the rounds are properly oriented before starting. If either of them gets jammed you can easily remove the hoper and dump the rounds to clear it.
Weight – 4/5 Both loaders come in under 2.25lbs but are a little bulky to be dragging around with you to the range in a range bag.
Value – 3/5 The price point for the standard loaders is fair for the quality of design and manufacture at $149, add another $100 to move up to pro and add steel and aluminum components and the Elites with the aluminum billet bodies hits $399. The prices on the upgraded models pushes the cost vs value out of balance for me. They are well made, but not a need to have item.
Overall rating: 4.2/5 High quality design and manufacture, made in the USA loaders with lifetime warranties might outweigh the higher price points for the upgraded models.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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