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Sunday, April 8, 2012

C-Products 40 Round Mag Review

There are a lot of options out there for the shooter that wants a higher-than-average round magazine.  Whether you're a doorkicker, LEO, security contractor, or a responsible armed citizen, the choices seem endless.

The idea of a higher-capacity magazine is not a new one.  The theory is that a higher-capacity magazine or drum system will give the operator more "fight-stop" on tap than a smaller mag.  With the advent of drum and snail mags, and now Surefire's quad-stacked 60 and 100 round mag designs, as well as the adaptations to the ubiquitous PMAG, shooters, whether warfighters or competition shooters can put out a lot of lead with a limited amount of mag changes.  Fewer mag changes mean less time that the gun is out of the fight, and increases the operator's survivability by allowing him/her to spend more time scanning their environment and engaging threats.  Of course, there's also the peace of mind of knowing that you have to shoot quite a bit before you have to change mags.  If you want to try this for yourself, pull out a few mags and download them to 5 rounds and run some range drills.  The 30 round mag will seem like a godsend by the time you're done.

However, all these things cost money, and it seems like the more bullets you can jam into a particular system, the more the manufacturer wants from your pocketbook.  Add that to the price of the ammo you run through it, and you're starting to come up with a pretty significant number.

C-Products 40 round mag with standard GI 30 round mag

I was pricing out some Surefire 60 round mags for T&E when I ran across some of these C-Products 40 rounds mags.  After a quick search showing some dated info indicating that the C-Products mags were great, and some newer posts indicating that since the change of ownership in the company and the popularity of the PMAG, C-Products mags had fallen out favor with a lot of shooters.  So, I decided to get a few myself and see what I thought of them.  At around $14 a pop, the price was certainly appealing, especially since the Surefire 60 rounders were hovering at around $100 a piece.  When my mags arrived from CDNN, I loaded them up with my typical "let's go shoot" rounds and went to the range to see what I could find out about these mags.

Now, let me be clear on a few things.  I typically shoot Tula in various weights, both FMJ and JHP.  I find the round to be economical, fairly accurate, and a good litmus test for gear.  If the gear or gun cannot reliably cycle much-maligned Russian steel ammo, then I'm pretty sure it won't feed brass-cased ammo in a weapon that's been run hard, hung up wet, and full of sand.  Is it a scientific approach?  Nope.  But it makes sense, and allows me to identify failure points without those costly non-government-sponsored flights to the sandbox.

I also tend to run my guns hot and quick, and beat my mags like they owe me money.  Whereas I see a lot of shooters do the flip to check that the weapon is out of ammo and not jammed, then flick it to the other side while pressing the mag catch to fling the mag clear and expose the magwell for the new mag, I have not found this to be reliable enough for me.

Mags covered in snow, sand, dirt, and mud have a hard time dropping free, and once I have Identified that I am out of ammunition, I roll the rifle back over and strip the mag from the weapon with my reaction hand,.  This ensures that the mag is free of the weapon, and also ensures that I know where that mag is going when it leaves the weapon.  Back to retention? OK.  Do I have a buddy shooting next to me?  Then I can throw it straight down so as to not impact them or disrupt their line of fire.  This can be the difference between going home or getting into a new pine box in a time-is-life situation.

Anyways, back to the review.

These mags have worked 100% for me and anyone I've loaned them to.

And by that, I don't mean the typical gunrag "Oh, I'll load them up, shoot them through two or three times, and then call it good."  I mean, each of the mags is at about the 1K mark in steel cased rounds.

There's also no problem using these as a monopod, something many magazines will just not put up with and jam the rifle.

So what makes these things tick?

My magazines were labeled ".223/5.56 SS 40 ROUND" on the side, and "CPRODUCTS LLC NEWINGTON CT" with the familiar pistol logo.

The magazine feels just like your standard GI mag, with the exception of the bright orange Magpul follower.  The inside track for the follower seemed more pronounced than the GI mag, but the GI mag was also originally designed for a different follower.

Either way, Let's take a look at what we have inside the mag.  The C-Products follower is orange, while the Magpul follower is yellow.

The spring is obviously much longer.  It feels "spongier" than a GI spring, but again, seems to exert significant tension to feed reliably over and over.

Now, after installing many Magpul followers in my GI mags, I noticed a few discrepancies, which you can see below:

The angles are sharper on the C-Products, and the 5.56 stamp is in a different spot.

The C-Products follower seems to pick up less crud than a Magupl follower in a normal GI mag.

As you can see, the C-Products follower does not have the spring collection notch the Magpul follower has, however this does not affect the function of this system at all.
What it seems is that C-Products got the Magpul follower, tweaked what they needed to, and then went with it.

In the end, this magazine has been tough, rugged, and reliable for me and the shooters with me.  You can definitely feel the weight difference when you top of your rifle with one of these things fully loaded, but the weight distribution keeps the weight evenly under the rifle, despite the magazine's aggressive curve.

At their current price,  I would be hard pressed to pass up this mag, especially with the price of some of the systems out there.  For shooters needing a higher-capacity magazine to provide more bang at the start of a fight, the competitor looking to finish that difficult course of fire, or that responsible armed citizen to have more protection from things that go bump in the night, I truly recommend this magazine.

And for those concerned as to the status of the VCR...

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