I saw some prototype shots of these things during development, and was really unsure of what to think. On one hand, I could barely figure out how they worked, and on the other, I could think of about a billion uses for them.
Well, they're here, and I contacted Crye precision to buy a few for T&E. The order took about 10 days to arrive, which seemed slow, but once I contacted Crye's customer service, they had them on the way with a tracking number by the time I checked my email that night, so if shipping may not be fast, at least they get it right.
So what do you get with these things? For around $22, plus shipping, you get three MagClips in your choice of black or khaki. I ordered a set of black, since, well, black goes with everything,
Upon arrival, I opened the package, glanced at the instructions, and went to town. I found that my GI mags with tape ranger pulls were too thick around the bottom to accommodate the MagClip (these things are TIGHT by the way. If you were worried about them being loose on your PMAG, GI mag, EMAG, or H&K mag, don't be). Just for sharts and uncomfortable laughter, I tried them on my old Lancers. No go. So it was off to my go-to PMAGs. Fit like a charm.
Installation is simple. remove the tension screw. Stretch the MagClip out and slide it over the mag, then re-insert the tension screw, squeeze both open halves together, and screw it together until tight.
The screw threads into a textured nut imbedded into the side of the plastic arm that encloses the mag. This is a good choice on Crye's part, as threaded polymer, no matter how tough, strips a lot easier than a good metal. Just for kicks and to see how it ticks, I knocked one of the nuts out of the retainer arms to see it, and it has a rather quilted look to it, to better grip the polymer its imbedded in. The problem with this was that the nut would not seat fully without a lot of force, so I pushed it back in with a screwdriver and tightened the locking screw on the other end.
The result was a gap, but the clamp still held tight and function was unaffected.
Now came the fun part. I hung the MagClipped mags off of everything I could find. Belts. Molle systems. Pants pockets. Slings. It was interesting to say the least.
Basically, these things let you stick a mag anywhere you could need one (some limitations may apply), and when preoperly installed, the do not interfere with the operation of the weapon.
So far, in a limited number of mag draws using empty mags, they come out with the right amount of "give," and seem to stay in pretty well due to the hook at the business end of things. Ripping one of these things from my belt and slapping the mag into the gun felt pretty much as good as always, although I do use a beercan grip, so if you have a different grip style, YMMV.
I can think of a lot of times where attaching a magazine to an armor carrier or any other piece of LBE without using pouches would be ideal. For that bugout situation, where you may have mags in a bag, trunk, etc, but no mag pouches. In a situation where as an assaulter or operator where you might need to snag a magazine off of a buddy's backpack. He shouldn't have to carry the extra pouches for something you may or may not use.
The ability to take a mag, and just attach it to your person. I have had so many times at the range where I needed to just tuck a few mags on me, but couldn't do it practically unless I had some form of LBE. In the MagClip's case, all I need to get into the fight is my carbine and the mags themselves. Assuming that if trouble ever really came, and I grabbed my carbine and a few mags, I can sustain a decent combat load just using the mags, and the devices attached to them.
That's the theory, anyway. We'll see what happens when they hit the range. More on that soon.
I hit the range with another KCT'er to dope a red dot and run some drills and took the MagClips with me. The upside to the day was that we had the range to ourselves because of the downside of the day. It was hot as hell. We went to work, and sweated through a few drills. Both of us shucked our LBE. Our Gatorade was reduced to "hot piss" in my buddy's (correct) opinion.
We went through a series of limited-ammo reloading drills to keep fresh on that skill. It's surprising how infrequently we practice that when running full mags, so we downloaded to an unknown number and went to work.
I can say that so far, these things are excellent. My buddy was a bit skeptical of the MagClips when I first showed them to him, so I had him run several drills with them to see what he thought.
We spent the test of the day discussing the various uses for these things. For one, they are great when you need to run a course, a class, or just want to shoot on a hot day. You don't need anything other than the MagClip-equipped mags and your carbine. They attach nicely to your pocket, belt, etc, and although they can be tough to get in (think sliding a paddle holster into your belt), they come out with the right amount of "give" so that you know they are not going anywhere. At least so far. I haven't had the chance to go rolling though the dirt with them, and I think I will soon.
I only did some prone testing with these on a MOLLE rig while I was doping the red dot, no pics of that unfortunately, but I'm hoping I'll get a chance soon. Also, I'll probably get a couple of vids up the next time we hit the range.
These things will be undergoing testing for some time, and I'll report back on how they hold up.