Over at The Firearm Blog, Steve has an entry up about a patent that Magpul has filed for a Quad-stack AR15/M16 magazine.
If you’re a 3Gun shooter, it should be pretty obvious why this would be a neat bit of gear to have on high round-count rifle stages. Being able to cut out even a single reload could save somewhere between 2-4 seconds on a stage. While that doesn’t sound like much, when you’re talking about a game that’s all about executing a series of actions in the most efficient manner possible, 2-4 seconds is a pretty big difference.
Currently, there are a number of greater-than-30-round magazines on the market. For the most part, they’re utter crap designed to separate suckers from their money.
There’s at least one manufacturer of higher-cap AR magazines that do make a high quality product, and that’s Tripp Research. Their Super 42 and Super 52 magazines function with an acceptable level of reliability, and are built quite stoutly. I have no problem recommending them.
The other example of a higher-cap magazine that most everyone knows about are the Beta-C drums. I owned one for a short while, and it was neat, but I’m hesitant to recommend them for serious competition as they seem to be finicky and the feed towers are not terribly well made. I pretty much swore off of them after seeing a guy have to walk off of an uncompleted stage at Rocky Mountain 3 Gun last year due to a failed Beta.
Also, depending on the match rules, use of a Beta magazine may not be allowable in any division except for Open.
While I like the Tripp magazines, it is true that they are a bit unwieldly. Not enough to be a major hindrance, but still. Assuming Magpul takes this new quad-stack magazine into production, and that they run reliably, they could be quite useful for 3Gun shooters competing in the tactical division.