What’s the biggest time waster at the range? Re-filling those empty magazines. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an automated way to save your thumbs and let you put more rounds down rage? Rejoice, range rats, because AFLoader is a robot that may just be the next must-have amenity at your local shooting range or home workbench.
In late June, AFA announced to the world their intention to bring to market the “first automated pistol “speed loader,'” the AFLoader.
Compatible with “double stack, single stack, and extended type magazines in 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers,” the AFLoader (v1, pictured above) utilizes a removable hopper to feed live rounds into the bot. Rifle caliber models are expected in future versions.
Touting varying capacities, a replaceable rechargeable battery, and a programmable OS, the system was designed to fit the needs of a variety of shooters. At its core, AFLoader’s basic design saves the user time and provides consistent loading. It will even eliminate fingerprints from casings, should that be a concern of yours.
Shooters with hand ailments (arthritis, joint pain, etc.) will also find relief with the AFLoader. And, of course, shooting ranges and their members could benefit from the system by making range trips more efficient.
A final version reveal was promised for July 7th via Indiegogo, however, after significant market feedback collected from internet forums, Facebook, Reddit, and other sources, AFLoader set their campaign aside and redesigned the magazine loader.
We got our first look at AFLoader Version 2 in late July with a 75-round hopper (above).
I connected with Dallas Jolley, CEO and Lead Designer at AFA, just in time to catch a new image of V2.
Version 2 (above) is more compact (6″ x 4.25″ x 8.5″ without hopper) and portable. The smaller footprint and simple controls are appealing, although, I wonder about the size of the small screen, which displays information like rounds remaining in hopper, any of the ten available programmable preset caliber/capacity pairings, and battery life. The smaller unit weighs in at 6.5 pounds sans hopper.
“The internals of this version were completely redesigned hence the flip of the hopper and mag insert location. The first version was built just to demonstrate the possibility of automatic loading. What we call version 2, is actually the 11th complete redesign of the machine and is as small as we could possibly imagine while still making it accurate and reliable,” offered Jolley when I inquired about the controls being moved from one side of the unit to the other.
The newly-posted video above shows the AFLoader spitting rounds past mag lips over twice as quickly as the test subject using a hand-held Maglula speed loading device. Faster is good here. And to be specific, the AFLoader feeds magazines at a rate of 1.7 rounds per second.
The unit takes up very little space on a flat surface like a range bench. The AFLoader can also be mounted to a wall or other surface.
After much anticipation, AFA has officially launched their AFLoader Indiegogo campaign, “AFLoader: Automated Pistol Magazine Loader,” to solicit backers. Their goal is to raise enough capital to purchase the equipment required to manufacture the units in-house.
Indiegogo Backer tiers start at $189 for a Standard System package. Each successive tier includes additional accessories such as batteries, hoppers, and mounting options.
The Standard AFLoader package comes with:
• AFLoader Unit
• (1) Battery (~500 rounds between charging)
• Battery Charger
• 3 Hoppers (Caliber/Capacity selected at time of purchase)
• Hopper Loading Tray
• User Manual
• Warranty Card (3-year Limited Warranty)
AFA has promised us a T&E model once they become available and I can’t wait to get my hands on it, even though I’ll probably just end up babysitting the machine while everyone at the range loads their mags. Stay tuned.