Americans are ingenious. That’s a well-known fact.Take just one look at the history of arms development in this country and it becomes easy to see what I’m talking about. As a wise man once said, you can’t stop the signal. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You’d think the California gun-grabbers would have figured that out by now, but I guess not.
What’s one of the easiest ways to get around the definition of a so-called “assault weapon” without having to remove your collapsible stock, pistol grip, flash hider, etc? Give your AR-15 a fixed, 10-round magazine. If it doesn’t detach or hold more than 10 rounds, you’re in the clear. (Makes sense, right? Don’t answer that.)
So, that’s exactly what CompMag did. The way it works is simple. Remove your upper receiver and insert the CompMag in your magwell. Next, put the supplied plate over the screw hole in the mag. Then, attach the mag to the magwell with the screw provided. (They even provide a tube of threadlocker.) Boom, you’re done. Now you’ve got a rifle with a fixed, 10-round magazine. You can hit the mag release as hard or as often as you want; it isn’t going to budge.
Installation was a breeze. Thankfully, I don’t live in a state that requires such silliness, so I opted not to use the threadlocker when testing, which would have created a “permanent solution.” Even so, using it would have only slowed me down by a matter of seconds.
But how do you load it? Once again, the operation is simple. A cover on the side of the unit slides down to provide access to the magazine’s internals. Pushing down a lever and locking the knob under the lip compresses the spring and allows you to load the mag. Simply insert 10 rounds into the mag, close the cover, and release the spring tension. You’re inserting the rounds at the bottom of the fixed portion of the mag, which means that each round thereafter gets pushed up into the internal cavity.
As a bonus, there’s even a round counter on the side that keeps track via the knob as it moved up in the mag.
Function testing couldn’t have been easier. Well, I guess it could have been if the mag fell free and I could slap another one in right away, but considering the circumstances, it was easy. When the bolt locked open after the tenth round, I just slid open the cover on the side of the mag and fed ten more rounds into it. I didn’t experience any issues with feeding, ejecting, locking open, etc.
When it comes down to it, the CompMag is a brilliant – and simple – solution to an annoying problem. Would it be better if California quit infringing on citizens’ rights? Absolutely. Is that ever going to happen? Good question. Until then, buy a CompMag or move out of the state!
Good news for AK owners: a CompMag for your gun is in the works!
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality: * * * * *
Everything is high-quality and American-made in California. The company didn’t skimp on any aspect of the design or build of the product.
Ease of Use: * * * * *
Installation and loading of the CompMag is completely idiot-proof.
Value: * * * *
At $64.99, the CompMag isn’t exactly cheap. Nonetheless, it is an all-American product and I’m sure it wasn’t cheap to develop, patent, and produce it. At the end of the day, can you really put a price on being able to keep your AR in California? (Again, don’t answer that.)
Overall: * * * *
It sucks that some people have to go to such lengths to keep their AR-15s, but this product makes it suck a little less. It’s super easy to use and incredibly well made. If you find yourself in a situation where you need something like this, I’d definitely recommend it. The price point is the only thing keeping it from a full five stars in my book.
Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.