With pistol caliber carbines being all the rage these days, it seems that GLOCK mags have firmly taken their place as a standard in the PCC world. But while they are widely available, affordable, and of high quality, not everyone is on the GLOCK magazine bandwagon.
If you don’t own a GLOCK and want to match your pistol caliber carbine magazines to your handgun of choice, then Matador Arms might have the solution for you. The Mag-X system converts a standard AR-15 multi caliber lower to a variety of handgun magazine platforms.
Yes, the Mag-X conversion includes GLOCK, but they also accommodate SIG SAUER P320 magazines, Smith & Wesson M&P magazines, and, best of all, CZ-75 magazines. I’ve gotten both the SIG and CZ Mag-X models and been taking them for a spin.
What Exactly Is It?
The Mag-X is a conversion block that is essentially the size of a standard AR-15 magazine. It locks into the lower receiver and is held in place by the magazine release.
The downside is the fact that the standard AR magazine release releases the Mag-X adapter block. That means the Mag-X adapter drops out if you press the AR mag release button.
However, Matador was smart enough to include a bolt and washer that lock the block in place, rendering it impossible to release the Mag-X from the magazine well. That can be handy in case muscle memory kicks in and you you press the lower’s magazine release button when your magazine is empty.
That may lead you to wonder…how exactly, then, do you release an empty pistol magazine?
Positioned at the bottom of the aluminum Mag-X adapter, in front of the magazine, is a paddle that releases the magazine when depressed. It allows you to grip the magazine as you press the release and pull it free.
It’s a large ambidextrous paddle that’s actually very easy to use. Couple that with the built-in ejector, and we have a simple, all-in-one package. It’s truly a drop-in design. Installing it is as simple as inserting a magazine.
The requirements to use it are simple. You need a 9mm upper and a GLOCK-cut bolt. After that, all you need is a standard AR-15 lower receiver, and a heavy buffer might be a good idea.
Does the Mag-X Work?
I used both Mag-X conversion blocks in the same lower and upper. Installation is, of course, straightforward. Because I was swapping between different conversion blocks, I didn’t install the bolt that locks the adapter in place. Again, that’s fine as long as you don’t press the AR’s magazine release button.
Even so, the standard magazine release was more difficult to press than usual with the adapter inserted, so the block isn’t likely to drop out once it’s installed. It would take a very firm press of the magazine release button to drop the adapter. That’s a good thing.
In terms of reliability, I couldn’t make these things stutter. They ran without issue with all my standard OEM and Mec-Gar magazines. The magazine conversion blocks both locked into the magazines with ease and held them in place without issue.
I blasted through hundreds of rounds, and every round fed, extracted, and ejected without a problem. Note that when using the Mag-X, you lose last round bolt hold open. That’s the only downside I’ve found.
Admittedly it takes a few tries to get used to a new magazine release, but it’s ergonomic and easy to reach and use with some practice.
The standard capacity P320 and CZ-75 magazines may look a might bit goofy poking out a full-sized rifle. The CZ-75 extended 26-round magazine looks a little better and more fitting for a rifle. The utility, though, is hard to beat.
If you own all four adapters — SIG, M&P, CZ and GLOCK — you could use one rifle with all of those magazine platforms. I’d imagine these would be quite handy if you were stocking up for a potential ban on “high capacity” magazines, or if you shoot a multitude of handguns and want to swap magazines with a single rifle or AR pistol.
Mag-X Price and Availability
The Mag-X blocks retail for $119.99 apiece. They are well-made pieces of gear made of anodized aluminum. Currently, the SIG, CZ, and M&P models are available with the GLOCK model shipping at the end of February. You can check them out here.
Specifications: Mag-X Pistol Caliber Magazine Adapter
Compatible Calibers: 9mm
AR Compatibility: Mil-Spec
Suggested Buffer: 5.8 ounces
Ratings (out of 5 Stars):
Reliability * * * * *
The Mag-X adapter blocks never fail to go bang. Both blocks I tried functioned perfectly. I only used Mec-Gar and OEM magazines and am curious to see if aftermarket P320 magazines from ETS would work as well. As it stands the Mag-X works perfectly.
Ergonomics * * * *
It’s such a simple system there isn’t a lot to it. It slides into the lower’s magazine well easily, locks in place, and is easy to use. The only downside is getting used to the new magazine release position on such an iconic weapon.
Bang for Your Buck * * * *
This isn’t the only magazine conversion for Mil-Spec AR-15s out there. Plenty of companies make conversions so your rifle can use GLOCK magazines and some of those are $10 to $20 cheaper. However, this is the only conversion I know of that offers S&W, CZ, and SIG options.
Overall * * * *
The Mag-X conversion blocks are very well made, and well designed. They utilize solid construction and open up the number of compatible PCC magazine options. What’s not to love?