Magpulls, nothing from Magpul.
Often in airsoft when you hear players talk about upgrading, its all for performance on the target range. Shooting further, adding fps until it’s 1 under the limit, more accuracy, maybe making it look pretty. And yeah, some of that of course is going to be useful. What is often ignored, however, are those upgrades that make a difference out in the field. Because, ultimately, that’s where you need things that make a difference.
I’ve recently discussed the issue of reloading (Reloads and loads), because it’s one of those parts of the game that you need to be able to do easily and without much movement, so as not to be given away. It’s one of the things we need to be able to do well. Indeed, I’ve seen a recent video by a well known UK YouTube sniper where he’s completely stuck, with enemy close and unable to perform a reload on his SRS rifle without being spotted, although that was as much to do with standing up and choosing to stand right on a well used pathway as a final firing position (I’ll do another blog soon on good firing positions), but hopefully he’ll learn from these mistakes. Many years ago, with the fiddly stock VSR mag release button, I’d often find myself having to really mess on with the rifle, turning it upside down and waving it in the air to try and get a magazine out of the gun for a reload, and it usually resulted in being spotted; let’s face it, if you’re having to reload it’s because you’ve run out of ammo, which means you’re shooting at someone, which means they’re close. Critical.
A few years back, I got some pull tabs from printedairsoft.com (review here) which proved to be an absolute game changer, being able to pull down on something to release the mag more easily, with less movement and usually being able to keep the gun trained on the target area too. Well, OTARShop have gone one better and designed a bigger one which doubles as a kind of angled foregrip on the gun, and have very kindly sent some out for me to have a proper look at. Here’s the two side by side. The OTARShop ones are much bigger, but not shaped in a way that they’d snag on anything and are still less than the protrusion of the trigger guard so it’ll still allow you to get low.
Available individually or in a pack of 3, I’d recommend the 3 pack as you receive the necessary superglue to attach them and some sandpaper, as well as a cool patch. This isn’t just a product in a bag, it’s a kit, which is great. I got a sticker too to add to my work mat. OTARShop is pretty new to the market, doing a range of VSR goodies, pre upgraded rifles (much better than recommending an SRS or Novritsch rifle to a new player), carbine kits and a few accessories and bb’s. It’s not a sprawling warehouse of a site yet, but the 3D printing is good and developing, and I can see a lot of scope for rifle accessories from 3D printers going forwards.
Therefore, these are 3D printed. Or at least mine are, OTARShop now has a resin printer so the new ones will be much higher quality, and this bodes well for future products. As a result, mine had a few burrs and uneven edges to sand down but no problem. They’re very solidly built too, no concerns about them coming apart.
Dab some glue on both sides. The slope should face forward (front toward enemy!). At this point I managed to superglue my glue bottle to the mat, then my hand to the glue bottle trying to rescue it, so be careful and don’t squeeze too hard!
And done. These are 50 round Cyma mags, which are also available from OTARShop, so if you’re still using the basic 20 round mags, it’s worth a full upgrade while you’re at it. 150 shots is more than enough for me for probably a week of sniping, even being undisciplined and trigger happy for the week. There are a couple of minor issues with the thumb hole being a fraction off on alignment, which I’ve passed on to the designer, but it’s not going to be an issue in the field at all.
The grippy side of the magpull gives a VERY good amount of grip, and a very good hold on the front of the rifle, which is something I’ve never bothered about before but in wet weather might be handy. Not that I’ve ever dropped a VSR before. It’s a grip design that might be useful applied elsewhere too, which I’ll have a think about and pass back to the designer.
Now the question I’ve seen most about these grips – how do they affect how many you can carry in a mag pouch? Well, this will come back to how much ammo you carry overall, to go back to Reloads and Loads, and what pouches you use. I couldn’t find my Warrior pistol mag pouches, buried under tons of kit, but measured up to a mk23 mag, these won;t allow you to stick a VSR mag in a pistol mag pouch, which is a shame because I know so many these days have adopted these modular Viper VX rigs for all their sniping needs. However, I’ve had a dig around my gear room and if you run two or three like I do;
You can get two very nicely into a 5.56 double mag pouch (or 4 into a 7.62mm pouch like this one if you need more);
But not those open top bungee ones, which you shouldn’t be using anyway because you’ll get dirt onto the bb’s.
It fits fine into a buttstock pouch like this, giving you one immediately in an emergency, then refill or swap it when you get out of trouble. This is proper mag management…
Other than that, they’ll fit into any utility or dump pouch. Obviously, you’re sacrificing some kind of capacity but gaining the ability to easily extract mags and reload without too much hassle. And staying hidden while being able to keep up fire at the enemy is key to what we do.
Overall, very clever design and a good product, well packaged and definitely does make a difference out in the field, and doesn’t cost a lot. Top marks, and will be watching for other new products in the near future.