Where are they now? – Redi-Mag edition


The name of the picture above is, “CarbinePerfection001.jpg”. Among the many accessories this gun wears, is a Redi-Mag.

What’s a Redi-Mag? It is a magazine holder that you clamp to the side of your gun. It is like having a second mag well. When you drop the first mag, you then use the mag on the left side of the gun to reload.

There are several version of the Redi-Mag, and there was apparently enough demand that Blue Force Gear offered a modified version of it (now discontinued). Older models have been discontinued and replaced with a lighter machined aluminum version. Most Redi-Mag mag holders had a lever to release the magazine in the Redi-Mag, but there was a model that was slaved to the rifle magazine release. When you would need to reload, you would grab the mag in the Redi-Mag with your left hand, hit the mag release to button to drop the mag in the gun and release the mag in the Redi-Mag. Then you would reload as normal.

Never been done before, right?

Oh wait, it pretty much fills the same niche as a mag coupler. Unlike a mag coupler, you jettison the spent mag, and have the option of putting a replacement magazine in the now empty Redi-Mag.

Now let’s take a trip back in time.

It is 2008ish. Most all commercial AR15s come with heavy barrels. We are installing heavy quad-rails, lights, lasers, vertical forward grips, and optics. Our guns have a huge increase in performance than the older slick iron sighted rifles, but our guns have massively grown in weight and bulk. Instead of carrying a 6-7 pound rifle or carbine, we are carrying 9+ pound railed mess of tactical gear. A great increase of capability at the cost of weight.

So the idea of slapping on a half pound accessory that is suppose to make you faster was not exactly disliked. Then adding another pound of loaded magazine was not considered terrible.

Especially when you had folks like Tarvis Haley and Larry Vickers pushing the product.

Look at that gun above. Two optics, light, laser, silencer, redimag, you have one heavy gun there.

The Redi-Mag was most often recommend for police officers. The idea being that often when they grabbed their patrol carbine they did not grab extra ammo, or a chest rig, etc. Having a Redi-Mag meant that they would have a reload right there on the rifle. Sort of like a side saddle on a shotgun.

So where are all these Redi-Mags?

I was noticing that I haven’t seen a rifle with a Redimag for a long time now.

I guess people don’t want to spend 100-200 dollars to slap a pound and a half on the side of their rifle now.

Nowadays more rifles are coming with lighter weight barrels, light weight free float tubes, and our optics have gotten smaller and lighter. We don’t want another pound a half on our guns slowing down how fast we can swing them from target to target.

Would you use a Redi-Mag now? Comment below.


  1. I had one for a couple years. It was a wicked fast reload there was no denying that. The biggest things that were the drawbacks are exactly what you said; extra weight and bulk.

    For a run and gun game where you shoulder the rifle for a minute or two at a time it’s not a big deal. If you’re a high speed door kicker where contact is a matter of when and not if then probably equally not an issue and it’d be desirable to have 30 or 40 extra rounds ready to rock. Most folks probably don’t fit into either broad category.

    What’s not necessarily mentioned is the shift in the shooter’s gear. The chest rig gave up some of its mojo as the ONLY load carriage solution to the so called battle belts. Belt rigs added kydex or similar handy, rapid reaction mag carriers that still allowed a pretty fast reload. Not a new concept but one that gathered more traction.

    The second shift was in the rifle. Quad rails gave way to slick, narrow MLok and KeyMod handguards. People wanted “cleaner” profiles. The RediMag doesn’t fit into that concept.

    I don’t think I’d go back to a RediMag. I’ve a couple PMags w/ couplers as grab and go’s that serve the same basic purpose but that I’m also not saddled with on the rifle all the time.

      • I never saw much merit to all those heavy carbine barrels in my case. Other’s mileage may vary of course. I preferred to shed the weight out front to keep the balance more centered as best I could. It was still just as accurate as I needed it to be and lasted for thousands of rounds.
        As for the handguards…I’m pretty indifferent. Given the choice I’d rather have a slim, railed handguard instead of MLok or whatever. I’m not convinced adding a piece to connect an accessory is smart. Maybe I’m just old and set in my ways and fear change.

  2. I really want to update my ar. I put it together in 2008 and it is exactly how you describe. In my defense I didn’t want a heavy barrel it just came that way and the quad rail looked smaller in the pictures haha

  3. My AR was built to be light. Pencil barrel, lightweight rail, light stock, red dot instead of a LPVO for weight.

    If I want it heavy and more bullets, I’ll feed it a D60. When the bullets are gone the mag and weight go too.

  4. I don’t see the value of this over a magazine coupler. The size and weight are about the same and there is nothing attached to the gun so you can instantly slim down with a single magazine
    As an aside, the guy who taught my 3 gun class uses 2 40 round PMAGs with a coupler instead of belt pouches, trading weight on his carbine for belt space for shotgun and pistol reloads

  5. My first real boss in the Army was a Delta veteran who was in Mogadishu. He had a Redi-Mag so they sprouted up around the battalion and I also had one for a little bit. But man it was heavy. It was nice when you were on a FOB that required mag out of the weapon but otherwise it was cumbersome. I ended up pulling it off. The coupled pmags aren’t a bad idea for the gun safe though. I may have to try that out.

  6. The Redi-Mag is alive and well on my duty carbine. I trained in 2016 with the local FBI regional SWAT and they ran Redi-Mags on their Colt SBR’s. Naval Special Warfare also ran them for years (not certain about now). The Redi-Mag is worth it’s weight in gold when you have a grab and go scenerio like an active shooter or another threat where deployment speed is critical.

  7. I just used mine at a rifle class on a 300blk. Why would I add more weight to a rifle? I’m not patrolling with it. This is my truck gun that I take with me when I travel. I’m also not going to be wearing a war belt or tactical pants. I can do a speed reload faster from the redi mag than from a belt or pocket where those seconds counts. What if your mag jams? Speed reload from the redi mag. What if you’re doing a tac reload? Reload from the magazine in your pocket and keep the full magazine in your redi mag. I always carry three magazines almost fully loaded. I don’t like mag couplers because you can’t pocket the magazine that’s empty.


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