5.56 Timeline

New Magpul 40 Round P-Mag

People have been wanting the Magpul Pmag  40 rounder out for sell ever since seeing the teaser prototypes. The recent foolish attempts by those who think they are our rulers,  also exacerbated the desire to get the 40 rounders out.   Finally the Pmag is now out in a 40 round capacity in the new 3rd generation of Pmags.


As can be seen in the MK18 above, the mag is of course longer then a 30 round mag but not really by that much. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As a way to compare directly, above is a AWM Lancer, the 40 round Pmag and a Surefire 60 round magazine. As far as length goes, if I was looking at it solely from that point of view. I would certainly take the 60 over the 40 being its more ammo and the length is so close as to not matter. In fact, the Surefire is a bit shorter though it is wider.


While I see the 60 round SF as the kind of mag you keep in the gun for breaking an ambush, or full auto fire like the IAR or a game mag, the Pmag is closer to being something I could see being more of a standard carry item.

The 40 round mag does stick up out of pouches more of course, but its not a absurd amount.  I would limit its use for game use at this point though, until purpose made pouches come out.  You can see that they are workable though.


This is two 40s crammed into my ten speed pouches on my plate carrier. Not great, but you can do it.  When used on a belt for game use, the amount they stick up is nothing I can see worrying about.


I want to mention that while they seem to be weighing down my belt and want to break the FastMags away, the problem is I actually put the belt on over top another belt with a double pistol mag pouch resting under the belt with the Pmags. When the belt is worn properly, everything is nice and snug. It is only 10 more rounds after all.


As a last side by side, here is a 40 rounder in a “krinkov.”  The AK mag is 45 rounds, but the 40 round Pmag makes  the MK18 a much better choice in every way to the PDW/subcarbine role the krink is excellent at being.

Now, as far as reliability goes, its a Pmag. I can go on and on with pointless filler blather about it, but most know how well a Pmag works.   If you have a Pmag those does not work, its your gun, not the Pmag 999 times out of 1000. Sorry if that cause anal discomfort but its the truth.   As an aside I think the Lancer AWM is like a perfect Pmag but that is off topic. I do feel strongly enough about the quality of the Lancer AWM that I try to spread the word often.

I purchased 3 of the new forty rounds Pmags and set to abusing them over the weekend.  The first testing was done with the help of my friend where we did testing in a few guns to make sure the bolt locks open and the mag drops free.  I went on to do my usual testing of resting the gun on the mag as a mono-pod, putting pressure on it front back and side to side etc, to get it to fail.  No problems.   I and my friend fired mag dump after mag dump as fast as we could work the trigger with no problem


While the lower on the MK18 got so hot that I could not touch it with the bare hands, th emag worked fine.  The reason for using the SBR is the common myths of the SBRs not being reliable, so I figured if it would have a problem, the  SBR might cause it. OF course the Colt MK18 worked as I fully expected and so did that magazine.

The carbine often got so hot that we had to be careful handling it since we forgot to wear gloves.  This resulted in the gun smoking after each mag dump.



The mags all worked in the usual magpul way.  Loading the mags are not hard either. I thought the spring would get pretty stiff by the last few rounds, but its not bad at all. I also could not discern any extra effort needed to insert a full mag on a closed bolt. That was a nice surprise for me since I did not expect it, and the follower is nice and smooth.

The mags come with the standard dust cover and have the new floor plate that will not take the older generation adapter sadly.  As far as I know, the new mags are in black only.

I am still pleased with the Surefire 60 rounds mags since i have not had a problem with mine nor has any other Looserounds staff had a problem, but I like the idea of the 40s. Its a little more but more compact.  It will take a few months before I really trust them for a fight like I do the 30 round Pmag, but I can see no real reason to worry.  I just like to let something become proven over time, Magpul is certainly capable of making fine magazine, so I take that into account, but it is a new mag with a new shape so I will wait and make sure.  As for now, after a year I tentatively trust the surefire 60s, and after another year , I will feel comfortable with them in use other then training or match use. The 40 round Pmag, not being as drastic is almost surely completely worry free, but I would advise doing thorough testing anyway.

Umbrella Corporation Weapons Research Group, Grip-23

Several months ago Umbrella Corporation Weapons Research Group (www.ucwrg.com) provided us with a few of their Grip-23 AR15 grips. I was very happy to have the opportunity to get my hands on them as they are hard to get. Jaime, at UCWRG was a pleasure to deal with and you could tell their customer service was a top priority.

UCWRG Grip-23
UCWRG Grip-23, FDE & Black

First impressions:

Several things interested me in the Grip-23. Our friends at Tactical Link (www.tacticallink.com) got me interested in UCWRG. I saw the Grip-23 showing up on rifles, in a lot of Tactical Link’s pictures, on their Facebook page. I wanted to try some of the new grips that were coming out with a more vertical grip. I have had some wrist issues and felt that the more vertical grip would help me with those issues. At just twenty dollars,  the Grip-23 is a lot less than other big name grips. After receiving two Grip-23’s from UCWRG, one in FDE and another in Black, I mounted them on two of my rifles.

Initially I was worried about liking the grip. Magpul Design Group was consulted about AR15 grip design and several prototypes resulted from this information. I have never been a fan of the Magpul grips and was apprehensive about any influence the consulting had in the Design of the Grip-23. Once I mounted the Grip-23, I immediately felt the benefits of the more vertical angle of the grip. It is a no frills, simple, no B.S. design.

UCWRG Grip-23, FDE & Black.
UCWRG Grip-23, FDE & Black.
USWRG Grip-23 FDE, Magpul FDE L-Plate, Tactical Link Z-360 Patriot Brown.
USWRG Grip-23 FDE, Magpul FDE L-Plate, Tactical Link Z-360 Patriot Brown.

Grip-23 Ergonomics:

When you look at the Grip-23, you notice it has an extended beaver tail or (Tang) on the grip, much like the Magpul grips but the Grip-23’s is larger.  This larger, thicker tang pushes the web of the hand down farther than other grips. The benefit to this is a straight pull in the trigger.  The index finger/trigger finger is parallel to the bore of the rifle and this allows a straight to the rear pull on the trigger.  This index helps with accuracy and quicker follow up shots. With traditional angled grips, I find that my trigger finger is coming down at a slight angle. If you have some kind of match trigger like a Geissele in your AR, you will definitely see the benefits to the improved  ergonomics.

Another thing I noticed with the better index, was the reach on the magazine release. The lower hand grip, more vertical angle and parallel index  allows you to get a full finger pad on the magazine release. This gave a positive no doubt press to release the magazine, on a reload.

UCWRG Grip-23, Grip.
UCWRG Grip-23, Grip.
UCWRG Grip-23,  Grip Width.
UCWRG Grip-23, FDE & Black, Grip Width.

The vertical angle of the Grip-23 also lends itself to an elbow down shooting position with the fire control hand/arm.  This helps you avoid (Chicken Wing) with your strong side arm. With the more vertical  grip and elbow down hold, you can get the rifle closer into your body and control recoil better. I have had several injuries involving my wrist. With a tradition angled grips, my wrist hurts or becomes fatigued when I have to remove my support hand from the rifle.  I found with the Grip-23 I was able to support the weapon, with one hand, for longer periods of time, without my wrist hurting or forcing me to lower the rifle. This made working the charging handle and doing magazine exchanges much easier. One area that you really notice a difference in the angle of the grip, is in a low ready or hanging position. Much like if you were patrolling or doing perimeter security. It feels much more natural when holding the grip in low ready as you don’t have your wrist kinked like on a standard grip.

UCWRG Grip-23, Black, Colt LE6940.
UCWRG Grip-23 Black, on Colt LE6940.


As I stated in the beginning, the Grip-23 is a simple, no B.S. design. Having said that, the no fills simplicity but well thought out design is what this grip is all about.  I have never used the storage compartments in other grips and the Grip-23 happens to have no storage feature. It has a hollow open bottom like a standard A2 grip. There is no trigger gap extension, to cover up the infamous gap at the trigger guard, that you find on other grips. UCWRG understands that most users are replacing the standard trigger guard with a Magpul trigger guard or other similar manufacturer enhanced trigger guard.  The Magpul trigger guards come on most of the big name (Colt, Daniel Defense, BCM) rifle manufactures now, so the gap extension is not needed. The Grip-23 has a smooth, none aggressive texture.  After market stippling is common for those who want a more aggressive surface.

By focusing on the angle and placement of the fire control hand, in relation to the trigger and controls of the AR15 platform, UCWRG has created a grip that enhances AR15 handling performance at a very low cost. In most cases $15.00 to $20.00 less than other aftermarket grips.

UCWRG Grip-23, Black on Colt LE6920.
UCWRG Grip-23 Black, on Colt LE6920.

Overall Impressions:

I really like the UCWRG Grip-23. I think it enhances overall weapon handling and manipulation. The Grip-23 is competing heavily with my favorite go to grip at half the price. One thing you will notice in all of my pictures, there is a Tactical Link Z-360 sling mount on all of the rifles. The Grip-23 gives good separation between the grip and mount. If you like the Z-360 mounts the Grip-23 is a very nice addition in combination with the Z-360 mount.  As I continue to mess around with the Grip-23, I like the benefits of the Grip-23 more and more.  In my opinion, for the price, you will not get another grip that gives you more ergonomic and weapon handling performance than the UCWRG Grip-23. Personally, the UCWRG Grip-23 is also just damn sexy looking on a rifle. I think the Grip-23 will find it’s way on to more of my AR15’s in the future.