You should probably check out TorkMags.
I’ve finally bought a product that I have been watching for at least a year. I got some for Christmas too. Good times.
That product is a very cleverly designed magazine by a company called TorkMag. I have no affiliation with them, but I want to promote small companies making good products.
The first caveat is that I haven’t got to shoot any of them yet, but I will do a video asap. This is an initial impressions discussion, and also a use cases discussion.
I think most people haven’t heard of this company. I think that’s a shame, because they must have laid out a lot of money to do as good a job developing their product.
The Tork Mag is a durable plastic mag with two springs in it. A normal spring in the back, but shorter, and a clock spring in the front, pulling the follower up. This eliminates the need for some of the bulk of spring, and for a tall anti tilt follower, and lets you put more rounds in a smaller package. They come in 50, 40, and 35 round capacities. I would love to get one in 20 for a bag gun.
Those that have heard of them, probably just heard “there’s another company making 50 round AR mags.” This misses the point.
It’s true that they make a remarkably compact doublestack 50 round AR mag, but the main point is that this is a well made mag that is probably more reliable than a normal 30 round. Not some gimmicky range toy. They are really well made, and well fitted. It’s a thick, stiff glass reinforced nylon with a lot of glass in it. They are well fit, and well trimmed. Not some cheapy. It’s not a jammy quad stack coffin mag, it is a hi cap that you can actually use, unless you want to go prone with a short bipod anyway. It would be practical for your LMG ish settup with a tall bi-pod and a binary trigger, or for your 3gun rig as the big mag you start stages with. I would not be afraid to drop this mag while dashing from one shooting position to another. The 40s really scream competition load out.
But that’s still not the point either. The point is that these are really well made mags that are theoretically immune to binding, and pop the rounds up faster. Bolt over base is very unlikely with this design. They are still serviceable, and because of the design, they can fit more rounds in the same vertical space. So for a mag about the size of a normal 30 rounder, you get 35 rounds. Having a normal sized mag that has 5 more rounds and still fits all your pouches, and still lets you get low to the ground is the point.
Things that make them appealing to me
1) no guide ribs. This is a pro and a con. Because the clock spring in the front provides a very uniform surface for the tip of the bullet to ride up, they don’t need a guide rib to put friction at the shoulder of 556. That’s the guide rib that interferes with the actual projectile on many 300 blackout loads, and causes the stack to be pidgeon toed. Instead the stack stays straight. So if you have some fat subs, or some stumpy supers, or a big meplat hunting bullet, it will fit.
The downside is that because there’s no rib if the overall cartridge length is short, the cartridge has room to shift front and back.
Compare to the USGI (top) in which the ogive of the bullet rests against the rib creating slight toe-in.
There Ain’t No Ribs in Me:
2) They are generally nice in the hand and are visually distinctive from Pmags. I like P mags, but everyone has them. I want my mags to be easy to tell apart from my friends’ and especially when I am shooting 300 Blackout and they brought 223.
3) As of 12/29/20 the pricing is remarkably reasonable and they are in stock. That speaks to the company not being dirtbags, since it’s a prime opportunity to gouge right now.
The 50s cost substantially more, and are probably where the company has its profit margin. The 35 rounders are priced $2 more than I find Pmags for right now, with the 40s being cheaper. That’s remarkable, since they almost certainly cost more to make, and have less economy of scale.
So: T50 $28.45, T40 $16.10, T35 $14.20 https://torkmag.com/specials/ These have been roughly the same price for several months.
4) They are a completely normal magazine in practice with exceptional build quality.
Really durable 35 in the form factor of a 30. So all the things you can do with a normal mag apply. They fit in the same pouches, drop free the same, monopod the same. These stand a good chance of being a primary general purpose mag. Barely more than a Pmag or USGI, and a lot less than a Lancer.
40s aren’t much more. There are places where a 40Pmag is just pushing it but these fit nicely. Last I checked the Pmag 40s cost around $40, so that’s another win. The T40 is just right for using as a monopod for me, and the 35 works. YMMV.
I’d take 3 T50s for the price of 1 D60 day in day out. Those two are mags I would trust for serious purposes (after I prove these out.)
These are also more cost effective than less trustworthy large capacity alternatives: Surefire coffin mags are iffy- the consensus is they work when clean with ammo they like, no steel case for sure. Not sure I would trust the ATI Schmeisser quad stacks, but I’d try them as a toy. X products are way more expensive, and are more of a novelty. Beta mags get dishonorable mention.
Things I don’t like as much:
1) The feed angle. The feed angle is standard, same as a USGI or most generations of Pmag. So this is a con for most magazines. I wish it were pointed a little nose up like the Pmags developed for M855A1. This would make feeding funkier bullet designs easier. I can’t have everything, I guess.
2) Slightly increased feed pressure. These do take more work to load. Not a ton more, and way less than say a 30 round pistol mag when you get the big ones full, but enough that you would probably appreciate using one of the load assist devices if you have arthritis. If a 50 was made using conventional compression spring only, and it had enough spring pressure to feed reliably, it would probably be about twice the force to get the last few in. I know that’s speculation, but that’s how it works.
3) The 50 is going to be too tall for normal pouches, and for normal prone shooting without a very tall bi-pod.
4) No compact 20 or 25 option. I have a satchel gun, which lives in a tennis racket case or a backpack. The normal “tanker” 20 round mags just fit. For that role, fitting nicely in the bag needs a smaller magazine. Benchrest shooting is nicer with a smaller mag too. I don’t see them making those sizes any time soon.
So if you are interested in these, I would suggest getting a few of the 35s or 40s. If having a 50 sounds fun to you, by all means. If you want to do destructive tests or 1,000,000 round endurance tests, please send me a link. I won’t do that, but I will get a video up sometime soon showing them shooting with 300 BO, good or bad.
Here’s what someone else thinks of them: https://youtu.be/Va0XNUNAAQM?t=1434
GunFunZS (AKA just GunFun in some venues) is an avid tinkerer. He is a techy guy with experience in commercial fishing, fabrication and the practice of law, and some other stuff too. He knows gun law professionally, and ballistics as an enthusiastic amateur student of many years. Show. Him. The. Data.
He loves paintball and motorcycles, and making knives. He grew up shooting at pests in Alaska, and that formed a lot of his shooting biases and bad habits.