Last year X Products rolled out their highly successful X-15 coil magazine as a compact all aluminum and steel alternative to existing magazines in the market place.
The compact magazine holds 50 Rounds of .223 and 5.56×45 Full Metal Jacket and .300 Black Out, and does not compromise forearm or prone shooting positions
Since Its inception, demand skyrocketed and put the magazine on a one year back order, requiring X Products to invest in production technology to keep up with demand. After the start of the new fiscal year X Products began producing the magazine’s housing from a high pressure die cast (HPD) aluminum, and used a sub-contractor for Crimson Trace ® to produce the followers from high impact glass filled nylon. All other parts remained the same and are built from billet aluminum and steel.
During the transition X Products found that the HPD aluminum was markedly improved from the original, as the product held better tolerances in production and lost a few ounces of weight as the process removed un-necessary material. The change also improved aesthetics by adding radiuses to all external edges and made the magazine easier to handle. The durability of the magazine exceeded the standards and proved equally reliable, submersion, mud and drop tests were all passed with flying colors.
Although priced a bit higher than most magazines, the X-15 is built around the principles of quality and lasting a lifetime. The majority of the magazine is built from high grade components: aluminum, steel, and very few plastic parts. In an era of Ipad Airs, thin cell phones and plastic molded magazines, the X-15 is not light, in comparison to most magazines it’s a tank. Empty it weighs 1lb 12 oz. and 3lbs loaded, so there is an element of heft. The majority of the weight comes from the powerful .55 inch clock spring that drives the single stack magazine. The spring alone weighs over 1 lb. although heavy it allows the magazine to feed at a factory guaranteed 1100 rounds per minute! Most AR-15’s and M-16 in full auto operate at 650 rounds per minute and about 850 rounds per minute suppressed depending on the rifle, so it may be overkill; Yet I think all of us prefer more than less when it comes to performance in our guns. The philosophy, “just enough” doesn’t apply here.
The New X-15 Skeletonized “The Bling Model”
Unlike most manufactures X Products tends to think outside the box and likes to bring new, innovative and just plainly cool looking products to market that work. For instance two years ago they introduced to what many would consider an unconventional and controversial product the X-25-S (S for Skeletonized) a 50 round drum for .308 / 7.62×51 AR style rifles with light weight 4th axis cuts through the main body. Instantly it was a hit, and as usual anything that new and unusual came with a lot of controversy. Specifically references from internet arm chair warriors about similarities between the X Products Skeletonized drums and the infamous WWI problem child the Chauchat machinegun.
If you’re not familiar with the history of the French Chauchat it was the world’s first infantry light machinegun. While the Chauchat was an infamous failure on the battlefield, it has about as much in common with the X-25 S, as a model T does with a modern Rolls Royce.
The only common feature they share is ammunition visible through a cut out magazine, though some might think this is a problem, X Products has proven it is not.
The Skeletonized X-25 S and X-15 S were never meant for the battle field, they were built to be an object of desire that made you salivate at its appearance, kind of like fake breasts, “they look good, but functionality suffers after child birth.” The X-25 S and X-15 S were designed for the guys kicking ass in the 3 gun circuit, when they’re showing off their rifle they had an extra inch. I mean who wants to get their ass kicked by a guy with a Chauchat magazine!
X-15 S in Rainier Arms RUC Rifle
Regardless of its appearance it has proven time and time again that it will take just as much punishment as the next magazine. There are multiple videos of the magazines being submerged in muddy water and fired without a hitch and it makes sense. Mechanically all the debris that touches the magazine would fall out while the ammo rotates, the holes face 280 degrees towards horizon so it would never be caught in the critical areas.
To date none of the Skeletonized Magazines have been returned to X Products for warranty repair; it’s a testament to their reliability. The reality for most if not all of us is that we do not roll in the mud with our rifle, it’s just not ethical and to some it’s sacrilegious, but to each their own and for that reason they offer enclosed models.
Picture of PWS MK 114 and X Products X-15
Many shooters question the purpose of a drum magazine and many would rather strap two 30 round magazines together for less than $30, and try to quickly modulate between them before justifying the cost of $239 for a single unit. However, when time is critical and a magazine change can cost you valuable seconds it will be hard for top competitors not to find a home for the X-15 50 round capacity.
Many 3 Gun competitors in the open class have been using quad stack mags, and mag extensions for that very reason. However many elite competitors are making the switch to the X-15 because it eliminates the need for a quick mag change, and easily maneuvers around obstacles due to its compact profile, allowing the user to comfortably fire from the prone position, which many shooters will agree is extremely critical for maintaining accuracy.
Creative Solution! 3 Gun Competitor on the left with a home-made Kydex mag holster. Right: new holster for the magazine coming at the end of the month.
X Products is looking forward to action at 3 gun matches in 2014 and the manufactures representatives will attend many competitions with sample models in hand and product knowledge to assist competitors. The events should provide critical field use data that will be used to improve their products and future offerings. X-Products believe that this information will help confirm the magazines durability and will help with developing their products for military use.
We will see what the future brings!
X products plans to deliver several new products at Shot Show 2014 Shot. In the works are drums for the MP-5, and AK-47 and a couple items that we cannot talk about this early in the game…