PDA

View Full Version : Review: Fobus M16 Magazine Coupler



mcoupe11
08-23-2003, 09:16 AM
I have always felt that Tokyo Marui standard-capacity M16 magazines (heretofore referred to as locaps) were kind of useless. It's just a personal opinion, and I don't want to rehash the Hicap-vs-Locap discussion, but I've found that, given my style of play, I always manage to empty TM locaps far too quickly for them to be of much value. Still, I kept two of them in my loadout because I figured that eventually I'd adjust to their limited capacity and learn how to make the best use of them.

Then, a few months ago, G&P released their 130-rd standard M16 magazines (heretofore referred to as midcaps), and I bought a couple of them, mostly because of their competitive pricing. When I first started using them, I was quite impressed by their build quality and reliability, but what truly convinced me was the mythical middle ground they seemed to occupy in terms of ammo capacity; not too much, but enough to be useful.

The introduction of midcaps to my loadout magnified in my eyes the limited utility of my locaps, and I had a hard time even justifying the extra weight they represented. Not satisfied to just leave them behind or sell them, I decided to couple the two together to form a quasi-midcap; the time it takes to switch between coupled magazines is negligible, effectively giving me 136 rounds between reloads.

So, I kept my eye on eBay for a few days and picked up a Fobus M16 Magazine Coupler. Fobus products are manufactured by First Samco, a company that has built a decent reputation in the M16/AR15 accessories market, and so I felt that their coupler would probably be a quality product; besides that, it can be had for less than $10.

http://austinairsoft.com/photopost/data/500/28FMC.jpg

Upon its arrival, I found that the locaps slid easily into the coupler and fit well; I was worried that they wouldn't fit properly, since, I believe, airsoft M16 magazines are smaller and slimmer than their real counterparts. Once I had the magazines arranged in the coupler as I wanted them, all that remained was to simply tighten the two long screws which run in between the magazines. The resultant binding of the locaps is rock solid; I have no fear of ever losing one of the magazines in a game. Furthermore, the coupler is specifically designed not to damage or deform the magazines, in spite of the tightness of its grasp.

In basic terms, the coupler did exactly what I wanted it to, and so I am pleased. It does have a few drawbacks however, both related to the manner in which the bound magazines must be carried. They require a triple magazine pouch to fit in, which means that two magazines take the place of three, but do not completely fill out a triple pouch. For this reason, I bought a Tactical Tailor triple M16 pouch for my modular setup, as that particular pouch has an adjustable elastic band around the middle to cinch down on the magazines. Secondly, removing and replacing the coupled magazines isn't as straightforward as pulling them out or shoving them in; the edges of the coupler can catch onto the lip of the pouch and may require a little fiddling to get the magazines out or in.

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue to carry the locaps in their current coupled state, as I have yet to try them out in the field so arranged, but the coupler itself has done exactly what it was supposed to be capable of, and therefore is worthy of recommendation.