In 2016, California lawmakers and voters approved a broad swath of new firearms regulations that have made the state home to the most stringent gun laws in the country. But California has yet to become a hell for Second Amendment devotees; in fact, the new restrictions touched off a wave of invention that would make pioneers like John Browning and Samuel Colt proud.
With the passage SB 880 last year, California now forces unregistered AR-15s to use a fixed magazine system that requires owners to dismantle their rifle to remove. But AR-15s just weren’t designed to work that way, as any good gun enthusiast knows it. That’s why, back at SHOT Show in January, Georgia-based, AR-15-parts company Mean Arms unveiled the MA Loader.
The detachable loading device, which includes a polymer guide on the outside of the rifle’s ejection port and a 10-round polymer speed loader, allows gun owners to quickly reload their AR’s fixed magazine by placing the loader in the guide and thumbing in 10 rounds. Once the loader is removed, the bolt automatically goes forward, feeding a round into the chamber. It’s an ingenious design, one that Mean Arms claims is compliant with SB 880.
In February, Mean Arms released a video demonstrating how their new speed loader works — and in a cheeky stab at the increasing ridiculousness of California’s gun laws, the tutorial uses a fully automatic rifle.
Mean Arms say their aim is to allow California gun owners to “still enjoy the use of their AR-15s with minimal disruptions while fully complying with the new laws.” The loader is currently available for pre-order and will ship in April with an MSRP of $39.99.
Mean Arms isn’t the only company subverting the difficult gun laws: Towle, Inc, a veteran-owned, California-based manufacturer introduced their AR fixed magazine system speed loader back in January. Retailing at $24.99, Towle’s speed loader is cheaper than the MA Loader, but requires the user to break open their rifle in order to load it.
The MA Loader and other stripper clip-loading systems currently under development in response to new gun laws California and other states are undoubtedly innovative. But in the end, Mean Arms’ new system is an elegant solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place.