If you are gun-lover who runs an AR15 or Glock pistol, you have probably heard of Elite Tactical Systems. Even if you’ve never used them, you’ve probably seen their highly photogenic, clear polymer magazines protruding from an AR or Glock on one of your favorite Instagram gun feeds. They are beautiful to say the least, especially when fully loaded.
My firsthand experience with ETS magazines came recently during a gun review for a well-known print publication. Although admittedly skeptical at first, I was pleasantly surprised by the reliable performance of the ETS 9mm Glock magazines. My pleasant experience and dealings with ETS led me to seek them out during SHOT Show 2018 to get a look at their other product offerings. It was there that I was introduced to their latest development, the C.A.M. Speed Loader.
I have tried a lot of speedloaders over the years. Most of them I have found to be either a crutch to help you do what your thumbs should be able to do (barring some physical limitation), or way too sophisticated to be practical on the range. In my opinion, a speedloader should accomplish one thing–reduce the time spent loading to increase the time spent shooting. If it doesn’t do that, then it’s worthless. But as soon as I saw a demonstration of the C.A.M. Loader, I knew I not only had to have one, but I needed to let others know about it.
Training time is valuable, and most of us don’t get enough of it. When we do make it to the range, the last thing we need to do is spend a large chunk of our time loading magazines. I have attended several high-speed pistol and carbine courses over the years, and have spent a lot of time on the range running group training drills. I can say with fairly precise certainty that at least one-quarter to one-third of the total time on the range is spent reloading magazines.
Now when you’re out training for six to eight hours, the downtime spent reloading on the sideline is often welcomed by shooters who are experiencing range fatigue; however, when you’re spending all of that time pressing rounds into magazines with your thumb, you’re not really recovering, you’re just shifting tasks. Instead of resting, you’re actually increasing hand fatigue (what the guys at ETS call “mag thumb”), which ultimately begins to cause your shooting to degrade and sets in bad repetitions. How much more beneficial would the downtime be if it was actually spent resting and recovering? The C.A.M. Loader solves that problem.
The C.A.M. Loader comes in four variants. The C.A.M. Universal Loader for rifles works with multiple calibers, including 5.56x45, .223, .308, 7.62x39, 300BLK, 5.56x39, etc., and works on most of the magazines that feed those rounds, including AR15, AR10, AK47, AK74, FN SCAR-16/17, Steyr Aug, etc. The C.A.M. Loader Pistol .380, C.A.M. Loader Pistol 9mm/.40 cal., and C.A.M. Loader Pistol .45 all work with either double-stack or single-stack pistol magazines.
The C.A.M. Universal Loader loads very smoothly. Most rifle and carbine magazines, regardless of caliber, are top fed and feed straight down, making it very easy to plunge the rounds into the magazine. Pistol magazines, on the other hand, require the rounds to be pushed down past the lip and then back until they are seated. This means there is a lot more going on inside the pistol C.A.M. Loaders. Rounds are fed into the magazine using a feed ramp, so there is a little more resistance when pushing the rounds into the magazine. There seems to be a bit of a break-in period with the pistol versions, but after about a dozen loads and a little lube on the feed ramp, things smooth out very nicely. The key is to make sure the rounds are perpendicular to the tracks when plunging them in so they don’t bind. Again, a little bit of gun lube goes a long way.
I could talk about the C.A.M. Loader all day, but it would not do it justice. Seeing is believing. The following video by ETS shows the C.A.M. Loader in action.
There are few products on the market that I get super excited about. This is one of them. My training time is valuable, so I strive to make the most out of it. With the C.A.M. Loader, you’ll spend less time gassing it up, and more time burning it down.
You can also find a number of ETS Products at our sister store www.MTGTactical.com
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom