Perhaps the coolest gadget I’ve seen at the SHOT Show so far this year is the Caldwell AR-15 Mag Charger. Being displayed at the Battenfeld Technologies booth, the Mag Charger is designed to quickly load AR-15 magazines in three easy steps. According to the advertisement, the Mag Charger can load 30-rounds of ammunition from the box to the magazine in only 10 seconds. The system is capable of loading .223, 5.56mm, and .204 ammunition.
The Mag Charger has a spring loaded ammunition tray designed for 50 rounds per load sitting inside of an open-topped plastic housing. Loading 50-round boxes of ammunition that typically sit loosely in a plastic or styrofoam tray is best, but ammunition can be loaded individually if needed.
On one end of the housing is a spring providing pressure on the tray. The tray has slide lips on the top that fit into established grooves of the housing unit. On the other end of the tray is the loading mechanism, which acts as an end cap of the housing. The loading mechanism is designed with a trap door style release panel directly in line with the loading tray. As the loading operation begins, the loading tray slides outward through the trap door until all rounds are loaded.
On one side of the loading mechanism is a plastic plunger with a grooved hand grip on the end. On the other side of the loading mechanism is a magazine well that will accept all Mil-Spec metal and polymer AR-15 magazines, including the Surefire double wide magazines, and the double drum Beta magazines.
Step #1 is dumping the ammunition into the loading tray. The housing unit can separate from the loading mechanism so the shooter can invert the loading tray over the box of ammunition, lining up the cartridges, before flipping both to complete loading. Then the housing can be reinserted into the loading mechanism.
Step #2 is the insert an empty magazine into the magazine well of the loading mechanism. The magazine should be inserted with the curvature facing down.
Step #3 is pumping the plunger back-and-forth while holding the housing stationary. The pumping action is internally designed to load 5-rounds into the magazine at a time, but the process can be completed as fast as the shooter can pump the plunger. Even if ammunition was loaded individually into the tray, I believe the magazine could be loaded quicker with the Mag Charger than someone simply loading individually into the magazine itself.
So new that an MSRP has not been finalized, the Battenfeld representative estimated $79-$89, with availability soon. In fact, it looks like it is already being sold on Amazon with free shipping. For anyone who has to load multiple AR-15 magazines at any given time, the Caldwell Mag Charger appears to be a great way to save thumbs and load quickly.