Adaptive Tactical ‘Freedom Follower’ Self-Ejecting AR Magazines

Adaptive Tactical Gear wants to make reloading magazines a step faster. (Photo: ATG)

New firm Adaptive Tactical Gear is re-thinking how AR-15 operation should be done. They’re doing it with their Freedom Follower magazine system that automatically ejects when it runs empty.

One of the key features of the AR platform is that the bolt locks open on an empty magazine. This gives the user a tactile indicator that it’s time to reload, and it ensures that the rifle stays cocked and ready to return to action after reloading without additional administration.

Adaptive Tactical wants to take things one step further by automatically dumping empty magazines. And they’re doing it with just a couple of simple part swaps that don’t require permanent alterations to any guns.

“An empty magazine is a bad magazine,” says ATG. “In the first place it needs to be is out of the gun and stowed or on the ground. Sometimes it takes a little bit to recognize the gun is empty and immediate action must take place to replenish the weapon. We’ve taken one step out of the equation in the process of reloading.”

“[The] Freedom Follower in your Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3 Magpul magazines will automatically release the magazine when you’re empty,” they add. “You will retain all the functions of your standard AR-15 rifle with no permanent modification to your receivers.”

The Freedom Follower works in conjunction with a modified bolt catch and ambidextrous magazine release button. When the magazine runs empty, the follower, the bolt catch and the magazine release act together to positively eject the magazine.

These followers let themselves go when they run empty. (Photo: ATG)

This can be helpful for shooters new to the AR platform who aren’t familiar with standard AR operation as well as other shooters looking to speed up reloading.

While it’s not necessarily a modification that benefits a rifle for hunting, self-defense or duty, the Freedom Follower system will make running and gunning a split second faster and easier. In a lot of shooting scenarios, faster and easier is always better.

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The Freedom Follower replaces the standard follower on popular Magpul PMag magazines. It only works reliably with modified Adaptive Tactical magazine catch and bolt catch components.

It is possible to modify existing bolt catch and ambidextrous magazine release components on the end-user side to work with the Freedom Follower although Adaptive Tactical doesn’t guarantee 100 percent reliability.

The company offers complete magazines, parts and components for people curious to see how the Freedom Follower system works in the field. Followers and bolt catches run around $15, and magazine buttons $29. Complete magazines are also available for $29 but because the company is located in California they can only sell them as 10/30 restricted capacity magazines.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Tk September 13, 2019, 12:58 pm

    Are you saying the only reason that your able to maintain trigger discipline is your trigger Finger is occupied by the job of releasing the magazine?

    By your statement I guess it’s safe to assume that you have ND’s when operating M14’s, Ak’s, HK long guns and semi auto handguns? I don’t expect that’s the case, but hey Iv been wrong before.

    Yes this part is a gimmick… for now.
    I say for now because if this feature should be deemed as beneficial and it’s proprietary components (release and catch) and follower technology be adopted and standardized beyond the one manufacturer and their solo source of magazine suppliers, the feature of self ejected magazines could rapidly transition from sole source gimmick to why don’t all the rifles do that? PDQ

    And if anybody from adaptive is reading this I’d be more than happy to R&D a couple of these bad dogs for ya. It’s great to see someone trying to innovate in a stagnant industry

  • Rangemaster11B September 13, 2019, 12:11 pm

    But will they still fit in a standard mag pouch?

  • Ken J September 13, 2019, 12:11 pm

    It’s a novel idea, but I see a few drawbacks. First of all, if the shooter wishes to retain the empty magazine they must stop, locate it (taking eyes off the target/threat area) and recover it before continuing. Second, it visually indicates to the threat that the weapon is empty (no need to listen for the M1 “ping” here). Lastly, I strongly disagree that it would be good for shooters who are new to the AR platform. Having a mag that ejects itself will quickly create a training scar that could ultimately prove fatal someday. Let the shooter learn the conventional reloading sequence until it becomes instinctive before indulging in what is essentially a novelty.

  • Wil Radford September 13, 2019, 12:05 pm

    Sorry bud, but that old myth has been debunked so many times, its just not true.

  • Evan September 13, 2019, 11:49 am

    As someone else already said, this is entirely false.

    Then M1 does make an audible “ping” sound on firing the last round in the end bloc clip. However, this wouldn’t be audible to an enemy in a combat situation.

    Combat is LOUD. It isn’t just one guy shooting at one other guy, it’s dozens or even hundreds or thousands of guys all shooting and running and yelling – and there can be mortars and artillery and all manner of other noises involved as well.

    Even if the fighting has died down, and there’s only one guy shooting, the enemy will be at ranges where they’d be unlikely to hear the ping at all. And reloads are quick enough that even if an enemy could hear the ping, by the time he reacted, the M1 would be reloaded anyway.

    The people who talk about this myth always heard it from their brother-in-law’s cousin’s neighbor’s brother’s grandpa. It isn’t ever talked about by actual WWII/Korea veterans, or mentioned in any memoirs.

  • Evan September 13, 2019, 11:39 am

    This is a bad product that no reasonable person would ever want. It’s a device to throw away your gear.

    In the Marine Corps, they always taught us to retain magazines. I, along with most other Marines, even carried a drop pouch on my gear to dump empties in.

    • Justin September 13, 2019, 5:13 pm

      With CA stoopid laws, I can see this as a work around with not having a “mag release” on the firearm.

    • ADAPTIVE TACTICAL GEAR October 3, 2019, 10:15 am

      Not everyone is a Marine. Not everyone is in a firefight that last 10 days and not everyone needs to retain their gear because they aren\’t in the field where what you have is all you get. You\’re not throwing gear away here. When you are protecting your home or your plot of land your magazines will be waiting for you should you win the fire fight.

  • Ram Rod September 13, 2019, 11:19 am

    Very interesting

  • Larry September 13, 2019, 9:48 am

    When an AR runs empty, right index finger goers to mag release, and left hand goes to new mag and inserts said mag and then left hand hits bolt release. What’s good about this procedure is that it gets your right index finger off the trigger while reloading. This device can eliminate that part of the reloading process and when keeping finger on trigger while activating bolt release can result in an AD due to the gun slightly “jumping” when the bolt goes forward. Have seen people do this on the range. I have been taught that once the reload process is completed, finger goes back on the trigger if there is a target, and if not, stays off the trigger. You should rely on sound firearms training fundamentals, not Gizmos.

  • Jim Spottedcrow September 13, 2019, 8:57 am

    I may think about it , when they move there operation out of CA. I wont buy anything from there…

    • MagnumOpUS September 13, 2019, 9:31 am

      Smart move, Jimbo!

      Along your line of “reasoning”, companies like Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Mossberg, Marlin, Charter Arms, Savage, etc. [trust me, the list is extensive if you also include parts & accessories] won’t get any of your money until they relocate to a Red State of your approval.

      Dumbass! 😉

  • Tommy R Walker September 13, 2019, 8:36 am

    This reminds me of the debacle we had with the M-1 Garand in WW2. When the last shot was fired, the clip was ejected with a “ping”. It didn’t take the Germans long to realize that meant our guy was out of ammo and took advantage.

    • Tony September 13, 2019, 10:09 am

      Another urban combat myth regurgitated.

      Yes, the M1 clip pings; The rifle is also incredibly quick to reload, and, after firing a bunch of 30-06 rounds, or having had them fired at you, while you are firing 8mm Mauser Ammo, without any hearing protection, I don’t think that you will notice the ‘ping’.

      • Big Al September 13, 2019, 11:15 am

        Agreed, when I shot DCM matches against other Garands, even with noise cancelling protection, I rarely ever heard the ping’s from other’s rifles.
        Beyond just a few yards, the ping was severely muted by the muzzle blast and report.

  • W September 13, 2019, 5:09 am

    but because the company is located in California they can only sell them as 10/30 restricted capacity magazines.


    • KCsmith September 13, 2019, 8:13 am

      Waste of time? Did you miss everything but that one sentence?
      They can sell the adaptors for the mags you currently own without restrictions.

    • MagnumOpUS September 13, 2019, 8:16 am

      Especially for people like you, who are inept at taking simple things apart and reassembling them.

      But other than that, another score for American inventiveness!

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