Magwell Innovation Makes Your AR-15 Obsolete – SHOT Show 2017

Heritage Arms

In programming we have a word that you don’t see anywhere else really. “Deprecated”

It means that we used to use this and it worked really well, and it was even a fundamental building block at one time, but now we care so little about it that we won’t support you if you are still dumb enough to still use it, still.

When I ran across this AR magwell innovation at SHOT, that was the first thing that came to mind. Am I privy to a different way of doing this that will change the AR-15 forever, and deprecate the guns we thought were absolutely the shit.

You may recognize Brian from the .22 reloader/percussion cap maker/Berdan primer system piece from last week. He is the inventor, and I still have one more of his things to get out. I think Brian is a brilliant guy, and I think this invention could change our guns forever.

Unlike most of my articles, I’m actually interested in what y’all think. Am I nuts?

As for buying this, after emailing them for two weeks, they finally got the sales page up at Heritage Arms. So if you want the first ones, you can now buy them, both the receiver alone and a full rifle, though Brian said he is tired of having to put together the full rifles.

My feeling since first hearing about this product, then showing up to shoot the video, is that one of the big AR companies will buy this and re-release as “Side Slam” or something, especially for the competition market. As of today they are available for sale, and nobody has purchased or licensed the patent. We’ll see if it makes it through the day.

{ 91 comments… add one }
  • capacitygear March 1, 2017, 12:52 pm

    As in Ruger WILL NOT and hasn’t supported any AC556 weapons in YEARS? Hmmm, ok.
    First it’s a shit round using a shit operating system with shit magazines… wow breakthrough!

  • Fred G February 24, 2017, 11:21 am

    The verbiage preceding the video did nothing to tell me what I was going to see. This is really much ado about nothing. It’s a niche product at best. My AR is not in danger of being obsolete

  • Mike February 14, 2017, 11:29 am

    As a lefty, I laughed at his explanation that a lefty version was “not needed”! Drop the price point and make a lefty version if you want to see any of my or my southpaw friends’ business!

  • K Funke February 13, 2017, 3:20 pm

    Yet again, waaaay over priced as all there lowers are,, just more stupid tacticrap junk from them,, but Heeey if your that cool go get’um and don’t forget your Oak-lies !!! makes for a good laugh as you pose at the range..

  • GunbunnyGuy February 10, 2017, 8:58 pm

    “Everyone is asking for a left handed version….there’s no need for one”…

    Did he really just say that….I’ll stick with my San Tan lower…

  • Philip February 10, 2017, 6:07 pm

    Nice job Paul. As always your presentation with its enthusiasm is worth the watch. Thank you.

  • Brian D Moore February 10, 2017, 3:08 pm

    Swing and a miss! Started training with and shooting AR-15/M-16 pattern rifles in 1984 as a young infantryman and I am still shooting them today. In that time a great many advancements have been made to the rifle, but this isn’t one of them. The things you say it does are already being done every day on rifles with standard mag wells by people who have been trained how to do them. A properly flared mag well is an advancement, but it is not earth shattering either. I hate to break this to you, but my JP CTR-02 is not obsolete yet.

  • Lance February 10, 2017, 2:25 am

    First of all, $249? Why? That’s a joke in itself! A lower is a lower unless it’s steel vs aluminum but I’ll just stick to $39 Anderson lowers. They work like any other overpriced lower out there, exactly like any other. Go ahead and charge a stupid amount of money for a cosmetic idea and see how long you’re in business. Good luck cause you’ll need it. All in all its just stupid.

  • W February 10, 2017, 1:13 am

    Angled cut magwells already exist. Not new.

  • Dave lake February 9, 2017, 11:13 pm

    The FAL has had this feature for decades. It’s not new…Unless you’re totally new to guns or cannot read. Also, lookup the history of Lancer…They offered this breifly in their modular lower.

  • DarthVaderMentor February 9, 2017, 9:25 pm

    The headline on this one made it excellent click bait. After clicking it I was VERY disappointed, to the point of “deprecation”!. Gene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov need not be worried because their designs are safe and still very much valid! This alleged “deprecating” advancement was basically about a one-side open magazine well.

    Very clever yet confusing claims litter this video. The “80% larger but 20% smaller” claim took several me several video runs to fully understand. That engineering dichotomy morphed into a sales pitch which IMHO actually makes the design less field impact resistant and even doubtful as repair capable than the original Stoner design! Even if the design held up to horizontal force vectors that could damage the magazine pin catches (the reason we have deep magazine wells is for structural protection and foreign object penetration into the chamber) the sales pitch about right versus left must be about the fact that the well cannot be flared on both ways or movable to the other side because it begins to affect the integrity of the feed and ejection system.

    Curious about the patent claim, I went to the PaFT search engine at the USPTO and couldn’t find any issued patents, other than Magpul and S&W in this arena. I’ll bet they just filed a provisional patent and it hasn’t be fully researched yet. If anyone knows the patent number or even the provisional application number, I’d like to know it so I can more fully understand the alleged brilliant engineering that created this device that obsoletes the Stoner design! If it’s just the angled cover change, that would normally be a cosmetic change which is usually covered with a utility patent, which again didn’t show up in my searches.

    I guess the is over-hyped or “fake news” at its best!

  • Robert Sweeney February 9, 2017, 8:00 pm

    I think the negative comments here, especially the angry and harsh ones, are due more to the hyperbolic headline rather than the actual product being demonstrated. It’s obviously a clever idea, but certainly not earth shaking, and it definitely does not make anyone’s AR15 obsolete. Maybe if you dial down the hype a bit you’ll find that you’ll receive more open minded responses.

  • Flipper February 9, 2017, 7:05 pm

    This design does nothing. The BS about left handers using it in the manner suggested invalidates its premise as to why the design is revolutionary.

    The saddest thing this video and associated article proves is Guns America has no “gun” integrity at all. It is clear that Guns America has become just another snake oil huckster who believes their readers are dumb enough to buy any crap that they recommend.

    Betcha that this time next year, there will be zero mention of this product as 99.9% of shooters out there will be far too intelligent and sophisticated enough to see that this is another “Ingenious Solution to a Non-existent Problem.”

    • coreya February 9, 2017, 9:00 pm

      I agree 100% with everything you said. I had the exact same thoughts on the statement that no left handed version being needed pretty much negates any stated advantage for right handers. After all at some point the mag still has to align and move straight up anyway. It might provide some advantage when shooting prone but certainly not for left handers. I’d say it would actually make it more difficult for them in the prone position. I’m not sure why a this GA reporter is so excited about this so called inovation. Makes me wonder if I should tolerate the constant emails from GA landing in my inbox…

      • Jorge Garcia February 22, 2017, 10:55 pm

        Well, the only innovation here is the weakening of the mag well and eventually corner wear on the magazines, the only good thing this product has to offer me in my opinion is that its 100% made in America and is feeding our economy, but I totally agree that most of these reviews are pure hype and snake oil.

  • wRecKaGe February 9, 2017, 4:59 pm

    Brilliant idea. This guy has just built the proverbial better mousetrap. I can almost guarantee this upgrade will be licensed. Selling the patent would be a bad move business wise as this has unlimited licensing opportunities amongst any of the hundred or so AR builders. It is such a simple fix to a problem you didn’t really know you had. It us literally one of those things you see and say to yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?” This simple fix will alter what we’ve come to believe about ARs. Obsolete is a tad overstated, but standard magwells are definitely disadvantaged against this configuration. The speed of reloading using this method is evident and this will be seen at a 3-Gun competition in your near future, count on it.

  • Bear February 9, 2017, 4:56 pm

    Stupid is Stupid does! Just another bullshit useless gimmick! Ya\’ll think about!

  • Jonathan February 9, 2017, 2:41 pm

    I appreciated some of the comments. Billy, you made me laugh. Many here though, are jumping on the proverbial dog-pile, insulting the author for hyping a product, gaining interest and getting article clicks; basically doing his job. I point out that most, if not all of the hypercritical commentators do not reference trying the item (some are comparative at least), but simply condemn it and the author from the get. Certainly, it’s still (mostly) a free country and opinions/a-holes blah blah, but at least the author has seen the item first hand. It seems unlikely the naysayers have. Personally, constructive advice or criticism holds more sway for me. My opinion, re what do I think? I think a minority of people will find it helpful, but it’s great if it results in more enthusiasm, involvement etc in the right to bear arms. For me, innovation and trying new things for improvement should be lauded (several did in fact) and not overly, critically dismissed. I really like comparisons from the men fighting for our freedom. They bring an expertise that’s usually insightful. However, that isn’t the end of the story. The majority of gun owners will have less training, use and experience, and maybe a few can benefit from some forward thinking alterations. I doubt I will ever want this concept, but reserve the remainder of my opinion until I at least have the product in hand.

  • Tommy Barrios February 9, 2017, 1:32 pm

    My custom made AR-15 will never be made OBSOLETE by some gimmick like this!
    My magazine hole is already flared to allow fast magazine changes which I will never likely have to do anyway but it is there anyway!

    • DaveW February 10, 2017, 12:32 am

      Well, not obsolete until we see the semi-auto light sabre…

  • Billy February 9, 2017, 1:09 pm

    No offense and it’s pretty cool I guess, but to me it’s not an absolute necessity, by any means. If it’s around 15-20 I’d take a couple, but I e never had any problems getting it the hole, well that’s not exactly true. I had a few problems when I was younger, but every since I put a little hair around my mag well, haven’t had one damn miss, go figure. Seriously, this is a cool feature, and I wish Brian luck, but well, I’ll just stop there. Like I said, goodluck to you young man!

    • Roger February 9, 2017, 2:11 pm

      To be honest, I believe it’s actually the hairy magwells that have become obsolete ;)…which I am okay with. I see a hairy magwell nowadays and think to myself “they still make that model?”

  • david hamilton February 9, 2017, 1:00 pm

    THIS will make my AR15 obsolete? Are you eating moldy grain? What total BS hype. From the last several journalistic endeavors of this interviewer, I wish HE would depracate.

    • james February 9, 2017, 1:32 pm

      I thought the moldy grain comment was funny and your statement about must have this is crazy.

  • Steveono February 9, 2017, 12:46 pm

    This makes my Gap 10 obsolete. Dude is this the 1st time you’ve ever saw a gas gun AR? This is what you call struggling for a story.

  • JohnL February 9, 2017, 12:33 pm

    I had something similar on my AK. Not good, I am paying to have it removed!

  • Michael February 9, 2017, 12:20 pm

    Nothing against the interviewer, but since he asked the question – Yes, I do think the interviewer is nuts – so what if it saves you a second or 2? Another gimmick, A larger magwell opening means more dust dirt & foreign material that will get into your weapon.

    • Dave Emery February 9, 2017, 1:52 pm

      That “nuts” interviewer is the founder of GunsAmerica. I for one am sure glad he is nuts. For guns. Thanks Paul.

  • Link Lackluster February 9, 2017, 12:03 pm

    Deprecate? What about defecate? That is what this invention is: defecation of your AR. How stupid. The magwell in current ARs is really pretty OK. Training with your rifle improves mag changes. This bit of defecation is coming from the people who want us to believe there are airplanes flying around the world, 24/7, “seeding” the air with reflective particles and changing the temperature of our planet. Kind of dumb. I think this hype changes the temperature of my interest in reading more garbage links in the emails I get from these people. Please don’t subject us to this ridiculous clickbait fecundity.

  • Neffy February 9, 2017, 12:02 pm

    So, hogging out material makes you an inventor?

    • James T Kirk February 10, 2017, 12:30 am

      I agree, I personally think this is the biggest answer looking for a question I’ve seen. Perty f’n dumb…

    • James T Kirk February 10, 2017, 12:33 am

      GUYS! We are owing witness…… to…… the biggest….. OVERHYPE, of a product, ever. It’s one for the history books guys, take note.

  • BrianNH February 9, 2017, 12:01 pm

    This article is the very definition of hyperbole.

  • Travis Bickle February 9, 2017, 11:55 am

    If I call now, can I get a second for free with just additional postage and handling?

  • KalShnikov Dude February 9, 2017, 11:41 am

    They said my AR was obsolete. So I clicked. And this is why? Really? Really? OK then they should give me all of those “obsolete” rifles then. Right?

  • Adam Vuksta February 9, 2017, 11:29 am

    I am going to invent a bell bottom magazine port. Made of rubber so not to scratch my AR, and one up this guy. I think this angle will make it faster to insert a mamagazine. I am not a gun fighter or competition shooter so what do I know! By the comments it certainly has a remarkability factor.

  • Roady February 9, 2017, 11:23 am

    Mako Magwell grip adapter does the same thing & makes more sense-cheaper. It locates fore-aft which is logical.
    I’m with the other guys about heritage- they make toy pistols, why would I care what they say about ARs? It’s like whatever comes out of a libtards mouth-pure bullshit.

  • Joe February 9, 2017, 11:18 am

    Paul, Please learn to speak in front of a camera without rocking back and forth!

    • Paul Helinski February 9, 2017, 11:25 am


    • Mark Cook February 9, 2017, 11:36 am

      Oh YES, please!

    • Lance February 9, 2017, 12:50 pm

      I guess he likes to” rock the mike”.

    • Billy February 9, 2017, 1:13 pm

      Oh hell, I was digging it, he put me in some sort of trance and I bought a gross of these. My ticket to the big-time!

    • Bear February 9, 2017, 4:51 pm

      Stupid is Stupid does! Just another bullshit gimmick! Ya\’ll think about it!

  • DanGoodShot February 9, 2017, 11:10 am

    I’ve actually thought of doing something like this with am 80% lower I had laying around. However I was going to do to both sides of the Magwell. I ended up not doing it and for good reason. When I did some research into it I found out that the magazine well has that extra length to it for a damn good reason. Rigidity! Without that extended material in the magazine well you lose a tremendous amount of rigidity and what happens if you drop the rifle the magazine could act as a kind of lever, snapping off a good chunk of your receiver. It is only aluminum after all. So no, this is a terrible idea. Yes, it has been thought of before. Now if they were made out of steel, sure, but that’s going to add a lot of weight to the rifle. Also, absolutely no benefit to a left-hander. Above all else, that price is outrageous.

  • kane February 9, 2017, 10:58 am

    Does the new mag well offer any form of protection from solar flares?

  • JoshO February 9, 2017, 10:57 am

    Meh. Looks like a solution to avoid a couple hours of training. In a dusty environment I think you’d have an even tougher time keeping your innards from crudding up.

  • gary February 9, 2017, 10:53 am

    sorry if this is doubled, first did one did not seem to take, but PT BARNUM said it best ‘ There is a sucker born every minute’ and it would seem they are betting on enough people getting this hype and drinking the so called Kool Aid!!!!!!!!!.

  • steve February 9, 2017, 10:37 am

    lol, pretty retarded. i am living behind the iron curtain of CA and i still dont need to pivot my AR like that when depressing the bullet button and changing mags.

    • beangrinder February 9, 2017, 2:16 pm

      After reading your comment, you actually made me Laugh Out Loud. Dude, I feel your pain! I need to move out of the DRC.

  • Mike February 9, 2017, 10:36 am

    Just like MAGWELL to add more Barbie doll parts to fix a problem they created. Am I the only old school M16 guy that learned to change GI mags in the dark? This is just silly and knowing magwell overpriced.

    • Rrudytoo February 9, 2017, 11:16 am

      LOL!!! You remark about changing mags in the dark……..I was thinking the same thing!
      Semper Fi.

  • Robert Saylor February 9, 2017, 10:34 am

    Am I the only on that heard him say 80% more with 20% less.

  • mcFoo February 9, 2017, 10:33 am

    WTF?? $249 for one of these receivers? why. Who let this article get published, this is nothing ground-breaking or “deprecating”.
    The reason this “patented” item is not purchased nor licensed is because it adds little to no actual value. Heck someone could make a polymer clip-on that fits current AR magwells and would do the same thing- sell it for probably $10 on ebay. lol …and… it would be reversible for left hand shooters too. wow – let me go run down and patent that… ;p ;p ;p

  • Donald Myck February 9, 2017, 10:21 am

    Pretty worthless!

  • Mike S February 9, 2017, 10:16 am

    You said you were interested in what we had to say. Are you listening, Paul??? What for? Hell, Heritage Arms can’t even spell the word “stripped”. Why would anyone want stripes on their lower?!?

    • Paul Helinski February 9, 2017, 10:48 am

      Well I didn’t mean dumbass commments. There are plenty of other striped lowers out there. I don’t think they actually patented that.

  • James February 9, 2017, 10:13 am

    Weekend warrior crap. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. And I am only going to spend my couch cushion change on a product that was invented by someone that may have actually used a rifle for something besides terrifying paper targets.

  • mtntexas February 9, 2017, 10:01 am

    Does the mag still got to have bullets in it when you slip it into the new AR magwell innovation and, if it does, does the front of the bullet still go in the front direction? Is there a battery operated version in the works?

    • mcFoo February 9, 2017, 10:36 am

      I think there is a wifi version coming out so you can use an app on your phone to guide the top of the mag into the magwell.. lol
      And a z-wave version that will let you turn your house lights on or off when you insert or drop the mag. hahaha..

    • Paul Helinski February 9, 2017, 10:49 am

      No if there was a battery you would have to get the special sticker to ship it UPS because of the lithium.

  • Mark Are February 9, 2017, 9:54 am

    So if I keep an Armatec 150x magazine as my primary magazine, will I need this? LOL! Oh wait, probably not. And if I keep a 30 in the rifle and the Armatec as my back up, I bet I don’t need it either. So toss a few more coins in the kitty and buy an Armatec magazine instead of that lower. Oh, and I am fortunately a 6’4″ 260 pound large framed guy who can lug an AR with an Armatec around all day. My AR will never be “obsolete”. At least until they can come up with a PDW that works like the one that Wesley Snipes got hold of in Demolition Man.

  • Mister Ronald February 9, 2017, 9:50 am

    I have two AR-15 M-4’s. One fires 5.56/223 and the other fires 22LR.I can drop a magazine and add the full one extremely quick. I just can’t see any advantage to this new item at all.
    But there are people that will just have to have one.

  • SolidStateTactical February 9, 2017, 9:26 am

    With that much hype I have to question the reviewers expertise on firearms. Shaving a magwell is hardly revolutionary or mind-blowing.

  • James February 9, 2017, 9:25 am

    I could be wrong, and this may catch on, but I just don’t see it.

  • jb February 9, 2017, 9:02 am

    This is the definition of hyperbole

  • rOGER February 9, 2017, 8:37 am


    • Juan February 9, 2017, 8:57 am


    • Evocatus February 9, 2017, 9:29 am

      Correct…Easily handled with some “TRAINING”! Now I’m headed to the shop…Gotta find my hacksaw…Trimming a mag well can’t be that hard, can it?

  • Brandon February 9, 2017, 8:36 am

    I’ve seen some gimmicky things in my days, but this just may take 1st prize. And I almost choked on my coffee when I saw his explanation for left handers. Is he serious? He essentially took an ambidextrous feature of an AR, the flaired magwell, and made it right hand only. Maybe his next invention will be making a screwdriver right hand only….

  • triggerpull February 9, 2017, 7:49 am

    So revolutionary I just threw out all my AR’s!!
    So what happens when a magazine gets side loaded in the direction of the cut-out?

  • MAS February 9, 2017, 7:12 am

    Sorry, not amazing.

  • 1AbominAble1 February 9, 2017, 6:58 am

    Looks like he took the idea directly from a KREBS custom AK47, KREBS has been doing this for quite a while now.
    Adapting it to the AR is neat, but as a gun guy, I have trouble believing that he hasn’t seen the other gun.

    • Paul Helinski February 9, 2017, 9:23 am

      They would not have gotten the patent if there was prior art. Just because it may look like something that someone did a bit on a completely different gun doesn’t mean that it was a factor in developing this to begin with. The physics are different for every magazine well. An AK magwell isn’t at all like an ar magwell.

    • CRYOJOHN February 9, 2017, 11:50 am

      Agreed. This is not new. I didn’t know about KREBS, but the idea of a half-sided magwell goes back at least to the British L1A1. So after 50 years, they look at it and pretend its new.

  • Dave S. February 9, 2017, 6:58 am

    My mind was not blown. Interesting modification, but hardly warrants that much hype, if any. Yawn….

  • Grant Neuhaus February 9, 2017, 6:29 am

    When asked about left hand version the answer was that it was not needed. Why is it that right ganders are such snobs!! I am tired of being told to adapt. Only companies that respect the left hand shooter get my dollars!!!!

    • Grant Neuhaus February 9, 2017, 6:30 am


    • William February 9, 2017, 7:58 am

      Agree! And I honestly don’t see why right handers “need” it either. Just one more gadget concept to screw up what is already committed to muscle memory. Reprogramming the brain isn’t worth the coolness factor in this new gadget.

  • Greg February 9, 2017, 6:00 am

    Don’t see what all the slobber was about. A Magpul mag well extension does the same thing a lot cheaper

  • Dean February 9, 2017, 5:25 am

    Corny…….does it help? yes, enough for all that? No…….training is your friend

  • TW February 9, 2017, 4:05 am

    You know when an idea is simple and brilliant when your first thought is “Gawd, why didn’t I think of that?”.

    • Gary Cameron February 9, 2017, 10:03 am

      I agree TW instead of, ” why didn’t I think of that”, I was more like why would ANYONE do that.
      The lead up was RIDICULOUS. Let’s just say some people are easy to impress, REALLY easy.

  • Davis February 9, 2017, 3:13 am

    I always learned “fist to fist nite or day”( That’s actually more like left thumb to right index finger when feeding mag.)
    Try it in the dark or eyes shut and you will feed a mag without a hitch..

    Now if he had invented a auto BCG closer when mag is inserted instead of a hand slam or trip lever — THAT would save time.

  • Scott K February 9, 2017, 3:08 am

    Interesting concept. Please answer one question for me… How can it be “80% bigger and 20% smaller…” at the same time? Please clarify

    • Dday February 9, 2017, 7:25 am

      60% of the time, it works every time.

      • Joe In SC February 9, 2017, 8:02 am

        It would be clearer if he had said 80% longer on one side and 20% shorter on the other. I thought the same thing, Scott, when he initially said it…

    • Blake February 9, 2017, 7:40 am

      I think he meant the opening is 80% bigger and the gun is 20% lighter, because that’s what it says on their website.

      • Paul Helinski February 9, 2017, 9:20 am

        Yea if you look at both of our eyes, we were waaay overtired and dragged out. But now that you’ve answered it, lets see how many boneheads ask the same question over and over and over and over.

    • Mathew Johnson February 9, 2017, 7:41 am

      By removing 20%of the material from the left side of the mag well the opening for the mag is 80% larger? that would be my guess I thought the same thing when he said it.

  • loupgarous February 9, 2017, 12:01 am

    Answer to a question nobody asked?

    On the Web site of Outdoor Life Magazine, Mike Hughes, rangemaster at the Gunsite Training Academy, Paulden, Arizona, demonstrates two ways to change magazines on a stock AR-15 with the muzzle pointed downrange and the weapon not placed on its side.

    There are reasons for turning an AR-15 on its side – with the RIGHT side facing up so
    (a) you can verify the chamber’s clear of obstructions during magazine change, and
    (b) when clearing a weapon, after removing the magazine, to verify the chamber is, indeed, clear of ammunition.
    You can’t do either of those procedures the way the inventor of that new AR lower was holding the weapon, because the rifle’s ejection port is facing down, out of the shooter’s sight..

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