Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Mako Group Survival Buttstock w/Built–in Magazine Carrier - GL-MAG Review

The Mako Group Survival Buttstock w/Built–in Magazine Carrier - GL-MAG - Review
10 more rounds when you need it most


I greatly doubt I will ever fend off zombie hordes, return fire hundreds of yards beyond the confines of my home defense perimeter, or ever run a 30-round AR magazine empty. It is plausible a type 2 jam (ammo mis-feed) could occur which generally necessitates/recommends a magazine change. The next question crosses your mind is where would I get that magazine as I am moving around the house trying to clear a jam, replace a magazine, and attempting to defend myself? In this case, right from the conveniently placed 10-round magazine in the Mako Survival Buttstock of my Spikes Tactical AR15.

ABOUT MAKO
Mako is an Israeli company run and operated by ex/active Israeli Military Special Operators. My experience with products from The Mako Group has been more than a passing interest.  I actually attended a week-long tactical training class taught by top Israeli Special Forces operators with The Mako Defense team. I saw first hand how they use, critique and develop their products and it does not start with CAD software and a fat guy with Doritos and a Mountain Dew. There is some hard core testing that goes into each product with rugged durability which is far beyond what us mere mortals can dish out.  At this point I have quite a few Mako products, however this concept is so innovative it deserves a review.


FIT, FEEL, FINISH, & FEATURES
The idea of the Mako Survival Buttstock w/Built–in Magazine Carrier is simple; take the most popular M4/AR15 Israeli Defense Forces Mako buttstock and integrate an magazine well. What is unique about the mag well is that it is not just a friction fit, it actually has a magazine latch. 

Mako has even includes  one of  Mako’s own 10-round AR15 magazines, so after you are empty this provides you ten more chances to hit your mark. If you like, any other capacity mag will fit in the stock. Just remember, the 10-round sits tight into the stock but the larger cap mags may impede typical shouldering a bit. The 20-round I tested felt OK, but the 30-rounder felt a little goofy.


For this upgrade, I reached for my home defense gun; my Spikes Tactical ST15 decked out with an Apex Machine free-float forend, BPM Flash hider, Vortex Sparc red dot, Surefire weapon light, a customized Hogue grip, and my DIY adjustable gas block.  After months of range sessions, tactical training, and supporting inspections of bumps in the night, the GL-MAG has gained enough respect that it will remain on the firearm I depend on to protect my family and home.


From a fit perspective, generally I have a problem with “universal” stocks which will fit both Commercial and Mil-Spec AR15 buffer tubes (the Commercial is a wee bit larger diameter). Usually they are far too tight on the marginally larger Commercial buffer tubes and loose on the smaller spec mil-spec tubes. My OEM Magpul stocks all rattle for example.  I have yet to have a stock that does not have a little wiggle unless the stock and buffer tube come together as a kit; if you want a rattle free stock, buy the buffer tube with the stock. Mako has figured out a system which works pretty well.  It is not perfect and just a tad rattly and ended up tightening that ft with a little electrical tape applied from the rear to the front top of the buffer tube.
Shown it Monopod buttpad Adapter installed


I would rather see a dedicated Mil-Spec and Commercial tube model, however that is not a big deal to me. The quality of The Mako Group Survival Buttstock is extremely well made and integrates two QD sling swivel mounts. One of the features I have really come to like is the chevron rubber buttpad which slids onto the shoulder well. Due to the magazine well taking over what would typically be the storage cavity on the original Mako stock design, there is no storage on the stock. Because the stock does have the same dovetail mounted buttpad, the stock can support the new monopod adapter Mako just introduced this year which is extremely cool.


The Monopod buttstock adapter just slips on in place of the original buttstock and provides precision elevation adjustments but slips out of the way when not in use.  Probably the most ingenious monopod setup I have seen yet.
Shown it Monopod buttpad Adapter installed


FUNCTION & FINAL THOUGHTS
The Mako Survival Buttstock GL-MAG works perfectly as advertised. The position of the spare magazine in the stock provides easy access to a spare magazine. Actually when seated or while kneeling the stock provides far better magazine access than attempting to grab a mag from a belt pouch. To grab the spare 10-rounder, just sweep the support hand back the the base fo the magazine and drop the mag from the buttstock with the thumb actuated release and move forward to insert the new mag. It is actually very fast once you get the hang of it.


Functionally the included 10-round polymer magazine worked perfectly with no functional issues.  It fed all the various rounds I put through it, locked back on empty, and dropped free on the magazine release..


The GL-Mag stock does add a little weight on the buttstock end of the rifle, however that is not all a bad thing for a defensive rifle as it makes the rifle feel much faster overall and improves the balance a bit. This is a great stock and adds peace of mind that I always have a spare magazine right there ready... just in case.


SPECS
Available in OD Green, FDE, and Black
• Keeps all of the Characteristics of our M4 Buttstock, while incorporating a State of the Art Magazine Carrier
• Holds all Standard Sized M4 Magazines
• Positioned Close by for Convenient Mag Change, Providing you with that Tactical Edge You Need
• Unique Inverted Positioning Lever Incorporates a Quick Release Button Allowing Swift Mag Release
•Does Not Interfere or Change Buttstock to Shoulder Positioning
• Ambidextrous Integrated Attachment Points for standard QD Quick Detach Sling Swivels
• Fits Perfectly on Both Mil-Spec and Aftermarket Commercial Tubes
• Made from Mil-Spec Reinforced Polymer Composite
MSRP - $122


SOURCES
The Mako Group - http://www.themakogroup.com


OTHER PRODUCTS FEATURED
Apex Manufactuing - http://www.apexhandguard.com/

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