Review: TorkMag 50 Round AR15 Magazine

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Last month I posted about a new ultra-capacity AR15 magazine, shortly afterwords The Firearm Blog was contacted by TorkMag to have us review the new TorkMag-50. The TorkMag-50 showed up on my day off from work, so I hastily threw it into my range bag and headed off to my gun club during a short break in the seemingly never ending rain we have been experiencing in North Texas.

First I loaded the mag up to it’s 50 round capacity, a daunting task that I will talk about later, then stuffed the magazine into my 10.5″ SBR and attached my suppressor. The TorkMag fed just fine and I experienced no issues or jams.

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Next I loaded another 50 rounds and put the magazine into a Daniel Defense M4A1 that I am currently evaluating for another review article. Again, I experianced no issues.

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I wasn’t satisfied with just one outing so I drug the TorkMag and the DD M4A1 back out on one of the days Alex C. and I were out filming another segment of TFBTV. Again, it performed flawlessly digesting another few hundred rounds of XM193.

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I had Alex C. give it a go, he isn’t one to say no to trigger time so he obliged. After running several hundred rounds though the magazine, I was pretty pleased with what I saw. The magazine even locked the bolt back every time it ran dry. You can see in the photo below all of the gasses exiting the muzzle, pretty cool!

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The mag that TorkMag sent me was a pre-production prototype, what arrived looked well put together and sturdy. (I will admit, the product photos were taken well after my trips to the range. In my mad dash out the door, taking photos slipped my mind) The finish of the magazine is rather plain, I really wish there was something in the way of a grip pattern molded into the body. I guess that really doesn’t affect how the magazine works though.

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I am not really sure why TorkMag included the rib molded two thirds down. It appears to be the floor plate retaining lip used on the smaller TorkMag-35, it is the same size and shape as the lip the TorkMag-50’s floor plate uses. Interestingly the magazines showcased on their website do not show this ridge.

Edit: After talking to a representative from TorkMag I learned that both the TorkMag-35 and the TorkMag-50 are made on the same mold. When a TorkMag-35 is needed they simply cut off the excess and recycle the excess material.
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I grabbed the only 5.56 I had laying around at the time, some XM193 on stripper clips. No problem, I’ll just use a stripper clip guide.

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Well that is disappointing. I guess stripper clip guides weren’t factored into the design of the TorkMag-50. Not really a big deal I guess, the majority of civilian shooters buy ammo that isn’t packaged on clips anyhow.

Edit: After talking to TorkMag I was told that as a result of how the TorkMag needs to be loaded it makes using stripper clips almost impossible.

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As I loaded the magazine, the first 30 rounds felt like any other magazine and went past the feed lips without issue. once you pass the 30 round mark it becomes a bit of a chore to get each new round into the magazine. At 40 it was really starting to be a bit of a bear. At 44 rounds loaded, the TorkMag-50 gave me a surprise. The magazine body split along the back seam and rounds spilled all over the floor.

Had the magazine not split, previous experience tells me that as you get closer to the 50 round capacity the magazine becomes almost impossible to load without the aid of something harder than a thumb. The people at TorkMag tell me that there is a way to load the magazine that makes it much easier, unfortunately by the time I had talked to them the magazine was out of commission.

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I guess since the magazine started to take itself apart I might as well see what makes it work. Here you can see the second spring on the leading edge of the follower. this “clock spring” clips onto the front edge of the magazine when it is all assembled. TorkMag does not recommend breaking the magazine down this far for cleaning, the only way I was able to remove the spring and follower was as a result of the magazine body breaking.

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Here is a closer look at the secondary spring setup, you can clearly see the hook that goes over the leading edge of the magazine.

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In conclusion I really am disappointed with the failure of the TorkMag-50. The clam shell design of the body does not lead me to believe that it will withstand any long term abuse. After talking to TorkMag about my experiences I was told that there was a failure in the manufacturing process that prevented the welded seam from fully bonding. They claim to have corrected this issue before full scale production began and the magazines will have fully bonded seams.

I would really like to give the TorkMag another chance with a production run model that has had all the kinks worked out, the prototype magazine I tested isn’t really indicative of what consumers will receive if they choose to purchase one.

If you are still interested in pre-ordering a TorkMag-50 the MSRP is $39.95 and can be found at their website. TorkMag also offers a 35 round variant of their dual spring magazine with a MSRP of $21.95. They show on their website that they will be shipping pre-orders this June.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • MR

    Well, crap. Hope they truly do have that problem resolved, and get you a magazine to test in short order. I like the smooth look, kind of retro, before everything had to be in the “GripZone”. Plus it’ll make it easier to apply griptape, if that’s your thing. Think I’ll still try to snag a couple, and hope for the best, they just look too dang cool. 😀

  • Budogunner

    “TorkMag does not recommend breaking the magazine down this far for cleaning…”

    That line made me chuckle. Silencer manufacturers should say the same thing any time someone ‘disassembles’ one of their products due to a baffle strike.

  • hydepark

    Cool review. Interesting to see how it operates inside.

    BUT, I guess here we see again some bad safety practices. Suppressed AR without any eye pro? Really guys? I hate to be negative, but at least for pictures and videos you guys really should be wearing something. Anything. It is a free country and this is your blog, but for new shooters especially best practices start early. Nobody told me when I first started shooting that eye pro was a must.

    Just drive down to your local Cabelas, Bass Pro, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Home Depot or Lowe’s. Ask any associate and they should have a decent selection of clear Z87 wraparound safety glasses. Might cost you $10 or $15. To my knowledge, nobody stocks new, genetically-compatible human eyes for anywhere close to that price.

    • Patrick R.

      I will admit, it is a bad habit of mine. Your comment did spur me into buying a 4 pack of glasses though. Normally I wear sunglasses but in overcast days I don’t think about clear lenses.

  • Wetcoaster

    The finish reminds me of Magpul’s Emags actually

  • Darhar M.

    New designs equals new problems which is why R&D is so important.
    Judging from your statement that the mfg. rep noted they were aware of the issue and have corrected it in newer mfg. magazines why did they just not send you one of the magazines from their newer seam weld process to test?

    • Patrick R.

      The issue was discovered after my test mag was shipped out.

      • Darhar M.

        Thank you for clarifying that.
        Since this review was published has the company sent you a revised magazine for testing?

        • Patrick R.

          Not yet. TorkMag stated that they will be sending me a production magazine in the near future. I understand that they are currently fulfilling their pre-order obligations before sending me another, as a consumer I appreciate their commitment to get the early adopters taken care of quickly. As a reviewer I am chomping at the bit to get a production piece in hand so I can start on my torture testing.

  • aweds1

    Just seems really… long. I wouldn’t want to try shooting prone with something like that. One aspect of the Surefire 60, it’s about the same length as a standard 30 round magazine.

    • iksnilol

      I doubt these mags are intended for prone shooting. Best to use them with a SBR in my opinion. Kinda like the Russians with their short AKs and RPK mags.

  • sam

    How unfortunate. I hope they fix it as well, and hey, stuff happens. It’s commendable that they’re trying.

    But yeesh, I can’t picture them not having felt, at some point, pretty sure that the one they were sending for review was going to hold together. And the part where they knew about a problem after it shipped but didn’t call the reviewer to let him know… I could be missing something but it sounds weird. So, they’re in the red as far as credibility, in my view, for the moment, until they can get a few good reviews.

  • Chris

    As a frustrated Aussie who can only look at this and think
    ” what if ? “,
    I can’t believe that no one has asked the million dollar question yet

    Q- How many rounds of .300 Blackout can ya stuff into it?

    • Paladin

      Theoretically any 5.56 magazine will have the same capacity in .300BLK. Where it gets a little questionable is the weight. .300BLK, particularly subsonic loads, weigh a fair bit more than standard 5.56 loads, which produces more resistance against the magazine spring, and might result in failures to feed.

    • Rick K

      Yep I wouldn’t recommend it for 300blackout due to the weight of the round.. maybe if you put a heavier main spring in it would run fine. IDK

  • ostiariusalpha

    That looks ridiculous… ridiculous fun that is! Hopefully it really does get all the bugs worked out, because it would make a fantastic range mag. I do wonder if one of those big bench loaders or a Caldwell mag charger would make loading it a bit faster or easier. Even just a little uplula might give you some more leverage to shoehorn in the last rounds.

  • Tater

    Operator

  • SteveK

    I’m interested.

  • MrApple

    No, thanks.

  • The Rifleman Next Door

    Magpul 40 rounder…..Magpul 60-round drum.

  • RPK

    MagPul is the way to go if you must use a Polymer magazine product with your AR platform or use a SureFire 60. Both are PROVEN to be reliable under actual fire. This article on TorkMag did not heighten my sense of reliability for their product line. No thank you!

  • Anthony Rosetta

    I don’t plan on going out and buying one anytime soon. I don’t think I’ll buy one at all!

    • Patrick R.

      I don’t think you should write them off quite yet. TorkMag has stated that they have fixed the issue. I will be testing one of their production magazines later this year, let’s see how that performs before passing too harsh of judgement. You really can’t use a prototype’s failures to makes final judgment on a product.

  • 1911a145acp

    Others have already noticed the lack of eye protection in the photos. I had been shooting WITH eye protection for 15 plus years when I stepped up to the line for a “Mad Minute” at bowling pins after a thunderstorm. My glasses fogged badly so I took them off. The 2nd round I fired from a COLT Commander in 45 acp ejected the hot spent casing which hit the under side of my cap deflected downwards the open case mouth struck my right eye dead center like a cookie cutter. If I close my left eye I can still see the jagged scar line in my right eye field of view. Do not shoot any thing, rifle, pistol, shotgun, air rifle, BB gun, nail gun etc. without eye protection….ever.

  • Ergo

    these would go well with those battle rifle company panic builds.