Towle Offers Another Take on Loading Non “Assault Weapons” in California

The latest laws in California have certainly had an impact on weapons development. Designers, manufacturers, and customers, have all had to take a proverbial step back with the latest laws that decreased the scope of non “assualt weapons” in the state – the latest of which took aim at the AR-15 and most modern sporting arms best feature – easily detachable box magazines.

In an effort to comply with the latest round of restrictions, a variety of solutions are coming to market, almost all focusing on a key provision of the law, the “easily detachable” part. Various solutions are making it easier for the weapon to be partially disassembled to remove and insert magazines or look to speed up loading with the weapon assembled using an accessory.

For those without those means or technical inclination in steps Towle, Inc. with their AR-15 Speed Loader for the Towle Fixed Magazine System. In short, it’s an adapter that allows the use of standard mil-surplus stripper clips to feed magazines when the action is broken open. By using this system, shooters can opt for a “fixed” magazine to stay compliant with reasonably easy reloading.

Those interested in the system can pick up the fixed adapter for $24.99 and the stripper clip guide/ speed loader for an additional $24.99 to make their weapons compliant with the latest regulations.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

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


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  • Ben

    Sucks to be in California

  • Polaritypictures Ken

    There are hundreds of thousands of “Black rifles” that don’t follow the law, isn’t registered, and have “Standard Capacity” magazines, and the owners thumb their nose at the gov’t and don’t care. The ATF and the Calif Dept of justice can’t police the amount of weapons out there. The new laws don’t do squat.

    • Tim

      “The new laws don’t do squat.” Except make criminals out of every day normal people, a progressive goal for the last 100 years. I just can’t care about California anymore. Time for them to fall into the sea.

      • marathag

        “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.”
        – Ayn Rand

      • Wow!

        You should care about CA because that is a huge section of American political power you are just giving up to the democrats. The problem is that democrats are willing to do whatever it takes to win. Republicans tend to be self-defeatist and give up after trying just a little. And CA is winnable as quite a few are upset at the way it is run and the culture fostered there. The problem is conservatives keep fleeing the state so the political spectrum never changes.

        Meanwhile democrats are moving into republican states and slowly changing things. Arizona and Texas are the big primary examples.

      • Cymond

        You should care about CA. It’s the antigunner testing ground. It’s where they prototype the laws they later try to push on the nation.

    • Renegade

      How many of those noncompliant rifles do you think get taken to the range? Or public land? Or anywhere outside the home?

      • Wow!

        Quite a few. If you are part of the “in” crowd you will see quite a different side of CA. The only way to be part of the crowd aside from the easiest way of also being one who participates in the black market, is to be an active member of the ranges or pro gun lobbies.

    • Bill

      Yup-and when one of those owners gets caught they will redefine the term “made an example of.”

      • Wow!

        And the only way to fight that is to not be scared when they try to intimidate us. We must realize that this isn’t about a hobby, it is about freedom and law and order, and we must fight, not passively sit down.

  • USMC03Vet

    Why is there a newsletter pop up window when every page already has a embedded newsletter signup option?

    Makes about as much sense as these California compliant cuck firearms.

  • datimes

    Where are the feline articles?

  • A.WChuck

    Don’t throw in the towel, get a Towle!

  • joeyskylynx

    Why hasn’t anyone just built an AR-15 with a circular magazine similar to the M1941 Johnson, which can be fed babykiller food via a side-opening?

    • John

      Probably because of visual magazine limits. A ten rounder fits pretty flush to the magwell, so anything larger would be interpreted as an automatic no-no.

      • EC

        We are very much allowed to have magazines that don’t fit flush here in California. The “10/30” magazines, 30 rounders that have been permanently modified to only accept 10 rounds, are fairly popular. It does make for easier gripping and changing of magazines… those short stubby ones are a bit harder to fish out if they don’t drop free.

      • Wow!

        Josh, while I don’t mean to rag on you personally, your comment exactly highlights why gun owners keep losing the fight against gun control. The law says nothing about “looking” like a standard cap mag, but we are allowing the chilling effect to restrict us even more than the illegal legislation does.

        The only way to fight against gun control is not to comply. Period. We are in the legal right with the supreme law, our problem is the criminals in power. The real question is not “how to comply” but “how not to get caught”.

    • Some Rabbit

      Or a Mannlicher style mag with a hinged floor plate and built-in follower. Open it, dump in 10 rds. and snap it shut.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      Exactly my comment 20 years ago under the PRK’s 1st ban on “AW’s with pistol grips and detachable magazines.” If the detachable magazine is the problem, optimize the use of a fixed mag with stripper clips: Johnson’s system remains the best, since tactical reloads with it remain doable, unlike any other.

  • JT303

    I wonder if there would be a way to do a 10-rd Krag-Jorgensen type fixed mag. Open it up, dump ammo in, close the hatch and go on.

  • DIR911911 .

    that video made me sad 🙁

  • Alex Agius

    Or go featureless and use normal mags…..

  • EC

    The obsession with AR-15s does seem a bit strong in California. There are plenty of good semi-automatic centrefire rifles that don’t require you to use a fixed magazine or an abomination of a buttstock.

    Sure there are good reasons to have an AR-15 (including sticking it to the man), but there are good alternatives out there.

    • ARCNA442

      Not being familiar with CA’s laws (fortunately), what are their options?

      • EC

        Pretty much you only need a fixed magazine if you have a semi-automatic centrefire rifle with a rear pistol grip or a few other things. Since the pistol grip is the most common feature, you just need a rifle that lacks it.

        There’s the Ruger Mini-14, Saiga series, Ares SCR, Beneli MR1, Kel Tec SU-16, and “soon” the Kel Tec RDB-S. Those are just some 5.56 options… other calibres increase options as well.

        It’s just a little sad when you see someone who’s spent a ton of money tricking out their AR-15s here to tactically operate tactically… only to have to deal with an awkward grip or a heck of a reload. The other options can all be used as they were originally designed, which I feel outweighs any possible advantage an AR-15 could have.

        • Bill

          The problem here is that everyone is missing the point. When the AR is gone, the Mini-14 will be next, followed by everything else listed above. Count on it.

          • EC

            It certainly might happen, sure. More positively, perhaps something will happen at the Federal level to render California’s restrictions useless and then everyone can get as much AR-15ism to their fanboy heart’s desire.

            But until then, it makes much more sense to rely on a rifle that you can practice with and that shoots as designed rather than get a tacticool AR-15 which is terribly gimped.

    • Sledgecrowbar

      There is a higher ratio of Mini-14’s in NYC, actually. It’s not the point, though. The point is, you want to regulate something, that thing will become so coveted that you will never hear the end of it. The AR is replacing apple pie in the cliche “as American as”.

      • EC

        Sure, like I said you could always take your AR-15 to “stick it to the man”.

        But your AR-15 will be not as effective of a tool in the state that it exists. Having to fumble with a reload or to awkwardly handle the rifle are significant downsides.

        So get an AR-15 to protest, great. But you should probably be relying on other, better rifles for self-defence.

        • Wow!

          If you buy an AR to stick it to the democrats, I really doubt those people are complying with the illegal laws in the first place.

          • EC

            There is a difference for legal, consequence-free protesting and then protesting in a way that can carry serious legal consequences.

            Sure, there may be non-compliance. Maybe they go home and switch out their stocks or lowers. But I would still posit that the inability to freely practice at public ranges renders their illegal AR-15s much less effective than any other rifle.

          • Wow!

            There is no difference aside from what is the law and what is not. Doing the right thing often has consequences because evil will push back. If doing the right thing was easy, people wouldn’t be pressured into doing wrong. The founding fathers sacrificed a hell of a lot more than legal prosecution, and fought a lot harder than simply not following an illegal law.

            There are plenty of ranges that have private days where all kinds of stuff comes out. I have personally seen pretty neat stuff at several ranges in CA and a few in Illinois during these times. Not to mention that there are many illegal indoor home ranges made in basements with just a cardboard box and rubber mulch. There is a whole black market going on in many of the restricted states that basically never found by the authorities because these people are not criminals who are caught doing crimes, but simply law abiding citizens that don’t obey illegal laws.

            And then there is the other factor, that it is easy to make an illegal rifle mimic a legal rifle. Example, simply adding a grip blade easily comes on and off. Magazines can be extended to capacity. Heck, the entire weapon system can be made from scratch if needed and put in a different stock or configuration to change the “legality”.

    • Bill

      Of course it is. You have wolves like Feinstein fattening up the sheep for slaughter while continuing to be reelected. Like Ash said in Alien, I can’t lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathies.

  • nonobaddog

    Wow. Kalifornistan lawmakers are about as un-American as you can get.

  • Brad

    Sorry, if I was a manufacturer I wouldn’t produce anything for a CA specific firearm. All they are doing is feeding the anti-gun fire. Yeah, there’s money to be made but you’re shooting all the rest of us in the foot by providing work arounds to THEIR draconian gun laws.

    • marathag

      And no sales to LEOs for things Citizens are banned from possessing in CA

      • Bill

        Yeeaahhh…good luck with that.

      • Wow!

        LEA are not the enemy. And besides, that does nothing. They can just order anything they want through GSA, just as how moving from CA doesn’t harm CA financially as your tax dollars in Texas and Arizona all goes to CA anyways. Running away or ignoring the problem isn’t the solution, it is going in there and resisting.

  • Marcus D.

    This is WAAAY too slow. The device that allows feeding through the ejection port is a much better option. Second, the California law, as people have interpreted it, only requires that the action must be “disabled,” which occurs pretty much after the two halves are slightly separated. There are two devices, one being the ARMaglock, that allow the mag button to be depressed as soon as the halves are split, without having to fully open the action. this drops the (formerly) fixed mag and allows the insertion of a full mag. These run about $50 and are much faster than this on the reload. the last option is a “featureless” build, discussed by others in this thread.

    The main point of these devices, and the featureless build, is to avoid registration all together. If rifles are kept in the Bullet Button configuration, they must be registered. However, the regulations for registration that were issued were quickly withdrawn and have not been reissued. One of the most objectionable provisions in the regulations essentially froze your rifle in the configuration it had at the time of registration; swapping uppers made it into a “different” rifle. And there was no provision for registering multiple uppers (which is because uppers are not assault weapons nor firearms). I was a bit bizarre.

    • Bill

      Actually, the main point is the Rubber Effect. Everyone knows the joke about turning the Democrat symbol from a donkey to a condom-this is the same thing for the rapidly vanishing California AR. They’ll be coming after this device next, and then the takedown pin, and then the “assault trigger guard,” and then those evil adjustable sights, and then those combat roll pins, and then those machine gun sling swivels, and then…

      • Marcus D.

        Too complicated. They will simply ban all semiautomatic rifles. In fact, there was a bill last session that proposed just that, which was tabled in favor of the current bill/law. Pretty hard to work around that without taking the gas tube out of all of your “weapons of war.” And that includes Minis and M1 Carbines, Garands, etc.

        • Jeremy Nettles

          …I think you just proved Bill’s point. The push to ban all semiautomatic rifles always (knock on wood) runs out of steam, so the nincompoops settle for incremental erosion of the right instead. As long as people continue to think these asinine nitpicky regulations are reasonable alternatives, they’ll continue to pass, even thought the more extreme (and more obviously unconstitutional) semi-auto bans don’t have enough support.

          • Wow!

            Agreed. The greatest threat to 2A is not really the gun grabbers, but those of us who comply with it.

  • Bill

    From the sublime to the ridiculous in a single generation. Ladies and germs, welcome to the People’s Republic of California, where freedom is an illusion and residents are subjects. Thank the Lord above that the Pantsuit Pinocchio didn’t make the cut last November.
    As for those behind the Wall, Utah’s still hiring!

  • mazkact

    I’ll just stick with my 1866 Rolling Block “assault” rifle. One can off fast multiple shots with the rolling block.

  • markrb

    Or…..we just give the middle finger to our libtard politicians in Sacramento and don’t comply with their unConstitutional law.
    {A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.}
    Our right to keep and bear arms is INALIENABLE. It is not granted by the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is in place to keep THE GOVERNMENT from INFRINGING upon that right.
    Politicians and the Government want us to believe that only they know how to interpret the Constitution.
    Bullshyt.
    1) States have a right to well-armed, well-trained militias. (Even California has their own militia….and no, we’re not talking the National Guard.)
    2) The People have an INALIENABLE RIGHT to keep and bear arms
    3) Neither SHALL BE INFRINGED!!!!
    The left wants you to think that Government can limit our rights. Yeah, right. For guns and free speech, maybe. Try limiting abortion or enact a voter ID law. THEN they scream how rights cannot be limited.
    We need to defend our right to keep and bear arms as rabidly as they defend a woman’s right to abortion.

    • Wow!

      You speak more truth in this comment than the thousands of posts others have written on hand wringing about gunmageddon.

  • Jeremy Nettles

    Every time I see one of these workarounds now, I imagine a guy like Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons presenting a hologram a hundred years from now, examining these relics of a bygone era. In the absence of a clear understanding of the (hopefully forgotten) laws of the time and place, what conclusion could such a person reach about these designs, other than to say firearms accessory designers of the early 21st centuries were idiots for thinking up all these new, innovative, and clunky ways to accomplish a reload slightly less effectively than a long-used and well-proven technology, the DBM.

    Shame on you, California. You’re making us all look bad for future generations.

  • Bruce Rogers

    Can we just get some lawyers and overturn these ridiculous “assault weapon” laws. Only then will CA stop passing these laws every year. Every reasonable person knows the handgun “roster” is a joke spiking the price of handguns and “assault weapon” is a fictional construct of the anti-gun crowd.

  • Cymond
  • JimK

    A rifle competition using all these stuff sounds fun

  • Claus Økær Holdt Hansen

    I like how the company’s come up with these ideas when a much simpler system could be used, where the gun have a fixed magazine, with a gate on one side for dumping ammo into, and follower that can be pulled down manually.

    Basically like some of the magazine loaders out there.

  • Bigbigpoopi

    Feels like they’re comparing male chastity devices in such a craaphole state.

  • Wow!

    That is why I said Republicans “tend” to. Ideologically, the conservative mindset encourages active participation in defending the constitution and not going along with tyranny or looking away from a fight. That said, only a minority of republicans are NRA (or other lobby) members, gun owners, vote on local issues, send letters to representatives, don’t run away to “free” states like a refugee, and most importantly don’t comply with illegal laws. The biggest issue are our congressmen, who are a lot more liberal than they are republican.

    There are a lot of people who identify as republican but their actions are not conservative, either because they don’t realize their contradiction or they wave it off as too much work.