Mag Pump: The Thumb Saver

Mag Pump: The Thumb Saver

Thumbs raw and sore from loading too many magazines? There’s a solution, and it’s called the Mag Pump.

Oh, for the good old days when you didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to afford a day of range time. Why I remember when a five-day class was an occasion to practically toast a barrel. Now, the ammo costs are greater than the enrollment fee or the travel costs.

But it’s still mind-numbing labor to load a magazine. It’s hard on thumbs, it takes time from building skills and this is America, where life is supposed to be better for us than it was for our forebears. Which leads us to the Mag Pump.


Mag Pump It Up

The Mag Pump is the device that many of us had thought of, even dreamed of, while spending time in the sun on a range, thumbing ammo into magazines. The process is simple: Lock a magazine into the Mag Pump (there are pistol and rifle versions, and adapters for the pistol mags), then dump ammo into the hopper. Pump the lever, and there’s a round in the magazine. Repeat until the magazine is full, remove and replace, and continue.

The hopper holds more than enough for a magazine or two, and the feed system orients each cartridge as it passes through the mechanism to be pointed properly and then inserted into the magazine.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and get in the habit of counting as you pump the lever. The Mag Pump doesn’t have a way of knowing the capacity of the magazine you’re loading, so you’ll find it annoying to have the system crash to a halt as you try to get that “plus one” cartridge into your magazine.

The basic system of the Mag Pump is composed of injection-molded high-impact plastic. From the look and feel, I suspect there’s a good dollop of glass fibers in there, acting as rebar for the polymer.


The pistol version comes with six adapters for various magazines, those being Glock, Sig, S&W, Springfield, CZ and Ruger. There’s an arm-long list of additional adapters, for those of you who use something other than the most common magazines.

Rifle loaders are made in either AR-15 or AK47 versions.

The Pro versions of the loaders have some of the high-stress parts replaced with parts made of aluminum or steel, in case you’re loading for a gun club, a rental range or just won the lotto and have a literal warehouse full of ammo to consume. (If you need help, remember, there are eager volunteers to be found.)

The base models of AR-15, AK47 and pistol are listed at a penny short of $150 each. The Pro model for AR and pistols lists at $250, and the Elite AK47 model is $399. If you get tired of using a C-clamp to hold the Mag Pump to your shooting bench, then you can invest 10 bucks into a mounting plate. That one you bolt to the bench to, and then the Mag Pump simply self-clamps to it.

Ammunition is hard to find, and extremely expensive right now. But if trends hold true, as they have in the past, ammo prices will come down, and availability will increase. We’ll be back to actually shooting instead of dry-firing in the basement, and when the day comes that you say to yourself “I’m tired of loading magazines” you’ll know where to turn.

Mag Pump: Because life’s too short to spend it simply stuffing magazines by hand.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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