This isn’t the first time FirstSpear’s MultiMag has been featured on the blog. In November 2017 I offered an initial review and in June 2018 my good friend Tactical Optician covered it in his excellent Inverted Evolution article – well worth reading.
That said, neither of us adopted the MultiMag for long. It’s an interesting and innovative design (as you can read in my review) but it felt to me in hindsight that something was missing.
That something is the Speed Reload Insert Kit – presented here in M4 variety. It’s also available for other weapons, including the Glock 19, G36 and SCAR.
Back in 2017, Chris from The Full 9 tipped me off about the insert making the MultiMag complete. You can read his thoughts in this excellent article on the subject. I actually had an old insert kicking around the house at the time (FirstSpear has been using them since its inception as a company – borrowing the idea from its roots in Eagle Industries), but things moved on and I put the MultiMag aside after finding new things to play with.
That process has now come full circle and since Finnish gear shop Varuste had some in, I bought a new set of inserts. It took the retailer three working days to ship, which was disappointing. But, they do say in their terms that this sometimes can be the case (although I missed the fact when I ordered). I have to be honest in saying shipping would have been faster (and the total order of the same approximate cost) direct from FirstSpear via FedEx. Lesson learned.
What readers need to know about the MultiMag without reading the full review is that it’s a pouch which expands and contracts using a ratchet tightening system – pretty cool. It’s made by Boa, which is a familiar name in fastening to many; though not necessarily due to its tactical implementations.
At the end of the day the MultiMag is basically a magazine corset, and can be used to hold a mag without any help from an insert at all.
The insert is simply the special sauce. It’s composed of folded Kydex, but unusually it’s rectangular and covered in soft felt.
The mag’s insertion depth can be tuned using a One-Wrap powered height adjustment method, which is part of the kit. So, you can expose as much or as little of the mag as you want to grab (within reason).
Instructions on how to fit the One-Wrap are featured in this helpful video by FirstSpear:
Evidently, unlike a standard Kydex insert, the Speed Reload Insert is not shaped like a leaf spring to retain a mag. Instead it relies on a snug fit and that smooth-running felt. It’s pretty much the same deal as the inside of an Eagle FB pouch – a really popular item back in the day – which allows for decent retention; but not smack-yourself-in-the-face-when-pulling-out-a-mag retention. Its also very quiet on mag draw and reindexing.
That said, most people are quite happy with standard Kydex retention (and cost) so it’s not surprising that FirstSpear’s ambitious relaunch of the insert didn’t penetrate widely. Presumably there are some niche users of the system, and presumably they’re people who are so secretive that no reference pics exist.
Do I care? Not really. I’m always looking for retention that’s something like standard Kydex – but not standard Kydex – because it’s rare I don’t have to fight with the stuff.
That said, the MultiMag/Insert combo isn’t perfect. It’s not dead easy to source and it’s relatively bulky, complicated and eye wateringly costly; especially with a raft of cheaper alternatives easily available.
In the plus column mag draw and reinsertion is deathly quiet and butter smooth. Reindexing on the go is also easier than with Kydex pouches. For me, the latter cannot be overstated. You’ve literally got a reinforced mag shaped rectangle to aim for – not an at least partially collapsed cordura receptacle.
The other big draw of the whole system – as its name suggests – is the multi magazine thing (though it’s not something I can leverage right now with only one type of insert).
But think about it: just one pouch with the ability to swap between Glock 19, M4 and MP7 mags (for instance), just by changing inserts.
And oh how easy to change they are, with no tools, no bungees and no velcro to get tangled in. The user just loosens up the Boa knob with a pull downwards, swaps the insert and ratchets the Boa knob until it’s all nice and tight (the level of the insert’s retention of the mag can be varied in this way, on the fly if necessary).
While this system will never be ubiquitous, it’s interesting nonetheless.