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Thread: AR9 build: Colt/Uzi or Glock mag

  1. #1
    Veni, vidi sum oblitus™ awp_101's Avatar
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    AR9 build: Colt/Uzi or Glock mag

    Doing a thought exercise on a potential AR9 “pistol” build and debating the merits of a Glock mag vs a Colt/Uzi mag setup. I’d be using an extra 5.56 receiver with a mag adapter and a standard upper receiver. Planned use would just be range fun, not a work gun or anything close to serious gaming.

    Looking at various vendors it looks like the Colt-style adapter is less expensive than the Stern Defense Glock adapter. Glock mags are less expensive plus they’re easier to find locally and online but the steel mags should theoretically have a longevity advantage. I’m not sure if the Colt-style mags have an advantage in feeding since they run straight up and down vs Glock mags needing to be at the proper angle. Bolt prices seem to be a wash.

    Thoughts based just off the above choices?

    Thanks!
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    Nobody beat me, we were playing pinochle. It’s a rough game.

  2. #2
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    I have both - an early PSA kit using the mag adapter and the Colt style mags and a more recent PSA version using the Glock mags. I prefer the mag adapter with the Colt style mags as 1) bolt locks back and 2) the mag adapter/Colt style mag is more traditional (to me) vertical orientation. My PSA using the Glock mags does not lock back on empty and has an angled mag orientation. In general, the Glock mags or clones (ETS) are readily available. Both style AR9s work well for me as training "carbines" on pistol bays with pistol steel. I actually prefer my MPX SBR but that is MUCH more money.

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    Last edited by ranger; 12-29-2019 at 04:16 PM.

  3. #3
    I have both, an SBR on a Colt-style DDLES 9mm lower and a Stern Glock mag adapter in a 5.56mm lower. If I had to pick, I'd go with Glock mags. Initially I had some trouble finding reliable Colt-style mags, but I finally found some Metalforms that are reliable. I don't know if you own any Glock handguns, but if you do, then it's a no-brainer. Also, with Colt mags, I found that repeated attempts to rapidly insert the mags into the magwell (shooting USPSA PCC) really dinged up my DDLES lower's magwell over time, even with a polymer magwell installed on the lower. I don't see that happening with Glock mags, but even then, you can get a enlarged polymer magwell for the Stern that covers pretty much the whole bottom of the lower's magwell. The Stern mag release does take a little getting used to, but since you're not using it for anything other than a range gun, I don't think that it'd be a big deal.

    Either way, consider getting a CMMG Guard radial-delayed blowback upper. It lowers the recoil better than anything else I've tried. You have to remove the fixed ejector and the feedramp from the Stern adapter, and modify the magazine release on the 5.56mm lower so the adapter will sit slightly lower in the magwell. But that only takes 10-15 minutes, and then the adapter will work with a Guard upper. Supposedly it will work with some Colt-style lowers too, though I haven't tried it.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter John Hearne's Avatar
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    Adapter, we don't need no stinking adapter:

    https://www.meanarms.com/products/detail/endomag-9mm

    I bought some when they were released. Took a little hand fitting to make work. Ran them to get guns zeroed and do a quick test but haven't run them hard, yet.
    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
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  5. #5
    Veni, vidi sum oblitus™ awp_101's Avatar
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    @ranger and @CleverNickname, thanks for the feedback! I just might end up eventually getting both versions to fiddle with. I found Metalform mags running $23-$29 and Glock mags $25-$36 so the cost difference is less than I expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Hearne View Post
    Adapter, we don't need no stinking adapter:

    https://www.meanarms.com/products/detail/endomag-9mm

    I bought some when they were released. Took a little hand fitting to make work. Ran them to get guns zeroed and do a quick test but haven't run them hard, yet.
    Thanks, I had totally forgotten about those! Where was the hand fitting necessary? To get them into the mag body or to feed properly?
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    Nobody beat me, we were playing pinochle. It’s a rough game.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter John Hearne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awp_101 View Post
    Thanks, I had totally forgotten about those! Where was the hand fitting necessary? To get them into the mag body or to feed properly?
    The ejector is built into the magazine and some dragged excessively on the bolt. I tried fitting to three different uppers and each one interfaced a little differently. My goal was to get them to run just enough to let natural wear occur.
    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
    • If you aren't dry practicing every week, you're not serious.....
    • "Tache-Psyche Effect - a polite way of saying 'You suck.' " - GG

  7. #7
    Veni, vidi sum oblitus™ awp_101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hearne View Post
    The ejector is built into the magazine and some dragged excessively on the bolt. I tried fitting to three different uppers and each one interfaced a little differently. My goal was to get them to run just enough to let natural wear occur.
    Thanks, I'll add them to my list to try.
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    Nobody beat me, we were playing pinochle. It’s a rough game.

  8. #8
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    Best of both worlds might be a CMMG RDB upper and a 5.56 lower. The ejector is built into the upper so you could use the CMMG-specific Mean Arms magazines. I built a lightweight 9mm upper for steel challenge using a 5.56 lower; the Means Arms Endomags do the job, but not being able to eject a round (or fired case) without having an empty mag inserted is a small pain. If you go with Endomags you definitely want to follow the break-in (5.56 versions only) otherwise you could break the ejector trashing the mag inserts. I'm considering going to a Stern Defense adapter since I already have 9mm glock mags.

  9. #9
    I have a CMMG Colt style lower and have been happy. If I had a Glock I would probably have a Glock mag lower.

    If this is just a fun gun several friends have PSA guns that run for fun. And it seems like you can get their lowers for about what a mag well converter costs.

    Also I think only the nicer pistol mag lowers have a bolt hold open?

    And I have had good luck with the Brownells mags. Some of the others (plastic followers) feed ok but do not lock open.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Veni, vidi sum oblitus™ awp_101's Avatar
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    I'm keeping a G19 as my TEOTWAWKI pistol (the only things left will be roaches, slant-six engines and Glocks, right?) so I do have a few Glock mags on hand but not enough to make it a huge logistical issue if I go with the Colt style. The impression I'm getting is all three choices are acceptable, just vet the mags.

    I thought about a dedicated Glock mag lower but one of the things I'm considering is SBRing one lower and running 9mm or 5.56 as the mood hits. A dedicated pistol mag lower makes that difficult.
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    Nobody beat me, we were playing pinochle. It’s a rough game.

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