One rifle: how to manage with an M24?

SquarePizza

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After experiencing mag issues in PRS, I've been rethinking the rifle I would take to a "one rifle" class. I've always wanted to attend a class like the one thunder ranch did a few years ago, challenging people to bring only one rifle for shots ranging from 25 to 600 yards. Living in a ban state the universal AR is out for me, and I've always been a bolt guy anyways.

This got me thinking about ammo management if I were to run an internal mag, such as an M24.

For prs, that has been simple for me. Just adding a stock pack with ammo loops.

Going back to the class, AR guys may have a battle belt or chest rig with spare mags. But how would the bolt gun guy do it? Old school ammo loops on the belt like the old west? Dump pouches like the revolver era police?

I know it may sound stupid to limit one's self in such a way, this is kind of a slow shift, being bored all night thought experiment. But after having mags go tits up it really did make me think... What if I really was limited to one rifle with an internal mag, how would I get it done?
 

Alpine 338

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I ran a Rem 5R for a few years. Even though I never completed with it, I could run it fast. I would place a Kifaru zippered pouch with loose ammo next to me, and single feed rounds. It was a 308, and I mainly used 175-SMKs. Just throwing a round in the open action nose forward gave me 100% reliable feeding. Obviously, other calibers/bullet combinations may not work well with this method.

You can also add a SAP two round holder on the side of the stock in front of the action.
 

308pirate

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    After experiencing mag issues in PRS, I've been rethinking the rifle I would take to a "one rifle" class. I've always wanted to attend a class like the one thunder ranch did a few years ago, challenging people to bring only one rifle for shots ranging from 25 to 600 yards. Living in a ban state the universal AR is out for me, and I've always been a bolt guy anyways.

    This got me thinking about ammo management if I were to run an internal mag, such as an M24.

    For prs, that has been simple for me. Just adding a stock pack with ammo loops.

    Going back to the class, AR guys may have a battle belt or chest rig with spare mags. But how would the bolt gun guy do it? Old school ammo loops on the belt like the old west? Dump pouches like the revolver era police?

    I know it may sound stupid to limit one's self in such a way, this is kind of a slow shift, being bored all night thought experiment. But after having mags go tits up it really did make me think... What if I really was limited to one rifle with an internal mag, how would I get it done?

    Why not fix your detachable magazine issues?
     

    cliffy110

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    So this is an interesting topic. I've been to several classes that don't quite match what you're talking about but I'll share what I saw. I'm a scout/practical rifle guy and those classes are essentially about running a bolt gun as a fighting rifle from 10 to 300 yards. Some of it was done in a leisurely manner but other drills were fast and furious.

    In those classes, I saw several AICS pattern mags with issues. Most of the problems were during mag changes and it was painful to watch. They are just clunky and it is easy to seat them improperly. Topping them off is slow and cumbersome. I also saw a few genuine mechanical issues such as the mag not fully engaging the mag catch and falling out under recoil. In watching this and by personal experience, I vowed to never own an AICS pattern mag.

    That presents some obvious problems since everybody and their mother uses this style of magazine. I am in an extreme minority in my opinion on this. In the precision rifle world, you don't have a lot of choices. In my scout rifle world, I elected to go with the Steyr which has a proprietary double column mag which I have found to be VERY reliable and easy to use.

    But I digress... that isn't what you asked.

    I have seen a number of guys with blind of hinged floorplate magazines in these classes. Many tried various pouches and most didn't work well. Either they were too slow and limited in capacity or they dumped ammo on the ground when they dove into prone position. Dump pouches were the worst.

    The way that worked best was the most simple. Cargo pockets stuffed with loose ammo.

    Yup... just a pair of 5.11 pants with loose ammo in the thigh pocket was fast, reliable and didn't spill ammo.

    I had an opportunity to run several drills with one of Jeff Cooper's scout rifles (Scout VI if you're interested) and that is how I ran it. I was surprised as how well this worked. I never found myself fumbling for things and was able to keep topped off rather well. I didn't feel like it was any kind of handicap and in some ways was even better than a detachable mag.
     

    sinister

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    While capable of superior precision, an internal-magazine 700 has NEVER been the rifle to use for multiple-target rapid-fire engagements. If it was, it would still rule the roost. As it is (for military use) it is obsolescent (not extinct, but perhaps not for general-purpose first-line).

    The AI was the first successful and available bolt gun magazine, and thus became the standard. There are a few others (to include H-S Precision's single stack).

    You have LOTS of after-market choices, but few that use alternate magazines. Once upon a time there were outfits that would even retro-fit your action for M14 magazines.

    OP, to your original point, you have a few options. An "Ammo wallet" can lay out rounds for plucking and dropping into your blind internal mag. You can use a loading block, but then you have to try to move it. As above, you can glue elastic bands to the side of your rifle like many do with shotguns for a couple (or more) rounds to pluck and shove into the gun. You can glue a longer elastic flap for five or more rounds to do the same.

    The problem with internal mag replenishment and topping off includes breaking position (at the minimum removing your firing hand from the rifle) or taking your eye out of the scope to pluck and feed. If you bobble a load you have to grab another.
     
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    TurboTrout

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    I don’t think you could use a stripper clip on that, hmmm

    If the rifle is accurate and you like it, what about just putting it into a different stock/chassis with accommodations and a new bottom metal for detachable mags?

    The internal mag, I’m not sure how you could overcome that really well in a competition setting, be like trying to run a single action revolver against semi and modern revolvers, only so much you can do on that reload
     

    SquarePizza

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    I never assumed internal mags would be a first choice for an engagement or put me in the winners circle at match.

    However returning to the thunder ranch example, Clint was always a proponent of being a student to all types of firearms and making due with what you have at hand. For a farmer that could mean there remington 700 on the wall.

    The pocket full of shells is probably the best solution until you have to trek across the facility. I just shot a revolver class with Greg Ellifritz and we made a lot of use of our pockets as storage devices. Worked awesome, but sweaty and chaffing by the end of the day. :)

    If movement or stalking were required, such as in a competition dynamics style setting, I wondered about admin pouches with loops inside them to keep the ammo from bouncing around. But as Cliffy110 noted above, they might be slow and fumbly.

    I dunno, just something fun to think about when I cannot go out and shoot. My next prs match is going to be with a 700P just for fun so I may try to put some of these ideas to work.
     

    cliffy110

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    The pocket full of shells is probably the best solution until you have to trek across the facility. I just shot a revolver class with Greg Ellifritz and we made a lot of use of our pockets as storage devices. Worked awesome, but sweaty and chaffing by the end of the day. :)

    If movement or stalking were required, such as in a competition dynamics style setting, I wondered about admin pouches with loops inside them to keep the ammo from bouncing around. But as Cliffy110 noted above, they might be slow and fumbly.


    For the trek across the facility, a pocket full of shells isn't the answer. I haven't taken Clint's class but I have taken Randy Cain's (twice) and Tom Russell's at the Whittington Center (twice) and my solution was to have about 20 rounds on my person but also a small carry bag with as much as I could possibly need before going back into the shed to reload.

    Again... I'm NOT telling you that this is your solution. I'm telling you what worked for me and the guys in my classes. The guys with internal mags did well with a pocket stuffed with ammo and a small carry bag with 2 or 4 boxes. Refill pocket as needed.

    Edit to add:

    I did a video on preparing for a scout/practical rifle class. Not much of it applies to you in this situation but if you go to 8:00 of the video, I cover ammo management. At 9:55, you'll see my carry bag and at 10:44, I describe the internal magazine situation.
     
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    sinister

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    Not the school solution, but you can always tape, velcro, or wood screw a cartridge holder to the side of your stock (one to the butt, one closer to the port):

    carry04.jpg
     

    SquarePizza

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    Speaking of, can you help find tactical hairspray?

    I think I peeked early in the 90s when my state went full retard and banned everything cool.
     

    sinister

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    No, sorry -- wasn't a SEAL.

    I think they have a (very expensive) unique MOLLE pouch and they carry it next to their Coppertone.

    (Can't be a hater if it's in their job description).

    (SERVICE RIVALRY COMIC RELIEF:

    How can you stop a SEAL in his tracks in the middle of the woods?

    Put up a full-length mirror.) 😁
     
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    SquarePizza

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    That is nice bottom metal, but I am leaving my 700police internal mag. It's actuallys old enough to be tapped for iron sights.

    I have other mag fed bolt guns and experienced mag failures during prs matches, so I like having one rifle that does not depend on mags.

    But I also know that nothing makes me learn how to manage ammo and reloads than running a gun in an event that it is handicapped. For example, I've run idpa with both revolvers and a glock 39. I'd rather learn the hard way than run a glock 19 and have better times. I'm in this to learn not to win.
     

    Huskydriver

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    That is nice bottom metal, but I am leaving my 700police internal mag. It's actuallys old enough to be tapped for iron sights.

    I have other mag fed bolt guns and experienced mag failures during prs matches, so I like having one rifle that does not depend on mags.

    But I also know that nothing makes me learn how to manage ammo and reloads than running a gun in an event that it is handicapped. For example, I've run idpa with both revolvers and a glock 39. I'd rather learn the hard way than run a glock 19 and have better times. I'm in this to learn not to win.

    You are running shitty rifles in prs then.....
     

    DocRDS

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    Get your mags to work.

    Modern Problems require modern solutions.

    The #1 issue with mags is crappy mags. Back in the ol AWB ban days you had to get these cheap Thermold Mags or beat up ass end USGI mags for AR-15s. I bought the thermolds. A young gentleman (I was even younger) at the time showed me how to scrape the plastic lips to make them work.

    And told me to buy ass end USGI mags. Cause they work. (remember this was AWB days so no new mags). Low and behold, problem solved.

    1911--jam o matic. Why is that? 99% of time: cheap ass mags. Wilson or Chip McCormick mags--problem solved.
    Why do all the limited shooters play hundreds of dollars for their widebody mags.

    Because the work.

    Get some good mags. Make em work.
     
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    cliffy110

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    AICS mags fail too. I've experienced it directly and observed others have mags go down on the clock. It happens.
    Okay... so since we've gotten past your original question of how to manage ammo on internal magazine, I'll rant even more about my distain for single column mags in bolt guns. They suck. Everything is slow and deliberate. If you are in a hurry, you're going to fumble it. If you need to stuff 2 or 3 rounds in the top to finish a stage or drill, you'll curse it. I'm sure genuine AICS mags are better than MagPul in terms of reliability and actually staying in the gun, but they are still slow to load and require two hands to top off.

    Again, my experience is not PRS shooting. It is scout/practical rifle training so I'm sure there is a difference in ammo management, but after watching guys still fighting their equipment at the end of a 5 day class, I will never own another one (I did shoot a Sig Cross at a Randy Cain class and sold the gun at the end of it mostly due to irritation with the mags). I'd take a blind mag over that any day and twice on Sunday.

    Blind mags are not sexy and you can't load them to full capacity as quickly, but in terms of keeping them running, they are far less of a handicap than one would think. At least if you practice and train with it which it sounds like you are. Practice the art of topping off without looking at the action. I'd love to hear an AAR if you run it in a competition.
     

    Huskydriver

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    there is a reason AI figured this shit out Aw/ ax mags. As long as you are not running some 6br wildcat gayness they just run.
     

    Lunarstorm95

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    I don't think iv ever seen a AICS magazine related malfunction other than not fulling seating the mag