Introduced in 2015, the Adaptive Magwell (AM) by Lancer Systems is a bolt-on upgrade that expands the magwell opening of the standard AR-15 for easier drive of a magazine into the receiver and quicker reloads.
Made from either a single piece, or two (depending on which model of AM is selected) of machined 6061 T6 aluminum, the AM has a solid construction that ensures a high degree of abrasion and impact resistance. For the purpose of this review, the single piece AM was selected.
From the sides, the AM expands the overall width of the magwell to 1.63” across with angled interior sides to help further drive the inserting magazine inward. From the top to bottom, the AM expanded the length of the AM to 3.02”.
The Lancer AM’s angled funnel directs magazines into the magwell regardless of approach angle or cant. This can decrease reload time and improving reliability under stressful or adverse conditions.
It should be noted the AM is not compatible with Magpul’s Gen3 PMAG’s due to the Gen 3’s robust over-travel stop.
- Designed for milspec AR-15 rifles and standard forged lower receivers with removable trigger guards
- Includes rubber gaskets for a snug rattle-free fit
- Compatible with most standard M4/M16/AR15 pattern magazines
The Adaptive Magwell is only available in a matte Black (featured).
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): At an MSRP of $115, the Adaptive Magwell (AM) (either single piece or two-piece) is made from a solid block of T6 aluminum for maximum strength and durability. The AM is perhaps one of the larger non-polymer magwells on the market and will resist all but the most serious abrasion, impact, or chemicals. In comparison, the Armaspec Rhino ($20.90), MAS Defense Flared Magwell Adaptor ($44.99), Sylvan Arms Adaptor ($54.99), or Cobalt Kinetics Magwell Extension ($75) show just how diverse the market is in design. It should be noted while the AM is one of the most expensive AR-15 magwells available, it is also one of the largest, durable, and functional. As such, the cost balances against those factors to give the AM an average scoring.
- Comfort – Excellent (5/5): Once installed, the AM was very lightweight and did not negatively affect the balance of the rifle. The pronounced size of the AM’s flared edged, and how it bolted into the lower receiver, made for an excellent and very solid mount with zero movement. Indeed, the AM was solid and large enough that it also doubled as an additional magwell grip surface while holding the rifle.
- Durability – Good (4/5): Made from 6061 T6 aluminum, the AM offered an expected level of durability from an alloy specifically designed for maximum abuse. The AM exterior was struck approximately 10 times on each side with a rifle magazine, in addition to repeatedly feeding magazines into the rifle over a 30-day period. The only impact to the AM itself was minimal surface marring to the exterior surface coating, but not to the extent to compromise the sub-layer of metal. The exterior appeared to have a thin matte black powder coat, and as the only negative point to the AM’s durability, it would be a recommendation to Lancer to examine improving the AM’s exterior paint hardening process or consider an alternative exterior coating type.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): What set the AM apart from the more inexpensive magwell adaptors on the market was its size as related to function. The AM measured approx.. 0.856” tall with an interior cavity at approximately 1.623” across which, once mounted, gave the slanted interior a wide slope by which to direct magazines into the center of the magwell. Regardless of approach angle, cant, or speed in which magazines were driven into the magwell, the AM directed all magazines where they needed to go and ensured proper alignment. This was especially of interest to shooters approaching training from a competitive aspect as it allowed further speed in magazine transitions without worry of where the magazines feed ramp/lips were angled. In many of the aforementioned market alternatives, their design amounted to basically a plate that sat under the magwell, and provided only minimal surface area. This could translate to potential magazine hang-ups or damage to polymer-framed designs. Thus, while the AM is one of the larger/bulkier adaptors, its size fits a specific purpose and one that gives an overall good function for those looking for an added accessory to help speed magazine transitions.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At 0.25 pounds (or 4 ounces) the biggest influence to the AM’s weight was simply due to the principle atomic weight of aluminum, which is fixed and directly related to the overall design. While measures could have been taken to perhaps shave down the AM to save weight, the impact would have been a negative to its intended function. In comparison, the Armaspec Rhino (1.73 ounces), MAS Defense Flared Magwell Adaptor (2 ounces), Sylvan Arms Flared Magwell (2 ounces), or Cobalt Kinetics Magwell Extension (5.5 ounces) place the Adaptive Magwell at the higher end of weight, but appropriate (or average) for its size and function.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
Product Link: https://lancer-systems.com/product/adaptive-magwell/
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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