Disappointed

I’ve got a RINGS Blue Gun. It’s a basic dummy gun that replicates my carry gun, and is useful in many training and practice applications.

One thing I’ve wanted was some dummy magazines. Sure I can practice with spare magazines, but why put them through the abuse? Furthermore, one advantage of the BLUEGUNS is they are distinctive in their look: solid blue. They do not look like firearms and it’s highly unlikely to mistake them for the real thing. It would just be terrible to be practicing reloads and accidentally reload live ammo. Of course, you can avoid that situation, but then you’re using empty magazines… and they don’t have the same weight as a loaded magazine. So you can attempt to put in dummy rounds but the cost of those add up… or if you reload you can make dummy rounds but again you better be sure their look is distinctively different. Bottom line: it’s about being able to practice as real but as safe as possible. To get some weighted dummy magazines is a good thing in my book.

Trouble is, it’s hard to find the magazines for sale anywhere, especially the weighted ones. But just give RINGS a call and they’ll take your order. So me and a few other guys pooled our wishlists together and I put in an order.

We waited and waited. The weighted mags are custom made. So we waited.

Eventually we got them.

I tried out 2 XD-9 magazines. Immediately a problem: the magazines weren’t staying in the gun. Reason? The hole in the front of the magazine where the mag catch catches? It wasn’t there… well, you could see a faint imprint from their mold, but it wasn’t enough to actually catch. I called RINGS and asked. They apologized because there should have been a cut made by the worker after the mags came out of the molds (and they took my name to look up my order so they could talk to the tech that made them). But I could fix it by using a knife and making a slit or using a Dremel and making some room.

So I was just in the garage Dremeling notches in 2 of the mags. One worked great! The other kept sticking. I saw a small rise on the back, so I took sandpaper to it. Still stuck. I pulled out my calipers. A proper XD-9 magazine is 0.80″ thick. This bluemag? 0.82″ at the base (a little less towards the top). Thus why it was sticking… it’s too big! I checked the other 4 XD-9 mags that were ordered. In total, 4 of the magazines were OK (save for the lack of mag catch), measuring maybe 0.78″ or so thick. Then there was the too-thick one, and then there was another that had some odd seam/bulge in it. So that’s 2 that are just flat bad and unfixable by me.

A bunch of XD-45 mags were ordered as well. I don’t know the thickness of a proper XD-45 magazine, but measuring these showed a host of differences so it’s going to take trying them in an XD-45 to figure it out. When I get together with my buddy’s that bought them (hopefully within the next few days), we’ll try and see.

I had also ordered 2 AR-15 weighted mags. They were expensive. And they don’t work. One doesn’t latch at all… doesn’t catch… just falls right out. The other latches, but then rides too high and my bolt won’t close. 0 for 2.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed.

I’m not ready to give RINGS too much crap yet. I want to get together with my buddies and let them try in their guns and see how things go. Once we get all the duds figured out I’m going to call RINGS back and see what I can see. They previously sounded like they’d be happy to remake and replace them, so that’s good. But IMHO, given the amount of money spent and the fact this was their defects not my changing of mind or just not wanting them any more well… I don’t want to pay for all the shipping of this. Because to be honest, I’m nervous I’ll get a replacement batch and they too will have problems and I’ll have to do this again… and pay more out of my pocket for someone else’s mistake.

But we’ll see.

Nevertheless, I don’t want people to take this as being turned off by using such products. They have a place and are good training tools. I’m just hoping RINGS will do right.

4 thoughts on “Disappointed

  1. I use my regular mags and homemade dummy rounds.

    There are some things you can do to make them easily distinguishable from live rounds.

    This gives me an idea for a blog post.

    • There are things you can do.

      I think about not just my own practice, but also classroom. In the classroom, something very obvious like a lump of blue plastic tends to make things more clear cut.

      But hey… looking forward to your blog posting.

  2. Pingback: Still disappointed, but improving « Stuff From Hsoi

  3. Pingback: End of the Ring’s BlueGuns saga « Stuff From Hsoi

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