The French Ministry of Defense signed an agreement to purchase 90,000 Hornady Rapid Rack empty-chamber indicators/load-assist devices—customized with black handles, rather than the commercially available red version—through Hornady's French distributor, Sidam SS. The order comes on the heels of the nation’s relatively recent decision to replace its long-serving FAMAS with 93,340 Heckler & Koch HK416 rifles.
“This purchase confirms that Hornady is recognized throughout the world as a supplier of not only top-of-the-line ammunition, but also innovative accessories,” said Steve Catlett, Hornady International sales manager. “We’re just as proud to help the French armed forces defend their nation as we are to help U.S. law enforcement agencies stay cruiser-ready with our Rapid Rack.”
Hornady rolled out the Rapid Rack to consumers in late 2015, with versions for the AR-15, AR-10 and select 12-gauge shotguns. Its red lever/handle visually indicates the firearm has an empty chamber but also operates as a load-assist device, allowing users to keep their long guns ready with a fully charged magazine.
Setting up a “cruiser-ready” gun is simple with the device. Insert the cartridge-shaped portion into the empty chamber, leave the lever protruding from the ejection port, close the bolt and insert a loaded magazine. To chamber a round, shoulder the firearm, grab the Rapid Rack’s lever, pull straight back and allow it to fall to the floor.
“Once the Rapid Rack clears the receiver, the bolt carrier closes on the next available round on the already-inserted magazine,” according to this SI Online review. “In one smooth motion, the rifle is ready to fire.”
Speed under stress can also be improved. “Instead of reaching for the charging handle, which may not be immediately accessible, the Rapid Rack offers a fast and easy solution to get loaded quickly,” he explained.