Loading magazines is one of those things, like cleaning dirty guns or tidying up the workshop, that you know you need to do, but really kinda dread. It takes forever, it’s hard on your fingers and it takes a second or two to empty a magazine that took a couple minutes to load. Don’t get me wrong, it’s gotta get done, but I don’t know anyone that says, “Oh boy! I get to load magazines today!”
Butler Creek has addressed this issue head-on with the ASAP Electronic Magazine Loader. Using a sophisticated tumbler system to arrange rounds for loading, you can dump up to 60 rounds into the hopper, attach an AR-15 magazine, press a button and VOILA! Magic happens and your magazine is full. Well, it’s not actually magic; the rotating tumbler orients rounds properly and sends them to be loaded. All you have to do is plug the unit in (or use lithium-ion AA batteries), fill the hopper and press the button. Easy peasy!
Capable of loading up to 40 rounds into a single magazine, the ASAP Electronic Magazine loader accepts most polymer and metal magazines. There’s a digital menu reminiscent of the old Motorola StarTac cellphone screen (kids, ask your parents) that runs you through a list of options, such as number of rounds to load, magazine size, etc. It’s pretty intuitive, but if you run into problems, the manual is pretty extensive and even has images to walk you through the steps. Unless you’re routinely swapping magazine sizes or loading different amounts of ammo, generally it’s going to be a “plug in, turn on, insert magazine and go” deal.
We tested polymer magazines from Magpul, Mission First Tactical and Lancer, and metal magazines from Brownells, SureFeed Magazines and some generic mil-surp magazines of indeterminate origin (translated: old and beat up). One unfortunate note, though. Because of the design of the Magpul D-60, it won’t work with the ASAP loader—the tension of the magazine spring is too high. Other than the D-60, though, all magazines were loaded just fine. Setting the ASAP to only load 10 rounds into a 30-round magazine worked just fine, too, in case anyone was wondering.
Yes, MSRP is $349.99, which is a pretty steep price to avoid sore fingers, there’s no getting around that. For high-volume shooting, though, it’s a massive time- and energy-saver. For a 3-gun shooter, having the ability to quickly load magazines ahead of a match frees up time for practice. For the owner of a range, it means having loaded magazines at the ready without taking up employee time. It’s also the kind of item, as we indicated, that’s a perfect gift for the enthusiast in your life.
Bottom line is, it works as advertised and is just a super-cool piece of gear. If you’re a high-volume shooter or just really like cool tech, the Butler Creek ASAP Electronic magazine loader is worth looking into. Now, to the engineers at Butler Creek: Might I suggest you work on an ASAP Electronic Magazine Loader for Glock 9 mm magazines next?