Ross & Zheng Engineering UNIMAG Review
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Thread: Ross & Zheng Engineering UNIMAG Review

  1. #1
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Ross & Zheng Engineering UNIMAG Review

    Bought 5 of the Unimags for my 7.62x39 XCR-Ls to try out.

    I have something like 21 or 22 ASC 30 round mags that function 100 percent in both my X39 XCRs (one is a 9" bbl with Type 3 gas block/gas tube; the other is a 16" with Type 1 gas system).

    My only real reason for trying the Unimag is that I just hate the aesthetics of the ASC "boomerang" mags. I know, stupid reason especially at $45 per mag and shipping bringing the price up to $50 each.

    They don't fit in pouches particularly well (though it's not like I "train like I fight" by gearing up with carriers and such when shooting), but if I ever had to carry them that way, they would be cumbersome.

    Onto the review:

    So the mags suck to load; can't really use a Maglula since the rounds are so much bigger than 5.56 (same complaint with the ASCs). The rounds are not uniform in the way they sit in the mag....I made sure they all seated to the rear of the mag, but the round to the left or right, ends up sometimes pointing towards the middle of the mag; not necessarily a bad thing...just looks weird. I'm sure this is in part due to the "floating" follower design to allow it to run multiple different types of cartridges. To be fair, the ASC mags do this too, but much less often and they work fine.

    All mags loaded into the mag wells fine and dropped free without issue while empty; a difference compared to the 1st Gen Unimags that had to be hammered out of some guns (according to internet reviews). As a bonus, they look great in the guns....just like regular AR mags.

    Loaded up all 5 with the prescribed max of 25 rounds (easiest way I see to do this without overloading was to count out/separate 25 rounds and load them in each mag so you didn't accidentally lose count). A max load window would be a good idea, IMO....and it seems like that would be plausible even with different types of rounds.

    Headed out to the desert and ended up running 375 rounds through the 5 mags.

    Out of the gate, mags 1 & 2 (numbered the mags)....both failed to feed the first round into the chamber while being charged via the CH. Both were fully seated and it was in both the 9" SBR and 16" rifle. Basically, the tips of the rounds weren't angled up enough to feed the round into the chamber.

    Pulled each mag, pushed the round back (since racking the bolt pushed it forward 3/16" or so), and manually tilted the round up a bit....then they fed the first round fine.

    On mags 3-5....I didn't do anything special, just picked them up and loaded them in on open bolts. However, when I did it on an open bolt the first time in the 9" SBR, the bolt tried to slam home as soon as I forcefully inserted the mag (norm mag load for me; never had this happen on any rifle, but on semi auto pistols it's more common)...but again, the nose of the round didn't make it up into the chamber and failed to load. This was the only time loading from the open bolt that the SBR (SN in the 3700 range IIRC) had the issue with closing the bolt from merely inserting the mag, while the 16" (SN 8100) did it just about every time...usually successfully loading the round from the mag, sometimes nosing the bullet in below the bbl causing me to have to strip the mag, fix the round in the mag and recharge it. Both have the ramped, smaller BHO (not the latest larger ramp version) so I'm not sure what could be causing it other than the design of the mag since I've never had it happen before (the SBR lower has seen a lot of 5.56 mags with no issues).

    I was alternating mag dumps out of both rifles at less than 50 feet into steel torso targets, so they wouldn't get *as* hot by allowing one to cool while running the other. Should have bought an even number for that type of test, but oh well.

    So out of 15 loadings of these mags (3 "stages" of 5 mags per stage loaded to 25 rounds each for a total of 375 rounds), I had 5 failures to load into the chamber; 2 on the 9" SBR and 3 in the 16" rifle. That's a pretty high failure to load rate, IMO....especially considering the perfect rate produced with the ASC mags.

    I only had one failure during firing....pulled the mag to find one of the bullets angled way down into the mag and all the ones below it that I could see were doing the same thing. I readjusted just the top one...the others were still pointing down....just to see if it would continue to fail. It did not. Once I fixed the top one (failure occurred approximately mid way through the mag), the others ran fine, surprisingly.

    I did bring one ASC mag fully loaded to 30 rounds. Zero issues....ran as usual in the 16" rifle; loaded on an open bolt just to see.

    Conclusion:

    I'm going to give them some more chances, but overall, I'd say don't waste your money at this point. Part of this problem could be the geometry difference between the XCR and AR that these mags were really designed for. My understanding is the XCR doesn't have as much angle required to get the round into the chamber, though in the FTLs seen today, a higher angle would *seem* to make the problem worse; not better.

    For now, they are range toys. They look better, and if I have to visually inspect the first round into the mag and perhaps physically manipulate it to point the round up a bit before inserting onto an open bolt, then for a range toy that's okay I guess. But, if one were to use these for a serious application and had to rely on pulling it from a pouch and having it work 100%...or loaded it onto a closed bolt, where the bolt would touch the top round in the mag and possibly change that initial, set feed angle to something shallower, you could be in serious trouble.


    Side note: brought two of my AKs to test the AK Battle Comp (on my PSA AK-P) versus my tamest recoiling AK (M92) with the Manticore Arms Night Brake. 2 weeks ago I ran the factory PSA booster vs. the M92 with Night Brake. Not even a contest. The M92 was just totally controllable. Not quite 5.56 but very manageable at that ~45-50ish foot range on a IDPA size torso steel target. With the BC installed, the PSA seems even more manageable than the M92 now. Impressed. Got it on sale for Memorial day for $99. I've got a BC on my 10.5" XCR in 5.56 so I'm accustomed to the great control....just hate the price tag since on sale the 5.56 versions are usually $135.

    Long story short, they were 100% boringly reliable (as expected). In x39...the AK's still king, IMO.

    I also bought a couple of Night Brakes for 1/2-28 and 5/8-24 for (most likely) a couple of XCRs. I'm interested b/c they use a somewhat closed chamber with baffle at the end and multiple smaller ports like the BC but at a fraction of the cost. The more traditional comps/brakes with the big windows put out so much side blast that I'm trying to get away from using them even though some are VERY good at their jobs (the $30 Armalite 2 port with slight modification is GREAT as is the VG6....but they are super blasty).

    I know this "review" is now drifting....but a little info on the XCR-M. Bought a 12 inch "pistol" from Nate last year. It's got the "newer" feed ramps that is supposed to feed soft points better than the 1st Gen M I have that has a LOT of problems trying to run soft points. It is significantly more reliable with the new feed ramp design....but it's still not super reliable. I ran 3-4 25 round mags of SP ammo through it today. Two failures to feed while running; round was stuck angled up...nose in the chamber, but back half of the round stuck in the mag.

    I just picked up a POF USA Revolution .308 DI....by comparison ran at least 100 rounds of the same ammo through it....100% reliable. Really nice gun. So light even with a 1 lb optic and 1/2 lb mount. It's actually a pleasure to shoot off hand, which is something I really can't say about the rest of my .308s....even the 12" XCR pistol which is 1.5# heavier than the 16.5" POF with the same optic and mount on it.

    There was more to the T&E today....but I've already drifted significantly.
    Last edited by Sean K.; 06-24-2019 at 06:51 AM.
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  2. #2
    XCR Guru Merlin's Avatar
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    Thanks Sean.
    There is a Maglula loader now for 7.62 AR mags.
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  3. #3
    G2
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    Thank you Sean. Awesome review!

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  5. #4
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    Thanks Sean.
    There is a Maglula loader now for 7.62 AR mags.
    Sweet. I didn't know that. Thanks Marlon!
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

  6. #5
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G2 View Post
    Thank you Sean. Awesome review!
    Hopefully it helps someone else. Like I said, I plan to test them some more to be sure....but for now, I don't trust 'em.
    Merlin likes this.
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  7. #6
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    If anyone cares...Primary Arms is running a sale on these $38 each.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

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