ETS C.A.M. Universal Loader for Rifles Review
Last year I picked up an MP5k clone made by PTR Industries. I have really been enjoying the gun, I even registered it as a Short Barreled Rifle and put a stock on it a few months after owning it. One day I was walking through a local Murdoch's and noticed an ETS Universal Loader for rifles. I noticed that they said it could be used for pistol caliber magazines in addition to rifle calibers. They claimed it would work with 9mm, .223, 300 blk, 5.45x39, 7.62x39 and 308. I figured that loading my MP5 magazines and potentially Colt SMG magazines easier would be worth the price, so I bought it to try out.
MSRP for the C.A.M loader is $30, which is pretty close to the price of a MagLULA loader, which is around $25. I already had a MagLULA for the Colt SMG magazines and another for pistol magazines. It works great, but you load one bullet at a time and for the Colt SMG or MP5 magazines you need a specific loader for each magazine type. The C.A.M. loader doesn't lock onto the magazine, but it does give you the option to use one loader for most double stack rifle magazines.
First off, I typically throw all of my reloaded pistol ammo in bulk boxes, so I had to find some factory ammo sitting around to be able to strip the rounds properly. You can single feed the rounds from a bulk box onto the loader, but you lose some of the speed of using a speed loader. With a factory 9mm box you can run the loader length-wise and pick up 10 rounds at a time. Once the rounds are on the loader, you use the handle to push them down into the magazine. If you hold the magazine into the speed loader as you pick up rounds and have the handle ready to use, you can load a 30 round magazine in a matter of seconds.
When I first tried this with the MP5 magazines I was expecting it to work OK, but potentially have some issues with getting the last few rounds in. With MP5 magazines from HK and ETS I found all 30 rounds went smoothly and quickly into the magazine without an issue. After one range session I was sold on the speed loader and picked up some plastic 9mm boxes to be able to store my reloads.
Since this was a "universal loader" I wanted to try as many other options as possible to see what worked and what didn't. Sticking with the 9mm theme, I also loaded some Colt SMG magazines and tried out some borrowed CZ Scorpion magazines. I then tried loading 223 into Magpul and USGI style magazines and finally loaded some 6.5 Creedmoor ammo into 308 pattern Magpul magazines. Overall, the loader worked well with everything I tried. I'll mention a couple quirks with the Scorpion down below and unfortunately I didn't have any 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 options to test out.
It's been over a year since I bought the loader and I am very happy with it. It primarily gets used for the MP5 magazines and the occasional Colt SMG magazine. With a handful of magazines, several boxes of ammo set out and just a couple minutes I can have hundreds of rounds loaded.
I have had a couple issues. The narrow MP5 magazines work really well, but the fatter Scorpion magazines, primarily those from Magpul can be a pain. You have to have the Magpul Scorpion magazine lined up just right for the rounds to feed smoothly. This isn't a major issues, especially after you try it a few times and get used to where to line up the magazine.
The second issue I have had is with 308 sized ammo. There are two grooves that pick up ammo, a small and a large. The small grove works for 9mm, 223, etc and is deeper in the loader. The larger groove is towards the outside edge and is for 308 and large case heads. When I first bought the loader I could run 308 or 6.5 Creedmoor rounds into a Magpul AR-10 magazine with ease. Since I don't normally use those magazines, I didn't try it again until making the YouTube video above. When I tried it for the video, I noticed that the larger channel barely allowed the rounds to move and I couldn't get them all the way down to the magazine. I'm not sure what caused the issue, but it looks like the bottom portion that holds the magazine in place is bent in, creating a gap too narrow to feed larger rounds.
Overall, I've have been very happy with this loader for what I bought it for. It has worked great for 9mm and 223 magazines. If you are wanting to load 308 case sized ammo, I'm not sure if this will work as well for you.
Have you used this loader, or do you prefer a different one? Let me know in the comments below.