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SOCOM Gear X36 Magwell Adapter Review

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Old April 14th, 2009, 16:37   #1
kalnaren
 
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SOCOM Gear X36 Magwell Adapter Review

This is a review of the new(ish) SOCOM Gear X36 Magwell Adapter for the JG/Echo1 G36 series of rifles.

Background

For those that don't know, this is a magwell adapter to allow the G36 to accept STANAG magazines (normal M4/M16 magazines). The modular nature of the G36 allows easy changing of the magwell.

Anyone familiar with G36 magazines knows they're a royal pain in the ass. In physical area, a G36 magazine takes up more space than a 7.62mm magazine. The strange shape and tabs make them a bitch to get in and out of mag pouches in a hurry. Not only are STANAG magazines easier to handle, their also much cheaper than G36 mags.

Ordering and Shipping

I originally inquired about a Private Parts magwell with Jugglez at airsoftparts. He informed me he didn't deal with PP anymore and that the SOCOM Gear one was higher quality. He informed me when he got them in and I ordered one. As per usual, the service and communication from Airsoftparts was amazing.

Quality/Appearance

The SOCOM Gear magwell is made out of high quality, black ABS plastic (the website says it's polycarb nylon... but it looks like ABS to me). For owners of a TM, JG, or KWA G36 this may not be an issue. However, the Classic Army G36 is a non-shiny, dark grey nylon. The colour difference is quite obvious, which is a bit of a turn off. I had always hoped my G36 wouldn't end up being a multi-coloured one... oh well.

The build quality of the magwell itself though is quite good. Very sturdy, no flex or anything and all the separate parts are well attached.

Fitment and Test Firing

On all the websites, it says the SOCOM Gear adapter is for the JG/Echo1 G36 and requires slight modifacation to fit a Tokyo Marui or Classic Army gun. However, it snapped into place just fine on my CA36 without issue.

Since I don't have STANAG mags, I borrowed a King Arms VN mag from my friend to test it with. The spring on the mag ketch is VERY tight, and you can't force the mag in without holding the catch down. Well, you can.. but when I did that it created a bunch of feeding issues that took a lot of mag-in-mag-out to solve. When I held the catch down until the mag was in it usually fed fine. It's a slight bit finicky. This might improve with use.

The magazine fed fine on both semi- and full-auto. Because of the longer S-shaped feed chute in the magwell adapter, the magazine leaves 6 or 7 BBs that won't feed instead of the usual 3 or 4.

Magazine fitment is pretty good. There isn't any more movement than what I normally see in plastic-reciever guns (though more movement than standard G36 mags). It doesn't seem to effect feeding any if you got the magazine seated properly to begin with. I'm told this was a big problem on the PP Magwell conversion. I have some VN mags on order; I'll update after I have it out to a game.

Overall

Not bad. I'm not a fan of the shiny on the magwell.. I might see what I can do about that. But considering the magwell adapter is $30, and STANAG mags are cheap as hell, it's not a bad conversion, especially when you factor in how much you'll have to spend on pouches to hold a G36 mag.

UPDATE 02 MAY -Testing with MAG magazines

I wanted to use VN style mags in the G36 because normal STANAG ones look like ass. So I ordered a set of MAG VN mags. They came in the other day, and I did some testing with them.

First off, these things are TIGHT in the reciever. And I don't mean date-on-prom-night tight, I mean barley fits it at all tight. I pulled one mag out of the magwell and the top part of the mag stayed in! Out of 7 mags, 2 of them wouldn't fit.

The issue is that they sit too far forward. This was fixed by filing down the guides in the back of the magwell. They lock in nicely now (with much less movement than the KA metal ones), but still don't feed. The issue seems to be the alignment of the magwell with the hop-up. The mags themselves feed fine. When a mag is inserted, one round gets placed in the hop-up but after firing nothing else feeds. I'm currently trying to troubleshoot this issue, but whenever I do manage to get them to feed I can't seem to reproduce it. Still playing with it.

Update 14 June

Skirmished with it at Wasaga today.

I found that if I don't put the retaining nut on the magwell pin, it feeds fine. I actually didn't have a single misfeed all day. Of course, this isn't a perminant solution (although the pin is friction fit enough so it shouldn't be an issue), but seems to work for now.

I'm not sure if the problem is that the hole on the magwell is off spec, or my pin is off centre, or what. All I know is that if I put the retaining nut on it moves the magwell about 0.5mm, which causes it to stop feeding.

Pictures!

Compare the CA36 and X36 magwells




G36 with magwell attached





My G36 with VN Mag
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Last edited by kalnaren; June 14th, 2009 at 19:42..
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Old April 14th, 2009, 19:03   #2
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I was seriously considering of picking 1 up considering I'm looking at some M4s. I too have the CA36 and a difference in the color doesn't phase me. What did deter me was that on AirsoftParts, it says with CA guns that it needed a "slight modification" but I couldn't uncover any details on that but hearing you had no issues has definitely put that magwell conversion back on the books.

Good review. Cheers.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 19:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessChicken View Post
What did deter me was that on AirsoftParts, it says with CA guns that it needed a "slight modification" but I couldn't uncover any details
That was my issue as well, and it says that on many websites, including SOCOM Gear's own website. I'm guessing they made the thing based off a JG/Echo1 gun.. but it just so happens to be so similar to a CA that there isn't actually an issue. I for one am quite glad it needs no mods.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 11:49   #4
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Review updated for MAG VN magazines:

UPDATE 02 MAY -Testing with MAG magazines

I wanted to use VN style mags in the G36 because normal STANAG ones look like ass. So I ordered a set of MAG VN mags. They came in the other day, and I did some testing with them.

First off, these things are TIGHT in the reciever. And I don't mean date-on-prom-night tight, I mean barley fits it at all tight. I pulled one mag out of the magwell and the top part of the mag stayed in! Out of 7 mags, 2 of them wouldn't fit.

The problem is that they sit too far forward. This was fixed by filing down the guides in the back of the magwell. They lock in nicely now (with much less movement than the KA metal ones), but still don't feed. The issue seems to be the alignment of the magwell with the hop-up. The mags themselves feed fine. When a mag is inserted, one round gets placed in the hop-up but after firing nothing else feeds. I'm currently trying to troubleshoot this issue, but whenever I do manage to get them to feed I can't seem to reproduce it. Still playing with it.

edit (again): Seems that with the nut over the magwell restraining pin, it pushes it up into the receiver by about 0.5mm. This is enough to cause it to missfeed. Removing the nut and pulling down and left on the magwell ever so slightly it seems to feed fine. Ok, source of problem found... now a solution needs to be found lol.
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Last edited by kalnaren; May 2nd, 2009 at 12:06..
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 13:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalnaren View Post

I wanted to use VN style mags in the G36 because normal STANAG ones look like ass.
Hmm, have you tried the HK STANAG mags? I really like the look of them, and i have no issues what so ever in my G36.

Im using Mag midcaps from airsoftparts.ca never had a single feeding problem

Ill add a photo once i can find my camera...


EDIT: heres a photo, sorry about the quality, couldn't find my camera, so i used my phone

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Old May 2nd, 2009, 14:22   #6
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Personally I don't like the look of the full sized mags. I also don't feel like spending even more money on magazines that may or may not work.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 15:14   #7
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Well, to each his own.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 21:05   #8
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Just got it in and as you said, it clips in fine with no issues but I don't have any M4 mags to test it out. Those won't come in till sometime next week, some KA M4 68rd mags. The colour is off but I honestly don't mind, this isn't a display gun and I doubt most people would notice when being shot at ...can't wait to try this out.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 21:14   #9
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The Private Parts Airsoft made G36 magwell adapter has a more rubbery look that blends in better with the nylon fibre of the CAG36K. That's what I use.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 02:03   #10
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does anyone know if Magpull PMAGs will work with this?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 03:36   #11
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Originally Posted by gerbalfarm View Post
does anyone know if Magpull PMAGs will work with this?
It should be fine, I have a PMAG coming in the mail next week. I will try it on my adapter. Should be no reason why any TM compatible M4 magwell mag won't work.

That said, these adapters are fickle and often they are loose with certain mags and need to have modifications to stop certain mags from jiggling or not feeding.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 07:13   #12
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I had the private parts magwell and the pmags wouldn't feed properly.... which then the feed nozzle broke and now my new x36 magwell dosn't line up propperly with the hopup same problem that Kalnaren is haveing
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:49   #13
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SNK: please post and let me know how it works with the Pmag once you've tried it. I don't want to order a box of them and not have them work
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:22   #14
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SNK: please post and let me know how it works with the Pmag once you've tried it. I don't want to order a box of them and not have them work
With many mags, not just pmags, they will wobble and not feed properly in the magwell adapters. Many people have stuck tape and velcro inside the magwells or onto the mags to make them work. It happens with most M4 mags. I have several where you have to wiggle and push it forward to get it to feed properly.

The only mags I have found to work perfectly in the magwells are MAG branded plastic ones. I'll post about the pmag when I get it this week.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:26   #15
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With many mags, not just pmags, they will wobble and not feed properly in the magwell adapters. Many people have stuck tape and velcro inside the magwells or onto the mags to make them work. It happens with most M4 mags. I have several where you have to wiggle and push it forward to get it to feed properly.

The only mags I have found to work perfectly in the magwells are MAG branded plastic ones. I'll post about the pmag when I get it this week.
This is good to know, thanks! I wonder if it's even worth the trouble, to get these things
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