At the 2020 SHOT Show I was fortunate to get an early look of the billet magazines that Vudoo Gun Works was preparing to release.
Unlike the polymer magazines Vudoo Gun Works uses for the Vudoo V-22, the new billet magazines are machined from aluminum and anodized.
There has been some delays from the original February timeline that was estimated during SHOT 2020, but the 5-round magazines started shipping in volume around March. I decided to pick one up just to have a 5-round magazine (and since I wanted to order a 60MOA scope rail, too).
As one would expect, the 5-round magazine billet magazine is quite solid compared to a polymer magazine. The finishing of the magazine looks good, although it looks like there is some vertical lines in the finish. Not sure if it is a byproduct of the preparation of the surface prior to anodizing or the anodizing itself.
I did have one issue with the 5-round billet magazine. It would not seat in my rifle. I run the Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis and use the long action magazine catch which is one way to mitigate feeding issues when pressure is exerted on the magazine (e.g. rifle on barricade). Unfortunately, the tab of the long action magazine catch is too high and the Vudoo 5-round billet magazine tab was not clearing.
I ended up swapping out for the adjustable magazine catch and setting it mid-way between the length of the standard magazine catch and the long action magazine catch.
I also ended up putting back the MPA plastic spacer that is placed in the gap channel above the magazine catch, which is meant to minimize the back and forth play of the magazine when in the chassis. The reason why I did not run this is because it was constantly falling out (after using Super Glue). I decided to try Gorilla Glue (original) to see if it will hold up.
When I looked at the 5-round billet magazine next to the standard 10-round polymer magazine, it does appear that the magazine tab is just slightly higher on the 5-round billet (when looking relative to the top face of the magazine). I feel that this is better to mitigate the original issue I was having with the standard polymer magazines when using on barricades and pressure was exerted on the magazine. But this means the adjustable magazine catch will not be as effective if I am going to be interchanging between both magazine types.
The Vudoo 5-round billet magazine fits relatively flush to the bottom of the trigger guard on the Masterpiece Arms BA Competition chassis.
The weight of the 5-round billet magazines is 218 grams compared to the weight of the standard 10-round polymer magazine at 90 grams.
One other interesting aspect is that I discovered the Vudoo 5-round billet magazine actually took six rounds without issue and still had slack (wasn’t forced in, follower still had travel left). When I took the Vudoo out to the range and tested the 5-round billet magazine, were no feed issues for the top round when I ran six rounds in the magazines.
At $74.95 for the 5-round billet magazine ($84.95, $91.95, and $94.95 for the 10-round, 12-round, and 15-round billet magazines as of 04/27, respectively), it is not inexpensive. I definitely think at least one 5-round magazine should be in any Vudoo Gun Works V-22 owner’s kit for the sheer low profile form factor in certain shooting situations.
Aside from price, my main concern is the change in the height of the release notch on the magazine body compared to the original polymer magazines. This does throw in a wrench for those with adjustable magazine catches, since you may have to tweak the magazine catch to run both magazines, and even then, it won’t be ideal if one set of magazines has a different notch height than the other.
The 5-round billet magazine has a solid hefty feel to it that many will appreciate, but is this enough for Vudoo owners to run billet magazines over polymer? From a total cost to benefit ratio, I think most people are better off just buying a 3-pack of 10-round polymer magazines at $99 vs one 10-round billet magazine at $84.95.
But if you’re like me, splurging on billet magazines is a way to satisfy that ever present gear lust.
Find more about the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 billet magazines at https://vudoogunworks.com/.