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Initial Experience with STUD High Capacity Magazine for Crown/Dreamline, etc.

TMH

Member
Jul 26, 2020
1,827
264
CA, United States
    Let me start off by saying that I am a happy user of STUD magazine loader products. I bought a set for my .22 cal Impact when they first became available, and I like them better than any of the other Impact mag loaders – and I have tried and used several different kinds & brands. I think that the genius in these products is the mag Feeder where you just dump in some pellets and shake it around to fill all the holes. Then in most cases at home I dump that into the Mag Loader and load the magazine. So much easier for me than handling each of the (now tiny feeling to me) .22 cal pellets individually and then having to drop them into a loader or directly into the magazine. As I continue to age, my dexterity with handling lots of small pellets is diminishing. And having filled mag loaders while in the field works great.

    As such I have also purchased the Stud mag loading system for my Crowns as well, in .177, .22 and .25. I let a couple of my local shooting friends (who shoot .25 cal Crowns) try my Stud mag loaders, and they have since purchased them for their use. Good products, well engineered (I’m definitely not an engineer, but I know what works), and well manufactured.

    As an early purchaser of the Stud mag loaders, I got an email informing me of the pre-availability (to previous customers) to purchase their new .22 cal High Capacity Magazines for Dreamlines, Crowns and other guns which used the same OEM mag. I’ll have to say that I wasn’t initially interested enough in the Hi Cap Mag, and I didn’t buy one. But I started thinking about it some more. No, this would never be a hunting tool for me even though I really don’t trudge through heavy brush with my guns. But thinking further and even having an email or 2 with the company, it made sense that this was not an accessory which was designed with the hunter in mind. Instead it was designed for the bench shooter, and that did make sense to me. You know how sometimes you just feel like you are in the groove on the bench, and then your mag runs dry? Well, you could always have a few extra mags loaded up and just swap another one in, but this can interrupt your rhythm and makes you get off the gun and back onto it. Maybe I’ll try one out…

    I had a new-to-me used Dreamline Classic in .22 inbound, and figured I would try it on that gun. I have a .22 Crown but the way the gun is set up the scope turret interfered with the full insertion of the Hi Cap Mag. Stud mentions this possibility on their web site. So I figured that I would start from scratch with the incoming Dreamline, and see if I could usably set up the gun with this big magazine or not.

    Well it took some positional adjusting with one of my go-to scopes (Aim Sports Alpha 6), but starting from scratch I was easily able to mount the scope so that it both cleared the magazine and gave me a comfortable cheek weld on the stock with the proper eye relief. I used the same height scope rings as would also be necessary to clear the OEM FX mag.

    I had only received the gun yesterday, and had gotten chrono numbers and an initial accuracy tune in before the sun went down. Hadn’t even run a cleaning patch through it yet, but I knew the accuracy I was getting out of that gun with OEM FX magazines.

    This morning was a new day. I was a little coffee’d up, but the sun was out, the temps were pleasant and there was NO WIND! Nice.

    I began by loading up the Hi Cap Mag, and a few thoughts went through my mind as I did this:

    1) The design of this magazine seems to give a bit better, more open access for loading it. I find that with OEM FX magazines, I have to load them by accessing each pellet hole at an angle from the outside circumference, and then I still get pellets which sometimes drop in tail first (usually within the last 2 or 3 before the mag is full – D’Oh). But with the Stud Hi Cap Mag, you can load it more easily because it has more clearance and allows you to load it from straight above, allowing the pellet to pivot in your fingers nose down (gravity) and right into the hole. I never had pellets fall tail first with the Stud. And, while I didn’t put a stopwatch to it, it seems like I can load 40 pellets into the Stud mag faster than I could load 40 pellets into several FX OEM mags.

    2) There were 2-3 spots when loading the Stud mag where the pellets didn’t seem to drop in as easily or as far as the others. Maybe this is because it is brand new and will wear in? Anyway, what I found myself doing is to quickly fill the entire mag, and then just run the tip of my finger around and over all of the loaded pellets, and high ones then just dropped down.

    3) The combination of the mechanical catch on one end of the lid, and the magnetic catch on the other end is really easy to use and seems plenty secure to me. I never had a loaded magazine which even seemed to think about opening up.

    So on to shooting then. The Stud Hi Cap mag fits into the gun’s magazine slot pretty much just like the OEM FX mags. Actually since it is larger it gives one more gripping area to fully seat it into the gun a little bit easier. This magazine is large, no doubt. We have physics to thank for that – it doesn't seem possible to me for a magazine to hold this many pellets and feed them reliably, from a smaller form factor package. But I will have to say that photos don’t do this product any favors. It is big, no doubt, but it is manageable and not awkward to use on the bench.

    While the Hi Cap mag sticks out further than an OEM mag, I never found it to get in my way of using the cocking lever. On my first use of it, there were 2 times where the mag's internal chain didn’t advance automatically to the next round. I pulled it out of the gun to see what was happening, and sure enough the pellet hole in place for the probe to push the next one into the chamber was empty. Light tap on the bench and the chain rotated correctly into place. On my next 40 rounds, there was one place where a pellet chambered harder as compared the others. But I never again had the situation where the pellet feeding chain didn't automatically rotate to position the next pellet for chambering. Subsequent magazines have all fed 100% normally. Just some light break-in so far maybe?

    Speaking of chambering, with the Stud Hi Cap mag I definitely feel a little more bumpiness on chambering (forward stroke of the cocking handle) than I do with OEM FX mags. Nothing outlandish in any manner, but you can definitely feel a difference. Maybe something which will reduce with more use, or maybe something which is inherent in the design. You will feel it but it is not a game changer by any means.

    Accuracy and consistency using the Stud Hi Cap mag was equal to my shooting with the OEM FX mag. Below are 4 each 10-shot groups I made at 25 yards with the Stud’s second use in my Dreamline Classic. No special care taken, just cock, fire and repeat 40 times. Within group #4 the gun had fallen off the regulator. (And maybe that’s another downside to the Stud Hi Cap mag – I only get one mag out of the gun per 230 bar fill now, where I used to get 2+ full OEM mags per fill before). ;)

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    Final thoughts on the Stud Hi Cap mag?

    1) Whereas I hadn’t seen a use/need for this large cap mag when I first saw it, I now see it as a nice benchtop shooting accessory.

    2) Mine came in the yellow color which Stud uses to denote .22 cal. I see the merit in this so you grab the correct mag or loader out of your cabinet when you go shooting. The yellow is bright and fine (it is a tool after all, and you don’t really see it when you are shooting), but I will have to think about it before I buy my next one. I like the black colored magazines Stud has now decided to produce, using only the color coordinated inner chain to denote caliber. It won’t be as obvious when grabbing it to go shooting, but it will be more muted on the bench. I actually value the color of the different mag loaders in my accessory box, even having gone to the effort of further highlighting the caliber markings with a paint pen.

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    3) Like the magazine loaders from Stud, this product works well, and likely will improve with more break-in use. Accuracy for me matches that out of OEM magazines.

    4) I hope that the company is able to create these in other calibers. My friends with .25 cal Crowns, while they already have the Stud mag loaders, want these Hi Cap mags for their guns. This was after I showed them mine, fitted it into their guns, and then told that they couldn’t have one since they are only available in .22 at this time.

    5) .177 would be a real winner to me, as handling .177 pellets is even more difficult than handling .22 cal pellets, and the Stud Hi Cap mag loads easier for me than OEM FX mags.

    6) It is really cool to get better-than-Impact magazine capacity in a Crown/Dreamline/Maverick gun. However understand that in a non-lefty-friendly gun like the Maverick, these hi cap mags won’t work out real well for you if you are a lefty.

    7) Do be aware of the fitment information on Stud’s site. I can see cases where this Hi Cap mag may not work out (fit – full insertion) depending on a shooter’s preferred cheek weld position on the stock, and the eye relief range of the specific scope they are using.

    8) These are currently listed on the Stud site at a specified discount price. One never knows whether this is just clever marketing (‘Wow, if I buy one now it is a better deal!’), an introductory price to get more into the field and folks talking about them, or whatever else. I will say that when I bought my first set of Feeder/Loaders for my .22 cal Impact, I also got them at an introductory discount. Later when I wanted to buy a set for my .25 cal Impact, they had gone to the ‘regular’ price, and I was bummed. I even bought a cheaper set of different mag loaders due to the ‘price increase.’ But in the end I didn’t like the different mag loaders, sold them off and bit the bullet to buy the .25 cal Stud set. I only say this because sometimes if you snooze you lose regarding discounted pricing.

    9) Did I say that these things are fun?

    10) I have absolutely no data on the potential longevity of these magazines as I have only had mine for less than a week. And it seems like that pellet carrying internal chain has a lot to do. But so far my experience with Stud's products shows this layman (me) that the company has broad experience with plastics and the manufacture of plastic products. Their stuff ain't cheap, but I definitely do see the value in it (design, manufacturing, materials). If this product were of a stolen design and was being manufactured in China with cheap materials, I would definitely have more of a longevity worry. With the true Stud products I don't have such a worry, but only time will truly tell on that front.

    11) U.S. designed and manufactured is always a positive to me.

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