Mean Arms MA Loader, innovation, AR-15
(Photo by Mean Arms)

Don’t let the name fool you. The guys at Mean Arms are actually a swell bunch of fellas. The company got its start with its game-changing MA Loader (pictured above). This device gives owners restricted to fixed-magazine ARs a means of rapidly reloading without having to crack the gun open. The loader even releases the bolt, so once you slap it out of the gun, you’re ready to rock.

About a year later, Mean Arms landed its second big hit, the EndoMag. This genius device simply drops into a Magpul PMAG body so it can reliably feed 9mm ammo, and it even holds the bolt back on the last shot. This simple solution replaces the need for a dedicated pistol-caliber lower receiver and all of the associated parts.

Mean Arms in the Real World

At Renaissance Firearms Instruction (RFI), we issue MA Loaders to students taking our two-hour AR-15 course to illustrate that a fixed-mag AR-15 is still a viable option when it comes to building a compliant rifle. The learning curve on these is quite gentle, with students who have never fired a gun mastering the motion in a matter of minutes. Experienced shooters will find that they can reload with the MA Loader nearly as quickly as swapping a mag. We also run the 9mm EndoMags in all of our defensive shooting courses, as well as in USPSA and Steel Challenge primers. We like to have students supply their own lower receivers. Then we hand them 9mm uppers and converted mags. We find that students respond very well to this method, as they are already intimately familiar with the bottom halves of their guns.

EndoMag, AR-15 magazine, 9mm
The Mean Arms EndoMag

This year is going to be big for Mean Arms, which is bringing out more exciting products, like a 9mm upper that uses an MP5-style roller-delayed operating system so it can run with any buffer and spring kit. The company is also releasing a hybrid polymer/aluminum lower that is fully ambidextrous—the first of its kind. Lastly, at SHOT Show 2020, I was able to take home a pack of Mean Arms’ DW Training Chips; these are placed inside of a magazine to intentionally cause a double feed. We’ll definitely use these at RFI to help our trainees manage malfunctions under stress. For more information, please visit

This article is from the April/May 2020 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Grab print of digital subscriptions at

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