The Original Magpul was Magpul’s first product which launched them on their way to becoming the giant that they are today. These handy rubber finger loops were designed to be stretched onto the bottom of a magazine creating a loop that would allow the user to quickly extract magazines from magazine pouches. It is basically a more formal approach to the old duct tape and para-cord loop trick that became popular with A.L.I.C.E. gear.
However, I find that because my more modern magazine pouches are cut lower, so I rarely use the finger loop to extract the magazine. It just isn’t necessary. Even though I didn’t use the finger loops, I left the Magpuls on my aluminum magazines because I found that the rubber surface wrapped around the base of the mag really improved grip and the loop acted as a shock buffer when the mags hit the deck during reloads. The problem was that the loops made the magazines longer which could cause issues with some covered mag pouches.
My simple solution was to turn the Magpul 90 degrees. I have since come to find out that I am not the first person to do this, so I really can’t claim it as my own idea. The Magpul is stretched so that the loop is running front to back and pulled tight to the magazine base. This cures the pouch fit issues. It also retains the enhanced grip and buffering advantages. In fact, it acts more efficiently as a buffer since now the loop covers nearly the entire baseplate.
The best part is that it enhances the ability of the magazine to be used as a monopod. The 30 round AR-15 magazines lend themselves very well to being used as a monopod, but aluminum GI mags tend to pick up dirt and debris between the magazine body and baseplate. However, with the Magpul turned 90 degrees the baseplate is protected from debris.
I still keep about 40 or so aluminum GI magazines on hand even though I use PMAGs almost exclusively these days. I find that the PMAGs do not really need any grip enhancement or buffering from impact but I wouldn’t run my GI mags without the Magpuls. They really do enhance the function for me and they aren’t terribly expensive.
If you have Magpuls, try turning them 90 degrees. You might like them better that way.