An AR-15 lower receiver that accepts 53-round (no typo: fifty-three) quad-stack magazine: meet Desert Tech's new Quattro-15 lower receiver and QMAG-53 double-feed quad-stack magazines. Nicholas Young, Desert Tech's CEO and founder, explains the genesis of the project: it all started with the U.S Army Next Generation Squad Weapon program to replace the 5.56mm M4 carbine, the M249 SAW light machine gun, and the 7.62mm M240. “As we participated we wanted to make the best rifle that we possibly could. We're not the same as other gun companies, we're not a 'me too' company, we don't just make the same AR in a different flavor and we focus on innovation.” The result is The Quattro-15 lower receiver, which is drop-in capable with all standard AR-15 upper receivers, and the 53-round QMAG-53 magazine, a single-spring, single-follower design that's even shorter than a standard 30-round mag and 0.25” thinner than 2 standard AR-15 magazines.
Video: introducing the Quattro-15 family of products
The QMAG-53 magazines
The QMAG-53 is not the first four-column magazine in firearms history. That title actually goes to the mid-1930s Swedish m/37 submachine gun, a clone of the Finnish Suomi m/31 SMG, which was later adopted with a 50-round magazine.
More recently, the Italian 9mm Spectre M-4 submachine gun introduced in the 1980s fed from an innovative quad-stack 50-round mag (“quattro” means “four” in Italian, by the way). The idea was to provide higher capacity with less magazines. The same goes here: the Quattro-15's 53 round magazines give the ability to carry a 210-round loadout with only 4 magazines instead of 7. Which also means 50% less reload time. You get a shorter mag with 76% more capacity, and the total loadout weight is 8% less than standard magazines. Moreover, the QMAG-53 fits in standard double mag pouches (its width is a bit less than 2”, or about 5 cm).
According to the manufacture, the QMAG-53 is designed to function reliably with dirty firearms and suppressors by reducing the internal friction and maximizing reliability even with powder residue deposited inside.
Price of the QMAG-53 magazine is $44.99 (MSRP in the U.S.).
The Quattro-15 lower receiver
The Quattro-15 lower receiver assembly features a windowed magazine well for weight reduction and is full mil-spec parts compatible with the exception of the mag release button and the bolt catch. Both magazine release and bolt catch/release come preinstalled and are ambidextrous. Finish is type III hard coat anodize. The receiver assembly is priced at $249.99.
For $19.95 you can also enhance your Quattro-15 with the Quattro-15 Magwell Adapter Kit that seamlessly integrates with your Quattro-15 lower reciever to convert the wide magwell to accept all standard AR pattern magazines (10-, 20- or 30-round types).