HFC Drum Mag
The HFC Drum Mag come to us in a black box which has a golden logo showing an eagle on a shield and a HD Series caption underneath. Inside the box is the magazine, patches, 500 0.20 g BBS in a dispenser and a manual. After taking the magazine out of the box we can feel that we are dealing with a solid piece of metal. It weighs 913 g, and 954 g when fully loaded with 0,20 g BBs.
The magazine is made mainly from metal, there are just a few plastic parts such as the magazine winding part, the trapdoor your poor the BBs trough and the hi-cap mechanism parts. The magazine proper, the one which goes into the pistol grip, is black and has a slippery texture. The drum is made from good quality aluminium, is black and is has pleasant to the touch, matte texture. The whole design is held together with 3 hex screws. The part used for winding is made from sand like coloured plastic but can pass for one made of aluminium, the same type the drum is made from. The BBs trapdoor is made from the same material and looks good yet its design is far from it: it is very easy to open and it can often happen by accident.
The whole set is based around a gas tank which is situated in the center of the drum, which also houses the hi-cap type BB feeding system and BBs themselves. The magazine has a capacity of 130 BBs and they are separated from the gas tank by the winding mechanism and are not in danger of being chilled while the magazine is used.
The gas tank is made from aluminium. Its is rectangular and has as an integrated radiator which keep most of the cold generated when shots are fired away from the hop-up chamber. The gas is supplied to the gas chamber in the magazine proper via a rubber hose and a modified magazine bottom plate.
The magazine proper is attached to the drum with two pins. After taking them out, we can attach any type of magazine which has the same pin width. The magazine proper does not have a spring and does not have the plastic part that pushes the BBs up into the chamber. Therefore, if we run our of BBs, the slide won't stay in the rear position to inform us about this fact. The lack of this feature is the biggest drawback of this magazine.
The BBs are feet into the replica with the same kind of mechanism used in AEG hi-cap magazines. The are no novelties here: the BBs in the chamber are feed into the mechanism via gravity and the said mechanism feeds the BBs into the magazine proper when the spring is wound. If we wind the mechanism completely it will feed the BBs until the spring has unwound. A big advantage of this magazine is the fact that if we fill it up with gas and wound it completely, we will be able to shoot all the BBs from it without doing anything else in between like rewinding or refilling it with gas.
The hi-cap mechanism in separated from the drum by unscrewing the brown rotating plastic part situated at the front of the drum. Initially I had my doubts about this design feature, especially how the magazine is wound up, but it turned out that it is comfortable despite the fact that it does not look very spectacular.
The magazines which we got from HFC, differ only with the magazine proper installed, therefore also with the top valve and the magazine's modified bottom plate. One is based in the Beretta system, the other on the Glock system.
The impressions you get when using this magazine while shooting depend greatly on the replica used, and more specifically, if the said replica has a full auto mode. The pleasure of shooting in full auto with this kind of magazine capacity is hard to describe! It is worth mentioning that thanks to the magazine's design the whole system does not freeze too fast. Unfortunately, while using our magazine, some BBs were falling out of the trapdoor port or got stuck there which resulted in the magazine not feeding BBs to the pistol. It mostly happened when the replica was pointed at a downward angle. It can be very irritating and, what is worse, it occurred in two different replicas which might suggest that it is the magazines fault entirely. The winding mechanism, on the other hand, works flawlessly.
It is hard to make a conclusive assessment of this magazine, especially regarding its usefulness. People that play a lot of CQB games will appreciate it the most but even they will not be able to use its full potential if they don't have a replica with a full auto mode. Its use might also be problematic in a forest where the HFC Drum Mag will simply be impractical and extremely uncomfortable. Technical solutions used in this magazine are interesting, yet the whole concept of a hi-cap magazine for gas powered replicas seems to be a bit abstract if we are to wound it by hand (which is the case with the HFC Drum Mag). On the plus side, the internal design is of very high quality: the magazines look good and robust and their weight feels good. The whole concept is interesting and fresh but the design itself needs some improvements to become a product the players will be completely satisfied with.