There are many ways to carry shotgun shells whether it be in a practical perspective or merely for reloading at a more casual pace on the fields. Magload has been gaining first hand experience in the practical shotgun world to provide innovative solutions to problems that other products have not quite yet been able to resolve. There are many products that are coming from Magload which are not only innovative but will be game changers in practical shooting matches.
The Magload NEXUS 12 is a twelve shell caddie which holds six pairs of shotgun shells in a dual/quad load configuration which allows for quick loading into the feeding ramp of a shotgun. Although designed specifically for practical shotgun sports, the caddie has seen use in other sports including multi gun where other firearms are used in conjunction.
As previously mentioned, the NEXUS 12 is a shotgun caddie that holds twelve shells in pairs. There are other configurations of the NEXUS system which includes twelve, twenty and twenty-eight shell capacities. The NEXUS 12 can be assembled in both left hand and right hand configurations which caters well to the needs of however the user decides to load their shells.
The one innovative feature of the NEXUS system is a sturdy frame and self-adjustment system which retains the shells regardless of size and tolerance. Each top arm of the NEXUS contains a magnet (1.1kg release force) which assists in the retention of the top shell in each pairing and gives the user the right amount of tactile feedback during use.
The NEXUS has been designed to allow for improved thumb access with a built in slant on the shell holders. The backplate is made out of a high grade engineering alloy and has a brushed finish (may vary depending on versioning). The retainer arms are made out of a lightweight polymer with brass thread inserts for the stainless bolts to be screwed in place.
The NEXUS backplate is mountable to Tek Loks, ELS clips and can use Velcro adhesive strips due to the curved design to follow the contours of the human waist. Due to the way the backplate is designed, there is ample room for small adjustments to the positioning of the retainers.
The retainers themselves use both the magnets at the top and the spring retention arm at the bottom to retain each pair of shells. This retention system is designed to be in a sweet spot to not only retain the shells but also allow for the user to pull the shells needed and load their shotgun.
Magload custom designs and builds all the components of the NEXUS which means that with added cost, can customise and make changes to best cater individual users on request. The NEXUS is a set and forget system that allows for the user to assemble, equip and focus on shooting instead of adjusting their rig.
The NEXUS 12 fully assembled looks quite rugged and functional. It’s a shame that the backplate with its laser cut logo and finish gets covered over by the polymer retainers and the shotgun shells. Having said this, the placement of shotgun shells hides most of the frame and gives it a minimalistic look compared to other caddies of similar capacity.
Every part of the NEXUS made of metal is very well manufactured and treated which accents the polymer parts nicely. The polymer parts are well constructed and don’t look brittle or cheap, however, the finish does show printing imperfections when looked at closely on the etchings. The look of the individual components after testing did not change and have since looked as new as when they came out of the box.
The use of Velcro has been met with no issue, however when applying locking screws for either a Tek Lok or equivalent, there is little room in between the retainers and components to screw the mounts onto the backplate. This has been rectified with a little bit of trouble shooting and disassembly and reassembly of components that were in the way.
The point of the NEXUS 12 is to provide twelve shotgun shells for the user and retain them at all times until needed. The system was mounted to a Tek Lok onto a stiff outer belt and used in multiple different challenging and practical shooting applications alongside other firearms. Needless to say, there were no malfunctions with the NEXUS 12 even though different shotgun shell brands and types were used in many different configurations.
The retainers were able to hold all the shotgun shells in place where running, crouching and more disruptive movements were introduced into the equation. Even though the retainers have been strong enough to retain the shotgun shells in place, they are not difficult at all to pull away from the retainers when needed as the magnets and springs allow for the more natural movement of the shells being pulled out by hand compared to the rattling and inertia of movement around it.
The backplate is the only main concern with the NEXUS as it is the one part of the system that can contact the body in a knelt or leaning position. Although it is the backbone of the NEXUS, it is also the one part that can uncomfortably end up rubbing against the body (depending on positioning and mounting). In regards to weight, the NEXUS 12 is very close to the body, which leads to a lot of the weight going unnoticed, even with all the shotgun shells attached.
As mentioned previously, the NEXUS 12’s materials withstood throughout the test period with no rust or aesthetic degradation. The overall structure of the product was also retained with little flex or change in the properties of any of the parts. As long as they NEXUS 12 is cleaned and kept dry during storage, there is little to no maintenance required to keep this system optimal for use. It is advised however to check components and check the screws every few months depending on use.
The installation manual advises that the screws are installed with only a certain amount of torque to allow for flex and self-adjustment by the system’s springs. This may seem like a concern where the screws would get loose over time, but even without assistance from Locktite or alternative glues, the screws retained their positions and did not loosen throughout the test period.
The NEXUS 12 is priced at £130~ which is reasonable considering it is a very high quality construction with a self-adjustable retention system. Other caddies vary in quality and price with similar features but have major flaws such as durability and quality. Good alternatives of the NEXUS with similar features would be the EZLoad NXTGEN which is slightly more expensive but also has it’s own self retention system.
The NEXUS 12 is certainly not the cheapest product, but is very well built and durable compared to other products which are more economical but do not function as effectively.
The NEXUS 12 is very well built and very functional as a shotgun caddie. With a durable design and what is essentially a simple retention system executed very well; the NEXUS 12 is a very well engineered shell holder which can be a game changer for competition shooting.
The NEXUS system is certainly an innovative creation by MAGLoad which is certainly going to improve with future iterations. There are a few little flaws where the user will have to adapt. These issues are not difficult to rectify with further modification or with simple adjustments.