Why does our AR-15s leave us with an empty rifle once the last round is fired and the bolt is locked open? Why leave us unnecessarily vulnerable in a tactical or home defense situation.
This was what our Founder, CEO and Inventor of the TTC-Follower asked when he was first introduced to the AR-15 weapon system more than 12 years ago. Back then we were told to count our rounds, and when we would get to 27 we should change our mag with one up the spout. (We had some very crappy mags which could only hold 28 rounds otherwise they would cause the rifles to double feed). Needless to say it was close to impossible even at the shooting range to keep track. Now imagine trying to count while hearing the snaps from enemy bullets flying around your head. Simply beyond impossible!
The risk of finding yourself standing with an open bolt and no rounds to fly, is so distressing that in a tactical situation today, we will eject a partially expended mag, replacing it with a full mag whenever possible. This procedure is known as the tactical reload. While the gun is never empty, the wastage of cartridges and magazines can be significant, with partially used but still useful mags littering the ground. And the risk of finding yourself vulnerable with an empty rifle and open bolt is still there. So the procedure is costly, both from an economic viewpoint, but also from a tactical. Why through half your load in the mud to avoid a problem that could be solved mechanically? And because every round counts, it is tempting to dump your partially expended mags into a dump bag. Good idea, if you have time to re-distribute the rounds from 5 partially empty mags into one full mag. If not, you have no idea when that bolt stop will engage, should you get your hands on a partially expended mag from either your vest or your dump bag. Over time we have heard people express concerns that we where looking for a problem to go with our solution. However that is not true. There is not just one problem, there are several. All solved by procedures and “What to do if”s. “You will want to change on a closed bolt”. Do so whenever there is time. But you are still risking to find yourself vulnerable because of an open bolt and an empty mag, because you can not always do tactical reloads in time.
Then, after each tactical reload, you dump your partially expended mags into a dump bag or bump them around your vest, trying to keep track of full and half empty mags. If not, you probably just lost 3-15 rounds of perfectly good ammunition, to avoid a vulnerable situation you could have avoided mechanically, dependably, every time.
Furthermore, just a simple thing as inserting on a closed bolt can cause problems if you are used to insert on an open bolt at the range, because you always empty your mags in this non-hostile situation. We have all seen a magazine drop from the mag-well every once in a while, because it has not been inserted with enough gusto to insert on a closed bolt like you do with a tactical reload. With TTC you will always insert on a closed bolt. Even at the shooting range. This means consistency. Same amount of force every time, same feel, same same but better. This small change in paradigm, eliminates 3-5 other problem solving procedures, meaning the manual of arms is simplified and the amount of theory needed to learn is cut down to a minimum.
The Time to Change Follower or Time to Change Magazine takes care of the counting, you can shoot until the mag is fully expended and still have one round ready during the reload procedure. AND if you get down to your dumped partially expended mags, it will not matter wether there is 5, 9 or 15 rounds in them. Just shoot and the bolt will lock when you need to load the last round and start your reload.
(The TTC-Concept does not change the fact that if you have time, you should still do a tactical reload before entering a “new situation” like walking through the next door, changing position and so on. But with the Time to Change Follower you will always have one round ready to fly even if you do not do your tactical reload in time AND you can use your partially expended mags without redistributing rounds into one full mag. With Time to change every bolt lock turns into a safe tactical reload in 0.19 seconds)
For tactical situations only? No, even though an AR-15 might not be the best home defense choice companies like Daniel Defense has some interesting points when it comes to the use of the Home Defense AR. If I was to rush through my home, sweeping corners in order to keep myself or my loved ones safe, I would have picked my Clock .45 over the AR´s any day. But Daniel Defenses points on sight alignment in low light situations may have changed my mind and that might be the case for many others who has read this Daniel Defense article.
So I would like to add another advantage other than more intuitive shooting and sight alignment. Using an AR gives the citizen the safety of using TTC-MAGs in a home defense situation. Waking up at night by the sound of the alarm or disturbance in the living room is anything but a nice surprise. And in that situation you will have to act fast. You may not be fully awake nor an experienced shooter and standing face to face with a hostile home intruder isn´t a situation where you will wan´t to find yourself facing an open bolt with no rounds to chamber. Using TTC-Followers in your alloy mags or using our Polymer TTC-MAGs in this situation could mean the difference between staying alive and saving your family or getting caught on the wrong foot in the middle of your vulnerable standard mag change.
There is a number of reason why you should adapt the Time to Change concept, with only one downside. You have to unlearn and retrain from:
1. Bolt locks (Weapon Empty) 2. Eject Mag (Weapon Empty) 3. Insert Mag (Weapon Empty) 4. Release Bolt (Weapon not Emty), to
1. Bolt Locks (Weapon Empty) 2. Release Bolt (Weapon NOT Empty) 3. Eject Mag (Weapon NOT Empty) 4. Insert Mag (Weapon NOT Empty)