Thursday, 23 March 2017

Review: Odin Innovations M12 Sidewinder

This time we have something a bit different. This is the Odin Innovations M12 Sidewinder speedloader for STANAG (M4, M16 etc.) type magazines. It boasts to be the world's fastest speedloader, and after putting it through its paces, I have no reason to doubt that claim.

This piece of kit was kindly provided for review by At the time of writing, one unit retails for €49.90. The price might seem steep, but this thing is a far cry from the flimsy, see-through plastic things most of us are used to.

The speedloader comes packaged neatly and plainly. There's no excessive material, but still enough to keep the unit safe from most bumps and scratches.

Usage instructions are clearly printed on the side of the box, and highlight the main features of the speedloader. The most innovative thing about the Sidewinder is that the BB loading mechanism is equipped with a clutch, which will start slipping once the magazine is full, so you'll always know when you have a full mag, and overfilling the magazine is not possible.

The Sidewinder is capable of holding 1600 BBs when full, and the outer dimensions enable it to fit into a standard two magazine pouch with ease. Components are nylon fiber reinforced, which should guarantee a long service life. The speedloader seems very well made. All parts fit together neatly and there are no burrs left over from moulding. All in all the level of fit and finish is really high.

Operation is very straightforward. After filling the loader with BBs, you attach the magazine as you would into a gun. This is definitely a plus, since you don't have to hold the magazine in place, and there's no need to worry about spilling BBs everywhere. The crank handle swivels 180 degrees to allow easy stowage and fast operation. Then you simply turn the handle (or wind - on the side, punny) and once the magazine is full, you can release it with the push of a button.

Magazine compatibility seems good, at least with a limited set of testing. I had a PMAG, a metal Dboys M4 magazine and an ARES Amoeba mag. Each fit in well and stayed in place during loading. The ARES mag needed a bit of an extra push to seat all the way, but still worked as intended.

One possible thing to note with the Sidewinder is that it seems the last 6 or so BBs will not exit the loader despite how much you wind. This is something to keep in mind if you intend to load various magazines with different weight BBs.

My only gripe with the otherwise solid look and feel is the fact that most parts, especially the crank handle, are plastic. Nylon reinforced plastic is definitely strong, but the way it looks still makes me wonder about the durability. Odin Innovations are offering a one year guarantee for their product, so I'm fairly sure my worry completely unjustified. Personally, I'd prefer metal parts, but that's just my own preference.

If you find yourself needing a sturdy, big and quick speedloader to go with your STANAG magazines, I don't think you can really go wrong with the Sidewinder in any way.

As a final note, while the Sidewinder is only compatible with STANAG out of the box, there are 3D printed adapters available that allow you to use other magazines. I, however, have no experience with them, so I can't say how well they might work.

You can find the Odin Innovations M12 Sidewinder on the site here.


  1. Interesting tidbit about the Sidewinder is that it was designed by an airsofter who then showed the product to the company who then picked it up and produced it. So it's a product designed by a player for the player :D

    1. That is definitely nice to know! Thanks for the info :)