Interview with James Malarkey of X Products

| January 30, 2015 | 2 Comments

We saw quite a few pistol caliber carbines at SHOT Show 2015. The CZ Evo Scorpion, Angstadt Arms 9mm AR, TNW Firearms Aero Survival Pistol, SIG Sauer MPX and the MPA DMG to name a few.

At reader request we stopped by the X Products booth. We talked to James Malarkey about their Outlaw X-15 SCU (Side Charging Upper) and happened upon their super bad ass compact 50-round 9mm X-15 aluminum drum.

X-15 SCU Outlaw 9MM AR15 Upper

X Products SHOT Show 2015-2

The X-15 SCU is a pretty ingenious concept. The charging handle is higher than normal and has a custom BCG and cam pin. This combination allows you to swap calibers by changing barrels and a bolt. For those of you familiar with 9mm AR15s, this also means you don’t need a custom hammer.

X Products SHOT Show 2015-1

I really liked that the charging handle was on the left side of the weapon, and James easily ran the bolt while keeping the pistol mounted.

The Outlaw has an 8.5″ barrel. We got a bunch of conflicting information about the thread pattern — James stated 1×32 and probably meant 1/2×32, but their Web site states 1/2×36 which doesn’t seem like a standard thread pattern. Most 9mm is 1/2×28, but there are metric patterns common on SIG pistols. We’ll try to get more information for you.

There are some little touches that will be appreciated by suppressor owners. For example, James stated that the ejection port on my side charging uppers are left wide open, which allows blowback from the suppressor to hit the shooter’s face. This doesn’t happen on the Outlaw because the charging handle is higher than the bore line.

A 7″ Fortis rail comes standard, but a 12″ “Viper” rail will be available soon that covers the entire barrel and muzzle attachment for those of you that like that appearance. No news yet on if that will result in a price increase.

Out of the box you’ll get the side charging upper, barrel, Lantac flash hider, bolt, Fortis forend and buffer. The Outlaw is available in black, FDE and olive drab. There might be a price adjustment coming soon, but the X Products Web site states the Outlaw will MSRP for $989. It’s currently backordered and should be shipping in a few weeks.

The demo firearms all used Quarter Circle 10 lowers that accepted Glock magazines. Those retail for about $275 without a parts kit. For a fully assembled Outlaw you’re probably looking at $1300 – $1400 depending on what LPK and grip you get. Throw in a LAW adapter (if you can find one for sale) and you’re looking at $1550+

X-15 9MM Drum

The SCU upper was pretty cool, but I was blown away by the X-15 9mm drum.

X Products SHOT Show 2015-4

This is the most compact AR15 drum on the market, and might be the most compact drum for any platform. According to James, it’s 1.5″ shorter than the 33-round Glock “Happy Stick.”

At 1.3 pounds unloaded, it’s 8 ounces heavier than a 33-round stick mag and 6 ounces heavier than the all-steel Colt magazine commonly used on AR15 9mm builds.

It’s made out of aluminum, and is about the size of a man’s fist. The black knob (pictured above) allows you to advance the drum, making loading very easy.

X Products SHOT Show 2015-5

The X15 9mm drum comes in the usual colors offered by X Products: black, FDE and olive drab. It’s shipping right now.

I want one — badly. This would be a great magazine for your car or bag. The only catch is that it’s $225. That’s a pretty steep price, but you have to realize the magazine is solid aluminum and it takes a lot of work to machine all of the piece and parts. My machinist friend who manufacturers firearm small parts for a living stated that the price is very reasonable considering the drum’s size, function, and design.


About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

2 Comments on "Interview with James Malarkey of X Products"

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  1. Red says:

    1/2×36 is actually traditional or correct on 9mm ARs like the old Colts, the idea being 1/2×28 muzzle devices could not go on and cause mayhem.

  2. van der lin says:

    he said it is only for FMJ… 🙁

    Jeesus, 9mm is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a bag gun, to have to use FMJ sort of kills it for me. Of course, there is always pow’r ball guess…

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