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Review of the Gun Mod: The Mag 225W
Check out the gun show! Today we’re going to be reviewing one of the most interestingly shaped mods in all of Smok’s history! The Mag 225 (and the Mag P3) are shaped like gun grip to offer a more ergonomic feel than traditional box mods. In order to understand the newest Mag P3 (which we’ll review in our next blog post), you have to understand its origins. While many of you may be familiar with this mod or at least heard something about it, we’ll break down what it does and whether or not you should consider it as your newest vape starter kit.
THE MAG 225W KIT: ORIGINS
The Mag 225W kit was released at the end of December 2017/beginning of January 2018. The kit was available in an astonishing 25 different colors, offering one of the largest range of colors to vapers looking for a new setup. You can also choose between a left-hand or a right-hand version, making it one of the most versatile mods on the market. Since most mods are designed to be used with either hand, this was an interesting concept because now southpaws can enjoy a screen that actually faces them instead of just holding the mod in their left hand. Let's check out some of the other features this particular mod has.
THE DESIGN: ERGONOMIC AND AFFORDABLE
The mod is shaped just like the grip of a gun. The battery casing was also unique in that it was shaped like the magazine of a gun, hence the name “Mag.” Simply press the button underneath the trigger-shaped firing pin, and the magazine would drop into your waiting hands. A firm upward smack of the magazine-shaped battery tray was all it took to reload the mod, and you’d be firing cloud bullets into the sky in no time!
One thing that was different than the mods Smok had been recently releasing is the lack of LED lights (i.e. the T-Priv). The chip and screen are very similar to the ProColor mod, and the user interface is eerily similar to the incredibly popular Smok Alien mod released only a year ago. The pricing online was around $50-$60, and stores would charge around $75-$100. While I love supporting brick and mortar stores when I can, online prices were definitely better than the ones in store.
It was wonderfully comfortable and sat perfectly in my hand. I loved how the back of the mod was curved to gently hug my palm, unlike some boxy mods that can be somewhat awkward to hold. I’ve ended up using 3 of these mods (one for me, two from my friends) in three different colors: fiery orange, deep gold, and hot pink. The paintwork on all of the mods were superb, with black accents on the firing pin and curved body of the mod. I did end up dropping the gold one once, and while the paint did chip on the bottom corner, the rest of the paint work didn’t flake off or crack so I know the paint work was well-done.
THE SCREEN & OPERATION
The screen was large, simple, and easy to navigate. The screen’s design was very similar to Smok’s previous mods. You can change the color of the menu’s text as well as monitor each battery’s power levels. You can either press the battery door button (similar to the magazine release on a gun) to release the mod’s magazine-shaped battery tray (to charge your batteries separately) or plug in the included microUSB cord to charge the batteries within the device. When you’re ready to turn on the device, 5 clicks unlocks it and 3 clicks takes you to the menu screen. The up and down buttons work easily, but can get a little confusing at times if you’re used to having your buttons perfectly level with the other.
I was able to find temperature control, TCR mode, and preheat preferences (soft, normal or hard). I usually use all of my mods on wattage mode and found the preheat option to be extremely quick when in hard mode. I went back to normal mode and found the hit was smoother and wasn’t as hot. The mod has a max firing range of 225 (to which I was able to fire fully on but don’t recommend), but I stayed on 150W due to my coil’s 0.12 ohm capabilities. If you’re using a 0.15 ohm coil or higher, you’ll get a stronger hit. I didn’t see a max amperage output listed on either the mod, box, or device info booklet, but I was able to successfully test the max wattage at 223W.
One thing I found odd about this mod was how Smok lists their max voltage for this mod as 9V, usually something only possible with a boost circuit. After conducting some tests, I used a 0.51ohm coil and found that I only got to 6.94 volts. For a dual battery mod, this is pretty low especially since Smok advertises the max voltage as much higher. Also, the max amperage performed at 44, a solid 4 amps more than average dual battery mods. Aside for the max voltage issue, the mod is an excellent piece of vaping equipment that performed everything I asked of it.
While I rarely stray from the wattage mode, it’s worth looking into the TC (temperature control) mode. The mod fires very quickly and I don’t recommend any firing over 400F as it gave me some nasty dry hits. I found a comfortable temperature at 350-370F as I’m not a fan of hot cloud temps. While I probably won’t ever use this setting, it’s nice to know that the mod is capable of it.
MOD SHAPE: ONLY 25MM WIDE
If you have an atomizer larger than 30mm, you’ll notice some overhang. I used the TFV12 and the TFV16, and found that they were perfectly centered. If you’re planning on using a larger tank or different brand than SMOK, keep in mind that it probably won’t look as clean and centered as a smaller atomizer. You may notice that the mod’s 510 platform is angled downward, with a silver circular plate to make the atomizer sit perfectly flush and straight.
THE FIRING PIN
The firing pin is really an amusing feature, as it’s shaped like a gun’s trigger. It fires quickly and doesn’t have any button rattle. However, I had the poor judgment to take this to the beach and wound up with sand getting stuck between the trigger and the mod’s body. It was such a tedious project to remove all the sand (and I’m pretty sure there’s still some left). If you’re planning on taking this mod with you wherever you go, keep in mind that this mod has so many small crevices where dirt and sand can get lodged in.
While I was delighted with the mod’s design, a lot of people weren’t. They were highly displeased that something as deeply controversial as a gun was now being put into the hands of adults and that it might encourage them to purchase a real gun for themselves. I had several gun-owning friends hold the mod and they confirmed it was extremely similar to the glocks and mags they owned already. I don’t think something as simple as a vape mod would encourage anyone to buy a gun, but I realize that the mod’s similarity to a gun did nothing to help the vape community’s opposition that vaping is “bad” just like cigarettes are “bad.”
While the long-term effects of vaping have yet to be determined, the vaping community’s image is certainly not helped by the inclusion of a gun shaped mod. There was one vape owner who simply refused to carry that particular mod in her store, for fear that her customers would get the wrong idea. I wasn’t able to find the link to that article, but if you’ve read that review recently, comment below and I’ll tag it! If you’ve used this mod before and want to share your experiences, drop a comment below! Love it or hate it, you have to admit this is one of the most intriguing designs ever made by SMOK. In our next article, we'll talk about the Mag P3, a much quieter and updated look to the ominous gun Mag 225. Check back with us soon to check out that article and let us know which one you like better!