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View Full Version : Hi Cap Mags - pistols vs rifles


DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 3:03 PM
I have noticed on a regular basis at various shooting ranges a lot of pistols with hi cap mags. But hardly ever see rifles out in public with hi cap mags. (Of course do see many 10/30's and 10/20's).

Is is more serious to be in possession of a hi cap rifle mag than a hi cap pistol mag?

wildhawker
02-08-2010, 3:10 PM
Possession is not illegal. See wiki. Please.

bwiese
02-08-2010, 3:13 PM
I have noticed on a regular basis at various shooting ranges a lot of pistols with hi cap mags. But hardly ever see rifles out in public with hi cap mags. (Of course do see many 10/30's and 10/20's).

Is is more serious to be in possession of a hi cap rifle mag than a hi cap pistol mag?


1. Hicap mags of any sort - pistol or rifle - possessed within CA on or before 1/1/2000 are entirely legal to possess and use.

There is no pistol vs. rifle differentiation in penalty/charge/etc. for illegal hicap mag acquisition or manufaucturing.

[The only exception is using a hicap mag in a semiauto centerfire rifle with a nondetachable magazine (i.e, latched with a bullet-button maglock: this could be regarded as a fixed hicap magazine, triggering AW status.]

2. There are indeed quite a few legit hicap mags on rifles, I do seem them at ranges. I own hundreds of them, for example (I went nuts in 1999 and bought mags for guns I don't even own yet!). Some people may have just a couple of them and want to 'save them' (not realizing they are indeed legally repairable) and use 10 rounders instead.

3. During the 1990s tons of handguns were sold, likely a lot more than rifles. Quite a few handgun designs (or model series) share common hicap magazines. Thus you'll see more of these pistol hicap mags per capita. because handguns sell and have sold at a higher rate than rifles.

CAL.BAR
02-08-2010, 3:14 PM
Nope - just that there were probably more hi-cap pistol mags in existence prior to 2000 when they were banned.

Remember that "real" AW's were not terribly common back then (perhaps just less common than the pistols with Hi-caps) The only ARs were made largely by Colt and were expensive and most of the other "AW's" like uzi, HK 9,93,91, styer Aug etc. were banned by name 12 year prior. So there really weren't a whole lot of AW's floating around.

Not like today when every guy with CNC machine is cranking out low priced lowers and folks are building them in their garages. (ah the good 'ol days)

Or - another hypothesis might be that people feel more comfortable using those hi-cap mags they "had before the ban" in a pistol which really did exist before 2000 rather than a newly built OLL - featureless or otherwise.

Or you just tend to run in pistol circles?

I also don't see many Hi-Cap AW mags, whereas I do see lots of glock "hi-cap" mags being used in tournaments and on the line etc.

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 3:14 PM
I have noticed on a regular basis at various shooting ranges a lot of pistols with hi cap mags. But hardly ever see rifles out in public with hi cap mags. (Of course do see many 10/30's and 10/20's). that is because the design of most handguns allow for the legal use of large-capacity magazines, but most of the rifles that you see are set up in a fixed-mag configuration, which is limited to 10-rounds.

Is is more serious to be in possession of a hi cap rifle mag than a hi cap pistol mag?nope.

odysseus
02-08-2010, 3:23 PM
I use "high cap" magazines that I owned before 2000 all the time in AW, OLL, or other magazine fed rifles when I am out shooting. I think this is a newbie or uninitiated observation, since there are many like me.

Perhaps there are a lot of new rifle shooters too that didn't have the opportunity to get them before then.

I don't do any 10/20 10/30 business, I will just load a 10 rounder since reliability trumps anything with me.

MasterYong
02-08-2010, 3:23 PM
I have noticed on a regular basis at various shooting ranges a lot of pistols with hi cap mags. But hardly ever see rifles out in public with hi cap mags. (Of course do see many 10/30's and 10/20's).

Is is more serious to be in possession of a hi cap rifle mag than a hi cap pistol mag?

It's not serious to be in possession of either. The only *real* difficult issue would be if you had high-caps for a gun that didn't exist prior to the ban in 2000.

As others have said before I got a chance to respond: possession is not illegal.

Why are there more high-cap pistol mags than rifle mags at the ranges you frequent? I don't know. I've never noticed really.

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 3:27 PM
OK lets make up a more specific example. A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new LWRC in 5.56mm with a 30 round pmag.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?

Dark Paladin
02-08-2010, 3:39 PM
OK lets make up a more specific example. A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new LWRC in 5.56mm with a 30 round pmag.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?

My guess would be the dude with the LWRC is more likely to be inspected, since IIRC the PMAG did not exist before 2000.

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 3:42 PM
Devil is in the details. Does the LWRC have a bullet button? Monsterman Grip?

If its a 30 round mag, of recent manufacture like pmags, does it matter if the rifle is featureless or has a bullet button? If it does, how does it affect the answer to the question?

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 3:44 PM
I use "high cap" magazines that I owned before 2000 all the time in AW, OLL, or other magazine fed rifles when I am out shooting. I think this is a newbie or uninitiated observation, since there are many like me.
.Is that OLL a detachable-mag featureless build or a fixed-mag build?

OK lets make up a more specific example. A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new LWRC in 5.56mm with a 30 round pmag.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?wht configuration is the LWRC in? is it a detachable-mag'ed featurelesss build? If so, usage of the large-capacity magazine is not illegal. But if it is a fixed-mag build, then usage of that 11+ round magazine makes the rifle an AW, which is a crime.

Dark Paladin
02-08-2010, 3:46 PM
If its a 30 round mag, of recent manufacture like pmags, does it matter if the rifle is featureless or has a bullet button? If it does, how does it affect the answer to the question?

You are correct. I was correcting my original post when you responded. :p

odysseus
02-08-2010, 4:00 PM
Is that OLL a detachable-mag featureless build or a fixed-mag build?

Ke6guj singles me out on that! Should I be honored? After all maybe I am new to all this OLL stuff. Lol.

Yes, for all those reading perhaps unaware, an OLL using a possessed high cap magazine before the 2000 ban has to be a "featureless" build. See the AW flowchart if you have questions.

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 4:07 PM
Ke6guj singles me out on that! Should I be honored? After all maybe I am new to all this OLL stuff. Lol.

Yes, for all those reading perhaps unaware, an OLL using a possessed high cap magazine before the 2000 ban has to be a "featureless" build. See the AW flowchart if you have questions.I assumed you were legit, but it should be clarified for those that aren't up to speed on all the legalities, which is the main point of this entire thread.

Since "fixed-mag with evil features" is the most common configuration, some people will assume that any OLL is set up in that confguration. As it is, we still get people who think that pre-ban mags can be used in anything, and others that think that no "post-ban" firearm like an M1A or Mini-14 can use "pre-ban" mags.

Uxi
02-08-2010, 4:12 PM
I had USGI M16 mags before the ban. I've been told I can 'rebuild' them with a PMAG 'rebuild kit.' Would it then be legal?

bigcalidave
02-08-2010, 4:29 PM
There is this whole wonderful place called the wiki. We had someone who was diligent about posting links to the wiki in each of the MANY threads on topics that are covered well in said wiki.

If you want to look for yourself, here is the link !!

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ

We really don't need to have a thread on this three times each day, when all that is needed to be said is

Here is the wiki. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ)

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 4:29 PM
Before this thread veers off into the prevban stuff, let em rewrite my example:

A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new 5.56mm LWRC with a vertical foregrip, pistol grip, 6 position stock, flash suppressor, bullet button and attached to the rifle is a 30 round pmag made in 2009.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?

OK - who is in deeper sh1t??

bigcalidave
02-08-2010, 4:32 PM
PLEASE READ THE WIKI (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ)

If you mean sentencing, the bullet button rifle with the 30rd pmag IS an AW and will likely be prosecuted as such.

The person with the glock isn't breaking any law at that time.

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 4:35 PM
Before this thread veers off into the prevban stuff, let em rewrite my example:

A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new 5.56mm LWRC with a vertical foregrip, pistol grip, 6 position stock, flash suppressor, bullet button and attached to the rifle is a 30 round pmag made in 2009.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?

OK - who is in deeper sh1t??Already answered above, the LWRC guy has an illegal AW in his possesion, the Glock gal's Glock and large-capacity magazine are not being used illegally.

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 4:35 PM
Seriously? I am sure pretty much very topic discussed on calguns can be found elsewhere on the web. Lets just shut this down is what bigcalidave seems to be saying.

I for one, if I can help answer someone who asks a question even if I know there is an answer already on this site, or on arf.com, or wikipedia, or the United States Code, or the Encyclopedia Britannica...I am still happy to help if I can.

bigcalidave, can you point me to a specific answer to my question on the wiki?

For the rest who are happy to help on this forum even if the info is available elsewhere in the Universe..thanks!


There is this whole wonderful place called the wiki. We had someone who was diligent about posting links to the wiki in each of the MANY threads on topics that are covered well in said wiki.

If you want to look for yourself, here is the link !!

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ

We really don't need to have a thread on this three times each day, when all that is needed to be said is

Here is the wiki. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ)

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 4:36 PM
Already answered above, the LWRC guy has an illegal AW in his possesion, the Glock gal's Glock and large-capacity magazine are not being used illegally.

So it is legal to use a handgun with a high cap mag in my example...both handgun and mag were purchased in 2008...?? I thought handgun mags were restricted to 10 rounds in CA?

Dark Paladin
02-08-2010, 4:38 PM
Before this thread veers off into the prevban stuff, let em rewrite my example:

A person has a Glock 17 with a 17 round hi cap mag which she purchased in 2008

Another dude has a brand new 5.56mm LWRC with a vertical foregrip, pistol grip, 6 position stock, flash suppressor, bullet button and attached to the rifle is a 30 round pmag made in 2009.

They are in adjacent lanes at an outdoor public range. A LE officer who is feeling very zealous strolls past and spots both. Is the LWRC dude in a worse off situation that the Glock gal? AW and all?

OK - who is in deeper sh1t??

If the LEO could prove she acquired the 17-rd "standard cap" mag after 2008. . . the person who sold/transferred it to her could be found in violation.

But the LWRC dude is still at a higher risk of being caught because the Pmag did not exist in/before 2000. Furthermore, even with the bullet button, he still has an illegal AW configuration when using the 30-rd "standard cap" mag.

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 4:42 PM
So it is legal to use a handgun with a high cap mag in my example... yes,, long as the handgun has a standard magazine release, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to use a large-capacity magazine in it.

both handgun and mag were purchased in 2008...?? I thought handgun mags were restricted to 10 rounds in CA?the selling, importing, or manufacture of large-capacity magazine is restricted in CA, but the usage of a large-capacity magazine itself is not a crime unless it is being in a fixed-mag configuration in a semi-automatic handgun or semi-automatic centerfire rifle.

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 4:50 PM
yes,, long as the handgun has a standard magazine release, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to use a large-capacity magazine in it.

the selling, importing, or manufacture of large-capacity magazine is restricted in CA, but the usage of a large-capacity magazine itself is not a crime unless it is being in a fixed-mag configuration in a semi-automatic handgun or semi-automatic centerfire rifle.

VERY interesting! I did notice there was no mention of detachable hi cap mags on the flowchart. So if the glock girl in the above example got the hicap mags as a gift from a lover in Arizona, she would be 100% OK? I wonder what would happen if she used the hicaps in a self defense deadly force encounter in her home?

bwiese
02-08-2010, 4:58 PM
VERY interesting! I did notice there was no mention of detachable hi cap mags on the flowchart.

Wrong - see block/item 16 on the Calguns Handgun AW ID Flowchart (and the box in the lower center on the Calguns Rifle AW ID flowchart.)


So if the glock girl in the above example got the hicap mags as a gift from a lover in Arizona, she would be 100% OK?

No, it's illegal to import.

If she shuts her mouth, prosecution would have to prove this however.

Most people are stupid and talk themselves into jail.

I wonder what would happen if she used the hicaps in a self defense deadly force encounter in her home?

Gun issues rarely show up in such cases, because that really turns into a murder investigation. The girl's first and main issue is to show that the shoot was good - everything else pales into comparison.

bigcalidave
02-08-2010, 5:01 PM
First, I answered your questions. Second, these questions are posted on this site HUNDREDS of times. The wiki is OUR WIKI. We built it to answer questions like this. I'm trying to shut down your discussion because it is going around in circles. PLEASE go read the wiki to familiarize yourself with the laws and practical application OF the laws. Trust me, I'm plenty happy to help. I do it every day. You are asking hypothetical questions about hypothetical situations.

In ALL CASES, the LEO could arrest and charge anyone with a gun at any time. Keep your mouth shut and call a lawyer if it happens to you. Or call any of us, and we will put you in touch with the right people. Just don't talk to the police, at all, about your stuff.

DavidRSA
02-08-2010, 5:17 PM
First, I answered your questions. Second, these questions are posted on this site HUNDREDS of times. The wiki is OUR WIKI. We built it to answer questions like this. I'm trying to shut down your discussion because it is going around in circles. PLEASE go read the wiki to familiarize yourself with the laws and practical application OF the laws. Trust me, I'm plenty happy to help. I do it every day. You are asking hypothetical questions about hypothetical situations.

In ALL CASES, the LEO could arrest and charge anyone with a gun at any time. Keep your mouth shut and call a lawyer if it happens to you. Or call any of us, and we will put you in touch with the right people. Just don't talk to the police, at all, about your stuff.

Fair enough! Its very interesting.

Fate
02-08-2010, 8:26 PM
First, I answered your questions. Second, these questions are posted on this site HUNDREDS of times. The wiki is OUR WIKI. We built it to answer questions like this. I'm trying to shut down your discussion because it is going around in circles. PLEASE go read the wiki...

Dude, quit pretending to be Dedeye. :rolleyes:

bigcalidave
02-08-2010, 8:30 PM
Lol. I'm full of love. It was much easier with Dedeye here.

ke6guj
02-08-2010, 8:39 PM
Lol. I'm full of love. It was much easier with Dedeye here.

Dedeye was channelling HK, bigcali sounds like he is channeling Barney.

n4MNCkErQVw

wildhawker
02-08-2010, 8:53 PM
Jack, you owe me a new keyboard. :D

bigcalidave
02-08-2010, 9:02 PM
I'll be the big bad *** kicking purple dinosaur of WIKI enforcement...