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View Full Version : Hi Cap Magazine Modification


dfletcher
11-10-2007, 7:24 PM
Not quite sure of where to put this - blends a specific C & R and detach magazine legality.

I bought an FN 49 rifle which uses a fixed 10 round magazine. In fact, the 49 fixed magazine disassembles when removed from the rifle and a tool is required to remove the mag assembly from the rifle. The rifle has no "evil features".

FN 49s are from time to time modified to use an M1A or FAL detach mag. Am I breaking any law by modifying a few of my preban +10 M1A/FAL mags to be used as detachable from the 49 without use of a tool? I think the answer is that I am allowed, just want to be certain.

bwiese
11-10-2007, 7:33 PM
As long as the preban over-10-rd mags retain their original M1A or FAL function in addition to working in the FN49, you're fine. If the mags became FN49-only, that's a murkier situation. The safest way to regard the law is that you need to retain the hicap status for the guns they were designed for so it's not regarded as creating a new hicap mag.

As an entirely separate issue, there's no grief in modifying the rifle itself to accept detachable magazines.

dfletcher
11-10-2007, 8:23 PM
The rifle would have to be modified a bit - mag release only I think.

It sounds as though making this change is best kept to 10 round capacity mags or fewer, however; I presume if a person happened to have had these modified magazines pre - ban that person would be in compliance with CA law.

bwiese
11-10-2007, 8:27 PM
The rifle would have to be modified a bit - mag release only I think.

Fine. How it feeds is a whole 'nuther thing.

It sounds as though making this change is best kept to 10 round capacity mags or fewer, however;

Fine, but as long as mods to the hicaps allow continued functionality in the firearm for which it was designed, that's fine.

I presume if a person happened to have had these modified magazines pre - ban that person would be in compliance with CA law.

Soitanly.

anotherone
11-10-2007, 8:50 PM
If you want to take advantage of your pre-ban FAL and M-1A/M-14 magazines you're probably safer using them with a gripless/featureless FAL or an M-1A.

bwiese
11-10-2007, 9:09 PM
If you want to take advantage of your pre-ban FAL and M-1A/M-14 magazines you're probably safer using them with a gripless/featureless FAL or an M-1A.

Whhhhaaat?

Yeah, guess you'd better give up your OLLs, you don't have a clue.

There is no legal reason to avoid using a magazine for one rifle in another type of rifle. I own modified M1A mags running in my AR10. They also work in my M1A.

I could, right today, perfectly well take some more of my M1A mags and make the tweaks necessary so they run in my AR10. They'd still also run in my M1A.

dfletcher
11-10-2007, 9:50 PM
If you want to take advantage of your pre-ban FAL and M-1A/M-14 magazines you're probably safer using them with a gripless/featureless FAL or an M-1A.

I take advantage of the M1A hi caps with my M1A Loaded, certainly. So far as the hi cap FAL mags, they'll be stuffed into my DSA in Oregon week after next. If the FAL MMG comes out I'll pick one up. I spent today at the range doing the fixed mag side feed with the FAL, such a pain. Can't wait to leave. :)

bwiese
11-11-2007, 12:05 PM
I just can't seem to figure out how or where it says it's illegal, but the idea persists that you could get busted for moding a mag to feed a different gun. For example, if I were to take a few of my AR mags and rebuild them with 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel mag bodies, why is that illegal. If I had 10 mags before, I have 10 mags afterwards, no new mags have been created. Hell, you probably could still feed normal .223 from a 6.8 SPC anyway, it just wouldn't be ideal.


I recall ATF guidance back during the Fed AWB was that existing hicaps could be modified to run in new guns for which the mag was not originally designed. I think the mag still had to work in the orig gun or it was regarded as creation of a new hicap mag.

I would still stick with this concept for CA.

dfletcher
11-11-2007, 6:16 PM
I guess I'll sidetrack my own thread, there are a few large caliber cartridges that function single stack out of conventional AR mags - 450 Bushmaster or 50 Beowulf I think? I presume a 10 round mag for one of those calibers is a greater than 10 when loaded with 223. If a person has a 450 or 50 type upper and a group of what used to be 20 round (post ban) 223 mags, being used in the 450 or 50, do we have a problem?

grammaton76
11-11-2007, 6:24 PM
Provided that your 50 Beowulf or Socom mag is like mine, you have no problems at all. The mags won't hold 223 - they just don't stay in.

Anyway, as Bill has more or less covered, were BOF to pursue someone using modified mags which no longer fit the original gun, they'd pursue it as "manufacturing" a hicap magazine.

I haven't heard of anyone being chased for it, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any exemptions in PC which could be read support the "you can mod it" crowd. As Bill's said, there's ATF precedents which I'm sure would be a slam-dunk for CA prosecutors. CA may vary from ATF guidelines in some cases (most notably in the measurement of folding/collapsible stock rifles), but whenever they do it's in order to be more restrictive.