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  #1  
Old 08-13-2017, 7:21 PM
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Default AR15 DIY Reversible 2017 Compliant Fixed Magazine for $0.63

AR15 DIY Reversible 2017 Compliant Fixed Magazine for $0.63

This modification to the AR15 receiver is easily reversible (for free state operation) and meets the requirement of "disassembling the firearm action" to remove the magazine.

The modification places a set screw, that when engaged, sits behind the magazine release button thus blocking it from being depressed. To remove the magazine the AR is pivoted open the set screw is backed out and the magazine release is now actuated normally. Yes, this means (while in California) you will either top load the magazine or use a loader (my personal preference) such as the Mean Arms or Bear Flag ejection port loaders. This modification does not affect any function of the firearm besides the magazine release.

The modification requires the removal of the bolt catch, drilling and tapping a small hole in your receiver, and grinding a bit off of the end of the bolt catch. If you are not comfortable with any of these this may not be for you. That being said there is nothing inherently difficult about this modification. If you have assembled a stripped lower and have ever drilled/tapped a hole in anything this modification is rated as easy.

Parts
#6-32 x 1/2 inch set screw ($0.23 at Ace Hardware)
1/16" hex wrench ($0.40 at Ace hardware)
Standard magazine release button and spring

Tools
#36 drill bit (a 3/32" bit has been used successfully)
#6-32 tap
Grinding bit
Drill press/hand held drill/dremel tool

Procedure
Remove magazine catch assembly or Bullet button assembly
Remove Bolt Catch
Drill hole with #36 drill bit straight down at very end of bolt catch channel (see picture)
Tap hole with #6-32 tap
Test fit #6-32 x 1/2" set screw in hole then back out so mag catch can be installed
Grind 1/16" off bottom half of the end of the bolt catch (see picture)
Test fit bolt catch retained by hex wrench with set screw in place
Install bolt catch
Install standard magazine catch, spring, and but on (screw in until mag latch stud is almost flush with button face)
Insert magazine
Screw in set screw to block magazine release (should go in about 5-6 turns) before coming to to rest on the mag catch stud)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7209.jpg (96.5 KB, 3710 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7206.jpg (89.3 KB, 3067 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7208.jpg (98.8 KB, 3093 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7210.jpg (95.6 KB, 3153 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7203-1.jpg (101.9 KB, 3360 views)
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Last edited by mshill; 01-21-2018 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 08-13-2017, 7:22 PM
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I recommend buying the parts at ACE Hardware since they are sooooooo inexpensive. Stuff online is more than an order of magnitude more expensive and you need to buy in quantity.

Links to parts (online $$):
1/16" Hex wrench - Amazon Prime $5.01

#6-32 x 1/2" set screw - Amazon Prime $14.01/100

Links to tools (online) if you need them:

#36 Drill and #6-32 Tap - Amazon Prime $6.76

T-Handle for tap - Amazon Prime $5.86

Assortment of 1/4" grinding stone - Amazon Prime $5.78
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Last edited by mshill; 08-16-2017 at 3:47 PM..
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Old 08-13-2017, 8:17 PM
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That's pretty clever.

I have heard of people doing a similar thing, but with a spring plunger instead of a setscrew, so it automatically releases the mag button when you open the upper. But I've never been able to find the exact parts that were used.
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Old 08-13-2017, 8:31 PM
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The problem with the plunger/spring thing is it requires a jig a to locate the hole properly, this does not. If you go to a free state you would have to remove the plunger assembly and store it somewhere to be installed before returning to CA. You can keep the set screw installed regardless of which position it is in.

Come June 30, 2018, if nothing changes my two AR pistols will have the set screw installed over a standard magazine release.
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Old 08-13-2017, 8:35 PM
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Sounds expensive though, make it $0.47 and you've got yourself a deal.

Great tutorial!
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Old 08-13-2017, 9:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cockedandglocked View Post
Sounds expensive though, make it $0.47 and you've got yourself a deal.

Great tutorial!
Even with the tools (drill bit and tap) I still think it was about $15 including tax. I have done two lowers. The first took about an hour because I stripped it completely and used my 80% jig to hold it while I drilled. The second took only 30 minutes because I only removed the pistol grip, bullet button, and the bolt catch to drill.
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Old 08-13-2017, 9:23 PM
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Even with the tools (drill bit and tap) I still think it was about $15 including tax. I have done two lowers. The first took about an hour because I stripped it completely and used my 80% jig to hold it while I drilled. The second took only 30 minutes because I only removed the pistol grip, bullet button, and the bolt catch to drill.
That gives me a thought - if you have to do a bunch of lowers, you could drill a #36 hole in the top plate of the jig, and then use that to make sure your hole in the lower always goes in the same place every time without much effort
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Old 08-13-2017, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cockedandglocked View Post
That gives me a thought - if you have to do a bunch of lowers, you could drill a #36 hole in the top plate of the jig, and then use that to make sure your hole in the lower always goes in the same place every time without much effort
You really cannot miss the hole location since it is at the end of the channel. Again, no need for a jig.
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Old 08-13-2017, 9:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mshill View Post
You really cannot miss the hole location since it is at the end of the channel. Again, no need for a jig.
Oh ok, I see that now, the channel itself serves as the drill bit guide. Pretty hard to mess that up.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:02 AM
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Nice tutorial.
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Old 08-14-2017, 7:02 PM
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Wow! I bet I can sell a kit on fleabay for $20!!!
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:00 PM
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Wow! I bet I can sell a kit on fleabay for $20!!!
Not likely since a kit would need to include the modified bolt catch, tools and maybe even the standard magazine release button and spring. The DIYers will likely have all the stuff laying around like I do.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:08 PM
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Just finished my third and last one tonight. It was literally 15 minutes from tapping the pin out on the bolt catch to test fitting the magazine catch and then inserting the set screw.
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Old 08-16-2017, 3:55 PM
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I added links to post #2 to parts and tools online for those who may not have an ACE Hardware nearby.
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Old 08-17-2017, 9:33 PM
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Very clever. Have you had any issues with the set screw backing out while shooting? Do you add a dab of blue loctite?
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:44 PM
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Very clever. Have you had any issues with the set screw backing out while shooting? Do you add a dab of blue loctite?
I have yet to shoot with it in the fixed mag position as I have put the bullet buttons back on all three. You have a valid point that some mild thread lock would not hurt.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:43 PM
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Armalock insists that it has approval for their device from the Department of Justice in California only and they backed that up on their site on paper. Personally I've decided to take at least one of my firearms, using Armalock and also use the Mean Arms loaders for when I just don't feel like pulling the rear pin.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:48 PM
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good info
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Old 08-24-2017, 1:19 PM
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Armalock insists that it has approval for their device from the Department of Justice in California only and they backed that up on their site on paper.
They certainly do insist that they got DOJ approval.

What they fail to mention is that DOJ never gave them approval - their "paper evidence" is a link to the SB880 bill and a copy of the DOJ AW registration regulations. They are simply insisting that their interpretation of those texts is proof that it's compliant.

It may be compliant or it may not be, I don't know - but buyer beware, they only offer refunds for buyers in 49 states, and I'll let you guess which state is the 50th one.

Quote:
California ONLY:
Due to the fluctuating and dynamic nature of the California laws, DOJ regulations and veto referendums, as of 9/22/16 we will NOT accept returns for any reason. All sales are final.

Outside California:
All products sold by us are new and under warranty from the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated in the product description. If the product is defective, we will give you a full refund excluding shipping costs if returned within 7 days of receipt.
That return policy doesn't scream "confidence" to me.

Also:

Quote:
Although this product falls within the laws as written, this is product has not been approved by any state, county, city or municipal law enforcement agency or regulating body within any of the United States
and

Quote:
AR MAGLOCK is not held responsible for your understanding or interpretation of the laws and regulations.
and

Quote:
It’s the purchasers responsibility to know the current firearm laws and regulations in their state
and

Quote:
We will not answer legal questions under any circumstances as we have no legal education or experience.
Of course, all that is contrary to the claims they make on their Facebook page and elsewhere. Don't ever ask them for clarification, they will get angry and delete your question.

Not to mention that they are suing every other innovative compliance product that they can, in a bid to get a monopoly on California customers.
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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 08-24-2017 at 1:27 PM..
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Old 08-24-2017, 7:03 PM
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Thanks to the OP for putting this together.
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Old 08-27-2017, 9:44 AM
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Mshill, thanks for sharing this!
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Old 08-28-2017, 3:56 PM
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Well, $15 is definitely cheaper than the $50 I just paid on brownells for the spring loaded kits that will do the same thing for three AR's.

However, I do not like the fact that I have to use a tool to back out the setscrew, all very time consuming, compared to the spring loaded plunger.

I don;t need jigs when I have a mill, but the jig will just make things easy. That's OK too.

I too will be using this solution for an AR pistol. Complete with either single shot sled or a 10 rd mag and speed loader. Whatever strikes my fancy that day.

For those wanting to straight-up fix their mags with a minimum of parts, nothing fancy, this is a great alternative. good job.

Last edited by Whiterabbit; 08-28-2017 at 4:01 PM..
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Old 08-28-2017, 4:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Well, $15 is definitely cheaper than the $50 I just paid on brownells for the spring loaded kits that will do the same thing for three AR's.

However, I do not like the fact that I have to use a tool to back out the setscrew, all very time consuming, compared to the spring loaded plunger.

I don;t need jigs when I have a mill, but the jig will just make things easy. That's OK too.

I too will be using this solution for an AR pistol. Complete with either single shot sled or a 10 rd mag and speed loader. Whatever strikes my fancy that day.

For those wanting to straight-up fix their mags with a minimum of parts, nothing fancy, this is a great alternative. good job.
I considered the Hogue solution from Brownells as well, it seems reasonably priced. I just wanted something that had minimal disassembly when in a free state and for me it was very inexpensive since I had all the tools.
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Old 08-28-2017, 4:50 PM
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I hear you. For me it would be free in 4-40, having all the parts from pinning the safety selector spring. Much less than $50.

Also, from a completely modified back perspective, I think you are right again. I do believe the Hogue solution is removable, but there are more parts to remove, less easily replaceable, and likely more difficult to remove.

But I do like it much better still for a range jockey toy compared to the pin there, due to the comparative ease of reconfiguration when not eliminating the function entirely.

If I were the type to go to free states and bring guns, I would likely consider this option much more.
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Old 09-15-2017, 6:12 PM
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mshill, why do you need to modify the bolt catch? I'm looking at the bolt catch in my lower and I'm not seeing where there would be any clearance issues, am I missing something?

Is this so there's clearance if you back out the set screw without having to remove it completely?

Last edited by someoneeasy; 09-15-2017 at 6:14 PM..
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Old 09-15-2017, 7:35 PM
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The bolt catch is trimmed just a little bit to give clearance to the set screw if it is unscrewed. If the bolt catch is not modified the corner will prevent you from unscrewing/backing out the set screw.
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Old 09-15-2017, 7:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshill View Post
The bolt catch is trimmed just a little bit to give clearance to the set screw if it is unscrewed. If the bolt catch is not modified the corner will prevent you from unscrewing/backing out the set screw.
That makes sense, thanks for the response.
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Old 09-15-2017, 9:18 PM
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didnt someone come up with just drilling down to behind the mag release and stick in a nail to prevent the button from being pressed in its also fairly forgivable to accuracy since you can adjust out the mag catch button or make it go further in

only cost is like a 6 penny nail
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Old 09-15-2017, 9:32 PM
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didnt someone come up with just drilling down to behind the mag release and stick in a nail to prevent the button from being pressed in its also fairly forgivable to accuracy since you can adjust out the mag catch button or make it go further in

only cost is like a 6 penny nail
Yep, that was me...why spend any more than you absolutely have to? they'll probably change the regs again anyway...
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshill View Post
I considered the Hogue solution from Brownells as well, it seems reasonably priced. I just wanted something that had minimal disassembly when in a free state and for me it was very inexpensive since I had all the tools.
Hogue is more minimal. No tool needed to defeat, just disassemble the action and back out the mag release a few turns and now you are either in a free state or a felon.

Your method requires an allen wrench to do the same. The nail is even harder.

You are still 10 times cheaper though. I'll give you that.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:54 AM
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Hogue is more minimal. No tool needed to defeat, just disassemble the action and back out the mag release a few turns and now you are either in a free state or a felon.

Your method requires an allen wrench to do the same. The nail is even harder.

You are still 10 times cheaper though. I'll give you that.
Nope, lifts right out, no tool required...
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Old 09-16-2017, 9:49 PM
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There are many cheaper options out there than Armalock. Armalock is pricey. Armalock is protective of it's patented product and has a tendency to jump the gun. As the laws are ever changing, everything is in flux. Armalock does work! It CAN be disassembled with an allen wrench if you have a stovepipe or other malfunction. It doesn't mar your weapon. It IS reversible.

One could make an argument that any of the options discussed in this forum COULD be considered an illegal work around by the DOJ! What is clear is that the DOJ can't make law. It can't interpret law. (although they do try) Language is everything and the present language says that the AR magazine is considered fixed if it cannot be removed unless there is disassembly of the upper and lower. Separating the upper from the lower by removing the rear pin to remove the magazine is considered a legit solution as to the definition of a fixed magazine by the language of the regulations as they stand now.

Will the Sacramento politicos press for even more stringent regulations to further erode our 2nd amendment rights? You bet. They are never done. I'm not selling Armalock or Mean Arms Loaders. I'm just trying to preserve my rights as best I can and still remain within the law. Featureless and the devices or modifications mentioned here (and others that are not) are our alternatives to registering our rifles at this present time unless further stringent anti gun laws are passed.

We have a God given right to be able to defend ourselves from all enemies, both foreign or domestic.
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Old 09-16-2017, 9:57 PM
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There are many cheaper options out there than Armalock. Armalock is pricey. Armalock is protective of it's patented product and has a tendency to jump the gun. As the laws are ever changing, everything is in flux. Armalock does work! It CAN be disassembled with an allen wrench if you have a stovepipe or other malfunction. It doesn't mar your weapon. It IS reversible.

One could make an argument that any of the options discussed in this forum COULD be considered an illegal work around by the DOJ! What is clear is that the DOJ can't make law. It can't interpret law. (although they do try) Language is everything and the present language says that the AR magazine is considered fixed if it cannot be removed unless there is disassembly of the upper and lower. Separating the upper from the lower by removing the rear pin to remove the magazine is considered a legit solution as to the definition of a fixed magazine by the language of the regulations as they stand now.

Will the Sacramento politicos press for even more stringent regulations to further erode our 2nd amendment rights? You bet. They are never done. I'm not selling Armalock or Mean Arms Loaders. I'm just trying to preserve my rights as best I can and still remain within the law. Featureless and the devices or modifications mentioned here (and others that are not) are our alternatives to registering our rifles at this present time unless further stringent anti gun laws are passed.

We have a God given right to be able to defend ourselves from all enemies, both foreign or domestic.
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Old 09-17-2017, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdutch View Post
There are many cheaper options out there than Armalock.
This thread is not about the Armaglock.

Quote:

One could make an argument that any of the options discussed in this forum COULD be considered an illegal work around by the DOJ! What is clear is that the DOJ can't make law. It can't interpret law. (although they do try) Language is everything and the present language says that the AR magazine is considered fixed if it cannot be removed unless there is disassembly of the upper and lower. Separating the upper from the lower by removing the rear pin to remove the magazine is considered a legit solution as to the definition of a fixed magazine by the language of the regulations as they stand now.
While I disagree with your comment that I bolded, no one here is going to disagree with the rest of it.

While the Armalock, BB2.0 and others adhere to a reasonable reading of the law this solution of blocking the magazine release internally (whether it be with a set screw, a nail, or a spring loaded plunger) clearly cannot be defeated unless the action is opened. While the others that block it externally can be defeated with a pair of pliers by bending the arm away from the receiver.

While I believe all of them should stand up in court I will choose not to put money in the pockets of those that would rather make a profit off of our misery.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:38 PM
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this is a good option I'm going to try too. The Hogue pin does come out easily if you want, and was super easy to install. But I have a polymer lower (factory, not 80%) without enough material in the sidewall where the Hogue pin goes for it to work. Plus the mag release button hole tapers on the inside so things like the armaglock don't fit either. A bullet button barely jammed in there at all. So I have a shorter list of options than most.
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Old 09-29-2017, 8:23 AM
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Can someone take one of these down to the CAL DOJ and get their opinion?

We will set up a GoFund me account for you if you do.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:15 AM
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Can someone take one of these down to the CAL DOJ and get their opinion?

We will set up a GoFund me account for you if you do.
Exactly why would you want/need to get a DOJ opinion (even if they would give it to you)?

It meets the definition of the plain language of the law:

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30515(b) For purposes of this section, “fixed magazine” means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.
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Old 10-01-2017, 9:24 PM
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Old 10-05-2017, 9:17 PM
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Anyone tried this with a 4-40 or do you think that would be too small? I figure if I'm going to get a tap out, I may as well do the spring retention mods as well and keep them all to the same wrench size....
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:37 AM
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Anyone tried this with a 4-40 or do you think that would be too small? I figure if I'm going to get a tap out, I may as well do the spring retention mods as well and keep them all to the same wrench size....
I thought about the smaller 4-40 but I was concerned about the robustness, which may have been unfounded, so I didn't even try. If you were to use a 4-40 you could probably do the entire operation with the bolt catch still installed and not have to modify it.

If you do it, and does not require the catch trimming, let me know and I will update the OP.
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