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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 07-12-2012, 9:37 AM
leumas12 leumas12 is offline
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Default Magazine identification

Hi everbody. Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this topic.

What criteria is used to define the rounds a magazine is built for and subsequently would dictate the legal size of the mag?

I am looking in to building my own custom AR15 upper that would fire a different ammo but fed using modified .223 mags. I would change the base plate and possibly narrow the inside of it slightly. I know the limit is 10 rounds in a magazine but if 10 rounds of the new ammo was larger than 10 .223 rounds, how would I keep it legal? It would only hold 10 of the new ammo but could possibly hold more than 10 rounds of .223.

Magpul PMAGs have .223 molded in to the side of the mag and from what i've seen alot of steel mags have .223/5.56 molded in to the base plate. If the new base plate I make was to have the new ammo type molded in to it as an identifier would that be sufficient to show its no longer a .223 mag or would it be required to physically not hold .223?

Thanks again for any answers you guys can give me!
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:27 AM
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What is the new cartridge you're talking about? It may help in visualizing the situation.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:02 PM
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.410 shell- I plan to modify the mag so they stack single file but that puts me at about 1 shell for every 2 round of 223. 5 round mags would be ok but just more hassle.

And now that I am taking another look at the flowcharts and stuff- there is no max mag size for semi auto shotguns. Can someone verify that I am reading that correctly?
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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Since possession of hicap mags is not illegal, it really doesn't matter what the magazine sys on it. What matters is the weapon it isused in A 30 rd USGI 5.56 mag works with .458 SoCom where it only holds 10 rounds.

What matters is what gun you put it in. A 30 rd 5.56 mag in a bullet buttoned rifle chambered in 5.56 would be a problem. That same Mag in a bullet buttoned rifle chambered in .458 Socom would not be an issue, since it would only hold 10 rounds.

You can always put an adhesive label on it indicating what caliber you intend it for. Not necessary, nor is it legally binding, but might aid in reducing confusion.
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Old 07-12-2012, 1:11 PM
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Awesome thanks. I was under the impression that simply owning the magazine was illegal.
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Old 07-12-2012, 1:52 PM
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Just a quick link for anyone that also has bad searching skills :\ Thanks again Ron-Solo!

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=124709
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Old 07-12-2012, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leumas12 View Post
Just a quick link for anyone that also has bad searching skills :\ Thanks again Ron-Solo!

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=124709
That's the long version - the short one is linked below as 'Magazine Qs'.
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Old 07-12-2012, 3:39 PM
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I have a stripped receiver I've been thinking about building into something different, such as .458 Socom. I have lots of 30 rd mags that I got before I retired.
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Old 07-12-2012, 9:19 PM
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I have aone of the rare Armalite AR-10(TU)'s. The 'TU' 10 rounder (.300 RSAUM cartridge) will actually hold 20 .308's, but only ten 'legal' of the .300RSAUM's. I have the mag marked as ".300 RSAUM" just to save time if I am questioned by LE, But it doesn't have to be marked.
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Old 07-13-2012, 9:24 AM
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Great info thanks guys. So by modifying or replacing the base plate in the magazine would that be considered manufacturing and therefore be illegal? If it still fed 223 would it be a considered a repair and therefore legal?

Or am I overthinking this and in reality would have no trouble seeing as there are no restrictions on shotgun mag size?

Last edited by leumas12; 07-13-2012 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leumas12 View Post
Great info thanks guys.

1) So by modifying or replacing the base plate in the magazine would that be considered manufacturing and therefore be illegal?

2) If it still fed 223 would it be a considered a repair and therefore legal?
1) not by itself; the only issue is going from a designed 10-or-fewer to 10-or-more. If the base plate change does not change capacity, no problem.

2) probably? The example we have to look at is .458 Socom. They deliberately designed that round to use existing .223/5.56x45 magazines; 30 round 5.56 holds 10 .458 Socom rounds.

So far as I can determine (and I searched pretty extensively one day) it looks like there were just a very few magazines manufactured expressly for the .458 Socom, and 'packaged' with that marking. Practically, out in the Real US, that isn't necessary because of all the 30-round 5.56 AR-type mags.

The theory goes this way (your courtroom experience, should it come to that, may differ):
(1) because magazines may be repaired, parts to repair magazines are legal. Because those parts may be marked or unmarked, markings are not relevant - a repaired legal magazine might easily have markings from newer manufacture.
(2) using a magazine in a gun for which that magazine is designed requires that one observe the magazine capacity restrictions. If that gun is a .458 Socom, and you have a bullet-button, and you have 10 rounds in your magazine, you should be fine.

The California large-capacity magazine law is an example of how law does not match well with even simple technology. It apparently never occurred to the legislators that a magazine holding 10 rounds of caliber X might hold more than 10 rounds in caliber Y, and still work as designed in guns of caliber X.

There is no prohibition on buying and selling ten round magazines for a gun in caliber X.

There is no prohibition on buying magazines for X, even if you don't own a gun that magazine might fit - magazines are not controlled items.

There is no prohibition on buying for X and then using in both of X and Y, or even only in Y. Once you have made a legal purchase, presuming you don't commit a crime otherwise, how you use the purchased item is not controlled. Possession and use of a large-capacity magazine is not a crime.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
There is no prohibition on buying and selling ten round magazines for a gun in caliber X.

There is no prohibition on buying magazines for X, even if you don't own a gun that magazine might fit - magazines are not controlled items.

There is no prohibition on buying for X and then using in both of X and Y, or even only in Y. Once you have made a legal purchase, presuming you don't commit a crime otherwise, how you use the purchased item is not controlled. Possession and use of a large-capacity magazine is not a crime.
Loophole! Somebody should tell CBS5 (OK, not).
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Old 07-13-2012, 2:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
1)The California large-capacity magazine law is an example of how law does not match well with even simple technology. It apparently never occurred to the legislators that a magazine holding 10 rounds of caliber X might hold more than 10 rounds in caliber Y, and still work as designed in guns of caliber X.
I have wondered about that. I know some 9mm and .40 S&W mags are similar enough that they will work in either gun. I loaned a guy at a match a couple of 9mm Beretta 92F mags which he used in his .40 M96 with no problems at all, except they held a couple less rounds, (13 vs 15 IIRC, it was a long time ago, probably 1997-ish).
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Old 07-13-2012, 9:26 PM
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California has no laws against mis-use of a magazine. If it's a 10-round .50Beowulf magazine, then it's a 10 round magazine at the time of sale, importation, manufacturing, lending or whatever.

It'll take about 30 rounds of 5.56 however, if you feel like misusing it. Does this turn it into a high-capacity ammunition feeding device? Most likely not, it's still a 10-round mag for .50Beo it's just being mis-used.

If it IS now a hicap, that's fine because you didn't manufacture it, sell it, import it, blah blah blah and possession isn't part of that list.
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Old 07-14-2012, 8:00 AM
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So, why haven't any CA vendors started heavily advertising and selling 10 rd .50 Beowulf mags?

"warning, do not attach this magazine to a 5.56/.223 rifle with bullet button. It will hold and feed more than the legal 10 rds. of 5.56 or .223 ammunition."

Last edited by dantodd; 07-14-2012 at 8:02 AM..
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Old 07-14-2012, 1:59 PM
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