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AR Build Diary: Magazine Catch & Release

By Gabby

Magazine catch & release button for AR-15Lower parts kit from LWRC (all included parts not shown)
It's not that the installation of the small parts into the AR-15's lower receiver  is difficult, but some procedures can be made easier with an extra pair of hands. As I worked I found ways around this, but I had to be especially careful not to mar the anodized finish. For the installation of the mag catch, I used a piece from my vice block while I threaded the button on to the other side. This is the tough part because the spring will be fighting you the whole time. You only need to twist the button down a turn or so, before you can use a barrel flag to press it in and flip the lower over. (You'll need something pointy to push with, because even with helping hands, there are certain places, fingers just can't reach.) Once the mag catch is pushed far enough out that it can spin free of the receiver, give it a few rotations until it is tight in it's cut-out, when the button is released. In most cases, the threaded, post end of the mag catch, will be flush with the face of the button.

This explanation, in combination with the video below, should clarify this step of the lower assembly. (Also below, a small discussion of the California AR-15 laws and a product that helps shooters to be legal and have fun.)

For the information on how we laser etched "sweet shot" into my magazine catch, check out this post.

If I had a Bullet Button and Mag Magnet's solution
Poor Californian AR-15 fans, this part of the AR build is far more complicated for them. You see, their laws require them to have "fixed magazines" so that they must hinge open their entire AR and use a stripper clip to load rounds. However, the folks at Mag Magnet have come up with a way around this silly law. The mag release button looks the same but actually, only functions when a button is pressed within the small hole in the center. (Just to be clear, a completely different mag release button must be installed opposite to a typical catch. One cannot use parts similar to those I have used above.) Because this button can't be reached with any normal person's finger, it does not violate the law.  I've attempted to show you how a bullet button would be used in the image on the extreme left, though my AR contains a typical magazine release button. Check out Mag Magnet's Bullet Button installed in their image bellow.

bullet button by mag magnetAt Mag Magnet they have created a magnetic "button" that can be snapped into the tiny hole and used as a normal mag release button. In California this magnet is never left in place, but can be snapped else where on the gun until it is needed. When outside of their home state, Californians can pop the button onto the "bullet button" )mag release hole/button) and operate their gun in the typical fashion. I love smart design!
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Read all of the AR Build Diary here

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