Saturday, January 7, 2012

How To Convert An AR-15 Magazine For Hunting Capacity

In the last couple weeks I have had a couple opportunities to take out the 6.8 SPC AR-15 that I built and try to hunt some coyotes.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any coyotes, but it has given me a chance to think about using the 6.8 SPC for more.  

In Colorado you can hunt small game with a magazine of any capacity, but for hunting big game you are limited to five in the magazine and one in the chamber.  Since I only had 25 round magazines for my 6.8, I had to look into getting at least a couple 5 round magazines in case I got a chance to take it deer hunting. (Currently my 450 Bushmaster is my go to AR-15 for deer and elk.)

I little bit of research led me to find a couple options for 5 round magazines, including PRI, who makes great, but pricey magazines.  I also found some info on how to convert 10 or 17 round magazines to 5 round using a few simple steps.  I ended up finding a good deal on some ASC magazines and decided to give those a try.  (I haven't range tested them yet, so I'm not sure how they function as of yet, this is more about making a plug).
Dowels cut to length
Once you have your magazines, you will need a 3/8" wooden dowel or wooden pencil.  I also put some electric tape around it to make it look a little nicer.  Cut the dowel to about 2 5/8," I ended up shaving another 1/32" off of it to make it fit right.  You can see the measurement below.  This length allowed only five rounds to fit, but still gave me enough room to seat the magazine on a closed bolt without unnecessary force.  

Once you have it cut to the right length and you verify that in the magazine, you can wrap it with some electrical tape to give it a little better protection against the elements.
Measuring the dowel

  Once you have it ready, install it along the back rib of the magazine, so that it stops against the rear leg of the follower.  (I also tried it in the front and in the middle, not only do they need different lengths, but there is also more movement in the different locations.)
Place the dowel against the back rib of the magazine

 Now you have a plugged magazine, similar to the way duck hunters plug their shotgun tubes for hunting season.  The biggest downfall of this method is that I can hear the plug rattling around inside the magazine.  I'm going to have to find a way hold it in place, without making it permanent.

While I used this method on a 17 round 6.8 SPC magazine, it could easily be adopted to other calibers and magazine lengths by figuring out what length you need for any combination.  

Let me know how this works for you in the comment section below, or let me know what other rifle  modifications you would like to see written out.

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