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Reducing Carbine Magazine Capacity

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Newsman1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Sep 01 2016 at 11:34am

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August 2016-B

REDUCING CARBINE MAGAZINE CAPACITY

Some state or local governments say 15 round carbine magazines are illegal, or must be registered. This, as we know, is "feel good" and "showmanship" legislation, which might not help with crime reduction. But unless those laws are overturned, if ever, carbine collectors have to decide whether to obey or take their chances. The magazines can be modified to accept fewer rounds, after which they are not in violation of the laws. But collectors do not want to mess up the original appearance of the mags by drilling holes and inserting pins to limit the downward movement of the follower inside the mag. There are several ways that the downward movement of the follower can be reduced without bothering the external appearance. The "adapter" described below works well, and is not too complicated to make.

The suggested material is sheet aluminum, about 0.030" thick. It is easy to cut, and easy to file if filing is used to round the corners or to adjust dimensions later. Other sheet metals will work, but something as thin as a drink can is not recommended. The sketch shows the way the flat piece of metal is cut, and the overall length for reducing capacity of a 15 round magazine to 7 rounds. The photo shows the shape of the finished adapter, after making a 90° bend. It is important that the bend be 90° so that the vertical part of the adapter will not contact the spring as the follower moves up and down.

Care should be used in disassembling the magazine to insert the adapter. The base or floor plate will bend if excessive pressure is used. The rounded end of the base has to be lifted just enough to let the indent slide past the front wall of the mag. A thin sharp tool or knife blade can be used to lift the rounded tip, while applying pressure to make the base slide out. Once the base is removed, the spring can be removed, if it did not jump out. Notice that the taller side of the spring goes toward the back wall of the mag, and the shorter side goes toward the front. The follower will have to be rotated inside the mag so that one end can be pulled out around the tabs that hold the base in place. With the follower out, look inside it and note that it is not completely flat, but has a flat area on the right hand side. Also note that the adapter has a flat area on one side of the folded end. Insert the adapter into the follower, with the flat areas matching up, and file or trim the edges of the adapter and round the corners as needed to get a close fit that does not bind. When fitting is finished, put the follower back into the mag, then insert the adapter, being sure the flat areas match up. When the spring is inserted, it will hold the adapter snugly inside the follower.

The height of the adapter can be made to suit whatever magazine capacity is legal. The overall height of the adapter, after the fold is made, should be as follows:

For 7 rounds, 2 7/16". For 8 rounds, 2 4/16". For 9 rounds, 2 1/16". For 10 rounds, 1 14/16". Note that each round is equal to 3/16" of adapter height. These figures could be off by 1/32" or so, depending on dimensional tolerances or variations found in the various makes of 15 round mags.

Modified mags could be labeled with a small adhesive label stating the number of rounds the mag will hold. What if the law says the mags have to be "permanently" modified, or cannot be "readily convertible" to higher capacity? With the follower inside the mag. put some epoxy on the flat area of the top of the adapter before inserting the adapter into the magazine. Then take the position that the adapter is permanent, and anyone who removes it is violating the law.

J.B. Powers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AutogunNY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2016 at 11:31am
It might be important to note, that in NYS, (New York State), they also made it illegal for an individual to alter a firearm, or magazine, in any way... presumably, even to remove a 'lug' and or reduce a mag. capacity... That's how ridicules, the law really is...just saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sling00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2016 at 1:54pm
Thanks for the article.  I just hope I never need it.  This method reminds me of putting a plug in your shotgun to limit it to 3 rounds.  That brings up the question how does NY view the stated law regarding shotgun plugs? OK since they are designed to be removable?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Butsky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 20 2018 at 6:26pm
If you have it figured out, what are the measurements for a 5-round capacity mag? Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 20 2018 at 7:19pm
add 6/16 ths for a total length of 3 1/16. But as article states it may be off by 1/32.
Guess it is trial and error based on exact location of bend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rwsem1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 21 2018 at 4:46am
Magblock makes products for those folks not fortunate to live in a free state (if there is such a thing).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RClark9595 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 24 2019 at 10:43am
It is a sad reflection of our time, New York was one of the original 13 colonies that fought for our independence, with this law they are being just as suppressing as the British were back then. We fought for our freedom, this law takes some of that away.
We have to be proactive and tell our Congressmen and Representatives that we won't stand for this kind of nonsense.
Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blackfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 24 2019 at 7:06pm
Caveat: While this article be "useful to know", it is certainly no legal opinion upon which you can rely.

IMHO, and I'm no attorney but do have a fair experience in law, if a magazine can be "readily restored" to full operating capacity, it will almost certainly remain illegal. That's just common sense.

So whatever "mods" are made to reduce standard capacity to conform to "10 rounds or whatever", it must be PERMANENT. A hole through the mag and a cotter pin, adding a floorplate "extender", ad nauseum, simply won't cut it in front of a judge. Remove the pin, cut off the extender, ... if its capacity can be readily restored to 30 rounds, it's still a 30 round magazine. Period.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote floydthecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 24 2019 at 7:53pm
Some states limit mag capacity to 5-rounds for hunting now anway. I started grabbing 5-rounders some time ago for the just-in-case situation. Don’t use ‘em, but I have ‘em. If one choses to go that route, don’t bother with the Universal plastic examples...they don’t fit in a USGI TH.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 24 2019 at 9:24pm
Originally posted by blackfish blackfish wrote:

Caveat: While this article be "useful to know", it is certainly no legal opinion upon which you can rely.

IMHO, and I'm no attorney but do have a fair experience in law, if a magazine can be "readily restored" to full operating capacity, it will almost certainly remain illegal. That's just common sense.

So whatever "mods" are made to reduce standard capacity to conform to "10 rounds or whatever", it must be PERMANENT. A hole through the mag and a cotter pin, adding a floorplate "extender", ad nauseum, simply won't cut it in front of a judge. Remove the pin, cut off the extender, ... if its capacity can be readily restored to 30 rounds, it's still a 30 round magazine. Period.


I understand your opinion, and somewhat agree, but we also have 100 years plus of shotgun magazine plugs being an acceptable way to reduce the capacity of a shotgun magazine. That seems like pretty good precedent.

I'm not sure if any states have prescribed the way a magazine should be limited to 10 rounds. Perhaps California...I have heard that Canada has prescribed the manner in which a magazine must be limited.

David Albert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manteo97 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2019 at 5:59pm
For years in Canada we have had max 5 rounds for any semi-auto centerfire rifle. Acceptable way to covert any 15 or 30 round clip is to pin it with a pop rivet to prevent the magazine follower moving beyond the 5 round limit. Usually put in the leading edge of the M1 carbine mag. This was approved by the Feds, and follows along with the same logic as the shotgun plug.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote floydthecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2019 at 6:46pm
I think that is a good and simple idea. If it comes to that here, all we have to do is get our government to come-up with that idea so they will approve it.😏
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