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Installing the Sporting Conversions Maglock on an AR-15

Although modern California compliance technology has evolved long beyond this point, the Sporting Conversions Maglock holds a place in history. This is the compliance kit which was the most popular during the initial California "Off-List Lower" rush in late 2005. It essentially disabled the detachable magazine feature of the AR-15 and rendered it a top-loading rifle with a non-detachable (fixed) magazine. To reload, you had to remove the rear takedown pin and "scissor" the action of the weapon open, then load the 10rd internal magazine. The advent of the "bullet button" design later on, resulted in a huge step forward in user-friendliness.

The reason this how-to is being posted in 2012, is that I found these pictures in my "to-do" pile just last weekend. They were already a point for the history books by the time they were taken (October 2008), but now it's actually reached the point where some people don't understand what the early compliance devices were like.

As always, click the images to expand them.

This is a complete AR-15 lower, depicted next to the mag lock kit (two small, round pieces at the bottom center area of the image).

In order to install the maglock, one must first position the magazine catch correctly.

Insert the magazine into the lower, and line up the small hole in the magazine with the hole in the side of the lower receiver. I've left the mag catch out in this picture so that you can see how it lines up.

The magazine installed, with the mag catch installed. Spring tension will serve to keep the magazine in place once you get it into place.

With the lower turned over on the other side, you'll want to insert the delrin spacer onto the mag catch where the spring on a normal magazine release would normally sit.

The spacer in place. Note that it sits flush with the surface of the lower, and the threaded end of the mag catch protrudes above the surface.

Threading the nut onto the mag catch. This is what actually keeps the magazine in place.

Tightening it down a bit with an allen key. If you use excessive force, you can actually crack the receiver here by putting too much force on the other side of the receiver. Optionally, you can use locktite to ensure that the screw doesn't get backed out.

-- SeanNewton - 03 Jun 2012

Topic revision: r1 - 03 Jun 2012 - SeanNewton
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