AR Lower-Receiver Build: Magazine-Release Installation

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posted on October 19, 2015
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The necessary parts and tools are listed below:

Parts
Magazine Catch
Magazine Release Button
Magazine Release Button Spring (largest spring in the parts kit)

Tools
A punch or dowel

Slide the shaft of the magazine catch through from the left side of the receiver.

Despite being one of the easiest steps in an AR lower-receiver build, care must he taken to allow for proper clearance when installing a magazine release.
Put the spring over the shaft and then put the button on the end and push, letting the magazine catch slide back until the button is captured in the hole on the right side of the receiver. Keep finger pressure on the button, push on the mag catch and turn to start the threaded end of the shaft into the threaded hole on the button. Using a punch or dowel, push the mag button deeper into the receiver. Screw the mag-catch holder until the end of the threaded shaft is flush with the top of the release button. Be very careful not to hit the receiver with the mag catch as that can damage the finish.

Addition of the Norgon Ambi-Catch enables the author to actuate the button with his trigger finger, like a southpaw should.
Function Test
Push the button down flush with the receiver. Make sure the mag catch is still captured in the receiver. If it comes out of the receiver enough so that it can turn, you must take another revolution of the threads. Make sure the mag catch will go past flush on the inside to ensure it releases the magazine. Insert an empty magazine and make sure it is captured tightly. Now, actuate the button. The magazine should release cleanly and easily.

Unparsimonious Potential Upgrade
My lack of fine motor skill notwithstanding, I am able to actuate an AR’s magazine release with my right hand. Therefore, I view choice to select Norgon’s Ambi-Catch more of an “Unparsimonious Potential Upgrade” instead of a necessity. The reason is simple: In addition to being a fan of “America’s Rifle,” I’m also a fan of the 1911. My trigger is used to pulling double-duty when the time comes to replace mags. Yep, you’ve guessed it: there’s something to be said for familiarity and pre-established muscle memory.

The next entry will cover installing the trigger guard.

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