When a gun jams or other firing problems occur, it is as often a cause of a malfunctioning magazine
as it is shoddy ammo or actual problems with the firearms.
Like your rifle, magazines need to be maintained and cleaned for optimal performance and life. Make it a habit whenever field stripping and cleaning your rifle to also clean whatever magazines you’ve been shooting with as well. Here are 6 simple steps to AR-15 mag disassembly and cleaning.
1. Check that the magazine is empty.
2. Turn the mag over and using a small punch, depress the catch through the small hole in the floor plate and slide it back to release the plate.
3. Carefully slide the floor plate free of the magazine while keeping the mag spring retained. Then, gently allow the spring to uncoil and remove it.
4. Pull the follower from the magazine.
5. Now you can scrub the magazine parts down with the same brush and solvent you used for cleaning your rifle, but the easiest way is to simply place them in the dishwasher. Whether an aluminum or polymer mag, just place the parts in the silverware holders in the dishwasher and the mag box in the top rack. Set the washer on the pots and pans cycle so they get hot and dry. Spray the spring with a silicone-based spray so it does not collect dirt. If you note any defects that could hamper the mag’s operation, throw the whole magazine away and get a new one.
6. To reassemble, slide the follower in the bottom of the box, followed by the spring and the floor plate. Slide it forward until it snaps into the locked position and make sure the floor plate stiffly depresses and springs back into place.
This article is an excerpt from the new magazine Modern Shooter Spring 2014 presented by Gun Digest.