Ruger Rifle Revision

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ec-10, May 13, 2007.

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  1. ec-10

    ec-10 Member

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    [​IMG]

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    That isn't a photoshop. That is a ten round M1A magazine installed in my Ruger Frontier rifle chambered for .308. I think we can all be honest with each other here and call the Frontier what it really is. It is a Ruger Compact with a $60 barrel rib installed on it, masquerading as a scout rifle (and doing a pretty good job of it). So right there is two product lines of Ruger that can be modified to do this. :D

    Actually, to say that I have modified the rifle is again inaccurate. I can have the rifle back to it's original configuration in less than five minutes. It is the magazine that sacrifices it's life to achieve this result.


    [​IMG]

    Just think, there will be twice as many rounds in that picture once I place my order.

    Anyway, I had the idea of somehow shoehorning an M1A magazine into my Frontier rifle to alleviate the 4+1 round capacity that restricts it to the hunting relm. This is after-all my SHTF rifle and I would like a few more rounds to help make up for the fact that I am such a lousy shot.

    This is what constitutes the magazine of the Ruger Frontier.

    [​IMG]

    When I started comparing the Ruger's magazine box to that of the M1A I started getting ideas.

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    When I held the M1A magazine up to the bottom of the receiver I realized it was an almost perfect fit. I knew that I would have to trim the lips off of the magazine to get it to seat high enough so that the bolt would actually grab the rounds to feed them (this renders it to a blind magazine). The other problem is the ejector. I had to notch the M1A magazine to clear it. It was at this point that I started to investigate what would be required to make this work with the stock. I figured I would have to open up the mag-well on the stock and probably trim the latch/catch off of the M1A magazine. I was positive that I would have to fabricate some sort of retaining bracket to keep the magazine in place. This is where I was pleasantly surprised.

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    The bottom of the magazine latch lines up perfectly with the top of the front flange of the trigger guard. I insert the magazine, install the trigger guard and it is in there solid. There is some slight side to side slop but it is minimal.

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    The front magazine hinge/recoil lug retainer is replaced with some washers.

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    This is the extent of modifications I made to the M1A magazine. Yes, the work I did is extremely sloppy. I do not have access to a shop at this point. I did these mods on my kitchen counter with simple hand tools. When I get my twenty rounder I will probably have my gunsmith do some cleaner mods.

    [​IMG]

    The important thing here is that it fits and that it feeds. There are two problems with this mod so far. The follower in the magazine is not designed to be compatible with the bolt of this rifle. When I go to close the bolt while the rifle is empty I have to push the follower down out of the way. The other issue is that loading the second round into the magazine is somewhat difficult. The first round goes in with no problem and so do rounds three through ten. This is a cheap mag from Ebay so I suspect it is the mag and not the mod. These are both minor problems. Again, the important thing here is that it fits and that it feeds. It works as well as the factory four round magazine IMHO.

    [​IMG]

    A quick glance through my reloading manual tells me that this mod would probably work with rifles chambered in .243 and 7mm-08 in addition to those in .308. I do not believe it would work with .300WSM or .358 Federal as the case diameter would probably be too big for the follower. I have tested it so far by loading ten rounds and then working the bolt ten times. Each round feeds perfectly and they all eject as they should. I can't wait to get to the range.

    :evil:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2008
  2. Mortech

    Mortech Member

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    At least you didn't Bubbatized it (or use ducttape on it ) and it does look good . Have you tried modifying a Ruger follower to see if it would work in the M1A mag ?
     
  3. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    Nice looking scout rifle. have you tried to load it with stripper clips?
     
  4. feudist

    feudist Member

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    Ubercool!
    But,the follower stopping the bolt is not a problem on a SHTF rifle.You WANT to know it's time to reload.
    hugh
     
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    ec-10. You deserve credit for this simple but well thought out modification. American ingenuity is still alive and kicking. Now, can you get a Garand to take a BAR magazine?
     
  6. ec-10

    ec-10 Member

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    Mortech- I thought about modifying the Ruger follower. The M1A follower has a tab on the back of it to keep it aligned as it moves up and down in the magazine. Plus the springs are very different. The Ruger follower would need more work than I am capable of doing right now.

    alucard0822- To use stripper clips would probably require a guide being milled into the top of the receiver. I don't have any .308 stripper clips to try. I will pick up some at the gunshow next weekend.

    feudist- You make a good point.
     
  7. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Member

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    Absolutely wonderful idea! Great job!

    The Germans did this with the Kar98k in WWII as well, let's you know when it's time to reload.
     
  8. unrealtrip

    unrealtrip Member

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    Awesome job! Very impressive and well thought out.
     
  9. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Very bad idea. M1 Garands don't have the internal receiver strength to accept BAR mags after being hogged out for the conversion. FN-49, yes (the Luxembourg .30-06 contract rifle was their own organic production). M1 Garand, no. Stick with BM-59 and M14 magazines if you're modding the Garand to box-fed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2008
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Brilliant! Makes me want to get one of those little Frontiers.
     
  11. yongxingfreesty

    yongxingfreesty Member

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    very good work
     
  12. Outlaws

    Outlaws Member

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    No that is normal. Its a combat safety. It keeps you from wasting a shot on an empty chamber. Battle rifles (including bolt actions) have this feature, hunting rifles do not. As you said, this is a SHTF rifle, correct? I'd say let it be. ;)
     
  13. ec-10

    ec-10 Member

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  14. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Member

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    Nice vid, however, without the ability to remove the mag for a quick reload, it's imperitive that you tig an M-14 stripper clip guide/ homemade variant to the receiver bridge, IMHO:)
     
  15. pauli

    pauli Member

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    philosophical question - can a ruger be bubba'd?
     
  16. usp_fan

    usp_fan Member

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    For a stripper guide, it looks like something could be fabricated that attaches at the rear scope mount notch. You know, a bolt on guide. Then you wouldn't have to weld and machine your receiver.

    Just a thought,

    --usp_fan
     
  17. Kjay

    Kjay Member

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    So why won't Ruger take up an idea like this? The Frontier strikes me as a great SHTF rifle and I'd be happy if we could get even five round detachable mags. Maybe Ruger could chamber the Fontier in .223 and utilize the mini-14 mags? California dreaming...
     
  18. Radagast

    Radagast Member

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    Interesting. The high power club I used to shoot with had Howa 1500s in .223 modified to accept 20 round AR magazines. These worked well with no reliability issues.
     
  19. ec-10

    ec-10 Member

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    I got the twenty round magazine in and made the modification. Unfortunately, the spring pressure from the larger higher quality magazine is causing problems. The bolt is very difficult to work and the rifle is trying to push two rounds in at a time. I trimmed the spring down as much as I dare and it is still not working. Oh well, ten rounds is still better than four.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2008
  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    GREAT WORK! I've just ordered a 10 round mag to try on my 77MKII all weather in 22-250. I'm hoping that the M1A mag can be tweaked feed 22-250 reliably. Mostly cause I want a longer magazine box that'll allow me to seat bullets longer, The stupid 22-250 box has a block in the back.

    If 22-250 cannot be made to feed I'll have the chamber reamed to 22-243:D
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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  22. ec-10

    ec-10 Member

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    I hope you understand that I have no idea if this will work in any Ruger stocks other than the Frontier and the Compact series. I am anxious to find out though.:D
     
  23. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Great job ec-10.
     
  24. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    I have zero use for a scout rifle...
     
  25. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Should work, The frontier is little more than a short action 77mkII with a $100 worth of scope mount on it and some barrel and stock chopped off both ends.

    I'll post pics and start another thread, I won't say anything yet but I have a couple ideas to make the magazine mounting rock solid .
     
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