PSL magazine fitment observations

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by darkminstrel, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. darkminstrel

    Columbia County
    Well-Known Member

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    My PSL was purchased third(fourth?) hand from a great local guy. It's ugly, heavy, beats up my brass, but it's accurate and a dream to shoot.

    Then there are the mags...both are mismatched to the rifle. Both lock up unless I provide vertical pressure to the bottom of the mag. Basically I have to squeeze it up into the receiver to get a reliable feed. Otherwise it's as fast as a bolt action due racking the charging handle after each shot. This was unacceptable.

    I spent days looking online at the pictures of PSL magazines on gun boards, gunbroker, outdoorstrader, anywhere that had a good shot of the mounting surfaces of the mag. My finding is that each set of mags are custom matched by filing the locking lugs on the front and back of each mag. They are specifically shaped so that they sit at the proper angle and height for each receiver.

    Research done, I set out to experimentation.

    I was only sold two mags with my rifle so each got it's treatment; I took my MIG welder and added material to the front and rear lugs on each mag. I then used a combination of Dremel cutting wheel and belt sander to slowly remove material from each untill the mag would fit, but not fully engage the mag release.

    The result is night and day! The mag sits much higher up in the front and rear and just looks more snug all around. I filled each to capacity and racked the charging handle in rapid succession to simulate active fire. The first mag made it through all ten rounds with no missed chambering. The second mag hung up twice through the entire capacity but I deemed it a success.

    The next day I went out to the range to proof my work. The result is that one mag performed flawlessly through 80 rounds. The second would hang every four on average, destroying the tip of the bullet by slamming it into the edge of the breech. Note that the second magazine was left unfinished as a test. I came home and cleaned the rifle, loaded up the functional magazine and did another dry test. It still performs flawlessly!

    I'd not recommend this process to anyone who is not 100% competent. I had one round with a partially detented primer that could have gone off in the partially open chamber easily with a bit more pressure from the bolt. In addition to that this is a permanent modification to your rifle's magazines. If you care about any form of collectibility this procedure is not for you. Beyond those warnings I have to say that the two hours I put into the work really have made my rifle much more fun to shoot.

    The details are as follows;

    Step 1) lightly sand or file the lower mating surface of the rear lug
    Step 2) lightly sand or file the lower mating surface of the front lug
    Step 3) using a propane hand torch; preheat the area briefly
    Step 4) add no more than 3mm of welding material to the rear, lower mating surface
    Step 5) add no more than 2mm of welding material to the front, lower mating surface
    Step 6) using medium files or some form of sanding media slowly remove material untill the magazine just fits in the receiver but the mag release lever does not fully engage the lug
    Step 7) polish the rear mating surface with a finer file or sanding media so that the mag release lever engages the locking lug fully
    Step 8) load the magazine with snap-caps or inactive shells
    Step 9) rack the charging handle in rapid succession
    Step 10) lightly sand as needed untill consistent feeding and ejection is achieved.

    Good luck!

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