Misadventures of a Magazine Floorplate

Student Handgunner Online: A Remedial Lesson in Shapes
18

It should have been easy…and it was…just TOO easy.

I’m not new to firearms, just to handguns. If you ask me about service rifle reloading, natural point of aim, or reading mirage, I can help you. Disassembling a pistol magazine for the first time was a different story.

At first I tried the old, fashioned way – without instructions. I tugged on the bottom of the Ruger SR22. It wobbled back and forth a bit, but would not come loose. Examining the bottom, I realized it needed to slide one direction…but how?

I gave in, consulting the product manual. “Use a punch to press in on the magazine spring seat where it protrudes into the hole in the magazine floorplate.” Aha!

Lacking a punch set, I pulled a promotional screwdriver out of a drawer, pushed gently, and voila, off the plate slid! The goal of this venture was to attach a MantisX magazine baseplate. My version of the SR22 does have a picatinny rail underneath the barrel, but I wanted to try my hand with the baseplate. I replaced the Ruger baseplate with the Mantis one, but it wouldn’t stay. Nothing seemed to be holding it in, and the lever on the magazine had no pressure.

“Is this yours?” I decided to perform this operation on the kitchen island as my mom ate breakfast. She nearly stepped on a small piece of black plastic, something I’d never seen before.

“No,” I replied, “I have no idea what that is,” as I set it to the side. I gave in once more, turning back to the instruction manual.

In red ink: “Be careful to prevent the forcible ejection of the magazine spring seat and compressed magazine spring.” Oops. I sheepishly recognized the mysterious piece of plastic as the spring seat and began searching for the spring. I soon found it nearly 10 feet away, almost down the staircase.

Channeling my days of playing Perfection, I successfully put together the magazine complete with new baseplate. There was just one problem — I had installed it backwards. Apparently, my shape skills are less than perfect. This time I took great care to keep the spring from flying. I was successful in that venture, but the magazine spring seat vanished this time.

I sent out a search party. My mom and I scoured the counter, stairs, and all areas in a 4-yard radius with no success. We set the dog to work on a Kong toy filled with peanut butter as we went about looking for the pesky piece. This was also a poor idea, as I soon felt sticky peanut butter on my bare feet. I happened to step in the one-inch spot where the toy landed on the floor before the dog trotted away with it and track it down the hallway. All because of a magazine floor plate and a spring seat I still haven’t found.