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Installing an Extended Magazine Release Button on a Ruger® 22/45™
by Roy Seifert

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Disclaimer:  This article is for entertainment only and is not to be used in lieu of a qualified gunsmith.  Please defer all firearms work to a qualified gunsmith.  Any loads mentioned in this article are my loads for my guns and have been carefully worked up using established guidelines and special tools.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for use of these loads, or use or misuse of this article.  Please note that I am not a professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well as a tinkerer.  This article explains work that I performed to my guns without the assistance of a qualified gunsmith.  Some procedures described in this article require special tools and cannot/should not be performed without them.

Warning:  Disassembling and tinkering with your firearm may void the warranty.  I claim no responsibility for use or misuse of this article.  Again, this article is for entertainment purposes only!

Tools and firearms are the trademark/service mark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers.

I recently converted the grip frame of my Ruger® 22/45™ to accept 1911 grips (refer to my article Converting a Ruger® 22/45™ to Accept 1911 Grips).  However, the new grips were thick enough that it was difficult to press the magazine release button.  So I decided to install an oversize magazine release button.  These buttons are designed for 1911 pistols, but will also fit on the 22/45™.  I purchased one manufactured by Ed Brown from Midway USA.

First I made sure the gun was unloaded, and then I completely disassembled the grip frame.  The instructions that came with the button stated that I needed to drill a 3/32” hole in the center of the magazine release to a depth of 1/4“.  They recommended using a 3/32” ball end milling bit.  Since I have a mill and a 3/32” ball end bit, this is what I used to mill the hole in the center.

Next I took a 4-40 tap and carefully tapped the center hole using plenty of tap oil.  Since all I had was a taper tap, I ground some of the end off to make it a more like a plug tap.  This allowed me to tap more threads before bottoming the tap in the hole.  The milling and tapping process left a slight burr around the top of the hole, which I removed with a flat jeweler’s file.

I cleaned the tapped hole with a shot of brake parts cleaner and reassembled the grip frame.  The grip panel was now interfering with the extended magazine release button so I had to grind a relief in the edge of the panel so the magazine release would move freely.

Prior to installing the new button I put a drop of Loctite blue on the threads of the set screw so it would not come loose.  Now I can reach the magazine release very easily with my right thumb.

Although I used a mill to make the hole, if I was going to use a 3/32” drill I would have used the extended button as a guide to ensure the hole was centered, and I would have used a drill press to ensure the hole was straight.


   © Copyright 2009 Roy Seifert.