Letter Re: Paddle Magazine Releases for HK Family Rifles

Captain Rawles,
I would like to tell your readers about a piece missing on HK Model 91s and clones, except for some Vectors.  This is the paddle magazine release.  With this latest skyrocketing of prices and the cheap availability of HK .308 magazines, you have suggested these type rifles.  I have had my beloved PTR for years, but only recently had what I consider the most important upgrade added to it: My paddle magazine release.  The G3 rifle (which all these are civilian copies of) had the paddle magazine release, but since it also used the pushpin mount/hole for the select fire trigger pack, HK did away with it when it released the HK 91 to make it harder for people to convert the weapon to a machinegun.  This must be done carefully because if you drill a hole to mount the bushing for the paddle mag release and drill the hole [all the way through the receiver] then [legally] you have just created an unregistered machinegun [in the United States], per the pronouncements of the BATFE.

It is recommended that a professional gunsmith do this, although parts are available on robertrtg.com and hkparts.net.  My preferred gunsmith for this was Bill Springfield, in Colorado.  He also does tune ups for HK triggers.  Having the paddle mag release not only makes the rifle more ambidextrous-friendly, but speeds up reload time and is just plain easier.  The pushbutton release on HKs is just out of reach of my finger, so I had to shift my hand to push the button, forcing me to juggle the rifle around, making things clumsy, difficult, and slow.  No more.  If I ever get another HK, the first thing I will have done is have this important piece installed.  It was somewhat expensive, around $200 for the work, plus parts and shipping, but well worth it.  Turnaround time was about three weeks for me, and I did not like not having my rifle for that period of time, but again it is well worth it.  I encourage your readers who have HK-91s or clones (or 5.56 or 9mm versions, HK93s and 94s respectively) to consider this important upgrade. – Allen in N.C.

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