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Following easy dimensions on floorplate modification sketch will help amateur metal craftsman accomplish quick detach change easily.
A HINGED FLOOR PLATE is a handy feature to incorporate when converting your military rifle to a sporter. It will simplify removal of loaded rounds from the magazine, appeal to your sense of the esthetic, and can be built by the average "do-it-yourself" fan in one evening with a few simple tools.
Some of the most beautiful (and expensive) hand-crafted custom sporters have this type of hinged floor plate, and when built carefully and accurately, this "gadget" will give that fine custom look to your own sporter.
In preparing the magazine cover to receive the new hinge and lock, first enlarge the hole at the rear of the cover with a 17/64" drill. The magazine cover should be drilled from the bottom to insure getting the hole parallel with and at 90 degrees to the flat surfaces of the cover. At this time, dress off the lips on both ends with a file. (See Drawing No. 1) Be careful to file the new surfaces smooth and even. The new lock will rotate on the rear surface, so be especially careful here.
The hinge proper is made of 14" square stock 1long. If welding, brazing, or silver soldering facilities are available, it may be shortened to 1". Drawings No. 2 and No. 3 show the shape of the square stock for riveting. Be sure and taper off the hinge so as not to reduce the capacity of the magazine.
In fitting the hinge to the cover, file a gap of Vt" in the front end of the lower inner framing that holds the magazine spring to allow the squa're stock to lay flat on the inside floor of the cover. Any filing and fitting necessary to make the hinge piece fit snugly must be done on the cover, not on the hinge piece. It is important to have the hinge centered exactly on the cover.
Study Drawing No. 3 for details of the shape of the hinge. Note the angles in its outline. The rear angle is such that it will not interfere with the operation of the magazine nor reduce its capacity. The front angle governs the distance the magazine cover can be opened. This should allow the spring and (Continued on next page)
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follower to clear the magazine box.
Assuming the hinge is to be attached with rivets (mild steel), clamp the hinge piece and cover together (see Drawings No. 2 and No. 3) and drill two holes using a No. 40 drill. L!se a slightly larger drill to countersink both sides of both holes. This will allow the rivets to upset and form a stronger head. The rivets should fit the holes snugly and, when carefully peened to draw the assembly tightly together, may be dressed off flush.
Holding the cover over its position on the magazine, mark around the hinge with a sharp scriber. Using this outline, carefully fit the hinge into the magazine with a file. The front bottom edge of the magazine box will have to be filed for clearance in opening the cover. Be careful in filing this depth so as not to allow the tip of a loaded round to catch in the opening.
After the magazine cover has been properly fitted, drill the hole for the hinge pin. The hinge pin hole should be drilled with the magazine cover fitted in place in the closed position. Use a No. 36 drill and bore Vs" above the bottom edge of the plate and Vi" ahead of the inside face of the front magazine wall. Make the hinge pin from drill rod. It should fit snug in the two sides, but allow the hinge to work freely. This may be accomplished by running the drill in and out several times in the hinge piece alone.
The latch is made of 17/64" round rod and is 7/16" long. The rotary locking lug is attached to one end and the operating lever on the other. The round rod will be given square ends measuring 3/16" by 3/16", over which are fitted the rotary locking lug and lever respectively. The lever is pinned in place and the locking lug held with a 4x48 screw with washer. (See Drawing No. 4)
The locking lug is made from 1/16" flat stock having an oval shape approximately 5/16" by 7/16". This part will have to be fitted to the individual magazine. Make it slightly oversize at first then file and try. (See Drawing No. 4)
A well proportioned lever should be 1%" to 1%" long. It should be 11/32" in width where it attaches to the shaft, and should taper gradually to approximately Vs" at the other end. See Drawings No. 4 and No. 5 for shape of lever.
To hold the lever in a closed position, install a small poppet as shown in Drawing No. 3. The spring, rivet, and poppet assembly must be as flat and low as possible so as not to interfere with the magazine spring. After the poppet is installed and with the lever in the closed position, drill a hole, using a No. 50 drill, through the magazine cover in line with the left side of the lever and at a point %" ahead of the post. Fit a small metal peg into this hole, allowing the top to extend outside far enough to act as a stop for the lever. The bottom side of the lever should be drilled slightly at the point where end of the poppet rests when the lever is in the closed position. The end of the poppet should be slightly rounded for ease of operation. This gives a positive holding action.
The foregoing directions and drawings are for the Mauser rifle; but due to the similarity in construction, they may be utilized also for other popular military rifles by studying the principles involved and applying them along with judicious fitting.
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