At the Range: How to Change the Magazine on an AR-15

Today we are going to talk about one of the most fundamental things there is when it comes to shooting an AR-15. 

Generally, when you are firing until empty, your bolt will be locked in the rear position. When you seat your magazine in the rifle, you want to seat it firmly and tug to make sure that the AR-15 is cocked. If not, first, the rifle will not properly feed, or second, after shooting your first round the magazine will fall out.

To change your magazine, you first hit your mag release and pull the mag out. When putting a new magazine into your AR-15, you do the same thing as the first magazine. Slide your magazine into place and tug on it to make sure that your AR-15 is cocked. Then, tap your bolt release into place and you are good to go. 

On the rare occasion that your bolt release didn’t seat the way it was supposed to, hit your forward assist a few times to seat the bolt.

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1 Seat the Magazine

  • When you fire until empty, your bolt will be locked in the rear position. To change the magazine, hit your mag release button, and go right in with the new mag.When you seat your magazine, you do want to seat it firmly, so give it a tug to ensure that it is caught. If not, it will either not properly feed, or when you shoot your first round, it will fall out.

2 Tap Bolt Release

  • After you’ve seated your magazine, tap (or slap) your bolt release to lock it in and you’re good to go.

3 Forward Assist

  • One final checkpoint is the forward assist. If you find that perhaps the bolt didn’t full close, you’ll want to use the forward assist. You’ll perform a ratcheting action on the side of your bolt carrier. Just give that a few pounds, and that will seat over your unshot round so you’re ready to shoot.

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