RUGER Mark I hold open follower - DIY project

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RUGER Mark I hold open follower - DIY project

Post by Bullseye » Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:31 am

For Mark I owners - a DIY bolt hold open device
by Bullseye

All you Ruger Mark I owners; what’s the one thing you wish your pistol would do? How about lock the bolt open after the last shot in the magazine has fired!

This feature is even more important to all of you who shoot Bullseye Competition, since your pistol bolt will remain closed after the fifth round from the magazine has fired. Was it a dud? Or, has the last round in the magazine been expended? Well, the picture at the end of this post will give you a outline for a new magazine follower that will hold your bolt open after the last shot is fired.

It's pretty simple to make a set of these extended magazine followers. I used some aircraft grade aluminum for this project. Take an old regular follower from a magazine and trace it. This will give you the proper feed angle for the cartridge and basic size for the new extended follower. Trace out an extended follower tab directly above the normal follower line; it should be no taller than the width of a single .22 cartridge. Then draw a 90' angled line from the back edge of the new follower tab (top) line downward to the cartridge feeding line from the (old) regular sized magazine follower (bottom) line. This is the edge of the follower that will catch the bolt after the last round has fired and hold it open. Then cut out the 90' notch created by the intersection of the line between the old feed line and the new line. Be sure to round the top back edge of the follower slightly to keep the last round left in the magazine from getting jammed by the new extended follower. Here's a diagram to follow.

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Round and shape the new follower to fit into the magazine with a file. Put the fitted aluminum extended follower into the magazine a mark where the magazine button is located when the follower is at the correct height using the magazine slot as a reference guide. A #30 twist drill will create the proper sized hole for the factory button to be inserted.

This whole project took me about three hours to complete using simple hand tools. Most of my time was spent using a hacksaw for cutting the solid billet of aluminum into slabs and then for shaping the followers with a large bastard mill file down to proper thickness to fit into the magazine body.

Once complete, these followers will catch the bolt part way and hold it open after the last shot from the magazine has fired. The user will then have to manually retract the bolt and latch the thumb safety to lock the bolt fully open.
The only drawback is; the magazine will now hold one less round than its regular capacity. For me, this less capacity issue is no problem, since I only load five rounds into the magazines for the sustained fire stages of Bullseye Competition. However not having to dry fire the last shot on an empty chamber is great benefit and gives me tremendous piece-of-mind.

Enjoy!

R,
Bullseye


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MKI Last Shot Hold Open Follower

Post by arizona-hermit » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:09 am

Bullseye,

Bet you could sell those if you happened to have any laying around :wink:
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain. [1 COR 15:10a - NASB]

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Post by Bullseye » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:39 am

Might not be a bad idea, since I have plenty of stock left from the first ones. :roll: Only this time I wouldn't be hand filing and I'd cut them out on the mill, would save me lots of labor time.

You can barely see it in the picture but I even made one light weight by skeletonizing it. If you look very closely at the one inside the magazine, you can just barely see part of the hole near the V notch of the feed lips.

I'll give this some thought.

R,
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MKI Magazine Modification

Post by arizona-hermit » Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:26 pm

When you decide, be sure to post it here.

I can always use a 'few' :D
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain. [1 COR 15:10a - NASB]

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Post by Bullseye » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:36 pm

You got first dibbs! :D

R,
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First Dibs

Post by arizona-hermit » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:38 am

Thanks Bullseye! :lol:

George
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Re: First Dibs

Post by John fox » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:09 am

I'd like second dibs!

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DANGER

Post by kyghost » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:29 pm

Hello all; I fear that I must be a wet blanket on this post. In fact I joined just so I could make this comment.

In years past I found and installed a product made just like this in my Ruger magazines and thought that it was a great thing until I had an accidential discharge. The cause was the hold open magazine follower. If you have a cartridge in your chamber, no cartridges in your magazine, and you have the follower stop the bolt the front upper point of the follower may impact the rim of the cartridge with enough force to cause the chambered cartridge to fire. In my case I had a grand total of one discharge but remembered having several jams with a chambered cartridge so I removed the followers at once and installed the origional ones. I don't remember what brand of ammunition that I was using but do remember that the case held and nothing was injured but my pride. I thought about cutting back the point on the hold open followers but decided that they might then damage the magazine body so I never followed up on it. I would like to have that convience even at the loss of one round but feel that is too dangerous to attempt in this manner. If some one can find a solution to this I am all ears.
By the way those followers were very quickly pulled off of the market with no explanation.

I appoligize to one and all for my negattive information but since it did happen to me once I know that it could happen to someone else and possably with a bad ending. Your safety and the safety of those around you is worth so much. May God bless and keep you.

Rodger

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Post by Bullseye » Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:50 am

Hello Rodger,

Welcome to Guntalk-Online! In your case persistance pays off. I had removed your membership account request the first time because your E-mail address bounced back as invalid. I can tell you that I am very pleased to see that the account is indeed a valid one.

There's no harm in posting in this forum about any past experience, good or bad. In this case you've provided a very valid concern. If you look back at my original photos and drawing, you'll notice that the special hold open followers are very long and blocky, this design was intentional to prevent them from being tilted far enough forward to cause the very type of event you described. Due to their length and shape, these followers cannot tilt any farther forward than the front rounded edge of the magazine body. I would like to thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention because I did not mention these design features in my initial posts, but now due to your input these details have been presented.

I hope you enjoy your membership here at Guntalk-Online, we certainly appreciate someone who stands up to be counted. It is people like you who make the shooting sports a lot better and safer place for all.

R,
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Post by chefmossy » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:01 pm

Bullseye where would I get the aluminum to make some of these.

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Post by Bullseye » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:06 pm

Metals.com is a good source for orders Here's a link to what you need. http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cf ... top_cat=60

The final thickness of the metal will need to be 3/16" (.1875"), the width is 1", Length (Height) at the tip of the follower is 1.5", at the bottom of the feed ramp, near the 90° bird's mouth notch cut, is approx 1 1/8" (1.125").

In the picture there is actually two followers shown. To lighten the follower even more for the follower spring, I drilled three 3/8" (.375") holes touching each other in a semi-club pattern. I don't have that shown in the separate one but if you look carefully in the follower in the magazine you can see part of the top hole in the "V" of the feedlips. If you need a better photo, I can give you one.

R,
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Post by chefmossy » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:59 am

Thanks I will get some ordered looks like a good project

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