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On an AR-15 rifle, just about everything is replaceable and customizable. It’s one of the things that makes the gun so desirable, useful and the best selling firearm in the United States. But one part in particular has never gotten much love from the modding community: the magazine release. Until now . . .

The magazine release is a small, but important part of the gun, and the design of the receiver means that there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to modifications. There have been alternate designs for the button for ages, but almost all of them require either extensive modification to the gun or a custom lower receiver to work. But the folks over at ODIN Works have come up with a way to give you a bigger magazine release button without any permanent modifications to the gun.

The XMR (eXtended Magazine Release) consists of two parts. The first is a straight replacement for the button on your existing AR-15 — simply unscrew the plunger and catch assembly from the button and then screw in the replacement. Once that’s swapped you can attach the paddle, which uses two small screws to keep itself in place. And then… you’re done!

Once installed, there are some benefits and there are some drawbacks.

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The first big benefit is that it can add a splash of color to your rifle. The XMR is available in three colors: black, neon green (zombie?) and red. I like the red color because I think it looks like one of those red “EJECT!” handles in a jet fighter. Yes, I am that kind of a nerd, shut up. Either way, there’s no denying that it adds a splash of color on an otherwise pretty boring (color palette-wise) rifle and makes the gun stand out.

Another benefit is that it makes the magazine release MUCH easier to hit. Instead of needing to hunt for a small button, I just wave my finger in the general direction of the magazine release and the magazine pops free. For someone with small hands it’s a must-have item that will make your rifle much easier to operate.

The biggest drawback, on the other hand, is that it makes the magazine release much easier to hit. In a competition environment I don’t worry very much about accidentally hitting the release, especially since in the worst case scenario I still have a spare magazine I can throw in there and gas it back up. But if you’re looking for something to put on your “gunfighter” rifle or hunting rifle it’s more critical to keep the magazine inserted and the gun running than to be able to change magazines quickly. Especially for those times when you’re moving over terrain, having to stop and pick up the magazine you just dropped might become an issue.

At the end of the day, whether the XMR is right for you depends on what you want to do. If you’re a competition shooter or just want to make your gun look really cool, this is perfect for you. But if you’re building a combat gun or a hunting rifle, it may be more of a liability than a benefit.

Specifications: ODIN Works XMR Extended AR-15 Magazine Release
Price: $20

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease of Use * * * * *
Easy to install, quick to use.

Utility * * *
It depends on what you want it to do. It won’t cure cancer, but if you have trouble reaching the magazine release it’s the thing for you.

Overall * * * *
Like I said, it depends on what you want it to do. But if you want an extended magazine release with some bling, this is the thing to get.

43 Responses to Gear Review: ODIN Works XMR Extended AR-15 Magazine Release

  1. When is someone going to come out with the Feinstein version? You know, the one that automatically ejects any magazine with more than 0 round capacity?

  2. This is a solution looking for a problem. No modifications to the lower should be made, with maybe the exception of the BAD short throw safety and extended take down pins.

    Items like bad levers and ambi bolt releases belong only on bubba guns.

    Rather than spending money on unneeded and potentially dangerous modifications, time and money should be spent on one simple and high quality tool. The fools on YouTube spending money modifying their POS ARs are not good examples to be followed.

    • About the only thing on the lower I’ve changed is the trigger guard – added a nice, laser engraved Magpul guard.

      I thought about adding a BAD lever, but then I had horrible visions of catching it on something and damaging some important bit of the gun. Maybe I’m paranoid…but ultimately I think it’s just not necessary.

    • Disagree on the BAD. I put one on each of mine and found them to be a great convenience. I don’t think you can define me as “bubba” by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Fair enough, Mike. Being a broke young adult, I guess that’s an area I’m choosing to pinch pennies. I’ll admit I’ve never shot a rifle with a BAD lever before, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing. 🙂

        • In all honesty it’s really useful for range shooting. I don’t do 3 gun due to debilitating arthritis so the BAD is really helpful to my old hands.

      • I do like my BAD lever. It helps me lock the bolt back after I drop my magazine to insert a chamber flag, which is required at my range. Otherwise I’d have no way of holding the rifle during any of that.

      • If elitism is following military specifications where billions of dollars and decades was spent on research and development, I guess I’m guilty as charged. But go ahead, put some pot metal foreign sourced POS on your rifle that has a long history of causing malfunctions.

        • >> If elitism is following military specifications where billions of dollars and decades was spent on research and development

          Well, for starters, spending billions of dollars is no indication that the result isn’t crap. F-35 is the most recent prominent counterexample.

          But, more importantly, even when the result is actually good, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. It’s built to military specifications, right – a specifications tailored to the specific needs of the military. Are you in the military or paramilitary structure of some kind? Do you have an equivalent supply chain and maintenance capabilities? Do you use your rifle for similar tasks (e.g. actively hunting down and killing enemy soldiers)?

          And if not, then why do you think that those specifications have any relevance to how useful the rifle is to you?

        • I don’t think you understand. The issue isn’t that your needs may vary from that of the military’s, but rather, the design and production of a part has actually been thoroughly vetted and tested. This is clearly not the case with virtually all AR “mods” that youtube fools decide their gun must have because somehow some dinky company miraculously has better R&D and QC than Colt. Peruse M4C forums and you’ll quickly figure out why most of the established and experienced contributors advise against *most* modifications.

          And you clearly know little of the F35.

        • Do you even know what mil-spec means? Have you ever been in the military? Have you ever even tried a BAD lever? If you answered no to any of these questions your opinion is (aside from being your opinion) completely unfounded. Do you like GLOCKS? Or Sig Sauers? Or 1911s? Because as much as all 3 are largely widely acclaimed handguns they are not standard issue for the vast majority of military personnel currently.

          I just do not get folks who say they have to have “milspec” or “military type” firearms. It’s almost completely arbitrary and irrelevant. Colt QC HAS been crap on some guns (look at the new marsoc Rail gun) and in the case of the BAD lever I wouldn’t exactly say that the largest and most followed firearms accessory company is “dinky”. That doesn’t justify any of their designs in itself, but it’s worth noting.

          Sorry for the rant but the reality is that nobody really has any idea what “mil-spec” means not to mention whether or not it actually matters.

        • What does the military buy? The absolute least expensive equipment that will still get the job done. If they can (safely) cut corners and save money, then they will. Maybe the BAD lever is a good upgrade, maybe it isn’t. But the Army’s M4s will still run without it, so they will never buy it.

          And there is the difference between civilian and military markets.

    • The BAD lever works great if you take the time to learn it. If you don’t, it’s not very useful, and may cause you to fumble and panic under stress. You get out of it exactly what you put in.

      I have one on each of my ARs.

    • Because the ability to operate your firearm one handed is so bad?

      I like Ambi because I’m ambidextrous, having the ability to manipulate your firearm with either hand, or one hand is important to some people.

      It’s probably not important to the vast majority of people. Which is why the military doesn’t bother with Ambi designs, they are training to a lower commonality. Many people can’t learn to shoot weak side or one handed effectively, for those who can, ambi is very useful.

      • The BAD lever never caught my interest, mainly because it looks awkward and I don’t like that it extends down into the trigger guard area. However, ambi controls in general seem like nothing but upside. I’m working on a couple builds with a purpose-built ambi lower by San Tan Tactical: http://www.santantactical.com/stt-15-lower-reciever.html

        The ambi bolt catch on STT’s lower lives just above the mag release button; I’ve found it to be easy to reach, but not in the way. I’m still assembling my builds, so I haven’t run the ambi controls yet, but to the extent I’ve fiddled with them I’m impressed & excited to go shoot ’em.

    • I’ve got a Nordic Components 10/22 mag release on my takedown model. Works great and is a great improvement over the stock one. Also, the Power Custom Extended Bolt release is a winner too.

      There are many improvements from the after-market for the 10/22.

  3. …Eh. I have small hands and I have no problem hitting the magazine release on the right side. I did have a Norgon ambi catch for the left side on my issued M4, but there were more than a few times when I held it close to my gear and had it eject the magazine (bumping up against other magazines on my vest, oh the irony). On my M4gery, I ended up putting another Norgon ambi catch, and I put on a Tactical Link EBAL (does the same thing as the Magpul BAL) and it acts as a fence to prevent it from being dropped in the same manner.

    -Vu

  4. The fence designed around the magazine release button was to prevent soldiers and Marines from accidently bumping the mag release and dropping the magazine during combat. This extended mag release just resurfaces that problem. I can’t see any good use in combat but for zombie hunting it should fit in just nicely.

  5. I don’t like any of these things that change the full controls of the AR15. If I, for whatever reason, need to pick up an AR15 that isn’t mine I would much rather be proficient in the controls found on 90% of the rifles than something different and end up fumbling because I practiced with things that normally dont come on AR15s.

  6. I don’t understand the purpose of this. Dropping the mag is probably the single most ergonomic part of the AR platform as is: when I stretch out my index finger, its tip ends up precisely on the mag release button, at just the right angle to push it convincingly. At the same time, it’s far enough that I won’t accidentally push it while fumbling around. What problem are they trying to solve?

  7. I have several of these and plan to put one on all the AR’s that I have. As a lefty, I like it because I can release the mag with my left hand. I believe that as long as you get out and practice with your gun, the significance of this variation will not detract from the operation. 4X larger….10X cooler!

  8. I was skeptical that I would be dropping mags left and right after installing one of these. I’d like to report that I’ve spent many hours in the brush, even running combat drills involving some very complicated maneuvering. I didn’t even think about consciously not hitting but the button. After two weekends of hard training, I didn’t manage to accidentally drop a single mag. It’s not like you feather the button and your mag drops, it still takes DELIBERATE pressure to activate. I strapped my SBR to a single point sling and bounced the mag-button side of it across my chest repeatedly and I didn’t drop a mag. I see how it’s possible, just very, very unlikely. 3-Gunners will eat this thing up. I shoot 3 gun as well and need every edge I can get. Mag changes do seem much easier using this button. I highly recommend it. Bravo Odin Works. If you’re sitting on the fence on one of these after listening to these bozos who are downing it before even trying it, then you’re missing out on a great accessory for your AR. Plus, it looks neat.

  9. What a mess of slop! It’s simple, don’t like it, don’t buy it…but if you have not used it, your OPINION, probably much like your ass and heart, is unsubstantiated. I’ve been in battles, IN WAR, and anything that allows additional speed IS HELPFUL.Not everyone has unlimited lives on Video game mode, some DO really do more than arm chair qb. And some DO PROVING something inadequate…FOR THEM, by buying, using and moving on. Yep pistons were a PRO LET when I built my first 7 years ago…A fad, like rap music, rock n roll, semi auto pistols BAD BLAH BLAH there also. Just like douche folks talking about AR TOYS etc. Give insightful feedback or jump on the denial train with those who didn’t want computers, cell phones, park assist etc. You didn’t fund it, and being comfortable and never trying would have minimized HALO/LALO, Air Superiority and all else visionaries proved valuable! And bitter, faithless words get lapped like slow bison leaving the gator filled water hole. Don’t be bloated and full of yourself and only leak meaningful exhaust AT THE END OF YOUR CYCLE! BE something more than a bay saying troll and disprove, prove or rely on Facebook to minimize your obscurity while others know the truth. Do you and be a dreamer, at least you try SOME THING and then speak educationally!

  10. Don’t understand why people get so spun up about this. It’s useful for people with really small hands. I know it may seem shocking, but particularly women with tiny hands have trouble reaching the magazine release.

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