By Louis K. Bonham
Since its introduction two years ago, the Ruger Precision Rifle turned the market for long-range precision rifles on its ear. For a street price of about a grand — less than half of what comparable rifles were going for at the time — you could get an out-of-the-box sub-MOA tack-driver.
What was equally revolutionary was that the RPR was a user-friendly platform that could be customized and improved as easily as an AR. Indeed, easily available AR grips, stocks, safeties, and some other parts can be swapped out to customize your RPR to meet your needs.
As aftermarket manufacturers tend to do when a popular new gun hits the market, many responded with RPR-specific items like trigger packs, barrels, handguards, and other custom bling for tricking out your Precision Rifle.
One of those areas of opportunity: the RPR’s magazine release. While there is nothing wrong per se with the RPR’s stock tab-style mag release, it’s not as ergonomic or convenient as it could be. The first wave in this area was a number of 3D-printed plastic Thingverse creations, which demonstrated that improvements to the mag release were indeed very doable.
The latest addition to this field is the Catalyst Arms Mag Release Extension for the RPR. Rather than being molded from plastic, it’s machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, with all corners and edges nicely relieved and then hard-coat anodized. Installation is a snap — the stock mag release fits snugly into a machined slot in the back of the Catalyst Arms extension, and a small machine screw (with a drop of Loctite for good measure) holds it in place.
When installed, it’s the same width as the magwell, fully ambidextrous and very solid. The mag release extension definitely improves the ergonomics of the RPR, allowing you to drop a mag without changing your grip. And it’s much easier to use than the stock mag release if you’re wearing gloves.
Specifications: Catalyst Arms RPR Mag Release
Material: Machined 6061-T6 aluminum
Colors: Black, Red, Coyote
Rating: (out of five stars)
Overall: * * * *
Nicely thought out and implemented, and works as advertised. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like other aftermarket RPR options, Ruger doesn’t adopt a design similar to this on future models.