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.
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
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.