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The Magpul USGI Ranger Plate is a magazine puller, which replaces the floorplate on the real aluminum 5.56x45 USGI 30 round magazines for AR/M4 carbines and M16 assault rifles. That's right, it's made for real guns. When equipped on the magazine, the Ranger Plate provides unsurpassed speed and control during high stress, tactical magazine changes. These are direct substitute for the 550 paracord loop fastened to the bottom of the magazines by the military forces. From the looks of their design, it's easy to see that they provide more stable control of magazine changes than the original para-cord concept.
Although the Magpul USGI Ranger Plate is made for real gun magazines, we want to use them on our airsoft M4 magazine replicas. This article provide a run down of the Ranger Plate on various airsoft M4 magazines.
The Magpul USGI Ranger Plate comes in a package of three (see photo above). The manual for their installation is actually inside the cardboard backing. Based on U.S. law, the instruction for military firearms cannot be shown to foreigners. In the case of using the Magpul USGI Ranger Plate on airsoft magazines, installation instruction is not really necessary, because it's not a direct fit. You need to make some modifications and some jury-rigging to use these Ranger Plates on airsoft magazines.
The photo below shows the molding of the Magpul USGI Ranger Plate from all sides and the locking plates. The locking plates are for the aluminum USGI magazines, but are useless on airsoft magazines.
The Magpul USGI Ranger Plate is made of extremely tough rubber. The Ranger Plate can break the fall of plastic or metal magazine onto concrete floor in a speed change situation. Since you are going to attach the Magpul USGI Ranger Plates unto the bottom of M4 airsoft magazines, the magazines cannot be winding magazines. You can only use non-winding airsoft magazines with these Ranger Plates.
Overall, the Magpul USGI Ranger Plate is an excellent accessory, because it lets you perform fast standard reload. The process is: 1) pull a new magazine out of your vest with two fingers; 2) pull the old magazine out of your rifle with two other fingers; 3) load the new magazine into the gun; 4) tuck away the old magazine into your vest. You can do all that with the gun sight on the enemy.
In this section, we are going to explain the steps to installing these USGI Ranger Plates onto full metal M4 low-cap and mid-cap airsoft magazines. High capacity magazines will not work, because of the winding wheel. Most of the full metal non-winding M4 magazines has a screw on the base (see photo below). The instruction in this section are for this type of magazines.
With the correct airsoft magazine, unscrew the bottom screw with a 2mm hex wrench. You can use a precision Torx screwdriver if you don't have a hex driver. The T9 Torx bit fits perfectly in the hex screw. After unscrewing the hex screw, slide the bottom plate off the magazine. You need to use the base plate as template to drill a hole through the Magpul USGI Ranger Plates. Basically, you will replace the magazine base plates with the Ranger Plates.
After drilling the hole, use a screw driver to bend the metal tabs on the bottom of the metal magazine so that the Ranger Plate can slide into place easily. With the Ranger Plate in place, insert the screw through the rubber Ranger Plate and screw it into the inner magazine insert (see photo below).