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Magpul Ranger and L Floor Plates
Written by uscmCorps   

The Magpul Ranger and L Floor Plates are floorplate replacements for M16/M4 magazines that incorporates an integral loop, and floorplate lock. When installed on the base of a magazine, the Magpul Ranger provides unsurpassed speed and controllability during high stress, tactical magazine changes.

Both the loop of the Ranger Magpul and the Bumper Pad of the L Magpul are made of pliable Santoprene overmolded onto a stainless steel plate. The Airsoft Ranger Magpul is also made out of the exact same materials and to the same specs.

( ^ Somewhat lifted from the Magpul website ^ )

I'm personally a really big fan of Magpul Ranger Floor Plates. Way back before I started using them on all my mags, I had a lot of questions of my own. Questions like, would Real Steel Ranger Magpuls work on airsoft mags? How do the RS Ranger Magpuls differ from the Airsoft version that Magpul produces? How are either version installed? Which should I buy, and why? Good questions and not a lot of answers out there. So here's some answers from me as good as I can give 'em to you. ;)

*** (BTW, click any pick to see it at full size). ***

Installation is slightly different between the Real Steel Ranger/L FloorPlates and the Airsoft Ranger FloorPlates.

What matters is how the airsoft magazine itself is assembled. At the bottom of the M16/M4 floor plate, near the rear of that floor plate, there is either a hole or a screw. That hole is present in RS mags to allow dirt and water to drain out the bottom. On Airsoft mags, that hole is present as well, however, with some mid-cap mags like G&P's mid-caps and pretty much all hi-caps (regardless of brand) that hole has a screw in it

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That screw is necessary as it holds the magazine's plastic innards within the metal outer shell. Magazines that do not use this approach, such as Tokyo Marui Standard Capacity mags, instead have tabs on the sides of the mag's plastic innards which lock into corresponding holes on the metal shell. Then there are some M16 mags out there that use both methods, plastic tabs and a screw at the bottom, to lock the magazine components together (e.g. Star mid-caps and most hi-caps).

Now why is all this important? Well, RS Ranger/L Magpuls and Airsoft Ranger Magpuls lock onto the bottom of the mag slightly differently. Before I go into specifics, it should be noted that RS Ranger and L Magpuls can be used on any mid and lo-cap magazine that uses the tabs method of locking the plastic innards in place, whereas, the Airsoft Ranger Magpuls should only be used on magazines that use the bottom screw method of locking the plastic innards in place.

Real Steel Magpul Ranger Floorplate Installation:
RS Magpuls have two parts, the loop (the part you grip) and the floorplate lock (the part that goes into the bottom of the mag that locks the loop in place). RS Magpuls work with standard-caps and mid-caps that do not use the screw method to lock the mag's plastic innards in place (i.e. it uses tabs), or with mags that that use both tabs and screws. This is because the RS Ranger Magpul doesn't allow for the screw method because the floorplate lock is blocking the screw hole so the plastic innards must be held inside the outer shell with the tabs. The approach to installing them on a Airsoft standard-cap mag is very similar to the method used when installing the RS plates onto a RS magazine.

Step 1: The first step for installing a RS Magpul Ranger Floor Plate, is to remove the floorplate from the magazine. This is done by bending the back of the existing floorplate open slightly so that it can be slid out of the bottom of the mag:

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Step 2: Once the floorplate has been removed, the plastic tabs on either side of the mag should be pressed in and the mag's plastic innards should be pulled out.

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Step 3: Now take the RS Ranger (or the "L" type) Magpul, place it onto the base of the mag, and slide it into the locked position as shown below:

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Step 4: The floorplate lock should then be slid into the mag (bullet engraving on it pointed forwards).

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It is to be pushed all the way in until the button with the bullet engraving sits in the similarly shaped small hole of the Ranger Magpul like so:

magpulinstallation13smadc5.jpg

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Step 5: In order for the magazine's plastic innards to be able to fit inside the metal outer shell with the Ranger plate and floor lock installed, about 2mm of the bottom of the plastic innards should be filed off:

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Personally, I have found the easiest way to do this is to file a bit off, try and see if the mag plastic components will lock in place, and if not file a little more and repeat till it works.

Step 6: The last step is to slid the plastic innards back into the metal outer shell, and make sure the tabs lock into their corresponding holes.

magpulinstallation15smaet1.jpg

RS "L" Type Magpuls, are installed in the exact same way as the RS Ranger Magpuls. I just find the L type magpuls less helpful when handling as they're missing the loop that the Rangers' have, however they're really there to buffer the impact when the mag is dropped to the ground.

Here's a good tutorial on how to install a RS Ranger Magpul onto a RS 30 round Mag. (Just in case you were curious)

Airsoft Magpul Ranger Floorplate Installation:
Airsoft Magpuls have basically one major part, the loop (the part that you grip), a replacement screw, and a small plug. They're made for Hi-caps, however, they will work with any mag that uses the bottom screw locking method, and that usually includes most Mid-caps (like G&P Mid-caps).

Step 1: To install the airsoft one, the bottom screw on the mag is first removed:

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Step 2: Which should allow the plastic innards to simply drop out of the metal outer shell with nothing to hold it in:

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Step 3: The floor plate is bent up and slid out:

magpulinstallation03smaub5.jpg

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Step 4: The Airsoft Ranger Magpul is slid on the bottom of the mag:

magpulinstallation10smawp1.jpg

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Step 5: Slide the plastic innards back into the metal outer shell:

magpulinstallation15smaet1.jpg

Step 6: Take the replacement long screw that came with the Magpul (which you will notice is longer than the mag's original screw) and screw it through the Magpul into the mag's plastic innards (locking the Magpul in place and securing the mag's parts together)

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(note: on S.Arms Mid-caps, I found using the mag's original screw worked best).

Step 7: and finally the small rubber plug is inserted into the Magpul where the screw went into covering/plugging up the screw hole.

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It's a very quick installation, much less invasive than the RS Magpul installation can be, and can be completed in about a minute or less.

Is it reversible?:
The installation of the Ranger Mapul is a reversible process, just hold onto those original floorplates (and screws if there are any), and reverse the outlined steps.

Compatibility with Plastic mags?:
I have never tried installing either the RS or Airsoft Ranger Magpuls onto the all plastic magazines that are currently available on the market (like MAG or Star plastic mags). Plastic mags typically do not have a removable floorplate and therefore are not good candidates for either type of Ranger Magpul. I can imagine that it is possible if you used some epoxy or other adhesive, but I doubt it would be 100% secure, and to install it on a plastic mag just seems like a waste.

Why can Hi-Caps only use the Airsoft Ranger Magpul?:
The reason why the Airsoft version of the Magpul can only be used on Hi-cap mags is because the Airsoft Ranger Magpul has a slot in it for the Magazine's winding mechanism:

magpulinstallation18smave5.jpg

Color comparisons:
Color comparison between the RS Magpul (left) with the Airsoft Magpul (right):

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Color comparison on Multicam:

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Places to buy:
A cheap place to buy the RS Magpuls would be OPTactical.com. They sell the Ranger Magpuls in 3 packs, and the "L" Magpuls also in 3 packs.

Personally, I bought 2 sets of 5 Ranger Magpuls from this Ebay Seller for $66.50 shipped via USPS Priority Mail, which turned out to be the cheapest deal I've come across so far (although they didn't have any packaging, FYI).

As for the Airsoft Ranger Magpuls, pretty much all the major online airsoft retailers carry them in OD Green, Flat Dark Earth (i.e. Coyote Brown), and Black. The airsoft Ranger Magpuls are pretty close (if not the same) in color to their RS counterparts.

Packaging:
Unfortunately my RS Ranger FloorPlates didn't come in any packaging (most likely the Ebay Seller's doing), so I can't review that aspect of it, but I can attest to the Magpul Airsoft Ranger Floorplates having very nice and yet simple packaging:

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And look very cool when on the gun:

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Anyways, I hope this review/tutorial was helpful to you and answered any questions that you may have had regarding the Magpul Ranger Floorplate. If there are any other related questions, please feel free to shoot 'em my way. As always, +1s are very much appreciated ;)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2009 22:45