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Midcap maintenance
Knocking out the pin and pulling the front lip off allows sliding the internal assy out.
Opening the trap door to release the spring. Be careful, it has some tension!
This screw is shorter than the others.
The AK magazine disassembled. Note the two-piece spring.
As with the AK, knocking out a pin from the top of the MP5 mag allows removal of the internal assy.
The trap door of the MP5 magazine is retained by this screw.
The MP5 magazine disassembled. Simplicity is bliss.
For the M16 mags, you need an allen key or a proper hex driver.
The top hinges open after the removal of one screw, allowing you to relax the spring before separating the halves.
The M16 magazine disassembled.
Rough burrs such as these are sure to hinder the operation of the magazine. Off they go!

THE BASICS

For most people, magazines are items that don't need maintenance. Usually they don't exhibit any problems, as they are only loaded with clean BBs from a loading tool. Especially single column "regular" magazines are reliable without tinkering. A double stacked "midcap" magazine is different however, because by nature there's more friction as the BBs are formed in two columns instead of one.

Opening magazines for maintenance is sometimes required to maintain especially midcap magazines, so it's good to learn. There is a trap door on most designs where the spring ends. Opening it allows you to release (and later insert) the spring before disassembling the halves. It makes the task much easier than working on regular single column magazines.

As usual with Airsoft stuff, silicone may help in some cases, but drowning the magazine will only make matters worse. Also, some oils may be too thick, or the surface of the BB may react negatively to it even if it's pure silicone. Because the rubbing surfaces are plastic, a lubricant is not always necessary. Some silicone may make the feeding smoother, but it also attracts dust. It is advisable to run a cleaning patch or Q-tip through the groove to make it as dry and clean as possible, and then assemble the magazine.

 

AK-47 150 round type:

To access the internal assembly, you need to knock out one pin. It holds the front lip of the magazine in place. After removing that part, you can slide the internals out of the exterior shell. The trap door is on the left side of the internal assembly. Note that one screw near the top of the magazine is shorter than the others, and the spring is in two parts connected by a plastic guide.

 

MP5 100 round type:

One pin in the top of the magazine holds the internals inside. After knocking it out, they will slide up and out. The trap door to release the spring is in the top rear of the magazine. Nothing special in this case.

 

M16 130 round type:

The internal assembly is retained by a screw in the bottom plate. Unscrewing it allows you to slide the internals out, and the floorplate slides off as well. Instead of a trap door like on the others, the M16 magazine top hinges open after removing one screw.

Once the internals are open, go through the BB channels with a Q-tip or paper, until it is dry and clean. Check for rough spots and carve/polish if necessary. Then add just one drop of silicone on the ramps, that lead to the exit hole of the BBs. Also clean the springs, and assemble. As a function check, load the magazine and retract the BB lock manually. The BBs should eject rapidly without any delay.

A FEW MORE WORDS

The exact capacity of the magazine may vary a little bit. For example the M16 magazine with a nominal capacity of 130 rounds was found to hold 128 rounds. There is no spring guide to prevent coil-binding the spring, so it's a good idea to leave some space in a midcap magazine, even if you could force a couple more BBs in. The compression of the spring is easy to follow on the Thermold style M16 mags thanks to the translucent plastic, and common sense can be applied to others.

The example magazines in this article were G&P. There are other models and brands available, and these principles will help you with them as well. None of the AEG midcap magazines we've seen are well suited for guns with a highly upgraded rate of fire, but in regular applications they work fine with the correct preparation and maintenance.