Friday, 13 March 2015

G36C M4 Magazine Well Conversion

As mentioned in an earlier post, I recently got some magazines to go along with the M4 magwell conversion for the JG G36C (G608). In this post I'll go over the installation and some quick testing.

The idea behind the conversion kit is to enable the G36 series rifles to use M16/M4 magazines instead of the proprietary H&K ones. The magazines' smaller bulk, higher availability and proliferation are the reasons I opted for the conversion. Of course it also changes the look of the gun somewhat.

Several companies make these airsoft conversion kits. Mine is by BattleAxe, and I chose it because of the many praises I read about it.

The kit is a simple, one piece item that's intended to replace the original magwell of the G36. I hear the latest generation JG G36s have a different hop-up mechanism compared to the old ones and thus require a different kit or some modifications to install and/or feed properly. If you're getting one, make sure to compare it to the original magwell before purchase.

Installing the kit itself is a very simple process, but mine did require some extra work.


To start off, you need to remove the old magwell. Start by pulling out the pin next to the trigger guard.

After removing the pin, push the magazine release lever as if you were removing a magazine and simultaneously pull the magwell downwards from the end closest to the trigger. It will tilt downward, out of the gun, and you can then remove it.

In a perfect world, you would simply reverse this process to install the conversion kit. This is not one, sadly. Some adjustment work was required first. To begin with, the reverse side pinhole on the kit was noticeably smaller than the pin, so I had to widen the hole a bit.

I started off with a rotary tool and finished with a small round hand file, testing the fit until the hole was just large enough. I didn't want to make it too large or the magwell might wobble when installed.

A couple of spots also required some extra work as there were some burrs left over from moulding. This was especially true regarding the tube that mates with the magazine.

I wanted to make the edge as clean as possible in order to avoid any problems with feeding and to eliminate the risk of material breaking off and entering the gun (Paranoid? Possibly. At least it doesn't hurt too much). I used a file and a crafting knife here. The plastic is apparently fibre reinforced, judging by the scraping sound it made when cut. That should add some longevity.

Once the pinhole and the feed tube were filed and wiped down to remove any residue, it was time to install the kit. To do so, you simply place the notches on the front of the kit in the tabs on the receiver, just like the original magwell, and snap into place. The kit was ever so slightly wider than the receiver, so it did not slide in without a little bit of force. The upside is that it will sit in place very snugly.

Once the kit is in, replace the pin, making sure to mate the small ridges on the pinhead with the grooves in the pinhole.

As can be seen here, under intense light the conversion is of a different colour to the receiver, but under normal lighting conditions the difference is usually not even noticeable.

That is the installation, finished. The original magazine release lever becomes non-functional, and you can only use the button on the left-hand side. Not ideal for lefty shooters, but still workable (I guess, from my own awkward attempts. I had no real lefties in store).

Since this conversion requires no modification of the gun, it is completely reversible. Even in field conditions it can be done literally in seconds. If you have the original and the conversion with you, you can alternate between them depending on which magazines you want to use, whenever necessary.


As I was shopping around for magazines to use with the conversion, I became rather overwhelmed with the multitudes of choices available. I've never owned an AR, so this was all new to me. You have your standard ones modelled after the real steel 30 round magazines, the short types that mimic the 20 round variant, and both are available in plastic as well as metal. Then you also have both short and long ones in the PMAG configuration, for example. And would sir like his magazines in black or perhaps tan? The choices obviously don't end anywhere near here.

The magazines I ordered were made by King Arms. I had heard that MAG magazines feed nicely with the conversion but alas, all other choices despite their existence, were out of stock at the time.

I have previous experience with KA mags on my AUG, and I'm not totally happy with them. They needed some work to make them feed better, but I hope the M4 magazines are good to go as is.

The magazines in the store were sold without any kind of packaging, and thus each came with its own price tag.

Who doesn't love pulling stickers off stuff? Me.

As always, no matter how carefully I tried to peel them off, the price tags left behind a sticky residue that will ruin any perfectionist's day.


On the upside, here's a chance for me to share a cool trick I picked up from my SO. To get rid of the glue, you don't need strong chemicals or abrasives, nor would you want to use either here anyway. What you do need is some oil. Simply rub some of it, preferably plant based, on the glue with a paper towel or a rag.

Some olive oil (extra virgin freshly stolen from the kitchen in my case) rubbed on the glue residue

Wait for a bit and proceed to rub the residue gently with said paper or rag. In a process I can only imagine is fuelled by magic, the oil dissolves the glue, letting you simply wipe it away.


The last step, in case you don't enjoy oily magazines, is to wipe them down using some soap water, and presto!

Better than new, literally.

Now that my mags were all good looking, shiny, and lightly lemon scented, it was time to move on to some quick shooting testing.


I loaded up two magazines and shot one in single shots and the other in short(ish) full auto bursts. During those 240 or so BBs, I got no feed problems whatsoever. At least this short initial test would seem to indicate that the King Arms magazines work nicely with the conversion kit as well. They also fit the new magwell very nicely, so there's very little wobble in any direction. The inside of the magwell has some ridges that hold the magazine in place, and I found that the easiest way to insert a mag is a sort of "reverse AK" method, where you slide the rear edge of the mag first and then twist it forward. Regardless of how you put them in, the magazines will stay firmly in place once they lock. When you want to release them, they slide out effortlessly, so at least in that regard there is nothing to complain about. Mag flipping optional.

As a final note, the conversion kit has an s-shaped bend inside it to facilitate the different placement of the feed chutes between the two magazine types. On the G36 magazines the chute sits about a centimetre further back from the front edge of the magazine, so the M4 mags would not meet up with the hop-up without the bend. This will leave you with some extra BBs that fall out when changing mags, but that is a rather small price to pay for the convenience. 

That's all for now. If I run into problems with the conversion in the field, you will be sure to hear about it here. Until next time!

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