Petzal: Why I Hate Detachable Magazines

In the course of this blog I've said many unkind things about detachable magazines and I meant every word I said. It has dismayed me to see detachable magazine on some very fine and high-priced rifles whose makers should know better, but it seems that the industry trend is toward them. So I was elated to see, on p. 251 of Craig Boddington's brand new book Safari Rifles II, the following:

"Personally, I've never understood what place a detachable magazine has on a hunting rifle. They are one of my pet peeves, just something else to look after and possibly lose."

Say amen. There's only one rational reason to design a rifle with a detachable magazine, and that is for military use, where you have to stuff as many rounds in the gun as quickly as you can.

Here is why I dislike detachable magazines.

Very often, either because they are defective in design or manufacture, or because you didn't shove them in all the way, they fall to the ground where they break, are lost, or become so loaded up with dirt or snow that you now have a single-shot.

They add to the weight of a gun.

You can lose them.

A stock with a cutout for a detachable magazine is less rigid than a stock with a blind magazine.

Hinged floorplates pop open accidentally, but all you lose are your cartridges.

I've heard it said that detachable magazines "…make it easier to load and unload your rifle." True, but how hard is it to cycle three cartridges through the action or drop a floorplate? If you have trouble performing either of these tasks, perhaps you should not be using a rifle in the first place.

Anything that's not essential and which opens the door to malfunctions is something that I can do without quite nicely.