After years of service in the Indian army the 308 Ishapore rifle has made its debut as surplus rifle sales. The guns generally speaking are in good to fair condition and for the most part the barrels are in excellent condition. However because of years of drill practice the bolts are sometimes worn and the magazine holding release device has worn a good sized piece of the magazine holding notch away. The magazine holding lever is of hardened steel and so this constant insert and extraction of the magazine by years and years of recruits in training camps causes this notch to wear short and the mag falls lower and the gun will not pick up a bullet when it is functioned. People are buying and complaining about aftermarket magazines that do not function well. The feeder lips are soft and in time they bend and move and the gun jams. The steel is a cheap low carbon steel and is either not heat treated or the low carbon content will not allow the lips to harden if it is heat treated.
Perhaps the solution is to not replace the magazine, but to fix the old one. This Ishapore magazine was taken by me to a sheet metal shop. Sheet metal shops are used to welding thin metals and would be a first choice over a welding shop. I had him add 1/8 inch of weld which was way more than was need but necessary to make sure that I got a proper fit. The man was told that I just wanted the metal weld built up and out, and that I would handle the file works myself. The weld on the mag was first filed flat on top and then I began filing the edge where the locking lever connects with the magazine locking lip. After a few file strokes the magazine was then inserted and withdrawn a number of times. This was repeated until the locking lever caught (The mag holding lever will make a snap when the mag is filed to the right length. Do not get wild with the file. Good file work takes time! My magazine now probably has closer tolerances than when it was made. Cost of labor 5 minutes of work $12 but some shops could charge as much as $25 so get a price before you let them do the work. Some of the clips were painted Remove the paint where the weld must go before going to the welding shop or it could cost you extra labor. Remove the spring and follower so the weld will not soften the all important spring.Rifle 308 Indian A2 Ishapore
Finished product after about half the weld was removed here. Note the amount of metal that was left was really quite a lot. This weld can only be performed with a Tig welder. The clip now functions perfectly. It is said that a man who knows what he is doing with a Tig welder you can weld a razor blade to a boat anchor. To finish the clop burnish with steel wool and finish with a touch of Perma-Blue; or if you have a painted clip burnish with steel wool and clean with a solvent and touch up with black spray paint.
Theory—Given that so many people are stuck with the inferior aftermarket mag they had purchased or they may have bought a gun with newer magazine already installed by the former owner or replaced the original themselves and thrown the original away. The rear lips pretty much rest against the inside of the receiver. It is not likely there is any if much adjustment that can be made there. This leaves the front feeder lips. The front lips have nothing to rest against but is fairly close to the receiver. JB Weld is said to have been used on boilers. This would make it a high heat product and a gun can heat up pretty good. Normal epoxy is only stable un till it reaches 200 degrees and failure will follow soon after. Adjust the clip so it feeds well and then remove the mag and wipe the outside of the two feeder lips with a solvent to get rid of any oil and put on a touch of JB weld. Let it dry and slide the clip in and out sanding the JB Weld until it makes good contact with the front of the receiver. It might not be pretty but theoretically it should leave you with a very functional gun for years to come.