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M4 shell capacity 6 or 7


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Stockplayer, you're not doing anything wrong by leaving that 'non functional' clip in place. It serves the very nice function of controlling the mag spring during dis/assembly. I leave mine in place and can get 7+1+1 without problems.


One thing you may want to check is that for any 2-3/4" shell, there may be around 1/16" variance in length depending on brand or type of shell. After 6 rounds, that slight over length adds up to 3/8" which may prevent a seventh shell from fully entering the tube. Switching to another brand or type such as from slugs to buck may allow you to get that 7th round in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The stock weapon without using the chamber or feed ramp is designed for 6- 3inch, or 7- 2 3/4inch shells with the 2 shell extension. With the extension correctly installed without removing any parts, the last shell will load as easy as the first.

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  • 13 years later...

I recently got an m4/mag upgrade and dealt with the 6 rounds problem. I could only fit 7 with target loads, 6 with everything else. 

I'm spamming the top googled threads with this reply because got sick of being told it's about shell length and unfixable, or I have to cut my spring to fix it. I could never find a thread that just gave me a clear answer about an easy spring swap or anything else that worked. I'm blown away by how hard it was to find a clear answer on this simple topic.

The fix? I replaced the factory spring with a wolff m4 spring from freedom fighter tactical and it went from being a half inch away from holding 7, to holding 7 of anything 2 3/4" long. It's tight, but mine holds 7 of everything now. This isn't meant to be an ad for wolff, as there may be others out there that would fix the problem, but it worked for me and should for you.

Non-target-load 2 3/4in shells are longer and that's a fact, but assuming your m4 parts are the same dimensions as mine which they should be, your M4 WILL hold 7+2 if you get the spring replaced.

I hope I can bring a few people's blood pressure down if you are dealing with the same problem and as frustrated as me with the threads full of non answers out there.

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I've never been able to figure out why mine sometimes will take 6 and other times will fit 7.  My guess was that the mag tube spring was sometimes binding differently inside based on if I put the spring in correctly or not..... or maybe the follower and spring weren't perfectly in line or something.  If you think about how long the spring is and how much it has to compress to accept 7 shells....it's incredible that it even works....I can't help but to feel like it could be getting deformed inside but when I remove it, no evidence of any issues.

Solving the problem with an aftermarket spring bothers me but I guess in this case precision specs aren't crucial.  Being able to use different length shells means there's a lot of wiggle room..

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On 3/2/2006 at 3:32 PM, M1014 said:

,, thats what your doing wrong,,, not removing that non functional clip,,it won"t hurt a thing ,, tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif

Sorry, at the risk of asking a ridiculous question: Is this legit?

Edited by RPC
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On 12/14/2019 at 10:49 AM, deek57 said:

I don’t like it either, but I’ll take a 100% unseen part vs a hit to function any day. 
Unlike you, mine wasn’t even close to fitting 7 unless it was target loads.

In this particular case, I don't think there's anything to not like because the spring absorbs any potential length precision issues.  And I can't imagine there is much else that could go wrong within that system....I'd be curious to know the weights of everyone's springs...that could tell us at least if some of ours came with different sizes from the factory.  Have you seen anyone who has taken a spring weight poll?  We should be able to figure it out pretty quickly by asking everyone to post the weight of their stock spring and length of shell.

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