A modern guide to guns and hunting

The Bullet Button Magazine Release

Injecting some sanity into California’s gun laws

This article is probably of interest only to residents of California. For the unfamiliar: California is blessed to have a state government that rivals its federal counterpart for bureaucracy, inane legislation and intrusive and unnecessary regulation. And in no walk of life is this more evident than in firearm law, where CA decided that the federal rules on “assault weapons” were insufficient for the Golden State.

In order to understand the value of the Bullet Button, one needs to know a bit about California law. It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into the details of assault weapon legality, so as briefly as I can put it, in 1994 the federal government passed a law known as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). This law codified the definition of an assault weapon, and made them illegal to purchase. There was a ten-year sunset provision on this law, so it lapsed in 2004, and assault weapons were then legal again. Except in California, where in 1999 SB 23 defined (and outlawed) certain firearm configurations. In simplest terms, if the gun’s magazine is detachable, it may not legally have certain other “features” common to AR-15s, such as a folding stock or pistol grip.

Now, here’s the good news: a commonly-accepted definition of a “detachable” magazine is one that can be removed without a tool. And…a tool can be almost anything, even a cartridge for the gun. Enter the Bullet Button from Prince Industries (no web site), a clever invention that honors the law while preserving most of the convenience of a detachable magazine.

The Bullet Button is just a few small parts that alter the behavior of the magazine release. Parts 1, 2 and 3 in the photo make up the Bullet Button. Part 3 fits inside part 2. Part 4 is the magazine release that comes with an AR-15 parts kit. Parts 5 and 6 are the standard magazine release spring and button; these can be discarded after installation of the Bullet Button.

Here’s a close-up of the Bullet Button installed. The area colored in red is the inner button (part 3 above). The picture doesn’t depict it well, but the inner button is actually recessed into the outer button (part 2 above). Using a bullet or some other pointy tool to depress this inner button is what releases the magazine. The outer “button” is actually solid and will not depress as it does in a conventional AR-15.

The Bullet Button is an intelligent, clever approach to helping fix an unreasonable situation. As of this writing, the CA DOJ has not taken an official position on this product, nor do I expect them to anytime soon. But, the Bullet Button has passed the scrutiny of several gun law scholars, and seems to be a defensible implementation. And, it makes life a lot easier for California’s law-abiding gun owners.

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    California politicians live in secured neighborhoods! They look past the militarized police forces costing taxpayers to run in LA etc. It would save billions in police budgets to allow a right to conceal by cutting down on the local militaries they created.

  • Poi

    I work for local law enforcement as a professional staff member (no badge or gun) and I would love to have a concealed carry permit but the local law only gives out said permits to those that can prove they are in danger. Its kind of like closing the barn door after the horse gets out thinking around here. If Californina was like Florida and issued carry permits there would be less crime done to the population, Florida did find that the criminals now go after visitors from out of state rather then risk getting one between the eyes from a armed Florida resident.

  • Curtai

    I’m from Iowa and think California is ridiculous for making all that crap… but yeah its only my opinion and I’m glad Iowa is now shall issue besides the fact I’m over in Afghanistan right now…

  • greg m

    Here’s the problem. You have girlie-girls, like Feinstein and Boxer, making adult decisions.

    Let the police do what they need to do, like pounding rodney king down into the dirt like the imbecile that he is, and everything else will take care of itself.

    Political correctness, especially like that found in Cali, is dangerous.

  • Old Tired Retired Retared Cop

    Ok- get’s even better fellas.

    So, all ya’ need to do is buy a “mag-magnet”– about $10 each which attaches to the bullet button, and now you have an essentially regular drop mag- the piece is tiny, and is simply held in place to the bullet button by a magnet attached to a piece of plastic. No altering, nada. And even better, it’s not illegal because it does not constitute a change to the weapon- DOJ has come forward and stated they frankly, “Don’t know”….you gotta’ love the old 12020’s PC….most officers worth their weight in salt know the difference between a PAL (Parolee at Large) rolling through Fresno at 0345 with a stolen MAK-90 vs. Mike Q. Taxpayer who’s a sportsman and enjoys a weekend of plinking with his AR, his HK-91 or AK…====citizen, not criminal. PAL with stolen MA-90 @ 0345====criminal. its a no brainer.

  • Gun Smith

    I am frankly sick and tired of fearful ninnies telling me what I can and cannot do just because they don’t approve. The following message is for those politicians who fit the category mentioned previously: Don’t own a gun if you don’t want to, but leave us the hell alone, we are not hurting you and don’t intend to meddle in your life. It is not up to you to control everything and everyone around you. Try being responsible for your own actions, that is a full time job.

    Don’t go away mad, just go away.

  • Daniel Boone

    I applaud the comment left by Gun Smith.

    Politicians are drunk on Power-over women, young boys and money-
    they also like to exert power over people. How the 2nd amendment quenches their thirst-they become more powerful than those who drafted thet
    An armed citizenry is precisely what it means-nothing more but not less.

  • Brenton Adams

    I am replying to the comment left about the “MagMagnet” AKA Felony Button. DO NOT BUY OR USE THIS PRODUCT IF YOUR RIFLE HAS SB23 “EVIL FEATURES”.

    If you attach a device like this to your sb23 featured rifle, you might as well just take off the bullet button altogher (a felony in CA). Attaching something to your gun makes it part of your gun, thereby invalidating the need to use a “tool” to drop mags.

    This has been pointed out to the scam artists who make this product and they have acknowledged there trickery by printing a small warning that basically tells you not to use it in the manner advertised or use only if your rifle has no “evil features” pistol grips, flash hiders, folding stocks etc… Of course, if your rifle was featurless, you wouldnt need a bullet button anyway…

    The only use I could see for this product is if you took your rifle out of state and wanted to disable your bullet button without removing it.

    So once again MAG MAGNET = FELONY on a rifle with SB23 “evil features”.

    Old Retired Cop, I appreciate your service and your understanding of the difference between armed Citizen and armed scumbag. But I will tell you right now that todays average CA LEO will NOT look the other way on felony assault weapon charges. Shooters run the risk of having there LEGAL guns confiscated by cops who don’t/can’t understand the law on a daily basis. Lets not make the states mission to turn all gun owners into accidental felons any easier.

    Many people have spent many years battling the state’s DOJ on this issue, and scammers like the mag magnet guys are just looking to make a few bucks off the confusing situation created by progressive facist law makers

    The laws of this once great state are as corrupt and stupid as they are confusing and useless.

    To get better info, go to and check out the California “assault weapon” flowcharts and avoid felony buttons aka ” the mag magnet”…

  • Sheepdog

    I have read here numerous times complaining about CA law makers, well the fact is they all stink to high heaven they rival the corrupt senators of Rome if not worse. There is one large fact that keeps being overlooked, these tards were placed in office by those CA people. Maybe not those here in the chat but the droves of neighbors that are around us all.

    We need to fix the minds of these people first if you want to live by rational laws in the state.

    Funny thing about those girlie-girls spoken of, one of them has a CCW and both have bodyguards that travel with them. They have both spent thousands securing their lives and families lives on the CA dime.

    My motto I tell every liberal pansy when faced about guns and safety, is ” don’t talk to me about it until you or one of your family or loved ones gets , robbed, raped, assaulted etc. then we will talk about the proper ways of self protection until then…” They always shut up as expected.

    I have been in LE for 17 years and every ofcer I know understands the speed of which our lives can change by criminals that can take advantage of prey in CA.

  • Dan

    Wow. I’m from Canada and our laws are better than that. All I can say is MOVE! It never ceases to amaze me. The stupid ideas these politicians come up with. I mean, how do they do it? How do they turn off their brains? If I could do that I would sure sleep better

  • Patrick

    The CA laws are ridiculous. Hell, even if the slim chance of an actual “criminal” actually buying his gun from a shop, registering it in his name, then going out on a shooting, robbing spree, and such things with a bullet button; if you have half a brain, you can still take out a damned bullet button in a few minutes. Most the time these bastards are getting their weapons via street and that lovely border we share with the cartels of Mexico. They don’t want the damn thing in their name! I don’t see how a state that loves the freedoms such as Marijuana could be so damn hatred against firearms! Guns are at least in our Constitution. I loooooove guns (emphasis on that) and a I loooooove some good weed (emphasis on both those 😀 ). When will we ever have true balance within our Nation?! Seems like everyone on this rock is losing their shit. People should be able to do and own what they please as long as it is rational and has some “Regulation” to it. Regulation, not complete control over something they can’t even put up half ass endeavor to keep things under wraps. Glad I am in Kansas, where I can pretty much own and fire arm and accessories I please without being in fear of preposterous charges. Well except for the whole pot thing but It’s pretty easy to stay on the hush with that. Well, unless you’re and idiot or have some real bad luck. Get this ladies and gentlemen. I’m a more of a Democrat (Not lefty-left liberal!) than a Republican (Not a super red man either). In a box though, a Bird can’t fly with only a left wing, as well a right. They need both to maintain balance and flight. But these days seem like everyone is a kite without a string, no place in the world, thoughtlessly drifting till it may crash.

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  • ARShooterCA

    I saw this new magazine release tool for an AR15 being sold on Amazon called a ThumBee. Anyone have any comments about it?

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