3D Printing a Magazine Sleeve

IMG_1290

As you’ll recall from my review of the BUL Impact, I loved the pistol, but bemoaned the lack of a way to get a nice flush fit with the full length BUL M5 9mm magazines. There was a product image showing a sleeve adapter, but I had never seen one in the wild.

Well, if you can’t buy it… you build it. Or in my case, you 3D print it.

IMG_1294

This is the BUL Impact with a full length BUL M5 magazine in it. Functional, but not terribly comfortable to grip. What I needed was that magazine sleeve I had seen in product shot.

BUL impact extended

Now, that looks more like what I wanted. But that sleeve was never, to the best of my knowledge, manufactured. It also looks pinned on via roll pin, which makes it a permanent mod. I like the concept that I could share magazines between my Impact and my M5, so permanent mods aren’t optimal.

I was fortunate enough to receive a 3D printer for Chanukah: a Maker Architect from Monoprice. It was $300, so this is a hardly top-end printer we’re talking about. I set it up, and started getting the hang of things.

Meanwhile, I contacted a family member who is good at that 3D modeling stuff, and got them to the house to take some measurements of the BUL Impact with an M5 magazine in it. If I couldn’t buy a mag sleeve, I’d print one!

IMG_1285

Eventually, they sent me back a model. I dutifully printed it in PLA, and was ecstatic to see it fit so closely to the magazine dimensions. The relief was on the bottom due to a modeling error, but easily fixed by my intrepid family member. Another version came down the pipe, and this one was perfect!

IMG_1286

Fit was really good, but the texture was a bit too smooth for my liking. I went on Amazon and bought some 3M TB641 gripping material/tape, and applied it to the sleeve with a bit of trimming.

IMG_1293

Now I had a nice setup. The sleeve is a bit too loose to stay on if you flip the magazine upside down, but that could easily be corrected using some double-sided tape on the inside of the sleeve. But otherwise, I, with a lot of help, had solved my biggest problem with the BUL Impact.

The other really nice thing about 3D printed parts is that they’re so easy to modify for other uses. The BUL M5 Ultra-X has much the same problem with full length mags as the Impact… so with a little bit of work to that relief cut in the sleeve, you get this:

IMG_1295

Not bad! We’re still tweaking it (the relief needs widening and deepening ever so slightly more), but it works as it is right now.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s