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One of the characteristics we were looking for was portability, so in this case a five-round magazine would have been more in line with our desires. Yet the lure of high capacity definitely has its appeal. No matter how short the magazine, the release was simply too easy to activate. The lever was larger than it needed to be, and it appeared in a vulnerable position. In addition, the detent provided by the operating spring was weak. At the bench (never mind walking through the woods), all we had to do is push the rifle forward on the sandbag and the lever would drop the magazine on contact. No matter what your opinion is on detachable box magazines (such as they get in the way, they can hold more ammo, the riflecan be reloaded faster, or they're just too easy to lose), the Howa's magazine release needed to be more secure.

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