AR-15 FirearmLock – Keyed Magazine Well Safety Device

Also seen at SHOT 2014 was the new AR15 Magazine Lock by Franzen International. Many of you are familiar with Franzen, as the company has been manufacturing firearms safety locks for years.

The Magazine Lock is inserted into the magazine well of your favorite AR-style rifle. The relatively unobtrusive red plastic block renders the weapon safe and impossible to use until removed, locking the two receivers together. Compared to trigger locks, the Magazine Lock does not allow anyone to insert a magazine or chamber a round, which an improperly set up trigger lock could fire.

When not in use, the keys to the Magazine Lock cannot be removed unless the unit is in the locked position.

AR 15 Magazin lock..

Franzen lists the following features as part of the Magazine Lock system:

  • Locks upper & lower receiver together
  • Protection against burglary
  • Protection against unauthorized use
  • Visual check for empty chamber
  • Gasket to prevent dust and ensure cleanliness
  • Improved transportation safety

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • bookwurm99

    how is it supposed to protect against burglary? you can still pick up the gun and run off with it.

    • Great question…

      • jamezb

        At least if it is stolen, it’s a little less likely to be involved in a shooting, dumped, and traced back to you, making you a suspect I suppose if they added a loop to the bottom you could chain it down. I think it’s mainly going to be good for keeping the kiddies from messing with it while you are away.

        • noob

          true. if it is stolen and the person who stole it has access to a simple drill, they can drill out the lock at their leisure.

          Your kids? well, they should know that you lock up your power tools, too right?

        • JT

          unless it has security pins, anyone but someone with locksmith training can open it with a hair pin and a screwdriver. Most of these locks you can just randombly move a piece of metal up and down to get it to open, which basically makes it unsecure from more intelligent kids (trying everything to open it) as well as burglers. If you can youtube it, it ain’t that secure

          • JT

            I should add, randomly moving a piece of metal while turning. Pretty much all gun locks suffer the same vulnerabilities, but people put more value on the thickness of the shackle than the security of the cylinder.

        • jamezb

          In your rush to tell me how wrong I was, you missed the words
          I think everyone here knows locks can be defeated,
          …but I bet you still lock your house and your car, do you not?

          The point is, Youtube video or not, it’s not as fast or as easy as it looks, or locks would no longer be in common use all around you.
          Go try picking or drilling a lock
          – WITHOUT getting actual lockpicks and lots of practice,.or a $20 tempered steel-drill bit- and a high torque drill.
          Sure it can be done…eventually…but it’s not fast or easy.

          The nature of Youtube video often neglects to show how many tries it took to master the technique demonstrated,.It neglects to mention details like how a cheapo drill bit in your average cordless screwdriver drill won’t drill steel worth a rats ass, or how even the best lock picks require a good deal of finesse to use effectively.

          Youtube also shows little Johnny how to make a shotgun out of pipe, probably a heck of a lot quicker, too…, but that isn’t the point, is it?

          You were telling me locks are useless, and I was saying,
          “..but I bet you still lock your house and your car, do you not? ”

          Oh, YOUR locks are special. YOU have an ALARM.
          Well, I tell ya. My neighbor is a locksmith, he can defeat your special lock and alarm. …Might as well get rid of it now, huh?
          **Someone on the internet said it could be opened!**

          –Good grief, if you don’t want one of these things, don’t buy one. No one is proposing to force you to use it.

          • JT

            Lol. It does take practice…to do quickly and repeatably, but hairpins work on anything short of security pins. Master locks and gun locks are hilariously bad. Like one or two correctly timed seesaw motions and it’s open bad. Most even open with paperclips! Not exactly intuitive, but easy enough to do if you watch a youtube video and screw with it for an hour. I learned just by messing around until something worked. Now I can go to the padlock section of any hardware store and pick anything there (that I’ve bought first). I don’t profess to be high level. I still can’t do security pins and that’s a higher level of proficiency than is needed in this case IMO. Kids have time and they are curious as heck, so these lock companies have to up their game

      • sianmink

        If the lock can be raked, bumped or forced, it’s worthless.

        • JT

          Unfortunately most I’ve come across are like this. I’m a bit of an odd one as this sort of thing is exciting when most I talk to view locks as some sort of magic voodoo. All gun locks in my experience, including the ones ruger ships with its guns, have heavy springs, but they use standard pins that fall in place for very little effort. If only I could remember the brand that gave me issues. It was the only one though.

  • PatrickPM

    I like it! I’ll take one!

  • Tenacious221

    Well I guess you can at least still put the bayonet on to defend yourself.

    You’re not gonna be getting this unlocked when the criminal is already through your window.

    • Tyrone Alfonso

      yeah, because thats exactly what its designed for.

  • Tyrone Alfonso

    I think its a great idea. I don’t see how it protects against burglary either but it does prevent unauthorized use. Perfect if you have kids that are a little too curious or even dare I say it, have a child or other relative with poor mental stability that should not have access to firearms.

    • FourString

      Amen on the relative comment, not enough people think about that, thanks for mentioning it

  • Julio

    I wish the manufacturers of these things, which have their place when it comes to preventing unauthorised use, would stop using keys and switch to combination locks. I’m always misplacing my keys, and have also more than once gone to the range or my hunting ground only to find I’ve left a security device in place and the keys at home, resulting in a wasted trip and much frustration. The result is that I have a sizeable box full of keyed gun locks that haven’t been used for years – this would no doubt join them.

    • True, but for those of us with bad number memories, attaching gun lock keys to truck keys makes remembering them easy. I would prefer that they actually have both. Combination for daily use and a key for “emergency/forgot number” use.

      • clinton notestine

        seems like they could have and either/or type lock… if you enter the right combo or have the key. But that might be a large lock.

      • FourString

        Yeah, I attach my padlock key to my apartment keys. Easy peasy

    • BryanS

      Keys are a better level of security from tampering than those drum style combo locks. Look up Defcon lock picking for lots of great info on how many locks work.

    • Blake

      just as an aside, it’s ridiculously easy to bounce into most cheap electronic safes:

    • rockstarartist

      I am with you on this Julio. I hate having to deal with keys. Keys can be permanently lost, as were my keys recently when my wife drove off with them on top of her car. The combination numbers can be written into an email, a piece of paper, an encrypted file on your computer. With electronic devices you worry about battery life. Maybe if someone can use Aimpoints energy efficient technology so that an electronic lock with a double-A battery will last 8 years without battery change.

      • engjin

        If you use locks you also own a bolt cutter for the reasons you mentioned 😉

    • engjin

      This, a thousand times

  • OEFVet06

    Why would someone want to buy this rather than a gun safe or security cabinet? A Stack-on security cabinet is as low as $100 for a small one and is secure enough to keep kids from accessing firearms and prevent theft in a smash and grab burglary. It cannot stop a planned burglary where the thieves have tools to pry open the cabinet however. Regardless, I don’t see a need for a gun lock. A gun safe or security cabinet is more effective. Even if you live in a rental home or apartment, a security cabinet is more effective than a gun lock.

    • noob

      are there states that mandate gun locks on guns inside safes?

      edit: states and/or jurisdictions

      • David Sharpe

        Countries too, in Canada my handguns have to have a lock (Trigger or cable) and BE locked (Gun safe)

    • FourString

      well there you have it. if someone steals the rifle, the lock prevents them from using it on you while you enter your house or car. that i think is good enough reason to differentiate it from a heavy, stationary locker.

    • engjin

      For regular storage yes. Uncommon objects are curiosity magnets to kids. When preparing for a range trip the guns come out of the safe into their bags with locks, easier than removing bolts because you don’t have to keep track of parts. At the range I’ve seen people touch without permission as well. Back at home the locks come off and the guns go back into the safe. To each their own but I feel much more comfortable when any firearm that I own is made inoperable or locked away if it’s not on my hip

  • the_duck
    • noob

      very similar, but it doesn’t have a gasket to ensure cleanness 🙂

      I guess it’s a product evolution.

      It would be interesting to see the patent office filings for the two if there are internal differences that make one better than the other.

  • JT

    When are gunlocks going to come with at least some form of security pins? like cylinder or mushroom pins? It is kind of scary that people put some much faith in something that can be opened by anyone fooling around. At least you would force them to use a professional pick kit. Your average kid won’t have access to something like that

  • gunslinger

    so the bolt has to be locked back for this to work? if it was released, how much damage would it cause?

    and i thought you weren’t supposed to put locks and stuff down the barrel? this is the same thing as the “loop locks” you get with some shotguns or pistols. just loop through the ejection port and magwell. ok i gues you could still split the receivers. and then cut the loop.

  • 3l3vated

    I’m really surprised of how resistant and closed minded some of you are. This could ideally be used for traveling possible if you gun case was misplaced since TSA locks are so secure. Also most of us have more than one gun so what’s the harm in locking up your other’s. Obviously if you use your AR as your primary defense then don’t lock it.

    • 3l3vated

      Also you could use this for training

    • Formynder

      You’re not supposed to use TSA locks for firearms while flying, it’s supposed to be locks that only you can unlock.

  • flyfishr

    I bought something like this in the late 90s when I bought my first bushmaster and didn’t have a safe. The only difference was that if you pivoted the upper open a steel pin extended and you couldn’t close the gun.
    Whats old is now new?

  • Blake

    They really should have included a socket for a cable lock (or at least a hole) so that you could use something like a Krytponite Hardwire to secure it to something.

  • Beju

    I think this might not be a bad idea for trips to the range. It would give me piece of mind that if I catch somebody breaking into my car while I’m on a lunch or bathroom break, I don’t need to worry about trying to stop somebody who has immediate access to my AR and ammunition while I’m armed only with my handgun.

  • invisible empire

    Why lock up an AR- they usually FTF anyway

  • invisible empire

    “Nathan S. works in the Defense industry getting weapons from the CIA into the hands of Al Qaeda to try to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria”- fixed it for him

    • It’s comments like this that have no place here. You have no idea who Nathan is, what he does or sells to anyone. But way to pass judgement.

    • Absolutely a true concern for the industry. We all are held to export laws and regulations and required to check that each customer is not export-restricted prior to shipping any order.

      The real challenge we all have is re-export (i.e. someone lying to us, still passing the government checks, and then reselling to a Denied Party). Sounds similar to the issues in the firearms industry, eh?

      In case anyone is curious, I work to place non-lethal communications equipment that is meant to save lives. In my case, I would HOPE a few of my products make their way to Syria (which is denied export).

      If you have any further interest in the technology I work with, please contact me directly:

  • MrApple

    Neat idea.

  • snake

    Lol! Gear-queer/metro-tactical.