I've seen articles stating occasional difficulty in engaging the Mini-14 magazine. It's happened to me, too. What I found helpful, (as a right hand shooter), is to hold the rifle with my right hand, the rifle butt against my right hip, and the mag in my left hand. Rock the mag into the mag well as normal, and with my right hand index finger, push the mag release forward, (as if you were releasing the magazine). This forward motion on the mag release greatly helps the mag slide easily into the mag well. Practice, and make sure you're finger isn't in the trigger guard by accident. Hope this helps.