1911 Magazine Question [Archive] - Glock Talk


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01-11-2013, 01:26
So I just bought a new S&W 1911 Pro Series #178052 Lew Horton design.
Gun looks awesome, fits my hand perfect & shoots even better than I anticipated because of the 3" barrel I figured for sure the recoil would be brutal.
I have read numerous times that people like to swap out the stock mags for either Tripp or Wilson mags....WHY??
Is this something that will help my feeding compared to the stock ones ?
Thanks for any advice. :supergrin:

01-11-2013, 02:29
I think, if the stock mags work, why replace them? I have owned/own Colt, Springfield Armory, and Sig 1911's. All have ran fine with the mags that came with each of them. I did buy McCormick's when I wanted a larger number of mags to use in USPSA. The main reason for that decision was mainly availability of the Chip McCormick's at the LGS.

01-11-2013, 08:58
Most gun manufacturers are quite a bit like auto manufacturers.
Auto companies will use the cheapest tire that complies with their
design specs. Pistol manufacturers will use the cheapest magazine
that will get the job done.

McCormick, Tripp, Wilson......all better than most factory supplies mags.

01-11-2013, 17:34
Thanks. So the three you named are all about the same or would one stand above the others?

Jason D
01-11-2013, 17:55
It's because some think the sun rises and sets with their magazine of choice.
I have a .50 caliber ammo can full of magazines. I have tried just about every magazine on the market for the 1911. I have personally found that some of the ultra expensive magazines are no better than cheaper Mec-Gar or Metal-Form magazines. I have also found that Wilson magazines are not the magazine to end all magazines.

The couple I have are actually the worst magazines I have ever purchased. Chip McCormick would come in a close second. That may change though if I ever get the chance to run through my unfired stock of them.

My advise is try the magazines that came with the gun. If the work for you buy more of them.

01-11-2013, 18:48
Shooting Stars work in MY kimber. For some it really is a try em all and see what YOUR gun likes.

01-11-2013, 22:02
The best Government Model magazines on the market are the Check Mate 7 round, dimpled follower, hybrid lip.
That magazine may not fit flush in your compact model so you can look for a comparable model. The dimpled follower and hybrid lips are the way to go.

01-12-2013, 02:29
To expound on Hunter's post, here is a picture comparing the three basic difference in feed lip design.


GI "Hardball" style with full tapered lips and late, gradual release.

Colt's redesigned "Hybrid" style, with partial taper and timed release.

"Wadcutter" type, with parallel feed lips and early, abrupt release.

The Hybrid design releases gradually and slightly later than the wadcutter design.

The 2nd photo shows the difference in the way the two effect the final release. Here, both cartridges are pushed forward until their rims are halted by the dimple on top of the follower. The hybrid magazine allows the rear of the cartridge to rise as the bullet nose glances upward on the feed ramp and angles toward the chamber.

The effect is twofold. It reduces the angle of entry and it lets the rim get under the extractor before being released from the magazine, helping to insure that the round remains under full control as is the intent of the "Controlled Feed" principle.



Magazine photos courtesy of C. Kaukl

Big Bird
01-12-2013, 07:44
Magazines are an expendable wear item. Even a Wilson. The 1911 design was built around hardball ammo. When we started using hollowpoint ammo with assorted profiles and OAL we had to modify the feeding characteristics of the leps on the magazines. There are several compromises to the original design and everyone has their own interpretation of what works best and why.

I really like WIlson mags and have nothing but good luck with them. Other people don't like them. Some people like broccoli some don't.

You can get Checkmate magazines for about $8 less than Wilson. McCormick mags are priced alongside Wilson. I don't consider $8 price differential in a half dozen mags a big deal when we are talking about shooting a $1,000 and more expensive handgun.

Buy what works and fits your budget. Most of the OEM mags suck. I use them for target shooting but do not depend on them if the pistol is used for self defense work.

01-12-2013, 08:12
When I owned Kimbers I always had problem with their mags, that's why I awitched:supergrin:

01-12-2013, 10:51
It's because some think the sun rises and sets with their magazine of choice.

My advise is try the magazines that came with the gun. If the work for you buy more of them.

well said

My A1s are all quite happy with modern Colt 'factory' mags made by whomever.

01-12-2013, 15:57
Its not the magazine that is good or bad, but how your gun functions with it. It does not matter what the mag costs or how it is designed or who made it--the mechanical relationship inside the gun determines it's worth.

Use what works.

01-12-2013, 15:59
I've used a bunch of different 1911 magazines over the years, and have seen an even wider variety used by other folks. (I remember having good luck getting the older Vega mags to run with the original CCI 200gr JHP's in my Commander.)

When it comes to a 1911 carried for dedicated defensive use, with hollowpoint ammunition, I tend to prefer the Metalform FBI-spec, Tripp research & ACT-MAG offerings. This doesn't mean I'm not alert to an occasional defect or QC issue, though.

I'll probably add some Powermags the next time I'm buying new mags from other than the factory (discounted armorer pricing), as some other instructors I know have had decent experience with them, but I never cared for the older Shooting Star mags I had many years ago. Getting those short-legged, spring-type follower properly tensioned, (and with the one front leading edge beveled so it doesn't hammer into an alloy frame's ramp) was another added factor I didn't care to track or bother with back then. It's said those issues have been resolved in newer mags. Okay. I'll find out at some point. ;)

I stopped using Wilson mags.

As far as the mags that came with your SW1911 Pro Series? Why not use what came with the gun unless (or until) you have reason to change? Just keep them clean, dry & well-maintained.

1911 magazines - like other detachable box magazines - are assemblies of parts. Those parts are wearable, and the "assembly" (mag) requires normal inspection, cleaning and maintenance in order to experience optimal functioning. Springs require a bit more attention, and sooner replacement, in 1911 mags than in other types of pistol mags. (They even admitted that in my Colt Model O Pistol armorer class. ;) )

Once the mag body has become worn or damaged (bent, tweaked, etc), though, it's time to discard the mag and replace it. Up until the mag body/tube is too worn for normal function, or it becomes damaged, mags can often be kept in normal operable condition with cleaning & parts replacement.

Something else to consider is that it's not like all the gun companies making 1911-style pistols are necessarily making them to the same engineering & design blueprints.

01-12-2013, 17:25
I don't swap out the stock mags for something else. However, when it comes time to buy more mags, I prefer mags from manufacturers that are well known for making high quality mags like Mec-Gar, ACT, Trip Research, Chip McCormick.

I do have probably close to a dozen Wilson mags in various calibers. I swallowed the Wilson Kool-Aid only to have found out that it ain't all that. Better than the typical crappy stock mags but that's about it.

Why don't I buy the really cheap Metalform mags sold at CDNN? Because experience had shown me that while they work OK, they have other fit & finish issues like being slightly oversized and don't fall out of the mag well, or split at the weld, etc.

About the only cheap mags that worked well were the genuine GI mags. The springs are crappy but they can be replaced with ease. Alas, GI mags ain't cheap no mo'.

01-12-2013, 17:30
And if you were to going to buy more "factory" mags, then just buy them straight from Check-Mate or Metalform instead of from Kimber, Springfield, Colt, Ruger, ad nauseaum. No need to pay extra just for the factory name on the mag. Chances are they're either Check-Mate or Metalform anyway.

01-12-2013, 19:21
Chances are they're either Check-Mate or Metalform anyway.

I buy all most of my build parts from Colt and their mags have a little c or m next to the pony on the base. I could get them from Check-Mate or Metalform a bit cheaper but I like the pony!

01-12-2013, 21:51
I don't want to hijack the thread but I figure this has been asked a hundred times, and don't want to start a new one.

How many rounds do you guys put through a magazine before you deem it reliable? I picked up my first 1911 yesterday, a High Standard (Armscor) Government. It came with an ACT mag and I picked up Mec-Gar and what I believe are two GI mags at the gun show. A buddy also gave me a super cheap Triple K mag. I got out to the range today but only had a hundred rounds with me due to the banic and all.

The ACT, Mec-Gar, and Triple K all worked well through two full mags. The two maybe GIs failed. The spring at least needs to be replaced on one and the other refused to hold the slide back after the last shot, which I guess could be a spring problem as well. Shot the rest of the ammo through the various good mags without a malfunction and called it a day.

Looking back I guess I should have maybe just stuck with one or two functioning mags this range trip. But in your opinion, would these mags be good enough for carry?

01-12-2013, 22:17
There are a lot of fake GI mags out there too. They're some sort of generic mags with the government markings on them. I have real GI mags that I bought from back in the days when they were tons of them running around in brown paper wraps. These mags' springs are soft, but they fed the old Speer Flying Astray. That should say something.

Also, keep an eye out on ACT mags in the Filipino guns. They're good mags but many people reported mag induced malfunctions with these ACT mags in Filipino guns. I have several of these and they work great in Colts and knock on wood, my ATI commander worked well with the ACT mags so far.