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Hey All,

Just finished up with my two cents on a previous post and started thinking, failures related to a lot of Les Baer and other fine 1911 pistols are related to the magazine. I think back to my Glock model 22 and Beretta 92f. I have never encountered this rate of magazine related failures as my 1911's, this includes two Kimbers and a S/A. Is it just me or does seem that the high capacity design is more reliable. My collection of mags include Wilson, Baer, and Kimber. Is there an issue with the actual magazine design ????

thanks
hdd
 

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hdd said:
Is there an issue with the actual magazine design ????
My 2c says the issue is the re-design. Current mags are very different from the JMB original in both material and form. Some of this is necessary to feed modern bullet profiles, but some is to keep the mags affordable. Here's an example. Recently my Wilson Protector would not lock the slide back after the last round. The problem was the Wilson magazine feed lips had opened slightly which let the follower move far enough away from the slide stop to not engage it. The fix was easy. I took the mag and using finger pressure only bent the feed lips back to where they belonged. Now the mag runs fine.

Now I am of average strength, so that tells you how resistant this mag is to being deformed. I am not picking on Wilson - I could have done the same thing to several other brand mags (including Baer). If I wanted to adjust the feed lips on any of my GI mags I would need a hammer or a vise. :D
 

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Ranger 41,

I never knew there was a differece between the GI mags and whats out there now, meaning the original mags are basically stronger..better made. Any info where these could be picked up, I usually shoot ball ammo anyway. What you said does make sense know that I think about it, my dad who was in the Korean war ( or should I say Police action) always said the 45's they were issued always went bang, however accuracy was another story.

thanks
hdd
 

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If you shoot a fair amount, I wonder whether it isn't better just to toss older magazines and buy new ones, after a couple of spring changes perhaps.

Considering ammo costs, the mags really are cheap insurance for a reliable gun.

Of course, the other route is to spend more and buy Wilson, and just send it back when it doesn't function. I'm told they will replace them.

In my experience I have not noticed any differences in reliabilty between Wilson, CMC and Mec-gar. We will see how long they last.
 

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hdd

From what I have been reading many of the "USGI" mags being marketed today are either knock offs or substandard. If you do a search on here "USGI" you will find the threads that describe the markings on the good ones. My experience with a bunch I have accumulated over the years is they are generally reliable. If you are using ball ammo they should work well for you. They may also work for the longer SWC and JHP loads. The tapered feed lips on the JMB design mags work for the longer loads, but will usually not feed shorter loads reliably. If you shoot the short 185 SWC "target" load you will probably need the parallel feed lips of the more modern mags.

It is easy to find some USGI mags that work in some guns, but not others. I was taught to match the mags to a gun and keep them together. Some even go so far as to etch the serial number of the gun they go with on the mag. I believe this "matching" requirement holds true today. Even modern high-quality mags will not work all the time in some guns. IMO many of the 1911 "reliability" problems are the result of folk thinking any quality mag should work in any gun. Not true in my experience. I have personnally experienced two guns with mag related problems that were cured by just interchanging the magazines. Both guns then ran flawlessly. YMMV
 

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That is the way I understand it also, Ranger41. The two magazine lip designs actually address release points or "time" if you will. Longer loads or short feed ramps need earlier (in relation to be back of the mag) release points to prevent too steep a cartridge feed angle.

You can even take mags from Wilson, Metalform, Shooting Star (CMC) and see different release points if you lay them side by side. Then Metalform has a design I have seen with SA where the parallel lip "roll over" is there, but angled outward. It then flares out to milspec type lip design. Very interesting and effective.

I had one pistol which gave me fits. It "understood" this concept to me. LOL!
 

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I've noticed there is a big difference in the several brands of 1911 mags available. And even differences among the "same" mags. I was just thinking the other day about the double stack mags that most pistols have. The double stack design means that the follower has to move up slightly less for each shot than a single stack mag. This difference is much greater if you're comparing the 9mm doublestack guns to a 45 1911. They also tend to have stronger springs than any 1911 mag I've seen. Most new double stack mags cannot be fully loaded with finger pressure, I've never seen a 1911 mag like that.

I've heard very good things about the old GI mags for shooting ball. But you have to be careful as there are probably more fake GI mags than real ones floating around. There are currently some mags sold as Gov. contract that are of pretty poor quality. They have several lines of markings on the bottom and usually sell for $5-$10.
 
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