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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The single stack 9mm MecGar mags have two annoying problems: they don't always lock-back after last round and they only hold 9 rounds. The first problem is easily fixed, the second is more difficult (but they can be increased to 10-rd capacity):

First, let me say some info about getting the Mec-Gar single-stack (9 round) mags to work correctly with the stock (metal) follower:

1) The mags (all six of mine) were long enough when inserted that a corner was hitting the ejector on my STI Trojan's frame. You should check this and file as required for clearance. The guys at STI know about it and warned that it could possible break the ejector.

2) The followers (as shipped) will NOT reliably activate the slide stop on the last round. Again, the STI people knew about it and recommended bending the little "foot" on the follower upwards. That will not always work.

The real problem is the foot does not extend far enough outward and has some play in it. As the follower rises after the last round, that play allows the foot to go around the stop lever instead of lifting under it. Solution: bend the foot slightly outward so far that it actually hits the edge of the mag shell when pushed down. I filed the edge of the mag shell to taper it and guide the follower in. I also filed a taper to the outer edge (underside) of the foot so it would go in more easily. There is room in the mag to still have it fit after some bending outward. This is a bend-and-try operation. If the slide locks back with a round still in the mag, you've got the foot too high. If it still slips around the stop lever, the foot needs to be farther outward. These can be made to work correctly.

CONVERTING TO 10-Round capacity:

Let me start by saying this is possible, but not very easy. Brownells sells a .38 super follower conversion kit (#570-381-000) which has a plastic follower that can be cut down to fit the 9mm tube. The kits are only $5.40 so I tried them and they can be made to work (with a lot of cutting and filing). I bought a couple extra thinking I might break a follower, but didn't.

Here's how:

The main difference between the .38S and 9mm is the "bar" that runs up the back of the 9mm mag to make up the length difference of the shorter 9mm round. The plastic followers have to be cut and filed at the back to make a wide notch to go around the bar.

1) First, lightly sand the outside surfaces of the follower with #400 paper to get the plastic flash off and make them smooth. You don't need to cut any plastic except at the rear of the follower.

2) Cutting the back is a cut-and-try method. I can tell you the follower back will need a wide notch cut as far forward as the edge of the large round molded pin (underside of the follower). When you get to that pin, it should be far enough. Try to keep the wide edge of the notch square, and taper out the edges to the corners. I used a thick square file (the thinner edge to file in) and an X-acto knife to cut this plastic out. Keep fitting the follower to the tube WITHOUT THE SPRING until the follower will move freely in the tube. Cut just enough off the back to get this. The follower when finished will have the wide notch and a small finger of plastic remaining in the left rear corner.

You aren't quite done. The follower should move smoothly in the tube without the spring. The spring has to fit around the pin (under side of the follower) without binding so the rearmost edge of the pin has to be cut forward just far enough so the spring can wrap around it and clear the rear mag wall. If you don't do this, it will bind in the mag and get stuck all the way in (which is a pain to get out). Cut just enough plastic of the rear edge of the pin to give a gap of about 1/16". Round it as best possible and it should work.

One note: after all is done, the followers in the empty mag (with spring in) will have their nose in the air. The surface of the follower should be at about 45 degrees to the mag shell side. This is OK. They shouldn't pop out, but nose up is correct.

HOW THEY PERFORM:

They do hold ten rounds and work better than the Mec-Gar followers. The plastic followers don't sneak around the stop lever, they hit it every time.

However: to get increased capacity, the new kit uses a spring with fewer coils to save space and it is not as stiff as the original. I have a couple of mags that will occassionally not lock back on last round because the spring isn't quite strong enough. This probably happens about one time out of twenty. I still like them because they hold ten rounds.

Good luck and FYI- it took me about three hours of cutting and fiddling to finish the first one and about one hour for each one after because I learned the above information by trial-and-error. Only a real gun nut would think its worth it (I do).
 

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I've been unable to come up with a good solution for stuffing 10 rounds in a 9mm magazine. I even went so far as to ask Nowlin, Mec-Gar, and Metalform why they have 10 round 38Super magazines but not 9mm.

Your plan sounds like it works pretty well Bountyhunter, but they don't sound very reliable. Have you tried to buy an extra power spring for 10 round magazines from Wolff or another manufacturer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wes- I asked them all the same thing. There just isn't enough demand for 10-round 9mm mags to make them want to pay for the tooling. I have read most people are using the .38 Super mags with mixed results... some people do get mags that work reliably in their 9mm guns. The mods I made on mine are actually quite reliable for feeding all ten rounds, they just don't always lock the slide back. I haven't looked for stronger springs. The ones in the kit are extra-strength. The reason they're a shade weak is because they have to be shorter (less loops) to fit in the tenth round. I'm sure I could get some real strong .38S or 9mm springs that lock back every time, but they would take up too much space in the mag. It's a trade-off, I'd rather have the tenth round as I don't shoot my gun dry anyway since I need the round in the tube to make sure the mag drops fast when I hit the eject button. There's no perfect solution for cramming 10 into the 9 round shell. I think to get a really good 10-rd 9mm mag you would need to let it extend out about 1/4" to get room for some more spring.
 

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I have to agree with you. The is no one perfect solution. I read a post on one of the other threads by Tom with the Air Force Shooting team that he is using the 10 rnd. 38 Super magazine with C.O.L. of 1.169 on his reloads. He says they function flawlessly. The part that sucks is what happens when I don't have time to reload and I go to Wal-Mart to grab the 100 rnd. box of Winchester? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
 

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Forget 10 round flush fit, I want a 12 round extended so I can have a single stack 9mm 1911 with the ammo capacity nearly that of a BHP!
 

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The CMC 10-round Super magazines feed 9mm ball in mine and a friend's Colts, but not my SA.

I tried to get Metalform to bring out their X-tended magazine (protrudes about half an inch for a 8-shot .45 with their round follower and plenty of spring) in 9mm and Super, but they were not interested. Tripp said they could not be sure their Cobra Mag design would work in all guns and quit offering them.
 

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10 rd. mags ?

Have you tried the Springfield-style Metalform mags with no spacer in the back, and a sort-of feed lip up front ? My 9mm SA works much better with them than the older style.
 

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Al Booth said:
Have you tried the Springfield-style Metalform mags with no spacer in the back, and a sort-of feed lip up front ? My 9mm SA works much better with them than the older style.
I have a couple that work fine, but they are 9-round capacity. We want ten!
 

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We want ten !

Have you tried your modification on the Springfield-style mags ?

Of course, you could always use a Hi Power !
(Spoken by an owner of both A SA 1911 9mm and a Novak HP). :)
 
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