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Fremont (and everyone)

The answer to your question is YES, 7 round magazines are more reliable than 8 round magazines, though not for the reason you expect. Feeding reliabilty is not the issue, since improperly tuned magazines (7 and 8 round) will have feeding problems, just the same as properly tuned magazines will not have problems. The reliability issue is in properly seating the magazine in the pistol.

To fit 8 rounds in a magazine the follower must be changed to allow the rounds to sit lower against the follower and the spring must be changed to allow it to compress farther. In a lot of cases variations in the normal manufacture of a magazine, when 8 rounds are installed the spring is fully compressed. Therefore there is no give left in the spring for when it is installed in a pistol and the magazine release cannot catch the slot in the magazine, no matter how hard you slam it home. So when the shooter pulls the trigger, the round in the chamber fires but the slide can't pick up the next round because the magazine is too low in the mag well, or worse yet the magazine falls out of the pistol entirely.

This is why Clint Smith recommends 7 round magazines. Because he sees a lot of students who should be dealing with a gun fight trying to reseat a magazine and reload their chamber, or just reload their gun because their full magazine fell out of their pistol under recoil. Neither of these are a good thing.

So the answer to you question is Yes, 7 rounds are more reliable than 8. That either means a 7 round magazine if you are buying new, or 7 rounds in an 8 round magazine if you are loading what you have. I have several 8 round magazines and I only load them with 7.

I hope this helps,
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