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2068 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Ned Christiansen
Sir I notice from your posts you use a really nice looking mag well on some of your guns, just curious which one it is that you prefer, as far as a weld on goes. I can't use the sa or brown parts with the integral mag well, because all they come in is checkered and I want to add scallops from heinie on my next duty gun. Concealed carry is not a priority as I have other 1911 for off duty but I want somthing fancy for my duty gun.
Thanks for your time.

[This message has been edited by harley45 (edited 09-06-2001).]
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Not who you were looking for, but if your considering Heinie for Scallop's, you might also consider Richard for the Mag Well's.

I am sure he has worked out the issue for doing Scallop's with his Mag Well.

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I really like his mag well but I understand you have to cut the frame to make it fit,and I would prefer to just be able to solder somthing on the bottom. Does anyone know if this well can just be silver soldered on without cutting the frame?
Why don't you just ask the man himself. He is easy to talk to.


"And by the way, Mr. Speaker, The Second Amendment is not for killing ducks and leaving Huey and Dewey and Louie without an aunt and uncle. It is for hunting politicians like (in) Grozney and in 1776, when they take your independence away".
Robert K. Dornen, U.S. Congressman. 1995
guess I could try that, I'm was just a little nervous. Me being just a kitchen table smith and all.
From what I have seen most of the Silver Solder or weld on magwells are about 1/4 inch thick and require milling off the bottom 1/4 inch of frame to accomodate. I beleive its because these magwell were designed for carry purposes and will keep the pistol the same length as before it was modified and will not require mags with bumpers to operate. Now if you want a weld on well to go on the bottom of your frame, I am sure there are many smiths that can make one from scratch with no probs. Ned Christianson, Pete Single or Pistolwrench come to mind. Good luck

Chris from va

I pefer the now discontinued Brown's Maxi-Well.
This well requires a 1/4" of the frame to be machined off, and the well silver-soldered or welded in place. Advantages are the gun retains original dimensions, and no base pads are required.
Brown's 'new' Maxi-Well requires no machining or welding and is attached to the mainspring housing with a slot and screw. There is a very good chance that Brown would produce one with no checkering upon request.
Here are a few pics of one of the originals that I installed with silver-solder, earlier in the week.

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Chuck, one more question if you don't mind.
Once you mill off the bottom of the frame, is it just a simple matter of redrilling the hole and putting in a new longer mainspring pin?

Sorry, but it is not 'a simple matter' at all!
If you review the several mag well threads,
I believe you will find George Smith and Pete Single describing the methods used to locate and redrill the hole.
There is a world of difference between merely installing a mag well of this type and installing and nicely profiling the inside and outside. I'd say it is right up there with installing an oversize, match barrel in terms of difficulty.
P.S. The checkering on the frontstrap of the illustrated gun was done by Pete.

Ok so it's not simple but after I practice my soldering I think thanks to you guys I'm goanna try it.
Wish me luck, I'll let you know if I am successful,but if I'm not you won't hear about it.
regards Eric

P.S. Chuck, I meant no disrespect by sayin it was a simple matter it was just a poor choice of words on my part

[This message has been edited by harley45 (edited 09-07-2001).]
I believe that Al Marvel used to sell a jig to help guarantee that you got the MS pin hole back in the right spot. Brownells used to sell it & I'm sure that they can reference an old catalog to verify. There are other ways to do it. I'm sure that Pete or P'wrench would be glad to prvide a disertation on that aspect of the subject if you guys were to grovel a bit.
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Chuck is right, the pin hole location is covered on this post, George's idea is also a good one, Metal Smith
Thanks for the help guys especilly George, Pete, And Chuck.

[This message has been edited by harley45 (edited 09-08-2001).]
Hi Harley,

Please allow me to give you 2 more cents worth on mag-funnels.

As you can see by Chuck’s photographs, I would have to say Chuck is the King of the soldered on mag-funnel.

I have one of Chuck’s funnel jobs and it is a real keeper! I had him make me one not because I wanted a sample to copy or because I can’t do one myself but because I wanted a piece of his excellent work (that borders on art). His taste and style is a “tough an act to follow”, (I’ll stick with my own style).

Our styles differ in a few areas; the inside of Chuck’s funnel is beautifully radiused with a convex type of radius the whole circumference of the inside if the funnel and it is opened-up to the maximum dimensions. That’s the best way I can describe it. I don’t know how he radiuses it and don’t care because it’s his style and a heck of a lot of handwork.

I machine my funnels in house because I prefer them to be a little wider then the Brown’s so I grind the outside edges to the contour of the grips. Sometimes, the Browns are not wide enough and the grips hang over the sides of the funnel a little bit. But the Brown’s front has a larger radius and allows you to open-up the mouth of the funnel larger then mine when contoured to the grips.

I make mine a little thicker (.295 instead of the Brown .250) and I use a standard 60-degree included angle cutter to blend the inside with a nice clean machine cut. The thicker funnel allows me to get a little bit wider opening but not as wide as Chuck’s. The major difference in the 2 is mine contours nicer and Chuck’s funnel is the largest possible.

I would have to say Chuck’s is “King” because it’s the biggest on the inside and therefore the most functional. BUT I think mine is big enough and looks nicer to my eyes on the outside. A mater of personal preference.

One area that we share is the transition point between the rear of the magazine chute and the thin web that separates the mainspring housing. Now this is an area I-bet-cha 90% of our “1911 addicts” and half the smiths don’t notice. Go back to photos @ http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/001619.html and take another look.

Look at Scott’s 2nd photo. This is a very nice mag-funnel job done in a different style.

Look at the transition point in the mainspring housing cut. Notice the rear web is cut midway down the rear chamfer to a chisel type point. There will be a slight gap in between the mainspring housing and the web. This gap can be fairly large depending on the manufacture of the mainspring housing. We particularly don’t care to have this gap right where you stuff magazines in the chute.

What we do is mill the rear web out and solder a piece of bar-stock 1/8th x ½ to the mainspring housing to fill the gap build-up the housing with weld. Then when you machine the rear mainspring area it is solid steel. When I machine-out the web I go an extra .050 deeper into the well so the transition point is actually slightly down inside the chute so it can’t interfere with the reload.

This is not a new innovative idea. I’m not sure who innovated it first but I robbed the idea from Chuck. I think Berlert’s may have been one of the first to do it. (I think George @ EGW worked for Berlert’s a one time and he may be able to enlighten us more)

It’s about 25% more work to eliminate this gap. Sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth the extra effort to eliminate this transition cut because if you have a tight fitting main spring housing the gap is very minimal. You will have to make-up your own mind.

To solve the stainless problem I bought 3 feet of 416 SS bar-stock from www.admiralsteel.com for $55.00.

Heinie mag-wells: The Heinie mag-well is a nice rig, especially if you want the mag-well to be removable and more discrete. Being removable is nice incase you ever have to get to the checkering to touch it-up. The grips over lap the sides of the mag-funnel and at first glance it looks like a stock 1911. The pictures Jaydee posted show the grips cut flush with the top of the funnel, this may be Heinies new style of cutting the grips or maybe they are extra thin grips.

It attaches by 2 internal ears on the sides of the funnel that fit under the grips and are held to the frame by 4 screws. The bottom of the frame is cut off .300 around the magazine shoot so the over-all length of the frame does not change. The main spring housing area is not milled off and funnel must be drilled for the mainspring pin.

Installing the Heinie is not a straight forward “piece of cake” to install. There are few flies in the ointment.

First: The inner ears that sleeve and attach to the frame are milled .745 the same as the rear section at the mainspring pin. The directions tell you to mill the side of the frame (the flats on the sides of the mainspring housing pin hole) to .745 so the rear of the funnel will fit flat and not spread the funnel. That part is ok. Problem is the average thickness of frames run from .750 to .765. So when you slide the ears on the frame the magazine funnel spreads and no longer fits snug in the rear @ your .745 cut.

To solve problem we will have to open-up the inside of the .745 ears to the thickness of the frame.

To Correct; make a gauge block .745 wide, .250 thick and about a inch long, slip this in the rear .745 cut where the mainspring housing pin goes, then clamp the funnel in your mill vise with the ears sticking–up out of the top of the vise, use a edge finder to center the spindle between the .745 ears and zero mill. Next I open-up the inner ears to the thickness of the frame so you can slip the ears on without spreading the funnel. When milling the inner ears climb-cut using a razor sharp carbide mill, because the ears are thin and tall and will want to flex pushing away from the mill giving you a bad cut.

I have a few other trick I do to ease the installation of the Heinie mag-well but if I keep typing I mite-as-well re-write Richard’s whole installation sheet. If you have any specific question feel free to ask.

I fabricate my own style removable type funnel that is similar to Heinie’s. Instead of using screws to attach it to the frame I recess the ears .020 into the frame, locate, drill and counter-sink where the grip screw bushing holes are and retain ears by the grip screw bushings. It makes for a slick, snug, and wobble free fit. The front that wraps around the front-strap is also contoured sleeker in my style.

Metal Smith, Pete Single
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Wow pete thanks for the answer. I now realize how much work this is really going to be, but like you said if it comes out right it will be pretty satisfying.
Again thanks for the help.
Hi All

We still offer the weld on well featured in the Am handgunner may/june 93 issue.

it is 5/16 thick instead of the 1/4" of ed's
also the inside bevel is 60 deg not the 45 ed uses.

(if you get one that went bad the 5/16 can be used to save one once in a wile

geo ><>
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You mentioned earlier how the profile of our mag wells differed. I thought I'd show how mine looks with Hogue grips fitted. Yes, the grips are just a little wider than the well. Good for concealability, ?.

You also talked about the 'transition point' and how we both modify the mainspring housing to eliminate the feather edge. I think this pic shows the mod fairly clearly.

I first saw a mag-well done in this fashion on a gun that was built in Behlert's shop. I've always believed this was a George Smith innovation from the days when he worked there.
George, would you care to confirm?

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Hi Chuck, your pic's look great! Mine is also profiled a little tighter around the front radius under the checkering, that's why I can't get that big, nice, full profile funnel like yours, your grip blend is great! Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
NRA Life Member
Hi Chuck

Thanks, but No.
Paul Leibenburg on the Centimeter was the first I saw this done. I think it was 87??
he made a filler piece and welded it to the main spring housing. then blended it in.
We soildered the filler on for years but now we Tig them up with a welder. I never liked the gap you use to see and I thought this was a clean way to fix it. Don't know if you ever saw the gun? hand made beavertail and mag well that I think started the weld on wells??
geo ><>
Just goes to show ya. I had not seen that MSH mod done (eliminating the feather edge) when I started doing it in about '88. Now ya say it dates back to the Behlert days.... that's what happens when I let myself think too highly of myself! Thank goodness I've had so much practice at getting cut back down to size!

The pics and descriptions on this thread are positively first-rate!
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