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Discussion Starter #1
I have an original Colt .22 LR Conversion Unit (that's what's stamped on the slide), purchased in 1978 that fits my Series 70 Gold Cup. The magazine that came with it works fine, but I've been looking for spares.

eBay prices for the original mags are absurd and I've learned the hard way that the ProMag KIM-1 polymer mag is utterly incompatible. Metalform doesn't seem to make their version anymore and I've seen posts saying they often required rework anyway.

I see Wilson is making steel mags for their .22 conversion unit. Has anyone tried these?
 

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I have a Marvel Unit #1 that I have acquired a dozen mags for. All of them are steel mags, none of them are new. Some of them need the feed lips adjusted.

And yes, they can be pricey, I happened into a couple deals and ended up paying about $15 each. The deals can be out there but you have to look at several different forums' for sale ads daily. Smith-Wesson forum, enos and here as well as Armslist, GB, etc. and be patient.

Perhaps an expert can tell us whether the Marvel type mags will work in a Colt Conversion kit.
 

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Marvel used to supply Metalform "Colt" mags with their conversions, but they apparently needed so much fiddling that Marvel was going to make their own mags.
You'd think that would mean that whatever Marvel is using now, would be compatible with the Ace or Colt conversions.
I try to stay on top of these threads, as I am also reluctant to pay $50 or more for Colt or Metalform mags, but I rarely find definitive info on which mags are compatible with the Colt conversion.
I want to say that I've recently seen confirmation that GSG mags will work, but I can't remember if that includes locking the slide when empty, which a lot of .22 1911 mags are not designed to do.
 

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Midway says Out of Stock, Backorder OK Date expected in stock: 08/06/20

Colt Ace Conversion Magazine 1911 Government 22 Long Rifle 10-Round Steel Blue
Product #: 557131 Colt #: SP53499B
$64.99
Status: Out of Stock, Backorder OK
Date expected in stock: 08/06/2014
The current customer reviews are way beyond critical.

I bought my own second Service Ace kit because it was almost included at no extra cost with the magazine :scratch: My current understanding is that Marvel magazines don't lock the slide back and many but not all of the Metalform/Colt on the secondary market have been modified for conversions other than the Colt Service Ace and so have been modified to not lock the slide back when used on the Colt Service Ace.

I have a handful of the Metalform/Colt bought from Brownell's a few years ago that aren't as bad as current reports. It hardly matters because I need CCI Velocitors to make mine work and I can't buy those either so.........
 

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I have three mags for my Conversion, two old Colt (metal followers), and one Metalform.
None of them locks the slide, and I can't tell if it's because the spring can't keep up with the slide speed? They all lock the slide when I retract it manually, but never lock it when shooting.
Running a 10# spring, I'm not too concerned about "battering", in either direction, but it would be nice if the slide locked when empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Marvel tells me they switched from Metalform to the GSG mag and don't know whether it works with the original Colt conversion unit.

American Tactical, though -- which imports the GSG -- tells me it should work. There's a Midway review here confirming that, but there's a second one there that disagrees. (That second one also says the GSGs are a zinc alloy that, unlike steel, can't be tweaked. American Tactical confirmed that they're zinc alloy.)

I've been unable to reach Wilson, but notice the mag in their photo is stamped "Made in Germany," so perhaps they're GSGs also?
 

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The Metalform made Colt labeled under the part number shown Colt #: SP53499B can be found here and there sometimes for more than the Midway price shown sometimes for a little less. Googling Colt #: SP53499B shows some vendors with current stock and some no stock.

I have three mags for my Conversion, two old Colt (metal followers), and one Metalform.
I hadn't noticed the switch to a composite follower and I have no idea how that changed things. Eyeballing my Colt marked and Metalform from Brownell's eyeball the same except for the Colt Horse trademark. All composite followers I think. I'll go look - I'll say all composite. Both my conversions have the Accro Sight (actually one replaced for a less busy rear sight blade) and so are fairly late as these things go. I gather Colt made their own Ace magazines with a metal follower once upon a time? I was unaware of the change. A change like the Accro sights, box or what have you to date the Ace/Conversion?

I'd be happy to have a magazine that fed most everything but didn't lock the slide but I wouldn't want to give my magazines that do lock the slide back on empty.

I've always heard that all conversions and all magazines are ammunition sensitive? Any word on how the metal followers feed compared to the composite? followers?
 

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My conversion is circa 1950, with Coltmaster sight. It came to me with a metal-follower, pinned-base(?) mag, I got another such mag from a friend, and bought the Metalform, with plastic follower and slide-on base, maybe fifteen years ago, maybe from Brownells? I don't remember if the last is Colt-marked, or not.
I have never had feed issues ("never", as relates to typical rimfire performance, meaning a feed failure every 100-200 rounds) with any of my mags. I have used recoil springs of 10#, 11#, 12#, and 14#, and I think it runs best with the lighter springs, though feeding doesn't seem to be affected as much as ejection.
 

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Are the Marvel mags and the Colt mags the same?
All my Marvels are the older all steel with steel followers. The only issues I have with feeding is with a few of my mags that you can tell the feed lips aren't right because the round sits in a different position than the ones that do work.
I use CCI SV velocity ammo exclusively. Some of the .22 ammo out there is junk.

None of mine lock a slide back but it's a .22 range gun. I won't need to do fast slidelock reloads. Besides, I'm from the competition world and we aren't supposed to run our gun dry. :)

Now that I remember better, mine all were marked with the horse on the basepads. Must be the same mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Are the Marvel mags and the Colt mags the same?
Marvel doesn't make mags. They provided Metalform originally and have switched to GSG. My original 1978-vintage Colt mag has no horse -- it says only "COLT CAL. 22 L.R." The follower seems to be plastic -- it's nonmagnetic, anyway.

I finally reached Wilson and learned that the mag they provide is also the GSG. It *is* designed to lock the slide open after the last round.

I believe the original magazine's locking action results from a cutout at the upper-left side of the mag that allows a protrusion at the front-lower-left of the follower to engage the slide release. The Wilson photo I linked above shows a comparable feature on the GSG.

I've ordered a GSG ($35 from Midway), which should arrive next week -- my fingers are crossed.
 

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I thought I was trying to keep on top of these threads but I'm sure missing something in the wide world. Removable base pad is an identifier for Metalform. And Metalform is a real issue and I didn't know it.

An early Colt magazine, fixed base pad, just sold for $192.50 on E-bay while a current Metalform can be had for $50 with careful shopping. The plastic follower on a 47D is good for about a year of truly heavy use locking the slide back before rebuilding or warranty (for most users most of the time the 47D will last much longer but IMHO not forever hence some of the improvements) and maybe the current Metalform composite will fail on some unknown to me schedule. I suspect but will never know that many failures to lock back with the Ace conversions are the result of mixing and matching slide stops so the slide stop from the donor is used instead of a proper #2 slide stop. I do know that some other failures are because the Metalform was modified to spare aluminum slides.

This makes it even harder to generalize from experiences with conversions and frames from different times with more or fewer conversion parts included in the kit box.

Is it folks trying to complete a collector set or is it folks trying to find magazines that are know to work or what accounts for the difference in price?

If and when a variety of rim fire ammunition is again available I'll try more varieties with my current magazines. If I don't find a cheaper load that works well I'll try hard to find a fixed base pad magazine I can afford.

That said and for the record I find Velocitor to be boringly reliable working just fine until I've shot as much as I care to in one session - with help on some of the shooting. I've never had a failure with Velocitor and everything else I've tried has failed too much, clean or dirty, lubed or very lubed, hand cycled or fired, anyplace in the magazine, anything else fails enough to be no fun.
 

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I'd just like a mag that works, both feeding and locking. If I had that, I'd retire the "correct" mag that came with my conversion, which doesn't work perfectly, anyway.
I'll gladly trade my "spare", "correct" mag, now worth close to $200(?!), for three . . . no, four GSG mags!
I used to shoot only CCI Stingers, as I believed that the bullet had a thicker plating, to withstand the higher velocities, and so didn't clog up the chamber as quickly as high-velocity rounds.
The last trip to the gun store revealed Stingers, all I could carry, for 17 cents a round! Ha! Ha-Ha! I stopped buying them when the price exceeded 6 cents a round.
 

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I have a Colt Ace kit on a Series 70 38 Super slide. It came with 3 Colt magazines, but only one will still lock the slide back due to wear. I do have the correct #2 slide lock.

I have 5 GSG mags that work fine with the Colt Ace. The stock follower will lock the slide back (at least on mine), But I had trouble with the first round jamming if I loaded them to 10 rounds. I bought some Joe Bob Outfitters followers which allow 14 rounds, but load only to 10. They are very reliable but they don't lock the slide back. It's very easy to swap the followers so I take both when I shoot. Loading the stock GSG mags to 8 or 9 rounds improve first round feeding a lot.


dakotaTex

ps: the GSG mags also work in Kimber kits and will lock the slide back. I haven't seen any issues with slide peening from the slide stop
 

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I have a Colt Ace kit on a Series 70 38 Super slide.[sic] It came with 3 Colt magazines, but only one will still lock the slide back due to wear. I do have the correct #2 slide lock.
Maybe not slide but frame?

Are the Colt magazines all Metalform/Colt with composite followers or something else?

I take it that at one time all three Colt magazines would lock the slide back? Is the wear on composite followers? How many cycles or how many years or is there a way to quantify the wear or show pictures of still works and fails due to wear?

Is the wear associated with shooting to slide lock or independent of shooting to slide lock?

Could I prolong the slide lock life of my magazines by using a no nub no lock slide stop most of the time and a #2 or an A marked from EGW only occasionally?

Maybe I'll start looking for GSG magazines but again I suppose I'll foolishly wait until I have more rim fire ammunition.
 

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Maybe not slide but frame?

Are the Colt magazines all Metalform/Colt with composite followers or something else?

I take it that at one time all three Colt magazines would lock the slide back? Is the wear on composite followers? How many cycles or how many years or is there a way to quantify the wear or show pictures of still works and fails due to wear?

Is the wear associated with shooting to slide lock or independent of shooting to slide lock?

Could I prolong the slide lock life of my magazines by using a no nub no lock slide stop most of the time and a #2 or an A marked from EGW only occasionally?...
I don't see how the frame would be affected as it's not any different if I was using a .45 slide. The worry is that the hard metal slide stop is engaging the notch in an aluminum slide.

Two of the Colt mags have metal followers, one is composite. One of the metal followers looks like it got jammed somehow and the lifter had a big ding in it. On the composite follower it almost looks like someone sanded the lifter off. I don't shoot the one good magazine so I'll have one that works to keep with the kit.

As I mentioned, the GSG mags work well, either with the original follower or the Joe Bob one. Loading one or two rounds less makes them very reliable.

Good luck,


dakotaTex
 

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Thanks but I'm still confused

I don't see how the frame would be affected as it's not any different if I was using a .45 slide. The worry is that the hard metal slide stop is engaging the notch in an aluminum slide.
The Service Ace kit as used on 70 series pistols removes the center fire slide and replaces the center fire slide with a steel rim fire slide. The same frame is used with the center fire and with the rim fire slide. The Ace II used on series 80 pistols is different. I don't understand where an aluminum slide appears at all? Should be a steel rim fire slide installed on a steel frame.
 

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The Service Ace kit as used on 70 series pistols removes the center fire slide and replaces the center fire slide with a steel rim fire slide. The same frame is used with the center fire and with the rim fire slide. The Ace II used on series 80 pistols is different. I don't understand where an aluminum slide appears at all? Should be a steel rim fire slide installed on a steel frame.
I was talking about using GSG mags with Kimber conversion kits, not Ace units. The Kimber slide is aluminum.

I have 2 Ace units - a complete Ace Pistol from the '70s and a conversion unit from earlier that rides on the 38 Super frame. I also have a number of Kimber units that I shoot and so I have tried lots of different mags. So I thought I'd share my experiences with the GSG mag on both. It was not my intention to confuse anyone, but just to make an observation about the GSG mags in the Kimber units as well as the Ace kits.

I can't see see any issue with the GSG mags in the Colt Ace.


dakotaTex
 

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...Is the wear associated with shooting to slide lock or independent of shooting to slide lock?...
Below is a photo of an pinned base Colt magazine. You can see how the slide stop 'lifter' has been deformed. As a result it no longer locks the slide back. It was that way when I got it so I have no idea how it happened. It looks like it could have been jammed against a slide stop. I still have an original unused magazine I keep with the Colt Ace I got new in 1978.

I got 4 of the GSG mags when I bought a Kimber rimfire pistol used a couple years ago. Also attached is a picture with the 4 other types of magazines that I use with the Kimber conversions. The pistol pictured is a Kimber pre-Series II stainless target frame with a bunch of replacement parts. The slide is the aluminum Kimber kit. The photo is just for reference regarding 22LR magazines. Left to right they are Kimber, Pro-Mag, GSG, and Ceiner.


dakotaTex
 

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Both of my metal followers look like that, with damage to the surface that contacts the slide stop.
 
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