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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 25-Round magazine in excellent condition that is consistent with being produced during the WW1 era. It is a blued mag, two-toned (consistent with WW1 two toned mags), WW1 style follower, and it has a pinned base. I have found a little information that during WW1 there was an experimental 25 round mag and a small cage was placed on the right side of the 1911 to catch the brass. I also came across a forum talking about 25 round mags for 1911s being placed in aircraft for the crew before machine guns were placed in aircraft. I really don't know for sure what I have and I am having trouble finding anything. The gentleman I purchased the mag from said that he purchased some estate property and this mag was in an old military foot locker that he had to cut the lock off of. Can anyone help me?
 

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Beesley Magazine

Does it look like this British 20 round magazine made by the gunmaker Beesley? It will have a small oval plate at the bottom of the magazine - visible in the picture - with the makers name and patent number or Pat Pending. These saw limited air service with .45acp (not .455 auto) Colt Government Models that were purchased from the trade in the UK around 1916.


Regards


AlanD
Sydney
Australia
 

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I saw a picture of one, complete with cage a long time ago in American Rifleman, maybe the late 1970's. It indeed was for pilots to use to shoot at other aircraft. I couldn't believe that somebody actually seriously thought it up, considering the inability of most people to hit a stationary target at 25 yards with a pistol. Shooting at other airplanes???
 
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I saw a picture of one, complete with cage a long time ago in American Rifleman, maybe the late 1970's. It indeed was for pilots to use to shoot at other aircraft. I couldn't believe that somebody actually seriously thought it up, considering the inability of most people to hit a stationary target at 25 yards with a pistol. Shooting at other airplanes???
I'd imagine it was still easier then trying to use a bolt action rifle with a 24-30 inch barrel and 5-10 round capacity clip though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am having trouble with my camera and will post a pick soon. To answer some questions... It is a straight mag. It is blue and two-tone towards the tops just like a WW1 era mag. There is no marks anywhere on the mag and the base plate is flush to the body and it does not have a standard 1911 mag toe on it. It looks very similar to the listed Beesley mag but it does not have a loop on the bottom. I will get some pics posted soon and thanks for the help!!!!
 

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The two tone mags went way beyond WWI. In fact they were used into the 1940s. I have two magazines such as you describe--one for .45 and one for .39 Super. My base plates are marked consistent with mags from the 30s or 40s. At a couple of different time Colt tried to interest the Ordnance Dept in carbine versions of the M1911/M1911A1. Some had board stocks, long barrels and these long magazines. They also made some similar versions that could also fire fully automatic and tried to interest the FBI in them. Your magazine may be from one of those experiments. However, there were also aftermarket makers of long magazines. Pictures would help.
 

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Revolver Trigger Font Wood Gun barrel

So the extended magazine for the .455 Eley names as by Beesley st james street. London.
Also the picture to the right shows the cage to capture the hot empty cases to prevent them touching the fabric of the WWI aircraft.
On display at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
 

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Odd that Ive never seen a magazine over 10 rounds that would function reliably.
Modern tech being what it is why cant/does anyone produce one?
In my limited knowledge I just took it for granted that 10 was the magic number between reliable function and not.
Now heres a magazine built in WW1 thats 25 rounds.
I wonder if it functions well and if it does why hasnt anyone reproduced it successfully in 100 years.
If you look at the cage its plain to see that no way is that going to hold 25 rounds of spent brass landing in the cage haphazardly.
Inevitable that the gun will jam IMO.
To me it just looks like two points of failure.
Barring the rarity and collectible aspect of the items it seems maybe this is the 1st 1911 snake oil parts.
They been throwing stuff against the wall and selling whatever sticks for a long time I guess.
Interesting topic for sure.
 

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The Royal Armouries have got a couple of things wrong. The 20 round magazines supplied by Beesley were for .45acp Government Models that had been purchased from the trade in the UK. 57 were purchased. The display card says the pistol is .455.

There were 50 not 25 case catchers made by William Evans supplied to the Government for Air Service. In addition to this William Evans also made these for sale as private purchase mainly to officers who saw fit to use one. I have often wondered if they were used inside the early British tanks tanks for firing though pistol ports, if indeed tanks had them in 1915/16/17.

Regards

AlanD
 
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