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  #1  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:06 PM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Another magazine thread




Alright, I've been having a headache deciding what kind of mags I want to buy. For the last four days, I have been reading and reading trying to figure out what are the best mags to get. I love 1911s but I can't believe that the topic of magazines is a whole subject in itself.

I have concluded that for standard length magazines, I want to strictly stick with 7-rounders for reliability purposes. The only aftermarket mags I have experience with is my one Wilson Combat 47D magazine which has so far been flawless with my first 1911 but I know sooner than later the springs will weaken and potentially cause problems.

I would like to standardize my magazines and for 8-rounders I have decided I will buy the Tripp Cobra mags or the WC ETM mags (which I believe is largely just a copy of the Tripp mags).

However, my question is about standard-length 7-rounders which I am looking to buy right now.

I have decided I want to stick with a follower that is skirted. I don't want to turn this into a suggestion thread because I know people swear by all kinds of mags. But here is a list of what I have in mind as well as what I like and don't like about each one of them:

Wilson Combat #47 7rd
Pros: Convex shaped plastic follower, skirted, strong springs, nice base pad.
Cons: The slide lock may eventually wear the follower and I heard the feed lips on the WC mags are early release-type and "chuck" the rounds into the chamber. Also kinda pricey.

KimPro Tac-Mag 7rd
Pros: Metal skirted follower, affordable, comes with interchangable base pads. Can also be configured for flush fit for carry purposes.
Cons: I heard the screw-on basepads have the tendency to come loose and fall off. I prefer the one-piece basepads like the wilsons.

I heard the CMC 8-rounders have stronger springs but I don't like how the follower jumps forward and dings the frame (albeit I don't currently own an aluminum frame gun). I know they also make the "plus" version which eliminates this problem but my concerns of it being an 8 rounder still worry me.

The main thing I am trying to figure out is about feed lips. Apparently there are so many kinds, Wadcutter, USGI full tapered, hybrid, early release, late release, etc. I tried to read this lengthy post by "1911tuner" but couldn't fully understand it. What kind of feedlips do I want?

My mags will currently be for a 4" 1911 with a ramped barrel but I also want it to work with standard 5" 1911's too.


Can anyone shed some light?

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:18 PM
DOKeefe DOKeefe is offline
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I just picked up my new sig 1911XO and 6#47 wilson mags (8Rds). Ive fired appx 300rds. thru it with not 1 problem. I havent touched the factory mags.This is going to be a duty weapon. I love it. I had to retire my colt 1911A1 (model of 1918), which i used whatever mags I found cheap enough. I never had a problem with the colt either. The wilson mags to fit in my colt as do my sig mags. Hope that helps. The only reason I didnt throw some chip McCormick into mix is because the gunshop didnt carry them.
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2012, 11:35 PM
LARRY LAMBERT LARRY LAMBERT is offline
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Hopefully this won't lead to more confusion,

http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines/index.html

and then for more info

http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines2/

For what it's worth, several of the terms that you are using kind of overlap, e.g. USGI feed lips are late release, etc. Kind of like "a square can be and is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't always a square." I have Kimpro 7 rnd mags, they are wadcutter feedlip. As you will see in the article, Wilson 47D get rid of controlled feed altogether ( JMB original design for 1911, and in handguns at least, basically his invention.)
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Last edited by LARRY LAMBERT; 05-22-2012 at 11:41 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:25 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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^^
Thanks. I scanned that article a few times before and I THINK I get the gist of it. So if I am not mistaken,

Controlled-feed (JMB design): is when the rim of the case slides under the extractor before the magazine fully releases the bullet.

Push-feed: When the breechface pushes the round into the chamber and the extractor pops over the case rim right before battery. So in theory, if you were to shoot upside down, the round could theoretically fall out of the gun because there will be a point where neither the extractor or the mag is in control of the round?

Also, when the Wilsons get rid of controlled-feed alltogether, are you saying when 47D (or similar) mags are used, there is a decent chance that every time the slide cycles, the extractor is popping over the rim just before battery? Isn't this a very bad thing for the extractor?

I was under the impression that USGI feed lips are tapered and gradual release, whereas the lips on the Tripp Cobra's are exactly like the Wilsons but just longer, making them late and sudden release.

Aren't wadcutter feedlips what's also on Wilson mags? That would mean wadcutter/parallel feed lips on the Wilsons, CMCs, and KimPros (as you say) are the ones that get rid of controlled-feed?

Here is a pic I found of the Tripp Cobras vs. Wilsons:



They both look the same me in that they are parallel, but the Tripp's release later than the Wilsons.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:42 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Okay, if anyone cares and didn't already know, I did some more browsing and discovered this very useful thread:
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1213886

I have basically discovered that there are basically three different types of feedlips:

1. USGI full tapered, late gradual release.

2. Wadcutter, parallel, early abrubt release.

3. Hybrid -- a mix of the above two.

Apparently the problem with wadcutter lips are that, like LARRY LAMBART said, they eliminate the controlled-feed feature. I'm pretty sure the Wilsons and CMCs use the wadcutter design.

This photo illustrates how high the cartridge gets right before the magazines release them:


You can see how the hybrid lips bring the round up high and allow the rim to get behind the extractor before the round is released from the mag. This doesn't really happen with the wadcutter type as shown on the left.

Looks like only a handful of manufacturers produce mags with hybrid lips, with the Checkmate brand being the most readily available. I guess I will be ordering some with the skirted follower. Around $17/ea for the blued one and $22/ea for the stainless. Too bad there isn't a hybrid with a basepad/removable base version, but these should do fine for now.

I wonder if there is any reason why this isn't more common? I can't be the only few who has learned about this.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:22 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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Observations I've made from reading these "technical" studies over the years.

The most recommended 1911 magazines on this or any other forum are Chip McCormick PowerMags, Tripp Research CobraMags, and Wilson Combat. The only thing these three mags have in common are wadcutter feed lips. Wadcutter feed lips must work OK, or these mags all wouldn't be so well regarded. I'm not saying wadcutters are the best design, but I think they are the easiest to make correctly on the most consistent basis. The advantage to the wadcutter feed lips are in the feeding of short rounds such as with semi-wadcutter bullets (hence the name) and many hollow points. I'll also guess most shooter are using a steady diet of modern hollow point rounds for defense purposes or high volume of semi-wadcutter rounds for training. Both of which would favor the wadcutter feed lip design.

GI feed lips do feed smoother (in my experience) with 230gr ball ammo, which is a longer round, and what they were designed to do. So, if you are primarily shooting just 230gr ball ammo, this may be the feed lip design you'd prefer.

The hybrid design is a compromise between the two.

I think, if you've read through 1911Tuner's posts a variety of forums, you'll find his recommendation is more in favor of 7 round mags with a dimpled follower, rather than condemnation of any kind of feed lip design.

My recommendation - pick a style, from a respected maker, and buy one example. Test it with your pistol and the rounds you intend to shoot. If it works, buy more.

Last edited by jtq; 05-23-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:31 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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Another data point is KimPro TacMags are made by CheckMate. If you like your TacMags, but want some slight modification of the design for your needs you can buy the similar mag without the Kimber stamp from CheckMate.

I generally buy my CheckMate mags from Top Gun Supply. They usually have a good variety and most are in stock at good prices.

Top Gun Supply
http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-mate-1911-magazines/
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2012, 06:22 PM
LARRY LAMBERT LARRY LAMBERT is offline
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jtq has the right idea, now that you understand what you are buying, you just wade in and try out. Even within one brand of pisto,l some guns like magazine brand A, some don't. It always seems like I'm talking crap about Wilson mags, but of course if they didn't work they wouldn't be so well regarded. You might find that your pistol is tolerant of a wide variety of designs ( if you are that lucky then you might also be shooting eight shot .45 of inch groups ), but the only way to find out is to buy an example or borrow one that has been taken care of, and give it a whirl. Every one of the design has its raison d'etre or they wouldn't last long in a free market.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2012, 06:25 PM
LARRY LAMBERT LARRY LAMBERT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtq View Post
Another data point is KimPro TacMags are made by CheckMate. If you like your TacMags, but want some slight modification of the design for your needs you can buy the similar mag without the Kimber stamp from CheckMate.

I generally buy my CheckMate mags from Top Gun Supply. They usually have a good variety and most are in stock at good prices.

Top Gun Supply
http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-mate-1911-magazines/
+1 for Top Gun, when I placed an order for Checkmate mags from them, my delivery included a hand written personal note, thanking me for my business.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2012, 10:49 PM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Thanks guys, I agree. At first I began going back and worth between the CM mags or buying more Wilsons (because I like the removable baseplates) but I have decided I want to give the checkmate mags a try.

I want to go with stainless, 7rd, hybrid lipped ones.

The only thing I am trying to decide now is whether I should get one with the GI follower or their patented bull-nose follower. I'm asking because there is a pretty significant difference in price between the two. Granted I don't currently own an LW frame gun but I don't want my follower to ding up my frame. Appearently that is mostly only a problem with the CMC devel-style follower but my recently purchased SA Champion is showing a ding mark on the frame from the follower and I am pretty sure the previous owner was using the stock SA mags with the GI follower. I'm starting to believe that the GI follower will ding frames too, just not as much as the CMC devel ones.

I can get a stainless, hybrid, GI follower here for $16.05/ea with free shipping:
http://www.44mag.com/product/check_m...tainless/1911_

Or get the one with the bullnose follower for $21.95/ea from TopGunSupply and pay an additional $9.75 for shipping.

If my research is correct, the springs in the GI follower version are supposed to be crap and should immediately be swapped out for Wolff 11lb springs. That means extra money.

The bull-nose follower, on the other hand, come with "hi-performance springs" which some say is not even as strong as the 11lb Wolff springs.

I also know that the bull-nose followers ONLY work with special springs available only from Checkmate.


EDIT: Nevermind, I think I answered my own question lol

Last edited by StriderTacticaL; 05-23-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:23 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Alright, decided to just pull the trigger on a few of these and ordered 3 of them from TopGunSupply. Bought the ones with the bullnose followers and the total came out to be $75. Kinda sucks how they charge $10 for USPS flat-rate shipping when I know the mags will fit in a small flat-rate box for a little over $5.

Does anyone know what my options are when it comes to base pads/slam pads? I'm not crazy about screw on pads because I can tell they can work loose easily. I have an idea about screwing on a pad and securing it with a small nut on the inside of the magazine tube. Good idea? It should be small enough to not interfere with the magazine spring.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:22 AM
Corrigun Corrigun is offline
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I have found that all of this is academic really. Buying three of anything is asking for heartbreak since you have no idea if they will work or not and that will all boil down to your particular gun.

I now have four magazines, all different makes, all 7 round and the best one is still the Italian ACT mag that came with it. Most of the write ups you will find for an ACT mag are not good.

After days of research and questions I had high hopes for my Check Mate but it sometimes fails to lock open after the last round. Not a huge deal but annoying.

The el-cheapo Chinese USGI mag that I was SO mad I got robbed on (and actually got my money back) turned out to be one of the best. It looks like a High School sheet metal project gone wrong but guess what? The dumb thing works.

Bottom line, buy one at a time and try it. The best mag is the one that goes bang every time no matter what you feed it. It may take some time to find it and it may not be the one you hoped it was but you will find one.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2012, 07:02 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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^^ I would have bought one, except since shipping was $10, I figured it would be worth my while to buy 2 or 3. But I know what you mean. With my first 1911, I bought a single Wilson 47D and it was the only thing I used during the short time I owned the gun. 300 flawless rounds with the gun and that mag.

I think checkmate has a lifetime warranty on the mags so if it really doesn't work out and I believe I need stronger springs or what not, maybe they will be able to work with me on that.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:26 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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My recommendation would have been to buy one with GI feed lips and GI follower, one with hybrid feed lips and GI follower, and one with the patented CheckMate follower (CMF) and wadcutter feed lips. See what you like and then order more of them. Chances are all three will work fine and you'd still have them for range work, but you'd no doubt prefer one over the other and could make that decision in future orders.

I really like CheckMate mags and I have several of them. They are all well made, and have a virtually invisible weld seam at the back of the tube, pretty much the best I've seen. They also have the little indentation on the right side of the tube that makes insertion easier. That is really a subtle, but nice feature. However, I've had more problems with the hybrid feed lip models than any other mag I own. I bought mine a few years ago, when they first came on the market and the word on the street was they had week springs. After having problems with them, I did replace all the springs with Wolff 11lb extra power springs. It helped, but didn't completely fix the problem of the slide locking back with the last round sitting loose in the ejection port. I believe they have upgraded their springs since those early models, and I would not replace any springs on a new CheckMate mag without verifying they are bad.

Quote:
Does anyone know what my options are when it comes to base pads/slam pads? I'm not crazy about screw on pads because I can tell they can work loose easily. I have an idea about screwing on a pad and securing it with a small nut on the inside of the magazine tube. Good idea? It should be small enough to not interfere with the magazine spring.
I have the screw on pads. They don't come loose. I wouldn't worry about it. I can't imagine finding a nut that small for those little screws, how you would get a teeny-tiny little wrench in the mag tube to tighten it, or how it would help.

Top Gun Supply also sells the base pads.
http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-ma...e-bumper-pads/

CheckMate also makes mags with the slide on bumper pads, like those on Wilson, McCormick, and Tripp. They have lots of options and you should be able to find what you like. If not, there are of course the other makers.

In spite of the problems I've had with the hybrid feed lip models, the only CheckMate mag that I wouldn't buy again is their flush fit 8 rounder. It really is too many rounds to put in that length tube, in my opinion.

Last edited by jtq; 05-24-2012 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:08 PM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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^^ I was looking at the checkmate ones but they only sell them in large/small pairs and they are plastic. I'd prefer rubber and I stumbled by these on Brownells: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2...ROUND-MAGAZINE

Which seem to fit my bill except in the description it says for Wolff magazines only. Don't all GI style magazines feature mil-spec dimensions as far as the two holes at the bottom?

I would have gotten some mags with a removable basepad except Checkmate doesn't make any with the hybrid lips, unfortunately. I'm really excited to try out the ones I ordered. If I didn't care for the bullnose follower then I could have gotten the exact same ones with the GI follower for $16/each shipped from 44mag.com...
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2012, 08:33 PM
rmack rmack is offline
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i have have checkmate mags and used glend arms rubber base pads for mine.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:09 AM
jtq jtq is offline
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Quote:
I was looking at the checkmate ones but they only sell them in large/small pairs and they are plastic. I'd prefer rubber
I don't know what their chemical composition is, but my CheckMate screw on pads seem to be made of the same material as the slip on pads on my McCormick PowerMags, Wilson 47D's, and CheckMate 8 rounders.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2012, 08:27 PM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtq View Post
I don't know what their chemical composition is, but my CheckMate screw on pads seem to be made of the same material as the slip on pads on my McCormick PowerMags, Wilson 47D's, and CheckMate 8 rounders.
Hmm okay i'll look into those. I was just checking out the Ed Brown ones that come in a 6-pack for $9.99 but in the reviews people are saying it's made of cheap hard plastic and it appears judging by the pics that it's one of those plastics where any impact will result in a crack lol

Btw my Check-Mate mags arrived today and they seem to be of really good quality. Also the springs seem nice and strong. I'll get to try them out as soon as my guide rod arrives.

I wonder if these pads on this site are in fact the Check-Mate pads? Because it's a much better deal than the CM pads showing on TopGunSupply: http://www.joes1911magmania.net/shop

BTW jtq, are your thin CM base pads thick enough to be used on guns with magwells?


Thanks

Last edited by StriderTacticaL; 05-26-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:09 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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Quote:
BTW jtq, are your thin CM base pads thick enough to be used on guns with magwells?

I'm not a magwell guy, so I couldn't say.

The thin screw on pads are basically the same size as the standard pad on the Wilson 47/47D (.350") and McCormick PowerMags. The thick pad is probably the size of those thick pads you see on McCormick "Match Grade" mags, though I don't own any of those.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:54 AM
Coltitis Coltitis is offline
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Strider - Since October of last year I have been testing various mags in 14 different 1911 pistols. 10 pistols in .45ACP, 3 in 38 Super, and 1 in 9mm. Magazines were a concern for me too and I have spent a small fortune trying different brands. After a little over 11,000 rounds have been sent downrange I find that the Tripp mags have worked out the best for me. The Tripp mags are the ones that I keep loaded for "serious work", they are just great mags.

Last edited by Coltitis; 05-27-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:20 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltitis View Post
Strider - Since October of last year I have been testing various mags in 14 different 1911 pistols. 10 pistols in .45ACP, 3 in 38 Super, and 1 in 9mm. Magazines were a concern for me too and I have spent a small fortune trying different brands. After a little over 11,000 rounds have been sent downrange I find that the Tripp mags have worked out the best for me. The Tripp mags are the ones that I keep loaded for "serious work", they are just great mags.
Thanks, that's good to hear. One of the reasons why I just bought the Check-Mate ones is to use it on my new (to me) SA Champion so I wanted something that doesn't stick out too much. Once I get more 1911's I plan on buying the Tripp 8 rounders and hopefully stick to just these two brands.
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:51 AM
jcalveri jcalveri is offline
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Honestly I had the same problem/confusion/hard time deciding so I ended up buying some Chip McCormick power mags (8 round and 10 round) and Wilson Combat (8 round and 10 round) and the thing that helped me decide best was when I was testing the 10 rounders.. I had no problems with either of the 8 rounders in fact they performed just as well as each other, but when it came to the 10 round mags, the Wilson Combat mag beat out the Chip mag with flying colors..

IMO Wilson Combat makes the best magazine for 1911's..
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  #23  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:44 PM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Just a little update,

Finally made it to the range today and brought three of the Check-Mate mags with me. Left them loaded for a day and a half to help set the springs a bit.

These mags worked fantastically and I didn't have a single malfunction with the mags or my newly acquired SA Champion. The only issue I ran into was getting a click instead of a bang after one round but I realized that I didn't seat the mag in fully. I definitely want to get some base pads for these but for now I love these mags and I'll probably be running these exclusively from now on.

The thing I noticed with my gun though is that half my rounds were ejecting forward at like a 2 o'clock direction. I also noticed that I was getting brass marks in the FRONT of the ejection port and not just the rear as you commonly do. Any ideas? I planned to pick up my brass but only managed to get half of them cause the other half flew in front of the booth lol.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:55 AM
MidwestRookie MidwestRookie is offline
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I think that's an ejector issue if the brass is going forward..

FWIW, I have 4 47Ds, one Brown branded 7-round checkmate, and an unmarked $8 8-rounder that all work equally perfect in MY gun..I still have 2 more 47Ds to order to fill my Pelican 1020 case (a little OCD never hurt did it? lol), but after that I'll order a few more checkmates and i want to try a mecgar 8-rounder with the anti friction coating, since those are all I use in my Berettas..

If the Wilsons (or any of them) get weak springed and start having problems, they'll get a Tripp 7-round rebuild kit, but until then its "all good". We can split hairs or we can find what works for OUR guns..since that's what really matters, not what works in someone elses.
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Last edited by MidwestRookie; 06-03-2012 at 01:10 AM.
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