Increasing capacity of 13-round Mec-Gar magazines. - Page 2 - 1911Forum
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  #26  
Old 12-21-2019, 10:47 AM
Mark75H Mark75H is offline
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If you depress the 13th round you see that there is very little that needs to be removed from the bottom of the follower to allow a 14th round to be inserted.

What is 'normal'? By definition of being less distance, it is beyond normal spec. Is it outside of useful and safe range? No, its probably still longer than when the same spring is used in a MecGar 15 rounder.

Press down on the 13th round, then disassemble the mag and examine the base of the plastic follower. I am very certain the length of the legs of the plastic follower are the length they are merely to follow the P-35 tradition of holding 13 rounds. I am certain the legs function to keep the follower aligned and if you tried to modify a 13 round plastic follower to allow 15 rounds it would become unstable and jam. No such problem exists at 14 rounds.
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  #27  
Old 12-21-2019, 11:25 AM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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"if you tried to modify a 13 round plastic follower to allow 15 rounds it would become unstable and jam".

There's a way to go from 13 to 15 while retaining stability. You trim/grind the sides of the 13-round follower up from the bottom creating a shelf midway up, so that the lower 'half' of the follower is reduced in size enough to nest within the spring. It will still be stable after the mod.
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  #28  
Old 12-21-2019, 11:30 AM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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"And I have heard of rounds in those mags getting jumbled around when dropped, but not personally experienced it".

I've had that happen with Promags, but not with MecGars.
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  #29  
Old 12-22-2019, 02:43 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCunn View Post
"if you tried to modify a 13 round plastic follower to allow 15 rounds it would become unstable and jam".

There's a way to go from 13 to 15 while retaining stability. You trim/grind the sides of the 13-round follower up from the bottom creating a shelf midway up, so that the lower 'half' of the follower is reduced in size enough to nest within the spring. It will still be stable after the mod.
The 15rd magazine followers are completely hollow.The spring rests at the top of the hollow follower. That is why I worry about modifying 13rd mags to take an extra round. Spring over compression is what ruins springs. I have not looked at a 13rd and 15rd Mecgar spring side by side to see how many coils they each have. That would be interesting.
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  #30  
Old 12-22-2019, 11:05 AM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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I haven't either. I'll do that this week. On one 13 round mag, I completely cut out the lower side slots so I could see the spring displacement when at full capacity (this particular mag will never be used for carry). Fourteen rounds does not fully compress the spring. With the follower mod I described, neither should 15. I'll report back on that.
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  #31  
Old 12-22-2019, 07:27 PM
hdm25 hdm25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCunn View Post
I haven't either. I'll do that this week. On one 13 round mag, I completely cut out the lower side slots so I could see the spring displacement when at full capacity (this particular mag will never be used for carry). Fourteen rounds does not fully compress the spring. With the follower mod I described, neither should 15. I'll report back on that.
We went over this years ago. 13-rd mags can be easily converted to 15-rd ones. I am someone who has experienced the follower tilting on even the factory 15-rd ones and so I only carry 13-rd OEM/Mecgar mags and reserve the 15-rd ones for the range.
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  #32  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:56 PM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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"We went over this years ago".

I wasn't here years ago.
I speculate that 13 round followers can be converted to 15 in a way that leaves them stable. I may be wrong. I'll report back on that.
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  #33  
Old 12-28-2019, 03:03 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdm25 View Post
I am someone who has experienced the follower tilting on even the factory 15-rd ones and so I only carry 13-rd OEM/Mecgar mags and reserve the 15-rd ones for the range.
Are you referring to the 15rd Mec-Gars? I'm not aware of any factory Browning/FN Hi-Power 15rd magazines.
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  #34  
Old 12-28-2019, 03:06 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCunn View Post
I speculate that 13 round followers can be converted to 15 in a way that leaves them stable. I may be wrong. I'll report back on that.
Yes, my question is how, and how does the spring not over compress when you merely cut the legs off the solid follower and put in 15rds, since the 15rd Mec-Gars have a hollow follower that the spring goes up into. It seems to me you would need to not only cut the legs off of a 13rd follower, but also hollow it out with a grinder to achieve the same result.

In fact, since the spring is already at the bottom of the 13rd follower, how does it not over compress with 14rds. My only experience with this is Mec-Gar 20rd BHP mags. They seem to accept 21rds with approximately the tension of a fully loaded 13 or 15 capacity Mec-Gar, but I don't know if it's wise to do.

And I've used a lot of mags of different manufactures, OEM/MDS/Checkmate/MecGar that seemed from the outside and even inside appearance that the springs should be compatible with the same capacity mag as far as compression, but they aren't.

Last edited by PsychoSword; 12-28-2019 at 03:11 AM.
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  #35  
Old 12-28-2019, 01:09 PM
Mark75H Mark75H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychoSword View Post
Yes, my question is how, and how does the spring not over compress when you merely cut the legs off the solid follower and put in 15rds, since the 15rd Mec-Gars have a hollow follower that the spring goes up into. It seems to me you would need to not only cut the legs off of a 13rd follower, but also hollow it out with a grinder to achieve the same result.

In fact, since the spring is already at the bottom of the 13rd follower, how does it not over compress with 14rds. My only experience with this is Mec-Gar 20rd BHP mags. They seem to accept 21rds with approximately the tension of a fully loaded 13 or 15 capacity Mec-Gar, but I don't know if it's wise to do.

And I've used a lot of mags of different manufactures, OEM/MDS/Checkmate/MecGar that seemed from the outside and even inside appearance that the springs should be compatible with the same capacity mag as far as compression, but they aren't.
The spring does not "over compress" as a 14 because its NOT at the bottom of a 13 round follower to begin with. The follower has legs that fit inside a few coils of the spring. The same spring as a 15 fits into a pocket in the follower rather than 3/8 lower.

As I said above, load a standard 13 round mag and depress - you will see what a small amount of material would have to be removed to fit a 14th round. Its not like you hack off half of the stabilization legs. You still have coils looped around the follower when using as a 14, not smashed fully flat.

Last edited by Mark75H; 12-28-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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  #36  
Old 12-28-2019, 01:20 PM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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"Yes, my question is how, and how does the spring not over compress when you merely cut the legs off the solid follower and put in 15rds"

Because that isn't what you do to convert 13 to 15.
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  #37  
Old 12-28-2019, 01:23 PM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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"In fact, since the spring is already at the bottom of the 13rd follower, how does it not over compress with 14rds"

Mark is spot on, it's not at full compression with 14. Very little is taken off the follower legs.

This is a sacrificial 13-round mag that I cut the side out of, so I could see what is going on with the spring and follower. It is loaded with 14 rounds in the photo.Click image for larger version

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Last edited by JimCunn; 12-28-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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  #38  
Old 12-29-2019, 07:16 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark75H View Post
The spring does not "over compress" as a 14 because its NOT at the bottom of a 13 round follower to begin with. The follower has legs that fit inside a few coils of the spring. The same spring as a 15 fits into a pocket in the follower rather than 3/8 lower.
Thanks, that is mainly what I was wondering about because I remember the springs of the 13rd factory mags ALREADY going to the top of the legs of the follower, so I was wondering how cutting the legs off would make a difference aside from allowing the spring to be compressed more. I must have remembered this wrong. I'll have to take apart one of my 13rd Mec-Gars and see how it looks since I haven't had any factory BHP mags in a long time.
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  #39  
Old 12-29-2019, 07:47 AM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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Clipping about a eighth inch off the bottom of the legs allows the follower to drop that much lower in the mag before bottoming out on the butt plate. See photo above for example.
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  #40  
Old 12-29-2019, 10:29 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCunn View Post
Clipping about a eighth inch off the bottom of the legs allows the follower to drop that much lower in the mag before bottoming out on the butt plate. See photo above for example.
Okay, that's what I was thinking. I'm trying to understand how Mec-Gar needed a hollow follower to achieve 15rds. Is it because the spring will have better life or because the spring will be over compressed bottoming out on a solid follower with legs clipped even further? Or did Mec-Gar go with springs that could only handle the 15rds with a hollow follower? Making me wonder if they used the same springs. Now I think I need to tear my 13rd and 15rd Mec-Gars down and compare.
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  #41  
Old 12-29-2019, 02:01 PM
JimCunn JimCunn is offline
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Springs are not the same. The lower portion of the 13 round follower can be ground down on the outside so that it can nest inside the 13 round spring rather than the spring nesting inside the follower. The top eighth inch of the follower needs to remain unground in order to create a shelf on the follower for the spring to rest against. You will probably still have to cut one or two coils off the spring to give clearance for the fifteenth round. If the newly created follower shelf spring stop is placed too high, the follower will hang on the top front of the mag.

Last edited by JimCunn; 12-29-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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  #42  
Old 12-30-2019, 09:29 AM
PsychoSword PsychoSword is offline
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That seems a bit beyond what I would ever hope to achieve with the factory mags. Good to know though.
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