The inadvisability of using mag for different pistol


January 13, 2003, 03:31 PM
It seems that mags have to fit very exact specifications in order to work. And if they don't work, the pistol doesn't function properly. Even aftermarket mags made for a specific gun may not work, because the manufacturer is incompetent. I had some Pro Mags that couldn't even be inserted and removed from an Astra pistol . That's how wrong the dimensions were. I had some aftermarket mags for a Beretta 418 that wouldn't even feed ammo; they were too short and the slide wouldn't engage the round to chamber it.

So isn't it even less wise to try to use a mag made for a different pistol by a different manufacturer? For example, Colt and Mec Gar mags for the Officer's Model are supposed to work in the Patriot .45. I am not sure that is true because neither the original (Pro Mag) mags nor the Colt mags allowed the pistol to operate without jamming. Certain Smith Wesson mags are supposed to work in the Star PD. But aren't the odds very much against this transfer of mags? If there is a slight variance in dimensions--in the location of the mag catch slot or in the height of the mag or the width or in the angle of the follower--there will be problems.

Comments and criticisms?


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January 13, 2003, 03:57 PM
S&W mags work well in my P-11...

now I know of problems with the Pro-mag's S&W versions that have not worked in P-11's, but I could tweak them and made them good enough for range mags (plus I don't even know if they would have worked in a S&W)

But factory S&W mags have done well in all of the P-11's I have heard of so far....

as far as reliability, any guy should be tested with any mag you will be caring it with loaded with your carry ammo, so the maker is totally irrelevant, ALL SHOULD BE TESTED!!

(I carry S&W 12 round mags ( in mine by the way)

January 13, 2003, 04:12 PM

did you ever find mag's for the 418 that work?
i have one and would like to get some more mag's for it but have not found any local and am afraid to go thru what you did if order thru shotgun news.:rolleyes:

January 13, 2003, 04:25 PM
No, I have never found any mags that work as well in my Beretta 418 (Panther) as the one original I have. I have been disappointed several times. So I am still looking for original mags for this pistol. The adventure continues.


January 13, 2003, 04:26 PM

The Kel-Tecs are a special case because the original mags excellently made by Mec-Gar and are readily available. Which SW mags do you use? How far do the 12 rounders extend below the grips? No problems with them?


January 13, 2003, 07:29 PM
I've been playing around w/ magazine compatability for the last few months. Ever since I read an article about the XD 9 being able to use any metal mag with only a slight (but legal) modification.
I think it really depends on the application. For self defense, factory only. For range use, I have no problem w/ aftermarket or modified mag as long as you're satisfied w/ function.

January 14, 2003, 12:21 AM
I've used aftermarket taurus, beretta, s&w mod 59(promag) and XD 40cal mags in my HS 2000, all feed fine. The taurus mag doesn't lock the slide. I also use so ramline witness mags in my cz75b which seem to work fine after I did a minor feed lips tweak. Single stack makarov mags also work in my double stack mak. Mark

Kahr carrier
January 14, 2003, 12:26 AM
I like to stick to oem mags for reliability ,put in a pinch sometimes ,I buy Meggar mags because they seem to function well .:)

January 14, 2003, 02:10 PM
the original S&W mags (made by S&W I believe) I think have S&W stamped on the base plate, and an S stamped on the side of the mag. The only problem I had with original S&W mags (12 and 15 rounders) were the mag springs, but I don't fault the mags for that because obviously they are not new and who knows what they have been through, so after figuring that out with the 15 rounders replacing them with wolf 10% extra power springs has become standard for me. (Had to replace them in the 15 rounders, and just did it for the 12 round one, I'm not even sure I fired the 12 round ones with the originals). Even good (ok well decent) copies of the S&W mags that work well in S&W guns still may not work in the P-11, but the originals seem to work well.

The 12 round mags do not stick out that much (actually it sticks out less than the KT finger extension), but the finger extension on the 12 round mags is HUGE!! I took that off and made a flat base plate for the 12 rounders and that is my carry mag, many pics and more info here: ( (
click to enlarge

P-11 finger extension first, then SS S&W 12 round mag.

January 14, 2003, 05:28 PM
IIRC, Early Kel-Tecs used a Kel-Tec manufactured magazine, but had not-so-good results. Then, (also IIRC) Kel-Tec redesigned the P11 to accept S&W mags. So in this one case, it's not like sticking mags into your magwell to see if they fit, then cutting a notch for lockup. Designing the pistol around an existing mag was an excellent idea on KT's part... Those 12 round mags with extended baseplate from CDNN are GREAT, and cheap.

January 14, 2003, 11:40 PM
"I like to stick to oem mags for reliability ,put in a pinch sometimes ,I buy Meggar mags because they seem to function well ."

Guess what? Mec-gar makes magazines for various gun manufacturers, so Mec-gar magazines are actually OEM to begin with. ;)

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