20 Round Magazines: How Well Do They Work?


May 22, 2008, 09:57 PM
I'm looking for magazines made for my Smith & Wesson and can buy a special 20-rounder made by Smith or a much more inexpensive one made by MecGar. Both mags appear similar in quality, but how about performance. I also notice there's a 30-rounder made by some no-name manufacturer, but don't know if I'd be pushing my luck to get one of those. In short, MecGar is the only third-party mag that's been recommended and I understand the company makes many mags for primary manufacturers.

Has anyone tried a 20- or 30-round magazine for their 9mm? If so, how do they work reliability wise?

If you enjoyed reading about "20 Round Magazines: How Well Do They Work?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
May 22, 2008, 11:40 PM
I've not tried a twenty rounder of 9 by Mec-gar but every single one of my 12 rnd .40s for my CZ75 B is a Mec-gar and they are flawless

May 23, 2008, 04:35 AM
The quality of a magazine has nothing to do with its capacity, but with its design, and of course how well its manufacturer makes it. Virtually every aftermarket magazine I've used or heard of seems to fall somewhere on a scale of 'not quite as good as factory' to 'door stop'. If you want quality and reliability you should stick with factory magazines. There are some exceptions though, and one of those is Mec-Gar.

I have never heard anything but great things about Mec-Gar magazines. Everyone who has ever used a Mec-Gar magazine that I've heard from says they are every bit as good as factory mags. And you heard right, Mec-Gar's quality is so good that some pistol manufacturers (like Beretta and CZ) use Mec-Gar as an OEM supplier of magazines. So if you want you can buy that 20-rounder Mec-Gar mag for your Smith & Wesson with no worries, but I would avoid the no-name 30 rounder.

May 23, 2008, 05:01 AM
Mec-Gar also supplies mags for many other manufacturers aside from the ones mentioned. In fact, far too many to begin listing names.

The interesting thing is their aftermarket mags may not be made to the same specs as their OEM mags. In many cases the followers in Mec-Gar aftermarket are not the same as those in the OEM. I've found that simply replacing the followers usually delivers the same performance as the OEM mags made by Mec-Gar.

However, base pads can be another story altogether. Aftermarket Mec-Gar base pads frequently don't fit OEM mags and vice versa.

The worst problem I've ever had with a Mec-Gar mag is failure to lock the slide when empty. That is where the factory follower comes into play. It may take some work with the Dremel tool, but the factory followers will fit and will lock the slide.

I've always considered Mec-Gar to be premium mags.

May 23, 2008, 06:17 AM
I have 2 MecGar 20-round magazines for my 5904. In the past 3 years that I've been using them I never had a single FTF or any other problem and that was with at least a dozen different kinds of ammo.
Highly recommended!

May 23, 2008, 06:25 AM
I have some of their 20-round Beretta mags, and they work very well. I carry 15-rounders, but only for the steel floorplate, since the 20-round mags have a plastic one. This is usually a non-issue, but in the event of a fast mag change, I don't want to break my magazines.

May 23, 2008, 02:57 PM
Sounds great. I've used some of the Ramline stainless mags for the Ruger Mark series pistol, the 12-shot type, and they seem to work well and take a couple of extra rounds. And someone gave me about three Ramline plastic mags for a Ruger Mini-14. I've been told they're reliable, but that they won't last.

May 26, 2008, 12:24 AM
Most quality made 20rd mags work fine for me. I've even used some USA brand 20's for a Ruger P89 and they work though I don't use them for anything serious.

If you enjoyed reading about "20 Round Magazines: How Well Do They Work?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!