Sig 220 shooters, what magazines do you use?


PDA






Euclidean
July 9, 2008, 09:07 AM
While there's a wealth of information out there on the different magazines available for the Sig P220, no source has yielded an exhaustive head to head comparison on reliability of 7 rounders vs. 8 rounders and aftermarket vs. factory.

I'm going to buy some extra mags here soon and I was wondering if someone could fill in the gaps. Research has turned up several sources but these seem to be the best:

Used old style factory 7 round magazines for $16ish
Used old style factory 8 round magazines for $18ish
Novak 8 round magazines for $20ish
New factory 7 round magazines for $30-35
New factory 8 round magazines for $35ish

There's also the extended mags but I don't want any, I just want flush fitting ones. There are also other aftermarket mags but I don't trust those brand names and won't buy unreliable junk mags just to save money. My gun is a 220ST if that makes any difference.

I currently have an inadequate number of factory mags (7 rounders) and Mec Gar mags. The factory mags work great with the caveat they tend to stick instead of drop free.

The Mec Gars drop free and are much smoother to load/transition with and they feed great, but unless the mag is absolutely perfectly seated the slide won't lock open on the last shot. Even if you really slam it in there hard like you should, it doesn't always work 100%.

They both feed great and are reliable, but I want magazines that:

1. Drop free.
2. Hold the slide open after the last round is fired.
3. Reliably feed modern jacketed hollow point ammunition.
4. Do all these consistently. For example I have this one factory mag that works just great, one that does #2 reliably but not #1, etc.

I mostly shoot this pistol for fun, it's very accurate. I'm really not a big Sig fan (I don't hate them either) but I really like this particular model; even with the DA/SA action it reminds me of firing a revolver for a reason I can't quite pinpoint. I don't really CCW it but it can be carried just fine OWB. However the Sig is an excellent weapon and I'd like to be able to make full use of it. I keep it around because it's a lot of fun to shoot, it's a good BBQ gun, it's the softest shooting .45 I've ever run into (like a S&W 1045), and in case I ever went somewhere I could legally bring a pistol but not normal capacity magazines.

Anyway I understand that the only difference between the 7 and 8 round magazines are the followers. There seems to be a school of thought that the 7 round magazines are more inherently reliable as far as JHPs are concerned because the follower angles the bullet differently for better feeding. However there's plenty of people using the 8 rounders, yet a great number of them do not top off the pistol (in other words they load the 8, chamber one, and leave the magazine short one cartridge) in the interest of reliability.

Me, I'm in the habit of "topping off", so if it's necessary to download the 8 rounders I'd just as soon go with the seven.

There's also apparently a bit of consternation that the old style magazines were either better or worse, and some argue the Novaks are actually the best 220 magazines.

I secretly suspect that all of the Novak mags and factory mags are actually pretty good and it's a matter of fine tuning each pistol/ammo/magazine combination.

So my question is, what do you use if you have a 220? What seems to work?

If you enjoyed reading about "Sig 220 shooters, what magazines do you use?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
wnycollector
July 9, 2008, 09:30 AM
I have one 7 round factory mag, one 7 round mecgar and two 8 round act/novak mags. ALL are very reliable. When I carry it is with an 8 round novak topped off, for a total of 9 rounds. I REALLY like the novak's. They are the only mags that will load 200gr SWC reloads 100% of the time, my 7 rounder's occasionally fail to load the last round.

rellascout
July 9, 2008, 09:32 AM
If you are not CCW the gun then Novaks are fine. I only carry with the older 7 and 8 rounders.

Euclidean
July 9, 2008, 09:45 AM
They are the only mags that will load 200gr SWC reloads 100% of the time, my 7 rounder's occasionally fail to load the last round.

Thanks, that's a useful thing to know!

If you are not CCW the gun then Novaks are fine. I only carry with the older 7 and 8 rounders.

Well just because I don't CCW the pistol doesn't mean I don't want reliable magazines suited for personal defense! What issues have you had with the Novaks rellascout? Is there a reason you use the older factory magazines instead of the newer ones other than that's just what you have?

rellascout
July 9, 2008, 10:16 AM
Newer mags have a cheaper feel they are Mecgars IIFC. That is why you cannot find new Mecgars in the US for the P220.

The older ones were made in Germany. They are rock solid and built like tanks. I like the follower better and I believe that they will last forever as long as you change the springs.

Novaks/ACTs followers crack due to the metal insert. I have also had them not feed the last round without running them wet. They will not last as long as the German mags IMHO.

Euclidean
July 9, 2008, 11:11 AM
Hmmm I did not know that, I've never seen a Novak magazine in person.

I tottally agree the Mec Gar marked magazines I have feel flimsier though compared to the factory magazines. That's kind of sad to hear, I'm used to Mec Gar being good stuff.

rellascout
July 9, 2008, 11:15 AM
It is not that they are bad it is just that the older ones are better IMHO.

kayl
July 9, 2008, 12:53 PM
I use both the new and old style Sig brand magazines. Both work well, but I prefer the new style. The new ones have a "dimple" that prevents the top round in the mag from jumping forwards under recoil. I haven't had any malfunctions with the old style, but it is possible. But like I said, I use both.

Lonestar49
July 9, 2008, 12:55 PM
...

I've used, and use, factory 8-rounders with 100% function, including last shot and locking slide open..

I also have one extended 10 round mag, but never use it..

I think, given the choice of a flush 7 round mag vs the extra 1/8" sticking out the bottom, either using stock plastic grips, or a Hogue full fingered wrap-around grip (which is what I use) that the extra round, making for an additional bullet for a 9+1 first-load, is the way to go.. IMO.

If you use wood grips, the 8 round mags "look like they are sticking out more" and they are, but that is due to the wood grips being slightly smaller in bottom-length comapred to either grips mentioned above.. and the height measurement remains the same.. fyi


Ls

Shadow1198
July 10, 2008, 06:02 AM
Personally, I can only recommend the factory Mecgar mags. I have a Promag 8rd mag and it just plain sucks. I even tried using the follower and spring from one of my Mecgar 8 rounders and the thing still does not feed properly. Promag just plain sucks in my experience. As far as the factory Mecgars, I would advise trying to go with the newer type that have the dimple near the rear side of the mag for bullet retention and to aid in keeping the mag drop free. They also have a long stamped groove on the front side for preventing the follower from tilting. Here's a pic of the type I am talking about just to clarify:

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-5/733581/tn_102_1120.jpg

It has been my experience that the factory Mecgar 10 rounders function just as reliably as the Mecgar 7rd and 8rd mags. I think some people's irrational fear of feeding issues with "extended" mags is completely unfounded with these Mecgar 10 rounders. I'm sure with some other guns it may be a possibility but, these factory mags work great. I have never had one single problem with my factory Mecgar 7rd, 8rd (newer style with the plastic baseplate), and 10rd mags. Not one single FTF from either of these mags in a one year period with probably ~5,000rds through the gun and entirely on those 3 mags.

From what I hear the Novak's are just as good as the Mecgars, though I can't personally say since I haven't used them. Either way, it sounds like at the least they are considerably better than Promag's.

jlh26oo
July 10, 2008, 07:19 AM
1. Drop free.
2. Hold the slide open after the last round is fired.
3. Reliably feed modern jacketed hollow point ammunition.
4. Do all these consistently. For example I have this one factory mag that works just great, one that does #2 reliably but not #1, etc.

All of mine are 7 rounders, and reliably do all of the above. I am however not sure the brand of these, but they read "Sig Sauer P220-1" on one side and "Made in Italy" on the other (which type is this)?

wnycollector
July 10, 2008, 09:09 AM
Both the mecgar and act/novak's are made in Italy.

I agree promags are junk! I bought my P220 used and the previous owner tossed in a promag 10 rounder...JUNK!

I think mag choice is VERY pistol specific. What works on my vintage west german P220 may not work on a newer SIG. I put at least 250 rounds through ANY mag that gets carried or loaded for home defense. If it is not 100%, it goes into the range mag pile!

If you enjoyed reading about "Sig 220 shooters, what magazines do you use?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!