1911 pistol magazines starting to rust, what to do?


July 20, 2009, 08:26 PM
I haven't had my 1911's out in awhile and I noticed today a couple of the mags have some rust spots. I looked on Robar's website and they want $18 per mag to have them Robar'd. This is way out of line since the mags I think cost me about $5 apiece. I'm thinking for that I can just buy new stainless ones.

But I would like to do something with them, since they are good mags that don't have a lot of use. I would like a finish that matches a stainless gun, so I was thinking of having them hard chromed. Does anyone do hard chroming on about ten or twelve 1911 magazines for a decent price? The baseplate is welded on these .45acp 7rd mags, so I don't know what problems that presents for the plater. Perhaps they would have to take a chemical bath instead of the standard bead blasting.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated! I might have some Beretta mags and parts to hard chrome as well.

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July 20, 2009, 08:39 PM
I dont see why they couldnt be hard chromed. I'd just use Eezox on them and not worry about it.

Jim Watson
July 20, 2009, 08:40 PM
For a $5 magazine I think I would scrub the rust off with steel wool or a wire brush and coat them with Turtle Wax.

July 20, 2009, 09:49 PM
I don't think I'm going to go the car wax route, but thank you for the suggestion.

Can anybody recommend a reasonably priced hard chromer that would do 7rd 1911 mags with the welded bottoms?

See the mags are not really bad, they look like new otherwise, these are the only two with spots and they are minor. The rest have no rust. But I want to catch them early. These are not crappy mags, they are High Standard brand and work really good, so I'd like to either get them re-done or trade them for some Colt factory stainless ones.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/brooceleroy/th_mags.jpg (http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/brooceleroy/?action=view&current=mags.jpg)

Jim Watson
July 20, 2009, 10:18 PM
API charges $12 to plate the magazine tube only, $20 for the whole magazine, which would only add the follower for GI copy magazines you show.

July 20, 2009, 10:46 PM
I would go the steel wool and Turtle Wax route. They are only 1911 magazines they are very available.

M2HB M240
July 20, 2009, 11:01 PM
Eezox is one of the best rust preventative CLP products made. I have been using it since the mid to late 1980s and I have never found anything better. Try some Eezox and quit worrying about your mags.

July 20, 2009, 11:08 PM
1) steel wool takes the rust off.
2) oil keeps it off.
3) repeat.

July 20, 2009, 11:21 PM
Just hose them down with CLP , then scrub the rust away with a tough bristled toothbrush. That should be all you need to do. If you want to take it to the next level, buy some militec synthetic lubricant, smear it on the magazine body then heat it with a hair dryer or hot air gun then wipe all the lube off. The militec allegedly bonds to the metal and protects it after heated. I have done this on a blued 1911 that gets carried IWB......no rust yet.

If you only paid $5 for them , I personally wouldnt sink more money into them. I recommend investing in some Wilson Combat stainless mags.

July 20, 2009, 11:28 PM
I like the CLP and toothbrush idea. If that doesn't work I'll try some fine steel wool. I think I'll try that and order some new springs for them from Wolff while I'm at it to keep them in the rotation. Thanks everyone!

July 20, 2009, 11:56 PM
+1 Militec

Also makes them very slick but still 'dry'

July 21, 2009, 01:10 PM
What about a DIY spray on finish from Brownells?

Tom Fury
July 22, 2009, 02:19 PM
I liked your first idea; buy Wilsons.
Cheers, TF

July 22, 2009, 02:42 PM
+1 on the wilsons

July 22, 2009, 03:01 PM
Wax your GI mags. For the price of hard-chroming them, you may as well buy new stainless magazines.

I'd suggest Chip McCormick PowerMags. They are less expensive than Wilsons but have better grade springs, also do not have feed lip cracking issues.

July 23, 2009, 07:46 PM
keeping and using crappy magazines is like eating out of the dumpster because it's handy. the quality of the magazine dictates the performance of the pistol. start buying wison, mccormick or any other stainless mag you can afford. i have wilson mags from the day they hit the market, and they have never failed in any way. a mag failure will get you killed. we don't want you to get killed.

August 9, 2009, 10:33 AM
Robby, they are high quality High Standard magazines, otherwise I would just trade them cheap to somebody for a couple of stainless mags. Some of you might remember them, they are the mags Midway sold on special about five years back for very cheap. I'm probably going to order some new springs from Wolff, clean them up a bit with some fine grit steel wool, (only two are rusting the rest are fine) maybe use the car wax thing, and keep them in the rotation. They are good mags.

August 9, 2009, 08:10 PM
I'm probably going to order some new springs from Wolff, clean them up a bit with some fine grit steel wool

Take a look on Tripp's site. He offers some volume deals on ISMI springs I think. Some people are saying they are finding much better longevity with the ISMI springs vs. the standard steel springs Wolff uses. I don't have enough miles on mine yet to say that. He also offers the springs along with his hybrid followers if you want to try those. I think ISMI sells their springs directly, too, try googling them.

Yeah, pick up some 0000 steel wool at Ace Hardware and drizzle some 3-in-1 oil on the mag, buff with the steel wool. I cleaned up a WWI vintage GI magazine that way this past winter and it works perfectly, even with semi-wadcutters and hp's, and still with the original spring. Most all the original bluing on the bottom 1/2 is gone, but it has stayed rust-free for the last eight months, and believe me, western WA is not a "dry" climate.

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