Do you feel that a magwell adds to or detract from a 1911's cosmetics?


June 10, 2011, 09:37 PM
IMO a 1911 looks much better with a magwell, and that magwells really compliment the look of a 1911. Especially a longer Government model.

What do y'all think?

Post pictures if you wish. Can never have too many 1911 pictures.(except for when it makes it hard for the computer to load them. lol)



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June 10, 2011, 09:41 PM
I prefer the cleaner lines that the magwell affords. I didn't need them, I wanted them.;)

June 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
I think they rate right up their with the ruined front slides we now suffer with. The pistol works fine as delivered. I don't play shooting games so I am not worried about time on a clock . You chance or reloading in a SD situation about same as being hit by lighting. It's a matter of being sold in your mind by a advertisement for something you really don't need. You can justify about any thing in you mind Once you want something. Even those.

My 1911 are pretty much other than grips as they came from the box .

June 10, 2011, 10:04 PM
JROC - I like both ways, the SW1911 9mm Pro I'm getting has the exact same magwell (and mag bases) (Wilson right?) as your picture, and I think it fits beautifully. That 1911 is a little different though, being 9mm, having the lightened, scalloped slide, BIG external extractor, and ambi-safety, so I think the magwell goes well with the "modernised" (as I feel it is) modifications it has / was designed to have.

The big magwells are just ugly ugly ugly IMO, but no doubt they work, and that's what matters.

June 10, 2011, 10:08 PM
Either one can look good, so if looks are what you are after, build it like you like it.

I have a couple of guns with magwells, but I have a couple without as well. They definitely help with a fast reload.

Arkansas Paul
June 10, 2011, 10:14 PM
I think they look a lot better without. I realize there are advantages but strictly appearance wise, I like em without.

You just can't improve perfection. :)

June 10, 2011, 10:15 PM
Route666 mine is a Ed Brown magwell(which I don't recommend BTW).

I agree that a regular magwell doesn't add much function, but that's not why I bought it. I bought it for looks. I think of my 1911 as my toy gun, my sexy gun, my sportcar weekend kind of gun. I baby it and try to keep it from see much abuse. My Block is my SD gun. It's like my truck I work it, and I carry it with me. It's dependable, reliable, and I don't care if it gets a little abused as it handles it well. If I get a scratch on my 1911 it's like "Dammit man."

June 10, 2011, 10:29 PM
My 1911 are pretty much other than grips as they came from the box.

Dying to hear how your "sold" yourself on the grips.

June 10, 2011, 11:34 PM
Its entirely subjective, but I think they look awful. Extended magazine buttplates look awful too. The military spec 1911 has a retro appeal that (IMO) can't really be improved upon. Front slide serrations, those completely silly fish scale serrations, and god forbid engravings that look like your poor gun has skin cancer, all of these take away from the 1911's beauty.

The most beautiful 1911 would be a worn, blued thing that you found in your grandpa's attic going through his WW2 stuff. Thomas Magnum had a handsome 1911. Clint Eastwood's 1911 in Gran Torino was a thing of beauty.

All my opinion, of course.

June 10, 2011, 11:59 PM
The most beautiful 1911 would be a worn, blued thing that you found in your grandpa's attic going through his WW2 stuff. Thomas Magnum had a handsome 1911. Clint Eastwood's 1911 in Gran Torino was a thing of beauty.

You mean like this here?

It's my buddies M1911A1 Remington Rand Type 1.

It's a good shooting 1911. The bad thing about the gun is the slide is either not OEM, or it was re-blued and the markings on the slide were buffed out of it.(which the slide does have a little bit darker shade to it than the frame)

June 11, 2011, 12:24 AM
I can be extremely toxic-lots of practice. And I love a good fight. But engaging others in such shenanigans has gotten me banned from several forums.

I try hard not to engage others directly because it is often perceived as an 'attack'. In return I ask that I not be singled-out and targeted by a contrary opinion or worse, given 'helpful' advice.

My opinions, like my experiences are mine. I share both freely and often listen to the opinions and experiences of others. Like you I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing with a firearm through both training and experience. Neither opinion or the retelling of an experience are good or bad/right or wrong. They just are.

As to the post that was here: 1-I probably have a different expectation of performance and 2-see the previous paragraph.

There is nothing happening here; move along...

June 11, 2011, 03:31 AM
I can load a 1911 without a funnel. If it came with a gun I got a good deal on I would buy it anyway and later pitch it. I suppose in CQB, it could be right nasty.

June 11, 2011, 05:36 AM
If it's a modest magwell that blends well with the gun like the above examples, then it doesn't really matter.

If it's some huge ridiculous black plastic scoop like you see on some race guns, it's extraordinarily ugly.

June 11, 2011, 05:58 AM


June 11, 2011, 06:11 AM
look better without.

June 11, 2011, 06:41 AM
Another silly racegun feature bolted on to jack up the price of working guns.

You have a damn magwell, your strong hand can help if you fumble the insertion, particularly with shorter grips (officer length) and most guns have a beveled frame in there anyway. And aren't magazine tops rounded in the first place ... you know, to hold cylindrical ammunition?

If your only option to get a straight-cut magwell any help is to frankenbolt on an inverted funnel, then go for it, for utility ... but a mismatched thing slapped on below the grip isn't helping looks as far as I'm concerned.

June 11, 2011, 06:46 AM
The original 1911 or what is (overly) fondly referred to as the GI 1911 is far from perfect or reliable, and don't even start on accuracy.

Really? Maybe shot out, WWII era guns that have not been refurbed or maintained because they are collector pieces now.

In recent years Colt has reproduced the original 1911 as close as can happen with modern materials and prodcution in the 01911 and 01918 WWI Repros. I have two 01918's which run flawlessly and are extremely accurate, even with the original little sights, small ejection port and all the other original features. There is nothing wrong with these guns with regards to accuracy and reliablity. In fact they are superior to many more "modern" handguns in their stock form.

The Lone Haranguer
June 11, 2011, 07:45 AM
The existing mag well, beveled on the inside, is fine with me. I dislike anything that adds to the length of the butt and looks like a vacuum cleaner attachment. :p

June 11, 2011, 09:35 AM
I don't like magwells. I don't use them on my carry gun, so I won't use them on my comp gun. Bigger and uglier.

I'd rather my fighting 1911 wasn't as fat and ugly as a STI/SVI 2011.

June 11, 2011, 09:47 AM
I like them if fitted with correct full magwell grip panels. The standard grip witht he little cut out at the bottom digs into my hand when shooting and becomes very uncomfortable. The extra 1/8" or so really helps the feel with my hands. I do like the look of the standard grip more, but I just can't shoot it comfortably.

June 11, 2011, 10:10 AM
JfDavis 58, Sorry your having bad luck with the 1911. Only thing I can suggest is change your grip. You just can't limp wrist these, you have to be firm.

June 11, 2011, 05:04 PM
Its entirely subjective...

You'll never make it politics with honesty like that.

June 11, 2011, 05:18 PM
I can load a 1911 without a funnel. Me too, but not as quickly or as reliably. I like the looks of a properly fit and blended mag well, or better yet, the Caspian Race Ready frame on full size guns. I don't use them on Commander size carry pieces because they defeat the principle of lighter/smaller.

June 11, 2011, 06:35 PM
Aesthetically, I don't really have a preference. I do think the added girth and length at the "butt" of the pistol decreases concealability a bit. It's not something I want on a carry gun, but it makes sense on a competition gun.

June 11, 2011, 06:46 PM
A point made by Larry Vickers regarding magwells that I absolutely agree with is that they're great on a race gun but unfortunately on a serious business gun they can be a problem if the gun gets dropped and it lands on the edge of the magwell hard enough to close the opening. You will end up with a gun that cannot be reloaded. I used them for years in competition but on a carry gun it gets removed.

June 11, 2011, 07:44 PM
I do think the added girth and length at the "butt" of the pistol decreases concealability a bit.

Same with those beavertail grip safeties.

June 11, 2011, 11:25 PM
depends on the 1911

June 12, 2011, 01:46 AM
I voted either way. To be honest though, it really depends on the magwell. I hate the way they look on Glocks but I don't mind some magwells on 1911s.

June 12, 2011, 04:54 AM
I much prefer an extended magwell on a full-sized 1911, both for function and looks.

I added an Ed Brown Maxi-Well to my Dan Wesson Valor. I bought the stainless steel version with the 25lpi MSH. After grit blasting it with garnet, I painted it with GUN-KOTE and baked it in the oven.



June 12, 2011, 07:37 AM
Without for sure.

June 12, 2011, 07:47 AM
They look awful

June 12, 2011, 03:27 PM
Same with those beavertail grip safeties.
The beavertail doesn't affect concealability for me. When carried with a forward cant, the beavertail is held tight against the thickest part of my body and a non-issue. The end of the grip is the part I have to worry about sticking out. I'm pretty thin though (5' 10", 170 lbs).

June 12, 2011, 09:33 PM
I don't like the way the Wilson mag well looks, it looks like an add on, but the S&A with it's integral well and main spring housing looks good to me and is very functional also it is not much longer than the 8 round magazine base plate.

Chuck Warner
June 13, 2011, 01:59 AM
No added length or width, far superior frame strength....Ill take them with magwells.


June 13, 2011, 09:53 AM
I'm rather surprised it's so lopsided. I like my 1911's updated with beavertails, extended thumb safeties, magwells, skeletonized triggers, Commander hammers, adjustable sights and proper grips.

Hondo 60
June 13, 2011, 10:51 AM
OK, I'm a revolver guy & am gonna show my noobness by asking...
what is a magwell?

Don't ALL guns that take a magazine have to have a magwell as a repository for the magazine?

June 13, 2011, 11:34 AM
hondo they are referring to an "extended magwell" wich is an aftermarket part that extends the well and flares it to ease magazine insertion

I dont mind a tasteful magwell on a carry gun nor a massive monster on a race gun its when you get the tactical-clown who has to have this monster magwell the size of a satellite dish on his HD "rig" then it just looks tacky and stupid

June 14, 2011, 12:22 AM
Alright, I'm going to ammend my opinion here...

If you're an extended butt plate kinda guy, then a small, tasteful magwell does add a modern look to the 1911. Me, I like the GI look, but I guess I can see in some of the pictures so far how it does give the gun an updated look. And from an ergonomic standpoint, my pinkie is a bit crowded on the standard setup. I can now see why some people would want one.

I'll prolly have one on my gun within a few weeks. I never shoulda read this stupid thread. I hate when my belief systems get turned upside down.

June 14, 2011, 12:26 AM
I like the magwell in Chuck Warner's post - is that a Heinie part?

The rest, I've never cared for. My own 1911 is beveled for ease of insertion but no extended well of any kind.

June 14, 2011, 05:05 PM
I'd like to see Chucks pistols with magazine in them, and will a standard mag fit??

June 14, 2011, 05:21 PM
I like 1911's in all shape's and forms. I think there's room in my safe for all styles and varieties of 1911. Mil-spec all the way to full BBQ gun.

With that said, some guns look better with a well, some don't. I perish the thought of putting one on my milspec 1911a1, although I did replace the plastic MSH.

My Sig Tacops Commander and Limited edition G3 look fantastic with the well IMO.

The new Hogue Extreme micarta grips with integrated magwell and MSH are the bees knees and will son be gracing one of my guns..

Chuck Warner
June 16, 2011, 12:39 AM
It is a Heinie on the commander, welded, not bolted.

The blue gun has a Chen (Legacy Custom).


The photographer was not gun savvy....NO MAG!. Stock mags sit flush.


June 16, 2011, 12:55 AM
JROC the sights on your buddies pistol suggest that the slide is a prewwII slide- likely military.

June 16, 2011, 04:18 AM
Personally I like them about as much as forward slide serrations....which is to say, not at all.

June 16, 2011, 05:13 PM
^ I like the forward slide serrations. It gives them a modern look. One of the cool things about a 1911 is how it's evolved into a gun that looks extremely modern, but is still recognizable as a classic. I also like them tilted instead of vertical on the newer guns. Two things that I'm personally not big on on a 1911 is the fish scale serrations, and the bobtail grips. I thought the original SW1911 were great looking gun, but I'm not able to make myself like the new "E" series look.

June 16, 2011, 05:22 PM
JROC the sights on your buddies pistol suggest that the slide is a prewwII slide- likely military.

Thanks for the info. Do you feel that while the gun was in service that they just took a slide of another gun, and put it on this one?

Here are some more pictures. Don't know why they came out looking so poor. Frank J. Atwoods initials are stamped on the side of the frame, but they didn't show up in the pictures.

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