Cheap mags - worth fixing, or is it throwing good money after bad?


November 19, 2012, 09:14 PM
Recently purchased a Kareem Hi Power clone and immediately fell for one of CDNN's sales on no-name magazines. I purchased six 15/17 round mags (they come with two base plates marked "KRD") for $9.94 each hoping to use them for casual plinking.

Clearly I should have known you get what you pay for...

I can barely load 5 or 6 rounds in each magazine, and that's using one of two speedloaders. Loading by hand is worse. Haven't had a chance to try them out at the range yet so I'm not sure if there are other problems.

My question is, should I chalk the $60 I blew on these magazines up to stupidity, or can I salvage them by just replacing the springs? I see Midway and Brownell's have Wolff replacement springs - would that be the way to go? Seems simple enough, but I've never replaced magazine springs so I figured I'd ask before throwing good money after bad.

(Before everyone piles on, yes I learned my lesson about not buying quality magazines... When it's a $260 gun, it's easy to talk yourself into $60 for 6 instead of $200 for the same number of MecGar mags.)

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November 22, 2012, 01:30 PM
Whether or not they're fixable depends on the exact issue. Some cheap mags I've got to run by tweaking feed lips, modifying the follower, etc. Some are just out of spec junk with soft metal.

If I were you, I'd tear them apart and compare parts with a quality magazine, see if you can identify the issue. Then you'll have a better idea if you can make them run or not.

November 22, 2012, 01:35 PM
Tear them down first and find out why you can only get five or six rounds in them. Springs shouldn't cause that. Makes me think there might be some sort of obstruction inside the magazine body... old grease or something. A good cleaning might fix them.

Did a bit of research on KRD mags and found this:

Sounds like the springs need to take a set then you'll be good to go.

November 22, 2012, 02:44 PM
Thanks for that, I found Mr Camp's website after my original post as well. He was a wealth of information.

Following his advice, I loaded 5-7 rounds in each mag and am letting them sit for a week or two. I don't exaggerate when I say these springs are hard - loading the 7th round in one magazine literally cracked one of my speed loaders in half.

I'll try and remember to follow up in a week or two and report how it goes.

I will also try and remember you get what you pay for.

November 22, 2012, 03:17 PM
I'd swap out quality components from a good mag to try to quickly ID the main problem and that's in both direction - pooh parts to good mag and good parts to pooh mags.

Could end up you just need to buy 15 ?*****? to come up with a good set. In the end, if you get 'em working and it does not involve spring replacement - I'd fully load a couple and leave the around for several months to get a sense of the original springs reliability.

November 22, 2012, 10:13 PM
Won't know until you try. I had a hard time getting the last 6 rounds in one of my magazines and considered tossing it since I am not that knowledgeable about magazines. I tinkered with it and reshaped the spring so it works fine now. Tinker with it first and if you can't fix it then at least you know you tried. Just be sure to be safe, wouldn't be the first time someone had a flying mag spring shoot across the room.

December 17, 2012, 12:45 AM
Mr. Camp's advice worked. Loaded each mag as far as I could, and every week or so added a few more rounds (as much as I could without breaking my remaining 9mm speed loader...).

As of tonight, I am able to easily load 17 in all but one magazine and I'm sure I can get the last two in that one in another week.

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