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1911 mag bumpers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by g_one, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. g_one

    g_one Well-Known Member

    Just curious, can the rubber bumper plates (I believe they're called) on many popular 1911 magazines these days be removed to convert them back to a standard 1911 mag, or are they an integral part of the magazine? Or, is the answer both and that it depends on the brand?
  2. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    depends on brand
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    And the model within the brand.

    Peruse your way through the CheckMate line-up at Top Gun Supply (these are just the 7 round, full size models)


    You'll find, steel base plates, steel base plates with screw on base pad, and completely removable base pads.

    Chip McCormick has steel base plates on their "Shooting Star" mags, steel plates with screw on pads on their "Match Grade" mags, and removable pads on their "PowerMags".

    Those are just a couple of examples from two different makers.
  4. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    I use Pachmayr rubber pads. They include a little jig to drill holes on the floorplate on the mag. If you don't want them anymore, unscrew the two self-tapping screws and they come off. You'll still have the two holes, of course.
  5. g_one

    g_one Well-Known Member

    So based on what I'm seeing here, is there no such thing as an 8-round mag with no base plate? I guess if it's just not long enough, and that extra space in the base fits the eighth round? Sorry if these are stupid questions... I've been very torn lately between two very different guns for my next purchase, and although I'm a huge fan of 1911's I've never actually owned one.
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    Every mag has a base plate. That's what holds the spring and rounds in the tube. Some mags don't have a base pad/bumper pad, though.

    McCormick "Shooting Stars" and "Match Grade" mags are 8 rounders that fit flush and can be used without a base pad.


    CheckMate has several 8 round mags that fit flush and are available without a pad.


    Personally, I like the base pad. They help with positive mag insertion and I don't pinch my palm during mag changes as I often due with mags without a base pad.

    It sounds like you are new to 1911's and the whole mag buying thing. Here is a blog post from the late Mr. Camp you may find worthwhile.

  7. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    The original 1911's came with 7 round mags. That is what fits flush with the bottom of the full size grip frame. Sometime in the 1970's, I believe, the Devel follower (as currently used in Chip McCormick mags) was first used to enable the same size mag tube to hold 8 rounds. These mags also fit flush with the bottom of the grip.

    McCormick PowerMags and Wilson 47D mags, two of the industry standards for mags, have slightly longer tubes and have an added removable base pad. They don't fit flush with the bottom of the grip, no matter how small you make the base pad. They work pretty well, but they are not really "true" 8 round mags, just a little longer than 7 rounders.

    Next came Tripp Research CobraMags and Wilson ETM's (there are other's, but those two are the big players). These are true 8 round mags. They are longer than McCormick's PowerMags and Wilson's 47D's. In general, these longer tubes will work better as 8 rounders than the mags with shorter tubes as you can get a better spring and better follower in these longer tubes.

    My personal opinion is, if you want a flush fit mag, go with 7 rounders. If you need to have that 8th round, you're better off with a mag with a longer tube.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Egg Zactly.

    As I said earlier, the original Colt & GI 7-round mags were designed so the spring cannot be over-compressed and weakened by being left fully loaded indefinitely.

    Putting 8 rounds in the same space, by necessity, over-compresses the spring.

    Same with the Browning P-35 / High Power.
    The double column mag was designed to hold 13 rounds, and they will do so till hell freezes over without spring damage.

    Thats much more then you can say about the aftermarket High-Power mags that hold 15, or any number of other 9mm pistols that hold 17 or 19.

    You either got "forever" compressed spring life, or more mag capacity.

    You can't have both in the same size magazine.

  9. g_one

    g_one Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, that helps out greatly. I guess with what you're describing of the 7 rounds mags, there's no harm in leaving all 7 in the mag with +1 in the chamber, so I'd be netting 8 rounds.

    I'm kind of picky when it comes to the aesthetics of my open carry guns, and I just don't like the way the non-flush mags look on a 1911
  10. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Mags with a bumper pads seat much more reliably.

    I am a big fan of Metalform mags. They make mags that work for a very good price. They been OEM for Colt mags many times over the years.

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