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How well do USGI 1911 mags feed hollowpoints?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by WonderNine, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Good, spotty? Not at all? Or just the same as other mags?

    Was thinking of picking a ten pack of new surplus 7 rounders when I decide what 1911 to get. I'm down to three different models :)

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Don't. Buy Wilson mags or you will regret it. If you are dead strapped for cash the McCorminck Shooting Star mags are second best and a little cheaper.
  3. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    For high quality mags I think I'd rather have the 8 round CM Powermags, don't like the idea of the nylon follower and nylon stick out floorplate on the Wilsons....

    And I've read too much bad about the Wilsons on 1911 forum.org as of late. Everyone seems to be bad mouthing them lately.

    A $40 for ten USGI mags NIW I don't think I'd regret it even if all of the mags cause FTF, they can still be range mags.
  4. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Well-Known Member

    The design of the GI mag guarantees that it will not feed any bullet profile other than ball. If you look at the lips on a GI mag and compare it to an aftermarket brand name mag, you will see that the GI mag lets the round go "too early" in the feed process.
  5. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Ok thanks for the input. I'll probably be mostly shooting ball anyways, but I would probably get some CM powermags for carry in case I decide to use some Ranger +P hollowpoints.
  6. W Turner

    W Turner Well-Known Member

    I'm stepping kind of lightly when I say this as I know that mag preference for 1911's is gospel to some people.............

    But, I have not had the experience of fincky gun/mag combos in any of my 1911's. I have used Novak, MecGar, Springfield Armory, GI and Colt mags in all of my 1911's and cannot tell a difference in my RIA 1911, Colt Defender or Springfield Armory compact.

    Go figure.....

  7. cordex

    cordex Well-Known Member

    All due respect, but that is bull spit.
    Either that or the GI mags I've tried with hollow points in my gun are faulty. Don't get me wrong, they may not be ideal, but they are not guaranteed to not feed anything other than ball.

    I'm currently buying 7 round mags marked as Israeli. Good, rust resistant steel. Very powerful spring. Well formed lips. Good mags.
  8. Rob96

    Rob96 Well-Known Member

    I have some USGI mags and they feed JHP just fine.
  9. denfoote

    denfoote Well-Known Member

    I have two 'Nam era mags that feed WWB hollowpoints just fine!! :D
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Bull Spit

    All due respect, but that is bull spit.

    Have to agree with that. It's more the ramp and throat...and especially
    the amount of gap between the bottom of the throat and the top of
    the ramp that determines how it will feed hollow/flat points.

    GI "Hardball" magazines have been some of the most reliable
    magazines that I've ever used, assuming that all is right with the
    pistol. This, regardless of the ammo. The reason is that some
    of the modern mag designs release the round a little too early
    and suddenly, bringing on rideover feeds, push-feeds, and even
    let a round escape from the magazine completely and launch out of
    the top of the port when the springs get tired.

    Aside from that, there are a few hollowpoints out there that
    closely match the hardball profile. Remington Golden Sabers
    and the now unavailable Black Talon, to name two. Those two
    fed perfectly with GI mags in a stock GI barrel with the stock
    throat configuration. Hydra-Shock and Starfire required a little
    work. The Hornady 230-grain flat point FMJ needed very little
    ramp/throat tuning to feed.

    Of course...Your mileage may vary.

  11. dsk

    dsk Well-Known Member


    I've used genuine USGI and factory Colt mags with JHP ammo for years without problems. Be advised that many so-called "GI" mags are actually imported junk.
  12. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Well-Known Member

    I have TWENTY SIX of these GI mags (yes real GI) that won't feed anything reliably enough but ball. They're all angels when I stay with 230gr. Even with Wolf steel case. Anything other than and the round will jump out before the bullet nose gets a chance to reach the ramp/throat. I will admit that I haven't tried the rounder full weight HPs but the 185 and 200 gr loads just don't work in my experience. I don't see it changing if I tried another 26 mags either. The pistols are: A cosmetically stock Colt S80 Enhanced (just trigger work and ramp polish), and a box stock 1991A1 Commander.

    Mileage does vary I s'ppose.
  13. Rob96

    Rob96 Well-Known Member

    How can you identify USGI mags?
  14. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six member

    This is correct. The reasons and the timing are explained in Volume One of the Kuhnhausen manual, starting on page 155, "Magazine Tuning".

    1911's, and mil-spec mags were designed to shoot 230 grain hardball, and the shape of the magazine lips were designed to time the sequence for that ammunition, and only that ammunition.

    I have some "GI" mags that you can have, because they don't feed what I shoot, and because they fell apart (floor plate bent) after only a few thousand rounds. OK, I can get, shall we say, enthusiastic about reloads during matches, but there's also nothing on the bottom of a GI mag to grab when you need to rip a magazine out to clear a double feed.


    Wilsons, on the other hand, are built by a company that has "Combat" in it's name, and they mean modern combat, with modern, JHP ammunition, and therefore their mags have lips that are shaped differently. The picture that demonstrates the difference in Kuhnhausen is figure 205, on page 155, and the text that explains the choices to make for different ammunition is on pages 155 and 156.

    On another note, my first Wilson mag spring wore out after only about 5000 rounds, (although I may have bent it, pulling it out of the mag to clean it) and the follower deformed at about the same time. I could have had a hand in that, too. Enthusiasm has it's places, but tearing magazines apart for cleaning isn't one of them.

    I called Wilson and told them that $28 was too much money for a mag that wore out after only a few thousand rounds, and they sent me a new magazine spring and follower by priority mail. 72 hours, phone call to range.

    $28 is cheap for a magazine that will never wear out. Or, more accurately, that they will keep replacing, forever and ever.

    I'm never going to buy anything else, and I think I need a half dozen more. :cool:
  15. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    What about those "USGI" mags on ammoman.com? 10 for $79? Are those real GI mags and are they worth using? I tend to only trust premium mags, but wondered about those.

    Does anyone know anything about them?

  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    I just love it when Kuhnhausen gets thrown into a discussion like this.:rolleyes:

    USGI Haardball magazines were, and are, some of the best to come down the pike. They were built to use in a real fight. Although pistols don't
    win wars, or even battles, they often save the lives of the men who do.
    They worked because they had to.

    Like any other magazine, though...they wear. Springs get tired. Feed
    lips get spread, and problems loom. Keep in mind that many surplus
    GI Magazines that you encounter at gun shows were rejected for
    military use because something was out of spec. Maybe something
    as simple as the follower dimple being mislocated .010 inch, or the
    feed lips were .010 too narrow or wide at the specified datum line.

    If the magazines are truly GI spec, and were accepted by the government
    to use in pistols that had to work, they will feed most hollowpoints just
    fine IF...all is right with the pistol, AND...the springs aren't fatigued.
    And hardball magazines don't release the round early. They release it
    later and more gradually, which gives the extractor time to gain
    control of it while the magazine still has it captive.

    No, they won't feed ALL hollowpoints. Hollowpoints are deviations,
    and not in-spec. They won't do all that well with hardball that is out-of-spec either. (Too long or short on the cartridge OAL)

    I'd suggest that if a pistol won't function with a hollowpoint cartridge
    that has a rounded ogive, and is close to 1.240 OAL, it's time to have
    a look at the pistol.

  17. longeyes

    longeyes member

    I bought five GI mags from ammoman.com a while back. I use them with my Sistema at the range, almost always with 230g ball ammo (factory). So far they have all been completely reliable. For SD purposes I would only use, if shooting HPs, Wilson and McCormick, which I run through both the Sistema and my Kimber Custom II with no problems.
  18. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    I have a WWI era 1911 (Colt upper, Springfield lower) that feeds Hydra Shocks great with GI magazines. Chokes on Corbon 230's, though.
  19. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    That's been my experience - USGI mags in my Valtro, HPs feed just fine. In another 1911 I tried, even Wilson's wouldn't feed HPs.
  20. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    That's the highest price I've seen. Midway has ten packs for $44.95 and another place had USGI for $4.00 a mag. But then ammoman's prices are usually ridiculous...

    I got another question, I thought all 1911 mags were drop free?? It sounds like some people are ripping mags out? Huh???

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