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magazine base pads

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by dhfenno, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    Would a 1oz magazine base pad be legal for IDPA?
    Please think before answering.
    If no please explain.

    Thank You
  2. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    I read through the 2005 rule book carefully and, while I can find a definition of a weighted magazine in the definitions at the end, the only prohibition I can find is

    I think it would be allowed as long as the base pad doesn't add more than 1 oz of weight to the magazine and you don't exceed the Stock Service Pistol (39 oz) or Enhanced Service Pistol (43 oz) weight limit for the pistol with an unloaded magazine.

    I haven't had any trouble with the 1/4" thick Pachmyer pads. I haven't weighed them, but I believe they are around 1/2 oz. I use them so I don't pinch my palm when doing a reload.

    I've seen longer plastic ones, and they probably don't weigh more than 1 oz, but that's a guess.

    So, if you have a pistol that weighs 39 oz (like a steel Commander), you could be in trouble if you add a 1 oz base pad, unless you shoot it in the Enhanced Service Pistol division, which permits up to 43 oz total weight.
  3. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Well-Known Member

    Not legal. Nothing about weight limits, weighted mags are a specific exclusion.

    The following modifications are not allowed in any of the above-listed equipment divisions:

    Compensators of any type, including hybrid or ported barrels.
    Add-on weights for a competitive advantage. This includes, but is not limited to weighted magazines or grips, tungsten guide rods, and brass magazine wells or grip plugs.
    Heavy and/or cone style barrels without a barrel bushing (Exception: Permitted in ESP & CDP divisions only if the barrel is factory-issue and is 4.2" or shorter).
    Sights of non-standard configuration (e.g. Ghost rings, Bo-Mar rib, red-dot sights, laser-grips, etc.).
    Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun.
    Lights mounted on guns.
  4. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    Okay Dan I got that...
    Weighted magazines are a no no.
    But (here's the rub) pg82 if IDPA rule book defines a weighted magazine as one weighing over 1oz more than stock. By their definition a 1oz base plate is legal.
    So tell me why I can't use them please.

  5. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    From the definitions at the end of the rules,

    So the typical thin rubber base pads (like the ones shown on a 1911 in the correct type of holster photos) should be OK as they aren't heavy enough to be considered a competitive advantage.

    I intend to check with the guys that shoot at Kent the next opportunity I get, but I'm pretty sure there is no concern about these, provided they are thin and light (meaning 1/4" of rubber, not 1/4" of brass.)

    If the intent was no base pads at all, a weighted magazine would simply be defined as one weighing more than a factory standard magazine. Instead, you're allowed 1 oz...
  6. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    Why would the material matter? Is there any reason Brass or aluminum would not be allowed if it is less than 1oz? By the IDPA definition 1 oz metal basepad (or any other material) would be fine.
    Am I missing something here?
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    He's saying a brass base pad would weigh more than a rubber one of the same size.

    Adding a rubber or plastic base pad to a 1911 magazine will just make it look like any of the Chip McCormick, Wilson, etc., etc. mags that 1000s of folks use in competition every week. I've never seen, nor heard of, any MD asking to weigh someone's magazines just because they had a "normal" looking base pad on them. I'd bet that, depending on how many holes are cut in the tube of the mag and a number of other items, various commercially available magazines may be somewhere around 1 oz. heavier than a GI mag. I've never considered weighing one.

    If you found the biggest possible basepad you could fit in the box, made of metal, it would look suspiciously like a "weighted" mag. I'd probably raise an eyebrow and maybe consider making a judgement call against it. If it's just an average plastic mag bump pad like everyone uses -- no worries.

    Do you have a specific one in mind you'd like to use? Give us a link and we'll give you a better answer.

  8. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    No particular pad in mind.
    I'm not talking 1911.
    I am asking can anyone tell me why I cannot put a metal base pad on a Glock, Sig, HK, Beretta, etc...???
    If I can't please explain why.
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    It looks like you'd be o.k. It *may* violate some of the spirit of the rule (no added weights for competitive advantage, etc.) but if it stays under 1 oz. over the weight of a factory magazine then you are o.k.

    It may be difficult to make something like that. One ounce isn't much metal. It is probably easier to build a 1 oz. plastic base pad that works and is durable (these get dropped on hard floors A LOT) than to build an aluminum one or brass one that will hold up and not be more than 1 oz. And, if you show up at a match and have noticeably different-looking base pads made of metal, I'd be mighty tempted to ask you for a weight check because it might very well APPEAR that you're attempting something unsportsmanlike.

    However, if you could show me that a factory mag from your gun is within 1 oz. of the weight of your modified mag, I'd certainly let you shoot with it.

    Why the interest? Did an SO or MD disqualify you from a match because of this? Or has someone told you they are specifically illegal?

    Might want to post this question here: http://idpaforum.yuku.com/

  10. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    There are brass base plates out there that weigh 1oz now. I was thinking about buying some and drilling an extra hole in the bottom to remove a little extra weight to ensure that even with dirt, crud, +10 magazine springs, etc…in them they would still not weigh more than 1oz over stock.

    I see that Wilson Combat even offers base plates for the 1911 pistol made out of a couple kinds of metal which are fine for competition as long as they are under the 1oz weight limit. Now everyone knows a 1911 runs faster than a Glock otherwise the time requirements for moving up a class in CDP would be more than SSP or ESP rather than less. Now if a 1911 can utilize this advantage why couldn’t anyone else?

    The reason I am interested in doing this is because sometimes the Glock magazines will slowly crawl out of the magwell during a slide lock reload. Especially after a little sand or dirt has found its way inside. Being plastic on plastic they drop out considerably slower than any metal magazine I have encountered. Now I have tried sanding my magazines with a little emery paper to smooth them out and using a little Armor All on the magazines and the inside of the magwell but that tends to suck in more dirt and kinda defeats the purpose.

    In a match just like real life if I have an empty magazine in my pistol it needs to be out of that gun as quickly as possible. I hate wasting time pulling out a magazine that’s stuck just as I would hate to catch a round in the neck because the magazine won’t drop free. One could even argue it’s a reliability issue.

    I have looked at this from every angle I could think of before doing it and am looking for feedback as to why this may violate any rule in any way. I haven’t been able to come up with a reason I can’t and every SO I have asked about this has said they can’t see a reason why I couldn’t but they aren’t sure they would without more input.

    If anybody can see any reason this would not be a good idea or why this may be a violation of any rule I would love to hear your thoughts/opinion.

  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    You have obviously concluded that a .9 oz base "pad" would be within the letter of the rule book. OK, I never was much for those vague and wooly "spirit of the game" things, anyhow; rules should be clear.

    But I will warn you that if you show up with a big brass plate on the bottom of a Glock, you WILL be questioned by the ignorant and envious. Even an RO. Be sure to have the rule book along with the definition of "weighted magazine" marked. Proving that YOUR magazine is within an ounce of a standard magazine is an exercise left to the student.
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Jim, you hit what I was thinking exactly. Sure, if it's legal, it's legal.

    But expect to have to prove it, 'cause it won't LOOK legal and the idea of it is going to make some folks' blood pressure rise.

    The spirit of the rule is: no mags should be weighted to make them drop free faster. The letter of the rule is written that -- to ensure no one would make such a modification, but also to allow for variety and inconsistency in manufacture of magazines -- we will define a "non-weighted" mag as anything that doesn't exceed the weight of a factory mag by 1 oz. If MecGar's plastic is a little thicker than ProMag's and so they weigh 0.5 oz. more, we don't need to worry about that. That's not quite the same thing as saying "go ahead and add up to 0.99 oz. to all your mags."

    So, you are stating that your reason for doing this violates the spirit of the rule. And you are stating that your method won't violate the letter of the rule.

    Be prepared to prove that, but I think it would be hard to disqualify you if you could prove it.

    Now, if an MD calls you on it, better just stick to the "they don't exceed the weight limit" answer - period. If you admit to an MD that you are weighting your mags you're going to put him in a bit of an ethical conflict. Some will toss you "on principle." Some will let it go. As I said, I'd let you use them (I think) but this is one of those that I'm glad doesn't come up in my world very often.


    P.S. - And, no, 1911s get no special pass on this, either.
  13. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    The above replies and good feedback and I appreciate your opinions but they raise a few new questions.

    1) Why would it be up to the competitor to have a copy of the rule book handy and explain the rule to the SO? Don’t all members get the same rule book? Isn’t it the SO’s responsibility to understand said rule book just as it is the shooters responsibility to follow the rules in the rule book?
    2) I am using a magazine well in ESP and anyone that has used one knows that because of the recess in the bottom of a magwell a base plate of some sort is needed to insure the magazine seats completely. Now how is it in violation of the “spirit of the rule” to decide to use 1 base pad material over another? For that matter how is it in violation of the “spirit of the rule” to add the weight for no reason at all other than someone wants to.
    3) Sam/Jim, If you drive your car at 55mph because that is the speed limit would you accept a ticket for driving 55 because the officer felt your driving wasn’t within the spirit of the law? What is the difference?
    4) At what point did the black and white printed rules in the book become open for individual interoperation because something doesn’t “look” legal? I always kinda thought it either was legal or it wasn’t legal and if it’s not legal than by all means I would never do it but I refuse to take other peoples blood pressure into consideration when I put together a pistol for me to use.
    5) Sam, You think you’d let me use them? That’s nice of you. If you were by chance to decide you weren’t going to let me use them what would your reasoning be?
    6) Where in any of the above threads does it mention a “special pass” for a 1911 or any other type of gun?

    Thanks again for your input.
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Look dhfenno, I'm not trying to argue with you, o.k? Maybe I'm reading more into your text than is there, but if you're looking to have a fight about this, the floor is yours...I'm done. I also have no authority with IDPA (beyond being an SO and MD of my local club) and can only read the book, same as you. You have asked for an interpretation. If it was black and white, in your mind even, you wouldn't have needed to ask.

    Anyway, to your points:
    1) The rule book is there for everyone. If you want to dispute a call some SO has made, it is there to back you up. Is that your "repsonsbility?" Well, yes -- as a participant in the sport, you should be up on the rules. If you don't think you should have to be able to defend your decisions based on those rules, then don't dispute the judgements of SOs and MDs. I guess. Those guys have the same book as you, but human interpretation of written text can differ -- and even basic reading comprehension can fail us all from time to time. It is always good to be conversant with your "rights" under any set of rules. Additionally, you are asking about doing something out of the norm. Something that, by the very way you've explained it, is intended to circumvent the stated reasoning of the rule. If you're going to play on the edge like that, you'd be wise to be prepared to defend your decision. Seems logical to me.

    2) It is a violation of the spirit of the rule because YOU SAID you wanted to use a different material so that the mags would be heavier. The rule says DON'T add weight to your mags. I've already said if you keep it within the 1 oz. limit it seems that it should be permissable -- regardless of why you do it. I didn't say wanting to add weight to your mags makes you a bad person or violates some ethical standard. I said it violates the expressed language of the rule. And it does.

    3) A cop may decide your driving is unsafe and write you a ticket for any number of reasons -- regardless of the posted speed. (Too fast for weather conditions, aggressive, etc.) But the law says don't exceed 55 mph. It doesn't get into your reasoning for doing so. Comparing apples to oranges. And, (once more) regardless of intent - if you're within the speed limit (or the weight limit in this case) you aren't going to get nailed for it. And if you do, you can point to the rule book (law) and get your day in court.

    4/5) The book is black and white. The rule says don't add weight. Mags may be up to one ounce heavier than factory mags. As Jim said, you may choose to interpret this as, "Add weight up to 0.99999 oz." if you want.

    The book also says, in Competition Rule C2, "Competitors will refrain from ... the use of illegal equipment, which, in the opinion of the match director, tends to make a travesty of IDPA." Did you catch that "in the opinion of the Match Director" part? Guess what? If a MD looks at your0.99999 oz. base pads and says, "you're adding weight to your mags and that, in my opinion, violates the spirit of the rule, even though they aren't technically over the allowable limit. You're DQ'd," he's within his rights as MD. Good luck barking up the chain of command to get his decision overruled. That's why I suggested you stay non-confrontational and keep your reasoning to yourself. 99% of MDs are probably going to say, if it makes weight, I'm ok with it. That's your que to drop the issue.

    6) Sorry, you had mentioned that you see these for 1911s in the catalogs. I just wanted to point out that the platform doesn't matter.

    I still think if you want an answer you can print out and carry with you to argue the point with your local MDs, you'll need to get it from HQ, in writing.

    Another good example of how, when someone feels the need to point out how "black and white" a situation is, that's a tip off that it really ISN'T. :rolleyes:

  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Sorry, dhfenno, if you want to live on the edge, you have to account for human nature. Want to ballast your magazines, be prepared to defend it.

    Darned right.

    I carried an official opinion with me to the effect that I was within the rules to have sawn a 6" revolver off to 5". Then they reduced the barrel length to 4" so I had to have it sawn off again, but by that time, cutting the barrel was a listed allowable modification.

    I also carried a letter from my chiropractor that my kneepads were a prescribed medical appliance.

    If you try to do anything unusual, even if within the letter of the law, be prepared to defend your practices. That is just the way it is.
  16. vetts1911

    vetts1911 Well-Known Member

    I would think that a weighted magazine would be an overweight magazine (more than one once) from factory weight.

    A magazine pad has many variables, weight, height, material, thickness all there for a reason.

    Bad issue is just to use a Glock as an example. You have more than one type of a magazine with 8 weights for the 17/34. You would have 4 generations of magazines, then the 10 round and standard capacity times it 4 more. Then you can add one more thing aftermarket magazines and I need to give special mention to the metal ones. What this would equal is an issue of getting a good weight and I can't ever recall a scale out to weigh a gun let alone a magazine. Now that would be the places I have shot.

    I just don’t see a call on a heavier pad that is less than 1 ounce.
  17. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected.

    Man I hate their rule book.

  18. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    From the Not allowed list

    "Base pad" isn't used as you could just put a brass shim below the spring to accomplish the same thing with the stock base pad. You are good to go under 1oz
  19. dhfenno

    dhfenno Well-Known Member

    Okay here's the word from Robert Ray on 2-6-09 at 3:20pm EST.

    1) On weighted magazines: If you wish to add up 1oz of weight to your stock magazine there is nothing in the current rule book (this will change) that makes it illegal. That is up to the MD's discretion at to if you're trying to skirt the intent of the rule. Robert said "It's not illegal according to the rule book but I am not going to give you a definitive answer but leave that to the MD".

    2) On brass magazine floor plates: Once again there is nothing in the current rulebook making this illegal but it is being left up to the MD.

    3) On floor plates made of aluminum or steel: They are fine to use as long as they do not add more than 1oz to the stock weight of the magazine. Because of the nature of the game and the amount of abuse magazines used for IDPA can take ("especially if you're shooting over gravel or concrete I have no problem with someone using a floor plate made of aluminum or steel") adding a floor plate to protect the magazines is fine as long as it's not brass. Feelings are that brass is used to add weight to the gun where other metals are used to protect the magazines.

    and off the previously discussed subject but a question I asked while I had Robert on the phone regarding magazine wells.

    4) Any magazine well that uses a brass plug to retain it in the frame of the pistol is illegal.

    This question came up for me when I was looking at magazine wells for a Glock and wanted a Dawson ICE magwell. When I asked the Dawson rep if they made one for the Glock that was secured to the frame with anything but a brass plug they said no. So unless they have changed the way their magazine wells are secured to the frame of Glocks they are not legal for IDPA. When I asked Dawson (about 5 months back) even the lightweight aluminum model was secured to the frame in a Glock using a brass plug.
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator


    Thank you for taking the time to contact Robert. And for filling us all in. Now we know the official word.

    Well...until the next revision! :D


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