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Product Test: Tripp .45 Magazine Upgrade Kit

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Stephen A. Camp, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hello. I recently purchased 5 of Virgil Tripp's .45 ACP magazine upgrade kits. For $8.95 a pop you get the follower and spring. I put these in Wilson 8-rnd magazines I had. The Wilson's were feeding fine, but now and then I would not have the slide lock back in two guns used today. One of them never locked a slide back on any of my 1911's.

    The pistols used were a Norinco 1911 that I had done a few things to as well as a Colt slide/Caspian frame/Kart bbl & bushing 1911 that gunsmith, Lou Williamson, did for me in the '80's. That gun shoots but had been a bit magazine sensitive with much other than FMJ.

    I fired 591 rounds of handloaded Precision 200-gr. CSWC's that were loaded over 5.0-gr. Bullseye through both guns rotating magazines frequently. Average velocity for this load is around 860 ft/sec from most 5" guns. I also fired 24 rounds of handloaded 230-gr. Golden Sabers (6.3-gr. Unique) through each gun, using a different magazine for each of the 3 loadings. After chambering the top round (very slickly in both guns), I topped the magazine with another round. I fired 16 rounds of using the same bullet over 6.8-gr. Unique. The lighter load averages about 870 ft/sec from the Caspian/Colt and about 850 ft/sec from the Norinco. The heavier load is runs about 950 ft/sec.

    These guns were used with the Tripp magazine internals in Wilson 8-rnd magazines.

    The magazine shown is a Tripp 8-rnd magazine I wrote up a while back, but you can see the follower, which is the same as in the upgrade kit. The follower is concave and has a little "tit" ala Colt magazines to help prevent the last round from sliding forward. That portion of the follower is polymer so I don't know if it will wear away with use and time or not. As you can see, the portion of the follower that meets the slide stop is steel.

    In short, there were zero failures to feed, no premature slide-lock, and the slides locked to the rear on the last shot w/o fail. The last round fed fine from both guns when using the warmish handload; it did not move forward or such that it would get in front of the extractor claw.

    I've tried these with a few other 1911 pistols and they worked fine. They do reduce capacity of 8-rnd magazines to 7, but magazines originally holding 7 rounds will still do so when using these parts.

    So far I've only used these in Wilson magazines having the removable base. Installation is a snap. I did put one in my only problematic 7-rnd Randall magazine. It is an "old style" magazine similar to the Colt. It was a tad tricky getting the follower and spring in, but it works slickly and continues to hold 7-rnds.

    I will try these in other "problem children" magazines I have and hope to have the results I experienced with the Wilsons.

    So far I feel the money was well spent.

    Full details on the kit and magazines can be found at www.trippresearch.com.
  2. boing

    boing Active Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    It's always gratifying to get problem children into line. :)

    The polymer "tit" is somewhat disappointing. I would expect it to wear pretty quickly, and if so, why bother putting it on in the first place? I presume the steel slide stop engagement tab is molded into the follower during the injection process. A steel tit molded into the follower would better justify adding that feature, IMO. Depending on the added cost, of course.

    Anyway, thanks for the report Stephen. It sounds like this will solve problems for some people, and that's a good thing.
  3. Zardoz

    Zardoz New Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    Thanks for the report Mr A Camp, I doubt you'll need them for Norinco's though. :D
  4. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    A Small Update...

    Hello. I'd previously tried these only in 8-rnd Wilson magazines. You have to hold your mouth just right, but they can also be used in problem GI type magazines, i.e., the follower and spring come out the top of the magazine.

    I have several old Randall stainless 7-rnd magazines. Most have rounded followers and work fine in my 1911 pistols. One has a flat follower; I have no idea why. It would reliably fail to lock the slide back on the last shot on most of my 1911's.

    Stuck a Tripp follower/spring in it and tried it today with my Norinco.

    100 rounds of handloaded CSWC's

    100 rounds of handloaded CRN

    100 rounds of handloaded Golden Sabers

    100 rounds of S & B ball

    Zero failures to feed.

    Zero failures of the slide to lock back on the last shot.

    The magazine started out as a seven-round and stayed that way after installing the Tripp parts.


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