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1911: 7 or 8 rd mags?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cdb1, Mar 10, 2014.

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  1. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I own numerous pistols but have never owned a 1911. My teenage son has been dying for one for a long time so I finally broke down and ordered two from Bud's(so we can shoot together). Caliber is .45. Neither one will be used for SD. I'm going to purchase a couple of extra mags. Both RIA's come with 8 rounders.

    My question is this. Are 8 round mags just as reliable as 7 round mags or is there no difference? Also, are Mec-Gar mags pretty decent? I know where I can get a good deal on some.
     
  2. Nickb45

    Nickb45 Member

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    I carry a 7 round wilson mag in the gun, 2 wilson ETM 8rnd mags on my weak side. It's all about finding what works. These guns can be picky sometimes. Chip McCormack (sp?) mags are also good.
     
  3. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    All my eight round mags work 100% and are suitable for SD, however I prefer the seven round ones because I like them to sit flush. Preference only.
     
  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I guess I will wait for the guns to come in before I decide on which capacity to get. I have know idea if I will prefer the mag to sit flush like you or whether the not flush 8 rounder will be okay.
     
  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Magazines that hold 8 rounds and are flush fit have a history of not being as reliable as a flush fit 7 round. Several manufacturers have addressed this problem (the Wilson ETM mag for one) and claimed to have solved the problem of having the springs squashed down hard when loaded with 8 rounds. I have always preferred the 7 round flush mags but I use a lot of Shooting Star 8 rounders and just load seven in them. Never had a problem as long as the springs are changed when they start to weaken. On a carry gun I want the mags to be flush and I feel that 7 rounds are plenty.
     
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Never had a single issue with good 8 round mags made by Wilson or Chip McCormick. I see no downsides to the 8 round mags as long as they are quality.
     
  7. ew2x4

    ew2x4 Member

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    I had a full size RIA 1911. It was pretty picky with magazines. It loved 8 rd mec gars though.
     
  8. vtbluegrass

    vtbluegrass Member

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    Its a question of flush fit or not on 8vs 7rds. Never had an issue with a Mec-Gar magazine in any gun including 1911.
     
  9. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    With 1911 magazines the key is finding what works with your gun and your ammo. The configuration of the lips is important as different lip styles work differently with different bullet shapes./cartridge lengths.

    As to capacity, I find 7 rounders more reliable than 8 rounders, though, as noted, there are reliable 8 rounders available—but only if they have the right lips for the ammo being used.
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Mec-Gar magazines tend to be among the best for most pistols. I've had great luck using them in my Hi Power, 5906 and P08 Luger. Haven't tried the 1911 yet. I'd sure give one a try if you can get a good deal on them.

    I use standard 7-round mags for my Colt Government Model. Most are Colt and GI mags. I do have a Chip McCormick 8-round but tend to load just 7.
     
  11. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I prefer 7 rounders, but I admit I don't have any experience with the new extended tube 8 rounders such as Wilson ETM, Tripp, or CheckMate EXT, or any of the other longer tube models. My 8 round experience is limited to Wilson 47D, McCormick PowerMag and the standard length CheckMate 8 rounders. Those short CheckMate 8 rounders are tough to get 8 in the tube, and pretty tough to seat with a closed slide. CheckMate makes a nice product, but I won't buy any more of those standard length tube 8 rounders from them.

    Here are a couple of opinions

    The late Stephen A. Camp preferred 7 rounders. http://hipowers-handguns.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-is-best-7-or-8-shot-1911-45-acp.html

    Hilton Yam prefers 8 rounders http://www.10-8performance.com/pages/1911-Magazines.html

    I think either can work. However, I think the 7 rounders give a bigger window for function, just like a 5" 1911 has a bigger window for proper function than the shorter barreled 1911's.

    I like the full size 7 round Wilson 47's. They also have an HD +P version. http://shopwilsoncombat.com/7-Round/products/370/

    While I don't care for their short 8 rounder, I'd would buy these 7 rounders from CheckMate. http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-mate-.45acp-7rd-ss-cmf-removable-base-full-size-1911-magazine.html
     
  12. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    In both my Colt Combat Commanders the 7 and 8 round Wilson and Chip McCormick mags work fine.... but...

    I have heard in sandy climates the 8 rounders sometimes don't push the rounds up due to sand.

    But since I don't live near sandy climates I use either ones.

    Deaf
     
  13. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.
     
  14. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    It depends on the gun. My Springfield will sometimes not feed from my 8 round Kimber. My Regent would feed just fine. However, my Springfield will chamber jhp and "ash tray" rounds without a hiccup. My Regent would sometimes choke on steel cased hardball.

    I keep a 7 rounder in the gun, another for back up, and use the 8 for range use.

    I know ratio wise, 7 to 8 rounds is significant, but I don't mind. If I can't do it with 14 then I shouldn't have been there or I guess brought along the 9mm:neener:
     
  15. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    No difference in reliability in my experience. I have had great results with both Chip McCormick and Colt 8-rounders.
     
  16. wally

    wally Member

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    My years of experience with a larger variety of magazines says the 8 round are not as reliable as the 7 round.

    The 8 round are generally plenty reliable enough for the range or games, but for carry I'd use a 7 round in the gun + one in the chamber and carry an 8 round for backup. The 8 round failures pretty much always are on the last shot (usually stovepipe, or the occasional fail to feed "bolt over base" type failure) so I figure I'd be no worse off that with a spare 7 rounder and may be able to get off an extra shot.
     
  17. Nickb45

    Nickb45 Member

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    I haven't had any issues with the Wilson ETM 8 rounders, I have only had them for about a month (maybe 1000 rounds out of them) the only reason I don't carry one in the pistol is they stick out, but the bumper is nice when they are on my weak side, no metal corners digging into my love handles.
     
  18. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I use the Wilson 8 rounder in my S&W 1911SC and have never had an issue.
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Let's look at the question with a logical approach.

    The 1911 was designed for the US Army, with the assumption that it would be heading for the killing fields sooner or later. When it was designed, it was also assumed that it would be deployed in a more active role in the fight rather than being issued to personnel who weren't normally issued rifles.

    On a battlefield, one more round could make all the difference in the world to the poor stiff depending on that one extra round.

    Does anyone believe that the standard magazine would accommodate 8 rounds somehow escaped John Browning's notice? Really?

    Is it reasonable to believe that he dabbled with that one extra round, and...on discovering that it didn't provide the functional reliability that he and the army demanded...forgot about it and stuck with seven?

    Browning and a team of Colt's top engineers that he had at his disposal burned a lotta midnight oil in designing that pistol. They didn't just throw the thing together and call it good. Be assured that there were some very good reasons that the magazine was held to 7 rounds.
     
  20. Ala Tom

    Ala Tom Member

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    My new Ruger 1911 Commander is used only for home defense and for practice on the range to maintain capability. Two 7-round magazines came with it. I thought about getting some 8-round mags but, after loading up a few times, I found I was only loading 5 at a time for practice anyway. When loading for duty (repelling home invasions) I load all 7 in both mags. I don't load the chamber. The gun is kept at arm's length in the living room. But so is my Ruger 40, kept with 10 rounds including one in the chamber with the safety on. That is my carry gun when I need self defense away from home (not often).

    In case anyone wonders, both the 40 and the 45 are loaded with defense ammo having a muzzle energy of just over 400 ft-lbs.
     
  21. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I own three 1911 pistols and have had less than spectacular results with several brands of 8 shot magazines.
    Some don't interface with the slide stop correctly & lock the slide open on the last round.
    Some won't lock into the mag well on a closed slide.
    Some don't feed well.

    I gave up and use only Colt 7 rounders now but may try a few of the Brownells 8 shot mags just to see if they actually improved the overall design,,,
     
  22. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Wilson Combat 47D 8rd mags
     
  23. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    I've had no problems from either 7 or 8 round mags in my RIA. But then again, none of them have any really extended mileage on them yet. Those new 8-rounders from RIA seem to work great, though.
     
  24. On An Island

    On An Island Member

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    I'm running a Sig 1911 Scorpion with 8-round Sig mags and a pair of Wilson Combat Elite 500C 8-rounders (low-profile base). I've had zero issues with any of them. Having said that, the round count on the pistol is about 1K, so I can't speak to long-term reliability yet.
     
  25. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    7 round stock factory Colt mags always worked well for me.
     
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