Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

7rd vs. 8rd 1911 magazines...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Justin, Apr 24, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,270
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    There are a lot of manufacturers making 1911 magazines, and I've noticed that there seem to be two flavors of the standard size magazines. (By standard size, I mean those that don't stick out of the bottom of the pistol.)
    The ones that hold 7 rounds, and the ones that hold 8.
    Why the selection? It seems like everyone would go for the 8 round magazines, and that the 7's would fall by the wayside.
    Is there some advantage to the 7 rounders that makes them better than the 8 rounders?
    :confused:
     
  2. Ewok_Guy

    Ewok_Guy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Endor
    Yeah, price and availability.
     
  3. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,083
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    Justin, yes, reliability.
     
  4. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,270
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    El T-

    How so? Do the springs wear out faster because they're compressed more or something?
     
  5. garrettwc

    garrettwc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,025
    That's part of it Justin. It's the compression that's the problem. Not excess wear.

    The 1911 was designed as a 7 shot pistol. The addition of the extra round changes the timing of the pistol, because of the extra spring tension. It can be done successfully, but it's a compromise.
     
  6. Mark IV Series 80

    Mark IV Series 80 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    207
    In my experience, the 7-round magazines are much more reliable than the 8-rounders.

    My Combat Commander and Government Model, which are 100% reliable with factory ammo and Wilson 7-round magazines, will choke when an 8-round magazine is introduced into the equation.

    Many shooters find that they have to slam the magazine hard to get it to go home when fully loaded with 8 rounds.
    Sometimes, the magazine doesn't go all the way home, and then the shooter has a 1-shot pistol rather than a 9-shot pistol.

    The magazine springs do wear out more quickly with the 8 round mags, because the spring has to be under more compression to fit into a smaller area.

    My advice..... If you want top reliability in your 1911-type, stay with the 7-round magazines.
     
  7. blades67

    blades67 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    Mesa, Arizona, USA

    Yes, reliability. The seven round magazines are more reliable. The follower angle is different on the eight round magazines to allow the extra round to fit in the magazine body. The magazine spring is also different. The eight round magazine follower has a shallower angle which can cause some hollow point bullet shapes to hang up on the barrel ramp.


    I use eight, and ten, round magazines for practice and competition, but I only use seven round magazines when carrying a 1911 for protection.

    Others may have different opinions.









    They're wrong though.:neener:
     
  8. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,233
    Location:
    Central IN
    I've used a bunch of different magazines in several different 1911s from several manufacturers and while some report positive experiences with the 8 rounders, the 7 rounders are just more reliable. Consistantly reliable. I have 5 Wilson 7 rounders, 5 8-round PowerMags and 5 7-round MetalForms. I admit that I use the PowerMags in my carry gun, when I carry a 45, but I replaced the split flat followers with the rounded followers from MetalForm rendering them as 7 rounders. 100% reliable, very firm spring and very positive feeding.

    And you do generally need to give a bit of a slam to get the 8 rounders to seat into the gun, even with the slide locked back. Replacing the magazine when a round is in the chamber and the slide is dropped can be... challenging, sometimes. ;)
     
  9. Longbow

    Longbow Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    City by the big lake
    ' never had a problem w/ 8 rounders. I only use McCormick mags. I had experienced nose dives w/ their 10 rounders though. :(
     
  10. yankytrash

    yankytrash Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    Farnham, Va
    As for availability, you'll find more reliable 7rd mags than 8's.

    For reliable 8rd mags, my experience shows you have to go for the more expensive brands - Wilsons and Chips.

    With the 7rd mags, you can pick up a handful of any ol' grabbag of name brands and, chances are, 9 out of 10 of them will work reliably. Even then, the tenth mag that doesn't work might only need some minor tweaking on the feed lips.

    As for having to slam the 8's into the magwell, I like to use a slightly extended basepad. Learned they are a necessity after my first IPSC match. Even 7's without a minor basepad are hard to seat under stress. You can do it all day back at the range, but put yourself under a timer and all bets are off.

    I only use 8's - whether competition, carry, or plinking. Used Chips for quite awhile, but fell in love with Wilsons to the point where I ditched my Chips. Wilsons drop free faster than any 1911 mag I've run into, and I have yet to clean one past shaking the dirt out of it.
     
  11. Fed168

    Fed168 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    742
    Location:
    Bull City NC
    I use both, but keep the 8 rounders for carry, sticking with Wilson and McCormicks. Got a bunch of GI mags, dated in the early 90s, they work great.
     
  12. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    I've got two 8 rounders, an older Wilson-Rogers and a Mag-pac and haven't had problems with either one.
     
  13. 45auto

    45auto Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,241
    I have found the "reliability" the same on 7 and 8 shot magazines of high quality, given new springs in both.
    But, the 8 round mags need their springs changed more often to maintain their reliability.

    As mentioned earlier, it's much easier to "slam" home a 7 shot mag than a 8 shot. If not practiced consistently, I would stick with 7 rounders.
    Or, if a mag is something that you don't want to think about, I would buy the best quality 7 rounder available.

    Good luck
     
  14. COHIBA

    COHIBA member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    SC
    i use wilson 8 rd mags w/ 7 rds in it.
    also a stack of 230's is gonna wear the spring faster than a stack of 185's.
     
  15. cordex

    cordex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Indiana
    I've used both.
    My current favorite are the $6 7 round Israeli GI mags. Very strong springs, well formed and limited markings. ".45ACP 7RDS" on the side - blank base-plate. Good blued steel body that is far more rust-resistant than the WWII USGI mil-surps (accidentally left one outside for a week and it had minor surface rust in a few spots whereas the WWII mil-surps seem to rust wherever they are). 100% function.
    Did I mention that they're $6? I don't feel bad at all if I dump 'em on the ground. How many of you don't bat an eye when you drop a $30 Wilson or even a half as expensive McCormick?

    The extra round is nice, but I think I'm going to stick with the 7's for a while.

    While we're on the subject, I thought I'd throw out a warning.
    I recently purchased a few Colt prancing pony mags marked with an M. The factory Colt mag that came with my Commander is marked with a C. Half of the magazines I bought fail to lock the slide back due - I think - to inadequate spring tension. I tried replacing the spring and follower with one from the Israeli mag I left outside and it works like a charm.

    Just FYI.
    *laugh* Not measurably so, if at all.
     
  16. FPrice

    FPrice Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,380
    Location:
    People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    I have used Chip McCormick (sp?) 8 round mags for the last three-four years in a variety of Colt 1911's to include two commanders and have NEVER had a feed problem with them. I usually get them on sale when they go for $12-13 and love them.

    YMMV.
     
  17. mattk

    mattk Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    Florida
    I dont think 7 rounders are too much more reliable than 8 rounders especialy if you are using good quality mags like Wilson and McCormick.
    Maybe its just me but I have only had a few magazine related malfunctions in my 1911s.
    The suspect mags were
    1. Kimber factory mag. What a piece of Junk.
    2. Some very beaten CMC 10 rounders that had bent fed lips from being dropped on concrete floors to many times(IPSC indoors)

    I usually carry with wilson 8 rounders.
     
  18. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,037
    Location:
    California
    I have had excellent results out my 8 round Wilson mags. Recommend them highly (if you can find them ;) )
     
  19. flinch

    flinch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    coast of SC
    I am with FPrice. Ive got 3 shooting star 8 rounders with about 1500 rounds through them in a colt commander with zero, zip, nada problems. I would stake my life and my families life on them.
    Dont hesitate with eight.
     
  20. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    6,482
    Location:
    Waynesboro, Georgia
    I haven't had a problem with the 8 rounders.
     
  21. sig970

    sig970 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Like others here I use Wilson 8-rounders without any problems in my Kimber
     
  22. M1911

    M1911 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,050
    Reliability. I've got half a dozen 8-rd Wilson mags. Not cheap. But they tended to not lock open now and then. Also had a failure to feed on occasion. I've since changed those mags to 7 round mags using Wilson's 7rd follower and spring. No more failures. YMMV.
     
  23. Sisco

    Sisco Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,775
    Location:
    KS
    I have the 7 rounder that came with my Kimber & two 8 round CMC Shooting stars, 1000 rounds, no problems with any of the mags. Too soon to tell?
     
  24. dsk

    dsk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    774
    Standard-length 1911 magazines that hold 8 rounds have shorter followers, thinner springs, and/or a slightly longer mag body that's capped off with a baseplate to conceal the length. In the past the followers were always too short or the springs too weak, which led to problems like tipsy followers (causing jams) and failures to engage the slide lock. Standard 7-round mags have longer followers and stronger springs, making them more reliable (although a few makers have indeed figured out how to make a crappy 7-round mag as well). So far the best 8-rounders I've found have been the Wilsons, which use a slightly longer mag body and a stronger spring to help eliminate problems. For pure defensive use however I use only 7-rounders. Maybe it's just me, but stuff of mine that works just fine under controlled conditions has a habit of flaking out when the heat is on.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page