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First 1911 - magazine questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by gravelyctry, Jan 6, 2007.

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  1. gravelyctry

    gravelyctry Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Dubuque, IA
    I just bought my first 1911 style gun to replace a Springfield XD I had some problems with. I like the gun (alot), but have questions about the magazine capacities that are available.
    The magazine that came with it is a 7 round magazine. I want to buy additional magazines, but I'm not sure if I'm limited to 7 round mags, or if I can buy 8 round mags, or higher. The gun is a Custom II.
    Thanks, Neil
  2. shaggycat

    shaggycat Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    8 round mags should be fine. Some 1911's are picky as to what brands they like. My advice is to buy a one magazine of a particular brand, shoot a bunch of rounds through it, and if no problems arise, pick up as many as you want.

    I have seen 10 and 15 round magazines as well, but a lot of the magazine sticks out.

    Personally, I just buy magazines as close to JMB spec as possible (7 rounders, dimple, etc). A lot of people really like Wilson 47D's, considered the top of the line 8 rounder. Too rich for my blood tough.
  3. Deadmarsh

    Deadmarsh Member

    Jul 16, 2003
    Just thought I'd pass along a few comments from a smith who is a lot more knowledgeable than me about 1911 magazines, however, I agree with him completely and have had the same experiences:

    Magazine Observations

    This debate has fueled many flame wars...and it will likely rage on until end times...but here's my twist on it.

    An old engineering axiom states that there's no such thing as a free lunch. When you change one thing, you change many things at the same time...and when you gain something, you lose something else in the process.

    I experimented with creating 8-round magazines back in the mid-70s, fully 5 years before Devel went public with the first commercially-produced 8-round single stack magazine for the 1911, and I've tried every 8-round magazine to hit the market in an honest attempt to find one that I would trust to function in a pistol that i'd carry for the off-chance that I'd find myself up to my kiester in Komodos...and I haven't been able to do that.

    Seen many that worked fine...for a while. Some, longer than others. Some not long at all. Some hit the ground burpin'...but by and large, the ones that functioned perfectly tended to lull me into a false sense of security...and
    choke like a pukin' buzzard without prior warning...and then go back to perfect function...and then back to Choke & Puke...and then finally settled in to not being reliable enough for a Saturday afternoon plinking fest.

    Let me go ahead and say that...while I'm not a major player on the custom smith circuit...I'm no kitchen-table wannabe armed with a Dremel and Kuhnhausen's shop manuals, either. I know a little about the 1911 pattern pistol, gained over the course of over 42 years of wrenchin' on'em...and functional reliability is my thing. That comprises about 95% of all work that I do on the guns, and leave the wicked accurate bullseye/raceguns/custom pistols to the artists who do that. I'm just a mechanic...but I'm a pretty good one. My abused range beaters go for years and tens of thousands of rounds without a malfunction. One in particular hasn't had a stoppage in 15 years and over a 130,000 rounds. I've been using the same extractor in it through 3 barrels and one complete rebuild, with exactly one retensioning at the 75,000 round mark, right after the rebuild...and I attribute most of that to the fact that there's never been an 8-round magazine in the gun. The other 5 in the battery malfunction maybe once a year or so...mainly because of my old funky reloads with home-cast bullets and because I'm not a stickler on gettin' the guns squeaky clean after every range trip.

    When you stuff 8 rounds into a space designed for 7, you have to sacrifice something in order to make room. Spring length and follower stability are two.
    Redesigned followers are the rule, and some work better than others...but all are essentially compromises in an attempt to make up for what was lost in changing things around. Compromises in proven designs rarely work well.

    So many have tried for so long to outsmart John Browning...that they really believe they have...but he did know what he was doing. He covered pretty much everything else, including some minor points that few ever take the time to study and ask: "Now, why did he do that?" ...and figure it out.
    I have...and many years ago, I came to the conclusion that he was a whole lot sharper than most give him full credit for.

    So...assuming that we can accept the fact that a man born in the middle of the 19th century has trumped us all...(and he has)...wouldn't it seem reasonable to believe that if there had been a way to make an 8-round, flush-fit magazine as reliable as his 7-rounder...that it would have been done?
    Studying the minor details of the gun...and understanding what their purpose was and is reveals the genius of a man who didn't miss a trick. How about a show of hands for any who believe that he didn't notice that the magazine had room for 8 rounds...and tried it in a pistol that was essentially headed for
    war...where an extra round could save a life. Anybody?

    So...Second guess the man who knew more about his gun than anybody alive today if you want. I conceded defeat on that point 25 years ago...

  4. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I have had 100% reliability using 8 round Wilson mags. Why make your mags a weak link in the system? Wilsons are just made right.
  5. 1911user

    1911user Member

    Jan 14, 2005

    OK, I'm warned, but my 8 round mags have been feeding just fine for years now. Buy good quality mags of whatever capacity you like then test them regularly. It's not rocket science.
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