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Topping off a magazine.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by igousigloo, Oct 20, 2011.

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  1. igousigloo

    igousigloo Member

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    I have never topped of one of my magazines, but at a defensive pistol practice we were told to top of our magazines after loading. My magazine seemed to snap in after refilling but after the first round fired it did not reload. After checking I found that the magazine had dropped slightly and did not pick up the next round. I checked and a full magazine would not lock in on a closed chamber. I never had this problem before without topping off.
     
  2. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I have allways topped off my mags the only one that ever gave me any trouble was an after market mag in my MINI 30 rifle. None of my pistol mags have given me any trouble but they are all factory mags. If your pistol dont like it dont do it . Id rather have reliability than just one more shot.
    Luck
    T
     
  3. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Member

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    I have always topped off my magazines in both my Glock 27 and Sig 226, both are .40 S&W. I have never had that issue with either pistol. What kind of pistol were you using?
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    You're not seating your magazines fully...if I had to guess, I'd say you are used to babying them into the magazine well. What kind of gun are we talking about?

    1. The magazine did not drop down slightly. If it had been locked in, it would not be able to drop at all
    2. The snap you are hearing/feeling is the top round hitting the bottom of the slide
    3. If your gun would lock the magazine in before, there is nothing wrong with the magazines or the magazine catch. You're not pushing the magazine in with enough force.

    The magazines are not meant to be pushed in gently until the magazine catch snaps into the locking notch. Once correctly aligned with the magazine well, the magazine is meant to be rammed into the gun forcefully.
     
  5. igousigloo

    igousigloo Member

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    It is a Kimber pro carry II and I smack them in pretty hard. No problem with one round out but it does not like it full.
     
  6. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Just download it by one round. Compressing the stack in the mag to the point where it causes any difficulty locking the mag into the gun is bad design. It also places too much stress on your mag spring and follower. People place way too much emphasis on capacity these days. Trying to overcome this problem by "smacking the mag" harder isn't solving the problem.
     
  7. igousigloo

    igousigloo Member

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    My point exactly!
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    If your Kimber really won't lock a full magazine in, it is malfunctioning...I'd send it back to the manufacturer to be corrected.

    On another note, it could also well be a magazine malfunction. I've had the best luck with McCormick PowerMags in 8 round configuration and Metalform, with the rounded top followers, in the 7 round configuration.

    You are, of course, welcome to carry with only a partially loaded magazine...just be aware that it isn't performing the way it should be performing. In it's current state, you wouldn't be able to utilize a Tactical Reload with a fully loaded magazine
     
  9. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah you should not have to download one round to get the mag to seat. Gun or magazines are faulty. Suspect the mags first.
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    8 round magazines cause this problem in most 1911s to some degree. This has been going on for a very long time. I have used 8 round McCormick mags for many years in USPSA but only load 7 in them. Just because some geek shows up and says "I can jam another round in there!!!" doesn't mean it is an intelligent idea. The gun is not defective. This is just the way it is. If Browning could have jammed another round into a single stack do you think he would have done it? Maybe all "enhanced" capacity mags should come with a hammer to get it locked in to "defective" guns.
     
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Were you told to top off as part of the training exercise or as a "requirement" for carrying? I believe whether or not to top off should be left to your personal opinion. I don't top off mine. Some days I carry my Ruger (5 rounds) so when I carry my XDm, I'm not worried about whether I have 16 or 17. I do like having a place to put the bullet when I clear my weapon (back in the magazine).
     
  12. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Whenever you "force" an 8 round mag into a single stack 1911 you are crushing the mag and follower into the bottom of the mag. If you like your magazines to function reliably for a long time don't do that. In time you will start seeing failures of the mag to get the last two rounds up in time for the slide to pick it up - this because the mag spring was forced past its design limits and lost some of its temper. Now you et to buy some new springs. This is not some internet theory. This problem showed up when 8 rounders were introduced. People have always tried to find some way around it. Use the gun as it was designed. It will work a lot better and longer.
     
  13. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I don't top off. If I decide to carry a semi-auto, I load the mag full, chamber one, and let it go at that. If I'm carrying 16 rounds of 9mm or 15 of .40 and that many more in a spare mag, it'll do. If I need more than that I'm toast anyway.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I think so of you are missing the larger point. If your 1911 won't seat a full magazine, it means you won't be able to reload
    1. a full magazine unless you have shot the gun dry...not a optimal tactical idea
    2. unless you carry all your magazine downloaded by one

    As TexasRifleman said this could easily be a magazine issue as well. There are 8 round magazines that have been known to cause feeding issues, but there are enough reliable ones out there to not have to settle for less. Remember that a 1911 magazine is considered a consumable item
     
  15. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Every magazine should be able to compress about a half round worth even after loaded. As 9mm mentions if it won't do that then you'd never be able to load a full magazine unless the slide is locked back. And if an 8 round magazine has to be downloaded by one round to be able to lock into place then it's really not an 8 round capacity now, is it?

    So stop making excuses for the gun or mags and get them fixed or replaced. Most mags have a travel limit to the follower. If a mag won't allow the last bullet to still have some depression then the follower can be trimmed slightly to let it compress the spring a little more.

    I do find that sometimes the mags will bounce if I try to just slap them into place. Instead I now drive them firmly with a solid push at the end instead of a slap.
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes actually, I believe he would have. Metallurgy has come a long way in 100 years. The springs in use in modern 8 round magazines will hold up in a way that they probably wouldn't have 100 years ago.
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    After seeing more than enough mag springs fail from over compression (and bent followers) I am unwilling to bet my life on the assumption that "modern" springs will feed the first and last round perfectly. It's not so much a matter of seating a stuffed mag into the gun as it is a matter of will the spring lift the last two rounds up fast enough to get them in front of the slide. Metallurgy has indeed come a long way since 1910 but that does not mean that all manufacturers are making use of these advancements. Sorry folks but it's all about cheap costs per unit and marketing and sales volume. And in my opinion it was not that way 100 years ago.
     
  18. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I top off my carry guns (realistically you're looking at an extra round of capacity for no more effort than pulling and reseating the magazine), but not just for general range plinking.

    If your gun won't properly take a full mag with the slide closed though, then it's a problem. Probably a magazine problem rather than an actual gun problem though. If it turns out that it truly won't seat properly, then I'd try a different brand of mag like Wilson Combat.

    There's that, but IIRC many modern 8-round mags also have a deeper column offered by a slightly protruding mag-base. A LOT of people use 8-round 1911 magazines these days. It might be easier to make a 7-round mag, but realistically the right brand of 8-rounders are fine too.
     
  19. Bozwell

    Bozwell Member

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    I wonder if the people suggesting this isn't a problem would have that same mentality in a gun other than a 1911. I can understand keeping magazines fully loaded for extended periods of time having some wear on the springs, but that's why mag springs are cheap and easily replaceable. I can even understand the argument that it's not a big problem, since we're only talking about 1 round less capacity per magazine. However, if the gun won't accept a fully loaded magazine of the shape and size it was designed to accept, then something is wrong (even if the gun is a sacrosanct 1911 :p).

    As others have said, I'd test out different magazines and see if you experience the same problem with those. If not, problem solved - just use the different magazines. If so, I'd contact the manufacturer.
     
  20. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    To everyone saying: "Dont use 8 round mags!" okay so what if a 7 round mag wouldn't lock in? Just download it to 6? Either the magazine is defective by having some porturbence that wont let the follower move or the spring compress fully, or the pistol has an issue that it's slightly out of spec in regards to the magazine catch.

    Check and see if a 7 round mag full up will lock in, and if you 8 round mag full up will lock into someones else's pistol with the slide closed.

    I also always top off my mags, and I carry as many rounds as I reasonably can. That may be just the mag in the gun, or it may be three spare mags. No one in the history of gun fighting has ever wished for: less ammo, less time, or less accuracy. I can at least control the first.

    -Jenrick
     
  21. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    I often top mine off on all my semi autos. P38, FNP, 1911, Glock. I also always insert the very first fully loaded mag into the gun with the slide in battery...never had a problem. If I did, then yeah I would think something was at fault. Most gun companies today advertise their capacities at "+1"
     
  22. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Honestly, if you want to "defend" your carry gear while it is obviously malfunctioning be my guest, but if any of my carry gear were to malfunction (especially like this) it would be retired and replaced with something that I could count on. My life is worth more than $30 for a new quality mag. JMHO.

    It isn't the first mag not being topped off that is the big problem, it is the follow up tactical reloads that you won't be able to perform that can get you killed...
     
  23. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I don't worry about topping of except for my 380, I do believe that you need to be sure that subsequent mags will indeed engage and function. So many will promote a tactical reload before slidelock and I agree, thus my lack of concern topping off what is already 15-17 rounds and the reason I no longer carry a single stack for self defence.
     
  24. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    It's not unusual for some of the higher capacity plastic guns to come with weird magazines.

    For example I've seen a few G22 mags that only hold 14 rounds. Not the proper 15. I have one myself. I tossed it into a range bag and got some fresh mags from Lonewolf for carry.
     
  25. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Rather than remove and top off the mag, you could also utilize the recently-mentioned "Barney reload". Insert a magazine that is loaded with only one round into your gun and chamber that round. Remove the now-empty magazine and replace it with another, fully-loaded one. Your "Barney" magazine is an extra one, not used for carry.
     
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