A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, February 04, 2007

1911 Magazine Analysis

1911 shooters sometimes disagree over which magazines are best. I suppose this is inevitable when there are so many different types of magazines available.

One thing is guaranteed. Any auto pistol will fail if it has a crappy magazine shoved in it's butt. Because of the plethora of mags available for the 1911, the pistol has an undeserved reputation that should be shouldered by the junk magazines instead.

Here is an article on the 1911 magazine in most of it's permutations. I could not have done it better. Thank you.

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Anonymous Civis Proeliator said...

Thanks for pointing that one out. Great info.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Thanks for the info. I have to admit I'm a big Wilson fan though, I've never had a problem with a Wilson mag in my 1911s. (Next choice is McCormick shooting stars.)

8:09 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I'm with ya Jeff! The article is still very informative though.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to stay away from posting a comment, but...

While the article may be informative on different design styles of magazines, the whys as to the differences are missing.

1) Cartridge release should be timed to coincide with break-over and extractor pick-up.

2) This will vary from pistol to pistol, ammo, and magazines used.

3) The typical length for feed lips runs from 0.55 to 0.60 inches. (Wilson's measure 0.50).

4) Tapering a feed lip, as opposed to paralell ones, takes into account cartridge rim diameter variances.

5) Paralell feed lips are dependent on position apart, release point posistion, and shape.

Which brings me to this:

If all 1911s were built to the same specs and used the same mags and ammo, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

There are 2 ways I can suggest as to getting reliable feeding in a 1911:

1) Pick a pistol and ammo.

2) Try a bunch of different mags until you find one that works with said pistol and ammo.

3) Buy a bunch of those and hope that their QC is good enough to keep all of the mags within close spec.


1) Pick a pistol and ammo.

2) Send same to a competent gunsmith.

3) Have him tune magazines for that pistol and ammo.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Info. I learned a lot. Give me a whole new perspective on reliability of my 1911.

I'm looking forward to comparing and testing several of my own magazines.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Gandalin said...

Thanks for posting a link to this interesting report. It was very well done. I agree that the McCormick magazines should have been included. The Cobra magazine manufactured by Tripp Research is also interesting; it has a Wilson-style follower that can't catch or jam, but in metal rather than plastic. The Cobra magazine is also a tad longer, so it holds 8 rounds with a little less spring tension.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Kutter_0311 said...

Great article! I tend to sick with 'Nam era Gov't mags, myself. Bought them by the dozen, stainless being higher quality, but I haven't had any problems in my 2 Kimbers. Many people forget that you get what you pay for, i.e. cheaper guns don't tend to work as well. I may have paid $1000+ for each Kimber, but they work. And work. And work... I think these 2 pistols are even more reliable than my 3 AK's!

5:34 PM  

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