A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gun Show: Mags and Old Guns

At the gun show this afternoon, I was able to scrounge up four genuine US GI 1911 magazines. One was a Scovill mag, two were made by M.S. Little, and the last was a General Shaver magazine, easily recognized by the welded seam on the back.

USGI magazines, the real ones, are some of the best magazines available. John Moses Browning knew what he was doing when he designed the feed lips and put a dimple on the follower. If a 1911 is in spec, the genuine GI magazines will feed as long as the spring is able to push ammo up. A thorough analysis of 1911 magazines can be found here. In my experience there are three choices for reliable 1911 magazines: Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick and USGI. I purchased two of these USGI magazines from a dealer, for five bucks each. Thirty minutes later, he had another two on his table. He made another ten bucks and I took home twenty dollars worth of reliability.

I continued to meander about the show, and I eventually sold the Browning Auto 22 for $275. While I had gotten a good deal from Kenny on the little rifle, and I had always wanted one, it was chambered in 22 short. I simply did not want to deal with another cartridge for plinking around.

As I wandered around with the SW1911, I spied a brown revolver cylinder and some black rubber grips making their way through the crowd. I gave chase and finally caught up with the fellow by the beef jerky. "What kind of revolver do you have?" I asked.

He turned and displayed a long barreled Smith & Wesson. "A thirty-eight special," he replied, "It'll shoot too." The revolver was devoid of any finish except a brown patina of oiled metal. The front sight was rewelded, a wide disc of metal globbed on the muzzle. I opened the cylinder, and began to check it out. It was an old gun, definitely early in the M&P line, but with the 1905 action. The grips were intact, although appropriately worn.

"It won't fire double action," the man said. He was wrong about that. The hammer retracted easily with the trigger as long as you held back the cylinder release. The gun needed a thorough cleaning.

"How much do you want?" I asked.

"One hundred fifty," he said.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out four twenties and then opened my wallet to reveal a five and three ones. "Will you take eighty-eight?" I asked.

We made the deal.



Anonymous Alex said...

Cool finds! A gentleman showed up with an original 1911 at one of our CWP classes. It has been a gift from a Sunday school friend many years ago.

I went to the local gunshow last Sunday. Last time, just after the election, it took 90 minutes just to get inside. This time, the wait was minimal. Tables were well-stocked, but magazine prices were up almost 30-50% compared to the last show before the election. Georgia Arms 115 gr 9 mm was $115 for a can of 500. American Eagle was $10.50 for a box of 50.

6:22 PM  
Blogger AJ187 said...

Hey, Xav, do you think when we've all turned to dust and kids are running around with 40-Watt Phased Plasma Rifles, that there will be some old guys fondling relics like glocks and xds at the gun show? Just a thought.

6:47 PM  
Blogger tom said...

As a Texan and end user, I might point out one you left out of In my experience there are three choices for reliable 1911 magazines: Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick and USGI.

Go read HERE.

Wilson and McCormick don't have any more or less on Tripp Research Magazines. Part of it will depend on the particular gun and that can be adjusted by a gunsmith. Virgil's guns run better with Virgil's mags. One of my newish Springers likes Springer STAINLESS (hates blue ones) Magazines as far as out of the box. All of these things can be adjusted by a gunsmith that understands 1911s so basically ANY quality magazine will work with any 1911 set up to feed them. I suggest that you tune your 1911s for the magazines you're going to stick in them, as even the best aftermarket or USGI can be slicked up a bit or the gun slicked up a bit to eliminate stoppages to almost nothing.

Virgil built the pistol a neighbor of mine won the Bianchi Cup with, so he knows a little bit about 1911s and their magazines, just maybe. He also makes nice magazines.

For what it's worth, Chip lives about 16 miles from my house by air so I have no hard feelings for him, just pointing out one you missed probably because you'd never seen one on that side of the Sabine.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read your last post I figured you were coming back with another gun...

10:11 PM  
Blogger JesterToo said...

I need to come to your gunshow. The one's around here are nowhere near as good.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I wish our gunshow was better, I never find deals like that around here!

On the subject of Mags, after reading that link and some other articles about a year ago I changed over from 47D's to Checkmate hybrid's. I haven't had a feeding problem ever since I switched.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

By the time our grandkids run around with plasma rifles the plastic on the 'hip ghetto' guns will look like a plastic banana while a well oiled 1911 will look like the the one you bought at the show.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Bullet said...

I like gun shows, find great deals (sometimes)

6:36 AM  

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