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Posted: 11/16/2001 8:13:40 PM EDT
I am starting (as the extra funds permit) to pick up a few spare mags for some of my guns, and was looking for some info about some surplus and non surplus mags--

1. The Browning HP in 9mm. How are the Argentinian contract mags? ($20 from CDNN)

2. Beretta 9mm. How are the South African contract mags and the Asian military mags? I have a pretty good load of USGI and Italian mags for my guns, but could use some $20 mags as extras if they are good quality.

3. Colt 1911 (Colt Combat Commander and Kimber Custom Classic). I have seen ads (looking at a CDNN ad as I write this) for Colt Factory $17, Mitchell $10, McCormick $10, Springfield $12, "original equipment maker for Colt" $8, Argentine Military 10 rd. $7. Any ideas on which are OK quality (all are 8 rd. except the Argentine Military)? I know Wilson mags are generally considered the best, but I want some cheap, but still reliable range mags.

Thanks!!

AFARR
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 8:17:56 PM EDT
I have a McCormick mag that works great, I've heard Wilson is good also. Not sure about the rest. Sorry.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 11:28:40 PM EDT
1. The Argentine contract magazines are pretty good. I have half a dozen and have had no problems. They are difficult to load to full capacity at first (a mag loader is VERY helpful), but if left loaded for a week or two, the spring will take it’s initial set and the magazine becomes much easier to load. I haven’t had feeding problems with my FN MarkIII with Winchester NATO spec ball, S&B ball, Gold Dot 124gr +P+, Federal 9BP or an assortment of reloads. They do stick out almost ½” more than stock, though.
2. No Experience.
3. I have never had a problem with Wilson seven rounders. With most other mags, it’s a bit hit or miss. Most of them work with most guns, though the eight rounders are a bit more problematical in some 1911s. For practice magazines, REAL GI magazines have always worked fine for me with ball and reloads that duplicate ball.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 6:08:01 AM EDT
McCormicks work great, until they stop working.

All my four McCormicks decided eventually they were reluctant to feed the 8th round.

Two of them decided to shed their baseplates. I won't be buying any more "Shooting Stars," I can think of a lot of clever pet names for them.

Ditto Maddock on the Argie HP mags. They do stick out, but it is with a large baseplate, it looks good in the pistol. And 17 rounds!

Mec-Gar makes good 1911 mags. Maybe not in the Wilson category, but I have had good luck with mine and they are much cheaper.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 7:47:07 AM EDT
AFARR, let me know if you plan on purchasing some of those magazines for the Beretta 92FS.

I currently have 1 10 rounder and 1 15 rounder, and I NEED more 15's for it. If you actually have any you want to sell, or if you can tell me where to get some SA magazines, I would love to give them a try for a good price.

Thanks,
MM14
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 8:54:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne_Ranger:
McCormicks work great, until they stop working.

All my four McCormicks decided eventually they were reluctant to feed the 8th round.



Chairborne Ranger (I love that handle, very clever):

This is somewhat the problem with 8-round magazines in general. No matter the brand, the 8th round will always load a bit different than the first seven. That is why I have stuck with buying only 7-round mags for my 1911s. I guess Browning knew what he was doing.

David Lauck in his book "The Tactical 1911" had a paragraph or two talking about this very issue...and why he prefers 7-rounders. If you are greatly interested, email me and I'll go look it up and re-type the info.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 9:06:57 AM EDT
AFARR:

Well, you really get what you pay for. I think that long-term you'll end up spending the same amount of money whether you buy quality mags or cheaper ones (they'll need replacement more often).

If you shop really good, you can usually get a good deal on Wilsons if you buy 3 or 4. I think I got mine for aobut $20 to $25 each after shipping costs (been a couple of years). The good thing about Wilsons is that you can also buy either plastic or metallic basepads to replace the plastic ones if they break. It's easy to change out the springs too. So long term, they are worth it.

Les Baer makes magazines that I would rank as equal to the Wilsons, but aren't as widely available. I believe they're a few bucks cheaper.

Last note: Don't think of the cheap magazines as "for the range" mags only. It's important to remember that HOW you practice, and WHAT YOU PRACTICE WITH should be the what you'd use in a real-life situation. Unfortunately, there are many stories of police officers who died in a firefight because they were combating exactly how they practiced. One example (repeated many times, unfortunately) is of dead officers having empty brass in their pants pocket...because they emptied their revolver shells into their hand and jammed them in their pocket (probably reload ammo at home) before reloading their gun. Or of officers that lined their magazines up in nice little rows on top of their squad car for quick access (not good).

When the SHTF, your equipment should feel VERY familiar to you and YOU WILL go through the same motions as in practice because the brain disengages and practice skills take over.

My two pennies. Make change if you need to.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 9:32:56 AM EDT
Tailgate,

Thanks for the tips. A 1911 would probably be my last choice for home/carry use. I prefer my SIG-Sauer P229, Beretta 92 or HK P7 for that if indicated (and I have some factory mags for them). These are just fun shooting guns (don't get me wrong, I love the 1911 design, and the .45 has always been an excellent defense round, but I am more comfortable with the other guns due to more use.

I was kind of leaning towards just springing for Wilson mags anyway, but if someone has had excellent luck with another brand, I am willing to try them.

As to the Mil-Surp mags for the other guns, high quality contract mags are generally pretty good (hell, aren't the US made Beretta 92 mags "contract" mags anyway?).

Marksman, I will let you know when I find some mags. I have about 10 Hi-cap mags split between 2 guns, but can always use a few more (I am starting to look hard at the Elite or the new slimmer grip gun they are coming out with--if it takes standard mags--as a good finish to a Beretta 92 collection).

Thanks!!

AFARR
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 9:45:30 AM EDT
At the last 2 gun shows In Indianapolis IN, there has been a guy selling new and used Beretta factory 15 round mags for $25, $35, and $45 each. The $25 ones have some surface rust, the $35 are the $25 ones cleaned up, and the $45 ones are new. Supposedly he has a supplier that gets the used military ones when they get new ones. He had several hundred at the last show 6 weeks ago. They are made in the US and Italy. They are all pre-ban, and the used ones have some shiny spots on them.

This guy also has GI M14 mags for $35 each, or 3 for $100.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 11:50:09 AM EDT
Macloud (or anyone else who frequents the Indy show),

If you get his name/contact # I would appreciate it. I would probably pick up 6 or 8 of the $25 mags at that rate.

AFARR
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