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Posted: 6/12/2018 6:04:40 PM EDT
Hello all. Just ordered my first Kimber (KHX Custom-OR) and 1911 (45ACP). Hope to have it in hand before the end of the week. I recall some 1911 magazines being unreliable. I heard good reviews on Wilson Combat and McCormick.

Are Kimber mags reliable?

Interested in purchasing a few 8 & 10rd capacity magazines.
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 9:37:37 PM EDT
Last couple 1911's I have purchased, I have never used the factory mags.  Just throw them in a drawer.  Bought the WC.  They now own McCormick.  The new WC 10 round mags use the McCormick style spacer.  No exposed metal mag.  Nice to take mags out of the equation if any malfunctions occur.
Link Posted: 6/13/2018 3:29:05 PM EDT
I have a Kimber KHX 9mm and the magazine that came with it is trash.  I get an out of battery/failure to feed on every single round.  My thought was it eventually would loosen up or whatever but hasnt happened yet after about 200 rounds.  its annoying.

My Wilson Combat has been 100%
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 5:30:54 PM EDT
I have CMC & WC magazines for both my Stainless TLE Ultra II &  Stainless TLE Custom II as well as the original factory magazines. To be honest, the only way I can tell them apart is to look at them and see whose name is on them. The Kimbers have run fine. I don't know who is making their mags now, but I was told by CMC that at one time, they were making & rebranding them for Kimber.
Link Posted: 7/18/2018 10:20:48 AM EDT
CMC power mags are my go to on my 1911.  I haven't ever even considered buying more factory mags
Link Posted: 9/14/2018 10:41:58 PM EDT
I've used Kimber mags in my Kimber 1911s (5" and 3 1/2") for about 20 years now and I've found them to be very reliable.

That said, I'm also smart enough to understand how the 1911 functions and feeds and know when not to mess with the engineering.

There are a few things worth knowing before you start blaming the magazine:

1) 1911 magazines come in four basic flavors with four basic feed lip designs that go from fully controlled feed to uncontrolled feed.

- The original magazines had tapered lips (left) and were designed for 200 and 230 gr ball ammunition.   The tapered lips give and early but controlled release of the round and they feed smooth as butter in a stock 1911 as the round nose of the bullet starts up the fee ramp a the same time as the rim starts rising into the extractor.   However, they don't do as well with hollow point or semi-wadcutter rounds as the truncated cone shape of the bullet tends to jam on the feed ramp.

- after WWI Colt came out with hybrid lip magazines (center) in their commercial Colt 1911s.  These magazines have less taper and produce a more gradual release of the rim of the cartridge.  They work fine with FMJ ammo, but they also hold the rim down long enough for a truncated cone shaped bullet to start up the feed ramp before the rim is released.

- There are also after market parallel lipped 'wad cutter' magazines (right)  that are optimized for the wadcutter bullets that are popular for target shooters and practical pistol shooters. These release the rim of the cartridge very late in the feed process and they do not work well with a 230 gr FMJ as the longer rounded nose on the bullet will often get jammed in the top of the chamber before the rim is released.

- Wilson 47D magazines operate entirely differently.  They basically just pop the round out more or less level in front of the slide, which bats it into the chamber, with no controlled feed at all.

2)  The different feed lip designs produce different angles as the cartridge feeds and the rim rises up into the extractor.  This makes the extractor profile very critical as it has to be profiled to allow for the sharper angles created by the wad cutter style feed lips.  If not, the rim can lock as it rises up into the extractor.  Some folks incorrectly re-profile the extractor and some folks replace the extractor with an after market extractor that may not be well matched to the magazine feed lips or rounds being used.

3) In the 1911, slide over run and spring weight are both critical to feeding.

Unfortunately, way too many 1911 shooters buy a 1911 and then before ever shooting it go on line and start asking what 'upgrades' it needs.  They end up replacing the recoil spring, usually with one that is heavier than the factory spring.  This can reduce the slide over run, and it will also increase the slide velocity, which screws with the timing of the feed cycle.

Way too many shooters also install a shock buffer to reduce the potential for frame battering.  They work ok in 5" 1911s as there is enough excess slide over run to usually avoid feed issues - provided the shooter also did not install an extra power recoil spring.  However in the shorter Commander length and Officer Model length 1911s the slide over run distance has been reduced to the point that adding a shock buffer will reduce the slide over run to often insufficient levels.

4) Finally, there are shooters who don't understand that springs wear out. Too light a spring can cause the frame to rebound off the frame with the result that you get more slide velocity moving forward as well as backward and you end up with insufficient over run time to allow the round to feed properly.


Kimber uses Colt Commercial hybrid style magazines and they feed well with just about everything, provided the shooter allows for a couple hundred rounds to allow these fairly tightly fitted pistols to break in, and don't mess with the springs, extractors or install things like shock buffers.  That break in period, when fired with standard pressure ammo, will also help you learn what the recoil should feel like, and 800-1200 round out, when the recoil spring wears out, you'll notice a more 'metallic' feel to the recoil that is your sign to replace the spring - if you let it go that long in the first place.
Link Posted: 12/12/2018 10:07:28 AM EDT
Also look at Metalform. They are used by a lot of military team shooters.
Link Posted: 12/12/2018 10:31:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: wildearp] [#7]
Kimber used McCormick at one point.  At any rate, McCormick is the only mag I have used in any brand of 1911 for over 20 years.  All my Kimbers, both 9 and 45, use McCormick.

Some Wilson mags would not seat and engage the mag release in a Springfield I owned.  Luckily I tested it right there in the store and didn't have to waste a lot of time finding that out.

Novak makes a damn good mag and I have a couple of them. These have been rebranded with other names too. I think my Sig GSR came with Novak and that is how they entered my inventory.
Link Posted: 12/16/2018 11:41:48 PM EDT
I have mecgar, cmc (shooting star), wilson, springfield, and para (mecgar rebrand AFAIK). They've all done me well feeding 230gr ball and 230gr JHP.

Full disclosure, the 2 1911s I've had both use a fully ramped barrel.
Link Posted: 11/24/2020 5:04:44 PM EDT
I echo e-AR, Longhorn, kchustle and wildearp, above.  I have a number of 1911 based handguns and all, I mean all, have experienced at least one issue.  Fortunately, most can be traced back to magazine issues and cured with Chip McCormick magazines.  Colt Series 80 SS Combat Commander misfeeds with Colt magazines?  Cured with the McCormick SS magazines.  Colt Gold Cup National Match acting up?  Cured with blued McCormick magazines.  Purchased a Colt Satin Nickel Combat Commander in 9mm.  Bought Chip McCormick 9mm SS magazines before the gun even arrived.  Just picked up a RR 1911 from CMP and it ran great with the Chip McCormick magazines.  Downside?  They are very unobtainable now.  Ordered five from Brownells just yesterday and they cut the order to just two.  At least I got two.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 10:54:32 PM EDT
I just bought a Kimber Stainless II this past Saturday. I have some Checkmate and Ed Brown mags inbound. I’ll let ya know when I’ve
been able to test them.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:40:35 PM EDT
I have used Kimber, Wilson, Colt and Chip McCormick mags over the years. I now only purchase Tripp research mags, hands down the best made as far as I’m concerned.

Link Posted: 1/17/2021 4:27:23 PM EDT
I suggest buying some non Kimber mags. That way you can isolate any problems. If the gun runs well, then test the Kimber mags out.
Link Posted: 1/13/2022 12:57:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kchustle:
CMC power mags are my go to on my 1911.  I haven't ever even considered buying more factory mags
View Quote

Yup CMC mags are all I use.

I started with 8 round CMC Shooting Star mags in 1990's and never had any issues with them in any of my 1911 pistols.  Wilson mags worked great too but I noticed their springs wore out faster than CMC mags so most of my 1911 mags were CMC Shooting Star with few Wilson.  When CMC Power Mags came out I sold all my Shooting Star and Wilson mags and purchased bunch of Power Mags.  Now 20 years later I still use Power Mags.  I make an exception with my compact 1911 pistols...I only use Wilson mags in my Officer/Ultra Carry pistols as I have found them to be most reliable but they do require frequent spring change.
Link Posted: 1/19/2022 2:35:05 PM EDT
I've not had any reliability problems from mine (all officer size .45acp).  I say as long as they work, use them. If not, ditch them for something else. I see no point in throwing good mags into a box and replacing them just because of the name on them.
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