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1911 and magazines

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by dobanion, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. dobanion

    dobanion North Portland, Oregon Member

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    I have a Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical. From all I have read, it's a original 1911 design, no modern "improvements" with the exception of the hammer and sights. The feeding mechanism is exactly as John Browning designed it.

    Except, it came with a modern magazine with "wadcutter" style feed lips, which are the standard on almost all magazines I have been able to find. Lots of problems feeding #8 and #7, after it worked, but it was "chunky." If you tried close the slide slowly, it would jam everytime. It had to smack the round hard to get it in the chamber. Got a few set back rounds too.

    USGI style lips, as John Browning designed to work in a 1911 with 230grain ball ammo, are hard to find. After reading a article about the subject, and commenting how perfect the gun seemed to feed with ball ammo and USGI feed lip 7 round mags, I ordered a couple from Check Mate Industries.

    Well I am VERY pleased. It's like butta! I can close the action VERY slowly and the round goes into battery perfectly every time. Full magazine loads top round like every other. Just utterly smooth. Almost like it's how the designer intended! :thumbup:
     
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Hand cycling the 1911 will not come close to the violent action of the fired cycle.
    Have seen many a 1911 that would hang up on hand cycling, but run smooth during live fire.
     
  3. dobanion

    dobanion North Portland, Oregon Member

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    Granted. But if it DOES chamber smoothly while slow, that's a sigh of a very nice controlled feeding. Not whacking it into battery. That's what you get with USGI lips and ball ammo.
     
  4. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    The RI 1911's I've had come with Mecgar OEM mags. These have always been top quality. I've never had any problems with them. Wichika is right,to feed properly the slide should be all the way back, and use the slide release to feed the first round. Also a new factory gun, with tight extractor tension, will loosen up with a hundred rounds or so. Checkmate GI mags are kinda lower end usually, so if they feed good from them too, you are good to go. Try shooting it for a while, and you shood be good. You could always polish the radius of the bottom of the extractor, to sometimes smooth up feeding. Shooting it 100 times tends to do the same thing. Hope this helps!
     
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    The original tapered or even hy-brid feed lips will generally make the gun feed smoother, as the wad cuter fed lips allow for a sudden rise in the cartridge just before chambering.

    Just because it feeds when hand cycled, doesn't mean that's the sign the round is being controlled properly.

    Going back to the very violent cycling the 1911 endures, this can cause a few things;

    1) The extractor to lose control of the round, which gives erratic ejection, or jams. Also, you will not getting possible extractor 'clocking' during hand cycling.

    2) The magazine to lose control of the round, which in turn gives you push feeds. Meaning the round jumps ahead of the extractor and upon going into battery, the extractor snaps over the cartridge case rim, which the extractor in the 1911 was not meant to do.

    3) Possible bolt-over base feeds...and the list goes on.

    The 1911 has 2 distinct weak points...the extractor, and the magazine.

    Treat the magazine as a removable part of the 1911 firing system, and give it the consistent maintenance it deserves, and it should serve you well. But also remember they are expendable. Once they go, get another...and don't trust your life to them. New mags are cheap, compared to your life.
     
  6. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    I have never found Checkmate magazines to be "lower end." In fact, quite the opposite. Most magazines I find the most effective are Checkmate ones sold by Colt. "Checkmate GI" magazines, made to US spec contracts in the 60s and 70s, are not the finest, but that's not what he said he bought.

    I also do enjoy shooting "GI" magazines and have accumulated some WWII and earlier ones for routine shooting. They will also work well with LSWC reloads once you tailor them correctly.
     
  7. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    Checkmate are not bad, Just lower end, as compared to $35 Wilsons.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Er, in my experience they are just less expensive (and only a little bit) than Wilson's, not lower in quality. It would be a mistake to equate price with quality in this category. The difference in price between a factory Colt magazine and a Wilson or Tripp is not enough to make a judgment about without testing them and comparing. And they do compare very favorably.
     
  9. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Wilson Combat mags are deffinatly the way to go...got rid of the manufacturers 7-rounders and bought all new8-rounds. Never a failure.
     
  10. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I was never a fan of the Wilson mags. I started using the act-mags that came with my S&W 1911 and haven't looked back since. They have worked well in all the 1911's I've used them with.
    The thing is just because they work for someone doesn't mean they'll work for you. My buddy swears by his Wilson's. Several other people I know refuse to use them, opting instead for the Ed Brown or the Chip McCormick. Find a way to try a bunch of different ones (borrow from friends, etc.) and use what works best for you. But don't have any preconceived notions about which ones will work and which ones won't.
    Just my two cents worth.