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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  1911 & Wild Bunch Shooting (Moderators: Jefro, August)  |  Topic: Lifespan of a 1911 magazine 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Lifespan of a 1911 magazine  (Read 5014 times)
hatman
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« on: April 10, 2015, 11:26:19 am »


I've recently been bitten with the 1911 bug.
I started with a Colt government and my Dan Wesson Valor should show up today.
I've been wondering how many rounds a good quality (e.g. Check-mates that come with the Valor) will take before the springs wear out.
My google-fu hasn't worked out for me in trying to get some input on this.
Just looking at ballpark numbers like 1000, 5000, etc.
Thanks in advance.
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Will Ketchum
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Pete Ersland


« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 12:48:47 pm »

I have no idea. When I was shooting IPSC 20 years or so ago I was still using WW2 magazines.  In fact I have a WW1 magazine with the lanyard ring.  I quit using it only because the lanyard ring prevented me from slamming the magazine home.  I still have a bunch and wouldn't hesitate to use them now.  I have usually had about 4 or 5 magazines loaded around the house, even the old ones.  I have never experienced a weakened spring.

Will Ketchum
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hatman
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 01:56:27 pm »

I have no idea. When I was shooting IPSC 20 years or so ago I was still using WW2 magazines.  In fact I have a WW1 magazine with the lanyard ring.  I quit using it only because the lanyard ring prevented me from slamming the magazine home.  I still have a bunch and wouldn't hesitate to use them now.  I have usually had about 4 or 5 magazines loaded around the house, even the old ones.  I have never experienced a weakened spring.

Will Ketchum

Thanks Will.
My understanding is that spring wear comes from cycling (i.e. using the mag) and not whether they sit for years fully compressed or not.
I'm just a non-competitive amateur and imagine I wouldn't shoot more than 1000 rounds year through either 1911.  I'm just trying to understand whether it makes sense to buy more mags than the two provided for each gun anywhere in the near future given my projected use.
If I understand what you're saying it sounds like a quality mag should be able to cycle thousands of rounds.

One other question:  Are 1911 mags pretty much useable on any 1911?
Reason I'm asking is that I have a $100 gift certificate from Colt and I plan to use it on mags.  Any reason why they wouldn't/shouldn't be used with the Valor?
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Will Ketchum
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Pete Ersland


« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 02:10:22 pm »

I can't see any reason they wouldn't be.  I have two Colt 1911s (not the A1s) and a Kimber.  All of my magazines work interchangeably.
I certainly not an expert but I have seldom seen a 1911 magazine fail and when they have it's been due to the lips getting bent.  With that said I'm sure that serious competitors damage their mags quite often since they are continuously dropping them on the run and they probably often get stepped on but not in the normal course of just shooting. During the early years of Vietnam 1911 magazines weren't that plentiful for us Marines. It would have had to been during hot circumstances that we didn't pick up out magazines after having had to use them. Of course we had to retrieve our M14 mags as well in early 65 since we weren't going to get replacements. I brought a half dozen pistol mags home with me.  They had become much more available  Wink

Will Ketchum
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hatman
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 10:47:47 pm »

I can't see any reason they wouldn't be.  I have two Colt 1911s (not the A1s) and a Kimber.  All of my magazines work interchangeably.
I certainly not an expert but I have seldom seen a 1911 magazine fail and when they have it's been due to the lips getting bent.  With that said I'm sure that serious competitors damage their mags quite often since they are continuously dropping them on the run and they probably often get stepped on but not in the normal course of just shooting. During the early years of Vietnam 1911 magazines weren't that plentiful for us Marines. It would have had to been during hot circumstances that we didn't pick up out magazines after having had to use them. Of course we had to retrieve our M14 mags as well in early 65 since we weren't going to get replacements. I brought a half dozen pistol mags home with me.  They had become much more available  Wink

Will Ketchum

Again, thanks Will and thank you for your service in that awful war.
I believe you're saying that if I take care of my quality mags (and get 3 or 4 more with my Colt gift certificate) that should last me for many many thousands of rounds and at 2000 rounds/year I have at a minimum 10 years without worrying about buying more mags or springs.
I doubt I have much more than 10 years to be able to shoot.
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St. George
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2015, 06:52:10 am »

Magazines don't come with a 'Round Count Indicator' - neither do the pistols they're designed for.

The 'only' times I ever encountered failures were with previously-damaged magazines whose users had either tried to bend the feed lips, or the bodies had somehow been dented.

Good condition magazines should remain so - civilian ones, especially - because the most that happens to them is a drop from waist height onto the ground - they're not subject to a soldier's life, and I can speak with some experience to that - as can Pete, though he was a Marine, while I was a Doggie.

Select yours so that they'll drop free, and clean them and their springs and you'll be just fine.

Scouts Out!
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treebeard
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 10:49:33 am »

Saw this older post and thought I would mention that I had my pre war 1911A1 out with it's original
mag and it worked without a hitch with standard 230gr hardball. I have new mags but I just feel good
using those old two tones. A field rep let me shoot a Sig 1911 in 357Sig and I have to confess it was
really nice and shot an excellent group. I am old school when it comes to 1911's but can see the
attraction in some of the modern upgrades. Still think the full length guide rods are an excuse to charge
more for the pistol --if the gun can shoot one hole groups at 25 yds then what does it gain to make it
more complex and a pain to break down?
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Slowhand Bob
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2015, 03:16:18 pm »

One can never ever have too many mags and this was recently driven home for me when I saw the movie WWZ, in particular the part where they stormed the wall in Israel! 
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 03:59:28 pm »

The only mag failures I've experienced were with old GI mags. Lips were spread. Current mags seem to be made of sterner stuff.

I have eight 7 rd SS mags that date from the 1970's that are still still among my favourites. Make? I forget, as I had SS steel weights welded on! They drop like a runaway elevator.

I 'retired' them as most IPSC CoF tend to favour 8 rd mgs. However, if I was to put my mind to it, the extra rd is more smoke & mirrors than practical. If my stage/match hinges on one more rd per mag, I need more practice .... ;>)
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hatman
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2015, 09:46:50 pm »

In hindsight I was really asking about average spring life.
Seems given at least a couple thousand rounds per spring, given the number of mags I have I can have some buried with me.  Smiley
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 01:23:54 pm »

Just finished a two day IPSC match of 70 shooters, 9 shooting "Classic" with 1911's.
I was using 8 rd mags as the stages were designed for 10 rd mags (max allowed in Kanuckistan). With one rd chambered, that gave us 9 rds max, 8 rds on reloads.

Don't even go there re: revolvers as any pretext of "practicality" in IPSC has long since evaporated. At least IDPA has a "revolver friendly" aspect to their COF.

If you can count, don't miss and have practiced, flawless reloads, you can use 7 rd mags. However, once you cross the start line, you're already on plan B and any brain fart, malfunction or miscount is not going to add to your day.

Had I used my 7 rd mags with one up the spout, shooting to lock back before every mag change would not have been that much of a handicap. In fact, I planned my approach that way and was able to pull it off. Had I missed on a popper, it just meant another mag change.
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Blair
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 03:45:23 pm »

hatman,
 
I don't believe I am a member on this forum. In fact, I don't believe this should be a part of CAS.
But I will try to answer your question to what I know.

The 1911 is one of my most favorite hand guns. I do not currently own one! (I am sad to say)

My experience with the 1911 Magazine issue is based not just on the age of the magazine but due to the damage the mag. may have received over its years of use.
This damage, seems to be most often in the area of the magazine mouth or throat area of the Magazine as best as I can figure.
Hope this my help?
My best,
 Blair
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 08:31:55 pm »

Current 1911 mags are made of better material than the old GI mags. Even with repeated drops on hard ground, they hold up better than you'd expect.

I don't want to think of the number of times mine have hit the dirt with rds remaining which adds to the problem, the top rd battering the lips of the mag.
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Will Lynchem
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2016, 09:02:17 pm »

Hatman, about a year I got bitten by the Wild Bunch bug. To compete,  I purchased 9 SS magazines by Chip Mccormick.  I have used 5 of the 9 almost exclusively for all the matches I have participated in.  After a year of using these same magazines,  last week while shooting a wild bunch match I got a stage DQ for a safety violation stemming from setting my 1911 down and moving on to the rifle part of the stage and not noticing the the slide had not locked back on my pistol.  This happened more than once and with more than one magazine. I wasn't sure if it was caused by the lighter loads I was using or because the spring in the magazine had gotten weak. I was told by shooters that have many more years experience than I do to take the magazine apart,  clean it well and stretch the magazine spring back out and this should solve the problem. It seems that as the mag springs wear, they wont let the slide lock engage.  I did so and ran over 100 rounds through the suspect magazines with out one problem.  So to somewhat answer your question,  I don't know if the springs wear out but you most likely have to stretch them back out from time to time.  Good luck, Will Lynchem.               Grin.           
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2016, 02:50:44 pm »

I'd like to go back in the way back and address the original question.
The springs in good quality 1911 mags will not wear out in your lifetime.  Nor even in your childrens lifetime.  Failure to feed in 1911s
is normally a result of damage to the magazine, or poor manufacturing.
1911s will not necessarily run "any" magazine well.  Before you elect to rely on any magazine, visit the range and run your chosen
case/bullet combination thru it.

Coffinmaker
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hp246
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2016, 07:51:22 pm »

When my PD was conducting semi-auto transition training, we had magazines set aside just for the training.  These magazines had hundreds of thousands of round put through them with no failure.  The only issues we had was from spotwelds breaking after they were dropped thousands of time on the concrete range floor.  Even these were repairable.
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