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Why 7 Round Mags for 1911 Gov/Comm.

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by PghJim, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I took my new S&W SW1911SC to the range today and thought I would use the spare magazine that came with the gun only to find out that it only holds 7 rounds. I have seen companies like Ed Brown only offer 7 round mags, and for Wilson you have a choice of 7 or 8 round mags. I have never had a problem with 8 round magazines from Wilson or Tripp Research. I also saw that the new Marine 1911 is spec'd with 7 round mags.

    Is there a real or perceived reliability issue with using 8 round mags in an 1911?
  2. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Hey amigo. There can be a "real issue" with 8 rd mags, and there is many times.. "The ones that come in the box with the new gun..." (depending on Manufacturer and spring type... very important, remember that).

    My Sig P220, came with (2) 8 rd mags. I have shot the snot out of it as you can imagine, and NO issues at all. I do however, notice the springs are very stout !

    On my Colts, and Kimbers, and SA, when I have purchaed an 8rd mag, the springs are not so good, and given issue "for me" most of the time, until spring replacement.

    Now, Wilson or Tripp Research, (wilson is my favorite and most used in my 1911's), I have NEVER had an issue !

    I will admit though, that 98% of my mags I buy from Wilson are all 7 rd mags. I am not a fan of 8rd mags for the reasons we are talking about.

    Don't get me wrong. I an NOT saying they stink and are all problematic. I can't, because I got some that are not...

    But in general. A "factory brand name (or clone) 8rd mag", has for me, over a loooong period of years, just seemed to always have a hiccup somewhere, until I purchace (a) stronger spring. (b) a better buit mag, with better spring tention and better follower, and feed lips !

    Just the nature of it amigo, but being a very long time 45auto M1911 guy, I have just never had good luck with a "factory (or clone) 8 rd mags" like Colt, Kimber, SA, etc..

    That is why I usually just use the 7rd mags and go on. :supergrin: They all seem to have had "for me," stiff enough springs to never give issue. At least for thousands of rds, and then need replacement.

    The P220, is the only "out of the box," 8rd mag I have ever bought yet with the new gun, that has been flawless. I have a good deal of rds through the P220, and no issues. I really don't think I will, as strong as the spring is.

    Others need to follow suite, and simply place stronger springs in their 8 rd mags... I believe it is just that simple..

    Bottom line for me though, is I just don't carry 8 rd mags but once in a blue moon. I truly trust and prefer the 7 rd over the 8. ;)

    Well, hope something made sense to ya.

    Good shooting !

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013

  3. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Maybe tradition. I've never had an issue with 8 round mags... even McCormick's flush fit 8 rounders that I carry every day.

    I just re-sprung and put new followers into half a dozen Wilson mags a few months back. I wound up wearing them to the point where the plastic follower developed a little notch at the bottom, and it wouldn't lock the slide open. Never had that issue with McCormick mags (steel followers). I don't hate the Wilsons, and the feed lips are fine, so I'll blast another 10-12k rounds or so through them and move on... probably to Chip McCormick mags exclusively. Certainly nothing to do with them being 8 rounds instead of 7.

    One other thing about the Wilsons - if you take them apart side by side with a CM powermag or shooting star mag, the Wilson spring looks a little dainty. :whistling:

    Again, I've run the Wilson's hard, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have just bought McCormicks.

    I never owned Tripps mags, but have a good friend that had really bad luck with a batch. Sent them back, they returned them and he wound up putting 230 grains of lead through each of them. :dunno:
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Hey Steve old bud... As I said in my post. I too like the CM and aI like the Wilson 47D. But, the thing I don't like about the Wilson, as you were talking about is their plastic follower. There is where the CM mags shine above the Wilson. I rather have the steel follower with the "bump," than the plastic followers, although I have not had issue with them (lucky ?) but I do prefer CM's steel follower.

    Just thought I'd say howdy, and drop that in, in aggrement with ya... ;)

    Stay safe amigo !

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  5. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    While there's been some decent revisions to the single stack 1911 magazine body, particularly lengthening the box to accommodate a stronger spring and that extra round, it's not uncommon for serious 1911 users to often prefer a proven 7-rd magazine.

    That extra length comes with the downside or sticking out below the bottom of a standard grip, although the trend has become to use an extended MSH incorporating a funneled mag well. (I can't throw stones at this, as I was doing it in the 90's and getting weird looks from other 1911 guys ... until it finally caught on, of course. :tongueout: )

    I know a guy in the manufacturing/vendor business who has a very strong preference for 7-rd mags, and he has his choice of excellent quality 7 & 8-rd mags.

    I've had decent luck with some of the more modern magazine box, follower & spring combinations that allow for acceptable reliability in loading & using 8-rds ... but for optimal potential reliability, under adverse conditions, it's hard to beat good spec, properly designed & constructed 7-rd magazines.

    Back when 8-rd mags were still fairly new, I experienced untold numbers of feeding stoppages when running some of the then-popular different good quality 8-rd offerings. Ditto trying to run 7-rd mags in an Officers Model (6-rd mags were stock). I went back to proven 7-rd mags and waited a while to revisit 8-rd mags. (As I told one company, I my guys & I didn't use their mags for competition, but for serious duty, and I had a strong aversion to listening to excuses about feeding stoppages.)

    Now, some of the newer 8-rd mags seem to run pretty well, but I'm rather particular about ones I'd carry in my 1911's. I have a box of also-rans & castoffs that got sidelined over the years. I keep representative samples of them around to remind myself of why I use the mags I use nowadays. ;)

    It's one thing to stand comfortably on some static firing line and take your time shooting a clean & well-lubricated 1911 in a slow-fire condition.

    It can be quite another to run the same gun hard & fast, racking up rounds & getting it hot, and using it throughout a range of body positions, transitioning grip & hands throughout. That's when you want that extra bit of "optimal" potential for feeding. ;)

    Don't get me wrong, as I have a number of excellent 8-rd mags of newer designs that have proven themselves with the assortment of duty JHP's I generally use ... in my 1911's ... and I keep the springs replaced in a conservative manner, as well as inspecting the mag bodies/lips & mag followers.

    On the other hand, I've long since lost count of the "special enforcement" guys experiencing feeding stoppages with their 8-rd mags, or listening to other 1911 armorers discuss their experiences with 8-rd mags & feeding stoppages, especially if they go just a little too long between spring changes.

    Think of it as a quality 7-rd mag possibly offering just enough extra potential reliability, under adverse conditions, to make it worth while to "lose" that 8th round. ;)

    One of those things to got to try and determine for yourself.
  6. John Moses Browning designed them to hold seven rounds!

    That having been said, I have had great performance out of the Wilson #47D's.
  7. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    My mags get dropped in the dirt shooting practice and USPSA matches. They get cleaned out a few times a year. I still have a few Springfield and Brown 7 round mags, and they run fine too, but they pretty much just ride in the range bag. No reason not to shoot 8 rounders IMHO.
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    There ya go !

    It's like bacon and eggs, syrup and flapjacks, Ford Trucks with big off road tires... ha

    7rd mags and M1911's.... They just go togther ! :thumbsup:

    Stay safe my friend !

  9. Evolution


    Jan 9, 2008
    I use Chip McCormick power plus 8's in my SA TRP Operator for duty. Only ones I'll use. You'll find a lot of 8 rounders won't even seat right into the gun when full. I personally don't care for Wilson. I've had several of them in different guns and just hate them, personal preference with minor performance issues in some guns. But Chip McCormick, flawless function in all of my 1911's, built tough and they are great people to deal with when contacting them.
  10. WinterWizard


    Jan 17, 2012
    The only 8-round 1911 mag I have had an issue with is a Pro-Mag. The round actually seized in the feed lips because the black finish on the mag was so gritty. Pure junk all Pro-Mags are. I will never buy another one.

    Never had an issue with any quality 8-rounders, Wilson, McCormick, etc... Some people like to talk smack about Kimber mags, but I had a flush-fit 8-rounder (Pro-tac or something or other, I think) that functioned great – felt very smooth, like a Wilson.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  11. You too, my Brother!
  12. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Not sure why I'm such a hypocrite. I generally call people with 7 or 8 shot revolvers filthy godless heathens, but 8 rounds in a 1911 mag never bothered me. :supergrin:

  13. CDW4ME


    Jun 5, 2009
    I like Tripp magazines.
    The 7 round Tripp mags are flush fitting, 8 round are not.
    I prefer & use flush fitting magazines, so I buy 7 round Tripp mags.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  14. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Wow. Well I'm sure glad I don't own, and never have owned a 7 / 8 rd revolver ! :rofl:

    Like I said in my first post. I got nothing against 8rd mags. I have useded them in a couple M1911's, and still do in the Sig P220 because it came with them (8rd mags), and has very stout springs and has not failed me at this point.

    But, I just see a 'greater reliability' in the long time tried and proven 7 rd mags. Just my experience and milage, yours may very ! ;) Whatever works for ya pard.

    Watch out for those 8rd revolver guys though ! haha.

    Shoot straight amigo !

  15. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
  16. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    What is that man, a 357mag ? Looks pretty cool. Seriously this time. I almost bought a Smith 7 shot Talo special run a few years back. A snubbie. 3" barrel. Really nice looking gun. I was up to my ears in 357's so I passed, plus the price. :wow:

    I'm holding out for a 3" Smith 44mag Talo special, OR, and older 3" Smith of any kind in 44mag. Yeh, I know, up to my ears big time in 44's, but I really am attracted to that 3" Smith in 44mag. :cool:

    Oh, P.S..... I think your cat is sick ! Must have stepped on a 8rd mag ! :rofl:

    Later pard.
    Be careful out there..
    Gotta run.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  17. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011
    Does an eight round mag matter much when using an old monkeywrench like a 1911? After all you still need a powderhorn & percussion caps, right? :whistling:

    :tongueout: :rofl: :poke::animlol:
  18. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Actually, your right !

    I use the "monkey wrench," to hit the BG in the head with 'first', you know, to deaden the pain, and help cut down on the suffering, and terrible carnage inflicted upon him by that huge 230gr bullet that makes a hole you could pitch a dog through...

    Only takes one shot ya know. :supergrin:

    I just carry the muzzle loading pistol, horn, and percussion caps, for one shot stops on armadillo's ! :tongueout:

    Join today !
    The M1911 club ! ;)

  19. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    Horrors!!! My wife has drug home two 7 shot .357s. worse yet I like one of them. Even worse it's a Taurus.

    But on the good side it matches the mags I use in my 1911s. That allows me to keep track of the number of shots I've fired and still have a couple of fingers left over to hold the gun.

    Well that, and I have a metric S***-ton of GI 1911 mags from years ago, 1/2 still in the wrappers.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  20. rustytxrx


    Oct 17, 2012

    You would not trust you life with 8 round mags in these two, but they run like a singer sewing machine with 7 rounds
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013