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Reloading long magazine at slide lock

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by jack76590, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. jack76590


    Likes Received:
    Aug 15, 2004
    From your study of gunfights and especially teaching of classes have you encounted any problems with loading a magzine longer than designed for the pistol, when pistol is at slide lock.

    I am thinking primarily about compact or subcompact pistols where the user carries a magazine for the full size version of the pistol. For example carry a G26 with a G17 mag as reload or Sig P229 and P226 mag as reload.

    I do not envision any problem if reload done with slide in battery as top round will encounter bottom of slide. But a reload at slide lock with longer mag will not have baseplate to stop mag from being inserted too far. I am thinking especially of a hard, aggressive reload one might do when under stress.

    I realize that some pistols have little ledges to stop mag from going into too far and of course mag catch itself may engage. But I have been concerned that mag catch may not engage and those little ledges may fail.

    Of course one can point to the 33 round glock 9mm mag which will not have its baseplate engage the bottom of the grip of any glock models.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    This problem seems to be confined to single-stack 1911s, with full length magazines inserted into short-butt (Officers size) compacts and subcompacts. If the slide is locked open and the magazine forcibly inserted, the magazine can overtravel and lock up the pistol. The cure is to manually return the pistol to slidelock with the lever holding the slide back, apply constant pressure to the mag release button, and forcibly rip the magazine back out, or drive a D-Jammer or similar "stick" down through the ejection port to force it out.

    It can theoretically occur with other single-stack pistols, though I haven't personally seen it with the S&Ws (4506 mag in 4516) or SIGs (P220 mag in P245).

    It does not normally occur to double stack pistols due to the wedge-shape of the magazine, which tends to prevent overtravel. Nor can it occur even to a 1911 if the slide is forward when the overlength magazine is inserted.

    With the short butt 1911, I would strongly recommend the Wilson Custom 8-round mags made specially for them, with the stop that you mentioned affixed to the front of the magazine to prevent overtravel.

    With short butt Glocks, I prefer to carry service length mags (G17 mag for G26, G31 mag for G33, G22 mag for G27). These not only make more tactical sense, but prevent the hand from being pinched at the heel by the magazine floorplate when hastily speedloading a short butt gun. Quite apart from discomfort, the flesh at the heel of the hand that is pinched between floorplate and butt can be enough to prevent full insertion of the fresh short mag and stall the reloading process.

    Note: Glock folks have told me that G20 mags should not be used with G29 pistols. In the service calibers other than 10mm, I personally haven't seen a problem in using longer magazines in shorter butt Glocks.