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Old October 25, 2012, 07:38 PM   #26
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 2,052
So, how to guess if a mag will work ought to be the name of this thread.

LIPS:
Full tapered lips like USGI are the best controlled round feed mag, but they tend to not feed JHP's well. I think this is because they don't let the nose of the round hit the frame ramp at the right angle and/or it hits the barrel hood wrong.

Wadcutter lips allow the round to teeter on the ramp and hit the frame well. Then it pops up under the extractor. Spring power matching and feed speed must be well matched or you will have uncontrolled round feeding.

Hybrid lips tend to allow controlled round feeding like USGI with a earlier rim release like a wadcutter. This is pretty good, but the top round is not as well retained so aggressively ripping it out of a mag holder could cause the top round to move.

I like wadcutter is a good placde to start with hybrid a close second. Hybrid is a slightly improved feed stroke and maybe more reliable, if your gun needs it. Hybrid also never looses control during feed.

Followers:
Dimple - This is an early c/m which is said to be needed to keep the last round feeding as the mag springs wear.

Spring - Some have a spring to try to force a steeper feed angle for the last few rounds. This is said to be an improvement in feeding the last couple by angling them up and avoiding the weak spring nose dive which can occur on the last round or 2.

Plastic - Probably slows the last round through dissimilar material friction. Also, it is easier to mold an anti-tilt follower than stamp one.

Anti-tilt - Stops nose diving or random loaded case ejection as springs weaken.

Springs:
Really, good springs with a design which reduces set are the key to feed. Ever wonder why 7rd mags are the standard?

Bodies:
I like SS. SS basically never rusts. Because of this, they run with minimal lube. Minimal lube keeps the build up and cleaning down. It is also good to have a sturdy lip design so they do not bend when dropping them. Good welding is key to durability. Also, while thickness of the stampings are similar, some bodies seem more durable and less prone to cracking.

Bases:
Ideally, the base is removable for easy cleaning, but welded bases would be stronger. Trade offs! Last, adding a bumper adds weight to the base which improves ejection and should keep it from dropping on the lips.

So here are some simple recommendations:

SA SS 7rd mags - Dimple follower, I think the follower doesn't tilt, sturdy welded base, 7rd design doesn't wear out springs, etc. They can be had ne for like $15 sometimes and $8 - $10 used. If your gun doesn't feed with these, maybe you have a gunsmith issue.

Checkmate 8rd extended hybrid mags - Slightly improved feed geometry and slightly extended to reduce spring fatigue. Like $25 - 30

Wilson - Normal length 8rd mags. The springs wear out, but they will send new ones without question. Not a bad deal. . .lifetime springs vs ~ $7 - $10 per year(depends on usage) per mag. Oh yea, the followers seem to work, too.

There are many other good mags out there. Just be sure you are getting something more than a brand.
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