View Full Version : M1A magazine problem

May 20, 2010, 12:35 PM
I have a loaded M1A that came with a factory magazine that fits fine and is easy to insert and remove.

A while back, CTD had advertised factory 20 round magazines marked with W indicating manufactured by Winchester.

These magazines function fine but are DIFFICULT to:( insert and remove.

I put a caliper on the W magazines and they are about .012 in. larger than the Springfield magazines at the rear where they drop into the guide rail at the rear of the receiver.

Springfield magazines are about $59 apiece for the 20 round. These W marked were about $18 each.

I do not want to modify the rifle but wonder if an acceptable fix is to use a Dremel sander on the rear of these magazines to improve functionality.

The thought DOES occur to me the W marked magazines could be fake. They seem genuine enough but. . .they do not fit well.

How say you?


May 20, 2010, 12:45 PM
You use a $18 dollar mag that dosnt work in a $2000 dollar gun, you end up with a $18 dollar gun.

Trash the dern thing and spend what you have to to get the gun to shoot.

I use to get so frustrated with my NG Shooters who kept getting alibies because they refuse to get rid of their bumb mags.

Its highly un-professional for a Rifle Coach to cuss one of his shooters, grab his mag and toss it as far as he can, infront of the berm.

But thats ME.

B. Lahey
May 20, 2010, 01:11 PM
44mag.com has the current miltary issue mags, made by CMI, for $20. CMI makes the springfield mags as well, they are the same thing without the SA logo.

The W mags are probably fakes.

May 20, 2010, 02:08 PM
CMI makes magazines FOR Springfield. Springfield just doubles the cost to you.

The best mags to get for your M14/M1A rifle are:
1. CMI new manufactured mags.
2. Springfield new manufactured mags (which are just CMI's).
3. Taiwanese T-57 mags
4. Old, actual GI magazines (hard to spot to the inexperienced eye, from all the fakes out there).
5. Nothing else.

I've got a few T-57's, a couple Springers, one old GI, but otherwise perhaps a dozen or so CMI's.

44mag.com will charge you ~$20 per mag for CMI's, plus shipping. Just not worth it to monkey with anything else out there.

May 20, 2010, 02:11 PM

Just to be short and to the point, I asked for advice. What I got was a short lecture. . . and not terribly well received.

Those magazines were purchased by me and a friend who is a former member of the AMU. He DOES know his way around an M1A. CTD advertised FACTORY magazines for the rifle at a cost CONSIDERABLY cheaper than Springfield.

They advertised the magazines from two manufacturers and one of them was Winchester.

When the magazines arrived, he found the maker's mark on the magazines just like the ones he remembered from his time in the service and we found them in VPI paper like he remembered them. Who was to know there would be a problem?

As for the cost, I can afford to buy Springfield magazines BUT. . . if they are available from one of the suppliers of the originals, why not do that?

These magazines DO work. I have no problem with FTF or FTE.

The ONLY issue is the oversize condition at the rear of the magazines. At this point I do not know if the distance between the rails is a bit undersize to B/P or if the W marked magazines are a bit oversize to B/P.

It may very well be a tolerance stackup that contributes to an interference fit.

It could just have easily been the other way around. At this point I do not know.

That is what prompted the question. And you did not really give me an answer.


May 20, 2010, 02:33 PM

Thanks for the response. I just logged in to their web site and ordered 4 mags. We will see how they shape up.


May 24, 2010, 04:41 PM
I got the CMI magazines today and the fit is flawless. I will test the functionality of them in a week or so.

As a follow up, I did use a Dremel tool to sand down the rear of my so called factory Winchester magazines and shot them last Friday. No problem at all except still a little stiff to insert.

The CMI magazines on the other hand just dropped right in.

Thanks for the tip. I really do appreciate it. Also the price is MUCH better than Springfield.

I will be ordering from them again.


May 25, 2010, 03:36 AM
I ended up with a couple of those mags with a W stamped on them. I was under the impression they came from Korea or Thailand or even Taiwan. And, I found them to be a tad wide also. I didn't sand, file, or dremmel 'em- but I did smooth them out on the edges with a arkansas stone. They're still tight, but with the finish smoothed out- they actually work pretty well.

May 25, 2010, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the response. I used a green scotchbrite pad on mine first. It just did not take off enough material.

I then used the Dremel tool with a small sanding drum and took material off both sides of the rear of the magazine in the area that goes into the channel on the receiver. Sand a little and try to fit. It did not take very long and the magazines fit tight, but manageable.

The CMI mags, on the other hand fit fine.

I have had good dealings from CTD but the magazines they advertised as being manufactured by Winchester was just flat out wrong. Kind of makes you wonder about other things they sell. . .

Not too happy with them.


July 10, 2010, 08:43 PM
Geeterman I have the exact same problem as you. I have the synthetic green stock.I too purchased the W mags from ctd and the fit very tight. I also used a micrometer and got the same results as you. I also have a 10round factory mag,pro mag,hr-r mag,cmi, and a couple no namers.My pro mag surprisingly fits better than any of them. The Factory fits second best and the C.M.I. from brownells third. The others barely even fit in the magwell and take a good deal of force. The only thing I can figure out is maybe the dies they are using are out of spec. I have considered sanding the magwell a little to widen it or sticking with Pro-mags or go through the hassle of measuring every mag before I purchase them.I did notice that if I leave a mag in for a month or so it will fit a little better. I don't know if the magwell is warped or something or if it's mags out of spec.Maybe this is why the so called mil-spec mags $50.00 are going for $20.00 who knows.

James K
July 10, 2010, 10:56 PM
Once upon a time, the M14 was no longer being issued, plans for DCM sales ended with the JFK assassination, and there were no M1A's or other copies.

M14 magazines were being sold for $1.50 or 3/$5. I had no idea what I would do with them but I had a spare $50 bill, so....

No magazine problems with my M1A. :D


July 10, 2010, 11:09 PM

I have found that when I was in the Army 1968 that the M-14 was on the high end of the tolerance for the magazine well. most magazines were on the low end. this allowed a "go" fit, reduced problems in combat.
after the war and years later Springfield realized that the wells were large in cut and were able to reduce them in size to stop complaints about rattling magazines. Some manufactures did go to the larger tolerance of the magazines and therefore reduced costs in the quality control. I think what happened to you were the stack up of tolerances.
I have about 30 to 40 CTD magazines and all fit an older TRW M-14 semi auto that was made in 1964, and yes they do rattle. I also have 7 of the current production M1As most are too tight for the CTD
http://www.44mag.com/ :D has the smaller fit and works well in all of my newer rifles. Don’t scrap the CTD magazines they are good to trade.
I have a forced CTD magazine in one M1A and that one I use in CMP matches.
it allows me to sit the bullet out just a little, then in these rifle i get better accuracy

July 10, 2010, 11:54 PM
That sounds about right. I ran across a hr-r mag recently which also fits tight as hell. Which is suppose to be one of the older Harrington Richardson mags. OLd mag new production M1A I got it during the Obama election gun scare. Thats probably why the Pro Mags and my no name milspec look alikes work better in my rifle. I would say they are built to the specs of the newer M1A's. That kinda sucks really. That makes it very difficult to buy mil-spec mags online where I can't measure them first. Thats some helpful new info I haven't heard before which is why I brought this old thread back I was hoping someone would have more info now. Would either of you guys mind PMing me some specs on known good mags and magwell of older model M1's? I would like to find out if it's my magwell or mags for sure. I may have to buy some Pro-mags and swap the mil-spec guts over to them.

July 11, 2010, 11:24 AM
I forgot I had a m14 stock stashed away in the closet.I dug it out and swapped stocks to test and sure enough the magwell on the m14 is indeed wider than my newer plastic stock. Even my HR-r mag which is my widest fits with no problem.So i stuck with newer production mags or shave the inside of the stock which will give me alot more options.I really hate to have to modify a rifle this expensive. SA should have stuck to the old specs. Makes me wonder what other specs on the rifle didi they change. Should've got an AR-10.

July 11, 2010, 01:11 PM
the old set up was for combat.
the magazine would rattle like sin.
the first M14 I had in contry would fire and the magazine would fall out!
Real good in a combat situation. I traded it for an M1 carbine. when the Major ask me who said I could trade it I had a Lt col come to my defence.
be carful when altering you rifle stock. I would rather get new magazines