That’s about how long I’ve been using Wilson Combat Magazines with my 1911’s, and after 20yrs I’m sticking with them. I have never felt the need to use 7rd magazines, nor have I felt that the 10rd extended magazines were of any use to me. I’ve been running and gunning the 8rd Wilson Combat magazines with very few issues. The truth of the matter is I’ve run some of these magazines long enough for springs needing to be replaced and all of the springs replaced in my 1911s. Everything in the firearms industry wears out and breaks at some point, it’s just how long it runs and what it’s failure points are.
There is always somebody new to the world of 1911s and you don’t always have to buy a high end 1911 to have a reliable one. I’ve shot 185gr 45acp FMJ and 185gr hollow points, 230gr RN and 230gr HP rounds in my 1911s. I’ve done barrel throating and polishing of feed ramps and got good results and I’ve seen the difference my guns jamming with hollow point ammunition when using USGI mags, and the same ammo NOT jamming with my Wilson Combat Magazines. Most people using the extended 10rd magazines are using them for competition shooting sports.
There are a ton of accessories out there than you can attach to your firearms and there are quality issues that we constantly hear about. The best we can do is warn you that it’s not really about whether or not a part is made out of plastic or not it’s really about use and proper mounting. I’ve had screws sheer off mounts after about 2000rds of 7.62 NATO went through an FAL and it was suppose to be the best mount out there. To this day I’m not sure if the screws may have been over torgued or not but I didn’t have a screw driver that I could measure this with. Loctite isn’t used enough in this industry and every thing that has a screw on it from flashlight mounts to optic mounts, pistol grips and foregrips should have it on them.
Now that accessories like B.A.D. levers are heavily used, its often asked of us if they are any good and the first warning we tell people is that “it’s one more screwed on device that can come off” so proper mounting is a preventative maintenance thing. Whether you are looking at a bi pod or magazine well grip, Mako, Command Arms, Magpul gun accessories, Troy firearm parts, Midwest, VLTOR or TacStar you gotta make sure you put it on right. I have an LWRC M6A1 that has a Tapco SAW Grip on it and think nothing less of Tapco if the grip fits your hand right.
People in this community are always looking for something that doesn’t break or wear out or is tougher than all of the others. When we move away from the weekend warriors with their $2000 AR15 that they keep clean and probable wash and wax in their driveway in a bathing suit. Guys that put serious time in on the range will be the best ones to tell you how well things hold up and which parts or guns are better than others. There has been much discussion about this issue between direct impingement and gas piston AR15s and how much wear the bolt carrier groups have and there are differences.
I remember seeing Eric Clapton with his worn out guitars and wondering why he would use something so beat up, Eric Clapton knew that if you played guitar long enough things would wear out but the instrument did the job. When you buy your Glock pistol and the Glock Factory barrels wear out, you should view that as an achievement and not something to be critical about for your firearm. Some guns absolutely do not last as long as others, but the life span of gun does vary. Some AR15 designs only lasted about 7000 rds while others now are 4x’s these days.
There is more to a Carbine stock than just adjustability and length of pull. Body armor can make your standard Carbine feel really uncomfortable and put on a tactical vest and you’re probable a good 2 inches or more shorter on your Carbine stock. One other thing that comes into play is the amount of play you might end up with if you have a commercial stock sitting on a Mil-spec buffer tube.
Knowing something about your Carbines parts history and if its all Mil-spec is going to be very important if you start to accessorize your parts. Magpul accessories give you a lot of options for making your AR15 fit you right and adjust to the gear you may be using. The Magpul MOE stocks and accessories are also something very new and original to consider.
Every time you add on more and more accessories to a Carbine the more weight you will add to the firearm and movement and snagging can occur. Anyone that knows what its like to wear tactical pants and walk around a kitchen is going to be able to tell you how many times they’ve torn a pocket on a kitchen cabinet or snagged your pants on a door knob. You will know what I’m talking about if you’ve worn them and if not, do a YouTube search and you’ll see it discussed. We’ve sold pants to people that torn pockets off their 5.11 and Woolrich Elite pants.
When you change grips or add on flashlights, the same things can occur. Gun holsters can get sheered off your body going around corners and even Magpul Accessories can do the same thing. Everyone keeps an eye o n where their optics are but snagging on windows with your gun grips is something that gets learned the hard way. I’ve seen rifles fly out of peoples hands during live fire shootings because they did not clear obstructions and the fore grips latched on to something while they were backing up. I highly recommend you look into the Magpul Angled grips.
I admit that I am guilty of buying stuff for myself at this time of year, the truth of the matter is that this tends to be a good time of the year to buy as well as immediately after the Christmas shopping season. It’s very rare that people give firearm accessories or ammunition as Christmas presents because that can actually be more tedious for a wife or girlfriend than going to Victoria’s Secret and buying items that match. When it comes to gun accessories on an AR15, you’ll probable have a frustrated female on Christmas wondering if she got you the right item. Foliage green and flat dark earth aren’t in the Victorias Secret Catalog.
Now that there are different length AR15 rifles and it’s not as simple as the A1, A2 or A3 styles. You might be better off shopping for your on AR15 upper receivers. You won’t find many options for clearance prices, but the used and hardly used guns parts are out there. Spikes tactical uppers seem to be hot sellers right now because they are reasonable priced and of good quality for those that are looking for a good accessorized or plinking gun. I’m sure there are people out there that think they are above that level, but Daniel Defense, Colt and LWRC are in another category.
I remember all of those times I spent arguing with people on gunboards about which gun was better and which guns were pieces of junk. I started out collecting many of the Soviet era military style rifles, namely the SKS rifles. There are some fun accessories from Tapco that can make even an old relic like an SKS into a more modern looking rifle, but even if it’s not an AK, you can always customize the firearm to your liking. I wouldn’t expect to use an SKS for house to house clearing, but if you got it for $200 and want to improve the fit to your liking, go right ahead.
One problem I have found with many of the semi-autos I owned was that the length of pull on the guns was very short. This was not something I go too worked up about with the plinking firearms I owned, but for a primary weapon, the rifle stocks you use on them should fit you like a glove. Customizing a firearm to fit you is an important step in learning how to effectively use a firearm. I have learned that the hard way with various rifle scopes that ended up putting a ring around my eye because the stock was so short, I forgot to adjust my bean and got a good thunk. There is nothing wrong with changing the butt pad on any gun you own to fit you. Just be aware that when you are wearing a heavy coat or winter clothing that LOP might need to be shorter, so don’t modify your stocks too much, and think about an adjusteable stock for just that purpose.
I don’t know all of the facts and figures, but given just what I see every day on the New York and Ohio firing ranges around here, I would say that the AR15 is the most popular rifle in America. Now that caliber changes are as easy as swapping out your AR15 upper receiver and possible only a minor change in your lower receiver like a hammer spring, you can go from a .223 varmint rifle to a 6.8 SPC rifle, or down to a CQB rifle at almost the pop of two pins. I was never a big fan of upping the caliber on a AR15 rifle, but I am a big fan of the 75gr HPBT for close up fighting. The 75gr bullet seems to yaw better and slower velocities and give more thump just from my experiences.
When it comes to taking your AR15 rifle to a longer range, there are records being broken every week with the AR15 platform. People use to laugh when they would hear of some one shooting an AR15 at 1000yds, but it is done and can give a .308 a run for it’s money. The real thing to consider when it comes to caliber changes on AR15 upper receivers is how powerful is the round vs just accuracy competitions. I have a friend that came back from service over in the Middle East and he gave first hand accounts of how bad 9mm ammo was in combat and that at least 3rds of M855 was necessary to take down a threat with an M4. Consider the ammunition you are using and not just how far out you can shoot, you may want to trade accuracy for energy.
I use to upload all of my guns until a bad experience occurred to me with several of my gun safe firearms. I mostly buy used firearms and my Sig 229 in .357 sat in a gun safe loaded with 12+1. I bought the gun used and replaced all of the magazine springs with Wolff gun springs, did a range test, and then when the gun passed the range report, I loaded it up and put it away in the safe for 9 months. Thinking that taking this gun to an IDPA match would be a good way of testing it out and making sure it was reliable, I just took it with me and give it a run.
I had another Sig 229 with me, but this was in 40 S&W and it was also loaded to capacity. Needless to say, both guns failed on me. I have a Colt 1911 with 8+1 rounds of 45acp in a Wilson Combat magazine and it has never failed me. The only problem I have with it is that I need to really make sure the magazine is seat properly because it barely clicks in. All magazines have been downloaded by at least 1 rd and since then, all of the guns have passed range tests even after long term storage. Be careful about what you read on the internet, uploading many guns for long periods of time will decrease reliability.
I know several first hand bitchin and moaning concerning both the 1911 and Beretta 92FS or both. I rarely engage in these arguments because I am experienced enough to know that people have preferences and forcing someone to carry a firearm that does not fit them very well is not wise. I expect that the military will eventually move towards an handgun that is more versatile as far as adjusting to varying hand sizes much in the way that the M4 Carbine is adjustable for various operators.
The guns that seem to have improved operator control with gun grip changes were the Sig family of firearms. There is something serious lacking in the factory grips because in my humble opinion they feel too slippery and that is not something I think is good. Every Sig that I have seen in a Defensive Training course had altered gun grip and everyone was using the Hogue pistol grips, wrap around, finger grooves or standard ones. My Beretta 92FS felt smaller by putting finger groove grips on it and the Sig 239 I own feels like it’s suppose to, an extension of my hand.