Wilson Combat makes a wide range of products from 1911 Handguns to AR15’s. They seem to be geared towards more advanced firearms focused on accuracy. There are a great many fit differences between 1911 styles and AR15 as well as shotguns. There are many new advancements in firearm designs and what a 1911 was 100 years ago is not what a 1911 is today. metallurgy, gun lubrication and polymer have increase reliability dramatically. Polymer magazines and firearms are the future but there are still simple designs in Wilson Combat Magazines that give them viability for a long time to come.
I feel that many 45acp handguns usually balance out around 8-10rds and after that, they become too heavy. It’s all about what your feel and tolerances are, but the 1911 feels balanced in that capacity range. Some Wilson Combat Magazines are primarily meant for competition shooting and I still only hear about Wilson Combat when it comes to extended 1911 magazines. There are 9mm magazines also available and are often the fastest magazines to sell out. There are also a lot of newer CCW 1911 models specifically for concealment. The 1911 is still one of the most tinkered with firearms, probable only 2nd to the AR15, but I strongly suggest Wilson Combat Triggers, Springs and Slide Releases for your handgun.
We recently started stocking some of the Magpul Glock PMAGS and are getting feedback from our customers. I’m not sure if Glock is happy that Magpul is making mags for them because it looks like they are a winner with our customers. I’m not an expert on the topic but we’ve seen several changes to PMAGS, AR15, AK, and Glock PMAGS and there have been some issues. We are now up to 5 Generations of Glock handguns and there ALWAYS going to be variables. Production variations in magwells, magazines, springs, ect have lead to issues in every firearm manufacturer.
There is a natural trend in our industry away from steel to polymer. It’s all a technological and it’s the future, how many firearms are still sold with wood stocks? The savings of almost $10 or more per magazine is a big selling point and something I wish we would see with Sig Sauer. Sig Mags tend to be in and around $40 per mag while Glock Factory Magazines are usually in and around $30 a mag. The Glock PMAGS are about $15 a mag and from what we are seeing, they are getting good reviews from customers. It’s always good to test magazines and ammunition out in your firearm before you rely on them but there are always variables and sometimes a need for a trip to a gunsmith.
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 plenty of new things I’ve learned just by watching the guys that are running IDPA or even 3 gun matches. Some of the things they train and practice with are things people should consider getting into their CCW platforms. When you are carrying a firearm for protection, one of the first things you need to know to defense yourself is situational awareness, the next thing is having the ability to get your gun out quick. While that’s a whole other discussion, the other thing to think about is being able to quickly reload. If you have to fumble around with grabbing the Chip McCormick Magazines with flush fitting base plates before you even think about inserting it into the firearm for a mag change, then think about getting magazines with extended base plates.
Some magazine base plates can be too long for CCW, but there is a balance you should consider. If competition shooters like extended base plates for faster scores, maybe you should consider slightly extended base plates. Some of the Chip McCormick magazines are available with extended pads which make grabbing magazines, both inserting and removing much faster. Sure you can just let a magazine drop free, but you can remove magazines faster than gravity if you practice.
I’ve been around long enough to have tried out all kinds of magazines in various firearms to see if I could get around having to pay full price. Back when the assault weapons ban of 1994 was in full affect, there were way more after market companies out there. I still have 10rd extended magazines for a few of my 1911 models that worked for a few times and then the springs stopped functioning. Cheap springs. Followers are another thing that have to be properly designed to avoid tilting, and this will become more of a problem when you start trying to use defensive ammunition. I tend to see a lot of people try after market magazines for 22LR rifles and reliability often quickly deteriorates.
The one thing people many people don’t understand with firearms is “timing” because that’s where reliability “is” or “isn’t”. When you go to extended capacity magazines, if it’s a cheap company, the magazine springs get weaker and weaker, which translates to slower and slower and when the slide cycles, it is out of its operational window and jams occur. If you are using Sig Pistols or Rifles, some of their magazine costs are higher than Glocks, but they are part of the reason why Sig Sauer has such a strong history of putting out reliable handguns and rifles, stick with Sig Factory Magazines for your Sig firearms and about the only deviation I would suggest would be Sig AR15 style rifles and using Magpul P-Mags and Lancer Magazines.
There seems to be a limited number of 45acp firearms that compete in the arena. I guess it’s because NATO pretty much went with 9mm and nobody but American’s used that 45acp round. The 1911 is always going to be around for competition shooters and 1911 enthusiasts, but once you get away from the 1911, there are only a handful of 45acp guns that even come close to the longevity and recognition. Recently, Sig Sauer has come out with the Sig P227 to try and make that 45acp round more relevant and they based it off of the P226 design. Sig is making Sig Factory Magazines that are 14rds for the Sig P227 so it really does compete about the Glock 21, but it’s still Apples to Oranges to me.
The Sig P227 seems to have gained some notoriety here in Pennsylvania with the PA State Police, but there seems to have been some slight design issues with the first run. The roll pins on the slide had to be redesigned and there are some complaints about the trigger reset, but if you want a 45acp double stock, Its Glock 21, Sig P227 and H&K that are all in competition. The Sig P220 is the only other gun I think I still here about, but that doesn’t have the capacity to really be compared to something like the Glock 21. I don’t know, there’s something imbalanced about double stock 45acp and the guns seem too heavy to me, I would never deviate from Sig Factory Magazines even though there are mags out there that are high capacity, but I’m still a fan of single stock for the Sig P220 and the 1911 models. It’s more about balance than firepower. After all, isn’t a handgun something you use to fight your way back to your rifle?
I don’t think there are firearms out there besides the 1911 and the AR15 that are ALWAYS customized. It’s rare for me to find a firearm that is just a stock version. There are quad rails, MOE rails, M-lok rails, Key-Mod. With 1911s, there are so many slides, triggers, grips, extensions, magazine base plate, barrels and on and on. There are ways to make these competition shooter guns or precision rifles, but there are always combat versions. The 1911 isn’t going anywhere, even though there are high capacity firearms in 45acp like the Glock 21, but the accuracy and fun you get with 45acp for competition won’t disappear.
I’ve found that Wilson Combat Magazines always work best in my firearms but I keep it simple with ball ammo. There are modifications to the throat of a 1911 that you can make to feed hollow point ammunition but I’ve only done that to one of my 1911s. I consider the Wilson Combat 8rd Magazines to be “standard capacity” for my 1911s and don’t notice any reliability differences. Many in the competition shooting world use the Wilson Combat 10rd magazines but I find extended magazines to be uncomfortable for CCW. Extended magazines tend to get caught on clothing and are more likely to snag. If you own a 1911, and you haven’t discovered Wilson Combat Magazines then think about adding them to your collection because they work.
There are always pros and cons for every firearm and accessory, and it’s all about trying to get you to hit that X. The best analogy to developing your shooting skills with accessories is the game of Golf. You use a driver when you want distance, a sand wedge when you want the ball up and out, and a putter when you want short distance and control. Keep in mind that all of those golf clubs have to match up to the proper length of the user, and so does a firearm to you. Now that there is such a thing as competition shooting, we’re seeing more gear and accessories being used for fun and training, but that’s doesn’t always transition over to CCW. When you are talking about drawing a firearm from concealment, things change.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping extended capacity magazines around, I’ve found the Glock 26 to be too small of a handgun for my tastes, but with the Glock 26 +2 extended capacity magazines, the extra length actually improves my grip on the gun. For many other guns, the magazine extensions can help you strip the magazine clear and reload quicker, but I have found in many cases, that extended capacity magazines and base plates make you more likely to print your gun, or cause snagging of clothing. My 1911s max out with Wilson Combat 8rd Magazines, with Glocks I stick with all standard capacity, except for the Glock 26. But with all this being said, this is about the magazine in the firearm, not the spare magazines you might be carrying. Lot’s to think about and only training and testing will help get you to your comfort zone.
If you are a Sig P232 owner you may want to hit the next gun show and start looking for used Sig P232 magazines. We recently had a large number of requests to email customers when we got in more of the Sig .380 magazines for this firearm, and, after so many requests we contacted our distributors and they all told us they were discontinued. We called up Sig Sauer last week and asked them what was going on and they informed us that they are no longer importing this gun or it’s magazines from Germany. While this firearms has a long history of service, there has been a huge increase in the number of .380 pistols and I guess given the size of the Sig P232 it’s not really the most compact firearm in this caliber and not as popular.
Several years ago I was looking for something smaller than the 1911 and Beretta 92FS that I was carrying and decided to look for something smaller. Ironically it came down to the Sig P232 and the Sig P239. I shot both guns side by side and figured the ballistics of the P239 was superior and went with that. The size and recoil was almost the same in my hands, but there are plenty of happy Sig P232 owners out there. If you are looking for replacement magazines, the only option for you according to Sig Sauer, is to get the Sig P230 Promag Magazines. Everyone once in awhile stuff like this happens so if you like the gun, start looking for parts and accessories now before they become even more scarce.
One thing I learned shooting IDPA was that there are lots of things you can do to your firearm or with your gear, or even your training that can give you a split second improvement to your proficiency. In competition shooting, those half seconds add up and can mean winning or losing. In self defense, it means living or dying. We don’t need to make CCW guns into competition guns because from what I heard, that is something that can be used against you in court, but having a holster you can get your gun out of quickly and magazine pouches that you can quickly access for reloading is important. There are a lot of magazine base plates for 1911s from Wilson Combat that will great for competition because it will help you speed up magazine changes but can also cause snagging or hangups of clothing if you are using them for CCW. There are options that not flush fitting but still give you a bit of a bite so it’s all a balancing act, but if you are using a Glock the Vicker’s Tactical Glock Magazine base plates are probable something you might want to upgrade to for less than $20 that are not too drastic.
One rule of thumb for magazines is that they should drop freely, but depending on the situation you are in, sometimes you can rip them out fast than gravity lets them fall out. Tango Down Vicker’s Tactical Glock Magazine base plates come in several colors, Blue, Orange, Flat Dark Earth, Black and Tan, we also have them available for not just Glock Firearms, but Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield XD. You won’t need any major tools to be able to change the floor plates but if you are a Glock owner, having the Glock tool might make it easier to replace the Glock floor plates. We also recently added the Glock 43 Tango Down