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.
There are plenty of people out there that stock piled various firearm magazines in the last 2 years, especially after the Connecticut shooting when everyone thought that President Obama would have the Political climate to ban the AR15. I won’t ask all of you reading this, to raise your hands if you actually thought that would happen. I found it embarrassing to watch people panic. I had a friend who recently picked up his first AR15 a Colt 6920 and got a pretty good deal but it looked like it was sitting around for awhile from a Y2K panic buy, apparently the seller had large quantities of magazines for sale and he asked if it was a good deal.
I told him to buy whatever he wanted but if he was buying large quantities of them he better test them out before he thinks they are all going to work in his AR. Gun magazines are like wine, they need to be store properly, and all are made on different dates. There is truth to the fact that a Magpul Pmag will not be durable 30yrs from now just based on it’s material break down, and metal magazines won’t if stored properly, but how bad is your outlook on life if you have to worry about that? If you got a good buy on bulk magazines take atleast a half dozen of them and test them on the range and make sure they drop free, rotate the magazines when you use them, and when they need to be tossed out, open up the packaged ones and test them out again. Don’t expect the brand spankin newly wrapped magazines to work, I’ve one too many times seen people have issues with magazine dropp
There is something to be said about having metal magazines around, whether they are USGI AR15 magazines or metal handgun magazines. If you look at the materials being used in so many modern firearms, like Glocks or even Magpul Pmags, they are extremely durable designs and have a lot of advantages over steel frame, but the one thing they don’t have is longevity. You won’t find any Glock firearms functioning 100years from now because the material will have broken down. I even have a few local Police telling me they have Glocks that are over 20years old and they can see the decay. With plastic Pmags, those are going to become brittle over time and they will loose strength after a few decades have passed. Kind of strange that this is the case because there is a major flaw, but what is perfect? What lasts forever?
Operator induced malfunctions cause the majority of firearm malfunctions and the other is lack of maintenance and magazine rotation is one of them. There are things you can do especially with a 1911 type of magazine where you can pull the springs out and stretch them that can buy you time. You have to be careful about gun show specials, I’ve got a lot of Korean 1911 magazines that I use as range mags but it’s also because they do jam on me and it’s a great way to do malfunction drills. They seem to have really short lives and the springs wear out and become weak, so even if the mags drop free, using Wolf gun springs or better quality magazines like Chip McCormick magazines is a much better idea. Personally I prefer Wilson Combat for My primary magazines, but they are more expensive but Chip McCormick has a very good manufacturer warranty on their products if that isn’t an incentive for a first time buyer.
The term ” love my 1911s” will probable be in every blog post I write whenever I mention them because if you look through all of handgun history, there really are not that many firearms that stay around very long because technology and manufacturing improved so much in the last 200yds that powder, bullet types and mechanics of revolvers and semi-autos evolved quickly. I’ve held and shot some WWI and WWII 1911s and they really didn’t shoot much differently than my Colt 1991A1 or my Springfield 1911A1 USGI model. If you take the M1 Garand and Compare that to the error, who wouldn’t take an 8rd bandolier over a bolt action when your life depends on it. It was only a few years later that we fought in the Korean War and the M1 Garand was so badly out dated, but the M1911 A1 was still highly revered. I believe in just the last year there have been major technological improvements to the caliber debate that we are arriving at a point where bullet “types” matter more than calibers so just by judging by Police Department Purchases there is a trend back to the 9mm.
The funny thing is so many people are owning AR15 Carbines that handgun capacity isn’t as much of a debate and we see plenty of people using 1911s as secondary firearms. Even though the 1911 is considered to be a large firearm, it’s actually a very slim frame compared to Glock 45 caliber firearms and I find it very easy to carry IWB. I’ve always leaned towards flush fitting Chip McCormick Magazines than any extended pads because I found that for CCW that extended magazine pads are more likely to catch on clothing and from my experience the butt of a handgun grip is usually what causes most firearm printing. The 1911 is easily an 8rd capacity firearm and although for a brief time I carried it +1 to be a 9rd firearm, I’ve learned you are pushing the compression limits on 7rd, 8rd or 10rd magazine springs and shortening the life. Always test your magazines out at least once to check functionality because there are always production changes, and being in retail
Every once in awhile I have broken out some of my first handguns just to make sure they were cleaned and lubricated, but now that I have switch to using more modern lubricants like Slip 2000, I have a lot of confidence that the lube is going to stay on there and I don’t need to check on them as much as I did with BreakFree CLP. I’ve learned that over cleaning does more damage than under cleaning and have learned to treat my combat handguns and rifles with that respect. My Colt 1991A1 is still my favorite handgun even thought I chose to stop carrying in almost a decade ago. Last night I broke it out and practiced trigger control by using a pencil with a good eraser so it could be used in a training exercise I from a World War II and Korean Vet.
Using a pencil I would load it through the barrel and fire it like a rocket by using the rubber eraser that reacted to the firing pin striking it. This type of hammer/firing pin design works well with this but I removed all Chip McCormick Magazines from the room and tripple racked the slide to make sure it was clear and safe. The Trigger on my 1911 could afford to drop a few pounds but I still love the way it feels in my hands. The only down side to the 1911 in my book is the slider release safety. I know several people that agree with me and since moved on to Sig Sauer handguns for CCW.
It’s really a good idea to test all of your magazines out and not leave them in their new packaging. We recently had a recall on Magpul Generation 3 pmags after several Police Officers complained to us that they were not dropping free from their AR15 rifles. I personally asked them to bring them back in and tested them out myself in my LWRC M6A1. All of the mags I tested out hung on me and I went on AR15.com and found several people complaining about this on youtube.com and other places. Obviously Magpul was pumping out magazines without doing a very good quality control. I also found that several of the AK magazines I had for various guns I owned did not work in all of my AK rifles. Didn’t know until I pulled them out of storage on a range day.
Even if you are stocking up on pistol magazines you really should take them out of the rapper and do a quick magazine drop test. I own several 1911 pistols and various brands of 1911 magazines did not drop free but all of my Chip McCormick magazines did. Many competition shooters want longer base plates on their pistol magazines because they can grab them and pull them out while moving through a course. I’ve seen the look of shock on some first time IDPA shooters when had a gun on an angle or where using inferior “range mags” that weren’t there CCW mags. Don’t buy the cheap stuff because there are sometimes unintended consequences to buying second rate magazines.
I don’t know the answers to all of the 1911 magazine questions but I do know that standard GI magazines are really not the best thing to run in a 1911 if you are carrying for protection. I have a ton of them I use for range mags but they don’t hold up very long. GI magazines are meant to be throw aways, and if you compare them to the M9 magazines, there is an obvious durability difference. I’ve replaced springs and followers on magazines and it’s really been worth all of the efforts. On something like a Glock magazine or a Magpul Pmag, I’ve replaced magazine springs and occasionally a follower. Some gun magazines are so inexpensive that you might as well just toss them rather than have to tweak it the whole time.
It’s always good to keep your eyes open for manufacturers that have good warranties and the Chip McCormick 1911 magazines that we sell are good about that. I guess the thing that Chip McCormick magazines knows is there are finicky 1911 guns out there and if there mag doesn’t work in your gun they’ll replace it. The Chip McCormick power mags are really the ones you want to use if you are putting a lot of lead downrange. The 8rd magazines are really the most common for CCW and even though the 1911 was issues with 7rd magazine, I have personally had no reliability issues with any of the 8rd power mags that I have. The Chip McCormick 10rd magazines are very popular for IDPA and Competition shooters but they do throw off the balance of a 1911 in my opinion.
I have had 1911s around for years and the 45acp is probable one of the top 3 calibers that I reload. There are lots of things you can do with various bullets. I’ve seen people load bullets in 1911s and they ran like champs, other 1911s had issues with hollow points or semi-wad cutters. There are always thing you can tweak on a 1911 to make it more modern, and in fact,there are 1911s out there now that really aren’t like the 1911s that the Government had but they are very fun to shoot. There is something about the balance and grip feel on the 1911 that is so natural unless you have small hands.
I started out with GI magazines for my 1911 and quickly found out how inferior they were. I have mostly used Wilson Combat Magazines but recently for financial reasons, I guess it was time to test out Chip McCormick magazines and see how well they fared. We did have an issue with 2 magazines in the last 5 years where the base plates fell off the mags, but Chip McCormick does have a 3 year warranty on their magazines. I don’t understand any company that wants to stay in the shooting business that doesn’t back their products up with decent warranties. Based strictly on customer purchases, I don’t see why anyone should consider deviating from the things that work.
I never really bothered with magazine extensions on my CCW guns because I’ve mostly learned to stick with the standard capacity magazines instead of trying to turn the gun into something that it was never meant to be. For instance the Sig 239 is a great CCW gun and although you can put a 10rd magazine in there, the profile of the gun is going to change and depending on the clothing that you are wearing, you may have just created a snagging location or a hang up on your shirt. Sometimes moving around a little with your CCW method will give you an idea of how your clothing may bunch up or scrunch up in certain areas around your gear. The Material of various shirts makes a huge difference and even though it light flow straight down over your gun, high winds can cause embarrassing situations with even the smallest CCW gun.
I never witness there being a difference in 1911 reliability between 7rd and 8rd pistol magazines but I’ve always felt the magazine durability has improved enough to get 8rds out there. I have noticed some gun magazines have increased their capacity but the Chip McCormick magazines that I use are the Power Mags and they have a slight magazines extension that helps with faster reloading. All of my 1911s drop these mags without any snags which is something my Colt factory magazines do not. Drop free magazines are important because that is one step that can slow down a reload of the firearm.
Today we had a police officer mention firearm retention during arrests and why the Blackhawk Serpa holster was his preferred gun holster. Another Officer mentioned that he still used a 1911 because he liked the idea that if someone was unfamiliar with this firearm that even if they got it in a struggle they might not be able to shoot it. There are always different scenarios that you can run with, with each tactical or mechanical device and you use. Training and gaining muscle memory is something that is hard to change and it’s very hard to jump back and forth with firearms and be proficient. I suggest consistency is more important and will make you less prone to making errors.
There are reasons I love the 1911 and reasons I don’t use it as a primary sidearm but if I did carry it, I would probable have to put in more range time to remember to disengage the safety every time. If you are looking for reliable and consistent 1911 magazines for under $30 the best one I use is the 8rd Chip McCormick magazines called the Power Mag. I have never seen a reason to not use 8rd magazines although I think the 1911 looses it’s balance with 10rd magazines. The 10rd Power Mags are very popular for competition shooting so again, it’s also about training and adjusting to the firearm or device.