Fixing magazines that won't drop free

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Fixing magazines that won't drop free

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:34 pm

Goal: Fix 1911 magazines that wouldn't drop from free from the pistol when the mag as empty.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Time required: 5 minutes, including rounding up the tools. :lol:

I have about 30 or so .45 ACP magazines, with the majority being Chip McCormick Shooting Stars and Power Mags. I number my mags. so I can identify any that are giving me trouble. As I found out in the Thunder Tactical Shooters Single-Stack Match, I had five mags that would not drop fee when they were empty. They would when they were partially filled, but what good is that!? When I got home, I carefully examined all five and couldn't see any signs of a problem. Since these mags were about to go into the garbage, I decided to give something a try. After all, I had nothing to lose.

I used Sears/Craftsman RoboGrips (the smallest size) to gently squeeze the forward lips of the magazines. I do mean "gently!" It didn't appear to be doing any good, as the lips appeared to spring back into their original position. I tried the first mag. in the gun and it dropped free without any drag or delay. I loaded the mag and made sure it would properly feed loaded rounds. I did the same thing to the remaining four magazines. It appeared they were fixed, but I wouldn't know for sure until I had a chance to use them at the range. Range testing proved all five magazines functioned flawlessly. So, mags. destined for the garbage can are now back in the shooting bag. I'll use them in practice and in matches, but they will never see duty in a self-defense role.

So, if you have a misbehaving magazine, try this before throwing it in the trash.

Chas.

Here are some photos:

This photo shows the mag. lips to be "squeezed."
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This photo shows the same lips from a different angle.
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This photo shows the RoboGrips I used.
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This photo shows where to squeeze. NOTE: The RoboGrips are used only on the wider part of the lips, forward of the reduction point where the lips reduce in spread as they get closer to the back of the mag. Do not crimp on the smaller lips, or on the angle at the reduction point! This will ruin the mag for certain. Note also that the RoboGrips are placed very high on the lips so as to have minimal effect on the mag body below the lips.
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Re: Fixing magazines that won't drop free

Postby HighVelocity » Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:50 pm

That's good info. I'll definitely try the gentle squeezing with pliers next time instead of the 3lb hammer I normally use. It would be nice to be able to use the mags again.

Gary
I am scared of empty guns and keep mine loaded at all times. The family knows the guns are loaded and treats them with respect. Loaded guns cause few accidents; empty guns kill people every year. -Elmer Keith. 1961
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Re: Fixing magazines that won't drop free

Postby stevie_d_64 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:34 pm

Love this tip!

Never really knew that I'd have to have "tools" to tweek my new .45 stuff...With all those combat tupperware guns I have... :thumbs2: :lol:

Now all I have to do is wait for the "Sledgehammer" to come home...Probably be another month or so...Steve is very sad...
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Re: Fixing magazines that won't drop free

Postby nitrogen » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:34 am

From what i've seen, quite a few 1911's with drop-free problems are using the incorrect-sized grip screws. something else to check.
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Re: Fixing magazines that won't drop free

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:52 am

nitrogen wrote:From what i've seen, quite a few 1911's with drop-free problems are using the incorrect-sized grip screws. something else to check.


That's a very common problem.

Chas.
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