An important heads up about an issue with Al framed 1911s and certain mags...

This is a discussion on An important heads up about an issue with Al framed 1911s and certain mags... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; McCormick and Kimber mags, they may be one in the same for all I know, use a split metal follower. I presume these mags will ...

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Thread: An important heads up about an issue with Al framed 1911s and certain mags...

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    An important heads up about an issue with Al framed 1911s and certain mags...

    McCormick and Kimber mags, they may be one in the same for all I know, use a split metal follower. I presume these mags will do the same to any AL framed 1911 regardless of the manufacturer of the 1911.

    The design of these followers allows the sharp, steel lower edge of the follower to protrude slightly beyond the magazine body. Guess what happens? It contacts the aluminum mag well.

    A steel gun will be less affected by this than aluminum of course, but the McCormick and Kimber style mags, and there may be others can, do, and will scar the inside of the frame near the top of the mag well.

    There's a couple of solutions, one replace both the spring and follower with a Wilson spring and follower. The Wilson follower is plastic and hence won't scratch the aluminum. That's what I've done.

    Second, don't buy McCormick mags for Al framed guns unless you intend to replace the spring and follower with a Wilson plastic follower. You do need to get Wilson's mag spring to go with the follower.

    I have a SA mag which has a steel follower but it has a 'skirt' that extends below the upper edge of the magazine body so one would think it would not be a problem. However, it does still have some steel corners/edges that could contact the inside of the mag well and I'm just not willing to chance it.

    I've replaced all my followers in all my mags with Wilson plastic (actually polymer is more accurate) followers and springs.
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    I have found no issues with my SA Champ alum frame and using the SA mags.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    I have found no issues with my SA Champ alum frame and using the SA mags.
    Thanks rocky. It does appear that the skirt would fix the problem; I just don't have any way to know, so I'm glad you posted that - that's yet another option perhaps, use the SA mags - just be sure they have the skirt or that the follower can't get into the frame if they don't have the skirt.

    BTW, does your SA mags have the skirt on the follower?
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    Looking at one now , it does not have a skirt. It is a typical split front follower. The follower doesn't seem to be able to move forward(possibly due to strong spring tension). However I did pick up some cheap mags that do tend to tip forward. I have seems a few marks from those mags, however I never saw follower marks till I tried the cheap mags. Another issue I find with the cheap mags is weak springs/ failure to lock back on the last round.
    My SA mags work flawlessly. I still think you are safer not using split follower mags unless you wish to do relief cut on the forward magwell area of you gun.
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    Hmmm, rocky, now that you mentioned relief cut, it makes me wonder if the followers would form their own relief cut? They don't just keep going out further, and once the 'cut' is there, there shouldn't be any more damage and what's done shouldn't affect longevity, durability, or reliability??? At least that's something to think about. I mean a relief cut is a relief cut????
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    Interesting. I have maybe 1500 rounds through my Ultra Raptor II, and I don't see any wear inside the mag well. If it were a long term quality control issue, I think Kimber would've addressed the followers.....can't be too much difference in cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmycek View Post
    Interesting. I have maybe 1500 rounds through my Ultra Raptor II, and I don't see any wear inside the mag well. If it were a long term quality control issue, I think Kimber would've addressed the followers.....can't be too much difference in cost.

    Just to be sure, you have to remove the slide to see any wear. The wear is where the top of the mag is in contact with the mag well. I could not see any damage from the bottom of the mag well.

    Theres a sticky about this on the 1911/kimber forum. And, there may be some difference since the Ultra Raptor II has a shorter grip - kinda doubt that would matter, but maybe.
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    The 1911 really does not use very much of the frame feed ramp during the feed cycle.
    If you pop the slide off and insert a loaded magazine into the mag well and then push the top cartridge in the magazine forward until it just contacts the feed ramp you can see that it does not use much frame ramp at all.

    Some bullet nose configurations will contact the frame feed ramp lower (and so utilize more ramp) than some others but they all should hopefully miss that scarification during the feed.

    There is one fantastic option available if your frame feed ramp has been butchered up even if it was goofed up from inept gunsmithing.

    At one time it was a "popular" gunsmith modification to Dremel "blend" the frame feed ramp into a smooth transition with the barrel ramp to supposedly improve feeding.

    That turned out to be a real no-no that actually made things worse.

    There is a steel "ramp insert block" that perfectly matches the original Colt ramp specs - it can be purchased and a custom gunsmith/machinist can precision mill the steel insert into the frame.

    The frame is milled out and a perfect new steel ramp is installed in the frame to replace the damaged original integral ramp.

    I don't know if that would be considered to be a "bell" or a "whistle"

    It's an EGW hardened steel Part - Available at Brownell's

    1911 AUTO FEED RAMP INSERTMfr:EGW

    Price:$40.95 - $40.99 Status:In Stock Made In The U.S.A.

    Converts Alloy Frame Pistols To Accept Hollow Point Ammo; Repairs A Damaged Ramp
    Machined, hardened steel insert lets you convert alloy frame pistols to use hollow point ammunition without feeding problems or damage to frame. Also the perfect solution for repairing a frame that’s been battered by hollow points or boogered up by an incorrectly cut ramp.
    Gunsmith installation required.

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    My SA has a one piece barrel ramp that seems to feed anything I have tried yet, even the wide opening hydrashocks .
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    I've had good success with the Kimpro mags and will probably use the Tripp rebuild kits on some of my other brand mags-Colt, SA and CM.

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    QKShooter's post got me to thinking about this a little more. Here's a pic; notice the "scarification" (good description) just below the feed ramp.


    closeup of Pro Carry frame scratch from mag by ron.0000, on Flickr

    A couple of points here:
    - This was done in 200 rounds
    - It looks a bit worse to the eye, esp. magified eye than the pic indicates, but it's really as QKShooter termed it scarification.
    - the lip of the follower can only contact this part of the frame when there is only one round left in the mag.
    - I could not display the pic in the sticky that addressed this, but I got the impression is was much worse than what we see in this pic
    - Looking at this with the mag in the gun, both empty and with one round in the mag, I 'think' what's happening is when that last round is stripped from the mag, the lower front lip of the follower is driven into the frame.
    - The same thing would happen in a steel frame, but the steel wouldn't be affected as much.
    - Of course this can't happen with a Wilson mag follower for two reasons: one, it's a polymer follower and two, it has a skirt on it that would keep it from moving forward.
    - I really now wonder just how much of a problem this actually is. Some scaring/scratching on the inside of the frame would not appear to be an issue. Although, I suppose if it got too bad, it could interfere with feeding the last round????
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    They don't damage the magwell, they damage the feed ramp. This is only an issue in non-ramped barrels (think Colt). The above mentioned Champion is not affected due to it having a ramped barrel.

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    This is what Kimber means when it mentions a 200 round break-in period. Gotta have scarification to function...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranburr View Post
    They don't damage the magwell, they damage the feed ramp. This is only an issue in non-ramped barrels (think Colt). The above mentioned Champion is not affected due to it having a ramped barrel.
    I may not understand your post, but take a look at the pic - the damage is clearly below the start of the feed ramp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-JB View Post
    This is what Kimber means when it mentions a 200 round break-in period. Gotta have scarification to function...
    I think it has more to do with the type of mag follower (McCormick type follower) and an aluminum frame. I'm not so sure this wouldn't happen on any brand. Even those frames manufactured in Brazil.
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