Retrofitting the magazines... is it possible?

Retrofitting the magazines... is it possible?

This is a discussion on Retrofitting the magazines... is it possible? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello all. I've recently inherited that Ruger P85. It's not my first choice in a defensive handgun, but seeing as how I will never sell ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Retrofitting the magazines... is it possible?

    Hello all.

    I've recently inherited that Ruger P85. It's not my first choice in a defensive handgun, but seeing as how I will never sell it, I am going to invest in some accessories for it.

    The pistol has three of the original 15 round capacity magazines. I've owned a P89 in the past before trading it for another XD, and I knew that the 9mm P85, P89, P95 etc. all used the same magazines.

    Anyway I have some factory 15 rounders for a P89 from before and while they fit the P85, they don't catch without forcefully loading them. They feed just fine however in snap cap testing.

    I haven't taken my caliper to it, but they seem to be the same dimsensions. The only difference I can tell is there's a little catch hole on the front of the magazine that is in a slightly different position on both. I'm wondering if I can't file it out a little bigger and make it work better.

    The original magazines are thus suitable for serious use, but the newer ones are not. Has anyone else tackled this issue?

    On a side note I might have to seriously look at a PC9 carbine now. Since I know I'm always going to have this Ruger and its magazines, it makes a lot more sense.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    If you could modify them they should work though course as you say you shouldnt use them for serious work

  3. #3
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    Euc - I have tweaked some after market mag's - actually some real cheapo Eagle mag's - for SIG 226. I reckon the notch for all of them was just a few thou short and so a slam was needed - big slam!!

    I used a needle file and removed very small increments, top of notch - until they engaged well and secure with no slam, just a firm shove.

    I only use those for IDPA but done carefully you should be fine - next thing might sometimes be a tweak to mag lips if really necessary but often not needed, oh and as always , make sure follower is smooth thru its whole travel.
    Chris - P95
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  4. #4
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    As long as you have specs off the original mags, you should be able to fit em.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well I tackled this project this afternoon with some mixed results.

    I field stripped the pistol and took the grips off so I could get a better look at the magazine catch and took some measurements. Using a Dremel tool at low speeds I shaved just a little bit of metal off here and there on one magazine. I found that to my chagrin, the newer magazines are just a hair longer. They aren't quite flush with the butt of the pistol, even though it looks like they are at a cursory glance.

    What I wound up doing was chamfering, for lack of a better word, the hole around the magazine catch with a grinding wheel and then smoothing it off just a little bit.

    The good news is that all three of my "conversion" magazines now slide right in and they should feed just fine. Also, the magazine release works like a champ for all three of them.

    The bad news is that if you grab the baseplate and yank, they come right out even without depressing the magazine release. So while they go in and come out smooth, I am not confident in their retention.

    One of them works beautifully and does not suffer from the retention issue. I guess I accidentally ground it off just right. It would be okay for social work, it just looks sorta ugly now.

    The other two are just going to be range mags and last resort spares. I can put them in the pistol and shake it all about. I did so violently trying to get them to fall out but they would not. Grabbing the base plate and yanking sharply is what it takes.

    The end result is I am somewhat satisfied to know that a magazine can be retrofitted to function smoothly in this pistol that should be fine for casual shooting, even serious casual shooting. But for defensive duty I don't think I'm ever going to do better than the original magazines.

    Seems appropriate enough. Nothing's ever going to replace him after all.

    I feel if I were more ambitious and had a gunsmith replace the mag catch with one from a P89 and fit it a little bit it would take the new magazines without a hitch, but I'm not going to go there.

  6. #6
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    Thought you'd manage something of a result Euc. I wonder if the chamfer has actually facilitated the pull-out possibility. Assuming too that is I read your description correctly.

    The few times I have tweaked mags - I have had to remove metal in minute quantities a bit at a time - probably you did too. There is tho finally a critical point where ''just one more pass'' can be too much.

    Anyways - seems you'll do with these mags what I do with my cheapie Eagle mags in SIG - just range use.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  7. #7
    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    I onder if CDNN investments still sells any regular P-85 high caps?
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    It sort of went from one extreme to the other. Before I played with them, I couldn't get the magazines to go in or out smoothly at all, and now they go in and out a little too smoothly.

    When I took the measurements I noticed that the catches on the front of the old vs. new magazines were off both at the top and the bottom. As a result I had to ever so slightly file both sides, which I think is why the retention issue occured. I wound up making a bigger hole.

    I think someone with some sort of experience in metalworking could have done better, and if I ever do it again I'll try it a little differently to see if I can be more precise.

    Realistically, it's not like I absolutely have to depend on the P85 to actually do anything, so it's fine.

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