Dan Wesson Dan Wesson, WC ETM Mag, HST Ammo -- Problem combination?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by kc1911, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    I'm wondering if others have had problems with this combination.

    I've got a fairly new DW Guardian in 45. It went through 500 flawless rounds of hardball using both the factory and a couple of Wilson ETM mags. As soon as I switched to my preferred carry ammo (Federal HST std pressure) I started getting frequent failures to feed (the nose of the cartridge would jam on the feed ramp). So I sent it back to DW who polished, throated, and cleaned up the trigger. Excellent work and promptly done.

    I put about 80 rounds of HST through the Guardian today. The factory mags worked great. But the Wilson mags jammed at a rate of about 1 round / magazine. It still feeds hardball flawlessly.

    I guess the easy answer is just use the factory mags. I'd also consider an alternative ammo choice as long as it's reliable, has a good track record, and expands well (nothing gimmicky please).

    I'd be interested to hear the thoughts from the pros here.
  2. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    If it's just the WC magazines I'd just move past them. People love to use Wilson's (and I have nothing against them) but I've never had a magazine failure with the stock Dan Wesson's either and that's good enough for me.

    If you want to continue to fool around with the ETM's see if loading one less round in works and if it does maybe pre-load a couple of Wilson mags and let em sit a week or so and try them again.

    It's also never a bad idea to play around with ammo choices just in case your preferred carry ammo is out of stock, hard to find or discontinued.


  3. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    I'm with this ^^^^. I can't speak directly to your combo as I do not have a Guardian, but I run 230gr HST in ETM mags w/o problems.

    Having said that, I don't have any allegiance to ETM mags. I have some other brands/styles/capacities, and have no issue with running them if some combo doesn't test out well.

    I will usually try to figure out what the issue is, but sometimes it's easier to find something that just works. One thing I've figured out is that there definitely aren't a lot of definites when it comes to this/that/or the other thing being the end-all/be-all of 1911 whatevers. There's a lot of variables, and sometimes some things just work better than others even when it's all "good" stuff.

    Of course this is just what I concluded from my own experience, which will definitely be different than some others.

    I also try to keep a small supply of a few different brands of SD ammo that I prefer, so I can verify the different combinations and have options for resupply.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    Old Sea Dragon likes this.
  4. Hardball

    Hardball Active Member

    Oct 19, 2017
    My V-Bob doesn't like ETMs but it runs 100% 47 series, factory DW Mags, and Tripp Research. So, I just don't use ETMs; unless, I want to practice clearing malfunctions.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  5. Doc45

    Doc45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2018
    I had a similar issue with a 2002 build Thunder Ranch Special. It just didn't like the combo of Wilson mags and Federal HST ammo. Switched to Golden Saber for jhp and all is good. My other Baers (much newer builds) work fine with the Wilson/HST combo-go figure.
  6. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    We all should have the ability, it's a handy drill. I bought my Dad a 9mm WC CQB in the spring. he had never fired a gun before but it was a bucket list items for him and he was retiring so I was like what the heck.

    Well after over 3,000 he has never had a jam and I keep trying to explain to him what failure to go into battery or a stove pipe would be like and how to notice and deal with it :)
    Hardball likes this.
  7. samuse

    samuse Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Feed ramp is probably cut too deep
  8. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    My only concern with the factory mags is that they both tend to pop out the top 1 or 2 rounds just in normal handling. I think tapered feed lips contribute to this -- once the round is budged even a little, the taper and momentum allows the cartridge to easily continue the rest of the way out of the magazine. Not a problem once the magazine is loaded in the gun; but can be a real issue during a reload. DW has already replaced one mag and the new one is better -- but not perfect.

    The parallel feed lips on the WC ETM mags don't seem to have this problem.

    Reliable feeding is a bigger concern to me than the occasional "flying cartridge", so if I have to I'll simply use the factory mags (and stock up on Check-Mate Hybrid spares).

    I also just ordered some Golden Sabers so I'll see if they do any better. I'd also order some Winchester Ranger T-Series to test if I could find any at a reasonable price.

    Thanks for all the feedback.
  9. Jimhoag

    Jimhoag In Kentucky

    Jun 14, 2013
    Have you set the spring in the Wilson magazine. Load them up and let sit for 48 hours. Makes a big difference. It says this on the instructions with the magazines
  10. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    Yup, fully set. Also used them for many hundreds of rounds of hardball with no issues.
    Jimhoag likes this.
  11. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    I thought I'd post an update.

    Short version: My Guardian is no bueno with Wilson ETM mags and hollow points I've tested (other Guardians and other brands of ammo may function fine).

    Longer version: Got back to the range today to try out some different defensive ammo. This time I tried Remington 185gr Golden Sabers +P. 50 rounds fed flawlessly with the DW hybrid mags. But in 50 rounds I had 5 FTFs with the ETM mags.

    Rather than experiment with a bunch of costly ammo, I'm simply going to use the hybrid mags for defensive and stick with my first choice of Federal HST ammo. This combo has worked flawlessly since getting the gun back from DW.

    I'll dedicate the ETM mags to only hardball and practicing clearing malfunctions.

    Thanks for everyone's help and insights!
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  12. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    Strange. Does the HST have a polymer tip in the hollowpoint?
    I ask only because I just shot an IDPA match last Sat. with my Specialist using, of all things, my handloaded 200gr SWC's and had no malfunctions thru about 100 rounds using both the OEM mags and Wilson ETM's. I had wondered if the feed lip difference would MAKE a difference with the SWC's but in limited testing and the match it didn't seem to. I would think that SWC's would present more of a feeding issue than hollowpoints which is why I asked about the polymer filling. I also have no issue in the Specialist with Speer 230gr Gold Dots and either mag brand. I've got some Winchester "Black Talon" clones to try but haven't yet.
  13. kc1911

    kc1911 Member

    Jul 13, 2018
    It does seem strange to me too. The HST do not have a polymer tip.

    I've been learning a lot in this process about the differences in feed lips. A good explanation is on the Check Mate site (who I believe manufacture the DW mags). But even reading that you'd think the ETMs would work well with HST. It looks like many or most of the most popular aftermarket mags, including the ETMs, have adopted the wadcutter style of parallel feed lips.

    Nonetheless, I ordered a couple of extra Check Mate hybrid mags last night and I'll just continue using what my gun prefers.
  14. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    Checkmates came with my ECO9. They are the only ones I could get to run in my SA Compact 9. I couldn't find them anywhere but online as "Kimber" branded. Now I've got 8 mags to interchange between the two pistols.
    1911's can be finicky.
  15. 12VMan

    12VMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    I'll definitely need to check for this the next time I go to the range. My EDC is a .45 Guardian with HSTs. The magazine I carry in the gun is an 8-round Chip McCormick, because it was the only one I have that holds 8 rounds, has no pad on the baseplate, and is blued/black. It's never failed to work. I have a few ETMs, but I prefer the 47D, which is what I carry for a spare mag.

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