Tuned Magazines?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by simonp, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    So recently I saw, cant remember if they were posts on here or if I saw it when surfing smith’s websites looking at packages, that some folks offer tuned magazines to the gun they build. When I saw that I admit I had to scratch my head a couple of times - I know long time past the complaint people had about 1911’s were that they were finicky and that part of the problem was finding the right magazine for the gun. However with McCormick, Tripp and Wilson magazines readily available finding a good magazine isn’t really difficult & isn’t part of what one is getting from a gun you send to a smith a gun that is reliable with any magazine? So does anyone know what exactly is done to tune a magazine to a specific gun and why one would need that today?

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  2. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith

    Sep 11, 2011
    Are you asking me in particular, since it's pretty well known that I sell such mags?

  3. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    No, as I said I couldn’t remember where I saw it originally although on the “good job colt” thread I saw someone post a colt with magazines numbered to the gun which is what reminded me today - since you do sell them please feel free to answer - thanks

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  4. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    They run different with different guns. I've had Wilsons bend a Colt 9mm ejector. And Tripp's that would hardly fit in a Colt rail gun and stumbled with some other 9mm 1911's. I think the problem is more prevalent with 1911's in 9mm, but it exists for all.

    So in my personal experience the science is not settled on 1911 mags, and tuning sounds like a great idea to me.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    simonp likes this.
  5. DukeSoprano

    DukeSoprano Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Jan 17, 2013
    I was wondering about this too, my Springfield Pro came with "tuned" magazines?
    WHEELS likes this.
  6. TightLines

    TightLines Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    I believe GI also includes "tuned" mags but I have no clue what it might mean. I always figured it boiled down to some ferry dust on the feed lips.
    Old Sea Dragon, WHEELS and simonp like this.
  7. azguy1911

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

    Oct 22, 2015
    I've had literally dozens of 9mm 1911's and never had a magazine issue. When I owned several Kimber's I ran Kimber mags without an issue. Now, I run Ed Brown and Wilson mags in all my guns, Brown, NH, Wilson, GI, Dan Wesson and never had a problem.

    Personally, I think magazines get blamed for a lot of other ills. But what do I know ;)
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  8. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith

    Sep 11, 2011
    Well, what we do with them is modify the follower in order to optimize function of the mag and gun combined. Then we test them all with a couple trips to the range just to make sure they run good.
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  9. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    I think magazines are often the first identifiable reason for certain failures. It's good you have had good fortune. I run mine on the clock in matches which means they get run hard and that exacerbates potential issues.
  10. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    I too have been lucky as I have not had magazine issues with any of my firearms.
  11. dtelston

    dtelston Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2012
    I literally had this very same question this past week and dug around quite a bit online trying to scrounge up some info on tuning mags. From what I can gather, it has mostly to do with the angle at which the follower in your mag sits in relation to the dimensions of your gun. Some force rounds up into the ejector prematurely and into the extractor improperly while some angle rounds to nose dive more directly into the feed ramp which causes issues with chambering and/or ejecting/extracting. My takeaway was that it really depends on the gun and and the mag, and that tuning is an extra step to ensure your followers were bent into place appropriately for optimal reliability and longevity for your specific 1911 or build. Is this a dire need? Not so much, but if it gives peace of mind or ensures optimal performance on a piece that you’re spending extra on (or carrying perhaps?) then it’s probably not a terrible call. My mags have always run great but I’ve always stuck to Wilson, Tripp, CMC and the handful of randoms I’ve received with custom and semi-custom builds, which many times are the same as the aforementioned brands.
    simonp likes this.
  12. JoeDice

    JoeDice Active Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    I have never had tuned magazines , but I do match my magazines to a specific 1911 and mark each mag and keep then segregated in marked zip lock bags.. As we all know some 1911 pistols can be picky about which magazines they will run well with .
    For example I have a 9mm Springfield Armory Range Officer Compact that’s just loves the older Wilson 8 round mags that have the polymer followers , runs 100% with them. But my STI ELEKTRA and my Colt Defender will not run with them at all ... FTF all the time. But both those pistols love the redesigned Wilson magazines with the steel follower, and are both totally reliable with them.
    So my advice.. find which magazines run in each of your 1911s and run only those specific tested reliable magazines.

    After reading an additional post that mentions Chambers Custom tuned magazines it hit be that I actually do have a tuned 9 mm Chambers Custom government length 9 round magazine that I recently bought for my DAN WESSON Guardian . Totally satisfied with it the gun runs perfectly with it totally reliable..
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  13. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011

    I can say this on the subject.

    My Chambers Triple Crown in 38 Super loads the 1st round smoother with his tuned mags than it does Wilson mags. It’s never had any feeding issues or failures, however, the 1st round just seems to load a bit smoother, when actuating the slide stop, than with other mags.
  14. gaijin

    gaijin Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2015
    "Tweaking" follower and occasionally springing feed lips in/out are all I've done to Matalform, 10 rd. 9mm mags for 100% function.

    Occasionally on a field course a mag gets dumped from the gun and unintentionally stomped on.
    With the range surface being heavy aggregate AB3, the mags can get beat up.
  15. 1911obsession

    1911obsession Member

    Sep 30, 2018
    I want to "tune" my 1911 magazines.
    How do I do it?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  16. Hunter Rose

    Hunter Rose Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    To me mags have always been disposable items, and personally I would not want a 1911 that needed tuned mags to run reliably. Some guns like different brands of mags, sure, but if a gun won't run reliably with one of my preferred mag brands (Wilson, McCormick, or Tripp) the it is too finicky in my opinion.
    monadh likes this.
  17. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012

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