This is just a quick review of some of the 1911 magazines that I’ve run through my 1911. Yes, the one you may have already seen me do a review on. Now take in mind that the parts used for mine are old G.I. specs, so some newer guns may not have the same issues that mine did.
Mil-Surp G.I. mags:
7rds, steel, blued
-These mags are cheap. you can easily get them for about 8 bucks at a gun show. Maybe cheaper if you look around. Depending on how old and how used they are, they may have varied amount of wear and spring strength left in them. You can’t really take them apart (as far as I know). I have two of them and they both work mostly fine. I had a few issues occasionally, but my feed ramp also needed polished, so as far as I can tell, for the price these are the perfect range mag.They work great for plinking and are super cheap. I wouldn’t trust my life to them as a carry mag, but I have never considered them to be untrustworthy for lesser situations. If I were you I would look on sportsmans guide because they usually have bulk deals on magazines like these for cheap if you don’t have gun shows or military surplus stores nearby.
7rds, Steel, blued
-These work just the same as the surplus ones. They are slightly different in design and if loaded for a long time, the feed lips might get bent out and cause feeding problems or jams. Not a carry magazine either in my opinion. My biggest complaint is trivial, but there is a round nub on the follower which scratches the cases and makes loading the magazine a little more difficult. The groove for the ejector gets caught on it and is just a pain. The spring in these is better than the surplus ones. The cost for these is about $18 from Springfield I think. I haven’t looked in a while but it could be cheaper… or a little more expensive… I don’t know. When you buy one of their guns they give you a coupon for reduced cost on mags and other stuff though. The coupon will expire.
8rds, SS, no finish
-These are the infamous Wilson mags that have a base pad for easier loading into the gun and for protection when you drop them free for a tactical reload. These are the heaviest and I believe the thickest steel of all that I’m reviewing and are probably the least likely to be damaged. The follower is a polymer that is concave to cradle the last bullet (I don’t know if I like this or not because physics says there is more friction this way). The spring is slightly stiffer than the Kimber (to be reviewed still) which makes loading rounds the toughest in this magazine. My biggest issue, but this might have to do with the g.i. mag release, is that Wilson’s mag requires a lot of force to push the mag in past the release. I can press the release then slide it in, but in a fast reload that is not ideal. I checked it and other mags have a depression or bevel where it would meet the release so that it slides by easy. The Wilson did not have this. To remedy this, I load this magazine first while carrying so I don’t have to worry about reloading this mag into the gun. That’s what my Kimber mag is for.
8rds, SS, no finish
-These are probably my favorite magazine. They drop in easy, they have two different base pads to choose from, and easily disassemble to clean or do what you wish with them. They are slightly easier to load than the Wilson mags and if you look for the right deal they are probably about $5-10 cheaper than Wilson too. They are more expensive than the surplus and Springfield mags, but worth it. The follower is nice and slick (I think it’s a polymer) and easy feeding. They just feel sturdy and well built as soon as you get your hands on it. I picked mine up for about $23, but I also had to pay for shipping, so I would suggest including them in a order you are already planning on making. These are mags I use for carrying.
I don’t want to try and push anyone to a certain brand because I haven’t tried them all, but I will say my favorite is the Kimber. Just for the cost, craftsmanship, reliability, and ease of use it wins in my book. The other mags are good to and may work better in other 1911s, but This is my experience and hope you find this useful for your next purchases. I want to do a review for Promag, but my research says that most people don’t like how hard it is to load the last round and I didn’t want to mess with it. They are much less expensive though. Feel free to add any magazines you have experience with in the comments section.