Trivia for the day

If you possess a magazine-fed firearm that you bet your life on, spare magazines should be acquired either from the company that built the firearm, or from a reputable company that supplies magazine to the firearm company.

Oh, there are a few companies out there that produce really good after-market magazines — Chip McCormick, Wilson Combat, but in general it’s best to go with OEM.

At gunshows, and in the back of dead-tree gun magazines, you will find adverts for companies that sell after-market ammo feeders. Companies like ProMag, USA Magazines and the like sell magazines which are okay to use in plinking guns, but really shouldn’t come within snuggle distance of your defence firearms.

One of the more disappointing, yet amusing, experiences in my little life was slapping a USA Inc magazine into a Smith and Wesson 5900-series and getting this gorgeous brass fountain out through the ejection port before I could hit the slide release.


Factory or OEM only.

There is, however, a rather nifty use for El Cheapo magazines.

If you have a single-action revolver — a Colt Single Action Army, Ruger Vaquero or somesuch — the next time you’re at a gunshow, pick up an El Cheapo Desert Eagle magazine in the proper calibre.

Take said magazine home, pull the baseplate and snip off a coil or two of the magazine spring before reassembling the mag.

The next time you’re loading your hog-leg, hold the revolver in your left hand with the loading gate open, hold the full El Cheapo magazine in your right with the top round at the loading gate and thumb that top round into the cylinder.

Voila! Just rotate the cylinder with your left hand while thumbing rounds in with your right and you have just converted a piece-o-junk magazine into a nifty little speed-loader.

I am informed that this also works if you have a double action .22 rimfire revolver and a 25-round El Cheapo .22LR magazine.


About bloody time, too.

30 thoughts on “Trivia for the day”

  1. That is a very good idea. Now, I have to find a magazine for .357 rounds. :p


  2. The first Desert Eagle was a .357, and Magnum Research still makes a .357 model.

    The last gunshow I went to, a table had USA Inc .357 Desert Eagle mags for 16 dollars each.

  3. I agree, this is sound advice and a very good way of carrying spare ammo for your revolver.
    I am having trouble with the stock mags for my MSAR STG-556. They are already starting to crack just below the feed lips. I know that the only compatible mags are STEYR-AUG, and those are Very Pricey. (I have a 3rd Gen that will take the SA mags.) Besides keeping them unloaded, what alternative is there?

  4. A lot of them are flat crap, and making one into a speedloader sounds like a way to actually get use out of them.

    Mec-Gar seems pretty good overall as an aftermarket mag. At least in the High Power a friend tried them in; with those it feeds everything.

  5. From what I have seen on the boards, Mec-Gar is about the only aftermarkets that are decent…I suspect this is because the are the actual OEM manufacturer for some of the gun makers. It isn’t worth your life (or someone else’s) to buy cheap mags.

  6. Lawdog! How cool. This could change a single action into a reasonable ccw. I have a 2/3 size model p that would be great.

  7. I managed to find a MilSurp store near me selling GI 1911 mags new-in-wrapper for about eight bucks apiece. I bought six and have used them with absolutely no issues in my Springfield 1911A1. Maybe I’m just lucky, but that’s luck I can live with! 🙂

  8. I saved several .45 mags during my time in the army and now use them in my Rock Island M1911A1. Never a failure to feed. Now if I could only find an issue shoulder holster….

  9. Don’t forget to actually test your mags too. Every once in a while even a reliable maker will let a lemon slip through, and you don’t want that jammer up the pipe when you really need it.

    Also, those after market makers have reputations because someone bought and tested the mags. If you know what to look for, you might find a diamond in the rough, which might be worth looking into. Again though, take it on a case by case basis.

  10. To the Anonymous with a Rock Island .45 – –

    Pacific Canvas and Leather Co. makes an extensive line of very high quality reproductions of military holsters, pouches, and other military gear, both US and foreign.

    The prices are quite reasonable when you look at the cost of as-new original holsters. Also, in using the repros, you can carry and them in the field without being bothered that you are ruining a bit-o-history. And further – – The US Govt hasn’t ordered a russet-colored (WWI and WWII) .45 holster since the late 1940s. The ones you find are either dogged out or the leather is dried and cracking.

    Go here – –
    to see US shoulder holsters. Note the difference between the M3 and the M7 designs. Also – – They offer the shoulder holsters for both the 1911 .45 AND the Beretta M9. If you order, be sure to specify which.


    Note – That url doesn’t completely show in the preview.
    Make sure the . . .leather runs together with the .com/holsters/us_holsters4.htm.

  11. A suggestion – either put a label on the bottom of each of your mags with a number on it, or scratch the number on the bottom of the mag with an engraving tool. That way, if you have any kind of a feed problem, you know WHICH mag not to trust.

    Or you could just toss it away on the first problem, but that’s kind of wasteful when the problem could have been caused by the ammo. This way, you can make a note to test mag number such and such to see if it’s reliable or not.

  12. Very goos advice. I run my 1911 on either GI issue mags or Chip McCormicks.

  13. Firehand: Mec-Gar is actually an OEM manufacturer for a whole lot of manufacturers, including FN which makes the Hi-Power. I have found them to be of excellent quality. Their 15-round Hi-Power mags are what I carry daily. 🙂

  14. That’s a better idea that what I was told…

    I was told and have read to set the faulty magazine on a hard flat surface, then take a large hammer and “mark” the magazines that don’t work right…

    —– – take a long web address and make it managable


    Hmm… wonder who has cheap magazines in .44 Magnum?

  15. Dad used to carry a M 25 with some half-moon clips and a double mag pouch with two 1911 magazines for quick speed loaders.

  16. It’s funny how the mind’s camera works. I can see the spray of unspent loads fountaining from the ejection port of LawDog’s autochucker, with the “I wasn’t expecting that” nearly-blank-faced look, eyes ever so slightly wide. The head drops, and the…


    comes out, possibly before a couple of shoulder-twitch suppressed chuckles.

    I suppose the Tazmanian Devil tee probably wasn’t involved, but the mind’s camera does it’s own thing. I stress, I’ve never actually met LawDog, but from reading The Files, I can just kinda imagine…

    That hack with the cheapy mag sounds rather spiffy, mind. Wonder if they’d feature it on 😉

  17. Dang, you mean I didn’t have to invest in all those Moon clips???? 🙂 Seriously, in the .45 world, Ed Brown and Cylinder and Slide also make excellent aftermarket mags.

  18. Five round .30-06/.308 stripper clips are a good way to carry five rounds of .45ACP in your pocket. M-16/AR-15 strippers work for .380 rounds.

  19. Pretty cool idea, LawDog. If I ever pick up a wheel gun I’ll probably give this a shot, too.

    Glock doesn’t make revolvers, though.


  20. UNRELATED, FWIW, Lawdog, we’re about to use “Mr Johnson’s Last Walk” for high-school Forensics this year (edited for time to get the reading to 8 minutes or less).

    Thanks, in advance, for your permission (!!) I’ll keep you advised on the results.

  21. That is a good idea. But I might have to do some diggin’ as my only single action with a loading gate is the 45 colt.

  22. Hmmmm…now this makes me wonder if the “Desert Eagle mag-as-speedloader” idea will work with a lever-action rifle in .357Mag or .44Mag.

    Methinks I shall search for such a cheap ProMag at the next gun show, and find out…

  23. Like most hard and fast rules, there are exceptions that prove the rule. I’ve had stock OEM mags that were pure junk, and I’ve had aftermarket mags that worked perfectly and really held up. I think the key is to find mags that work in your gun, inspect and maintain them properly, replace the springs when needed, etc. The fact that they are OEM is absolutely no guarantee they will work, or keep on working.

  24. Like you said Dawg, Chip McCormick. I use ’em in my TRP operator and all I can say is damned fine mags. They even work like gangbusters up here on -37C (that’s – -30F to most of y’all) days.

  25. Incongruent, that would explain it.

    Interestingly, the factory mag that came with that High Power wouldn’t feed anything but ball; the Mec-Gar mags, like I said, feed everything without a hitch.

  26. Good post!
    I have some USA mags for my Browning Buckmark, and they are very ammo sensitive. I thought they were just bad mags until I realized they did not like the Remington plinking ammo. CCI works ok. I still wouldn’t trust them for self defense if this was a self defense caliber I was talking about.

Comments are closed.