View Full Version : Magazines and other Springs.

May 03, 2016, 19:12
Been full speed back shooting single stack 1911's past few months like a monkey on meth due to volunteer position taken that if had to drop the hammer will be in a crowded room of panicking people, my station puts is 42 inches above floor level to reduce issues of threading bullets through crowd running every direction on same plane. Kind of a mini deer stand that is 60 inches wide by 120 inches long. Within weeks of suggesting elevated platform positioned dead center of room side to side but about 2/3 back from speaker platform was shown the platform with camera and instructions to boot the camera for clear field of fire. Due to support columns for balcony was best placement to avoid posts blocking some shots. But this thread is about equipment.

Asked who the shooter assigned to platform was going to be and told my idea, only person wearing armor and carrying man size pistols plus shoot with some of the guys. Our rent a cops seem to think their tiny 9mm Glock 43's will get the job done if something goes down. Just dang it, never intended this scenario, assumed a post certified person would take the position. Rather than my 100 or so rounds per week of 45 plus some 9mm, 40 and wheel guns got busy with 100 rounds per week per main pistol carrying to church plus 50 through the redundant backup. Carry my 40 on Wednesday as go straight from work so upped to 100 rounds of 40 per week.

Since my pistol smith retired, not found a replacement, usually only build range pistols, not my life or death ones decided to do a basic tuneup. Ordered pile of spring kits plus other parts including mix of recoil springs to tune each for the load chosen. Did due diligence researching and all three got same mainsprings plus two got Speed Chute mainspring housings with EGW titanium main spring caps, 23 pound hammer springs for quick lock time and positive ignition. Each got topped off with an EGW titanium extra length hammer strut for quicker lock time and just to replace important pieces that had some age.

All got new Wilson sear springs plus Flatwire recoil springs and played with different pound springs in each pistol till totally reliable and slide moved as quickly as possible using timer to confirm best I could. Also put new firing pin return springs and two of the three got titanium firing pins fit as precisely as I could. Extractors all looked good and the two with pinned grip safeties got new Beavertails that function for additional safety. Of course with new parts, springs and frame to slide fit snugged up on two figured it was time to run them hard to make sure all parts were seated, happy and no defects.

That meant a 500 round break in for each pistol before taking out the door of the shop. To make it easier rounded up all my magazines from days past and sat around each evening loading magazines while watching movie or HGTV with wife. Discovered two of the older Wilson eight round magazines never locked back the slides. Purchased all the Wilson eight round magazine rebuild kits available locally which was six. Had marked the two not locking slide back and several others that felt sluggish.

This is what pretty much all six looked like with old springs next to new kits.


This spring came out of an eight round Wilson and it's an eight round Wilson spring and follower kit next to it. Don't know if they have lengthened their springs since last purchased magazines or not but this looked pathetic. Replaced the six worst looking in the batch as ripped all apart for a good cleaning. Have a dozen more eight round kits on order so can finish the eight round Wilson's have in stock. Magazines have not been abused or left loaded for long periods of time.

Have a passel of ten round Ram-Line magazines keep loaded with eight rounds per magazine for nightstand spares, indoor blazing at work and rattling around console of trucks. All have worked well but a couple of them began not locking slides back 100% of time in latest push to sharpen up best I can. Been doing dry fire drills several nights a week for decades which use beater magazines for and shop shooting haven't had enough worries to do any real maintenance other than cleaning. Ripping open a dozen high dollar Wilson's to see above issues was appalled had let my magazines get that bad. Figured sitting empty most of the time, only used the Wilson eight rounders for first magazine in pistol and rotated regular with the Ram-Line's piled everywhere.

As of today have eight new McCormick Power 10 high capacity magazines, four new Wilson 47D's and six older Wilson's with fresh rebuild kits. All my original old Colt, Randall, Detonics and other collector magazines are never used and stay locked up in vault. Wondering if I should disassemble and put in bags so springs can totally relax. Some of the magazines for lefty Randall Curtis E. Lemay's are $100 per pop on gunbroker. Don't need them getting weak though always use aftermarket when shoot those pistols. Tonight instead of loading at the bench going to rip the house apart, toss the vaults, search trucks and find all the magazines that don't need to be in service currently.

Soon as get all the 1911's serviced (6, 7, 8 and 10 rounders) guess I need to look at HiPowers as next most prolific handgun magazines running around wild. During, then really seriously after Sandy Hook serviced and replaced springs on a couple hundred AR15 magazines plus been buying many new as can stand when find specials and putting up in original packaging. Having two eight and two 10 rounders 45's not locking slides back was indication headed for trouble. Ordered another six new Wilson eight rounders and six more McCormick 10 rounders with my new spring kits. Guess should go ahead and get some McCormick kits coming too so will be ready to service all magazines again when see first signs of trouble.

Just because your magazines have worked so far, if can't remember how long ago they were bought and last time serviced you may want to go ahead and start servicing a few at a time. Decided to fix them all as would undoubtedly pick up the one magazine didn't service moment life depends on it functioning. Thinking about all the oddball magazines around here going to have nightmares about pistols not feeding till get all serviced and verified. Bet that burns a thousand dollar bill just on freaking springs. May have to go back to wheel guns and speed loaders.