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Wilson Combat ETM - Major Malfunction


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During the recent IDPA South Carolina State Championship I experienced a significant malfunction caused by a Wilson Combat ETM (their newest, most highly positioned magazine). It cost me 30-35 seconds in the middle of a stage.

For reference, I was shooting my Wilson Combat CQB Elite (.45 ACP) and using 4 relatively new ETM's.

It appeared that the magazine over-inserted. I was at slide lock and executed a reload. When I went to drop the slide nothing happened. I tried the slide lock, then a sling shot, and neither would even move the slide. Then, after a moment of panic caused by this strange experience, I tried to drop the magazine and start over. It too was locked in place. The gun was completely frozen.

I finally managed to break it free, load my last magazine and complete the round, but the damage to my score had been done. I immediately switched back to my high-mileage Wilson Combat Legendary magazines (which have never, ever failed - I love them) and did not suffer another malfunction.

Another shooter in my squad experienced the same issue several times during the day with her Les Baer.

I called Wilson Combat after the match. They, as usual, were extremely friendly and helpful. While they hadn't heard of this issue with the 45 mags, they had heard of this issue with their 9mm ETM's. He immediately offered to exchange them for new magazines and offered a few tips (like keeping them loaded for some time to soften the springs). I've tried these suggestions but have experienced the issue several times in training since.

It should be said that I'm a huge fan of the design of these new magazines. They load effortlessly even with the slide closed (notable improvement), the base pads are much improved, and the numbered witness slot is just plain handy.

I'm curious, have any of you experienced a similar issue? Are there any tips to making these magazines more reliable? I am considering taking WC up on their offer to exchange them, but haven't decided if I'd like more ETM's or if I'll ask for the tried and true older design.

This post is in no way meant to hurt WC's reputation. I can't say enough how loyal I am, and will remain, to Wilson Combat. The CQB Elite is a dream to shoot and the company has always been great to deal with (including having custom work done to a previous gun and in this specific situation).

Lesson learned - I'll never take anything into a match that I haven't vetted thoroughly.

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Hello: I am a big fan of the 45acp 47D's :cheers: I have never seen a reason to change to the ETM's. I am using them now with the Dawson base pad for the Dawson magwell with No Gap. They are working great for me. I have seen a couple of guys have some problems with the ETM mags in 45 but don't know what it was. Thanks, Eric

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Tripp Cobra Mags...!!

I used to use the 47D's, they worked fine when brand new. But as the springs got used, I would start getting malfunctions. I could've called Wilson to get new springs, but that would've been a hassle to keep changing the springs as they wore out, which is why I switched to the the Tripps and never had a problem.

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That is probably my biggest problem with 1911 45's -- shoving the mag in too hard and getting it stuck in the slide. They usually get stuck pretty good too. I have done this with a few different brands of mags so I try to reload before I am at slide lock if possible.

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You might call Wilson again and mention this:

The basepad on the ETm should've stopped it from over inserting, maybe his still has a gap?

I was on the phone with the production manager today, and he said, for some mags, new baseplates were coming that should solve the occasional over-inserting problem.


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