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Intel6

New magwell for shooters with large hands

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So it is no secret that I have very large hands, not only are they large but they are “meaty” and since I started shooting STI framed guns with magwells I have had issues because of it. I struggled for the first few years with the standard magwells without even realizing it. Until I got a .45 Eagle (doesn’t come with a magwell) and started shooting it I realized it felt different than my Edge. Because there was no magwell my grip on the gun was very neutral. I had no idea that because of my big hands my grip was not neutral at all and I was cramming my hands onto the grip and then constantly milking my grip during shooting to keep it stable. This constant milking/regripping during shooting was a big problem for me and I needed to try and do something about it. I thought about just shooting with no magwell but realized I am not that great with my mag changes and a little more magwell is always nice.

Here is a pic showing how much my hand sticks down below an STI grip with no magwell.

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As you can see, take that much hand and try to cram it onto a grip with a regular magwell and there is going to be a problem. What you can also see in this pic is the location of the mainspring pin is up about a ¼ of the way up on my palm. When you see in the other pics how the normal magwell flare is right below that pin hole you can see I have the flare of a normal magwell sticking right into my palm were the bones of my hand are. Below are some pics showing how a stock STI magwell fits me and how the Ice magwell fits also. As you can see the flare of the magwells in relation to the pin hole don’t offer much room for me and are basically the same thing except the Ice flares out more.

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So I tried lots of different magwells and none of them really worked for me because they were all based on the same length of grip based on the mainspring pin. When you look at a magwell from the side and you compare the flare of the magwell in relation to the pin you can see that they are all basically the same, the flare starts right below the bottom of the grip. What I needed was a magwell that flared out lower which effectively lengthened the amount of grip, the distance between the bottom of the trigger guard/beavertail and the flare of the magwell.

I had heard of the cape magwell but because they were not very common I had never been able to try one and see how it works. At the 2008 Area 2 match I found a vendor with one on their table and was able to slip one on a grip to see how it felt. I could immediately feel the difference as it gave me a very neutral grip while providing a nice magwell opening for when I didnt hit it right on. I was so amazed at the difference in feeling with that magwell I installed it that night and shot it for the rest of the match. Now that magwell seemed to be the only option for a shooter with large hands but the problem was that they were very hard to get and eventually they stopped making the version that worked with large hands. I was fortunate to pick up two more of them used off the boards but many times I saw shooters on the boards looking for them.

As you can see from the pics, the flare of the magwell (which is minimal) is a lot lower than the normal magwells (when you look at it next to a regular magwell) and it gives more room for the hand, basically extending the grip.

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Edited by Intel6

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So back at last year’s nationals I was squadded with some of the shooters from Cameron’s Custom Guns. More than once during the match I had shooters come up to me to ask about my Cape magwell that was on my gun and ask to go to the safe area and handle it. The guys from Cameron’s mentioned that they were working on a magwell that would work with large handed shooters and they expected it to be out towards the beginning of the following year. I told them that if they made one that worked with large hands they would fill a niche that was left vacant by the Cape and they would sell well. I of course, unselfishly, volunteered to T & E with my big hands and let them know what I thought. So fast forward to earlier this year and I get word from a buddy of mine up in Phoenix that Cameron’s wanted to send a sample of one of their magwells for me to try. They were still in production on them but they were willing to send a raw aluminum (not anodized) pre production magwell for me to try out to see what I thought.

I got the magwell and fitted it to my open gun and I have been using it for the past few months. The magwell itself looks similar to many of the other offerings out there but there is one important thing about it and that is the relation of the mainspring pin and the flare of the magwell as I mentioned above. As you can see in the pics, they lowered the flair of the magwell down below the pin, the key to making the magwell work with large handed shooters.

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Edited by Intel6

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In using this magwell for the past few months I have discovered a few things that have made me really like this magwell over my current Cape magwells:

Magwell Opening – One of the things I immediately noticed about the Cameron magwell was that it provided a large opening with basically the same amount of funnel in all directions. As you can see in the pic below the Cape magwell has an opening that has lots of funnel in the rear and then a lot less funnel on the sides and at the front. Also because the flare of the magwell is minimal the walls of the magwell itself are very steep. Now I am one who has never had real issues with my reloads but I have been known to hang up my mags on the edges of the magwell from time to time. The Cameron magwell widens up the target and gives you more room for error over the Cape and I have yet to hang up a mag on the edge of the Cameron magwell.

Support – I have to be honest here, when I first saw a pic of the Cameron magwell I was worried because while it was extended longer past the mainspring housing pin I could tell that it still flared out on the sides more than the Cape did. I was concerned because with the size of my hands I thought there might still be interference between the bottom edge of my hand and the flare. When I got the magwell installed I tried it out and it felt OK but shooting and dry fire would be the final test. I was pleased to find in both shooting and dry fire that it does not interfere with my grip but actually helps it. The flare of the magwell is below the edge of my hand where the bones are so there is no interference. The extra meat is still there but it flows over the edge fine. I found with use that the magwell gives me tactile feedback to let me know my grip is right. Basically when the lower edge of my hand is touching the magwell I know my index on my grip is the same every time.

Another thing I found with this magwell regarding support was that it gave me support for my weak hand that the Cape didn’t. If you look at the amount of magwell that sticks out at the bottom of the front strap in both pics above there is more there. With the Cape there is some but it is “used up” by the fingers of my strong hand and there is none left for my support hand. With the Cameron magwell there is still some magwell sticking out past my strong hand grip to provide support and index to my weak hand.

Availability – There is nothing more frustrating after finding a product that works great for you to find out it is no longer being made. This is especially frustrating when there is nothing else like it made so you have no other options. I have been fortunate to be able to scrounge up a few of the Cape magwells but I still have frames that don’t have them because I can’t get any more of them. With this magwell there are no issues about having them on your open and limited guns along with their backup guns. They are available and being made by an established company who hopefully will come to know the niche these magwells fill and they will keep making them.

So this was a lengthy post but I think it was important to put all this down so others may find it useful. I hope it makes sense and the pictures help. I also wanted to let shooters with large hands know that there are options out there. The Cape is a great magwell but unless you get lucky and find one used the new Cameron’s magwell is the only viable option for big handed shooters. I wasn’t even sure if Cameron’s was selling this magwell yet but a quick check of Shooters Connection shows me they are. I guess they are calling it e B.A.M. magwell now? Knowing the guys who made it I have no doubt what B.A.M. stands for.

:rolleyes:

I will be shooting the High Desert Classic this weekend and will be using the B.A.M magwell one last time before I send it back and buy myself a production one. If you are shooting the match and would like to see it for yourself in a safe area come find me on squad 8.

Neal in AZ

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Edited by Intel6

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Nice! I have big hands too, and remember dry firing a buddy's Limited gun and having the same problems you did, with the palm of my hand getting scrunched into the magwell, I think it was a Dawson ICE.

If I can ever afford a Limited/Open gun myself I know whose magwell I'll be running!

BTW, BAM = Big Ass Meatpaws? :D

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Hello: I am on your squad so I will check it out :cheers: I had a Cape and sold it to someone who really wanted it. My hands are large but I am using a STI magwell since it was a good fit over the Dawson for me. I did not like the way some magwells flare my hand out at the bottom. See you soon. Thanks, Eric

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I have small hands and only the bottom of my palm would touch my Dawson magwell and I was doing OK with it. Recently A good friend of mine with large hands got a new Cameron open gun similar to mine. His has the new magwell you speak of. He wanted to get my opinion on about 5-6 loads for his gun and to also see how fast I could run some Steel Challenge stages. Every draw seemed like his grip was 2" longer than mine and I felt like each draw had better a better grip.

Shortly after that experience I shot a match with the guys from Cameron in Prescott and I had them bring me one to the match. I have used it ever since, even with small hands.

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Woohoo. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have a heavy ice magwell but my left hand pinky still has nothing to index off of. I have always loved the look of those cape magwells but they were a bit short in front for me. I have been trying to find the right magwell for a while and so far the Dawson's have been the best but I am headed to see if these are available right now. Finally someone made something for those of us with bigger than normal hands.

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Eric, I saw you on the squad list, it will be great to shoot with you again.

I think you will like this magwell as it sounds like you are talking about that "tactile feel" I got from the magwell which helps with my index.

AzYooper, good to know it not only works with large hands. I think the description for it on Shooters Connection site mentions that it works with smaller hands as well so I guess that is a good thing? I think it just goes back to the neutral grip thing and even shooters with smaller hands benifit from it.

Neal in AZ

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Woohoo. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have a heavy ice magwell but my left hand pinky still has nothing to index off of. I have always loved the look of those cape magwells but they were a bit short in front for me. I have been trying to find the right magwell for a while and so far the Dawson's have been the best but I am headed to see if these are available right now. Finally someone made something for those of us with bigger than normal hands.

I never really noticed the front of the Cape being "short" until I tried this magwell and noticed the support I got on my weak side grip hand. My fingers are also thick so I really noticed this fit and support. Check it out if you can, I think you will like it.

Neal in AZ

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I have one of these on order and am looking forward to getting it. I have an EGW on it now which works fine for my big hands but the cameron one should be the ticket.

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Neal,

Thanks for the lengthy review. We also just finished 50 of these and they should be back from anodizing in a day or two and will be up on our website as soon as they are back. They may not be for everyone, but I was like Neal and always ran a Cape and loved it. We designed for those with large hands, but even two of our women shooters have switched over as they love the shape of the magwell opening for reloads. Please check our vendors area for updates and thanks again!

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Hello: I tried the magwell out on Neals open pistol and liked it. I ordered one from Shooters Connection and received it yesterday. I installed it and love the way it feels. It does not kick the bottom of my hand out at all. It allows my strong hand to have a complete grip on the grip. I will shoot it this weekend and see how it goes. I also want to try it out on a small STI aluminum grip I have for my Limited pistol I built. I hope it fits. Thanks, Eric

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Eric,

That was quick! I could tell when we were talking about it, and what your needs were, that you were going to like the magwell. One of the things that worked for Eric was the "support" issue I talked about above.

Neal in AZ

Edited by Intel6

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Neal: My hands are not as big as yours but I still had to try the larger magwell. I am always trying different things and if they work for me I buy more, if not they go up for sale. I still have a large collecting of stuff I need to sell :devil: Here is a pic of the magwell on my Frankingun with the "Dos Equis" 9mm top end. Neal, I appreciate the test drive of the magwell on your pistol :cheers:

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Although my hands aren't as big, I had the same issue with the heel of my hand sitting on the mag well. Didn't feel right. I cut my Dawson magwell with a ball endmill. It doesn't extend down as far as the CC you pictured, but it fits me. Someone must have shared it with Dawson since they offer these for sale now.

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Dawson also offers the ICE this way...

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Hello: I tried the Dawson magwell last year and it does not have enough clearance for my hands at the front. The Cameron clears my hand on the bottom and front edge. The Dawson may work if you have large hands but thin fingers. Having options is great :cheers: Thanks, Eric

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Hello: I tried the Dawson magwell last year and it does not have enough clearance for my hands at the front. The Cameron clears my hand on the bottom and front edge. The Dawson may work if you have large hands but thin fingers. Having options is great :cheers: Thanks, Eric

Same for me.

I prefer EGW's magwell, just the right size and still allows me to get a full grip.

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I just put on one of these magwells and it's by far the best one I've used. I have big mitts as well and it has plenty of room for my fingers and palm. Big improvement over the EGW I was using before.

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have anyone tried weight in these magwells ???

The Cape is the heaviest out of the 3, I've tried ( STI 1.3oz , Dawson Big Ice 1.45oz, & Cape 2oz+ ) ... Now I love the look of the Cape and its steep funnel design because it helps me with my reloads, more than the Dawson Big Ice.

I cant seem to get a good support hand grip with the cape because my fat hands... With the Dawson I didnt have this issue but with the Cape I did ... And because of the weight of the cape it changed the characteristics of my pistols movement under recoil...

I want to have the steep angle as the Cape but the room of it like the Dawson Big Ice ... Is the B.A.M. magwell have the same steep angle as the Cape ??? And how heavy is the B.A.M. compare to the Cape...

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As far as weight, the B.A.M. is made from aluminum so it should be close to the Cape in alloy. Remeber the Cape was also made in SS so you need to specify what version you are talking about when discussing weight.

As far as the shape of the magwell, I posted a pic in in post #5 with all the magwells facing up so you can see the differences. The Cape is 2nd in from the right and the B.A.M. is the far right one. As you can see they look alike with the B.A.M. having a bit deeper cavity.

Neal in AZ

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As far as weight, the B.A.M. is made from aluminum so it should be close to the Cape in alloy. Remeber the Cape was also made in SS so you need to specify what version you are talking about when discussing weight.

As far as the shape of the magwell, I posted a pic in in post #5 with all the magwells facing up so you can see the differences. The Cape is 2nd in from the right and the B.A.M. is the far right one. As you can see they look alike with the B.A.M. having a bit deeper cavity.

Neal in AZ

Neal;

I'm speaking about the Aluminum ones ... Thats what I have ...

By the looks the B.A.M.'s funnel is very similar to the Dawson and not as steep of a angle as the CAPE...

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Not to revive an old thread, but I just got a BAM for my Brazos Edge and it feels fantastic. Much more room for my bear paws and I don't have to scrunch my hand between the grip safety and the magwell. Going to get the grip undercut over the winter and it should be just about perfect for me.

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