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Magazine modification


Ty Hamby

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This is probably another one of those "ask the MD because he is the only one to send you home" type of questions, but here is goes.

Is there a rule prohibiting modification to a magazine to gain competitiveve advantage? If the magazine physically does not appear any different than a factory supplied magazine yet internally has been modified to limit it capacity. If a shooter had a normal magazine and wanted to limit its capacity from 17 rounds to 10 rounds would that be legal? Now if the wanted to permanently modify it from 10 rounds to 9 rounds would that be legal? What if an aftermarket follower for a 17 round magazine when put in a 10 round magazine now limited the magazine to only 9 rounds? Your thoughts.

Edited by Ty Hamby
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I don't see how modifying the mag to lower the capacity is a competitive advantage.

An argumentent could be made that a division capacity of 10 rounds (even number) has an advantage over the typical 11 round (odd number) gun. IDPA clubs typically set up revolver friendly stages that usually are even number rounds prior to a reload. Doing a reload for one round (as in a 12 round stage) you have engaged a single target twice.

Open up any past major match COF's. Most of the stages would favor a firearm with an even number of min. rounds required vs and odd number division capacity. While an even number division capacity pistol is not always an advantage. It is more times than not.

If you were to believe that the above is true. Then modification to a magazine would be a competitive advantage.

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depends on your gun, I got into this during the ban years with a Browning Hipower. Basically your gun must be loaded to division capacity if possible, Most double stack guns magazines are capable of 10 round reloadable. If you modified that factory form to only take 9 rounds I would say you have violated the "must" part of division capacity.

Couple excpeptions that I dealt with.

1911 9mm's and 38 supers, I found the 10 round follower kits quickly wore out and were unreliable, or wouldnt tac reload with 10 rounds in them, going back to 9 round setups was ok as that is the original factory capacity.

96 ish Hipower, I had just started IDPA and was in habit of starting 10 round in my cut down half metal half plastic mecgar mags, the mags would take 10 but zero room, nearly impossible to load with a closed slide, I had a SO insist I had to start 10 +1, I did fired the first shot and mag fell out, Next stage I told him to get bent. That evening I noticed the specs at the time from Browning said, "capacity 10 rounds, Including one in the chamber" I copied that and pulled it out once or twice.

You will almost always be better off with 9 + 1, wont get into it here as it has been hashed out many times, but I think if you take a standard 10 + 1 gun with readily available standard mags that hold 10 rounds reloadable, you will be in violation of the rules. So get yourself a .40 or 9mm 1911,

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When using the 1911 in 45 acp you can use either 7 round or 8 round magazines as long as you use the same capacity magazines throughtout the match. Since the only difference is the follower and the spring and the industry standard is now 8 rounds why would this be any different?

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Because you're not modifying an already existent magazine to get a competitive advantage.

If we are already allowed to change an M&P9 full size base pad with a compact base pad (to gain a competitive advantage) why cant I change a stock M&P full size follower with one from a compact M&P9. (For the sake of this discussion can will assume that mix matching stock followers changes magazine capacity.)

For this modification to be illegal are you also admitting that a 9 round magazine is a competitive advantage, which some IDPA experts claim is internet hype and no advantage at all.

Another thought. After searching the rulebook again I can only find reference to competition only equipment. Clearly for this discussion we are only talking about stock magazine parts. Secondly competitive advantage (according to the rulebook) is only used to describe a shooters actions during COF. Not the use of any specific equipment. I am clearly missing something here. I value your opinion. Would you elaborate your thoughts a little more please.

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If the gun you were using was never made/shipped with 9 round mags then I would rule that not legal equipment. You are altering the equipment to try and gain a competitive advantage (real or imagined).

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9 rounds is an advantage, but it doesnt apply to this discussion. Nor does "competitive advantage" We modify equipment in IDPA all the time to gain a competitive advantage. everything from trigger jobs, to mag funnels, grip texture, and lots of other things allowed by rule.

Bottom rule is the "You must load to division capacity" If I was a match official and you are shooting SSP/ESP, and didnt load 10+1 you'd have to show me an owners manual, OEM spec, or local law that stated the capacity was only 9+1. I really wouldnt even discuss it any farther.

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If the gun you were using was never made/shipped with 9 round mags then I would rule that not legal equipment. You are altering the equipment to try and gain a competitive advantage (real or imagined).

Another thought is how is it an advantage if only when based on the layout of the COF. Changing the stage removes the advantage. I have no idea upon arriving with my magazines that the MD approved 10 round stages, 11 round stages, or 12 rounds stages. The shooter has no idea what advantage their may or may not be. This is strictly an equipment parts legality question is it not? I do appriciate the opinions.

Edited by Ty Hamby
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9 rounds is an advantage, but it doesnt apply to this discussion. Nor does "competitive advantage" We modify equipment in IDPA all the time to gain a competitive advantage. everything from trigger jobs, to mag funnels, grip texture, and lots of other things allowed by rule.

Bottom rule is the "You must load to division capacity" If I was a match official and you are shooting SSP/ESP, and didnt load 10+1 you'd have to show me an owners manual, OEM spec, or local law that stated the capacity was only 9+1. I really wouldnt even discuss it any farther.

The part in bold is the key part.

I would agree with the second part.

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If the gun you were using was never made/shipped with 9 round mags then I would rule that not legal equipment. You are altering the equipment to try and gain a competitive advantage (real or imagined).

Another thought is how is it an advantage if only when based on the layout of the COF. Changing the stage removes the advantage. I have no idea upon arriving with my magazines that the MD approved 10 round stages, 11 round stages, or 12 rounds stages. The shooter has no idea what advantage their may or may not be. This is strictly an equipment parts legality question is it not? I do appriciate the opinions.

It is an equipment part legality question but the question is about modifying a part. The only reason to modify that part is competition and the only reason to do it is because the shooter decided it is an advantage. That advantage could be round count, easier to reload, even less weight in the grip, etc... The reasons for the modification are not relevant just that fact that it would be a modification strictly for the purpose of competition...........IMO.

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[quote name='Strick' timestamp='1314045278' The reasons for the modification are not relevant just that fact that it would be a modification strictly for the purpose of competition...........IMO.

I know of a lot of folks that take a blade-tech, comptac, or any holster and cut the front down to within a 1/16 of the rulebook. Clearly an equipment modification to gain a advantage. Any stock kydex legal holster functions fine without this modification yet so many do it. Is holster modifications allowed but magazine modifications are not??? We know magazine modifications are allowed in every pistol division, just not this modification?

The question came about because I live in a state that restricts magazine capacity. Springfield does not make a 10 round XD(M)9/40 magazine. When a shooter received his firearm the FFL modified his magazines to only accept 10. Upon receiving his 10 round magazines he discovered it takes a ball peen hammer to get that 10th round in. Do I send him home or let him continue to play with a division capacity or 9+1. How harsh would you be to the guy that shows up with a 9mm 1911 that tells you if I jam 10+1 the magazines wont feed the first round reliably. 9+1 it runs like a top.

Edited by Ty Hamby
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The question came about because I live in a state that restricts magazine capacity. Springfield does not make a 10 round XD(M)9/40 magazine. When a shooter received his firearm the FFL modified his magazines to only accept 10. Upon receiving his 10 round magazines he discovered it takes a ball peen hammer to get that 10th round in. Do I send him home or let him continue to play with a division capacity or 9+1. How harsh would you be to the guy that shows up with a 9mm 1911 that tells you if I jam 10+1 the magazines wont feed the first round reliably. 9+1 it runs like a top.

I think I would treat both the same way. If they were new shooters I would let them shoot their first match and tell them to get their equipment fixed or get new stuff. It is not fair to all the shooters that spend time and money to make sure their equipment is legal and runs in a legal state of tune to do otherwise. The MD and other shooters didn't pick the gear that the others have to shoot with, everybody makes their own choice..................choose wisely.

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Id send him back to the FFL that screwed up the magazines and tell him to fix them so you can get 10 rounds in.

I might agree. Still no one can quote a rule that has been broken. So it is simply an MD call. I am one that has no issue with it. I am a by the book kind of guy. Others are in the spirit of the game rulers.

To add:

It has already been quoted in this thread that competitors can not modify there magazines to accept less than division capacity. It would be legal if the manufacturer shipped the gun that way. Where is that rule I still cant find it.

Edited by Ty Hamby
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C 15. Pistols must start from the mechanical condition of

readiness appropriate to their design and be loaded to division

capacity (See Appendix One – Equipment, Firearms for

division capacity explanation). High capacity magazines must

be loaded to full division capacity of the division the contestant

is shooting in.

This is what I would look to as a starting point.

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C 15. Pistols must start from the mechanical condition of

readiness appropriate to their design and be loaded to division

capacity (See Appendix One – Equipment, Firearms for

division capacity explanation). High capacity magazines must

be loaded to full division capacity of the division the contestant

is shooting in.

This is what I would look to as a starting point.

This is referring to a magazine that is capable of accepting +10 rounds. They must be downloaded to 10. This doesnt not refer to a magazine that only accepts 9 rounds.

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C 15. Pistols must start from the mechanical condition of

readiness appropriate to their design and be loaded to division

capacity (See Appendix One – Equipment, Firearms for

division capacity explanation). High capacity magazines must

be loaded to full division capacity of the division the contestant

is shooting in.

This is what I would look to as a starting point.

This is referring to a magazine that is capable of accepting +10 rounds. They must be downloaded to 10. This doesnt not refer to a magazine that only accepts 9 rounds.

The mag you are talking about is a hi capacity mag, altering doesn't change that. The only thing the above is saying is that a hi cap mag must be loaded to division capacity, nothing more and nothing less.

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The mag you are talking about is a hi capacity mag, altering doesn't change that. The only thing the above is saying is that a hi cap mag must be loaded to division capacity, nothing more and nothing less.

Your above post refers to Appendix One for an explanation of division capacity. Here is Appendix One that refers to magazines capacity for all pistol divisions.

G. Be loaded to the division capacity of ten (10) rounds in the

magazine plus one (1) round in the chamber. Should division

capacity not be achievable because of lower magazine

capacity, load to maximum mechanical capacity of magazine

plus one (1) round in the chamber. Competitors must use the

same capacity magazines through out the competition

20

(Example: if you start with a 9 round magazine, you must use

that capacity magazine throughout the match).

I see no explanation above or else ware in the ruledook that mechanical capacity must be set buy a manufacturer. Nothing here or else ware in the rulebook restricts a competitor from modifying their magazines. If "Joe" wants to shoot with 3ea permanently modified 6 round G17 magazines what rule is being broken.

Granted I feel like we are going back and forth on this and will probably not come to an agreement. I just dont like when a shooter askes me a question and I cant tell them where in the rule book, addendum, or repository the answer lies. Someone already stated to ask the MD. This may be the only answer for me, at least for now.

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One more tidbit of food for thought. 30% of magazines at most clubs I attend including major sanctioned matches have magazines that are a mod podge of magazine parts from various vender's. Some are then ground up and cut up. sometimes the bodies of the magazines are shortened all to fit in the box. This can and sometimes does change magazine capasity. A ten round single stack 1911 magazine that is ground down to fit in the box is still a legal magazine.

If I was MD for a day. (which I have been) I would take the shooters magazines and shove rounds in each magazine. I would find the one that held the fewest rounds and verify with the SO that he is starting with that number plus one and make sure that all his other magazines on his belt have not more than the minimum amount. Until IDPA rules you cannot modify your magazines outside of factory specs, I have nothing else to go on.

Edited by Ty Hamby
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If we are already allowed to change an M&P9 full size base pad with a compact base pad (to gain a competitive advantage) why cant I change a stock M&P full size follower with one from a compact M&P9.

Because exchanging the extremely long floorplate on an M&P full-sized for the shorter floorplate off a compact isn't being done for a competitive advantage, I don't think. It's just something that anyone actually carrying this gun in real-world concealment would want to do. It's being done because that original floorplate is ridiculously long and anyone actually carrying spare magazines - or even **A** spare magazine - concealed with this gun would want to dump that sillyass floorplate and put something on it more sensible. As it is, that protuberant floorplate sticks so far forward when carried in a spare mag pouch that the floorplate of the second magazine can block you from getting your hand around the first magazine.

For the sake of this discussion can will assume that mix matching stock followers changes magazine capacity.

Let's not assume that, because I sincerely doubt it is true. ;)

For this modification to be illegal are you also admitting that a 9 round magazine is a competitive advantage, which some IDPA experts claim is internet hype and no advantage at all.

Actually I don't believe it is an advantage. For that to be true we would (1) never have courses of fire with an odd numbered round count, (2) we would never have stages with steel, (3) if we did have steel it would always be an even number of pieces, (4) no one would ever miss a shot on steel. The whole "having an even number of rounds in the gun is an advantage" saw has never washed for me. Having said that, still we're not allowed to start modifying our magazines' capacity for a competitive advantage, whether we would be kidding ourselves in that regard or not.

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We modify equipment in IDPA all the time to gain a competitive advantage. everything from trigger jobs, to mag funnels, grip texture, and lots of other things allowed by rule.

In America we have a rich history of modifying our carry guns, both to personalize them and give at least perceived better performance. Things like triggers jobs, mag funnels (yes, there are people including me who carry 1911s with mag funnels), grip texturing, etc. fall into that category. IDPA rules are intended to allow all the generally used mods that serious gun carriers routinely apply to their carry guns. However modifying our magazines to stay just as long but carry fewer rounds is not something that any sensible gun carrier would ever do.

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I know of a lot of folks that take a blade-tech, comptac, or any holster and cut the front down to within a 1/16 of the rulebook. Clearly an equipment modification to gain a advantage.

Really? A lot of folks? All my Blade-Tech and Comp-Tac holsters have speed cuts already pretty darn close to the legal limit as they come out of the package. That's just the way the holsters are designed. Honestly I can't imagine a lot of folks cutting them down further.

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