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Para-Ordnance Magazines


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I saw some other Para magazine topics, but there were all rather specfic and none were appropriate for my first questions!

Now that standard capacity magazines are available to us regular folks, I am looking at Mec-Gar brand for magazines for my trusty P14.45.

The standard Mec-Gar mag holds 13 rounds (one less than current Para factory) of .45ACP.

Now ... do the aftermarket base pads (Grams, Dawson, Arredondo, etc.) work with the Mec-Gar tubes?

If so, will the load to the same capacity at they do with factory Para tubes? Apparently the spring and follower are what reduced the standard capacity of Mec-Gar to 13, but with a Grams pad you'd use his spring and follower. Could I get 18 rounds in it with a Mec-Gar tube?

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I thought STI made the only aftermarket mag tubes worth spending money on?

Is this going to be a race only mag or a carry mag? I'd say get the STI tube, Grams follower and spring and slap a factory base pad on it an call it a day.

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Guest Larry Cazes

For over a year I shot my Dawson tuned P14-45 in Limited 10. I found that the STI for para tubes were by far the best and the PO factory to be the worst. PO is no longer producing Blued steel tubes and is instead producing ones that are nickle plated. The plating inside and out is pretty poor and causes a whole lot of friction. The steel is pretty thin as well and I found tuning done to the feedlips would only last 1000 rounds or so. As an aside FYI....STI has stopped producing all parts for the Paras, including the mag tubes. To my knowledge, they haven't announced this but it is stated in one of the skinnergrams ( sales bulletins?) on their website. So get them while you still can.

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I've used nothing but Para mag tubes in my .40 and my .45 since I got them. Found them to work really well and rarely need to tune the lips. I do use scotch brite pads on the inside when they are new to polish them, but I know a lot of people who do that with the STI mags also.

The real advantage to the para mags is capacity. I can get 22 in my .40 with the right follower and basepad and 18 in the .45. That makes a difference for me on a lot of stages.

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I have been shooting factory Para blue-black mags (.40 cal) for 5 yrs. with 0 problems. The first time I changed springs was after 2 yrs., not because of any reliability problems but more for peace of mind. The only thing that I have done to them is to keep them clean.

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i have mecgar mags for my para p16-40 and it holds 18+1. it's 1-2mm shorter than the orig para tubes. with the original para tubes, i can load 19+1. to get that 19th round in, i need to change to a different base pad (locally made), but it may not fit the box.

i know mc_oliver's mecgar holds 19+1 with his custom made base pads and it's still ipsc box legal

answering you question, since the mecgars are shorter, that may translate to that elusive 18th round not going in the mag

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Thanks, Cousin EC! That's what I needed to know. Eighteen is a tight fit with a Para tube, and not all of them will do it and still be able to insert the mag all the way. Losing a couple of millimeters is definitely not going to help. On the other hand, it sounds like they'd probably work well with 17 rounds and have enough slack room to use them for reloads. We'll see.

My Mec-Gar 10rd mags always worked better than the 10rd Para mag I had, so I expect their standard capacity mags to be first rate too.

BigDave ... the STI para mags may be great for .40, but I have a .45. They just don't hold enough rounds in .45. Usually it's 14 for a 140mm mag, but I've heard of people getting 16. The mags that are flush fit with the end of the frame (in STI guns) only hold 11! Fourteen is standard capacity for a flush fitting Para-Ordnance mag, and 16 is trivial feat with just about anyone's basepads. Eighteen rounds with the Grams kits is where it's at, baby!

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Guest Larry Cazes

Rhino, good luck with the new production PO tubes, quite a few people I know personally have experienced the same issues with the quality of the newest batch of tubes. I get 16 in my STI tubes with Dawson base pads.

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I'm lucky because I don't technically "need" any more Para mags, but it would be nice to have a few more to account for attrition by wear and tear and for any political unpleasantness coming down the pike.

Maybe they'll make some 140 and 170mm tubes some day. Or even a 30rd for use with a Mech Tech conversion!

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I use the Para plated Tubes, Para follower, Wolff Springs and Arredondo bases to get 19+1 capacity in 40. I'd get the Dawson or Gramms if I had the extra cash, but I just don't have it in me to spend another chunk of change for an extra round or two. If I need that 20th round, I didn't reload early enough. I haven't ever had to tune the feed lips on any mag and don't have any feeding issues unless I don't keep them clean.

Vince

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170mm STI for Para tubes are available from brownells. :rolleyes:

Not interested. I'm talking about 170mm Para tubes made by Para-Ordnance or someone else that makes them that will hold a similar number of rounds.

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My Para by Para mags are 5 or 6 years old and have always been 100%, they hold 19 with extended pads and imsi springs. Capacity is greater than my sti for para mags. But for reloads off the belt the long taper of the sti is hard to beat. I start with a para mag and 20 in the pistol and run 3 para by sti in the belt. Works for me. Larry

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  • 4 years later...

Just a heads up about Grams springs, and followers for the para, I talked to Bevin last week, and they are ramping up production on para p16 stuff. (I didn't ask him about other calibers.) He will be coming out with new springs, and followers, and a new base pad for the para, but it won't be ready untill the first of the year. I have Dawson pads on my other para mags, but I have purchased some new mags that I need to upgrade. My GE spring and follower kits have worked good in my open gun, so I'm waiting on his new stuff to come out and I'm going to give it a shot. I'm sure it will all be top notch.

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Old thread resurrected....

Never tried SPS, but I have had good luck with ACT-MAG, although those are P14.45 only. After the springs wear in, they hold 14 (when new the springs would not compress to hold more than 12). The Dawson extended bases fit, but I have not run the combo in a match. ACT are made in Italy.

Lee

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Old thread resurrected....

Never tried SPS, but I have had good luck with ACT-MAG, although those are P14.45 only. After the springs wear in, they hold 14 (when new the springs would not compress to hold more than 12). The Dawson extended bases fit, but I have not run the combo in a match. ACT are made in Italy.

Lee

I also bought some ACT-Mags, mostly as spare tubes for my older Para mags. The former appear to be of good quality, and a dimensional match for the Paras. I have Grams pads and followers on/in my Paras, and two of the pads have small cracks in them, so it is good news that Grams is going to reintroduce Para pads.

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I have used the MecGGAr mags in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. The 9mm and 40 S&W version do not hold then slide open after firing the last shops. I have not experienced the same problem with MecGars 45ACP mags for the PO. CDNN has the factory mags on sale for $29.99 - that would be my preference.

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I would stick with factory Para mags if shooting 45. With Grams pads, springs, and follower, mine hold 18 reloadable. I have heard of others getting 18 using Dawson pads but mine won't.

For a 9mm Para, I would also stay with Para mags. Mine have Dawson pads and hold 22 for 140mm. The other option is STI for Para but they don't make them anymore and the one I have isn't reliable like the factory Para mags. I have heard the SVI mags are better suited than STI for 9mm, especially when loaded long.

For a 40 cal, I would be tempted to use STI mags and a modified mag release. The shape of the STI allows for easier reloads while still holding as many rounds as a Para mag.

I have a few MecGar Para 45 mags that work 100% but they are only 10 rd. All other MecGar mags I have for BHP, SIG, and XD work fine.

Craig

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Can an STI .45 cal 140 mm mag (made for STI) be used in my Para P14 as long as the mag catch is modified? Same question goes for a made for STI .40 cal 140 mm mag and a Para P-16. If this could be done, I'd rather use STI mags when shooting L10.

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