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Setting up P18 mags with Dawson Basepads. Need inserts?


soulbyte

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A little while back I was able to get blued Canadian factory Para 38 super mags to feed 9mm reliably through my P18.9 by compressing the mag bodies and switching to ISMI 140mm springs. The original mags came with +2 para basepads to hold 20 total.


Now I know 9mm is not going to be competitive shooting anything else but production in USPSA unless I load 9 major in Open, but I would consider myself a novice and only shoot club matches (limited minor) and steel.


I made the decision to purchase Dawson Extended basepads to add 3 if not a couple more rounds. I was told that I wouldn't need basepad inserts so didn't get them at the time. Well to make a long story short, I shot a steel match last Thursday and during one of the runs one of mags topped off with 22 rounds stopped feeding. When loading to capacity one of the rounds toward the base of the mag would move itself between the follower and the mag body. If I loaded to 20 it would feed reliable, which kinda defeats the purpose of buying the dawson basepads because my stock mags already fed 20.


Today I ordered Arendondo purple inserts for 38 super from Dawson to remedy the problem. The problem is when doing research for the Para mag/Dawson basepad nobody mentions needing the insert, just spring, follower, body and base. I should mention that most of the forums I searched the were shooting 16.40 or 14.45.


Finally my questions. Do I need mag inserts like the arendondo to make 38super or 9mm run reliable in the factory blue para mags with dawson basepads? How my more rounds should the Dawson basepads add over factory when loading 9mm? Should I get Arendondo followers too? What spring, follower, basepad combos work best for you?


I realize this is a long post, so thanks for taking the time to read it, and thanks for your advice in advance.

Edited by soulbyte
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Sounds like your follower is getting stuck during the transition to the mag body from the basepad. You should just have to trim the followers as instructed by DP. They have a video on their website on how to do it.

You should get 22-24 rounds of 9mm with a Para mag body,DP extended base pad,Ismi Para 140mm mag spring and a trimmed factory Para mag follower. I have ran a couple arrenndondo Para followers with good success ,even without trimming them.

Edited by ParaGunner
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ParaGunner, thank you for the reply. I radiused and beveled the factory follower as instructed when I installed the basepads for the first time. I did notice that happening, but the round jumping between the follower the ant mag body happened after while running 22 rounds. I guess my real question is do I really need the basepad inserts? And, how many rounds should I be getting? I am able to fit 21 rounds fine in all four and a tight fitting 22 in a couple.

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Ok I'll try trimming the follower down a little more, thanks. OAL is 1.15 and shoot both 115gr and 124gr. I'v tried as short as 1.12 and as long as 1.16 and run fine, but 1.15 seems to be the sweet spot. I should say that I am extremely new to reloading, like this year new, so I'm still learning :)

Edited by soulbyte
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My Circa 1999 P18 runs with 1.200 OAL 124 FMj just fine. Found this out by experimentation. But I don't load that long normally.

You will need the Arrendondo inserts or the follower will twist in the bottom and hang up.

Some of my mags hold 21. Never got 22 in any of them so you are lucky. Usually I just load 20 and not worry about it.

Craig

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I can't speak to the P18, but for my P16 mags I run the inserts and still get occasional salt-shakers. Another Para shooter told me that he had the same issue and fixed it by soldering .055" diameter wire into the mags to extend the grooves all the way to the basepad and then trimmed the insert at the top of the basepad. Said he hasn't had any issues since. I've been meaning to try that on my mags but haven't had the time yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Odd. I get 21 reloadable in my P16-40 mags with Dawson pads. I do hear a salt shaker effect when loaded to capacity, but it has yet to affect feeding for me. I do load long (1.180), so there's that. Any luck finding true 9mm mags for your gun? I feel like you should be able to get more than 22 rounds in 9mm...

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  • 2 months later...

I'm getting 21 reloadable. I beveled the follower and where the mag and base pad come together to make a smooth transition. Only time I here the rattle is if I load the mag half full for a short stage or speed stage. No problems with function even if there is some noise

16-40 para

Edited by jcc7x7
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  • 4 weeks later...

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