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I am confused about Para Pro Custom 18.9 magazines


BluePuma

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I and my brother each bought one of these on closeout a little while ago, which gives us each 2 magazines. I have read every single thread on this subject, and am still confused.

It is my understanding that it is the magwell funnel design that prevents other brands from fitting in there properly and locking. Is this the case, or am I wrong? Are there magazines that will work with the magwell funnel that came on the pistol? Will a 170 mm <brand?> magazine work with the magwell funnel? Should I change the magwell funnel in order to allow me to use other magazines, or is that not the problem. Would that work? I was waiting but now I have a class I want to use this thing for next week...

I know that there are expected to be aftermarket ones in the "near" future too, but I kinda need something soon.

I am sorry to be a little slow about this, but there have been so many threads and off topic comments, it is hard to figure it out.

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You can use other para mags with the PPC 18.9 if you want to remove the magwell. I like having the magwell on there so that limits me to two magazines. I was able to trade one of my other gues for a second PPC 18.9 so now I have 2 guns and 4 mags between them. That's enough for me to be able to shoot steel challenge with.

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Yep Zack said it right, if you want to use other mags just remove the magwell. The Pro Custom mags are longer than the older para mags so they would clear the Dawson magwell. In the old days you would shorten the frame from the bottom slightly to get enough clearance for mags to work with a magwell. The mid 2000's para mags seem to work on most PC's if !) you can find them and 2) you put Dawson base pads on them. The shoulders of the Dawson pads match the angle of the Dawson magwell to give just enough room. That's not 100% guaranteed as there are some slight length variances in older Para mags. I have some really old .38 super mags that are just to short to lock in with the magwell on, even with Dawson pads. I also was able to get a small supply of 2000s ish 9mm and .38 super mags that I was able to get to work perfect with my PC 18.9. Another option is to try an STI 140mm 9mm magazine. I was at a match and tried one for fit and it would lock in no problem. Now I just use STI mags with TTI base pads,springs and followers for 24 rounds of 9mm in my PC 18.9. My buddy's PC 18.9 would not take the STI mags at all. They would stick inside the frame and have to be knocked out from the top. He's using my older Para mags with the Dawson pads for matches. If you do try STI's and can't borrow one before to try, buy from a place that has a good return policy if they don't work. Hope this helps!

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Yep Zack said it right, if you want to use other mags just remove the magwell. The Pro Custom mags are longer than the older para mags so they would clear the Dawson magwell. In the old days you would shorten the frame from the bottom slightly to get enough clearance for mags to work with a magwell. The mid 2000's para mags seem to work on most PC's if !) you can find them and 2) you put Dawson base pads on them. The shoulders of the Dawson pads match the angle of the Dawson magwell to give just enough room. That's not 100% guaranteed as there are some slight length variances in older Para mags. I have some really old .38 super mags that are just to short to lock in with the magwell on, even with Dawson pads. I also was able to get a small supply of 2000s ish 9mm and .38 super mags that I was able to get to work perfect with my PC 18.9. Another option is to try an STI 140mm 9mm magazine. I was at a match and tried one for fit and it would lock in no problem. Now I just use STI mags with TTI base pads,springs and followers for 24 rounds of 9mm in my PC 18.9. My buddy's PC 18.9 would not take the STI mags at all. They would stick inside the frame and have to be knocked out from the top. He's using my older Para mags with the Dawson pads for matches. If you do try STI's and can't borrow one before to try, buy from a place that has a good return policy if they don't work. Hope this helps!

I'm going to try another route. Searching for old Para mags wasn't going very well for me and mine is one of the 18.9's that doesn't like new STI mags, too tight. stuck in the gun, had to dissemble to remove.

I have a couple of BUL M5 mags with my factory para base plates installed (18 rounds) that are working so at least I can shoot a match but they seem kind of flimsy and are just a bit loose in the gun. So.... I ordered 2 140 mm mags from SPS in Spain yesterday. Another user reported pretty good luck with a couple 170 mm big sticks from there. (Thanks JMontie)

http://spsshop.es/magazines-paraordsps-enduromac-c-26_38.html

I ordered them with the std plastic floor plates, total cost for both with exchange and shipping was under $135, so I figured I'd give them a try. I'll report when they show up and I get an opportunity to shoot them.

RTL

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RTL...Great advice...I saw those and am really interested in them as well. Though I've solved my problem, I'm really trying to help my buddy (who cant run the STI's) to find a good source of reliable mags. Here's what I was looking at:

http://grabagun.com/sps-mac-3011-38-9m-20rd-mag-alm.html

Let us know how they run. Oh.. So you can put para basepads on the MAC SPS? If that's the case, I bet TTI and Dawson's would fit to get extra rounds in the gun.

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RTL...Great advice...I saw those and am really interested in them as well. Though I've solved my problem, I'm really trying to help my buddy (who cant run the STI's) to find a good source of reliable mags. Here's what I was looking at:

http://grabagun.com/sps-mac-3011-38-9m-20rd-mag-alm.html

Let us know how they run. Oh.. So you can put para basepads on the MAC SPS? If that's the case, I bet TTI and Dawson's would fit to get extra rounds in the gun.

I put the Para bases on the BUL M5 mags, they wouldn't clear the magwell stock. I'm hoping the TTI &/or Dawson might fit the SPS, I'll see when they come in. I have Arredondos on my factory mags and I will try them on the SPS too.

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Ok rtl got it.. If the arrendonos fit, the others should fit the mags too. Locking in is a different story but those SPS seem long. I ran arrendonos for about 10 years on my p16-40 till I switched to the Dawson to pick up a couple extra rounds.

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Yep Zack said it right, if you want to use other mags just remove the magwell. The Pro Custom mags are longer than the older para mags so they would clear the Dawson magwell. In the old days you would shorten the frame from the bottom slightly to get enough clearance for mags to work with a magwell. The mid 2000's para mags seem to work on most PC's if !) you can find them and 2) you put Dawson base pads on them. The shoulders of the Dawson pads match the angle of the Dawson magwell to give just enough room. That's not 100% guaranteed as there are some slight length variances in older Para mags. I have some really old .38 super mags that are just to short to lock in with the magwell on, even with Dawson pads. I also was able to get a small supply of 2000s ish 9mm and .38 super mags that I was able to get to work perfect with my PC 18.9. Another option is to try an STI 140mm 9mm magazine. I was at a match and tried one for fit and it would lock in no problem. Now I just use STI mags with TTI base pads,springs and followers for 24 rounds of 9mm in my PC 18.9. My buddy's PC 18.9 would not take the STI mags at all. They would stick inside the frame and have to be knocked out from the top. He's using my older Para mags with the Dawson pads for matches. If you do try STI's and can't borrow one before to try, buy from a place that has a good return policy if they don't work. Hope this helps!

I'm going to try another route. Searching for old Para mags wasn't going very well for me and mine is one of the 18.9's that doesn't like new STI mags, too tight. stuck in the gun, had to dissemble to remove.

I have a couple of BUL M5 mags with my factory para base plates installed (18 rounds) that are working so at least I can shoot a match but they seem kind of flimsy and are just a bit loose in the gun. So.... I ordered 2 140 mm mags from SPS in Spain yesterday. Another user reported pretty good luck with a couple 170 mm big sticks from there. (Thanks JMontie)

http://spsshop.es/magazines-paraordsps-enduromac-c-26_38.html

I ordered them with the std plastic floor plates, total cost for both with exchange and shipping was under $135, so I figured I'd give them a try. I'll report when they show up and I get an opportunity to shoot them.

RTL

Did they say the 170s worked (with the magwell funnel)? If so I will order. However, I also want to wait to see if the 140 you ordered works with the stock pro custom magwell funnel. I guess I wont have 'em before that class either way, but at least I'll have some more soon.

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Yep Zack said it right, if you want to use other mags just remove the magwell. The Pro Custom mags are longer than the older para mags so they would clear the Dawson magwell. In the old days you would shorten the frame from the bottom slightly to get enough clearance for mags to work with a magwell. The mid 2000's para mags seem to work on most PC's if !) you can find them and 2) you put Dawson base pads on them. The shoulders of the Dawson pads match the angle of the Dawson magwell to give just enough room. That's not 100% guaranteed as there are some slight length variances in older Para mags. I have some really old .38 super mags that are just to short to lock in with the magwell on, even with Dawson pads. I also was able to get a small supply of 2000s ish 9mm and .38 super mags that I was able to get to work perfect with my PC 18.9. Another option is to try an STI 140mm 9mm magazine. I was at a match and tried one for fit and it would lock in no problem. Now I just use STI mags with TTI base pads,springs and followers for 24 rounds of 9mm in my PC 18.9. My buddy's PC 18.9 would not take the STI mags at all. They would stick inside the frame and have to be knocked out from the top. He's using my older Para mags with the Dawson pads for matches. If you do try STI's and can't borrow one before to try, buy from a place that has a good return policy if they don't work. Hope this helps!

I'm going to try another route. Searching for old Para mags wasn't going very well for me and mine is one of the 18.9's that doesn't like new STI mags, too tight. stuck in the gun, had to dissemble to remove.

I have a couple of BUL M5 mags with my factory para base plates installed (18 rounds) that are working so at least I can shoot a match but they seem kind of flimsy and are just a bit loose in the gun. So.... I ordered 2 140 mm mags from SPS in Spain yesterday. Another user reported pretty good luck with a couple 170 mm big sticks from there. (Thanks JMontie)

http://spsshop.es/magazines-paraordsps-enduromac-c-26_38.html

I ordered them with the std plastic floor plates, total cost for both with exchange and shipping was under $135, so I figured I'd give them a try. I'll report when they show up and I get an opportunity to shoot them.

RTL

Did they say the 170s worked (with the magwell funnel)? If so I will order. However, I also want to wait to see if the 140 you ordered works with the stock pro custom magwell funnel. I guess I wont have 'em before that class either way, but at least I'll have some more soon.

the big sticks shouldn't have any issues with the magwell but you might PM JMontie to confirm

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I've been able to get STI 140's to run in mine but its taken ALLOT of massaging....think dremel, belt sanders, squishing in a bench vise, etc. :surprise: There was a huge variance in the shape/size of the 3 that I got and some needed more work than others but the biggest struggle with all of them was to get them to drop free. These mags certainly won't win any beauty contests after being worked over but they are running 100% now although they won't lock back...but I guess I can live with that for now.

My other big frustration was with the factory mags coming apart. Running at indoor matches and having the factory mags hit the concrete floor would cause them to explode in a yard sale of parts just about every time. Springs in one direction, followers in another, base pads who knows where. It got to be a pretty comical sight after awhile with the local shooting squad. :roflol:

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Same with the 14.45 I just picked up. I found a couple of used ones from a Black Ops that appear to be the longer tubes. Waiting on them to come in. Dawson pads will work on the longer tubes. Not sure about Arrendondo's though. I am looking for another para mag myself.

Supposedly Para is going to make another run of mags, they just could not tell me when.

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PieEye, So you had a frame that STI mags would stick in, I mean really stick, as in having to be knocked out from the top? You were able to squeeze them and get them to drop free? Did the sanding or squeezing work the best? I'm curious cause a buddy has a PC 18.9 that STI's stick in. I wondered if this could be done. I'm still confused as to why one frame (mine) has all the space in the world for STI mags. They go in no trouble. Then my buddy's is so tight its like a different frame. Different casting molds?

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PieEye, So you had a frame that STI mags would stick in, I mean really stick, as in having to be knocked out from the top? You were able to squeeze them and get them to drop free? Did the sanding or squeezing work the best? I'm curious cause a buddy has a PC 18.9 that STI's stick in. I wondered if this could be done. I'm still confused as to why one frame (mine) has all the space in the world for STI mags. They go in no trouble. Then my buddy's is so tight its like a different frame. Different casting molds?

That's a good question but I wonder if a good smith could modify the frame to run with the STI's rather than have to individually modify the mags every time you get a new one. It's usually best to modify the cheaper, non-serialized part but still. I'm really hoping the SPS will run OK, the 2 of them were less than the cost of one, not yet available, US made mag. I read PieEye's description of the mags exploding on the floor and almost blew coffee out my nose. I haven't had that problem but our local matches are run outside in soft sandy soil.

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PieEye, So you had a frame that STI mags would stick in, I mean really stick, as in having to be knocked out from the top? You were able to squeeze them and get them to drop free? Did the sanding or squeezing work the best? I'm curious cause a buddy has a PC 18.9 that STI's stick in. I wondered if this could be done. I'm still confused as to why one frame (mine) has all the space in the world for STI mags. They go in no trouble. Then my buddy's is so tight its like a different frame. Different casting molds?

I'm not sure if its the frames that are different dimensions/tolerances or if its that the STI mags can be so different mag to mag but my guess is its a combination of both. I do know that out of the 3 STI's I bought one would go in tight and not drop free but would come out with a strong shake, one would go all the way in but it was so tight it had to be knocked out from the top, and the 3rd wouldn't even go 3 inches into the gun before getting stuck. Once I got over the horror of beating the !@#$ out of brand new $65 mags that I wouldn't be able to return it just came down to a matter of time, testing, beating, pounding, sanding, testing and repeating until it would run right. :roflol:

As far as sanding or squeezing, I'd prefer the sanding/grinding as a first choice. Squeezing would work to an extent but then often create issues with the followers not running right. I wouldn't realize that until I'd put the mag back together and then have to go back, take it apart and re-squeeze to corrected the issue. Then the mag would bind up again and I'd start all over. All in all, I probably have 3-4 hours of beating on the 3 mags to get them to run right but at least now I have a total of 5 usable mags including the two factory's.

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PieEye, thanks for the details. Man that's some work! I'm hoping for a good report about those SPS mags.. TrippleK makes a 20 round 9mm para mag. Has anyone tried one of those ? I wonder who actually made the mags for para?

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I e-mailed w/ triple k, an they didn't know if either magazine they have would work with the magwell. I looked at the sps website, and by comparing the measurements they show on their magazines and measuring the OEM mags, they sure make it seem like the 140s would fit.

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One of the other threads said that the mags from BattleReady work if you change the base. I ordered a couple and some pads from another link. The mags just came.

I'll report back as soon as I get a chance to try them.

93adc1d1bf20acff3377d353e1fdda96.jpg

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The tubes look almost identical to the factory mags. They fit but will not lock in because the base plate stops them from going up any further. The tube alone snaps into place and drops free.

These are the baseplates I ordered, https://www.gunpartscorp.com/ad/1371120.htm#1371120 they are not here yet so I guess I'll take the baseplate that came with the mag out in my shop and see if I can belt sand the correct angle to match the magwell.

I'd try the factory bases but I can't get them off and I don't want to risk breaking them.

ed4da0d5842a0a3bbcb7afb35edceb76.jpg

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So far so good!

A little sanding and they lock right in and drop free, They function by hand but the slide does not lock back on the empty mag. I can live with that for now. I actually sanded a little too much. The empty mag rattles in the gun. If you take your time sanding you could probably get a snug fit and eliminate the rattle. The bottom of the mag sits pretty flush with the magwell. The Para baseplates I ordered look longer but I'll have to see when they get here.

Next step is live fire.

Factory mag on right, middle is sanded to fit, and left one is the way they came.

03092726fffff21a5d9beffb5b1b1e9a.jpg

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Now that is progress AaronS!!! The factory basepads are a bear to get off. You just have to get the insert pushed down far enough in the mag body and slide the pad while still pushing the insert so that it doesn't come back up and catch the back of the pad and lock it up. The Dawson pads are so much easier to deal with and have the correct shoulder angle to match the magwell. You still need those inserts with the Dawson pads though. Nice!

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