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1911 Dawson Ice Magwell: Gap or No Gap?


SingingShooter
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I'm a SS USPSA shooter and am strongly considering adding a Dawson Ice magwell, and I'm not 100% sure of which magwell I should be considering.  I understand from the Dawson site that the well without a gap requires the use of proprietary Dawson base pads, and that the well with a gap does not.  I'm currently using basically brand new  Wilson Combat 8 round mags, and would to continue using them if possible.  Will these Wilson Combat mags work if I get the magwell with a gap?  If I buy the well without a gap, will the Dawson base pads fit the Wilson Combat mags?

 

Thanks for your feedback and any other considerations I should make before dropping $100+ in this magwell purchase! 

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With a gap you're probably fine, the only potential issue is if the mag is short it may not stick out the bottom enough and you'll have trouble seating it. If that is the case you'd need new base pads. If you go with the No-gap, you'll need new base pads too.

 

I think Dawson makes pads for Wilson mags either way. Check the site, I'm not 100% I never use Wilson mags.

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You will probably still want the dawson base pads.  47d's and ETM's both set fairly flush to an ICE magwell.  They will be much easier to seat with a dawson pad, but technically, they will work without the pad.

 

The Dawson IPSC magwell is shorter than the ICE, cheaper, and fancy base plates are optional.

Edited by tha1000
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I started with the ICE no gap using wilson mags.

 

Even with the dawson pads, I still had a little trouble getti g them seated.

 

Then I switch to the IPSC version, still using no gap base pads. Much easier time seating mags.

 

Also depending where you are weight wise, the dawson pads are aluminum, so they will add weight.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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I have the gap version on my 1911. As stated earlier you may have problems seating magazines under match conditions. At least I do. You need to get a good running start to make sure they seat.  In order to fit in the box, you can have only a small amount of basepad exposed beyond the Ice Magwell.  I bought the Dawson pads for my Wilson, and Colt magazines. They are advertised to be USPSA SS legal, which they are, just barely. The benefits out weigh the liabilities, of the Ice  magwell. You have a nice big funnel to aim for, and the magazines glide right in, but you need the inertia behind the magazines to insure proper seating. If not, it's bombs away after the first shot after a reload.

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Wilson 47BEN basepads, if ground down slightly, will provide length beyond the Dawson Ice magwell for positive seating *and* still fit in the USPSA box.

You can also make the 47BEN basepads work with the gapless insert, too, you just have to modify the top front of the basepad a bit.

BTW, the only difference between the gap and no-gap magwell is the insert. If you get one and want to try the other, it's just a $20 insert swap.

I can upload photos of the 47BEN modifications, if you're interested.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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34 minutes ago, N3WWN said:

Wilson 47BEN basepads, if ground down slightly, will provide length beyond the Dawson Ice magwell for positive seating *and* still fit in the USPSA box.

You can also make the 47BEN basepads work with the gapless insert, too, you just have to modify the top front of the basepad a bit.

BTW, the only difference between the gap and no-gap magwell is the insert. If you get one and want to try the other, it's just a $20 insert swap.

I can upload photos of the 47BEN modifications, if you're interested.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

 

I would greatly appreciate the photos since I have ordered the Dawson Ice gap  magwell and Wilson brand 47d extended base pads. It will be good to see where/how to make mods.  Thank you, friend!

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Basically the 1911 mag over-insertion stop is the front lip on the magazine baseplate hitting the frame at front bottom of the frame.   The Dawson no-gap magwell needs basepads that stop on the magwell ice insert, while the gap magwell leaves a gap to the front of the frame for the basepads to stop on in the traditional way.  Mixing the two pads and magwells either makes mags that won't seat or can be over-inserted at slide-lock.

 

 

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On 10/14/2019 at 9:22 AM, SingingShooter said:

 

I would greatly appreciate the photos since I have ordered the Dawson Ice gap  magwell and Wilson brand 47d extended base pads. It will be good to see where/how to make mods.  Thank you, friend!

 

I've been trying to find the old photos I had, but can't track them down.  I'm going to take some new ones for you.

 

On 10/14/2019 at 11:06 AM, shred said:

Basically the 1911 mag over-insertion stop is the front lip on the magazine baseplate hitting the frame at front bottom of the frame.   The Dawson no-gap magwell needs basepads that stop on the magwell ice insert, while the gap magwell leaves a gap to the front of the frame for the basepads to stop on in the traditional way.  Mixing the two pads and magwells either makes mags that won't seat or can be over-inserted at slide-lock.

 

 

 

Yup!  Definitely not a mix and match approach.  Use one or the other.  The nice thing about the Ice insert and the 47BEN basepads is that it's relatively inexpensive to switch the insert and all basepads.

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With the standard basepads, the mags are flush with the bottom of the Ice magwell... perhaps even a little recessed.

 

With the 47BEN basepads, the mags extend below the magwell, but too far to fit in the box:

 

20191016_100548.thumb.jpg.c6d7c8c84f222b4e7e14b885eaae9eba.jpg

 

Removing some of the front-bottom of the basepad fixes this:

 

20191016_100336.thumb.jpg.6ae303b9c190d43dda679cbe7b615094.jpg

 

 

The factory sights are taller than the Kensight rear + Brazos front combo that I have, so there's actually a little extra room with my combo and just enough room with factory sights.

 

Details on the basepad modifications in another post...

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Comparison of the modified (left) and stock (right) 47BEN basepads on 10mm mags:

 

20191016_100636.thumb.jpg.c1ea9800fda37bb13a80ec331a5ca516.jpg

 

I add a tiny square of grip tape to the back and then glue+grit the left side of the basepad to aid in a good purchase from the belt and also removal of stuck mags.

 

I take little to no material off the back (pre-mod and post-mod are both ~0.580"):

 

20191016_100730.thumb.jpg.e7fb777d0de76e919206d2497e918e4c.jpg

 

20191016_100751.thumb.jpg.5d85030365219cdd61dd45508a4643e8.jpg

 

I use tape to create a straight line to about where the mold parting line is visible (~0.510").  After the tape is applied, I use a bench grinder to remove most of the material to the tape and then some 60 grit sandpaper up through 400 grit sandpaper to finish the job:

 

20191016_100823.thumb.jpg.0699fee795a4e6baef55989efa76589e.jpg

 

20191016_100808.thumb.jpg.8c166cafcb3d627e13b6c177def195cb.jpg

 

An unmodified 47BEN is about 0.721":

20191016_100905.thumb.jpg.32b702d8c2a72600130306b8caf684b8.jpg

 

Ice insert photos and gapless mods to come...

 

 

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Original basepads are only 0.350":

 

20191016_101119.thumb.jpg.467b801ccb167b50c4110fbbea58c678.jpg

 

20191016_101047.thumb.jpg.b587ce49e96f8019d404feab9b90e4bf.jpg

 

Lots more basepad with the modified 47BENs!

 

Dawson Ice "gap" insert:

 

20191016_101454.jpg.768964bdab948fda0a404aa74ba09343.jpg

 

Dawson Ice "no-gap/gapless" insert:

 

20191016_101513.thumb.jpg.4795bd5d7461a351df330e12535d7627.jpg

 

Mods for the top-front of the mags are more trial and error and the photos don't really capture it.  Basically, you want to conform the top of the basepad with the Ice insert so that they meet after the mag seats but before overinsertion...

 

20191016_102054.jpg.2b535213adcb5a365eea33655dce90f0.jpg

 

20191016_102114.jpg.2a391039c7c8cf204597bfb4c3e395a2.jpg

 

20191016_102147.thumb.jpg.90bd37937eb70ac02d2adade4281188b.jpg

 

Let me know if you want other photos, dimensions, etc or have any other questions. 😎 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/12/2019 at 7:16 PM, GBertolet said:

I have the gap version on my 1911. As stated earlier you may have problems seating magazines under match conditions. At least I do. You need to get a good running start to make sure they seat.  In order to fit in the box, you can have only a small amount of basepad exposed beyond the Ice Magwell.  I bought the Dawson pads for my Wilson, and Colt magazines. They are advertised to be USPSA SS legal, which they are, just barely. The benefits out weigh the liabilities, of the Ice  magwell. You have a nice big funnel to aim for, and the magazines glide right in, but you need the inertia behind the magazines to insure proper seating. If not, it's bombs away after the first shot after a reload.

 

If I didn't know better, I'd think you watched me shoot last weekend. With the Ice funnel I had reload failure on nearly every reload. Hitting the funnel fast wasn't the issue, it was getting the damned thing to lock in. Killed my match.

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