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ck1

Wilson 9mm ETM Gen2 mags short OAL?

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Been part-time running an 9mm 1911 again because I guess I like making life complicated lol... but hey, it’s worth it when they work because they’re so fun!

 

Anyways, I bought a bunch of the Wilson Combat ETM Gen2 mags (12), and they’re pretty good for the most part... but the issue I’m having is that they’re pretty much forcing me to use the shortest OAL ammo I have in my stockpile which is mostly pricier  “match” stuff, and any kind of cheaper,  “normal/average” practice stuff, FMJ like Blazer Brass 124’s, Magtech 124’s, and S&B 124’s is too long and just gets stuck/jammed in the tubes at the front and back (I’ve been prying them up/out with a Glock tool, it sucks). They load up ok, but get stuck on the way up (usually every other round or so, it’s terrible).


I don’t reload, so I can’t really control OAL other than by what I buy as far as ammo, and I would like to use the cheaper stuff for most practice.

 

All the mags are pretty new, and I haven’t stuck calipers on them yet, but it seems to happen with all of them so I don’t really think it’s a case where the tubes are bulged or something like that.


Really the only ammo I have that works 100% with them is the Federal Syntech 150gr “action pistol” stuff which is flat-nose and really really short. Really short. But, most of the “match” loads I buy are 147gr round-nose that are loaded pretty short to work in CZ’s, so they’re pretty short too, but still too long to work 100% reliably in the Wilson mags...

 

Has anyone else experienced this with these mags? 

 

Thinking I might need to try some different magazines if this is just how the Wilson’s are...
 


 

 

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Is your barrel ramped?  I've been using Metalform or Brownell's 9MM mags (they are the same, the Brownell's are coated) and they just run. I do reload and have been for several decades. I guess I have a "feel" for the length of what will work. 

Try 1 or 2 of the Metalform or Brownell's mag. Don't spend a bunch of money on mags before you try a small sample of them.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dan Sierpina said:

Is your barrel ramped?  I've been using Metalform or Brownell's 9MM mags (they are the same, the Brownell's are coated) and they just run. I do reload and have been for several decades. I guess I have a "feel" for the length of what will work. 

Try 1 or 2 of the Metalform or Brownell's mag. Don't spend a bunch of money on mags before you try a small sample of them.

 


Yeah, ramped barrel, older STI, runs like a top... when the mags work that is.

 

I’ve probably tried every 9mm 1911 mag out there twice over, I know the Metalform/Brownells mags you’re talking about well, they’re the same as the Dawson’s too (except for the basepad), and they are pretty good indeed...

I used to have a handful of them that I used to run if I needed 10-rounders (more than a few years back), because that said, going more than a few years back (and even maybe today) IMHO nothing could beat the Rob Leatham designed Metalform “Springfield-style” 9-rounders with the crimp running down the front, they were the best 9mm 1911 magazines out full stop (still might be), and under old IDPA rules it was nearly always an advantage to use the 9-rounders. I don’t always shoot IDPA, but when I do, I shoot a 9mm 1911 😆 

 

Fast-forward to 2020, and deciding to start shooting the 1911 in IDPA again sometimes, after having gotten rid of most of my 1911 stuff, I decided to get some new 10-rounders because of the rule changes where round dumping is fine now...

 

Well, I was looking up something about 9mm 1911’s or IDPA or both, and I stumble upon a few pics of The Great One himself’s current setup (well, as of 2/20); TGO’s running 10rd Wilson Gen2 ETM’s! So figured if they’re good enough for him (and I don’t think he's even sponsored by Wilson), they’re probably fine for the rest of us lol... I think I might just be kind of finding out the hard way that they like short OAL rounds...

 

I’m not too worried about what I spent on them because I bought them from Brownells and I’ve never used their super-duper return/exchange policy ever, and after the thousands I’ve spent with them over the years, it probably won’t hurt my karma too much if I have to exchange them...

 

The mags are actually pretty solid, mine are just short and only will do the short rounds... part of me is wondering if I may have gotten a “bad batch” if the short OAL problem isn’t something others’ are seeing..?

 

 

 

Edited by ck1

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I've only got the one Wilson Gen 2*, but it Just Works (The Gen 0 and Gen 1 were not 100% so I gave them away to somebody with a compatible gun.)

I do reload, I'd have to measure a 147 Xtreme to see what it handles.

 

But if yours are not working with factory loads, it is time to talk to Wilson.  

I note that in addition to their own branded ammo, they sell Speer, Federal, and PMC 124 gr FMJ. 

 

*I LAMR with Tripp and reload with my treasured CMC XP but when Chip sold out to his old buddy Bill, and Bill discontinued the XP, I bought one each Wilson Gen 2 and New CMC Range Pro to see what to do if my XPs wore out.  Both are OK with my ammo in my guns.

 

I have some of the first Metalform 10x9mm and they are kind of weird, I use them for practice.  Current production, especially under Dawson trademark, gets good reviews.

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I had huge mag problems with the 1911 Open gun I built for SCSA.  I first tried the new Wilson ETMs because I run them in my 45s and the function perfectly.  Not so in 9mm.  Same with McCormicks.  Sent them back to Brownell's and ordered their 9mm mags.  I did get them to work after conditioning the springs.  In my experience, 10-round 9mm mags feed or not depending on where the mag catch cut is located.  Said the other way, where the mag catch shelf sits.

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Thanks for the comments guys. I'm going to get out the calipers and try and see if I can figure out if indeed all the mags I've got are in spec and nothing is wonky about them. Probably going to have to give Wilson a call...

 

As an aside, stumbled upon some pics of the now discontinued Chip McCormick 9mm XP mags: looks like I may have missed the boat on those! That design looks awesome as it looks pretty much like a hybrid of the "Springfield-style" mag and a 10-rounder with the cartridges sitting at the back of the tube and the crease at the front... Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but does seem a little fishy that they got discontinued right around the same time Wilson Combat acquired CMC LLC, the reviews out there on the XP mags are all stellar and on average much better than the ETM mags, hope Wilson didn't kill them off because they were too good lol!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, zzt said:

In my experience, 10-round 9mm mags feed or not depending on where the mag catch cut is located.  Said the other way, where the mag catch shelf sits.

 

I know what you mean... I had a gun a while back that I had to install the EGW mag catch that sits the shelf up higher and with that gun it worked perfectly, cured it.

 

But with the gun I'm shooting now, the mags sit up pretty good as-is; though, I did try holding the mags up higher and/or putting it on a bench pushing on the mag bases to get the mags up as high as possible in the frame and it wasn't really an improvement, if anything it actually seemed to cause an issue because rounds were nosing-up too steep and getting caught at the top of the chamber at the hood...

 

Kind of amazingly, I'm really not having any nose-dive issues at all which is usually the achilles of 9mm 1911's. EXCEPT, when the rounds just plain get stuck in the tube which is what my main problem is lol!

 

I'm really starting to think with 9mm 1911 mags (assuming they accomadate most OAL's) that having the spacer at the front rather than the back of the tube is better, because it isn't as steep of an angle to the chamber when the slide strips off rounds... if all else fails I might just end up having to go back to the 9rd Springfield-style mags because reliability > capacity IMO.

Edited by ck1

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I have a full set (6) Wilson ETM mags and a full set of Tripp mags for my single stack open gun.  

 

The Wilsons ran fine right out of the box, but you do have to load them short to fit in the mag. Max OAL is about 1.14”. 

 

The Tripps had to be left loaded for about 3 weeks for the springs to take a set. After that, they ran fine. I can get a little longer OAL with the Tripps. About 1.155”

 

 

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23 hours ago, ck1 said:

 

 

As an aside, stumbled upon some pics of the now discontinued Chip McCormick 9mm XP mags: looks like I may have missed the boat on those! That design looks awesome as it looks pretty much like a hybrid of the "Springfield-style" mag and a 10-rounder with the cartridges sitting at the back of the tube and the crease at the front... Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but does seem a little fishy that they got discontinued right around the same time Wilson Combat acquired CMC LLC, the reviews out there on the XP mags are all stellar and on average much better than the ETM mags, hope Wilson didn't kill them off because they were too good lol!

 

Nothing fishy.  It was reported that Bill thinks a 1950 rear spacer is better than a front spacer.  

 

I bought some of the very first Metalform 10x9 and was dismayed to find they had rear spacers instead of the Springfield/Leatham/Metalform front spacer.  I still have them but they all have Super springs and followers which feed and slide stop better than the original layout did after it got a little wear.  Everybody speaks well of Dawson magazines, which are made for them by Metalform, maybe they have the bugs out.

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7 hours ago, Jim Watson said:

 

Nothing fishy.  It was reported that Bill thinks a 1950 rear spacer is better than a front spacer.  

 

I bet he does, adding the plastic spacer in the rear of the tube is probably MUCH cheaper to manufacture than what's needed to put the crease down the font of the tube lol! Don't forget he'll also sell you a $500 Glock with a stipple job and sights for $1300+ hahaha!

 

I still think a spacer at the front is a better design. It's just physics, a front spacer presents the cartridges at a much shallower angle and gives more lock-time for the rounds to get out of the mags and into the chamber. With the spacer at the rear of the tube, the cartridges get stripped off at a pretty steep angle with very little room for error before the slide completely closes. Hence the "clunk-clunk" of the rounds hitting the ramp before then going into the chamber with the rear spacer mags... This is actually a very simple thing for one to test if you hand-cycle a 10rd rear-spacer mag back-to-back with one of the 9rd Metalform Springfield-style mags, it's night and day.

That said, besides giving up a round of capacity, the Springfield-style mags' springs tend to wear out fairly fast and then they don't go to slide-lock reliably, not to mention disassembly for cleaning is a PIA and potentially dangerous with them if you forget to wear eye protection.

 

Anyways, I got out the calipers and did some measuring of my Gen2 ETM mags compared to the Springfield-style mags, and also the ammo I have been running, and found some numbers that kind of back up what I've been seeing:

 

With both types of mags the feed lips run about 8.1mm/.31" in width, and all 12 of the Wilson mags were really close/consistent.

 

The length inside the mag tubes was very different between the two types though, the Springfield-style are 30.8mm/1.21" vs the ETM's 29.6mm/1.16" - The Wilson mags are much shorter inside.

 

I measured 7 different types of 9mm rounds I've got on hand, ranging from the Syntech 150gr flat-nose at 28.2mm/1.11" OAL (shortest, and pretty much the only rounds that are reliable in the ETM's) to Sellier & Bellot 124gr round-nose at 29.4mm/1.157" OAL (longest I've got, and basically a no-go in the ETM's, which adds up since there's only 0.2mm of clearance...).

 

The Blazer Brass 124gr that was giving me all kinds of trouble the other day measured out to 29.2mm/1.149" OAL (not much better in the ETM's than the S&B 124's with only 0.4mm's of clearance). My few different 147gr round-nose "small shop match loads" all measured 28.8mm/1.133" OAL (which might explain why they kinda sorta run in the ETM's because they're shortish).

 

One thing I did kind of discover when hand-cycling/testing all the different rounds through the mags was that once the springs in the ETM's had a little "room to breath", say with 6-8rds remaining, they would feed the longer rounds... The ETM springs are still so stiff that I think that is a contributing factor.

 

So, for now, I loaded up all my ETM's and am going to let them sit for a day or so until I can make it out to shoot again and see what I get... I'm thinking that hopefully they may run better if the springs take a set and soften up a bit... I've had them all loaded up and had let them sit for a couple days already before I first used them, but I'm not sure it was enough, so I'm giving them another go. 

 

If they are still not running right, then I'm going to have to exchange them and try some different ones because I'm not going to burn through hundreds and hundreds of rounds hoping they'll start to work. Build-quality-wise the ETM's seem great, so I really want them to work, but if they only work with short OAL ammo and that's it, they'll have to go...

 

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Interesting post. I have 3 9mm 1911s and use the 10 rnd ETM mags pretty much exclusively with a handful of factory mags thrown in.

Some are older and some are newer but I have at least 13 of the ETM mags in rotation.

Old 9mm load was a 147gr extreme loaded to 1.145". Not exceptionally long but I experienced no issues with the ETM in any gun with this load.

Switched to coated bullets for new ammo but my wife is still shooting out the stash of the old plated load with these guns.



Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

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So, I let the ETM mags sit fully loaded for a few more days, then took them out to the range yesterday...

I was hoping the springs would soften up and/or take a set after having sat for about a week in total, as they sat loaded for a few days before I first used them, then I used them a bit, then I loaded them up and had them sit again... didn't seem to do much.

 

I still experienced all kinds of issues with anything loaded longer than the Syntech 150's at 1.11" OAL... Again, no nose-dive issues at all, just issues with rounds just getting plain stuck in the mag tubes and not even making it out of the tubes, or jams where the rounds were locking up when getting caught with the nose of the rounds at the top of the chamber and the backs of the rounds just barely out of the top of the tubes (think it's a case of the stuck rounds getting knocked loose from the tubes by the slide coming forward, but not having enough space/time to straighten out and make it out enough to feed in the chamber).

 

Weirdly, the mags run like a champ with the shorter rounds and I had no issues at all with the short Syntech stuff through another 100rds of it, and I even put a couple mags of my short hollow-point carry stuff (Ranger +P bonded JHP) through them no problem just to see what would happen... However, the performance with any of the rounds that were longer was miserable.

I'm starting to think that these newer Gen2 mags were probably engineered more so to fight off nose-dive issues and feed hollow-points, and to that end, the less length in the tubes makes sense and seems to work. But, all 12 of mine at least, just seem too short inside the tubes to run reliably unless the ammo is loaded short.

 

I compared them against a couple  Metalform 9743 mags that I found I still had (the Dawson/Brownells 9mm mags are the same, the Dawsons just have different pads, the Brownells a different color/coating) and the ETM'S tubes are shorter inside then those too. I put a few mags through the gun with the Metalform 9743's and they worked 100%, but they run with the same "clunk - clunk" sometimes that I never really liked about them. If all else fails I'll end up running the Metalform/Dawson/Brownells design.

 

FWIW, I found some pics of a mag out there that I've never really seen or heard about much that looks worth a try, the newest Mec-Gar 10rd 9mm 1911 mag, so I ordered some and am going to see what I get with those... There isn't much info out there about them, but they were redesigned fairly recently, and from the only few pics I could find they have the spacer at the front of the mag tube which IMO is a better design, so I'll see what those are like in a the next couple days...

 

- Should've taken more pics at the range because it happened a lot, but this pretty much sums up the problem with the ETM mags, stuck rounds:

IMG_4850.jpg

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Posted (edited)

So, pending confirming my suspicions with live-fire at the range, looks like I'm done with the Wilson mags (or any of the other rear-spacer mags) after spending a little over an hour with the newest Mec-Gar MGCGOV910AFC mags that showed up. It already looks obvious compared to the Wilson ETM design that Mec-Gar has built a better "mouse trap" as they say, full stop.

 

Yeah, I haven't had a chance to do any live-fire with the Mec-Gar's yet, but after over 10 years of messing around with 9mm 1911's and their magazine issues, and having owned/used pretty much every different magazine out there for them, I think I kind of know what I'm looking for, and IMO it looks like the newest Mec-Gar design seems to solve most of the problems that have plagued 9mm 1911 magazine designs for years.

 

Hand-cycling through a bunch of full mags using short ST dummy rounds and then every different type of 9mm ammo I have on hand (8 different types), both short and long, round-nose, flat-nose, hollow-points, I literally didn't experience a single issue. Dare I say they acted like "normal" CZ/Glock 9mm mags and just did what mags are supposed to do. No drama. Not what one would expect with usual 9mm 1911 mags. Even when I purposely cycled extra slow and weak to intentionally cause a feed malfunction, racking the slide cleared it and fed the next round no problem (this is something the ETM mags will not do, as something to do with their stiff springs and follower means a 3-point jam locks-up solid and requires dropping the mag first to clear it).

 

So far with the Mec-Gar MGCGOV910AFC's:

The tubes have a square channel in the front that acts as a spacer and the rounds ride at the back of the tubes, there's a "mini-feed-ramp" at the top of the channels. Rounds feed smoothly, there's no "clunk-clunk" like with the rear-spacer type mags.

The springs are stout, but not ridiculous, loading the 9th and 10th round still takes some real effort, but won't kill your thumbs like most 10rd 9mm 1911 mags.

The polymer followers + the AFC coating on the tubes is slippery, there's no hang-ups and the followers don't stick.

 

100% cycling.

 

No ammo OAL issues, seems to feed both short and long rounds.

 

No nose-dives.

 

Slide-lock when empty 100%. (polymer follower has a metal insert that interacts with the slide-stop)

 

No rounds sneaking forward or popping out when dropping a partially full mag.

 

Downloads fairly easily without needing a tool.

 

(Also, can't confirm 100%, but looks like one doesn't have to relieve the bottom of their ejector to allow clearance like one has to do with Wilson mags, looks like there's plenty of room but my ejector has already been relieved.)

 

- As long as the springs don't wear out quickly or something like that, I'm thinking these may be the new "go-to" for 9mm 1911 mags.

 

Couple pics of the front of the tube and follower:

IMG_4856.jpg

IMG_4857.jpg

 

UPDATE: Got a chance to go shoot with the Mec-Gar mags and put about 300rds downrange, a mix of all different types ammo... They ran perfectly except for 2 reloads that were wonky and must have missed the case gauge and 1 of the longer S&B 124's towards the end when the gun was honestly really dry and dirty (I haven't cleaned the gun in about 800-1000rds and it's probably past due for a cleaning). FWIW I'm running a lightly sprung setup, with a well worn-in 9lb recoil spring with a 17lb mainspring, so getting a hiccup now and again is kind of to be expected, with a fresher/stronger recoil spring I doubt I would've had any trouble at all. That's pretty much a record for me with a 9mm 1911, these mags are awesome!

Edited by ck1

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Posted (edited)

Looks like a Return of the XP.  Greg Cote has them for $20.95.  Doesn't say for sure if he has them in stock.

https://gregcotellc.com/cart/1911-mecgar-magazines-c-166/mecgar-1911-9mm-10-rd-match-grade-mgcgov910afc-p-1586.html?zenid=javnp11f7st4q2qbpvvcrulhb0

 

I don't NEED another magazine but it would be interesting to work with.

 

I surrender, I ordered two to try out.  

Edited by Jim Watson
Buying Mecgars

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Posted (edited)

 

16 minutes ago, Jim Watson said:

Looks like a Return of the XP.  Greg Cote has them for $20.95.  Doesn't say for sure if he has them in stock.

https://gregcotellc.com/cart/1911-mecgar-magazines-c-166/mecgar-1911-9mm-10-rd-match-grade-mgcgov910afc-p-1586.html?zenid=javnp11f7st4q2qbpvvcrulhb0

 

I don't NEED another magazine but it would be interesting to work with.

 

Those are the ones. I don't know what the "Match Grade" tag is all about but Mr. Greg has the latest ones because those are the ones I ordered and I got them from him, he's great, always good prices and he ships fast, never had an issue with him going on like 10 years. ...Mec-Gar kind of messed up though and there seems to be 3 different versions out there under the same SKU, the latest ones like I just got have a different basepad than the others that has spots/circles for marking the mags and the base is kind of a "2-piece floor plate inside a pad" setup, and they're supposed to have stronger spings in them than the older/other designs. I know some of the older type ship with some RIA 1911's, and can be identified by their base pads as they are smooth on the bottom with no marking/index circles, the oldest of the type has a polymer follower without the metal slide-stop insert.

Mec-Gar really should have given these latest ones their own model # or SKU, because they are great, but one has to make sure they get the latest ones from either pics or checking with the vender... IMO they screwed up there because now it's confusing, and the older ones don't have a very good reputation (probably why they revamped/changed them).

Edited by ck1

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They came in promptly.  Feed and slidelock in my two most used IDPA ESPs.   OK on both 10+1 LAMR and slide lock reload.

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I ordered a couple of the Mec Gar mags and I think I got one of the older versions as the base pad is smooth and the only markings is the name.

 

I haven’t had the chance to run them yet but I do like the design. They seem to have no problems in loading my long-ish 9major rounds at 1.165”. 

 

My my only concerns are finding an extended base pad that fits, and that the springs look proprietary - the spring tapers a lot at the top to fit into the polymer follower. 

 

They’re a lot cheaper than my Tripp and Wilson mags, so hopefully they will work well over the long haul.

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I’ve got over 600 more rounds down range using the new Mec-Gar mags and they’ve all run perfect, no issues at all. Best 9mm 10-rounders I’ve ever used period. And they’re cheap lol 😝 but did see that Mec-Gar has replacement springs/followers for them if needed... but for $20 a mag, I think I’ve got enough of them to last me a few years and might just get some more to throw in a drawer and forget about lol...

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12 hours ago, Hooked said:

 

 

My my only concerns are finding an extended base pad that fits, and that the springs look proprietary - the spring tapers a lot at the top to fit into the polymer follower. 

 

 


Maybe give Mec-Gar a call and see if they’ll send you the newest/updated guts..?

 

https://www.mec-gar.com/firearm-magazines-accessories/9mm-1911-Competition-Conversion-Kit

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