1911 Magazine Recommendations

47D (left) & ETM (right)
47D (left) & ETM (right)

As I’ve been working on my 1911 Rating System, one major topic of discussion has been magazines. Specifically, what magazines to use when evaluating 1911s. The plan for any official 1911 review is that I’ll run the first couple of hundred rounds with whatever factory mags the gun ships with, and if those cause issues deduct points accordingly. After the first few hundred rounds, I’ll switch to the “control” magazine: Wilson Combat ETM.

1911 magazines are actually one of the most important parts of the gun, because if you want your gun to work right, you need to use quality magazines. For the longest time, the gold standard of 1911 magazines was the Wilson Combat 47D, and until Wilson introduced the ETM recently it was my “go to” recommendation. However, it’s not the only good 1911 magazine out there.

Chip McCormick
I’ve used Chip McCormick mags in 1911s for ages with great success, and in my opinion the Chip 10-round .45 ACP mags are the best on the market. You can even get them from Amazon:

Chip McCormick also makes 7 and 8 round magazines, and .38 Super magazines. In fact, in the only .38 Super 1911 I’ve ever had (which I deeply regret selling) they ran like a champ.

I like Metalform magazines quite a bit. I have a pair of 9mm Metalform magazines that I’ve used with great success in my Taurus Torture Test; and they’re also extremely popular with shooters at Bianchi Cup. Metalform also does OEM magazines for a few of the companies that make 1911s these days.

OG Colt/Government 7-rounders
If you want to give your .45 ACP 1911 the best chance to work correctly, the OG 7 rounders it was designed for are your best bet. If you can find some legit Colt 7 round magazines and use those to feed your gun, it’s probably going to work (assuming it doesn’t have other issues of course).

Keen eyed readers will note that there are some magazines that aren’t on the list. For example, Mec-Gar. I have never used a Mec-Gar 1911 magazine, so I can’t really say one way or the other if it’s good to go. However, every other Mec-Gar magazine I’ve ever used has been good to go, and MG does OEM magazines for quite a few companies in the firearms industry, so they generally have their products squared away. I’m actually planning on getting a few just to try them out and see how they run.

Also not on the list are the Tripp Research magazines. I know some people swear by these magazines for their 1911s, but I just can’t. I’ve seen too many guns shit the bed using these magazines to have warm fuzzies about recommending them to other people. Sure, it may not have been the magazines, and maybe Tripps are totally fine, but for me? They’re a no-go for now.

When it really gets down to it, I don’t see the need to get particularly adventurous with 1911 magazines. If a gun won’t feed using Chip McCormick, Wilson Combat, or Metalform magazines, you probably have a serious problem with your gun, and no manner of unobtanium magazine is going to fix that. I do plan on testing some Mec-Gar magazines in the immediate future, just because having four options would be nice.


  1. For my Sig 1911 officers 45acp, Wilson Combat mags are the best running. Cannot recommend them enough. I think it’s the design of polymer follower. They make a base for 7 round officer guns that allows you to fit 8 round mags in the gun made of machined metal. I use those for my carry.

    The Sig mags that came with it have me problems and so did the Kimber mags I made the mistake of buying. They’re ok range mags though.

  2. Have or had an S&W E-Series, Springfield TRP, Kimber SC PRO HD, Rock Island Officer all of them ran or run just fine with the stock mags. The Rock Island came with ACT brand of Italy, very nice. I’ve run the various brands mags in the others guns and still no issues. The only 1911 I ever had an issue with, was a Kimber Ultra 3″ barrel model. I don’t believe it was a mag problem though, more likely than not, it was operator error with a short barreled 45.

  3. Wilson Combat mags “fix” guns with feeding issues because they basically bypass the feed system. It’s a bandaid for shitty feedway geometry.

    My two Mec-Gar mags feed well, but one of them doesn’t drop free. Interestingly, I also have 3 Mec-Gar mags for my Hi Power and one of those won’t drop free either (yes, the magazine safety is removed).

  4. The Chip McCormick 10 rounders are great. I run these in my 1911 and my Marlin Camp 45,

  5. I use the Mecgar mags, they run fine in my Sig 1911, but then, it runs fine with the factory mags too. I also don’t have the kind of round counts that the Internet likes to see in a test cycle. It’s probably only seen 500 rounds in the last year.

  6. My Dan Wesson came with Metalforms, which worked 100%. Later bought a WC 47D that gave me a failure to feed right off the bat and many failures to lock back on empty. Ditched the 47D, got a couple Tripps that worked just fine.

  7. I own three Tripp Research mags and my experience is that their 8 rounders are rock solid but their 10s are problematic. The base pad yawned on insertion causing the mag to insert too deeply and the feed lips eventually deformed. However their 8s are another story. Those have been perfection.

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