Hooper Gun Works got a call recently from a customer who was having difficulty installing standard 1911 45 ACP Mags into the Rock Island Armory 1911. There are a couple of things that can cause this, over-tightened grip screws being the most common. Another cause lies within how the mag release button (or mag catch if you prefer) is cut from the factory. Sometimes the fit may be so tight that the magazine cannot push aside the inner part of the catch to engage with the slot in the magazine body. There is also a little bit of variance from magazine to magazine and between manufacturers that can make this inconsistent. Here is a test to know if you are having this type of problem
- Ensure that the chamber is clear and that the magazine is unloaded.
- Insert your magazine into the frame until the until the point where the mag will insert no further.
- Push in the mag release button as if you were dropping a mag.
- At this point the magazine should be able to be inserted fully while holding the mag release button.
- Release the mag release button.
- The magazine should be fully seated and not able to be removed without pressing the mag release.
- Press the mag release button. Since this issue has been confirmed, it will be difficult to press the button, but the mag will still drop.
How to fix: There is too much metal on the part of the mag release button that engages the mag body. A gunsmith can carefully remove the right amount of metal and create the desired shape to engage with your magazines. It does not take very much removal. It is also a good opportunity to change out to a machined tool steel mag release button, if you don’t already have one. The gunsmith charge will be about the same minimum $50 either way, and you can provide the new part.