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Cutting out the metal indentions in the mags to add capacity

4366 Views 28 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  tec
Does it work? I have heard a few people mention that they might try it. If anyone knows/has tried it can they please snap a few pics or let me know. Thanks. (ps... is it just that the portion above the spring inside the mag is catching on the indent as the spring goes below it that limits the capacity? makes sense, but I wasn't sure)
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I just did this yesterday and signed on today to post about it. I cut out the indentations on the bottom of my subcompact 9mm magazine. What happens is that the follower cannot compress below the indentations... these dents' only purpose is to limit capacity to AWB standards.

Using a dremmel I drilled out the dents, leaving as much metal as I can at the bottom of the mag, to maintain the strenght of the steel. I also cut off 4 links of the spring from the bottom, and bent the tail in to mimic the original shape that rests on the mag-plate. Finally, I removed from the bottom of the follower enough plastic that you can see maybe 1/3 of that circle that is in the middle (does that make sense?).

I did the snipping of the spring in increments, first 2 links, then another two. I also removed bits of the follower in increments. This was because I was hoping to keep as much of the internals intact as possible, while increasing capacity.

The Results?: 1) After all that, I am still able to only fit 12 9mm rounds in the magazine. 2) Putting in that 12th round was an m'f'er until I removed the final bit of the follower. It is still a pain in the thumbs to put the 12th in, but not unbearable. I doubt, however, that any amount of time left full will compress the spring enough to feed a 13th round. For that, I will just have to break down and buy a .40 sub mag, if I can find them at a time when I haven't spent all my money on Christmas presents for my neice.

3) at the range, the magazine now feeds perfectly. The first time I fired it with 12+1, it was a bitch to insert the mag in the pistol. After firing the chambered round, the first from the mag did not feed into the chamber and I had an out of battery failure. The second time I tried this 12+1 configuration, and each time thereafter, there was no flaws. I think there was too much pressure that did not allow the slide to cycle properly, and it never stripped a round from the magazine. Firing the pistol the first time corrected this.

All in all, this method worked to increase capacity from 10+1 to 12+1. I'm not sure that 2 rounds was worth the effort, but perhaps if I do it again it will be easier (It was my first time using a dremmel, and took a lot of getting used to for me.) I wouldn't use this magazine for carry, at least until it reliably feeds about 500 rounds or so, because of the modifications to the internals and with my luck, if something will go wrong, it will happen when I need it to go right. It is a great range magazine now and I'm glad I did it.

I will post side by side pictures of the modifications and the standard mag parts when I get home Tuesday, to where my digital camera is. Sorry this is very long-winded and I hope it helps.
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In looking at my 10rd 9mm XD mags, I think the indentations reduce the mag capacity, but not by restricting the follower. If you disassemble the mag, the follower comes straight out the bottom, so the indentions aren't stopping it from compressing.

What it looks like the indentations do is restrict the amount of stagger that the rounds stack in the mag with. Since the rounds are stacked more directly on top of one another, this uses up the available length in the mag with fewer rounds. I bet if you remove the indentations on the upper part of the mag, you'll get more rounds in, probably the same amount as the full capacity mags. The length of the tail of the follower may still be a problem, but that should only account for 1 or maybe 2 rounds at most. Also, the spring may be stacking and stopping any further movement. You should be able to see either of these problems through the new "observation holes" you have made.

However it looks like removing the entire indentation may weaken the mag too much. They go almost to the very top of the feed lips and wouldn't leave much material left.

I haven't tried this, but would certainly be curious to see if I'm correct, so if you want to break out the Dremel again, whtvrsclvr, let us know what happens.

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I disassembled my 10 round 9mm mag and my 15 round 9mm mag side by side. Springs identical, followers identical. Only difference is the long indentation. I agree that removing this indentation may weaken the magazine, letting it bulge out and stick in the frame. I have 3 hi-caps already, so it wasn't worth it to me to try.
instead of modifying the 9SC mags, check the FAQ. You can use the .40SC mags that will hold 13 rounds of 9mm. I just ordered a couple from xd-gear.com
true you can use the .40 mags... I was impatient and couldn't find any at the moment, plus it satisfied my curiousity about if this would work. I believe James was sold out at the time. Like I said, I wouldn't trust them for carry.

and here are the pictures:

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the followers in both of my standard and hicap 9mm mags were the same, the springs we what was different. the indentations on my 9 mags had nothing to do with the follower's movement.
ampleworks said:
the followers in both of my standard and hicap 9mm mags were the same, the springs we what was different. the indentations on my 9 mags had nothing to do with the follower's movement.
Do the hicaps (I know, shouldn't be using that, but it would just get too confusing if I didn't) have the indentations on the sides of the mag bodies like the 10 rounders? I can't seem to find a picture anywhere that shows it a side view of the mag, and being in NY, I won't be seeing them in person anytime soon.


Sure is a lot of effort for little gain. You now have mags worth basically nothing. Unreliable for carry, which means unreliable at the range also. I think I'll fork over $24 for .40 mags instead of ruining a $20 10 rd mag. If you want more capacity than that, you should look into another gun.
actually after use they became reliable at the range after using them through 2 cycles... I just wouldn't trust my life to my own design-work until it's proven itself to be failure-free for a while. They are definitely more work than they're worth though... I could have loaded 2 extra rounds about fifty thousand times in the amount of time it took to modify these mags and ensure they worked.
Well, look at it this way:

Load em up with a few snap caps and you've got two mags that are unmistakenably suited for dry practice.
15 rounders are available all over for $22, why mess with a functional standard capacity mag........
Big K said:
15 rounders are available all over for $22, why mess with a functional standard capacity mag........
Remember, "all over" doesn't include several states that have hi-cap mag bans. Though modifying a reduced capacity mag probably puts you in the same boat as illegally importing a factory one from another state.

sell the low caps and buy hi caps.
sorry for bringing this one back from the WAY distant grave.... just a question about legal issues associated with using a .40 mag to get more rounds in 9mm.... doesn't this work the same as a sawed off? What I mean is if you are busted (for whatever reason) with a 9mm gun and .40 mags they might ask questions right?
I plan on sing .40SC mags in my 9SC. This is because they dont make a full capacity 9Sc mag. But the .40SC mag will hold 13rds of 9mm, I bleieve. I dont know of any legal issues. Where I am at, If i owuld fit 100rds and conceal carry I would be within the law. Now in court who knows how it will affect things. But my life is worth it, and and 30% more ammo in a mag is quite a differance.
If you mag has been modified to accept more than 10 in CA, you go to jail.

I don't think I've seen any case law yet on a 40cal mag in a 9mm pistol, but If I got popped for illegal CCW in CA, I wouldn't want to try and explain the 13rds in my gun without talking to my attorney first! They most likely would charge you with possession of a high-cap, since it was being used as such.

If you can't do it with 10+1, plus a spare mag or two, then you took the wrong gun to the wrong neighborhood!.

I wonder why Springfield didn't just offer it as a 13rd in the 9SC to start with...anyone?
if in a state where you cannot have high cap magazines, I wouldn't use anything except what is legal. If a .40 magazine gives you more rounds than the 9mm does for your 9mm, then obviously that is now a high cap mag. Magazine capacity, is magazine capacity. If they wanted you to be able to carry 12 or 13 rounds, they wouldn't have a ban on those magazines for your gun in the first place. So using another caliber mag, to get the capacity is just as illegal as having a true high cap for your caliber.

The same would go for modding a restricted magazine to allow more rounds. what you don't realise, is as stupid as these laws are forbidding 2 extra rounds, the only thing you do by violating these laws is giving them more reasons to make new more restrictive laws for your guns. What happens in one state as far as firearms laws goes, especially when it comes to bans on certain things, eventually spreads to other states, or to the federal level. So just follow the laws, and don't make things any harder than they already are. Otherwise before you know it, you will be having 5 round magazines because you couldn't go along with the 10 round limit.. again.. as stupid as that limit is. It could be worse, and they don't care if it's worse for you or not.
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remember, over compression and over expansion of a spring will lead to spring failure sooner than normal compression of the spring. Is +1 worth the decrease in reliability?

i.e. does +1 do you a lick of good if the spring breaks and no longer feeds any rounds into the chamber?
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