The M1911 has been popular for over 100 years and for more reasons than we have time for here. We just want to get to the bottom of magazines and capacity.
One of the things that made it popular was its smooth feeding action which makes these pistol platforms very reliable. However, since the originals accepted a single stack magazine and were chambered in .45 ACP, capacity is slightly limited.
Not to worry, there are 1911 extended magazines you can buy – but does it make sense for you? Here are some of the high-level advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of a 1911 Extended Mag
● The obvious: greater capacity
The main advantage of getting a 1911 extended mag is obviously the fact that it will offer greater capacity. An empty chamber can be a matter of life or death and if you keep a 1911 for home defense or a similar purpose, the extra capacity can be a literal game-changer.
Many extended mags for 1911 pistols have 15-rd capacities – over double what a 1911 equipped with a 7-round single stack mag can carry.
● Less time spent loading cartridges at the range (although you can also get a speed loader for that)
Another big advantage of an extended magazine for a 1911 has to do with the fact that you can be more economical with your range time.
Some ranges charge time-based fees. That means you’ll want to spend your time shooting and not loading.
A larger magazine equates to less time loading, although you can also get a mag loader for that, too.
● More enjoyment
Finally, it’s just more fun shooting when you have a magazine with a greater capacity. Shooting is fun, loading mags is not, and the larger the mag, the less time you’ll waste with the “administrative task” of loading. Don’t tell the smoke pole fans we said so, though.
Cons of a 1911 Extended Mag
● Adversely affected handling and balance
One potential drawback is that a 1911 extended mag can have a pronounced negative effect on handling and balance. Those .45 ACP rounds are heavy, and doubling the capacity will markedly shift the pistol’s center of mass rearward. This extra weight will help absorb recoil but it also will force you to adjust your training, so it’s something you’ll need to think about.
● Might not be compatible with your holster
You also need to consider how and why you own the gun in the first place. If you own it for the purposes of concealed carry, a 1911 extended mag just might be off the table.
Larger mags create bigger, more noticeable prints, and might prevent your pistol from fitting in the holster anyway, depending on what type of holster you use.
Does It Make Sense to Get a 1911 Extended Magazine?
Ultimately, the only person that can decide whether or not it makes sense to get a 1911 extended magazine is you. If you don’t like the fact that it will adversely affect handling or you still want to be able to practice concealed carry effectively, it might make sense to get two or three spare single-stack mags instead of carrying one extended mag.
That solution would also free you from the problem of equipment failure that can only be addressed with redundant fail safes. If you have only one extended mag and it malfunctions or the magazine spring fails, the extra capacity won’t help you. Having another spare mag or two might, though.
Either way – whether you’re looking for an extended Colt 1911 magazine in .45 ACP or just a few standard capacity single stack mags for your full-sized 1911 – visit SARCO, Inc., online at SarcoInc.com.
SARCO, Inc., is one of the largest firearms and parts resources in the world, and they carry and sell a ton of 1911 pistols and parts. Visit their website for more information or contact them at 610-250-3960.