For Serious Gun Lovers

The Four Best 1911 Magazines Money Can Buy

1911 magazines

A semi-automatic pistol is only as reliable as its magazines, and the venerable 1911 is no exception. In fact, the magazine is arguably the most important piece of any semi-automatic firearm.

Without a good magazine, your weapon simply will not feed or function as properly as it should, and it’s as simple as that. Don’t worry, we review the best 1911 magazines money can buy.

What Causes a Semi Auto Gun to Fail?

The number one cause of failures with semi-automatic firearms is not because of the gun itself, but rather because of an issue with the magazine. This is why having a quality magazine for your 1911 is so crucial. There are also a very wide variety of different magazines out there beyond the ones that the manufacturer will ship with the pistol they sell.

We’ll discuss the different types of 1911 magazines that are out there, in addition to the primary factors to consider when buying a 1911 magazine and then the very best makes of 1911 magazines that money can buy.

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Types of 1911 Magazines

Regardless of the make or model of your 1911 magazine, 1911 magazines can be divided into three primary types:

  • G.I. Magazines
  • Hybrid Magazines
  • Wadcutter Magazines

1911 G.I. Magazines

The G.I. Spec Magazine type, as the name suggests, is a 1911 magazine that is heavily based off of the original types of magazines that were issued to American G.I. soldiers back when the 1911 was the standard issue sidearm of the United States military.

image of 4 1911 G.I. Spec Magazines


To this end, these magazines typically have a capacity of just seven instead of eight rounds, and furthermore are primarily designed to function with FMJ ammunition only. As a result, they are not the best overall option, at least not for a 1911 intended for defensive use.

1911 Hybrid Magazines

Hybrid 1911 magazines are designed to function as reliably as possible by allowing the rounds to spring free from the control at a faster pace in the feeding cycle.

Image of 4 1911 Hybrid magazines


Subsequently, they are a better choice than the G.I. magazines if you want to use jacketed hollow point ammo.

1911 Wadcutter Magazines

Finally, Wadcutter magazines are also designed to function properly with JHP ammo and to prevent double feeds.

1911 Wadcutter Magazines to function with JHP Ammunition

They accomplish this by allowing shorter rounds to be inserted into the magazine and to use the same kind of feeding angle as a rifle magazine uses.

What To Consider When Buying A 1911 Magazine

Here are the top factors that you will want to consider when choosing a 1911 magazine:

Reputation of the Manufacturer

Perhaps the single most important factor of all is the reputation of the manufacturer. This is especially true if you are new to the 1911 world and just want your gun to feed reliably without having to spend a lot of money.

There are numerous high quality manufacturers of 1911 magazines, including each of the following:

  • Colt
  • Mec-Gar
  • Wilson
  • Power Mag
  • Tripp Industries
  • Metalform
  • Chop McCormick

The bestselling 1911 magazines in the world are currently being manufactured by those companies, so they should be your top choice.

1911 Magazine Price

Obviously, if you’re on a budget, price is important. Most quality 1911 magazines are available for the $20 to $30 range. You shouldn’t have to pay any more than that.

What is Magazine Pressure?

Specifically, magazine pressure refers to the pressure in the springs of the magazines. Different magazines for varying firearms have different pressures in them. Generally speaking, 1911 magazines have higher pressures in the springs for greater performance, and this will be preferable for you.

The larger1911 magazine size offers more spring pressure


Magazine Craftsmanship

This refers to the overall quality of the magazine as well as its aesthetics. Many 1911 magazines will have a highly reflective finish, especially in the sunlight. While they may still function properly, the reflective finish can be undesirable for a host of reasons, especially if you’re standing outside under bright sunlight.

Furthermore, an unusually shiny finish can equate to a poor grip, especially if your hands are slippery from water or perspiration.

For these reasons, it will be best to avoid a 1911 magazines with a naturally shiny finish. As far as craftsmanships is concerned, the magazine should be solid without a flimsy spring and no rattling of any kind.


The best 1911 magazines will not stick in the grip of the 1911 and will eject smoothly when you hit the magazine release.

Are Aftermarket 1911 Magazines Good?

Aftermarket magazines for your 1911 from certain third party manufacturers should be fine. In fact, oftentimes, a third-party magazine such as a Wilson Combat or Chip McCormick will function even more reliably than the one sent with the gun from the manufacturer.

The Top 4 Best 1911 Magazines

Product NameWhere to Buy
image of Chip McCormick 1911 Power MagChip McCormick 1911 Power Mag (8 Rounds)Check Price
image of Colt 1911 MagazineColt 1911 Magazine (7 or 8 Rounds)Check Price
image of Ed Brown 1911 MagazineEd Brown 1911 Magazine (8 Rounds)Check Price
image of Wilson Combat Elite Tactical 1911 MagazinesWilson Combat Elite Tactical 1911 Magazines (8 Rounds)Check Price

With the above information in mind, here are the top four best 1911 magazines that money can buy:

1. Chip McCormick 1911 Power Mag (8 Rounds)

Chip McCormick 1911 Power Mag

The Chip McCormick Power Mag holds eight rounds and usually as a polymer base plate. It is installed with roll formed feed lips to make the magazine more durable over the long term, while the follower design ensures proper feeding of hollow point ammunition and semi-wadcutters alike.

The spring is heat treated to ensure it remains strong and reliable over the long term as well. Finally, the numbers on the side of the witness holes makes it super easy to quickly verify how many rounds you have left.

2. Colt 1911 Magazine (7 or 8 Rounds)

Colt 1911 Magazine

These are the magazines that Colt will ship with their 1911s, though they can be easily purchased from their website or several other online stores as well and will function just fine in all other 1911s.

Available in either a blued or stainless finish and with 7 or 8 rounds depending on the magazine you go with, the Colt 1911 magazines very closely resembles the G.I style of magazines in terms of their appearance for a more overall classic look.

3. Ed Brown 1911 Magazine (8 Rounds)


Ed Brown 1911 Magazine

The Ed Brown magazines hold eight rounds and as a result of a slightly longer body. They feature a wraparound polymer base bad to accommodate the eighth round, but without sacrificing the follower design that the company is known for.

Meanwhile, the spring is heavy duty to ensure that it be as reliable as possible. As an added touch, the interior of the magazine is coated with an internal contact surface to keep power residue to a minimum and ensure maximum reliability.

4. Wilson Combat Elite Tactical 1911 Magazines (8 Rounds)

Wilson Combat Elite Tactical 1911 Magazines

Wilson Combat is well known for making some of the finest 1911s in the industry…and some of the finest 1911 magazines as well. Their Elite Tactical 1911 magazines feature a polymer, non-tilt follower that supports each individual round being fed to prevent double feeds and nose dives.

The body of the magazine is built using a proprietary welding from Wilson, while the follower is snag free.

1911 Magazines – Conclusion

In conclusion, it is absolutely indisputable that the quality of your magazine is the most important element in ensuring that your 1911 functions properly.

Having a high quality magazine is your best bet for preventing reliability issues and to ensure that your pistol functions properly when you need it to the most.

The magazines the manufacturer of your 1911 provides for you when you buy from them may or may not be high quality. Just to be on the safe side, purchasing any of the four 1911 magazines we have covered here today will ensure that your weapon functions reliably.  In addition to a quality magazine, keeping your 1911 clean is equally important.

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10 Responses

    1. Dont be sorry. It’s just your opinion and we all think we’re experts. CMC and Mec-Gar is what I have and never an issue. But as usual, it’s just another opinion, no better than yours, no less than yours.

  1. Sorry Chip McCormick 10 round 45 ACP are not very good.. ten to not feed all ten round evenly causing jams.

    1. Stick with the CMC 8 rounds. Almost any brand that tries to stuff in 10 rounds in a 45 mag will be less reliable. No one should be selling 10 rounds mags.

  2. I agree 100%. That 10 round CMC power mag has been a huge disappointment. I haven’t gotten through one fully loaded at the range yet. For $35, get something else.

  3. I have for a long time used nothing but E-lander mags and kept the stock mags in packaging untill I trade for another 1911.

  4. I love McCormick Magazines, but I will have to agree with the comments about the 10 round mags. They do malfunction regularly. Mine will be going back. Some of my 8 round power mags nose dive as well. They will be joining the 10 rounders for the return trip. For the cost, the tools should work without worry. Long term loaded or not.

  5. For me & my 1911 I choose Ed brown. Doesn’t mean all the others mentioned above aren’t good mags. But you gotta run them through your particular weapon to verify reliability. Expensive but it’s the only way to know for sure.

  6. Chip McCormic mags have worked 100% of the time on my Springfield 1911. I have both the 8 and 10 round mags. They have performed flawlessly for the past 4 years. I clean guns and mags after going to the range.

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