A Tale of Three Magwells . . . . . .

ZoidMeister

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The Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . .
I don't do "review" threads often, but with my affinity for adding magwells to many of my full-size guns, I thought I would detail a bit of my journey.

I began by picking up a few Smith & Alexander one-piece magwells. They filled three of my early priorities - they offer them with arched mainspring housings, they are largely "drop-in", and they cost less than $100.

The next version I played with was the Ed Brown two-piece. While they do not offer an arched version, they are largely drop-in, are close to my preferred price of $100 or less but do offer my preferred texture - skip line checkering.

The latest is a new introduction by Stan Chen. The Stan Chen SI magwell.

Left to right - S&A, EB, Stan Chen SI

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Below are photos of all three varieties installed in ZOIDS1911. My thoughts follow:

The S&A is pretty straight forward. The versions I have are MIM I believe. Better than plastic, but not machined. They have all been “drop-in” fitting.

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Next, the Ed Brown: I was first introduced to the Ed Brown two-piece on the Executive Elite II I bought. I liked the skip-line checkering a lot, even though it wasn’t an arched mainspring. I bought one of these for my ZOIDS build. It too was “drop-in” fitting.


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Both the S&A and EB have straight cut, no frills beveled magazine openings. They do their job. I haven’t blended any of the frames I have these installed into, but these guns are not positioned to be full-custom build dress either.



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ZoidMeister

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The Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . .
The latest is the new Stan Chen SI magwell. It is one-piece design, but what is intriguing to me is the round butt treatment on the bottom of this one. I am a huge fan of arched, bobtail, round butt grips. The Stan Chen offers a bit of refined elegance over the other two. I got it at the introductory price, so it was on par cost wise with the Ed Brown. What I really like about the Stan Chen is the contoured magwell opening. The sides of the “funnel” follow the bottom of the frame closer to the center of the front strap.

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To me, this is elegant. Looking up into the frame, this magwell is begging to be blended.


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I have only tried to fit the Stan Chen onto one of my guns thus far – the ZOIDS build. I have noted two areas of concern. First is the mainspring pin location seems to be ever so slightly off. I cannot get the pin inserted fully into the gun. It will go about halfway with quite a bit of “coaxing”, but that’s all. I will try installing this on a different frame. Probably try a Springfield mil-spec to see if the alignment is the same.

The second area of concern is less important. Magazines with wide base plates like the one seen in the photos below will not seat fully due to the contour at the front. Standard Wilson magazines seat with no problems.


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That’s all I have to report for today. Sorry for the crappy photos (and rust on the EB).
 

ZoidMeister

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The Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . .
UPDATE:

So I tried the Stan Chen SI magwell on a Springfield 1911-A1. It previously had an S&A magwell installed. This time, this gun, no problems.

I guess I need to go back to the ZOIDS1911 build to see what I was doing wrong, or what was preventing the Stan Chen from seating properly.

For now, I am totally content on letting the Stan Chen live on this Springfield.

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The other nice thing I found, is the magazine wide base plate issue is limited to the ACT-MAG 8 rounders that I have. I tried a couple of Ruger branded 8-round wide base plate magazines and they fit just fine. The issue with the ACT-MAG is the taper on the base prevents the magazine from being inserted far enough for the mag catch to click and lock it in place. The Ruger branded 8-round magazines do not have this upward taper.


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Buck Buck

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Aug 15, 2018
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Here's another option ....from Nighthawk, if your looking for a rounded one.
Attach a picture from the inside back, and one of it installed too.

BTW - what was the price?
Thank you all.
This was very helpful as I've been thinking about this very item...
(For my Colt 45 Commander)
 

Tactical Rico

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Aug 9, 2018
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Buck:
Sorry I don't have any pics of it installed. Check Nighthawk's website for more pics and price.......

TR
 

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