Factory vs Aftermarket magazines

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by cec, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    I am wondering what experiences you have had with aftermarket vs. factory magazines.

    I want another magazine for my SW 4506. The factory magazine is $39.99, but I have seen aftermarket magazines for $19.95.

    While I am firm believer in "you get what you pay for", I also am willing to save a buck if I can get the same quality for half the price.

    Have you seen a higher rate of failure, incorrect fit, or any sort of issues?

    If it helps, the main use of the gun is target practice and hopefully will not be used for defense.
  2. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    NW AR
    If you're gonna use it for defense at all, I'd say spend the extra money and get a Wilson Combat magazine.

    If it's only for plinking, a little trouble out of a magazine won't hurt anything, so it's your call.

  3. Ruger.44

    Ruger.44 New Member

    Jun 5, 2005
    You've done the right thing. While I don't have a 4506, I've about 30 mag fed firearms. Some aftermarket mags I've bought have found their way into the city dump. Others have proven very reliable and some have actually outlived the factory mags 2 or 3 times. Forums like this are a good place to start asking about brands that you can count on.

    All of that having been said, Cheaper Than Dirt has factory mags for the 4506 for like $32.00 That's a little savings if you really want to get the real thing.

    Good Luck.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2005
  4. llama.45

    llama.45 New Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    i would buy factory
  5. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    If you can find some Mec Gar mags, get them. They have been providing factory mags for years. Just don’t have the “name” on them.

    I bought 10 mags for a handgun I have, knowing in advance, that I would only get about a 50% working ratio. Well, 6 out of the 10 work right, the other 4 are kept around for parts. The difference here is that the factory mag would have cost me $79.00, the after market ones cost me $9.95 each. BIG difference, I got 6 working ones that cost me less than ONE factory. These mags are NOT used for self defense, just for fun.

    The difference in price is not quite so profound in your case.
    If for self defense = factory.
    If just for fun = aftermarket.
  6. llama.45

    llama.45 New Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    i would definetly get factory for self defense
  7. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for all of the replies. I think since this is for plinking/target and not defense, I will try the aftermarket.

    I already have a factory magazine and that will be the defense one (here's hoping I NEVER have to use it for that).
  8. llama.45

    llama.45 New Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    yeah, for plinking after market should be just fine
  9. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Pick your magazines carefully, be they factory or aftermarket. If you do this, you will find it is six of one and a half dozen of the other.

    With my Springfield 1911, the Wilson Combats are far superior than the factory ones. They are superb and I carry them as defensive mags.

    Others may be somewhat like the Browning Hi-Power. I use it for defence also and have what most might term aftermarket 15 round magazines. However, these were manufactured for the South Africa military under direct contract with FN in Belgium. I consider them factory and have had no complaint. However, I have used some highly recommended aftermarket items that will jam, especially after the 10th round. The South African and Argentine contract FN magazines have never failed.
  10. Laserlips

    Laserlips New Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Just an old fart's opinion, but I ALWAYS buy factory mags. Over the years I've tried some of the aftermarket mags and it seems the majority of the time I wind up disappointed. ProMag/MecGar are 2 that come to mind, and I think that MecGar mag's come standard in my KelTec's (I'm not sure about that tho.) I know MecGar has a great reputation but the only way I would even buy those is if they came original to the pistol.

    I don't mind saving money by buying aftermarket items on some things, but I just hate it when I save a little money, and then have a problem with the product I saved money on. Pistol magazines are one item I just prefer to bite the bullet and buy original replacements for.

    In fact, I need another magazine or two for my recently acquired Bersa Thunder "9" and those suckers cost $60.00. Even so, that's what I'll be buying. I've heard too many nightmares about mag purchases on EBay, for "exact replacement" magazines that were cheap to buy, but didn't function properly.

    Even buying a cheaper magazine for "practice" makes no sense to me. You never know when circumstances dictate you use your backup "practice" mag. for self defense. Murphy's Law is alive and well and the practice magazine could very well wind up being the very one you need to defend your life with one day.

    Just my personal opinion, dissenting opinions always welcomed.

    Best Wishes.
    JP :D
  11. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    My take on it is this:

    For non-1911 firearms, factory is the way to go.

    For 1911 firearms, Wilson Combat is the way to go.

    Laserlips echoes my experience with the exception of the 1911. My factory magazine for my Kimber is a fine magazine, but it is not anywhere near as reliable as my Wilson Combat mags. I've never had a FTFeed with the Wilsons, but I've had a few with the factory mag.
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