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The 1911 platform has been around since, well, 1911. There have been so many tweaks and revisions over the years that today’s 1911 handgun might be the most well-polished and refined piece of ballistic equipment in existence. One area of the platform where that polish and refinement hasn’t necessarily been focused as much is the magazine. Most manufacturers ship their guns with mags identical to those that our grandparents took into battle against the Nazis. SIG SAUER’s R&D department likes to say “find a magazine that works and build a gun around it,” so old magazines might not be an issue in their eyes. For Gun Pro, instead of historic reliability they see something that can be improved . . .

Jeremy S. sent me this magazine to review because for some unknown reason the man doesn’t own a 1911. Needless to say we’re going to need to fix that. I had never heard of Gun Pro, so I went online and threw their name into the Googles. After a few minutes of research I found their website and came across the following paragraph that lays out their claims for the product:

Gun Pro SureFire Anti Nose-Dive Stainless magazines with removable base pads, are made right here in the USA of the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. The SureFire magazine, with the new “Nose-Dive Control Spring”, increases reliability in ALL single stack 1911 pistols using standard RN or HP FMJ bullets. Polished fitted tube, spring and follower provides smooth feeding while the newly patent pending Nose-Dive Control Spring offers reliable feeding angles from the first through the last round chambered. Our Gun Pro magazines are designed and manufactured to ensure the highest quality that you deserve in an essential part of your firearm.

In short, their claim is that this magazine makes all 1911 handguns more reliable. I fully admit that I have seen an occasional nose-dive in a 1911 handgun, and the usual culprit is an old fashioned mag. A good 1911 magazine is a thing to treasure and so I was excited to try out this brand new, high quality, finely crafted, highly reliable 1911 cartridge feeding system.

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I went and picked up my Springfield 1911-A1 handgun — the gold standard when it comes to cheap yet reliable 1911s — and slammed the magazine into the magazine well. This is as far as the magazine got before it stopped and refused to budge anyfurther, about an inch and a half from being fully seated. This isn’t one of those fancy extended magazines either. It simply got stuck and the gun was effectively jammed. Getting the magazine in any farther (or even removing it for that matter) took considerable effort.

I went back and re-read the advertisement, specifically the claim that it “increases reliability in ALL single stack 1911 pistols.” I’d say their claim is accurate, since if you can’t even get the magazine into the gun it will reliably fail to fire. But I don’t think that’s what they were going for here. Looking through the materials, I found a small annotation which noted “will not work on some Springfield firearms without minor adjustments.” That minor adjustment they cite, as listed on their website, asks you to remove your magazine catch and file it down to work properly.

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That does seem to be the culprit. The selling point of this magazine is a nifty feature which claims to keep the bullets from nose-diving into the magazine instead of feeding cleanly into the chamber. They accomplish this task by cutting a small spring into the side of the magazine that comes up under the round and should prevent the bullet from going anywhere but forward. Looking at the magazine after a few frustrating minutes with the Springfield, there’s definitely a gash on the front edge of the magazine where the magazine itself has come into contact with the magazine release.

To Gun Pro’s credit, I tried this same magazine in both my Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry and the Tisas Zig 1911 and it fit just fine without any issues. I guess I just take notice when a company claims the magazine will increase reliability with “ALL single stack 1911 pistols” and the magazine doesn’t even fit in the very first 1911 I try.

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Out on the range, we ran hundreds of rounds through both Springfield and Tisas 1911 handguns. Overall the magazine works fine, but we did indeed have one instance where a round took a nosedive into the magazine instead of feeding into the chamber with the Tisas 1911. The failures were few and far between, but they still existed. I swapped to my usual Wilson Combat 1911 magazines after that and ran hundreds more rounds without any issue.

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I honestly can’t say that I’m impressed. I give gun Pro points for a creative solution to a known issue, but I find their execution a little lacking. Incompatibility with one of the most popular manufacturers of 1911 handguns is a big issue, and to be frank I’m not going to go modifying my handgun just to suit my new whiz-bang magazine. If anything, I’d be happier doing the opposite. Even when inserted and running properly, the magazine doesn’t necessarily prevent the very thing it was designed to prevent. That’s a bit disappointing.

Let me put it in perspective this way. Gun Pro is asking $48 for their magazines, which don’t work in every 1911 (despite advertisement to the contrary) and don’t necessarily prevent the very thing they are trying to prevent. Wilson Combat is asking $34.95 for my favorite magazine of theirs, and after hundreds of rounds in multiple firearms (including the Tisas 1911) that magazine has never failed to function flawlessly. So Gun Pro is asking $13 more for a magazine that is less widely compatible and less reliable than a Wilson Combat magazine.

Does that make sense to you?

Specifications: Gun Pro Sure Fire 1911 Magazine
Price: $48

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: *
It doesn’t work in Springfield handguns without modifications to the gun. And even when inserted, it doesn’t always prevent the very thing it was designed to prevent.

Fit and Finish: * * *
I like the overall style of the magazine, and the baseplate is well designed.

Overall: *
With 100% reliable Wilson Combat magazines on offer for 73% the price of the Gun Pro mags, I really don’t see a compelling argument to buy this.

31 Responses to Gear Review: Gun Pro Sure Fire Anti Nose-Dive 1911 Magazines

  1. Jeremy S. sent me this magazine to review because for some unknown reason the man doesn’t own a 1911.

    I like to think maybe he’s realized something that many do not: Buying a “1911” (I put the quotes around it because few are made to original spec) is a titanic crapshoot, you’re as likely as not going to get something that needs a shit ton of gunsmithing work (and good luck finding one who actually knows what he’s doing) to get it to function reliably.

    • LOL. Well, to be clear, I have owned quite a few in the past, including a legit Springfield Pro (the FBI HRT model) with Nowlin barrel and the older, “better” finish. I’ve had a few through my hands for review, like the Dan Wesson Valor (which was freaking amazing), but haven’t chosen to actually purchase one for a while. I don’t think I’ve personally owned one since the end of 2012.

      …here right now are a Rock Island Armory competition .40 S&W and a 6″ long slide 10mm, both w/ 2011 (double stack) frames, that arrived for testing just last week. These magazines wouldn’t have been compatible though obviously. I believe a CZ-USA M1911 A1 (GI spec) is slated to show up here as soon as they hit distribution, but the ETA on that is still open. So…yeah…1911s are in and out. And as much as I absolutely, positively loved that Valor, I just didn’t have the cash to keep it. The safe is pretty full. When a 1911 is back on the radar to own, it very well may be a DW Specialist. But we’ll see…

      • I rented two Dan Wessons at the range, a 9 mm full size and a .45. Both had malfunctions. Admittedly one of them (A compact .45; I am unsure of the model) was so physically painful to shoot (the grips were like a rasp file) I was probably limp wristing it out of sheer instinct of self preservation.

        When they functioned, they were tack drivers. But honestly…I’d rather have the gun group twice as big than have it not chamber the next round reasonably reliably.

        On a different note, I am waiting to hear about the CZ.

        • They have a solid reputation for complete reliability and top quality, with the exception of the very rare lemon (usually fit is too tight to run well out of the gate) that’s backed up by swift and excellent customer service (people get the impression that their warranty repair line is typically full of chirping crickets). Range rentals are a unique animal unto themselves, though…

        • Admittedly range rentals can be problematic for any firearm. When I bought my RAMI, I had already had horrific bad luck with two different rentals. They had told me another one was coming in, in my caliber, and so they were forewarned not to hand it to me without lubing it. I got through three boxes without even a hint of an issue, so I bought it. I don’t shoot it a whole lot, but I’ve got several hundred rounds through it, no problemo. The two range rentals I didn’t buy? Failures at least ten percent of the time. “Oh, well geez, this gun ain’t lubricated!” “And you expect someone to buy it when it works like this?” I did NOT say, but I sure thought it loudly.

          In the case of these Dan Wessons, employees swore that they had just themselves fired those individual guns with no issues and that they were sweet, awesome, etc.

      • “I believe a CZ-USA M1911 A1 (GI spec) is slated to show up here as soon as they hit distribution”

        I am really looking forward to this review. We already know the gun is being built by Dan Wesson for CZ, with a few measures being taken to reduce the price compared to the Dan Wesson offerings. Two of those things are the use of carbon steel instead of stainless and less time spent fitting the guns. It is also assumed that some of the parts will be MIM instead of machined (mag catch seems to have an MIM mold line on it in the pictures they have released of the gun). If you can, as a part of the review, try to get a list from CZ of what parts in the gun are MIM. It is something that quite a few folks are wondering.

    • Perhaps his first 1911 was an AMT Hardballer, which traumatized him so much he declared: “NEVER AGAIN!”

      Anything’s possible. 😀

      • I had an AMT Skipper, Commander size not the later sub compact by the same name, and I both loved and hated that gun! It was super accurate but would occasionally lock up after firing with the slide hung half open and I would have to beat it closed and then cycle the action to eject the empty. This was even when lubed up with the grease they recommended. I found out later that the problem was the stainless steel they used for the slide and frame. Needless to say I sold it and then bought an HK P9S which was although it was too dang big, it was both accurate and reliable.

        • AMT products really are gorgeous, but the poor reliability dogged them until they finally closed down (also they got sued by Ruger).

          Supposedly they eventually fixed that metal galling issue, and most later AutoMags, Hardballers, and the Backup (which I have one of) don’t have that problem. They’re still not reliable though.

  2. 48 bucks?? Hell, I’ve been dithering on getting the Wilson mags which are not only cheaper, but they’ve got an actual reputation for excellence. These guys…? Deluded, I’d say.

    • Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner!!
      I’ll stick with my Wilson Combat P47D mags. They just,,, well,,,, WORK!
      All the time every time. Even tried some stinky Wolf ammo that a dude had.
      (Hated to tarnish my S&W Performance Center 1911, shooting such fodder, but it was free.) She got double cleaned after that range day. Point being, if it works in yours, it’s a $50 guess with a 50/50 chance of success. If it works for 4 mags and hiccups on the 5th. When it’s all good and hot. That’s a chance I’ll not bet my life on.

      Your mileage may vary.

      • Chip McCormick’s are found locally for $22, and would not trade, except for a Mec Gar Beretta 96 mag (which is what I’d be shooting anyway). You could shoot your “granddaddy’s” gun all you like. I am going to shoot what my great grandkids are going to be buying (to be nostalgic and because ray-guns won’t be allowed at the indoor ranges).

        • I love me some Chip McCormick mags, I have a range bag full of CMC Power Mags that I bought from MidwayUSA on sale for $21/ea on two or three different occasions. Gun (SA Loaded) hasn’t missed a beat with them, although it never really missed a beat with the factory springfield mags, but with those there is a noticeable difference in the amount of force required to strip a round out.

  3. Sounds like one star is exceedingly generous. I would have given 1/2 star for effort, but only if the damage to my 1911 during testing was not permanent.

    I buy WIlson Combat mags for my 1911. I have only noticed one failure at the range: The Failure to Have Enough Mags. This is easily remedied by Buying More Mags. This failure seems to happen a lot since One Can Never Have Enough Mags.

    But why I would pay more for a product that does not even work as intended…. dunno.

    • The one and only time I’ve been pissed at Wilson Combat was when, after years of planning & saving, my CQB 9mm arrived… with two magazines. Bought many, many more.

      Bought a Sig C3 1911 YEARS ago for cheap, owner said it wouldn’t shoot half a mag without jamming and basically gave it away. Threw the factory mags he gave me in the trash, ordered five Wilson 47D officer’s mags and some shok-buffs, and carried that gun every day for years. Digested thousands of rounds with zero issues of any kind.

    • But why I would pay more for a product that does not even work as intended…. dunno.

      You”d understand this if you hadn’t failed your class in Cabot Logic.

      (Yeah I know, Cabot fixed it. After a ton of hassle that should have been absent from a pistol of that price.)

  4. “Wilson Combat is asking $34.95 for my favorite magazine of theirs,”

    And Brownells will sell you a Chip McCormick Power Mag for a penny under half the price of the newcomers.

    I’ve always had good results with these puppies. The WCs too, but not so much better it’s worth the difference … in my experience anyway.

    • +1 on the Chips. Ran bone stock RIA tactical 1911 (,did have a Dawson Precision fiber front sight,) in IDPA for a year with around 3000 rounds and not one malfunction. The factory Act mag did make a nice Barny mag. Yes I do trust my life to it.

  5. “today’s 1911 handgun might be the most well-polished and refined piece of ballistic equipment in existence.”

    That distinction goes to the AR/M-16/M4 family. It runs OK to good today but it took alot to get there.

  6. Thanks mucho for this review. However:

    On this matter of most 1911s supposedly shipping with WWII GI style magazines – no. Just no. Most of them have a different feed lip geometry. A good many of the supplied magazines will be 8-rounders. Then there are all the different followers, different spring weights, different tube lengths, different styles of floor plates. Different holes or slots in the tube.

    Way off on that one.

  7. Did this article title make anyones else’s brain bog down trying to read it? Maybe it’s just been a long day,

  8. i use CMC (checkmate) and Tripp mags in my rock island compact 1911. both types are great. the Tripp mags (10rd single stack) just feel good in the hand.

  9. Stainless Metalform work flawlessly in every gun I’ve shoved one into… Way cheaper.

    Poorly implemented, overpriced solution in search of a problem, which makes more problems than it solves.

    Do these guys work for Obama?

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