Mec-Gar is undoubtedly my favorite aftermarket pistol magazine maker. Among others, I run them in my Sigs P-229s, Beretta 92s and especially on my CZ-75, because they’re high quality and are typically cheaper than OEM mags.
So when Mec-Gar said they needed some beta testers to air out their new 10-round commie state-compliant mags for the Berretta 84 and Browning BDA, I volunteered.
Many firearm manufacturers including Browning, Remington, SIG SAUER, Steyr and Walther have Mec-Gar build magazines under their brand names. But when they aren’t filling OEM orders, they crank out a pretty good selection of mags for old-school guns like the Beretta 84 double-stack .380 Auto.
Beretta 84, you say? Yeah, Ok, I’ll admit that I usually carry a compact 9mm such as a Smith & Wesson Shield, but I have a soft spot for the venerable steel and aluminum Beretta .380s that were so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. I’ve unwittingly managed to acquire a small collection of new and lightly used Berettas over the years, most of which are shown below:
A year ago I purchased three 13-round Mec-Gars from Midway USA for about $22 a pop. They run flawlessly. Luckily, I can still get the 13-rounders; the anti-gunners haven’t ruined my home state of Oregon (yet), but they’re working on it.
Many states aren’t as lucky, and I think we’ll continue to see more and more political pressure to limit magazines to ten rounds or less.
For those of you unlucky souls living in states with “high-capacity” magazine bans, running 10-round mags in a compact .380 is still a reasonable EDC choice. This is especially true since advances in ammunition technology have resulted in much better .380 auto than back in the 1970s and 80s.
I tested two 10-round mags that Mec-Gar sent me, and – no big surprise – they ran flawlessly. I put 300 rounds through them with a hiccup.
There’s one little quirk I need to mention: the way that Mec-Gar limits the mag capacity is to add a dimple in both sides of the magazine roughly 2/3 of the way down (see image above). This limits the follower travel and prevents more than 10 rounds from being inserted into the mag.
As you load rounds, the springs rack over the dimples with an audible “clicking” sound. If you aren’t used to hearing that, it might sound like something’s wrong. Don’t worry – it’s part of the design. Again, my magazines ran flawlessly.
Buy the way, if any of you are running the excellent Lionheart LH-9, Mec-Gar now makes the OEM mag for that pistol as well. I recently bought three 15-round mags for my LH-9, and they have been flawless as well after 500 rounds or so.
Here’s Mec-Gar’s press release:
Mec-Gar® USA is proud to announce the addition of Blued and Nickel 10-round Browning BDA magazines to their product line. Due to changes in several states, many shooters will not be able to use or possess any magazine in excess of ten rounds. Mec-Gar’s position is that they disagree with these restrictive laws and their proposed effectiveness, however they want shooters in those states to be able to continue to use their firearms.
According to Mec-Gar USA Vice-President David Kochol, the magazines have the high quality and attention to detail expected of Mec-Gar magazines, with the following attributes:
New dimpling technique allows for full size Mec-Gar followers, magazine springs, and floor plates
Body manufactured from carbon steel
Polished, blued or nickel finish to ensure easy loading and feeding into the pistol
Spring manufactured from Type D music wire
High-impact polymer baseplate
Numbered witness holes for remaining-round calculation
The blued magazines have a retail price of $31.10 and the nickel magazines have a retail price of $33.85. These magazines are now available.
Mec-Gar® Srl is a privately held, family-run business located in Brescia, Italy. Since opening in 1965, the company has been proud of its fully in-house engineering, design and manufacturing process, positioning Mec-Gar Srl as an industry leader in quality and innovation. Mec-Gar® USA is owned and operated by the same family and functions as the sole U.S. importer and distributor for Mec-Gar Srl products in North America. To learn more, visit www.mec-gar.com.