I like to futz with my guns as much as the next guy. I’m one of those geeks who actually enjoys cleaning them. A little lower down on the fun scale: fixing something that’s wrong. I know a fair amount about how my guns work, but I’m no expert, never mind a diagnostician. But there are ways to make finding and fixing some problems easier.
I bought a Kel Tec Sub-2000 because it’s fun and cheap to shoot. And I chose one that takes GLOCK magazines because you can get them everywhere. Oh, and those 33-round mags are a pretty great idea in a carbine.
Fast forward to the days after the Lochner shooting. The grabbers had latched onto those 33-round mags (or assault clips, as they called them) which, as you know, are only good for one thing. Since I only owned one 33-rounder, I decided it’d be good idea to hedge my bets and buy a few more.
But there was trouble in my Teutonic paradise. Two of the four new mags had high failure to feed problems. At least one per 33 rounds. I switched ammo (from Winchester white box to Mag Tech) which helped, but it didn’t eliminate the problems.
It turns out there was some real inconsistency in the way the mags were made. I don’t know the technical name for metal feed lips (see photo, below), but some were squared off cleanly and some weren’t. And the plastic of the magazine bodies around the lips wasn’t molded consistently either.
Worse, I was at the range at the time, juggling five mags trying to identify which were the good ones and which were the problem children. I’d stuff some in a pocket trying to keep them separated, but a couple of times I got them mixed up.
Long story short, it would have made things a helluva lot easier if there’s been some way to ID each magazine. The simple solution? Save yourself some headaches, drop by your local art or craft store and pick up a white paint marker. Then number your mags.
Magazine parts don’t last forever. Springs and followers will eventually wear out. When a mag starts giving you FTF issues, it’s awfully convenient to be able to glance at the number on the bottom and make a mental note of the offender. Then you can address the problem when you get home.