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1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad (courtesy

If you don’t schlep a spare mag with your everyday carry gun, you should. Mag issues are the most likely reason for a firearms failure. You can usually bring a non-operational handgun back into the fight with a simple mag change. Of course, “simple” is a relative word when you’re facing an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. But if you don’t have one changing mags becomes enormously more complicated. Anyway, it’s best to avoid the problem in the first place by not carrying a gun with a crap magazine. Wilson Combat mags have a rep for not sucking. They claim their new mag—the Elite Tactical ETM HD/+P—is guaranteed to “never need replacement.” Before, during or after a defensive gun use. Is the $44.95 product the world’s best 1911 magazine? Read the bumph (after the jump) and share your thoughts . . .


ETM Heavy Duty/+P rated .45 ACP magazines with Wilson Combat exclusive stainless flatwire MAX magazine spring and our time-tested stainless steel ETM tube.

Guaranteed to never need replacement, the ETM with MAX spring will change the 1911 magazine forever. Our testing has shown these to be the most reliable 8 round, .45 ACP 1911 magazines in the world.

1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad (courtesy

The heat-treated MAX flatwire construction never gets stressed or over-compressed like a conventional spring and is guaranteed to never require replacement even after high round counts or daily, extreme duty use.

1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad (courtesy

Maximum strength-up to 25% stronger than standard 1911 mag springs for superior reliability with defensive and +P loads and more positive slide lockback.

Maximum longevity MAX flatwire spring will never lose optimum feeding tension as long as you own the magazine -guaranteed! Extensively tested by the Wilson Combat Shooting Team and testfire crew.

Maximum corrosion resistance-heat treated stainless MAX spring won’t corrode in high humidity or marine environments-a leading cause of service pistol spring fatigue.

1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad (courtesy

Black models are finished in black nitride QPQ finish-The ultimate in a wear resistant, non-reflective finish. Black nitride QPQ will not chip, crack or peel. This surface treatment is the toughest black finish we could find for our world renowned 1911 magazines.

The ETM Heavy Duty/+P retains all the features of the standard ETM magazines

– Increases Reliability in ALL 1911 Pistols
– Aircraft Grade Certified Stainless Steel Tube Resists Corrosion
-The ETM has the Strongest Magazine Tube Yet Developed, Virtually Eliminating Feed Lip Cracking, Tube Spread and Cracking and General Fatigue
– Refined Radius for Each Bend in the Tube to Take Advantage of the Strength in the Stainless Steel
– Proprietary, Custom Designed Welding Process
– Proprietary Multi-Step Tumbling and Finishing Process Provides Smooth Follower Operation and Insertion into the Weapon<
– Observation Slots Moved to the Rear of the Tube, Located Exactly Where They Need to be to Maintain the Structural Integrity
– Innovative Follower Design With its Extended Skirt Ensures Stability in Operation and Minimizes Creep from the Tube when the Magazine is Empty
– Fiber-Fill Nylon Self-Lubricating Follower Provides Smooth Round Feeding
– Positive Slide-Lock After the Last Round has been Fired
– The ETM Seats and Locks in the Weapon with the Slide Down
– Removable Base Pad for Easy Maintenance and Versatility with Different Base Pad Options
– The Quality Control Behind the ETM Promises a Lifetime of Smooth and Reliable Operation
– No-Risk Service Policy – If It Breaks from Normal Use, We Replace It!

#500C-HD – 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad – $44.95
#500BC-HD – 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Lo-Profile Steel Base Pad, Black – $45.95
#500A-HD – 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Aluminum Base Pad – $44.95
#500BA-HD – 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine, .45 ACP HD/+P, Full-Size, 8 Round, Aluminum Base Pad, Black – $45.95

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    • I have a Dan Wesson 1911 Point man 7. I shoot 230 gr. round ball and also my hard cast lead bullets. 230 grain round ball, no problem 225 grain wad cutters Jam now and again. Do I need 2 magazines or 1 that will do both.
      Please let me know what will fix this issue
      Thank you

  1. Don’t plastic followers take a beating on 1911s? This one looks plastic to me but maybe there is some metal contact surface for where it touches the slide stop pin?

    • They don’t show it from a favorable angle, but all my plastic follower mags have a steel plate on the “shelf” on the right side of the follower. It looks like these *may* have that…

  2. Gee I’d better buy one. I sure don’t want any “creep from the tube.” I bet that’s worse than the creature from the Black Lagoon!

    This advert is pure fluff. It doesn’t tell me why my Chip McCormicks’ are sooo inadequate.

    • Completely agree. But hey, creating IDPA with a special classification just for 1911’s was smart. And helping launch Three Gun. Give it a few years and they’ll be pushing “Five Gun.” And Hornady’ll be on board, too. Got a love ’em.

    • It is, but…
      … everything in the gun has to work together with everything else, and correctly. +P ammo causes the side to move faster and farther to the rear, which also causes the slide to move faster coming back forward, pulling the cartridge out of the magazine faster. Some cheaper magazines can’t tolerate that. I can’t explain why, but I know it happens, because it happened to me.

      I bought a Sprinco recoil reducer for my Sig P220, and I started getting lots of failure-to-load malfunctions. After experimenting with several combinations, I noticed that the problem only existed when using +P ammo and only with my cheap aftermarket magazines, not with the Sig magazines. So I stopped using the cheap magazines with the +P ammo, and no more FTL problems.

    • The higher pressure load causes the slide to move faster. This can cause malfunctions if the spring in the magazine can’t keep up with the faster moving slide. Wilson is claiming that their MAX spring will never have a problem keeping up with fast slides

  3. It certainly sounds like they have engineered a fine magazine. However I cannot fathom that it requires $50 to get a reliable 1911 mag. The one that came factory with my Colt 1991A1 is now 17 years old has been in regular use either carry or range all that time and still works flawlessly. Ditto some Chip McCormik shooting stars I’ve had for years, all for under $15 each. I suppose if you’re made of money these would be great, for my dollar good mags are available for a third of that price.

    • I also find this more than a bit odd. I own a 1911 circa 1917. Still with all original parts. Never had a single issue other than the occasional hammer bite on my hand. That pistol has now outlived at least two generations of my family and is looking likely to outlive another three.

  4. I had a Wilson ETM, back when I owned a couple of .45 1911s. It was out of spec and wouldn’t drop from all of my guns. I also made the mistake of buying some of their overpriced aftermarket products. I won’t deal with them again.

    For 1911 mags, I recommend the Tripp Cobra magazine. I’ve had them in 9mm and .45 and they have always been flawless. And the wider baseplate is great for getting a good grip to draw the magazine, and a solid footing when loading with an UpLula.

  5. Generally, when trying to do a rapid reload the first round at the top of the mag has so much pressure when it hits the underside of the slide that it is hard to seat the mag completely and requires a hard push. In a hurry and not seated right=one shot and mag hits the ground. Tripp Research are better and Chip McCormicks are very good also.

  6. Hmmm… I guess I never thought of carrying extra magazines in case of a failure. Then again, my Beretta 92 carries 17+1 rounds and (as long as you’re not using cheap aftermarket parkerized magazines in Afghanistan) it never ever jams. I guess you don’t have to step quite into the 21st century, if you can just make it into the 1980s…

    • I had an M9 magazine jam on me while doing pistol qualifying at Fort Knox. After finishing course of fire they tell you to drop mags and the dang thing wouldn’t come out. Having a Drill Sergeant yelling at you to drop your mag after being told why they all carry their pistols on the range is not a fun day.

      • Well, no pistol is perfect. Most of the issues I’ve heard of were because of aftermarket magazines, which may have been the case with your jam. I guess that goes with any pistol though.

  7. That’s a steep price. I’ve been using Kimber Pro 8 round magazines and a couple Kimber 10 round magazines for years and I have never had a problem. For 50 bucks this better improve my accuracy and magically clean my gun.

  8. I bought a Colt Series 70 in 1971. The factory magazines have been fully loaded ever since, except when exhausted through the pistol. I’ve never had a failure to load. My Glocks and Kimbers aren’t as old, but they follow suit. In fact, the only failure to loads I’ve ever encountered are from .22s, and they ALL seem to do it. The exception to that is my Luger, built in 1912. A new mag did not solve the problem — it took a new recoil spring. Fifty bucks for a ‘guaranteed’ mag is ridiculous!

  9. Who the hell shoots 1911s? lol

    No surprise something decent comes from Wilson Combat, my dad’s had a few competition Wilson 1911s over the years and even though I hate 1911 and .45s in general those always felt good to shoot.

    I can get desert eagle .50 magazines cheaper than these.

  10. Wilson 47D mags work flawlessly for me, though even those are a bit pricey at 30+ a pop. Don’t see any reason to upgrade at this point.

  11. I’m not a 1911 owner, indeed I’ve never even fired a 1911 before. So I don’t have a dog in the hunt. No doubt the Wilson mag is a good product, but for some reason when I see the price the first thing I think of is Starbucks coffee (and I don’t drink coffee either 🙂 )


  12. Hey folks – a $45 magazine makes you into TACTICAL OPERATOR (note the use of both buzz words in the same sentence). The Wilson name is sort of like that magic John Deere green paint that doubles the cost. I carry three Shooting Stars and two Springfield Armory mags on my duty rig and they’ve always worked. My Springfield Mil Spec and Kimber Ultra Carry even work every time all of the time with MecGars and $5.00 “no name” gun show knock offs. I know that isn’t cool but then I don’t wear overpriced Underarmor skivvies, Oakley sunglasses, or $50 511 golf shirts either.

  13. That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider their 19 dollar range mag is made by Checkmate Industries (which makes 7round mags for Colt.. note the hybrid feed lip in their description and extra power mag spring). Those springs won’t wear out and the mags are utterly reliable (as per their user comments).

    My 1994 Colt 7round mag and two 2006 Checkmate 7rounders stay loaded 24/7 and have yet to fail. The Checkmate mags are 16 bucks.

    If I were to buy a Wilson mag it would be their 19 dollar mag. I know where those mags originate – and they are superb.

    I’m sure the high end Wison mag is fine but their 19.00 mag will do the job just as well.

  14. 1911 mags I have personally found to be consistently reliable in an assortment of personally owned Springfields and Colts:

    USGI surplus 7rd
    Colt marked 7rd
    old Mec-Gar 7rd with round-top stainless steel follower (they haven’t made these since around 1995)
    CMC “Shooting Star” 8rd
    CMC “Power Mag” 8rd
    Kimber stainless 8rd
    Wilson 47D 8rd
    Wilson ETM 8rd

    A Mec-Gar 8rd “anti friction coating” finished 8rd mag is looking good so far, but I’ll need to run it some more before I can be sure I can recommend it.

    I haven’t tried Metalform or Tripp Research mags yet, mainly because I’ve never found them for sale at a gun show, but I’ve heard nothing bad about them.

    As for the gun show no-name mags that just say “Colt .45” on the floorplate without the little prancing pony stamped on them, I tried some once, many years back. Maybe mine came from a bad batch, but the floorplates had a nasty way of popping off while I was loading them, dumping floorplate, spring, and follower at my feet and scattering ammo around the floor. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I won’t buy any more of them.

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