How many of us have picked up a new magazine from our local shop, online retailer or at a gun show and just assumed it would work? I have been guilty of this as I am sure others are. After a recent class I doubt I will be so nonchalant in the future.
Recently I was part of a Combat Focus Shooting course hosted by Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC and Evan Carson and we had a student who was having major issues with his gun dropping the magazine every time the slide went home. Each time the gun was fired or reloaded from slide lock the magazine would release just enough to not feed another round yet not all the way out as his hand would hold it in place. Through some trial and error we discovered it was his brand new Maryland Legal 10 round capacity magazine from Tarus that was the problem. Since the class was being held in Virginia he used the factory 12 round magazines and the gun ran smoothly for the remainder of the course.
The student contacted Tarus and was told that since he bought the factory magazine from a third party retailer and not directly from Tarus there was nothing they would do to correct the issue. He then took the problem magazine to a gunsmith who deduced the magazine was 1 millimeter out of spec with the regular standard capacity magazines. The gunsmith applied 2 layers of blue painters tape to the magazine and it worked properly. He recommended the student apply a thin layer of high temperature epoxy to the magazine where the blue tape is located to provide the added layer to the magazine.
(Hold on, let me run to the garage to fix my magazine while you’re breaking in the front door)
As a student and an instructor what can I take from this? TEST TEST TEST. When you purchase a new piece of equipment that you plan to introduce into your everyday carry setup make sure you test it with your existing setup to make sure it works for you. During your testing you want to include the various ways that this new piece could be utilized before adding it to your EDC setup. If it is a new holster, test the draw and how it fits in your desired carry position. A new magazine, test reloading, firing to slide lock, drawing from a spare mag pouch to name a few.
The idea is to make sure that this new piece of equipment is tested to be reliable before you put it into your EDC rotation as your life may very well depend on it someday.
Adjunct Instructor for Innovative Defensive Solutions, llc