Tested Tough

Tested Tough

These Esmeralda grips are fashioned out of a rare black-and-white ebony from Southeast Asia.

Like many 1911 devotees, I've used Wilson Combat's legendary 47D magazines forever. I've never found them lacking but have heard from some pretty serious users that they wish they were just a bit tougher. Wilson's new Elite Tactical Magazines were designed to address that concern, as well as make a few minor improvements to the classic 47D. I've actually had a dozen of the new magazines for six months or so, but I wanted to test them thoroughly before I reviewed them here.

Unlike other magazines, which are basically seven-round mags reconfigured to hold eight rounds, the new ETM was designed from the ground up to hold eight. The tube is constructed from a high-grade, stainless steel and finished to a high polish to ensure smooth, reliable feeding. The slightly thicker, stronger steel resists feed lip cracking and tube spread, ensuring a longer service life.


The magazine tube has observation ports numbered two through eight so you can see your remaining rounds at a glance. To further ensure its structural integrity, the ports are located toward the rear on each side of the magazine body.



The other significant improvements were in the ETM's follower and base pad. The follower has an extended skirt to ensure stability and smooth, even feeding. It was also designed to precise dimensions to virtually assure slide lock on an empty magazine. The nylon used for both parts is durable and very slick.

The base pad has a slight recess to accommodate the longer magazine body without increasing the overall length of the magazine. Each pad is designed to cushion the blow of even a fully loaded magazine dropped on concrete during rapid reloads. The pads are also numbered one through 10 to aid in identifying specific magazines.


The final component, the magazine spring, also got a little attention. Wilson Combat selected a space-age, stainless steel spring wire to ensure the magazine would not take a set when left loaded for extended periods. The extended magazine tube also allowed them to compress the spring even less with a fully loaded magazine, further ensuring reliability by reducing the strain on the spring.


Now all that information is great, but anyone can read a press release. So rather than rushing to write a short review of an untested product, I used a dozen ETM magazines for all my training and 1911 tests over a six-month period.

As a long-time Wilson Combat magazine user, I wasn't expecting any problems, but you never know. So I left those magazines fully loaded for every minute of those six months that they were not in use. On the range, I ran thousands of rounds through each one, dropping fully loaded and empty magazines on the concrete over and over again. Through it all, I did not clean them once, yet I never experienced a magazine-related malfunction.

After testing them as thoroughly as I could, I would have to say Wilson Combat's Elite Tactical Magazines are as good as they get. If you're in the market for a reliable, durable magazine that won't let you down, I can recommend them without hesitation.

Recommended for You

Semi-Auto

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first...

Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in...

Revolvers

Remington Timeline: 1858 - Beals Revolver

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The...

2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

See More Stories

More Accessories

Accessories

New Pistol-Aiming Laser From Steiner

Handguns Online Staff - April 27, 2018

Steiner eOptics now offers two new pistol-aiming lasers' the TOR Micro and TOR Mini.

Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

Accessories

Review: Streamlight TLR-6

James Tarr - August 02, 2018

The Streamlight TLR-6 is a combination light/laser designed to fit dozens of compact and...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×