How to change the transmission oil in your Simplicity Broadmor 16HP lawn tractor

If you ever notice that you are trying to push the foot pedal to back up your tractor and it is very slow, then you may have one or two things going on – your transmission could be low on oil or it could be really old and due for a change. How do I know this? Well, I just lived it.

We have a 1998 Simplicity Broadmor tractor with a 42″ deck. It’s been backing up slower and slower for quite some time. When I bought the tractor new, I asked the dealer what I needed to do with the transmission – he said just make sure it has fluid but that’s it because it is sealed. He told me this in 1998 … and it’s now 2023. Yeah, I know now.

What is 10W-30 CD/SG?

Well, I was getting my tractor ready for the season and checked the plastic case and saw a dark shadow at the full mark. I took off the lid and couldn’t see any oil at all – anywhere inside. The cap said “TRANSMISSION OIL FILL 10W-30 CD/SG”? I had no idea what that meant so I called my master auto mechanic friend John up and he told me to put in a good real oil, not synthetic 10W-30.

The CD/SG was the API (American Petroleum Institute) service category. The “S” meant it was for automotive gasoline engines and the “G” code is the for engine vintage. SG was introduced in 1989 but is not considered suitable for engines introduced after 1993. Regarding “CD”, the “C” is for automotive diesel engines. “D” means it should not be used in diesels made after 1994. In short, a modern car engine 10W-30 oil would work just fine. The simplicity owner’s manual also states this. It takes about 3.5 quarts.

The Reservoir

As to the dark mark on the plastic reservoir – I guess it is stained now due to age. You sure can’t see the fluid in the container unless you remove the cap. It had probably been low on transmission oil for a long time. I topped it off and it worked like new.

I was so happy about the speed in reverse that I called John. He paused and asked if I ever change my transmission oil. I told him that I hadn’t based on what the dealer told me way back when and he just chuckled “boy, you better drain that transmission or you’re going to have a problem”.

So, I listened to John. I looked up in the manual where the drain plug was at, removed it and out came pitch black oil. Have you ever felt guilty about what you did to a machine? I sure did. Wow.

According to the manual, Simplicity recommended that the oil be changed after the first 50 hours of run time and then every 250 hours after that. Folks, I kid you not, I was at 527.6 hours in the meter. Wow. I felt really bad about putting the tranny though that. I was also amazed that it was still working.

I’m going to show you some photos of what I did. One thing I want to point out to you is to make sure the area around the filler cap is clean. You do not want to get any dirt into the transmission oil tank. I cleaned mine with brake cleaner and then blew it off with compressed air just to be sure. I also used my compressed air to blow the work area clean to reduce the odds of dirt getting in the transmission oil tank. Just remember- getting dirt in a tranny can wreck it.

The fill cap was filthy with dust and is a tight fit against the fuel tank. I cleaned it off with brake cleaner, a rag and then blew the area off with compressed air.
That centered hex head is the drain plug. It came free pretty easily. Clean and blow this off too – you don’t want dirt sticking to your drain plug when you go to re-install it.
None of my car/truck drain pans would fit under the tractor’s transmission but I noticed a 5 quart oil container would so I took an empty one, cut out a section of the wall and used it. Note, a full transmission will have somewhere around 3.5 quarts of oil in it.
I removed the drain plug and out came black oil. I felt bad the minute I saw how black it was. I let it drain for 15-30 minutes then I put a clean shop towel in the mouth of the tank and blew shop air in to get out all of the oil I possibly could.
The transmission drain plug is an interesting looking creature. Note the length and two O-rings. I carefully cleaned it, made sure the O-rings looked okay and wrapped it in a clean towel for later installation. Don’t forget to put the drain plug back in before you start refilling the tranny with fresh oil.
The oil was black as night. Well, lesson learned – change the oil.
I went to my local Autozone and it seemed like all of the brand name engine oils they had were semi- or full-synthetics. John recommended I go with a good conventional oil so I went to Tractor Supply (TSC) and their house brand of oil was conventional, API certified and very affordable. Now, the one odd thing is trying to get oil into the filler mouth- it is a weird angle so I had to buy something and what I got I do not have anything good to say about. The funnel you see above is two pieces – unless you keep the white corrugated tube pulled down, oil goes everywhere. I trimmed about 6″ off the original tube so I could hold the funnel while keeping the tube pulled down with one hand and pour oil from the jug with the other. What a headache. I will buy a better gooseneck funnel next time – I had a metal one that I haven’t used in years and couldn’t find.
Thanks to that awful funnel plus the oxidized tank not longer showing the fluid level I couldn’t see what I was doing and overfilled the reservoir so I used my MityVac vacuum bleeder to remove fluid. Next time I will move the tractor some and let the oil go into the tranny before I bring it down to the final level.I started the tractor and the tranny made some noise for a few seconds – maybe 15-30 and then it was fine once oil got everywhere. In hindsight, I probably could have avoided that if I had followed the transmission purging procedure on page 34 of the manual and will do that next time. By the way, it dawned on me that it probably pulled more oil out of the tank as it filled the tranny and it did so I added just a bit more to bring the oil to the cold full mark.
Done – runs great!


My big lesson learned was that transmission oil does need to be changed. Luckily I found this out before damaged happened. The symptom that set this all in motion was a very slow/weak reverse gear.

]Also, with this vintage of tractor, that transmission fluid reservoir is not longer semi-transparent. What looks like the fluid level is not so you need to manually check and be sure to blow all of the debris away from the cap before you open it. I thought there was fluid but when I opened it, there was no oil in sight.

Last lesson – use good conventional 10W-30 engine oil for the fluid – it works just fine.

So, after I did this I mowed our 1.5 acre yard and it worked great – no scary sounds, reverse was solid and I would swear it went forward faster. It was totally worth the the half-hour to hour that it took. I spent more time trying to figure out what to do than actually doing it and I hope this post helps you skip some of that.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Avoid Chinese Carbs on Your Kohler Command 16 Engine – Use a Kohler 12-853-93-S carb Instead

Back in 2020 my Simplicity Broadmor tractor with a Kohler Command 16 engine was running really bad and I suspected the carb was having issues so I bought two Chinese carbs off Amazon figuring one would work. They were different brands and about $19/each so I figured “why not?” Well, kind of wish I hadn’t so let me tell you what happened.

I replaced the carb but it really didn’t make a difference. I tried all kinds of stuff with no improvement and decided to use a small engine repair shop that shall go nameless. Turns out the ignition system had a known problems. The flawed Kohler Digital Spark Advanced Ignition (DSAI) was replaced with a Magneto Digital Ignition (MDI) model. Had I known about those issues and that the MDI part number was Kohler 12-707-01-S, I would have done it myself. But I didn’t, they did and they replaced the ignition.

So, let me recap – I had installed a Chinese carb and got it kind of working and the shop installed the MDI upgrade, got it running and called it even. On one hand it was running but it was rough, hard starting and often would backfire when either starting or stopping plus the power felt lower – it bogged down more when I got into tall grass. It got to the point that I had to do something but I wasn’t thrilled with the repair shop either.

Ok, so what did I do? I start reading up on the Command 16 engine in earnest – what I should have done the first time. The most likely culprit was the Chinese carb. The more I read about folks using Chinese carbs was that their quality was hit and miss. Guys who got them to work knew about how to tear down and rebuild a carb to fix what was overlooked by the factory. The guys who didn’t have that level of knowledge – like me – tended to run into problems. Hmmm…. yeah, I was definitely betting on the carb at that point.

I still had the original carb but it had been sitting empty for over three years and I wasn’t sure how the seals would be so I started digging on what OEM Kohler carb I should buy. Turns out that my original 12-053-83 carb was superseded (replaced with a new model) by the 12-853-93-S carb so I did some digging and found it on Amazon for $201.89. Yeah, it was a fair amount of money but buying a new tractor is a fortune these days so I took the gamble.

This was the original 12-053-83 carb the tractor’s Kohler Command 16 came with.

Replacing a carb on a Command 16 is very straight forward – remove the emissions hose, the two nuts that hold the air cleaner assembly in place, remove the fuel hose, the red electrical wire for the fuel solenoid and then you pull the carb off far enough so you can then move it around and remove the throttle and choke stiff wires. It took maybe 30 minutes – I was taking a photos too so that always slows things down.

Those two nuts hold the air cleaner assembly against the carb and the carb to the block. Once you remove them and disconnect the emissions hose, the air cleaner assembly slides right off and you will want to clean it and set it to the side.
Remove the fuel line on the right and disconnect the red fuel solonoid wire. The linkages can’t be removed until the carb is off the studs. You do not want to bend those linkage wires.
With the carb off the studs you now have enough freedom to move the carb and the linkages around until they come out of their respective holes. Take photos or a mental note of which linkage goes where and how they fit. Notice the little nylon bushing in the rear throttle linkage. That did not come with my new carb for some reason so I rescued it from the old carb and put it on the new one.
That little nylon bushing is what I am talking about – it’s upside down in this photo.
It will pushes into the throttle body linkage hole.
From left – New Kohler carb, middle is the Chinese carb and the right is the original Kohler carb.
Clean the area off carefully and put the new gasket that came in the kit on the studs. I am the process or replacing the old fuel solenoid wiring which is why you see two plug assemblies. Red to red and and the black ground wire goes under a screw on the block. I replaced them just to make sure the wiring was good and not wearing out from flexing over and over, oxidized, etc. A new one came with the carb kit so I did it.
So there is a step I couldn’t show because my hands were in use 🙂 Before you slide the new carb on the studs, attach the linkage wires/rods again. Once the carb is back on the studs, you will not be able to move things around enough to insert them. Attach the fuel line and the red fuel solenoid wire. If you turn on the ignition, you should definitely hear a “click” as the fuel solenoid opens. If not, check that the wires are seated, you have a good ground. There should be 12volts coming out of the red wire when you move the key to “on”. I had no problems.
Put the gasket on the carb, slide on the air cleaner, re-attach the emissions hose and tighten down the nuts. I brought them down a tad past snug but didn’t bother using a torque wrench. The studs are relatively small and in aluminum so don’t go crazy with tightening down the nuts.

I sprayed a bit of brake cleaner down the carb to give it some fuel and started it. I think I had to do it twice before there was enough gas in the carb for it to work but it ran great!! Wow – right out of the box. The one adjustment I made after I put on a new air cleaner was to the idle adjustment screw – shown in the top left of the photo. I lowered the throttle lever to where I wanted it to idle and then I screwed in the adjustment clockwise until I heard the RPM pick up. That acceleration told me the screw was engaging the throttle and opening it up more. When I then moved the lever down, the RPM would not go below that point. I then fine tuned it to the RPM that sounded good – yeah, I did it by ear.


The new Kohler carb ran like a champ. I wish I had just spent the money on it to begin with – yeah, it is expensive but worth it. I mowed our 1.5 acres the next day and what a difference it made! It hardly slowed down going through thick grass and I haven’t heard it run that good in years.

My recommendation to you is that unless you know small engine carbs and want to pull a cheap Chinese model apart and check it before you install it, spend the money on a Kohler as it is built right. By the way, I am not the only person who reports the Kohler carbs literally work right out of the box!

I hope this helps you out!

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Study looks at how well magazine springs hold up over time in storage and with use

Have you ever wondered how well your magazines are going to hold up? I know I’ve wondered that not to mention there are tons of armchair warriors on the Internet offering up their opinion or parroting others. So, what are the facts?

On the AmmoToGo blog called “The Lodge” is a very interesting report entitled “Magazine Spring Torture Test” that reports the results of an actual study they funded. The analysis was done by Applied Technical Services and is very much worth your time to read it.

The magazines tested is quite a list:

  • Magpul Gen 2 Pmag (30 round)
  • Magpul Gen 3 Pmag (30 round)
  • Magpul Gen 3 Pmag (40 round)
  • Amend2 AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • Lancer AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • USGI AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm Magazine (8 round)
  • ETS Glock 17 Magazine (17 round)
  • Glock 17 Factory Magazine (17 round)
  • Magpul Glock 17 Magazine (17 round)
  • Glock 17 Factory Magazine (33 round)
  • USGI 45 ACP 1911 Magazine (7 round)
  • Wilson Combat 45 ACP 1911 Magazine (8 round)

Click here to go to their site and read the report. Note, they provide a PDF where you can read about the data from all magazines tested – you definitely will want to check that out also.

Hope this helps you out – I found it very interesting. Finally results from a real study that you can review. Kudos for them to take the time and money to produce and share this!

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Buck is keeping it quiet but they have tanto ground combat knives (GCKs) for sale exclusively on their website right now!!

Folks, around 2020 Buck Knives introduced a very handsome line of fixed blade knives they called the Ground Combat Knife (GCKs) with spear and tanto profiles as well as in black and flat dark earth (FDE) Cerakote colors. The canvas micarta handles were in black and a tri-color for the FDE blades. Despite being extremely nice, Buck discontinued them sometime in 2021. Since then, you could only find them on eBay … until now.

5/13/23 Update – Sorry folks but there is no trace of this knife on the Buck website now. A few guys told me they were able to score one but now they are gone.

So I was surfing and accidentally pulled up a GCK tanto page at Buck Knives and it showed inventory – curious huh? The knife blade is black Cerakote with an OD canvas micarta handle. I don’t think they offered this configuration before. Now, the price was (and is right now) only $114.99. I ordered a couple and they showed up a few days later. I honestly thought it might be a website bug because I had not heard about these – they are absolutely real.

Whoa…. I paid $199-250 for the four blades I had from the original run and these things are incredibly nice. I do not see these new 893BO-B blades on any other boards (Amazon, KnifeCenter, BladeHQ, etc.) – they are just on the Buck website. I searched Buck 893BO-B and am not finding them anywhere else.

Now here’s my advice. Go buy one. Do it. Do it now. Whether you are a collector or a user, go buy this. I am betting this is a limited run and you will not see it again. Click here to go there now … do it now! I paid a ton for my GCKs from the first run. You can get this new model for a steal.

  • Overall length: 10-3/24″
  • Blade length: 5-1/2″
  • Blade thickneess: 0.200″
  • Blade alloy: 5130 High Cabon
  • Paul Bos Heat Treat
  • Weight 9.9oz
  • Handle: OD Green Micarta
  • Sheath with MOLLE straps
  • The knife is made in the USA but the sheath is imported
  • Buck’s Forever Warranty

Photos of One of My New 893BO-B Knives

Notice the 4/6/2023 production date. These are brand new.

Summary – Buy This Knife Now!

Listen, you will rarely hear me say this – buy this knife now! If you like Buck tactical knives or you know how good they are (and they are very good) – buy this right now. For that matter, buy two – one to use and one to collect. These are superb and I thought we would never see them for a reasonable price again. I doubt Buck will have them indefinitely and you don’t want to miss this chance.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

My Favorite Wood Grips Are Made By Browne Works

I sent out an email newsletter the other day with a photo of my RIA 51679 Rac Ultra in 9mm with wood grips. I also mentioned they are the only wood grips I have ever liked and was being honest. What surprised me was the number of people who emailed me asking if I had more photos and I do.

Mark Browne is the owner of Browne Works, Inc., located in Pasadena, MD, southeast of Baltimore. He has a wide variety of offerings for the Ultra and Tac Ultra both FS and MS models. He also has them for the A2 HC (like I needed) plus the BBR. The pricing is very reasonable also and he has a variety of materials you can choose from – click here for his website. If you want more info, I did a blog post about them a while back so click here for that to open in a new tab.

Otherwise, here are the new photos:

This is one of our new 10 round 9mm mags. The round count is limited by the dimples the Mec-Gar factory pressed in. The base plate is a Dawson +200 unit.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Add A Pool Ionizer to Save Money on Chlorine, Clarifier and Your Time!

We live in Southwest Michigan, have an older 40,000 gallon in-ground pool surrounded by trees and all kinds of vegetation. It seemed like trying to keep the pool clean was a never ending job. In July 2022 a friend recommeded that I buy a pool ionizer to clarify our pool and cut down on algae. The results are promising so let me explain.


On Amazon there are a ton of companies selling solar power pool ionizers. They basically look like a mushroom with solar cells on a flat top and then a 10-12″ cylinder that goes down in the water. In that cylinder is a mesh basket filter, a steel spring and a copper-silver anode.

The solar cells generate direct current (DC) voltage with the negative going to the copper cylinder-silver anode. The postive voltage goes to the metal spring that is the cathode and it encircles the anode with a slight gap in between. The slight current causes positively charged copper-silver “cat-ions” to come off the anode and then they float in the water until they bond with negatively charged microorganisms, such as bacteria and algae, and cause them to break down and due. Your filter then removes them.

Is this dangerous? No, the voltage and current are really low. The use of silver and copper to clean/purify surfaces has been known for hundreds of years. So, it’s definitely proven.

What did I buy?

Well, I read reviews on Amazon plus the friend recommended the model I bought. I went sith the EAAZPOOL Solar Ionizer for a 45,000 gallon pool. They make one for smaller pools but I needed this larger one.

The unit arrived nicely packed. I have not needed to use their customer support so far.

Assembly is super easy – turn the solar cell covered main unit upside down, screw in the anode on the bottom, put the spring in place, put the basket on and then use the plastic thumb screw to hold everything in place. It also comes with a big rubber band that you put around the outside of the main body to further seal the seam where the top and bottom halves of the case come together. You then place it in the water and it runs when the sunlights hits it.

Put the rubber band arund the “equator” or outside midde of the unit to further seal it. Note, you need to set the unit in the pool. I tossed it in once and the rubber band popped off. No harm done – I just fished it out and put the band on – no more tossing it in either.

If you disassemble the unit in a few days and check you will notice the surface of the copper-silver rod will be getting discolored and over time it will even become pitted.

About once a week you take the unit part and wire brush the anode and the wire cathode, plus rinse out the basket.

To take the unit apart, turn the plastic butterful screw counter-clockwise until it pulls out.
The basket and the spring cathode lift right off the unit. You can see the green corrosion. That’s after about 1-2 weeks.
The corrosion brushes right off – not hard to do at all. I just clean it right on the unit and the spring also. I then rinse it all off.
This is what the bottom looks like – the copper-silver anode screws onto the screw stud you see. The cathode wire sits on the silver metal contacts you see. The basket sits in the al perimeter.


For us, the most striking difference was the clarity of the water improved. While algae formation decreased some, I had hoped for more. This season I am putting a new anode and cathode in the existing unit and adding a second unit. Our pool only gets direct sun from about 11am until about 3pm because trees block the light so I don’t think enough ionization is happening. I’ll use the test strips they supply to make sure I don’t add too much.

The following are both the unit and the refill kit if you need it – my anode and cathode lasted from July to October just FYI.


Yes, they do work. Everybody I know with one likes it. My results with the definitely clearer water are promising and I think the second one in my case, with both a big pool and limited direct sun light, will cut back the algae they way I want.

I hope this helps you out. I’ll post an update this summer once I see how using two units works.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Use A Pool Leveller To Keep Your In-Ground Pool Full This Year: Fill-O-Matic Brand Worked Great For Me

We have an in-ground pool that was built in the 1970s. Every year when I open it, I wonder what all will be wrong. Starting some years ago we developed a small leak – most likely in a line somewhere. Between that and evaporation, it used to be a challenge to keep the water level correct. This was a big deal because if the water dropped below the skimmer then the pump would run dry and nothing got filtered. Notice how I put that in past tense? It’s not a problem any longer.

In October 2021, I bought a Fill-O-Matic automatic pool leveller. The brand sounds like a gimmick but it really works – I bought mine based on a referral actually but ran out of time before the season ended. However, right at the start of the 2022 pool season in Michigan I installed it and it couldn’t be more simple – you basically adjust the height to where you want the water, connect a host, turn on the water and away it goes.

It’s basically a float valve that moves up and down. When water is added, it moves up and eventually closes the valve. When it goes down, it reaches a point where it opens the valve and it does it in degrees – if the float goes down a bit, the valve only lets a little bit of water in.

The red plastic is the float. When it goes down, the valve gradually opens and water comes in as you can see. When the float goes up, the valve gradually closes.
This is the back of the unit – when you loosen the black finger nuts shown, you can then slide the float up and down and thus control your water level.

What I found was that the unit ran almost constantly but the amount of water it was adding in was small. It’s a very simple well made quality mechanical device and that’s good – that also means it will be reliable.


I ran it all of 2022 without a problem, rinsed it off before storing it and absolutely plan on using it this year again. By the way, it’s made in the USA and I actually corresponded with the inventor over some question I had – I recall he answered quickly and it addressed whatever it was that I asked. When I searched on Amazon for the product, I notice there are cheap import knock-offs. Be sure to the original Fill-O-Matic.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Improperly Adjusted Feed Lips in a Rock Island A2 HC Pistol Can Cause Failure to Eject

One of the things I enjoy about the firearm industry is meeting neat people. Dan Barnett contacted me a few weeks back. He is a certified “polymer” pistol armorer and had recently got into 1911s. As part of the journey, he purchased a used Rock Island Armory 51679 Tac Ultra FS HC 9mm and was trying to sort out why it was failing to eject way more than he cared for and he would have an empty case and a round trying to be fed in the slide at the same time. He and I hit it off because we both like the soft shooting Rocks.

Dan’s 51679 Tac Ultra

Because of my past experiences with RIA Tac Ultra 9mm extractors failing, I asked him how his looked and he told me that it looked nice and sharp – no broken parts. I send him my blog post on extractors and recommended he switch his to a Wilson Combat if he ever runs into a problem or wants to make the upgrade anyways.

There was a possibility the extractor tension was too light but I figured we’d assume it was okay for the moment. Note, if you open a slide slowly and watch the cartridge or casing being extracted, the extractor should maintain control all the way to the ejector. If it doesn’t and the extractor looks ok then it is most likely the tension and there are specialty gauges out there for testing and setting them.

With the extractor tentatively ruled out, what I told him was that not many people understand how critical the magazine feed lips are to proper feeding and ejection of a 1911 and that his Tac Ultra was just that – an oversize 1911.

What can happen is that the front feed lip gap can be set too wide allowing the front of the cartridge to tilt up in the air too far. Then, as the newly extracted case comes backwards, the riding too high bullet pushes the spent case up just enough to miss the ejector. Honestly, there is a really delicate brilliant dance going on inside a 1911 and all it takes is something to be off just enough and things go wrong.

Dan took his calipers to the four mags he had and the front of the feed lips that can be adjusted were all over 0.320″ and I recommend starting somewhere between 0.308 to 0.312″. There isn’t a magic number due to all of the variables one can encounter. Too wide and it can cause a failure to eject or stove piping. You can even have rounds falling out of the mag. Too narrow and you have the cartridge moving straight ahead, smashing nose first into the feedramp and stopping / jamming right then and there.

You can see the ejector is just above the rear rim of the dummy round and the round is angled up slightly. If that nose is up too much, it will nudge the extracting case high enough to miss or intermittently miss the extractor.
This is looking down at the face of the slide – what I want you to see is that there is nothing there to limit the round from working its way towards the top of the slide. The extractor has a firm grip on the rim of the case but that’s it.

Dan asked what he should do, I told him to disassemble the magazine and then carefully hold the magazine budy (the “tube”) on a table or better yet a piece of wood that lets the bottom lips dangle but supports the magazine all the upwards. Then lightly tap on each front side of the magazine to close the gap. Light tap left, light tap right, and measure. Repeat until it gets to the right gap – either via measurement or testing the mag with some dummy rounds.

This is a Steelworx machined stainless steel 9mm dummy round and what I prefer to use these days for testing. I no longer use the blue A-Zoom snap caps as they are not dimensionally identical to a true 115 9mm FMJ round. To adjust the lips, disassemble the mag and then tap on the front of the feed lips only – in the case you can see they are tapered in and are closest to the red. You do not need to hit on the other parts. By tapping on the front the steel lip will gracefully bend in the direction you are tapping it.
Dan adjusted his gap to be around around 0.3095 by looking at where the bullet would hit the ramp/enter the chamber and testing . Your gap could be different from his.

By the way, the back of the magazine is fixed due to the folded metal ears that form the back of the lips. You can’t adjust them much at all or they will buckle or break. I leave them alone.

This tapping doesn’t take a ton of effort so use a light hammer and light taps – this is not a “mongo smash” moment because if you crush the neck of the mag, it’s game over unless you have a mandrel to open it back up. These days I use a light body hammer to do the work.

If you go too far and need to open the lips, use malleable chain pliers also known as chandelier or lamp chain pliers to open the lips back up. External snap ring pliers can also work but are not my first choice. The chain pliers distribute the pressure along a larger area of the lips vs. the relative point pressure of the snap ring pliers’ pins.

Feed lip gaps will change with use – this is not a one time exercise and why it is a good idea to number your mags. This way you can write down the setting for each magazine or know that when you get back front the range which magazine you need to take a look at.

How did the adjustments work out for Dan? He finished a 1,000 round tactical range session with zero malfunctions. I told him to have fun because there is always something to adjust or tinker with on a 1911 and I mean that in a good way.

So, I hope this post helps you out!

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

When Strength and Quality Matter Most

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