Tag Archives: 10mm

We Make Custom 10 Round Magazines for Rock Island 10mm and .40S&W High Cap Pistols

It was brought to my attention that there are owners of high capacity (HC) Rock Island Armory (RIA) 2011-style A2 pistols who are in a jam because where they live limits their magazine capacity to 10 rounds (California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York state to name a few. The problem is that nobody is making 10 round magazines for these “high cap” RIA pistols — until now.

The following are the 15-round 10mm and .40 high cap RIA pistol models that I am aware of:

  • 51994 TAC Ultra MS 10mm
  • 51914 TAC Ultra FS 10mm
  • 56862 TAC Ultra Threaded 10mm
  • 52000 PRO Match Ultra 6″ HC 10mm
  • 52009 Rock Ultra FS HC 10mm
  • 51738 Pro Match Ultra H – 40S&W

How did we make a 10-round magazines?

Okay, good question. The RIA pistols are related to Para Ordnance pistols (Paras) so magazines for those pistols can be adapted. Mec-Gar is a large players in the magazine market and it just so happens they make a number of magazines for the Paras including ones with 10-round limits – the MGP164010B – “B” meaning blued and MGP164010N – “N” meaning nickel plated.

This is the Mec-Gar MGP164010B magazine – the feed lips need to be trimmed and opened up and the baseplate needs to be replaced as the long front tab will not fit in the big mag well funnels that RIA puts on their pistols plus they really need to be longer to allow you to effectively smack that mag into position in a rush. Last comment – that dimple is pressed in with a die and limits the follower from going down to far such that only 10 rounds can be limited.

The above magazines are essentially Mec-Gar’s 15-round Para P16 MGP164015B magazine but with the dimples pressed into each size of the magazine limited the capacity to 10 rounds. So everything I learned about converting the Para 16 mags over for RIA HC use applied here not to mention the jigs I had worked out to do the work.

I’m not going to re-invent the wheel – click here for blog post on the MGP164015B conversion. It’ll give you a good idea of what was done and is the same work that needs to be done with these 10-round magazines.

These are three examples of the converted 10-round magazines ready for RIA HC pistol use. The thicker Dawson Precision +200 base plates protrude just a bit from the big RIA funnel and allow for positive seating of the mags (that’s a fancy way to say “slap them in so they seat fully”).
This is a better view of the modified feed lips. The magazines retain their original followers that lock the slides open.
The +200 base plate extends just a bit below the funnel.

Because of pistol and magazine variations, you may find that you need to adjust the feed lips just a bit for your pistol. This sounds daunting but it is actually quite easy. Click here for the blog post on that.

I have an initial batch of magazines ready for sale and have more if the Para mags coming in. I don’t know how secure the supply will be of the Mec-Gar 10 round magazines but I will try to keep them in stock.

Click here for the listing in our online store for these mags.

I hope this helps you out.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Adjusting 2011 Rock Island Armory HC Magazine Feed Lips – It’s Easier Than You May Think

In most magazine fed weapons, the angle at which the cartridge feeds into the chamber is critical to reliable functioning. This is certainly the case on 2011 and Para-style pistols. I wrote up a blog post outlining what I did to modify Mec-Gar Para P16 10mm/.40 magazines over for use in the Rock Island HC-series (High Cap series) pistols such as my 10mm 52009 (click here if you want to read it). I got a few emails from guys asking if I could explain what needs to be done to adjust the cartridge angle.

Okay, so what is controlling the feed angle is in part the shape of the lips, the gap between them and the shape of the follower. Let’s take a look at an ACT-MAG that works for both .40 and 10mm:

This is a Rock Island Armory 10mm magazine. It’s made by ACT-MAG and is part number  OEMP164015B. RIA worked with them to design the angle of the lips, the gap between the lips and the shape of the follower to feed the round at the right angle. The cartridge is a 10mm Underwood with a 155gr XTP JHP bullet. Look at the angle.

There are a whole bunch of reasons why you need to adjust the angle as a consumer. Slight variations in how the pistol or magazine were made, wear over time, etc.

What you can do is to bend the feed lips open or closed in the front to adjust the angle. This works because the cartridge is round and the gap affects how far up that part of the cartridge will rise up.

By changing the gap between the feed lips, the cartridge goes higher or lower. The trick is to adjust parts of the lips – usually just the front portion. Yeah, I can’t draw to save my life but I hope you get the basic idea.

In general, the back of the lips are relatively fixed because of the extra material around them. Now they can get bent out of shape for one reason or another and I would recommend you compare the front and back feed lip caps of a questionable magazine to a good magazine.

Safety Comment – Use Dummy Cartridges / Snap Caps

I said this in the first post and it is so important that I want to reinforce the message – I knew I was going to need to do a ton of cycling of rounds. Using live ammo is risky because you have the very real risk of a negligent discharge. To avoid this, order yourself in a bunch of dummy cartridges. There are sellers on eBay that will sell you 10+ at time. Order yourself in 10-20 rounds. You are going to smash the crap out of them due to the heavy recoil spring a 10mm uses. I trashed at least 10-15 of them. Most were due to the bullet being smashed back into the case, one dented the case pretty bad and one deformed the case right at the mouth.

I can’t even guess how many cycles I did – especially starting out. I’m going to hazard a guess and say I averaged about three cycles per dummy before something failed on the dummy as I worked out the kinks and I would load three rounds per magazine to do the testing.

I can’t stress it enough – get dummies to tune your magazines.

Actually Adjusting The Lips

The goal is for the bullet to point straight into the chamber so that when the slide goes forward, the cartridge is stripped from the magazine and is fed straight into the chamber. We can move the front of the cartridge up and down by changing the gap between the lips.

In general, the gap at the back of the lips tend to be slightly smaller than the front. What happens is the cartridge gets pinched/stopped at the back while the relatively wider front portion allows the cartridge to be pushed farther upwards per the figure above.

Do not rush! If you take your time this goes pretty smooth. Do a little bit of adjustment and test over and over. It gets easier the more you do it.

If you need to close the lips, you can slightly crush them in a soft-jawed vise, use rubber/plastic tipped/non-marring pliers or light taps with a non-marring hammer. Just do a little and test over and over. In general, I use either the vise or pliers depending on how my hands feel as I prefer the control vs. tapping with a hammer. Everyone has their preferences and I know guys who can rock with a hammer. It’s up to you.

I get it in the ballpark and then I fine tune by spreading the front lips open a bit with malleable chain pliers – these are made for being the links of chain that some hanging light fixtures have. Any plier that opens when you squeeze it, such as external snap ring pliers, can work.

These are malleable ring chain pliers. You can find them readily on Amazon or eBay – plus there are good odds that your local store selling hanging lights might have them as well. Also not the dummy rounds pictured and the odd mottled color. Those are from Realistic Snap Caps and work great.

What I do is to put the pliers inside the front edge and open just a tad. I don’t try to do it all at once – it doesn’t take much to open them up a slight bit. So do that and then test with dummy rounds (snap caps) over and over. You will trash a lot of dummy rounds doing this so keep spares around. I absolutely do not recommend doing this with live ammo – it’s an accident waiting to happen.

You just want to open that front part a bit to raise the cartridge up. If you need to close it. I really prefer using a vise or non marring pliers to squeeze the lips shut. Some guys use a rubber tipped hammer and that works for them but I prefer more control.
I put my pliers on that angled portion of the magazine tube to spread open the front but there are other approaches also.

You really need to experiment with every mag and fine tune them. I don’t have a set of measures that works perfectly every time. Instead, just remember to aim the bullet at the chamber and tune from there.

Last comment – always take your pistol to the range and make sure a magazine is reliable before you count on it. I like to number my mags to I can keep tabs on ones that are having problems and need adjustment.

Videos

Here are two mag lip tuning videos by Atlas Gunworks who has way more experience than I do. The first is about feed lip tuning when it comes to STI magazines – they are similar and you can get ideas but they are slightly different as well so the dimensions may not apply in your case:

The second is about STI magazine tuning in general – another solid video you can get ideas from:

Lastly, let me share this video from Adrian Cobb who owns MBX magazines and they make both STI and Para style mags. They don’t support 10mm today but plan to in the near future (note, they changed the thickness of their tubes and while they work with .40 caliber rounds right now, they stopped handling 10mm but they plan to address this in the near future):

Conclusion

This is what I do and it works for me. I know other guys have other approaches so do some searching and decide what works best for you. I hope this helps you out.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



The Magnum Research DE1911G10 10mm Pistol At The Range – It’s A Keeper

In the previous post I outlined my first impressions, cleaning and lubrication of the Desert Eagle 5″ 1911 in 10mm (model DE1911G10). I finally had a chance to get to the range and I was so impressed.

It was a nice Spring day as I set up at the Berrien County Sportsmen’s Club’s pistol range. I have always liked the club in general and I like to use their pistol range with metal plates at about 30 feet when I am testing pistols.

The 1 0 yard pistol range wih metal plates is great for testing pistols. I like how I can pull the rope and reset the plates for another round.

For testing,I brought some Ammo, Inc. 180 grain TMC rounds that I had bought in bulk from Palmetto State Armory (PSA). I have to confess that before I bought the ammo I had never heard of “TMC” and had to look it up. TMC stands for Total Metal Case where in the entire lead bullet is covered with copper vs. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) that leaves the lead at the base of the bullet exposed. TMC is not a magic silver bullet though – there are pros and cons with the process but regardless, it is another option for you to explore when you are looking for range ammo.

I also brought with me a variety of other rounds including S&B 180grain FMJ, Underwood 155 and 200 grain XTP hollow points.

I also brought a number of Wilson Combat and TRP Cobra Mags with me. There are a ton of magazine makers out there and some tend to be better than others. I’ve not had a problem with Wilsom or Cobra 1911 10mm magazines yet.

The left magazine is a 9-round Wilson. The middle magazine is a 9-round Tripp Cobra and the right magazine is a 10-round Cobra.

For safety, I was using my shooting glasses and my Leight Howard electronic hearing protectors.

Looking Over the Pistol

You know, really wasn’t sure if I would like a two tone pistol but it has grown one me. The attention to detail is just remarkable and I wanted to share a few more photos:

Skeleton hammer, nice beaver tail, checkered backstrap. The G10 handle plates are surprisingly comfortable. Note the safety is not ambidextrous but since I am right handed, it really doesn’t bother me.
It’s a sharp looking pistol. I really wasn’t sure how I would like the two tone finish and blue/black handles but it actually looks really good in person. By the way, it worked just fine with all of the Wilson and Tripp Cobra mags I brought.
I kid you not, I was really surprised about how good the trigger pull was.
You can see the bull barrel and lack of a bushing. I really have grown fond of front serrations on slides in general to aid with getting a good grip to rack the slide. A 10mm 1911 tends to have a pretty stout spring so I like the serrations. My RIA 52009 does not and I can tell you it is not as easy for me to rack from the front.
I really like the attention to detail. Notice how the bottom of the G10 slab is beveled, the front of the grip is checkered and the mag well is beveled to aid in loading? That helps you get an idea of the attention to detail.
All the controls functioned just fine.

Shooting the Pistol

I got up to the line, loaded my first mag, racked the action, took aim and squeezed off a round of the Ammo,Inc 180gr TMC. The first thing I noticed was how smooth it cycled – It’s hard to explain what I am thinking when I test a firearm but the first few rounds are all about function – feed, cycling, ejection, etc.

I proceeded to shoot more magazines and noticed there were no failures to feed (FTFs) or failures to eject (FTEs). Matter of fact, after I shot probably 100-150 rounds of all the different 10mm loads I brought and had zero problems. Folks, that is remarkable right there. So often firearms have to wear in and I am kind of used to having a few problems as stuff gets to know each other. Not here – it ran like a top from start to finish.

In terms of accuracy, I was regularly hitting the plates. I’m good enough with a pistol so I’ll just say the pistol was hitting what I was shooting at reliably. I’ll try it from the bench some time and see.

The ergonomics were all solid. I liked the whole package – the trigger, checking, feel of the grip panels and the serations on the front of the slide. Matter of fact, this is the first 1911 in ages where I think I may well leave the G10 grip panels on it vs. swapping out to the Hogue wrap-around models I usually use.

The grip angle of the 1911 has always appealed to me. It enables me to use a natural point of aim meaning I bring my hands up and I am pointing at the target. With a Glock for example, I have to adjust my aim. Now everyone is different — if you are new to pistols, go down to your local gunstore and try different models. Literally see which one feels best for you.

Conclusion

This pistol is probably going to be one that I keep if I were to make a bet. As my friend Scott can tell you, it’s rare that I keep a gun around – I buy it, try it, learn from the design and move on. Every once in a while some design really strikes me and I keep it aroud. That’s the case with this Desert Eagle. They are hard to find right now and I bought mine off Gunbroker. If you find one, I’d definitely recommend it.

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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.




The Magnum Research DE1911G10 10mm Pistol – I Really Like It!

Ok folks, I’m experimenting with 10mms again. I had a run in with a bear last summer and while nothing happened, it sure made me want to carry a more powerful pistol than a 9mm. Years back, I had a Dan Wesson Bruin and a Rock Island 6″ Ultra that were both in 10mm that I eventually sold and was firmly in the 9mm camp for years.

My first 10mm to try out this time around was a Springfield Armory TRP Operator with a 6″ barrel. Folks, I genuinely was not impressed and reliability sucked out of the box (click here for a blog post about that). So I dug around and ran into the Magnum Research 1911-style pistols. Know what? They get great reviews and guys kept mentioning how well they were made and what great triggers they had.

I ordered a DE1911G10 pistol and it arrived a bit over a week later so I rushed over to my friend Scott Igert’s gun store (Michigan Gun Exchange) and checked it out. I was genuinely impressed by how smoothly the action cycle and the excellent trigger right out of the box. I’m used to things being gritty or really tight from lack of lubrication but this pistol was remarkably smooth. I’ve only encountered one other pistol this way – my Dan Wesson Bruin was slick – but nothing has come with this nice of a trigger right out of the box.

Before going further, let’s take a step back and look at who makes this pistol.

Magnum Research Makes 1911 Pistols?

The short answer is “no” but they do sell them. I owned a Desert Eagle Mk.V .44 magnum way back in the 90s so I was familiar with the Magnum Research (MR) of old but kind of stopped keeping track as the years went by. I did some digging and over the years they worked out deals with other firms to make certain pistols (for example IMI/IWI and Saco) they sold and eventually MR was bought by Kahr Arms in 2010.

The firm that actually makes the MR 1911 pistols is BUL Armory of Tel Aviv, Israel. They were founded in 1990 and make a wide range of CZ, 1911 and 2011-style pistols. Their pistols have s great reputation and are in use all over the world.

My Pistol

It’s a good looking pistol and I am glad it doesn’t have the huge gaudy engraved letters on the side that previous Desert Eagle 1911s had. If you don’t know what I mean, just look at some pre-2020 articles or posts and you’ll see.

I had to wait for some time to take the pistol apart, clean and lube it before going to the range. For those folks new to firearms reading this – you always clean and lubricate a new firearm – even if they come in a bag soaked in oil.

The DE1911G10 disassembles like any 1911 with one big exception – does not have a bushing so to remove the slide assembly requires the insertion of a pin in a hole they machined in the recoil spring guide (the round metal rod that the recoil spring rides around).

It seems like I am seeing fewer pistols with bushings – at least 10mms. The ones with a setup like this make takedown very easy – you lock the slide open, put a bent pin (MR/BUL provides one) into the exposed hole in the recoil spring guide, release the slide and then the recoil spring tension is removed. Everything then strips down real easy – easier than even traditional 1911s in my opinion because you aren’t fighting any spring tension trying to shove the slide forward.
With the pin in place and the slide released, the pin holds the spring in place. Note, I released the slide by gently racking it – not just dropping the slide stop as that will slam the recoil spring parts against the pin unnecessarily. If you don’t have a factory pin, you can bend a small paper clip to have a small 90 degree leg on one end. It doesn’t look very good but it does the job.
You pull the spring assembly straight back and out – including the pin. Just take care not knock the pin out. A 10mm pistol uses a stout spring and it will be a bear to re-assemble. Either use a vise to help or a second person. I plan to do a blog post on this at some point.

Cleaning and Lubricating

For a while now, I’ve been using RamRodz to clean pistol barrels and bought packages for both my 9mm and 10mm pistols. I like how tight they fit and I can really clean out the barrels. I coat them with CLP to do the cleaning, lubrication & protection (hence the acronym CLP).

I wiped everything down to remove any dirt or debris from the factory. Other than the oil that coated the pistol from the factory it was very clean. In looking at the parts, everything was nicely made, fitted and assembled. So far, so good.

Here’s the field stripped pistol with all of the major parts plus you can see the RamRodz, CLP and my precision SuperLube applicators.

To lubricate the pistol, I use Superlube liquid to get all of the traditional points except for the slide rails and the heavy bull barrel. On those I user SuperLube synthetic grease to make things slick. Folks, when it comes to lubrication you will get a million opinions and get into arguments. It just so happens that I find SuperLube works really well and I use the grease on all of my firearms now where parts slide together. It’s a synthetic grease and it has tiny PTFE (Teflon) particles in it to help with lubrication. I know when you hear “Super” in anything it sounds like a rip off but this stuff really works and I have been using it for a few years now on my pistols and rifles.

I use an acid brush to lightly apply SuperLube grease to all surfaces the slide – the frame rails and the bull barrel because it directly contacts the slide. It makes one heck of a difference folks.

Re-Assembly

Again, it’s just like a 1911 with the exception of that recoil spring assembly. Just insert the barrel into the spring and then carefully insert the recoil spring assembly so the groove is against the barrel and don’t knock the pin out of the hole.

Re-assembly is easy with no spring to fight. Just don’t knock the retaining pin out of place.

Video For People New to 1911 Pistols

If you are new to 1911s I have great news – there are tons and tons videos, blogs and books about how to clean and care for your 1911. Just remember by comments above about there not being a bushing and the takedown pin you insert in the recoil spring guide — otherwise it is the same.

The following video from Ruger has a very similar bull barrel, no bushing and uses a pin. The person doing the video does a nice job.

This next video covers re-assembly:

These next two videos provide nice overviews of cleaning a 1911:

Conclusion

The action and trigger were so slick at this point! I was deeply impressed. After lubricating, the trigger pull averaged about 4 lbs 2oz using my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. In general, I like the trigger – I can feel where it is going to break and then can cleanly pull through.

Okay, with this part done and my seriously liking the pistol up to this point, I had to take it the range and that will be the next post.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Yes, we do have OEMP164015B compatible magazines In Stock

Hi folks, I am just trying to get the word out there that we actually have OEMP164015B compatible magazines that the 10mm and 40mm high cap 2011-style RIA pistols use in stock.

The base magazine I used to create these mags are the very well made Mec-Gar magazines for the Para P-16 (mag model MGP164015B). In addition to being close in terms of the required tube design, the Mec-Gar mags are quality and feature:

  • heat treated tubes
  • high tensile music wire springs
  • the follower is made from high impact nylon and locks the slide open

These mags were all converted by me and then hand fit and tuned to my RIA 52009 high cap 10mm pistol. For most shooters they should be good to go. If there is a feed problem then a minor adjustment of the feed lips (perhaps opening them a tad so the round sits higher) should be all that is required.

This is my personal 52009 10mm pistol. The magazine on the left is one of mine and has a +100 Dawson baseplate on it. The mag on the right is an original OEMP164015B that is made by ACT-Mag for RIA.

To accommodate the flared mag well that RIA put on these pistols, I used a variety of lengths of Dawson Precision base plates. The +100 Dawson model pretty much is flush with the bottom of the flared mag well, the +200 sits just a bit lower and the +300 is lower still. The number refers to the length (0.100, 0.200 and 0.300 inches).

Here’s a picture of three converted mags. As the text says in the photo, from left to right the Dawson Precision base plates are the +100, +200 and +300 models.

Our prices start at $69.99 and go down (not up) the more you buy. I just saw some of these magazines listed for the first on GunBroker this morning and they start at $80 and go up!

Click here for the section of our online store where these magazines are at.

Click here if you would like to open my blog post about how the magazines were converted.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


How To Convert Para P16 Magazines For Your High Capacity Rock Island 10mm Pistol

In the first post, I outlined the problem that high cap Rock Island Armory 10mm magazines (OEMP164015B) are next to impossible to find right and and shared some of the research I did. I also let the cat out of the bag that I figured out a way to successfully convert Mec-Gar Para P16 magazines (MGP164015B) for use in the RIA pistols.

Safety Comment – Use Dummy Cartridges / Snap Caps

I said this in the first post and it is so important that I want to reinforce the message – I knew I was going to need to do a ton of cycling of rounds. Using live ammo is risky because you have the very real risk of a negligent discharge. To avoid this, order yourself in a bunch of dummy cartridges. There are sellers on eBay that will sell you 10+ at time. Order yourself in 10-20 rounds. You are going to smash the crap out of them due to the heavy recoil spring a 10mm uses. I trashed at least 10-15 of them. Most were due to the bullet being smashed back into the case, one dented the case pretty bad and one deformed the case right at the mouth.

I can’t even guess how many cycles I did – especially starting out. I’m going to hazard a guess and say I averaged about three cycles per dummy before something failed on the dummy as I worked out the kinks and I would load three rounds per magazine to do the testing.

I can’t stress it enough – get dummies to tune your magazines.

Comparing the RIA and Para Mags

Per the first post, Armscor’s RIA mags are actually made my ACT-Mag. Since my pistol did not come with a mag, the seller was able to get Armscor to send me a OEM mag so I had a baseline to compare to. I definitely made sure it function tested properly before doing anything else. Never assume something works until you test it – I can’t stress that enough.

To let you see the differences, here are photos with comments in teh captions of the two mags:.

The RIA model has a plastic baseplate and the the Para model (right) has a steel base plate. Look at the top – the feed lips are much longer on the Para. The magazine locking slot is the same.
RIA on the left – see how the baseplate is stepped. This clears the big mag well funnel on the RIA pistols. The longer flat metal base plate runs right into the funnel and prevents the mag from seating. The RIA model has “40 SW Made in Italy” – the 10mm uses the same mag. Now the Para mag has more marking. On the left edge of the mag in the photo you can see “-A-” and on the right lower-edge in says “MG P16 .40-15”. The followers are a tad different and again the different length feed lips are apparent.
From left to right: Para, RIA, empty Para tube. The RIA follower is slightly different. I found that they work okay but I wasn’t sure at first.
Top is the RIA base plate and the bottom is the Para. The Para’s metal plate is too long but can easily have the front ground down to fit the mag well. The tapered top of the RIA base plate can clear the funnel. The Para’s plate is more like an immediate shelf or duck’s bill that hits the front of the funnel. The other three sides of the Para base plate are fine.

What Needed To Change?

There were two things that needed to change for sure and one maybe:

  1. The feed lips on the Para were too long thus preventing the round from pivoting up to align with the chamber. Fortunately the Para lips need to be trimmed. It would be far harder, if not impossible, to lengthen the lips if they were too short.
  2. The base plate needed to either be trimmed or replaced to fit in the mag well funnel
  3. This was the “maybe”: The followers were slightly different and I didn’t know if the original Para follower would work or not. I figured that I would address the first two points and then decide the next steps. Let’s start with the easy one – what to do with the base plate.

Changing The Base Plate

You have two options here and either one works – it’s up to you. When you remove the Para base plate you will notice that the tube of the magazine’s body rests in a cup. You can remove that front tab off just shy of the depression. I left about a 1/4″ in front. This serves to stop the plate and located it properly on the plate. Seriously – just file, sand, or otherwise cut the extra material off. I used my big 2×72 Esteem grinder to remove the extra material and round the edges.

On the left is a modified base plate and on the right is an original. I reprofiled the plate on my grinder but you could use any tool you are comfortable with. Just remove material until the magazine seats fully. The above modified plate has about a 1/4″ or a tad more of material on it. You just need to leave enough for the plate to be positioned appropriately on the magazine. Yes, the mags do drop free.

The pro of the above is that it is fast, easy and cheap to do. The con is that the bottom of the magazine sits further into the mag well than I would like. You could easily add .100-.200 of material on the bottom using somethign like Kydex or G10 and some quality epoxy or a stiff rubber with an adhesive tape. In all cases be sure to drill or punh the hole out so you can remove the plate in the future – I had that mistake many year ago and learned a lesson – it is way easier to make the hole before you install it and need to remove the baseplate!

Your second option is to buy an aftermarket base plate. I bought some plates from Dawson Precision that I really like. Their +100 plates sit flush with the mag well, the +200 extends just below/outside of the mag well and the +300 sits further yet. All three work and it comes down to preference.

Here are two Dawson extended base plates on the left. The top left is their +300 model and below it is the +200. My modified plate is in the magazine. The Dawson plates are CNC machined and fit perfectly. I like both.

Changing The Feed Lips

This step is slightly more involved than the baseplate. In this step we need to shorten the longer Para feed lips. Again, I was really happy they just needed to be shortened. I was expecting to need to change the angle but shortening them isn’t as bad as you may think.

This is where having an original RIA mag to compare to the Para mag was invaluable. I needed to remove the same amount of material from the front of both feed lips. After watching the pistol load the mag and feed dummy rounds as closely as I could, I decided to use my grinder to remove material in a straight line from the front top edge to where I wanted the new front of the feed lips to be.

Rather than measure and transcribe, I used a steel divider (compass) that was my grandfather’s. I like doing stuff like that when the occasion suits. A divider wants to spring open and a small thumbscrew allows you to adjust the gap between the two points. In the case of the feed lips, I could use it to duplicate the length of the feed lips to each new magazine I needed to cut down using the back of the feed lips as the reference point.

Adjust the divider so the points are at both ends of the RIA magazine’s feed lips. This makes it extremely easy to scribe the mark for where the feed lips will be trimmed to on the Para mags. Yeah, these dividers are old. They belonged to my grandfather, then my dad and now me. Using tools reminds me of projects with my dad and the importance of family.

I would then use a scribe with a carbide tip to etch the distance and a small steel rule served as a straight edge from which I scribed a line at an angle from the front top edge of the magazine tube back to the length I just scribed.

Two things – first you can see the line I will grind down to marked on the magazine body. Second, the scribe has a carbide tip that cuts right through the finish and makes a real easy line to see. The first scribe I tried had a hardened steel tip and it didn’t make a very clear line. The carbide tipped one bit right in and easily scored the finish. Get a carbide tipped scribe if you can. I tried varying the angle it didn’t seem to make a big difference. I tried to more closely follow the original edge of the magazine with latter magazines.

Everything above that line needed to be removed. Again, I used my big 2×72 belt sander, or “grinder” as knife makers call them. I squared my work table to the belt, used a 80 grit belt and removed the offending steel by carefully pushing my scribed line towards the belt in a parallel manner. In English, I sanded off the metal above the scribed line 😉 Any kind of sander would make short work of this but it will be way easier if it has a flat table that will enable to you feed the magazine towards the sanding belt or sanding disc in a controlled manner. I would not do it free hand – same goes with a file but I’ve also seen guys wield a pile of files to do work I only thought could be done by a mill so to each their own. By the way, take care not to overheat the lips when sanding.

This is my 2×72 Esteem grinder (belt sander) and it’s simply wicked. I bought it after my dad passed away and it whipped the extra material of the mags with speed and ease. Because the work platform is trued to the belt’s backing plate, I found I could trim the mags in one pass by putting the flat edge on the platform and feeding the magazine into the belt to remove material. I think it’s an 80-ish grit belt and it left a burred edge that definitely needed cleaning up. Note, these big grinders run cool due to the long belt and a variable speed drive that let’s me dial down the speed so I don’t burn the metal. You don’t want to hurt the heat treat so an easy gauge for novices is to not let your work piece get hotter than you can touch. You can let it air cool or have a dunk tank – just be sure to spray it with WD40 later to displace the water.

Slow down removing material as you get close to the line. Double check all of your measures and scribed lines. It is way easier to take more metal off than to remove too much.

With the coarse cut made, you need to go in and remove all of the burrs and round the sharp steel edges over. I used a specialty flap sander known as a “sanding mop” at 180 grit and then a rubber polishing cone in my Dremel.

I used a type of flap sander known as a sanding mop to do the initial deburring but you could use small files, stones, or whatever you are comfortable with. Here, I am using a rubber polishing bit to clean things up and ensure there are rounded edges on all of the newly trimmed steel.

Last, blow out the tub, wipe it out and clean the body too. You don’t want abrasive materials jamming up the magazine or the pistol. After that, reassemble the magazine and check the action of the follower and that everything seems ok.

After blowing out the tubes. I used a purpose built Arredondo HiCap Mag Brush to ensure the insides of the tubes were clean.

Las step was to function test the magazine with at least three dummy rounds. Four would be even better because you will test feed from both directions as the follower pushes the rounds up from the bottom of the magazine.

Feed Lip Measures

I measured the first few magazines I converted and they were fine so I stopped checking every mag unless I ran into a problem during function testing.

Feed LipRIA MagMGP164015BModified
Length0.482″0.599″0.436-.438″
Front Gap0.356″0.354″0.362-0.364″
Back Gap0.340″0.364″0.336-0.370″
Measures are approximates. I had one RIA mag and measured two MGP164015B mags and averaged the measures. The length was a challenge as I had to make a judgement call as to where the actual front part of the lip was at given the angle. The length was measured from the back forward. I measured three modified mags after fine tuning. Each mag was tuned until it reliably fed.

Fine Tuning

Trimming the lips gets you in the ballpark but more work needs to be done. Every magazine was deburred and had all top surfaces deburred and polished. The inside of the magazine was treated with Dupont Teflon. The feed lips were adjusted until four rounds fed reliably into my RIA 52009 10mm pistol. The final round was tested four times.

To tune the feed lips, use snap ring pliers or chandelier chain pliers to open the feed lips ever so slightly and test. In general, it does not take much. Your goal is to get the bullet pointed towards the chamber as much as possible. Go slow and test – it really does not take much to spread the lips and change the angle.

This fine tuning gets you in the ballpark – you then need to actually go to the range and shoot them to see if any final tuning is needed and then brings us up to the last topic – you need to number your mags so you can keep track of what mags are having problems so you can work on them.

Note: I purposefully fit the mags to use the supplied Mec-Gar followers that can lock the slide open. There are aftermarket Arredondo followers that are really nice and are angled to point the round more at the chamber. The downside is that they don’t lock the slide open – while a person in competition doesn’t need that, I do like to know when I fired the last round.

Number Your Mags

A lot of feeding problems are actually caused by the magazine – notably the feed angle and that is controlled by the feed lips and the follower. The feed lips can get bent when they are dropped, sat on, or whatever. The follower is plastic and will wear over time – not fast, but it will wear.

You need to put a unique number on each magazine so you can track the ones that are having problems and need some tweaking. I’ve seen guys use engravers, paint pins and stickers. What you use is up to you. I’m currently using waterproof stickers on my mags.

I am using waterproof stickers to track my mags. You could use an engraver or paint pen. I find that permanent markers rub off way to easy. The paint pens are a bit better. The method that holds up best is an engraver if you are good enough at it.

Conclusion

I now have my original RIA magazines and a nice back up selection of mags for hunting, going to the range, bear protection, etc. How did they turn out? So far, so good at the bench. I expect most will do really well at the range as well and I am waiting for a chance to go.

Left is the original RIA mag, in the middle is a converted mag with a Dawson +200 base plate and the mag on the right is also a converted unit but with a +300 base plate.
This is the mag well on the high cap pistols. It’s big and I really like it but it really does mean that you need to have a longer baseplate and just a piece of metal like the Para P16 originally had. You can make your own by adding something to the Para plate or buy an extended plate such as the ones from Dawson Precision that I use.
Pistol with the original RIA mag fully inserted. It is almost flush with the bottom of the mag well.
This is the +200 Dawson base plate. It stick out far enough that I can firmly seat / smack / beat the mag into place if I need to. Not much to grab onto though but all of the mags easily drop free – at least during bench testing they do.
The .300 base plat stick out a tad further. Dawson’s number is the length in tenths of an inch – 0.100, 0.200 and 0.300. I ordered some 0.100 plates but they haven’t arrived yet. They will likely be very close to the polymer plate that RIA has on their mags.

I figure there must be guys like me who have one of the RIA high cap .40 or 10mm pistols who want spare mags and hope this will help them out.

After I worked out the process, I converted a bunch of mags for use on the RIA 10mm pistols. You can order one (or more) by clicking here. Not to mention they are way cheaper than the GunBroker listings.

4/1/2021 Update: Added dimensions for the modified mags and info on fine tuning.

3/22/2021 Update: I took them to the range and they worked great with both Ammo Inc 180gr TMC ammo and a variety of Underwood HPs.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA Has 10mm Range and Hollow Point Ammo In Stock!

FYI: Palmetto State Armory (PSA) has a fair amount of 10mm ammo in stock. The Ammo Inc brand 1q0mm ammo is getting good reviews. Click here or on the photo.

Are You Having A Hard Time Finding OEMP164015B Rock Island 10mm Pistol Magazines?

Ok, so I wanted to get back into the high capacity 10mm 1911 game. Generically, these are often referred to as 2011 pistols. The first maker I know who used that label was STI back when they offered both 1911 single-stack and 2011 pistols. At some point, the Philippine firearms company Armscor entered the fray with higher capacity Rock Island Armor (RIA) models based on the Para design. Notice how I say “based on” because not everything interchanges. So with a bit of history, let’s skip forward to my 52009 pistol. It’s a nice solidly made pistol and you can usually say that for their pistols. However, I ran into a snag – there are no spare magazines anywhere in the US. I kid you not.

Folks, I seriously scoured the WWW for the magazine the high-cap RIA 10mms use – the OEMP164015B. Nobody has them – not even the Armscor parts website or Gunbroker.

4/3/21 Update: Some OEMP164015B mags just showed up on GunBroker from one seller with three listings. One is an auction for 3 mags with a buy it now price for $244 (just over 80 bucks a mag), one is for two mags at $170 (so $85/mag) and the other listing is for a single mag for $90. This is the first time I have seen any for sale in the 4-5 weeks I have been searching.

Back when I had my 52000 Rock Ultra, you could get aftermarket ACT magazines that worked great and I bought a bunch. Unfortunately, when I sold my Rock Ultra, I sold the magazines and to make matters worse, Greg Colte was out of stock on those as well. I literally visited probably 25-50 vendor web pages that were all out of stock. Argh!

Time to Research

I had the 52009 pistol inbound from Reed Sports – great group by the way, the threat of new gun control regulations and wanting more than one mag all were pushing me to find an alternative source of magazines. I read tons of forum posts, had to sort through a lot of useless data and came away with some important nuggets:

  1. The RIA pistols are based on the Para design so if you own one of the following 10mm models, read on:
    • 51994 TAC Ultra MS 10mm
    • 51914 TAC Ultra FS 10mm
    • 56862 TAC Ultra Threaded 10mm
    • 52000 PRO Match Ultra 6″ HC 10mm
    • 52009 Rock Ultra FS HC 10mm
  2. All RIA high capacity 10mm (and .40 S&W) pistols use the same magazines
  3. ACT-Mag makes the OEMP164015B magazines for RIA (The ACT-Mag USA site links to the RIA-related Advanced Tactical site for that mag.
  4. Mec-Gar, another magazine manufacturer, sells aftermarket Para P16 Magazines that are for both the .40 & 10mm – MGP164015B
  5. It seems like there were some older P16 magazines from Mec-Gar that had some problems and guys posting in blogs mentioned to look for the newer ones that are made in Italy.
  6. The Para P16 Mec-Gar magazine MGP164015B is not the same as the RIA OEMP164015B made by ACT-Mag — but boy is that numbering similar. It made me wonder about the design relationship – what changed?
  7. There were some very vague comments of guys modifying the P16 magazine to work in their RIA pistol.

My conclusion after a ton of reading: I was betting the P16 design was close to what I needed and hopefully I could make it work with some tinkering. It was time to order in some of the Mec-Gar P16 magazines and see just what the differences were.

The good news – there were a number of website with Mec-Gar MGP164015B Para P16 magazines in stock. I went ahead and ordered in some from Numrich Arms to do my experimenting.

Keep reading – it takes modification to get the mags to work. The P16 mags will not work in a RIA high cap without some changes. You can read to the bottom of this post or jump to the post with the modifications by clicking here.

Small Delays

The pandemic, winter weather and gun regulation fears have all created a bizarre environment to operate in these days. For me and Ronin’s Grips, we’ve been crazy busy for a number of months and that is why you haven’t seen me post much – I haven’t had the time to tinker or write!

In terms of this project, Winter weather in Memphis screwed up all FedEx over night shipments for almost two weeks. Then when the pistol arrived, there was no magazine in the case. I found Armscor to be completely unresponsive for whatever reason whereas Reed Sports got a hold of their new Armscor rep and were able to get me one magazine. Kudos to Reed Sportsthey are a big seller on Gunbroker in addition to their own stores – I would do business with them again and certainly recommend them as well.

Numrich was fast to ship – I had their mags even before the pistol arrived. I did try one out of the box and it absolutely would not feed. The bullet wasn’t remotely pointing at the chamber if would smash into the feed ramp or shoot up at a 45 degree angle and get seriously stuck. I couldn’t do anything until the RIA OEMP164015B magazine arrived.

Finding the Para P16 Mags

They are scarce but they are out there. My normal go to vendors are sold out such as GunMagWarehouse, PSA, etc. In checking Numrich right now, they are sold out. The following are links to places that claim to have them and I don’t know any of them to be clear:

Do You Really Care About The Finish?

If you are striking out on the blued version of the magazine – MGP164015B – and don’t care about the finish, you do have another option – there is a nickel version that is identical other than the finish and its part number is MGP164015N. Note how all that changes is the last character of the part number from “B” for blue to “N” for nickel.

I don’t know about you but if I needed a spare mag and my choices were no mag or shiny nickel, I’d rather have a spare mag! You could either just live with it or refinish it. Seriously, I’d opt for anything other than just having one mag.

One other option is to get a 10 round version of the magazine. What Mec-Gar did for those was to use a press to press in dimples that prevent the follower from going down all the way. You can drill out those dimples and the magazines will then hold their full capacity.

Safety Comment

I knew I was going to need to do a ton of cycling of rounds. Using live ammo is risky because you have the very real risk of a negligent discharge. To avoid this, order yourself in a bunch of dummy cartridges. There are sellers on eBay that will sell you 10+ at time. Order yourself in 10-20 rounds. You are going to smash the crap out of them due to the heavy recoil spring a 10mm uses. I trashed at least 10-15 of them. Most were due to the bullet being smashed back into the case, one dented the case pretty bad and one deformed the case right at the mouth.

I can’t even guess how many cycles I did – especially starting out. I’m going to hazard a guess and say I averaged about three cycles per dummy before something failed on the dummy as I worked out the kinks and I would load three rounds per magazine to do the testing.

I can’t stress it enough – get dummies to tune your magazines.

Next Post – Making the Modifications

In the next post, I’ll go through the details and what you need to do to modify the Para P16 mags to work – yeah, I let that surprise out. They do work but you need to alter them. Click here for the next post.

By the way, if you go to buy the Mec-Gar Para 16 mags, make sure the vendor has them in stock or you are comfortable with how long they say you will need to wait.

After I worked out the process, I converted a bunch of mags for use on the RIA 10mm pistols. You can order one (or more) by clicking here. Not to mention they are way cheaper than the GunBroker listings.

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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA Has 10mm Range and Hollow Point Ammo In Stock!

FYI: Palmetto State Armory (PSA) has a fair amount of 10mm ammo in stock. The Ammo Inc brand 1q0mm ammo is getting good reviews. Click here or on the photo.

Update On My Springfield Armory 10mm 6″ Pistol – Answering Some Questions

H folks – I’ve had a few questions come in about my Springfield Armory TRP Operator 10mm 6″ pistol. I answered the emails but figured a blog post might help others out so I am going to list the question and my answer to each.

Was it reliable out of the box?

The short answer is “no” and for the price you’d expect better reliability out of the box. This is my third 6″ 10mm 1911 style pistol – I had a Rock Island Big Rock (their Tac Ultra (arguably a 2011-style given the double stack magazine) and a Dan Wesson Bruin. Only the Bruin was flawless in terms of operation out of the box. I wish I hadn’t sold it actually.

I am to the point in life where I trust nothing out of the box and have found that ammo, lubrication, magazines, and design factors all can impact reliability. The TRP Operator had issues until I sent it back to Springfield Armory for repair – the slide was randomly locking open so they replaced that and I also noticed the magazine release button was far stiffer. I’d heard that they go over the pistols carefully when they go back for repair and I guess they do. I lubricated it carefully, took it to the range and only then did it run without any surprises. It does run very well now.

At any rate, I learned from my friend Scott Igert what I needed to do to improve chambering for the Big Rock and wrote a blog post about it. I did the same to the TRP and it did solve the chambering problem. I did a blog post on that too.

It does beg the question why did I need to do this in the first place – the TRP wasn’t reliable with any model of mag I had or any type of ammo including FMJ. What it tells me is that they really didn’t put a lot of care into assembly. It also reinforces that you should never trust a pistol out of the box for something critical – hunting or defense – ever.

Note, I am to the point where I also immediately replace the mags of 1911s which leads us to the next point.

What magazines do you run?

I’ve had so many feed problems caused by 1911 magazines over the years that I always replace the mags that come with the pistol with Wilsons or Tripp Research Cobras. I did not have magazine related problems with the 8 round magazines.

I did write up a blog post if you are interested.

What ammo works best and worst?

Guys ask this quite a bit. My go-to ammo maker for 10mm is Underwood. They have a number of offerings and a great reputation. So, I have a number of HP and hard cast rounds from them and they all work just fine. For range ammo, I use 180gr S&B FMJ and it all works fine,

I simply can’t afford to buy a ton of brands and types of ammo to test – the above is just my experience.

Does it use a barrel bushing like a traditional 1911?

In short, no it does not. A match bull barrel is fitted to the slide.

There is no barrel bushing like a traditional 1911 uses. The bull barrel fits directly into the slide. The three piece operating rod and free spring make re-assembly a challenge at first but you get used to it after a while.

Does it use a captured recoil spring?

No, it uses a unique setup of a rod, spring and end cap (see the above photo) that fit together but are not held together in any way. I’ve not seen this setup before and while it makes re-assembly a different experience, it does work and I am used to it now. I would gladly have replaced it with a captured model but I was unable to find anyone who makes one for the 6″ TRP.

Is the 6″ model worth it vs the 5″ model?

I’m to the point that a 6″ pistol really is for hunting and I’d prefer shorter for easier carrying. The weight and balance of a 6″ 1911-style pistol, including the TRP, really soaks up the recoil of the 10mm and makes it easy to shoot – even heavy loads. I really like the 10mm cartridge and think I will get either a 4.25″ or 5″ 1911 model in the future. I may just get a Rock Island and plan on tuning it up out of the box – they are good base pistols in my honest opinion.

I do have a custom shoulder holster from Tucker Custom Gunleather that is a work of art but your’s truly who stands 5′ 8″ is maybe 2-3″ too short to pull it off comfortably. I’d go with a 5″ or even a commander next time if I wanted it for EDC. I have a Blackhawk Spec Ops chest holster that works great for the TRP for field use.

Why did you replace the grips?

The short answer is that I have carpal tunnel and rubber grips are way easier on my hands.

I find Hogue wrap around grips really help my hands.

Do you like your TRP Operator and would you recommend it?

This is a weird question for me to answer. The reliability sucked out of the box and really disappointed me – especially given the cost. It runs great now though and I think I am to the point that I trust it. I only have maybe 100 rounds through it since it came back from Springfield Armory to fix the random slide locking open issue and want to get 100-200 more through it before I decide for sure.

After I did my tuning and SA did the slide lock repair, the pistol ran great. It also needed lubrication when it came back from repair but during the last range trip it worked great with all the magazines I bought and types of ammo including FMJ and HPs.

I will say that Springfield Armory’s customer service was good but the repair turnaround was slow due to all of the pandemic buying – I sent it in for repair in late June or early July and got it back in about six weeks. No telling how long it would be now if someone needed to send in their pistol. I always have a “can I trust this now” thing going on in my head when a pistol comes back from repair.

So I am thinking as I write this. I guess I would say the TRP Operator is a decent pistol but it does not wow me – especially for the cost and what I needed to do. If you buy one, I would absolutely recommend you test the hell out of it before relying on it. That’s a recommendation I would make regardless of weapon to be fair. In conclusion, I do think it is reliable now and may very well keep it – we’ll see how it performs over time.


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 info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.