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Author Topic: Followers/magazine mods  (Read 5878 times)

DrewColt

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Followers/magazine mods
« on: January 15, 2011, 03:05:33 PM »

I think the thread I asked this in orginally is one most people are done with.  I figured this would up my chances of a quick answer.  Also if anyone has a video/explanation of what you need to file down on a Pmag to make it 100% that would be great  (just the front rib?).  Here was my original question:

Is there any followers you can put in the mags to make the rounds center better?  I feel like whenever I load up a mag with the 5.56 follower it wants to bind due to the follower trying to push it to the side to double stack 5.56 rounds.  Would a .50 Beowulf mag work?  Could I buy a Wulf mag and put that follower in a 5.56 mag?  If the Beowulf doesn't use the same mag anyway that is (I am not well versed on the Wulf's).  Thanks for any help you can give!
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Big Bore

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 04:43:48 PM »

Quit worrying about something that does not matter.  There is absolutely no reason to make the round 'center' in the magazine.  The round is so large that it centers up by itself regardless of any sideways push the follower might give.  I have many thousands of rounds down range out of my various .458s and follower push has never been a problem and feeding has always been 100% with CP, GI, Lancer, HK, and Cammenga mags.  The only mags I have had any trouble with at all are P-Mags. Which bring us to them.  Some people like to put those single shot followers in their mags, like Sinclair sells, but they bring nothing to the party.  I have tried them and as far as I am concerned they are about as big a nothing as you can get.  Sure, they help center the round but is is much ado about nothing.  I took the three I bought out and have them in the box of stupid items I should not have purchased.
If you are using a flat nosed hollow point bullet such as the Barnes TSXFN or the Sierra, Hornady, or Remington HP then the P-mag is one of the worst choices in mags you can make.  Getting rid of the front tab just causes the follower to jump out of the mag, at least the one I tried it on was a miserable failure.  With round nose or spitzer bullets then you can reduce the size of the center rib to make it feed better but why bother?  P-mags are fine for the 5.56 but they are less than ideal with the .458 SOCOM and I doubt you can do anything to them to make them as reliable as the standard GI or CP mag.
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Forester

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 04:46:25 PM »

With the shorter bullets like the 300 gr Rem JHP, you don't need to remove the front rib, though I did bevel it ever so slightly to keep the case mouth from snagging on it as it's being stripped from the magazine. Hard to see in this pic but it's the best I can do with my limited photo skills:


With the longer bullets like the 405 Rem SP I had to remove the front rib and bevel it:



The only problem with that is it lets the front of the follower pop up when the mag is empty:


Though it will stay down by itself also - not really a big deal just something you should know:


The 325 Hornady FTX fits, barely:


But the Barnes 300 TSX loaded by SBR won't fit in a pmag, they're too long (Ok, one will fit but no more!):



If anyone else has a different experience by all means jump in 8)

Edit: And I agree with Big Bore, I only modified one pmag and decided it wasn't really what i wanted - other mags are better suited.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 04:49:01 PM by Forester »
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DrewColt

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 06:32:57 PM »

I just prefer Pmags, I could live with the follower popping up.  I don't mind how they store as long as they run good when they are in use.  I will probably check out the other followers.  I'm not saying it won't with without them, I just want to make sure every last round feeds if ever I need them and I feel like it just leaves potential for issues.  It's great you CAN use an unmodified mag if need be, but if you have all the time in the world to prepare why not have them in the set up that seems most likely to work 100% of the time?  I am new to the .458s world, so I am just trying to learn what will optimize the mags for this round.

Thanks for the input so far and keep it coming if you have had experience with modifying your magazines.
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Big Bore

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2011, 07:56:07 PM »

That was my point.  Unmodified mags do work 100% of the time (all of mine have except for the altered P-mag) and if not, it is going to be an ammo problem such as bullets seated too long or damaged feed lips.  Modifying the followers and such will not make the mag more reliable.  It may be just as reliable but if those mods change anything, it would be to make them LESS reliable.  When a mag works 100% of the time, no matter what your thoughts might see as a possible improvement, you cannot improve on it.  An old adage applies here, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.  After many years with the .458 SOCOM I will honestly tell you this, I would trust my life to a standard unaltered mag long before I would trust some doctored up 'improved' version.  If you don't see the front of the follower popping out of the mag as being a major problem looking for a chance to happen then you are kidding yourself.  That is a hundred times more likely to cause a major malfunction than the rounds not being centered during feeding.  If you can even manage to get the round to stay to one side of the mag instead of being centered it will still feed OK.  And even with a single shot follower the rounds still stagger in the mag.  The only way that will not happen is if you put spacers inside the mag that prevent the rounds from shifting from side to side.  When you put rounded objects on top of each other in a space that is larger than the object they are going to stagger, no matter what the shape of the bottom platform.
The only time a .458 SOCOM mag (standard 5.56 mag) needs tweaking is if the feed lips do not allow the bullet to ride up high enough to clear the front of the mag (those half moon cuts many of us put in the front of the mag, it is not to improve feeding but to make unloading easier) in which case the solution is to use smooth jawed pliers or a feed lip tool to open up the front of the feed lips just a hair to let the cartridge ride very slightly nose higher.   If a loaded round hits the front of the mag during feeding then cutting the half moon out will unlikely change anything since while the bullet may clear the front of the mag it is still probably going to hit below the feed ramp on the barrel extension.
 
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DrewColt

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 09:08:14 PM »

I just figured there may be room for tweaking since there is a 'what mag is best' thread.  I have a starting point now, and ultimately it will be what works.  If unmodified mags work, then that is all I need.  I just saw that other thread and was trying to address problems before they arose.  That and I have a variety of mags sitting around, and the pmag preference(which I now understand isn't the way to go).  I just got my upper and the weather has been keeping me away from the range so far.  Either way, I'm learning which is what I'm trying to do.  Soon enough I'll have some rounds downrange and have a better idea of what works.
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Forester

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 10:59:14 PM »

You might try a 20 rd Lancer L5 mag - they're one of my favorites for the 458.
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458MADNESS

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 03:56:40 AM »

You might try a 20 rd Lancer L5 mag - they're one of my favorites for the 458.

i like lancer as well, i use the longer ones. they are coming out with newer versions. wonder if that will change fit.

great pics to illustrate with pmags, forester. it looks like you beveled it inward DOWN to outward, not the other way around, but maybe the pics dont show it.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 03:58:14 AM by 458MADNESS »
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458MADNESS

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 03:59:06 AM »

I just prefer Pmags, I could live with the follower popping up.  I don't mind how they store as long as they run good when they are in use.  I will probably check out the other followers.  I'm not saying it won't with without them, I just want to make sure every last round feeds if ever I need them and I feel like it just leaves potential for issues.  It's great you CAN use an unmodified mag if need be, but if you have all the time in the world to prepare why not have them in the set up that seems most likely to work 100% of the time?  I am new to the .458s world, so I am just trying to learn what will optimize the mags for this round.

Thanks for the input so far and keep it coming if you have had experience with modifying your magazines.

they wont store like that empty. remember you have the feed lips cover that will prevent this if you are storing.

458MADNESS

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 03:59:48 AM »

That was my point.  Unmodified mags do work 100% of the time (all of mine have except for the altered P-mag) and if not, it is going to be an ammo problem such as bullets seated too long or damaged feed lips.  Modifying the followers and such will not make the mag more reliable.  It may be just as reliable but if those mods change anything, it would be to make them LESS reliable.  When a mag works 100% of the time, no matter what your thoughts might see as a possible improvement, you cannot improve on it.  An old adage applies here, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.  After many years with the .458 SOCOM I will honestly tell you this, I would trust my life to a standard unaltered mag long before I would trust some doctored up 'improved' version.  If you don't see the front of the follower popping out of the mag as being a major problem looking for a chance to happen then you are kidding yourself.  That is a hundred times more likely to cause a major malfunction than the rounds not being centered during feeding.  If you can even manage to get the round to stay to one side of the mag instead of being centered it will still feed OK.  And even with a single shot follower the rounds still stagger in the mag.  The only way that will not happen is if you put spacers inside the mag that prevent the rounds from shifting from side to side.  When you put rounded objects on top of each other in a space that is larger than the object they are going to stagger, no matter what the shape of the bottom platform.
The only time a .458 SOCOM mag (standard 5.56 mag) needs tweaking is if the feed lips do not allow the bullet to ride up high enough to clear the front of the mag (those half moon cuts many of us put in the front of the mag, it is not to improve feeding but to make unloading easier) in which case the solution is to use smooth jawed pliers or a feed lip tool to open up the front of the feed lips just a hair to let the cartridge ride very slightly nose higher.   If a loaded round hits the front of the mag during feeding then cutting the half moon out will unlikely change anything since while the bullet may clear the front of the mag it is still probably going to hit below the feed ramp on the barrel extension.
 

good tip.

Forester

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 10:32:13 AM »

You might try a 20 rd Lancer L5 mag - they're one of my favorites for the 458.

i like lancer as well, i use the longer ones. they are coming out with newer versions. wonder if that will change fit.

great pics to illustrate with pmags, forester. it looks like you beveled it inward DOWN to outward, not the other way around, but maybe the pics dont show it.

No, the other way around. The pics just don't show it well.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 10:35:08 AM by Forester »
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Forester

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 11:17:39 AM »

That was my point.  Unmodified mags do work 100% of the time (all of mine have except for the altered P-mag) and if not, it is going to be an ammo problem such as bullets seated too long or damaged feed lips.  Modifying the followers and such will not make the mag more reliable.  It may be just as reliable but if those mods change anything, it would be to make them LESS reliable.  When a mag works 100% of the time, no matter what your thoughts might see as a possible improvement, you cannot improve on it.  An old adage applies here, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.  After many years with the .458 SOCOM I will honestly tell you this, I would trust my life to a standard unaltered mag long before I would trust some doctored up 'improved' version.  If you don't see the front of the follower popping out of the mag as being a major problem looking for a chance to happen then you are kidding yourself.  That is a hundred times more likely to cause a major malfunction than the rounds not being centered during feeding.  If you can even manage to get the round to stay to one side of the mag instead of being centered it will still feed OK.  And even with a single shot follower the rounds still stagger in the mag.  The only way that will not happen is if you put spacers inside the mag that prevent the rounds from shifting from side to side.  When you put rounded objects on top of each other in a space that is larger than the object they are going to stagger, no matter what the shape of the bottom platform.
The only time a .458 SOCOM mag (standard 5.56 mag) needs tweaking is if the feed lips do not allow the bullet to ride up high enough to clear the front of the mag (those half moon cuts many of us put in the front of the mag, it is not to improve feeding but to make unloading easier) in which case the solution is to use smooth jawed pliers or a feed lip tool to open up the front of the feed lips just a hair to let the cartridge ride very slightly nose higher.   If a loaded round hits the front of the mag during feeding then cutting the half moon out will unlikely change anything since while the bullet may clear the front of the mag it is still probably going to hit below the feed ramp on the barrel extension.
 

good tip.

Just a couple of pics to illustrate:

With a pmag, the cartridge sits pretty low - it works but just barely has enough height and angle to hit the feedramp where you want:


The Lancer is darn near perfect:


And the CProducts SS has an even higher ride/angle, not sure if it's excessive or not but it definitely works:
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- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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458MADNESS

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 12:59:53 PM »

those are great pics to illustrate positioning of what others mentioned about height to feed ramp.

DrewColt

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 12:36:26 PM »

Hey guys, just wanted to give an update on what I did.  I got some of the blue followers from Fulton Armory that are make for single stacking large rounds (I think it was made for the Beowulf).  It takes all of two seconds to install them or to take them back out, and they are under $10 a piece.  I ran 20 rounds thru a combination of three mags with no problems.  One was C Products and the other two were HK's.  It is a little easier to get the follower moving down instead of wanting to push sideways when loading.  I know it would run without it, but it makes it very smooth and seems "right" to me now.  Maybe I am just used to having things made to do the job at hand, but having the follower wanting to cant never felt right to me.  I still plan to get a couple 20 and 30 round Lancer's to check them out as well (I like the idea of being able to see the big .458's in there  ;D).  Thanks again for the advice along the way, I've now figured out the set up I was looking for.

By the way; I know a lot of hard work was put into making the .458s run smoothly with no modifications--and, as most of you know first hand, it will.  I just wanted to set mine up where everything was smooth and easy, and the followers just bugged me.  I didn't intend on ruffling any feathers and I hope I didn't offend anyone.
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458MADNESS

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Re: Followers/magazine mods
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2011, 03:50:21 AM »

Hey guys, just wanted to give an update on what I did.  I got some of the blue followers from Fulton Armory that are make for single stacking large rounds (I think it was made for the Beowulf).  It takes all of two seconds to install them or to take them back out, and they are under $10 a piece.  I ran 20 rounds thru a combination of three mags with no problems.  One was C Products and the other two were HK's.  It is a little easier to get the follower moving down instead of wanting to push sideways when loading.  I know it would run without it, but it makes it very smooth and seems "right" to me now.  Maybe I am just used to having things made to do the job at hand, but having the follower wanting to cant never felt right to me.  I still plan to get a couple 20 and 30 round Lancer's to check them out as well (I like the idea of being able to see the big .458's in there  ;D).  Thanks again for the advice along the way, I've now figured out the set up I was looking for.

By the way; I know a lot of hard work was put into making the .458s run smoothly with no modifications--and, as most of you know first hand, it will.  I just wanted to set mine up where everything was smooth and easy, and the followers just bugged me.  I didn't intend on ruffling any feathers and I hope I didn't offend anyone.

nice. let us know about lancers (or pmags if applicable).
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