Working with and fitting aftermarket magazines for the Spanish Llama-Gabilondo y Cia SA 1911 1XA pistol.
by Mark R. Hollensen
With the number of old and new semi-automatic handguns manufactured and/or on the market, along with increased sales continuing to climb, you’ll without a doubt get pistols in with aftermarket magazines that just don’t fit right or work properly. This is especially true of pistols that were made many years ago and no longer have factory magazines available to purchase when desired or needed. In many cases, aftermarket magazines will simply drop right in and work right out of the package. But that is not true in all instances. And sometimes our customers just want that old pistol working again so they can take it out for a spin or for self-protection.
I recently had a Llama 1911 1XA semi-automatic pistol in 45 ACP come in for just that. Seems the customer had one original magazine and it no longer worked reliably or efficiently. This often occurs when the owner fills the magazine and then the pistol sits for a number of years. Doing this without rotating magazines every so often weakens the magazine spring to the point that it will take a hard set. So, after doing some online research, my customer found aftermarket magazines made specifically for his make and model pistol. A no brainer, right? He ordered in three new magazines and headed out to the local range with them to give the gun a whirl. However, when he tried to seat the filled magazines, none of them would latch into place. He removed the ammo and tried each one again and had the same results. The magazines would not lock into place – at all. Brand new magazines don’t work? Really? It happens.
This issue really angered him and he almost threw all three magazines in the trash barrel. But, he thought better of it and brought the pistol, the original magazine, and the new aftermarket magazines to me to see if something could be done. Here’s how I fixed it.
Read more in the December 2021 issue.
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