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Old 03-13-2016, 10:30 AM
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Question What's going on with 3rd Gen magazines?

There have been a couple threads running lately about the growing scarcity and crazy high cost of 10mm magazines (for Model 1006 et al) as well as Model 4013/4053 magazines. Recently, I made the stupid statement that new Model 3013/3953 magazines were "still widely available." Now, I'm suddenly noticing that that's not accurate at all unless you are talking about the ProMag brand.

This morning, I see on MidwayUSA that Model 3913/3953 curved floorplate magazines are noted as "discontinued." Flat floor plate magazines are still available but apparently going fast. I suspect they'll be "discontinued" by the end of this month.

Member BMCM has posted about the clearance sale going on at MidwayUSA on Model 4506 (et al) magazines... which another member pointed out that this probably means they are being discontinued too. I notice that Model 4516/457 magazines are already noted as "discontinued."

Frankly, I'm getting a little nervous. 3rd Gen magazines at yesterday's show were few and far between (and none very cheap). I know that some magazines (5900-series, for example) are available from good alternative suppliers like Mec-Gar... but clearly, that seems to be the exception to the rule.

Is it just me? Or is it time to make sure we've got all the 3rd Gen magazines we'll ever need? And what about those ProMag 3913/3953 magazines? Are they any good?

I've mentioned before that I am on a "play catch-up" mission (slowly, as finances allow) in regard to 3rd Gen parts and magazines. I fell too far behind my gun purchases and now it's time to pay the piper. Only problem is... I may be a little too late for some of those things.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:38 AM
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Well, like any other heavily needed magazine,
they'll probably get picked up by Meg-Gar or one of
many many magazine makers...
where there is a way to make a buck, someone will do it.

Mostly because some smart fella will go,
"Hrm, we're only getting 1%-2% of the total 1911 market,
but we could have 100% of the 3rd Gen S&W market!!"
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:46 AM
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Reminds me I really need to inventory my "stash of stuff".

Magazines are sorted and stored in "Tupperware" ( which IMHO is the only proper user of Tupperware) by Manufacturer ...... but some are mixed together .....LOL pretty sure there's a gallon or so of .......... 39xx mags with 45xx mags and 39mags....... and the 69xx and 59xx are together.


I know this is going to turn into one of those ....."How many magazines do I need" threads!!!!

TTSH can you "import" magazines into the "PRO Mass."??????


Last edited by BAM-BAM; 03-13-2016 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
Reminds me I really need to inventory my "stash of stuff".

Magazines are sorted and stored in "Tupperware" ( which IMHO is the only proper user of Tupperware) by Manufacturer ...... but some are mixed together .....LOL pretty sure there's a gallon or so of .......... 39xx mags with 45xx mags and 39mags....... and the 69xx and 59xx are together.

I know this is going to turn into one of those ....."How many magazines do I need" threads!!!!

TTSH can you "import" magazines into the "PRO Mass."??????

Magazines are like ammo with me. I feel I've got more than enough... right up until the point where I can't buy them anymore.

We prisoners living behind enemy lines can still buy magazines up to 10-rounds without too much trouble. Above 10-rounds and they must be "pre-bans."

Some places won't ship any magazines to us at all... and I can't blame them. This state and the people running it are NUTZ!!!
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Shrek View Post
Well, like any other heavily needed magazine, they'll probably get picked up by Meg-Gar or one of many many magazine makers... where there is a way to make a buck, someone will do it.
Let's hope you are right. But if a second-rate magazine manufacturing company moves in first... will a first-rate company follow? I'm guessing not.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:04 AM
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I know that some magazines (5900-series, for example) are available from good alternative suppliers like Mec-Gar... but clearly, that seems to be the exception to the rule.
Since Mec-Gar is the OEM mag mfr for most of the gun companies, how do we know they haven't been making OEM S&W mags for decades? GARY
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:09 AM
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I know this is going to turn into one of those ....."How many magazines do I need" threads!!!!
The answer for me is always "Just one more . . . "
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:21 AM
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Since Mec-Gar is the OEM mag mfr for most of the gun companies, how do we know they haven't been making OEM S&W mags for decades? GARY
I think most folks do believe that Mec-Gar produces (or at least did once produce) magazines for S&W. But we also know that S&W made some themselves and no doubt contracted out to others as well.

But that doesn't let me sleep any better.

It would be great if Mec-Gar could legally and profitably jump back into full production of all 3rd Gen magazines, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:27 AM
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The answer for me is always "Just one more . . . "
True...... I'm guessing but from about 1989/90 when I got my first 3G till the mid-2000s I'd pick up extra magazines whenever I had the chance.....they were cheap.....used guns sold with one magazine; w/ one or two or maybe three going into the "used mags" bins for $10-15..........

There were a couple of "Magazine guys" at local gun shows..... with "tubs" of magazines.........always willing to sell single stack Smith mags cheap... while Glock Hi-caps for $100 was not uncommon in the 90s.


and I had adopted a fairly large family of 3G's that all have to be fed......still got some in the shrink wrap hangers....old and dusty when I bought them......
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:29 AM
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The answer for me is always "Just one more . . . "
Well, my problem is simple. I've bought too many 3rd Gens with only one or two magazines. That's just how they came... take it or leave it.

As it turns out today, I'm in pretty good shape on some, great shape on others... but still lousy shape on a few.

Of course, it doesn't stop there. I have bought... and hope to continue to buy... magazines for 3rd Gens I don't even own yet. The CS45 is one example. The 1006 is another example. And then we can start talking "pre-rail" TSW guns too.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:30 AM
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It would be great if Mec-Gar could legally and profitably jump back into full production of all 3rd Gen magazines, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
They are in the hi-cap Smith market.....59xx.....10-20 rounders....
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:33 AM
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Is it just me? Or is it time to make sure we've got all the 3rd Gen magazines we'll ever need? And what about those ProMag 3913/3953 magazines? Are they any good?

I've mentioned before that I am on a "play catch-up" mission (slowly, as finances allow) in regard to 3rd Gen parts and magazines. I fell too far behind my gun purchases and now it's time to pay the piper. Only problem is... I may be a little too late for some of those things.
3913/53 mags are still going to be around, but what is found will be much more expensive. Do not bother with Pro Mags if you ever want to CCW. Not reliable enough. Range/fun use? Sure.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:33 AM
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It would be great if Mec-Gar could legally and profitably jump back into full production of all 3rd Gen magazines, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Remember, they are a business, & have a board of directors, & shareholders to answer to. While we would want them to make mags for guns that haven't been made in 20+ years, in the corporate world they would want to make mags for currently made popular guns that are flying off the shelves. GARY
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:39 AM
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Remember, they are a business, & have a board of directors, & shareholders to answer to. While we would want them to make mags for guns that haven't been made in 20+ years, in the corporate world they would want to make mags for currently made popular guns that are flying off the shelves. GARY
See my post #11.............the 17round mags are sweeeeeeeeet.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:48 AM
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3913/53 mags are still going to be around, but what is found will be much more expensive. Do not bother with Pro Mags if you ever want to CCW. Not reliable enough. Range/fun use? Sure.
Well, the last thing I want is magazines that aren't totally reliable whether for carry/protection or not. The ProMags sure are cheap and plentiful (dozens of them in 3913/3953/908 at the last show) but I'll pass if they are not up to the highest standards of reliability possible.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:51 AM
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Remember, they are a business, & have a board of directors, & shareholders to answer to. While we would want them to make mags for guns that haven't been made in 20+ years, in the corporate world they would want to make mags for currently made popular guns that are flying off the shelves. GARY
But isn't there a legal issue to deal with? Didn't I hear or read that somewhere or did I imagine it? I thought I heard that many of Mec-Gar's contracts for OEM production have a clause in them that prevents Mec-Gar from selling the magazines directly to consumers... true or false?
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:00 PM
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True...... I'm guessing but from about 1989/90 when I got my first 3G till the mid-2000s I'd pick up extra magazines whenever I had the chance.....they were cheap.....used guns sold with one magazine; w/ one or two or maybe three going into the "used mags" bins for $10-15..........

There were a couple of "Magazine guys" at local gun shows..... with "tubs" of magazines.........always willing to sell single stack Smith mags cheap... while Glock Hi-caps for $100 was not uncommon in the 90s.

and I had adopted a fairly large family of 3G's that all have to be fed......still got some in the shrink wrap hangers....old and dusty when I bought them......
I think that 3rd Gen magazines fished out of dealer bargain bins are going the way of the dodo bird. The problem around here is that newer shops don't have any 3rd Gen magazines in their bargain bins and old shop turnovers (to new owners) usually result in a bulk sell-off of bargain bin contents for dirt money before the new owners come in.

The trick (around here at least) is to find an older shop still owned by the old fart original owner. Then you have a pretty good chance.

I picked up a CS45 magazine for cheap that way recently. It was mismarked (Model-wise) to boot.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:32 PM
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Systematically buy OEM mags when you run across any for palatable pricing. Those OEM mag bodies and feed lips hold up well.

When you need other springs buy a bulk pack of Wolff mag springs (check yours, but odds are they will be the plain end coil version) while they are a stock item. You may have to wait for them to run a batch if they are out, but Wolff is great.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:44 PM
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I am certainly glad I ordered 2 of the 3913 and 3 of the 5904 mags from Midway the other day.

Has anyone used these before?
Smith & Wesson 69 Series Magazine - Brand New, 12-Round 69 Series Magazines - Keepshooting®
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:05 PM
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Well, my problem is simple. I've bought too many 3rd Gens with only one or two magazines. That's just how they came... take it or leave it.

As it turns out today, I'm in pretty good shape on some, great shape on others... but still lousy shape on a few.

Of course, it doesn't stop there. I have bought... and hope to continue to buy... magazines for 3rd Gens I don't even own yet. The CS45 is one example. The 1006 is another example. And then we can start talking "pre-rail" TSW guns too.

I have also acquired a large stable of 3rd gen 45's. As far as i am concerned Pro Mag is not a magazine I will use. Hopefully Mec Gar will be able to make/sell 10mm & 45 magazines in the future. I have gathered about 30 of each 10mm & 45 magazines so far.

Last edited by Aegis; 03-13-2016 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:20 PM
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I am certainly glad I ordered 2 of the 3913 and 3 of the 5904 mags from Midway the other day.
Oh! So YOU were the one that bought them out of 3913 magazines!

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They sure look like S&W factory magazines to me.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:21 PM
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I have gathered about 30 of each 10mm & 45 magazines so far.
Mama Mia!!!

You must need a separate safe just for your magazines!
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:27 PM
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Systematically buy OEM mags when you run across any for palatable pricing.
That's more or less what I thought I was doing. Suddenly, almost overnight, the supply seems to have really taken a sharp nose-five.

I hope it's just me and my locality... and maybe a short-term thing with MidwayUSA that will self-correct in time. It has happened before on other supposedly "discontinued" and "out-of-stock-no-backorder" items.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:48 PM
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CDNN has some 6900 series in stock. MidwayUSA was out of them.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:28 PM
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Greg Cote has various 3rd generation magazines listed for $33.95 each. Not a bargain but if need one or more it is reasonable.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:53 PM
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Greg Cote has various 3rd generation magazines listed for $33.95 each. Not a bargain but if need one or more it is reasonable.
Good source... thanks! Eight new 3913/3953/908 curved baseplate magazines still in stock as of this post!
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:58 PM
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Mama Mia!!!

You must need a separate safe just for your magazines!
Correct I do... I lost 15 10mm mags a few years ago, Stolen along with a 1006 got the gun back but no magazines..
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:18 PM
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Correct I do... I lost 15 10mm mags a few years ago, Stolen along with a 1006 got the gun back but no magazines..
Oh Lordy! At current online auction prices, those 10mm magazines were worth as much as the gun or even more!

Strange but true. Go figure.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:24 PM
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CDNN has some 6900 series in stock. MidwayUSA was out of them.
I think I'm okay on them. I don't know why I think that but I do. Time to recheck my math maybe?

Other than the 4013/4053 magazines, which aren't available anywhere for cheap, 3913/3953/908 magazines are my biggest shortfall right now. The last 3913 I bought came with just one magazine.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:41 PM
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Add to the fact that S&W CS45 mags, and others,
interchange with Star pistols (OOB since '96)
and others make 'em even more difficult to find.

I modded some other S&W 45xx mags to fit my Star M45
all it required is adding mag catch holes...
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:31 PM
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A few years ago I bought a 457 that came with seven magazines. Two of them were unmarked aftermarket magazines. I assume that they were Pro Mag. They would not allow the 457 to fire double action because of a very minor out difference in how the magazine interacted with the magazine safety. That caused me a bit of consternation until i determined that the magazines, not the gun, were the problem.

My 3914NL came with two aftermarket magazines, which functioned fine. Despite that, i got rid of them along with the 457 mags. Maybe okay for range use, but why bother?

I've spent the past few years acquiring magazines for my 3913/14 guns. I never passed up an opportunity to buy them if the price was right. I also bought base plates, springs, and followers. Probably more than I'll ever use, but better to have them.

Same thing with the CS9/non rail 3913TSW magazines. I got some good deals on those, mostly because the seller didn't know what he had. His loss, my gain. I even called S&W and got those wedge shaped base plates.

I've bought Mec Gar and S&w 59xx magazines and there is absolutely no difference other than the markings. Unlike Pro Mag and other aftermarket magazines everything interchanges. I'm convinced that Mec Gar was the OEM for 59xx magazines, but I've never seen any other S&W magazines offered by them.

Mec Gar sells a number of different magazines for various brands as well.

I don't if this shortage is temporary or permanent, but I'm taking no chances.

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Originally Posted by TTSH View Post
Well, the last thing I want is magazines that aren't totally reliable whether for carry/protection or not. The ProMags sure are cheap and plentiful (dozens of them in 3913/3953/908 at the last show) but I'll pass if they are not up to the highest standards of reliability possible.
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:21 PM
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I don't if this shortage is temporary or permanent, but I'm taking no chances.
I know you have done very well in that regard... and I'm spinning my wheels now trying to play catch-up.

As soon as I straighten out a minor problem with MidwayUSA tomorrow morning, I'll be placing an order (probably with Greg Cote) for more brand new S&W 3913/3953/908 magazines... as many as I can afford.

And later this coming week... more magazine bargain bin hunting out west! Wish me luck!!!
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Old 03-13-2016, 07:39 PM
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I'd ask where "out west" is, but then you'd really hate me.

I'll be making one up north sometime in the next few weeks. Maybe I'll pick up some magazines for guns I don't own yet. If nothing else, I can sell them here and help out someone else.

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I know you have done very well in that regard... and I'm spinning my wheels now trying to play catch-up.

As soon as I straighten out a minor problem with MidwayUSA tomorrow morning, I'll be placing an order (probably with Greg Cote) for more brand new S&W 3913/3953/908 magazines... as many as I can afford.

And later this coming week... more magazine bargain bin hunting out west! Wish me luck!!!
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:12 PM
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Gunbroker had an auction end just last week. 5906 Smith & Wesson factory magazines. They'll fit every double stack 1-2-3rd Gen 9mm pistol, although they stick out of the smaller pistols. All were used, but were reportedly functional and, well, typical. NINETY magazines. Went for just a couple bucks under a thousand dollars.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:13 PM
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I'd ask where "out west" is, but then you'd really hate me.

I'll be making one up north sometime in the next few weeks. Maybe I'll pick up some magazines for guns I don't own yet. If nothing else, I can sell them here and help out someone else.
It's no secret where I'm headed. There are a few dealers out in the Agawam/Feeding Hills area that I've been wanting to hit for a long time. I've spoken with some of them by phone already. If you'd like to come along, let me know!

In the meantime, I'll keep your 3rd Gen "Want List" in mind!
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
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Gunbroker had an auction end just last week. 5906 Smith & Wesson factory magazines. They'll fit every double stack 1-2-3rd Gen 9mm pistol, although they stick out of the smaller pistols. All were used, but were reportedly functional and, well, typical. NINETY magazines. Went for just a couple bucks under a thousand dollars.
Mama Mia!!!

Of course, they wouldn't let me buy hi-caps anyway here in Massachusetts.

I found some 3913/3953/908 magazines there too... something like six for $200 (+/-). Different floorplates on a couple of them (thin vs. wide?). I was going to ask about the different floorplates here earlier but forgot.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:27 PM
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If legislation introduced here passes and signed into law... there might be tons of magazines available from the West coming out of CA when retailers (and owners) need to dump them.

While nothing over 10 rd magazines have been the law of CA land for years as far as buying new ones is concerned, possession of so called "high capacity" magazines (over 10 round) was grandfathered and we were able to keep what we already have.

Some of the legislation introduced in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings, if passed and signed into law, will remove that grandfathering and ban possession of any magazine over 10 rounds.

Also being considered, is legislation that will ban semi-auto's capable of accepting over 10 rd. capacity magazines... meaning any semi-auto with a magazine well is in jeopardy.

So there might be a glut of stuff flooding out of CA before 1/1/17 when new laws take effect... magazines, semi-autos, people...
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:34 PM
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So there might be a glut of stuff flooding out of CA before 1/1/17 when new laws take effect... magazines, semi-autos, people...
Maybe true... however, the funny thing is that I am looking almost exclusively for 10-round and under 3rd Gen magazines. I'm in pretty good shape for 5900-series pre-bans and same for 6900-series pre-bans. That's also true for 11-round .40 pre-ban magazines.

It's those damn single stack 3rd Gen magazines where I'm not doing so awfully great right now.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:48 PM
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So far of the 11 weekends so far in 2016,I've gone to 14 gunshows,yes I'm addicted to gun shows. I buy a lot of 3rd gen mags at shows. I had a 'glut' of 10mm mags and over the past month I've sold 7 10mm mags around the country to members of this forum and on 10mm-firearms forum. Bought them for $40 and sold them for $45. 9mm mags for 59XX and 69XX are readily available at the shows. I don't shoot 40 and 45 but pick them up for others that need. I've got 9 4013 mags for my 10mm conversion projects. I currently have 47 3rd gen mags. Sometimes the price is high but if I don't buy it,somebody else will.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:54 PM
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I've got 9 4013 mags for my 10mm conversion projects.
There's a big part of the problem right there. Everyone these days seems to want a 4013 or a 4053 to convert to 10mm... and, no surprise, they want plenty of magazines to go with them.

It's probably what's helped drive the price up so high... even higher than for the full-size 10mm magazines themselves.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:59 PM
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2 of the 4013s' I picked up at the Novi Mich show 3 weeks ago,they had a tag of $25 on them. 5 of them I got at the February Medina Ohio show. there were 3 on the table @ 25 each,he was complaining nobody wants them,I bought them and as I was walking away from the table,he called me back and said I got a deal for you,he reached under the table and pulled out 2 more and said you can have them for $20 each.
The clip/magazine guy that I got the 10mm mags from found a 'stash' of them in his dad's supply. He had others asking for 10mm mags also. I would buy 1 per show so that others had a chance to buy too. Eventually he sold out(took a couple months) and he's still finding 3rd gen mags in his dad's stash. His dad started the clip/magazine business and he's taken over and trying to inventory the hidden stuff.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:51 PM
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2 of the 4013s' I picked up at the Novi Mich show 3 weeks ago,they had a tag of $25 on them. 5 of them I got at the February Medina Ohio show. there were 3 on the table @ 25 each,he was complaining nobody wants them,I bought them and as I was walking away from the table,he called me back and said I got a deal for you,he reached under the table and pulled out 2 more and said you can have them for $20 each.
The clip/magazine guy that I got the 10mm mags from found a 'stash' of them in his dad's supply. He had others asking for 10mm mags also. I would buy 1 per show so that others had a chance to buy too. Eventually he sold out(took a couple months) and he's still finding 3rd gen mags in his dad's stash. His dad started the clip/magazine business and he's taken over and trying to inventory the hidden stuff.
Is that mag seller from Mich.?....there was a mag dealer from Mich. that was at the southern Ohio shows all the time that i scored most of mine from but havent seen him recently........I misplaced his card and cant remember his name
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:28 AM
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I bought a coupla 3913 mags from cdnn just about a month ago. Brand new S&W. Check em out.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:35 AM
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Default I don't see them getting lower or more common...

Buy all the third gen mags that you can afford.

If it's in 10mm buy more than you can afford.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:56 AM
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2 of the 4013s' I picked up at the Novi Mich show 3 weeks ago, they had a tag of $25 on them. 5 of them I got at the February Medina Ohio show. there were 3 on the table @ 25 each, he was complaining nobody wants them, I bought them and as I was walking away from the table, he called me back and said I got a deal for you, he reached under the table and pulled out 2 more and said you can have them for $20 each.
Now, why don't things like that ever happen to me?
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:01 AM
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I bought a coupla 3913 mags from cdnn just about a month ago. Brand new S&W. Check em out.
Thanks for the tip, but it appears they are out-of-stock right now.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:10 AM
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Buy all the third gen mags that you can afford.

If it's in 10mm buy more than you can afford.
Yep. That's about what it boils down to.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:12 AM
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in response to post #42,the clip/magazine guy only does the northeast Ohio shows.
There was a clip/magazine seller that I saw at the Novi Michigan show a few weeks ago and I think he's the one you're referring to. At that show there were tables selling the more common 9 & 40 mags still in S&W packages. After I left the show I wish I had bought some of those. Next time I go there,I will.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:27 AM
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3 years ago, I was able to buy three 1006 magazines from MidwayUSA, plus some new followers. I found some replacement springs for the two original mags that came with the gun at gunsprings.com.

1006 mags were readily available on E-bay, but the bidding often went up to double the price that Midway was asking, which I think was $29. Now I've got 5 good mags and that will probably last me the rest of my life. LOL, it will have to. Midway has long since ran out of stock. They still pop up on E-bay, and currently there are several offered, but the bids range from $65 to $102 plus shipping.

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:38 AM
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CDNN has been advertising used 40 mags (11 rounds) for $15, BTW.

There are some other guns that use 59-style magazines (of various heights/capacities), like the P11, Sub-2000, LH9, and some older stuff like the camp carbine and god knows what. That ought to help keep production costs down for Mec-Gar and keep availability up.

I did notice that Beretta 92 mags fit and feed in the 59 (at least cycling by hand). You would have to cut a new notch for the magazine release and modify or swap the follower, though. I would reserve that option for a very rainy day.

Makes me wonder what other crazy options are out there?
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