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Thread: Are USGI M1 carbine Magazines better than the aftermarket magazines?

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    Member southfork's Avatar
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    Question Are USGI M1 carbine Magazines better than the aftermarket magazines?

    Hello, I'm kind of new here, but have looked in on this forum from time to time. My interest in military surplus rifles, etc stems back to the end of the Vietnam conflict. I was reassigned to Germany after SE Asia, and made a habit of climbing through the blown up bunkers of the WWII Seigfried Line on the border between Franceicon and Germany. I talked with my old Germanicon landlord and he told me exactly where the allied forces fought through his villiage and blowing up the bunkers. I found quite a few artifacts from US GI's and also from the German forces, but nothing too valuable. My best prize was a field-find USGI M1 carbine of Rock-ola manufacture and some rusted allied bayonets.

    I now have several milsurp rifles including a newly acquired pair of USGI M1 carbines that I would like to shoot. I was wondering if the 60+ year-old USGI carbine magazines are really superior to the the ones being made today. I would like to get some reliable 15 round magazines, and don't want to have to deal with the frustration of ones that will not work reliably. Advice please??? If anyone has some reliable M1 magazines that they would sell me, then please PM me. Thanks! By the way, my father is 94 years old and he carried a a low-digit Inland M1 Carbineicon as a Marine on Guadacanal, Vela Lavela, Peliliu, and Okinawa. He keeps telling me to stay on a lookout for the WWII M1 carbine that he carried in the Pacific theater from 1942 through 1945: Inland, serial # 238548.


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    USGI magsazines are better and still very available. Though the cost has gone up over the years. I would call a local gun store, or try and go to a gun show. Seems the online prices are a bit high.
    Good luck.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I always found the USGI 15s to be faultless and the 30s not quite as good, but then I didn't always get USGI 30s. Aftermarket is a crapshoot...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member jimb16's Avatar
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    The only really decent commercial mags are the new Korean ones marked with a U. The marking is similar to the U marked GI mags, but a bit larger. Go with GI mags if you can find them.
    When they tell you to behave, they always forget to specify whether to behave well or badly!

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    Are USGI M1 carbine Magazines better than the aftermarket magazines?

    Post pics of that field find carbine sometime?


    M1icon/M3 Carbine: late '44 Inland
    M1 Garand: late '44 Springfield

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    Really Senior Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    The Korean made magazines are as good as USGI magazines are. After all they have had over 700,000 carbines they had to have magazines for that worked as well as USGI magazines do. These magazines are marked as JimB said with a large U and some are also marked with UU. Both markings can be found on the 15 round and the 30 round magazines. In general the after market magazines made here and in China are junk.

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    I've heard that Korean 15 round magazines marked KCI work as good as USGI. Does anyone here have experience with them? Thanks! - Bob

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Get the original mags!

    Quote Originally Posted by southfork View Post
    I would like to get some reliable 15 round magazines, and don't want to have to deal with the frustration of ones that will not work reliably.

    I shoot competions where you fire 3 shots at each of ten targets. If you get one too many on a target, the best shot is struck out. Not wishing to ruin my nerves with counting (up to three, no less!) I simply bought so many 15-shot mags that I can use one per target, each loaded with 3 rounds. Fairly foolproof. And the mags all work perfectly after 1) checking that the spring is the right way round (they all were) and 2) in some cases, bending the lips back a touch into shape. This was the only problem, and easy to fix if you have a couple of proven good mags to serve as reference. I also feel that using only 3 rounds in a 15-round mag means that the spring is only working over a small part of its range (i.e. much less variation in spring tension), and this seems to help in slick, consistent feeding. The less you have to worry about in a competition, the better.

    The 10 old, greasy, but functional GI mags cost me about as much as 2 new and shiny aftermarket mags would have done.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 12-28-2012 at 07:28 PM.

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    In the US, it's the other way around - 2 new shiny ones for the price of a USGI 15 round mag. - Bob

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    Senior Member stickhauler's Avatar
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    Last I checked Southern Ohio Guns, they still had used 15 round USGI magazines for around $10.00 each.

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