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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Casually picking up a Smith compact magazine it appears to have the exact same problem the P22 and PPK/S .22 zinc pistols have....the mag is just a bit too large to modify. It almost fits into the grip just like the other mags....but it a no go. The PP .22 mag measures 1.060" front to rear. The P22 and PPK/S measure 1.090". The mag well measures close to 1.070". Knocking the P22 down 0.02" or 0.03" proved to require the metal to be made too thin.

The Smith on the other hand measures 1.080". Filing down the spline just a bit and it fit right into the magwell.....as far as it would go...which isn't far because there are some things that need removal. Two punched out tabs along the round barrel need to be ground off. There is also a small punch out that does something but is only in the way for inserting the mag into the frame.

My first mistake was to put the mag on an anvil and tap the little strap back flush. Bad idea. That bent the mag in a bit....don't do this....just cut it off with a Dremel and a small cutting wheel. Leaves a slotted hole...but that is life.
Next simply grind off the two small expanded tabs on the round portion of the mag. In fact, with a medium grit emery belt, neatly round off the entire front and a portion of the side of the mag barrel while you are at it. Spline cut down a bit, front rolled neatly over the belt and the mag should now fit perfectly into the magwell. Going from 1.080" to 1.070" is a whole lot easier. Plenty of metal left.

Of course the follower fits, as does the spring, spring base and bumper. The bumper is too long in the nose and will be ugly even if ground off but it does fit everything else on the mag. The spring base fits neatly, has a long leg that stabilizes the lower portion of the spring. At this point only four things remain. Insert a gutted mag into your pistol, slide locked open. Mark how much of the front of the left ear needs to be cut off to clear the ejector leg. About half. And while you are at it, cut it down, then cut across the front of the mag so it won't run into the bottom of the feed ramp. 1/8" should do it. You can at this point grind a slant on the nose of the mag to aid the catch slipping over the rim if you like. Just leave enough steel so that it won't bend in....or insert your mags with the button pressed in. Easier on everything.

While you are doing this you need to stick the empty mag body into the pistol until the rear cutout for the breech rail is just a tiny bit taller than the rear of the frame. Neatly mark the rear of the mag right at the base of the frame. Cut a small slot across the rear of the mag and then neatly punch the lower portion of the mag out. This bump out will now stop over insertion. Cut it too high? No problem, just neatly file off the top of knock out to let the mag insert a little higher.

I'll put up a picture to show where the cutout for the mag catch goes. Walther has the shape that they do for a reason. It isn't critical, but a thin slot that lets the nose only on the catch, catch....isn't good enough. The bottom of the catch slants down so you need a hole there large enough for the mag not to interfere with the lower portion of the catch.

Almost there. The follower is going to have to be modified if you want the hold open function to work. Like the P22 there is a ridge running down the center of the follower and that ridge isn't wide enough to engage the stop arm. So, you have to grind some of it off. Polymer, so pretty easy. Don't cut it all the way down like I did on the P22 or it will engage the ejector with one round still in the mag. Might as well shoot all ten rounds. Grind off all of the follower flat except about the last 1/8". Then, re-
slant the rear rail. Take a close look at a stock follower and how it fits the mag. There is a slight chamfer at each rear corner and you will have to notch the rear edges of the round, front portion of the follower. It appears to me that the rear rails and front lips both stop upward movement of the part.

You will not be able to use the polymer follower pull down button. It is not in a recessed portion of the mag body....so, it isn't going to fit under the frame. A regular PP pull down is very thin and would not work either except that it is located in a pressed in area of the mag. To fit a similar pull down button you will have to cut a long slot which will weaken the mag and I don't think is worth the effort. After a couple of rounds are inserted you can stick something in the follower hole and pull the thing down as you drop rounds into place. Easier than some of these tiny button levers anyway.

Clean everything well, load and test fire. Mine ran 100% except the follower locked the slide open with one round still in the mag. So now I will have to cut the left shoulder of the round portion of the follower off just a bit. It would have been better to have known this beforehand.....because the shorter the follower the worse it wants to bind. This one wasn't ruined but the next one will be better. Since I have three of these mags and no crooked shooting compact....I'm converting them all to PP .22 mags.

Still looking for that Bersa mag to see if it isn't more or less a drop in with very few mods. Pictures soon. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OK, all three Smiths work perfectly....but I will say the mags are not all exactly the same dimension wise. On one all that needs to be removed is a bit from the rear and front....the next needs a little taken off the side near the stagger slots....so, they basically need to be hand fitted until they slide up and down just like an original. Once you know where the cuts go in the first one the second two are easy to make. The top round does not sit quite as flat as an original...they sit more nose up and I though that might cause a feeding issue while working on the first one. Especially using flat nose hollow points... would they bounce off the side of the chamber since they were not using much if any of the feed ramp....but, they run 100%. Pinching down the front of the rear rail would lower the rounds...but why worry with that if they feed. I will get sorta step by step pictures up soon. Chemo this week and I'm getting more and more tired. I feel fine....just no energy. Totally unlike me. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got all the pictures taken this evening, did some more test firing. All three still 100%. All three now have a distinct follower in it....in addition to tests with two P22 followers and one Bernadelli follower. They all work. I'm not seeing that this is hard but you must know how an existing mag fits, sits and how the follower works in relation to the ejector. With one round in the mag the follower cannot engage the ejector. When that last round is removed the follower must reach high enough to shove the ejector up a safe distance on the breech face where it will hold the slide open. How high it shoves does not matter but it must allow the ejector to drop all the way down when one round is installed in the mag. The nose of the mag must also be cut low enough so that it does not interfere with the bottom of the feed ramp or the ejector. The rounds sit quite high in these mags in relation to how they sit in a stock mag.....but, the hollow points feed well. I notice only the slightest smudge mark on the very top of the feed ramp. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)


Before you begin modifying an odd magazine in an attempt to make it work in a PP .22 you need to take a careful look at how a stock magazine looks, fits and works. Understanding exactly how it functions, empty or loaded is essential to understanding what needs to be done to some other magazine. One of the most important things to notice here is that the front of the follower is the full width of the inside of the front of the mag.



Load a round in the mag, remove your slide and have a look at how the stock setup sits. You will need to duplicate some aspects of this pretty closely. Press the magazine up and down to see the limits of mag movement. You will need to duplicate this. On a stock mag the base of the mag limits up movement, the location of the catch slot/and mag catch limits how far down a locked in mag can move.



This photo shows how high a stock mag sits above the frame when locked in. An important part of this is the height of the follower where the lower leg of the ejector interacts with it. It is really important that neither the body of the mag or the follower engage the ejector leg when a round is in the magazine. It is also equally important that the follower of an empty mag be able to raise the ejector/slide hold open arm high enough to securely place it on the breech face. If the follower on the non factory mag sits too high, it can lock the slide open prematurely, too low and it can not press the ejector up enough to catch the slide or even worse....press the ejector up just enough to sometimes catch the slide, sometimes not. This will wear the breech and ejector rear face.



Take a close look at the position of the rear of the ejector as it sits against the breech face. The part has caught the slide and is holding it open. When a round is in the mag, the ejector must be allowed to drop all the way down so that as the slide moves forward the part fits with no drag inside of the dark rectangular area. Neither the mag body or follower can interfere with this drop. Understanding how the factory set up works is essential to making a non stock magazine work. Take your pistol with stock part, set the safety to safe and have a careful look through the ejection port at how a stock mag that is empty works and one with one or more rounds in it works until you see exactly how the parts interact.

Now I will look at what it takes to make a Smith and Wesson Compact .22 magazine work reliably in the .22 PP pistol. First of all, the magazine must fit into the magwell...and, the Smith won't. There are several things I need to modify.




Where to start? Start with a completely empty mag body. I know that the mag won't reach all the way up so I'm going to take the Dremel cut off wheel and remove some of the material from the left front ear and the nose of the round. The left ear runs into the bottom of the ejector leg stopping full insertion and the nose of the stock Smith mag hits the bottom of the feed ramp. So, cut those to sort of match the factory mag. You can refine them later. The front ears on a stock PP .22 magazine catch the follower and the Smith follower is going to be stopped in another manner. Walther is pretty generous with the cutout but don't get carried away.



Well, that looks ok to me. Factory mag on the right, cut off Smith on the left. Don't worry about the slide catch hole not matching the factory mag....the Smith holds the rounds at a different angle which means the front of the mag sits higher than an original. You can't do anything about different front ears either. Don't worry about that, just smooth up any really sharp edges your cut off wheel made, especially the top of that left ear. There is no benefit to it being needle sharp on top.




There is a strap that has been punched out on the right side of the mag body. Grind it off...don't punch it in. You will distort the magazine. It serves no purpose re: the PP. Below it are two expanded ears, file or grind them off down to the level of the mag body. It will be necessary to remove some material from the rear and front of the magazine. Not much, but some. I then tape the sides of the mag and insert it into a vise. Clamp just hard enough to hold the mag in place. Don't bend up the mag. I then draw file the rear of the mag spline beginning at the top and pulling toward me. I carefully look every few strokes to make sure my cut is level and square. At this point I want to stop removal of much material at the bottom of the magazine. The reason is we are going to make a cut so that an over travel stop, expansion tab can be installed and we want the weld to be full strength where the metal is expanded. But, in order to determine the location of the cut...we need to magazine to fit inside the magwell. At least the first one. We are needing to remove a total of appx 0.0010" of material total, from the front and rear of the Smith mag. So don't get carried away with the filing.

After I work on the spline a bit I work on the front, round portion of the mag. I draw file it making sure I rotate the file to a different position with each stroke as I work around the nose of the mag. The advantage of a file vs a sanding belt is that the center of a belt is the stiffest part and as such can grind a surface with ripples. We don't want ripples...I will save the belt for touch up and making the mag look pretty. I keep working on the mag in this manner until it will fit inside of the magwell even if I have to give it a shove to get it up to where I want it to seat. I will work on making it fit a bit loosely later. Pressing in on the mag catch helps during this process.



What I am wanting to do is reduce the outside of the mag until it will fit inside the magwell and loosely enough so that I can press it up to a point where it matches a factory mag. See the picture above. That is a Smith mag that has been inserted the same amt. that a factory mag will reach. I will install the mag catch hole which will control how far the mag can drop when locked in later. There is some planned slop here so that the mag is reliably locked in before settling to its lowest locked position. But right now I'm interested in the over insertion stop. With the magazine inserted to the proper height I want to carefully turn the pistol over so that I can see the bottom of the frame.



With the magazine inserted to the correct height, the mag catch holding it in position even though there is no hole for it yet, using the bottom of the frame as a guide I draw a line across the rear spline. See sample red line. I will then cut the rear of the spline just enough to allow the metal to be expanded below the cut. I use the Dremel and wheel shown.



Note I have drilled a small hole in the nose of the mag so that I can insert a 1/8" punch so I can reach the area needing to be bumped out. I support the upper spline on the jaw of a vise while using the punch to tap the steel rearward. This expansion is why I want the metal to be strongly welded at the expansion point.



And, that is all you need for that. Be careful not to grind it off while working on the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The magazine now fits into the magwell, it has a stop that stops it from over insertion matching a factory mag. Now I have three more tasks. Make a follower that works, cut a catch slot for the mag catch arm....test fitment and function manually in the pistol. I am specifically concerned with function of the follower with regard to the ejector.



Here is an odd thing to me. On the right is a more or less stock Smith follower. I removed the small bump at the rear which holds the last round in place on the follower until the breech rail shoves the round forward. The PP has no problem with the bump but when I try to unload that last round manually...my thumb can't match a steel rail. So, I ground it off with the belt sander. On the left side of the front of the follower I installed some JB Weld to raise the engagement spot that hits the ejector leg. On other models I cut the follower down until the full width part would engage the ejector. But, the taller the follower, the more stable it is when moving up and down the mag. I installed the stock follower and marked where the ledge should be. I also noted where the cut rear ear needed free space to allow the follower to move up and not bind. As the JB firmed up I cut it exactly where I wanted it, top and rear, with a razor blade. It worked perfectly.

Then again, all of the various different approaches worked. The three on the right are Smith followers, then a P22 and on the left a Bernadelli. A taller P22 follower worked as well but is now in another mag and I didn't take it out for a picture. The point is, even with P22 springs, Smith springs, a Bernadelli spring and a paperclip spring from some mag I can't identify.....all worked fine. But, they all must follow the same format of reaching high enough to keep the last round tight against the top of the mag and must not engage the ejector leg with one round in the mag but must engage it and lift it high enough when the last round is removed. I did not have any feeding issues with any of these ugly things.

But, the simpler, the better and the taller the follower, the less likely to bind. So I would vote for the follower on the right. Remove the small top bump. Wash the area to receive the JB Weld to remove oil, neatly paste on the JB, let it set a bit, roll the front edge of the follower to mold the JB to match the round portion of the follower, then cut it to the proper height and depth with a sharp blade. I think properly cured JB will last a long time and it really sticks.

The next thing you need to check with every mag you might modify is the interaction with the ejector. To do this first install an empty mag into the pistol, locked in and pulled down against the lock. Pull the slide back, does the ejector lock it? If so take a very careful look at the rear position of the ejector/catch arm.



If this is what I see....my follower is not pressing the slide catch up high enough and this is unacceptable. Blow the picture up to get a good look. The catch should not barely catch the slide on the breech face....it needs to be pressed up higher by the follower. There is no function problem with the part being pressed all the way up but if it is barely catching the slide I need to raise the follower a bit more. Either let it rise higher in the mag body or raise the engagement shelf. It is easier to just add more JB and raise the engagement shelf surface. Below are three different Smith follower all adjusted differently to accomplish the proper amount of lift.





Note that with one round installed the new follower ledge matches the factory follower. Again, it is essential that the new mag body and the follower ledge cannot engage the ejector leg with round round installed or the slide might be locked back. Knowing how this works will let you design it properly.

All work 100% but the easiest one to make and the one that allows the stock follower to remain at full height is the one on the right. I've taken the bump off the rear of the slanted portion, added JB to fill out the left side of the front so the ejector leg will be engaged and then cut it at the proper height. These do not necessarily match a factory mag because the Smith mag holds the rounds a bit more nose up. In fact, only about 1/8" of the very top of the feed ramp is engaged, but, the hollow point RGBs fed reliably.

For the bottom of the mag I am simply using the stock Smith mag parts. The spring base has a tall nose that stabilizes the bottom of the spring and of course it all fits. Doesn't look good but, at least I have three more mags that run in a .22 PP and can add more for $20 ea and I expect each one I make I can make quicker, neater and better. The mags sticks down so far that my hand doesn't bind on the lower bumper. Perhaps someone has a good idea for a filler between the bottom bumper and pistol base.



The magazine on the right has the full length follower and the center one is pretty tall....in fact an advantage is that with an empty mag the hole for the pull down button is accessible for a small screwdriver, Allen wrench, toothpick...whatever that really aids in loading these mags. The short one is accessible after a couple of rounds are installed. It only got short from various experimenting efforts.



And as mentioned earlier...an empty mag will drop when the button is pressed in...but not when loaded. Those stagger slots that let the top rounds align properly also let the rims stagger out a bit and they drag on the frame just enough to stop free fallin' mags. It might be possible to squeeze the mags in a bit and I probably will test one to see if I can coral those rims just a bit. OK, this was easier than explaining it. Any questions. I will put up measurements of where the spline cut is and how far up the top of the cutout is for the mag catch. You can relate the top line to the tab that I cut off.

Now to find a Bersa mag and see how that fits. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)


PPK/S .22 with the Smith mag locked in.



When the magazine is empty the follower needs to press the ejector/slide hold open arm safely above the red line. The red line is the top of a cutout on the breech face that allows the ejector to fit under the breech when the magazine is loaded. The catch arm need not be pressed this high but it needs to be securely above the red line. The follower must also allow the ejector arm to drop below the red line when the magazine is loaded. Proper adjustment of the shelf that operates the ejector is critical to proper function.



Here is a modified Smith M&P Compact follower that will now function properly in a Compact magazine that has been modified to fit the PP magwell. I have added a column of JB Weld to a clean follower, allowed it to harden a bit and then but the top and rear of the blob so that the height of the ejector leg engagement shelf is correct and the rear of the blob clears the left, front ear of the Smith mag. The remainder of the outside, curved portion of the blob was carefully sanded on emery paper to match the curve of the stock follower.

When installed the follower functioned 100% but since it is spring loaded underneath and on the front there was a tendency for the follower to slant rearward just a bit......note, this is stock fitment in the Smith mag but never one to leave stuff alone....I added a blob of JB Weld to the rear of the part and after it hardened I sanded it down for a proper fit. Worked great...but, is not really necessary.



If you look at the Smith mag on the right you can see the slanting follower. This is the way it runs in a stock Smith. I wanted it straight up and down. The blob cured that.



Blob before careful sanding



If you can keep up with such things, the stock follower pull down tab can be inserted into the follower for loading, especially if you remove the two little retaining legs. You will have to remove it before inserting the mag into the PP frame which was not designed for its location. You can also use a small screwdriver, but, being able to pull the follower down as you load is certainly faster and easier than jabbing them in there against the follower. The Smith spring is as stiff as the PP spring and both are much stronger than a P22 spring which also works.

Oh yeah, the over insertion stop line is 0.520" above the cut out at the center of the rear of the magazine. The 1/8" hole for the punch is 0.32" above the base of the mag immediately below it. The top of the cutout for the mag catch is 3.68" above the base of the mag directly below it. One trick here is to insert your magazine up against the new stop and then look at the scratches the catch made down your neatly brushed mag face. That tells you exactly where the catch is reaching. Remember, the rear over insertion tab serves no other function than to stop over insertion of the mag. The mag catch hold does not stop over insertion, its purpose is to stop downward movement of a locked in magazine. As always, you can always take more steel off, you can't add any back. Also look at the relationship of the cutout with regard to the location of the strap that has to be cut off.....do this and you should be good to go.

BTW, if you file a small amt of width off the bottom bumper flanges a stock Walther bumper, flat or finger extension will fit. The lock up hole doesn't match and one will not cover up the naked magazine showing and those parts are as hard to find as PP .22 mags....just saying they can be made to work...so can a P22 bumper but none of them really look much better than the Smith bumper which doesn't look nearly as good as the stock magazine.....but what can you do? 1917
 
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