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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings,

I've been in need some additional mags for a couple of Interarms PPK/S models in both .32 ACP and .380 Auto, and I've been able to secure a couple of Mec-Gar brand mags in the .32 ACP, but I'm curious . . . does anyone know with certainty whether or not the .32 ACP and .380 Auto mags are identical parts (and part numbers)? In other words, are they completely compatible or interchangeable with each other?

Thanks
 

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...does anyone know with certainty whether or not the .32 ACP and .380 Auto mags are identical parts (and part numbers)?
They are not identical. But for a strange reason, Mec-Gar distinguishes between PP and PPK/S magazines, although they are absolutely identical when we speak of the same calibre of course. In other words: the PPK/S .380 magazines can be found on their website under PPK/S, while you have to look for the PPK/S .32 magazines under PP.

This is quite confusing, but understandable, because it is an Italian company. :rolleyes:
 

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I think it has to do with what caliber dominates in the production of the two guns. Although they are interchangeable between PP and PPK/s in each caliber, the vast majority of PP's were chambered in 7.65 for the European market while the PPK/s, developed for the US market was primarily chambered in 380. MegCar is just reflecting reality for the vast number of buyers that it is targeting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
This is quite confusing . . . :rolleyes:
Thank you for your response, and yes indeed, it truly is 'extremely' confusing, for several key reasons . . .

By example, the Mec-Gar website shows the following information for their 'finger-rest' .32 ACP and .380 mags :

1) Model: PPK/S, Caliber: .380, Finish: Nickel, Capacity: Standard (7-Rounds), Part #: MGWPPKSFRN.

2) Model: PPK, Caliber: .32 ACP, Finish: Nickel, Capacity: Standard (7-Rounds), Part #: MGWPPK32FRN.

And yet, I have a factory original Mec-Gar finger-rest .32 ACP mag sitting right here in front of me, brand new and unopened, with a nickel-plated '8-Round' capacity mag inside (confirmed as being both 8-Round and .32 ACP by the attached UPC label), and its Part # (which doesn't match either of those above), is MGWPP32FRN.

I don't much care about part numbers and such; I just want to know whether I can safely use any one of these part numbers (or all three!) at the range interchangeably? Or do I have to distinguish them from one another somehow to avoid confusion (and potential malfunctioning), when loading and installing them? I can easily distinguish between them because the .32 ACP mags hold 8-rounds (and have numbered windows 1-8 accordingly), while the .380 only hold 7-rounds. But if these were in-fact ALL completely interchangeable, I can't imagine that they (Mec-Gar) would market them with different part numbers on their labels?
 

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But if these were in-fact ALL completely interchangeable, I can't imagine that they (Mec-Gar) would market them with different part numbers on their labels?
No, now you are confusing the numbers and magazines. Basically there are four different magazines which are available with and without finger rest in two different finishes. That gives us a total of 16 variants. Just look at the number and then you can easily identify the magazine:

This is the number scheme:
Prefix – Model/calibre – Magazine type – Finish
MGW – PP32|PPKS|PPK32|PPK – ST|FR – B|N

Prefix:
MG — Mec-Gar
W — Walther

Model/calibre:
PP32 — PP and PPK/S .32, 8 rounds
PPKS — PP and PPK/S .380, 7 rounds
PPK32 — PPK, .32, 7 rounds
PPK — PPK, .380, 6 rounds

Magazine type:
ST — Standard (w/o Finger rest)
FR — Finger rest

Finish:
B — Blued
N — Nickel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Model/calibre:
PP32 — PP and PPK/S .32, 8 rounds
PPKS — PP and PPK/S .380, 7 rounds
PPK32 — PPK, .32, 7 rounds
PPK — PPK, .380, 6 rounds

Doh! Thank you for the clarification! Now I 'get it'. :)
 

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With one exception, my MecGar mags are clearly marked for caliber, but not for PP/PPK size. (The exception isn't marked at all, save for the G over M logo).
There is definitely a difference in the feed lips.
The calibers are close; some enterprising fellow managed to reload a .380 bullet into a .32 case...found the spent casing in my brass stash.
The MecGar folks make a fine magazine.

Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
. . . my MecGar mags are clearly marked for caliber . . . Moon
Moon - Do you mean that they're marked for caliber somehow (by Mec-Gar) on the actual mags? Or do you mean that you've marked somehow yourself to help you distinguish them?

I ask this because I've got one original-issue standard (no finger-rest) 7-round mag that came with the Walther/Interarms .32 ACP, plus a total of four (new) Mec-Gar 8-round finger-rest mags for the .32 ACP, and another four (new) Mec-Gar 7-round finger-rest mags for the .380, and none have anything about 'caliber' stamped or marked anywhere? They're all nickel-plated, and all have a clear "Made in Italy" stamped into them, along with the digits 1-7 or 1-8 stamped into them to indicate capacity, but nothing else.

Have I missed something?
 

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Let me try to simplify this.

Magazines for the Models PPK/s and PP are the same within any given caliber.

Magazines for Model PPK are shorter, and are not long enough to function in the Models PPK/s and PP, irrespective of caliber.

Magazines for Models PPK/s and PP will latch into a Model PPK of the same caliber and will more or less function --but are really not satisfactory because there is no positive stop to prevent over-insertion and consequent jamming of the magazine lips against the slide.

Magazines in caliber .380 have a lengthwise rib on the left side of the mag body which prevents their insertion into the grip frame of practically all PP-series pistols in .32 caliber. (There are a few exceptions, one of which is the stainless PPK .32 pistol manufactured by Interarms, built on a .380 frame).

Magazines for the Models PPK/s and PP in .32 caliber will fit and feed in those same models in .380, but the hold-open usually will not work reliably, and the numbering holes will be incorrect. The same is correspondingly true with .32 caliber magazines for Model PPK when inserted in PPK pistols in .380.

There is no difference between the feed lips of .380 and .32 caliber magazines for Models PP, PPK/s or PPK; however, the magazine follower of the caliber .380 magazine has a leftward extension to actuate the hold-open.

Finally, the floorplate --whether finger rest or flat bottom-- makes no difference in the magazine capacity; it will be the same: 7 rounds in .380, 8 in .32 for Models PPK/s and PP, and 6 in .380 and 7 in .32 for Model PPK.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MGMike,

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a concise and thorough explanation. This has helped clear-up a whole bunch of the 'grey' area for me on this entire subject. And the bottom line is, its all relatively straight-forward, but not necessarily "simple"! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yup, just as I was afraid of all-along . . . in practice, much of this tidy little summary just didn't hold true.

The aftermarket, extended (8-round) nickel-plated Mec-Gar brand mags for the Interarms .32 ACP ppk/s (#MGWPPK32FRN), fit and work like a charm, but after trying-out three (3) different makes and models of mags for the comparable Interarms .380 ppk/s, it became quite clear that NONE fully seated or functioned properly in the Interarms .380, save the original-issue Walther (i.e., the extended 7-round version with Walther banner, and dimples on both sides of the black polymer finger-rest).

NEITHER of the other two (2) .380 mags installed or functioned properly, because despite being marketed for use with the ppk/s, they are both too short in overall length (by 1/16"-1/8"), thereby prohibiting retention in the mag-well.

Which two didn't work?

1) Mec-Gar, extended, nickel-plated, 7-round, .380 Auto, ppk/s, (part #MGWPPKSFRN). Too short! Tried three (3) of 'em, brand new!

2) Walther (with Walther banner), extended, nickel-plated, 7-round, .380 Auto, ppk/s, with 'smooth' black polymer finger-rest that LACKS the two dimples on each side! Tried eight (8) of 'em, brand new! Zippo! Nada! Too short!

And so, unfortunately, this whole magazine proposition developed into precisely the sort of 'minefield' that I feared it might, because there appears to also be a difference bewteen "US-made" and "German-made" Interarms ppk/s models, and consequently, this relatively pointless thread should just be closed-out before it further confuses others.
 

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Ringo, most of my mags are marked as I indicated, but I did find some with the stylized MG markings that didn't have caliber indicated. I dug a little deeper in the mag box.

Also, the PPK/s .32 mags seem to work just fine in my German PP.


Mike, a fast n' nasty vernier check on .380/.32 mags showed 0.304" on the former and 0.286" on the latter, at the front of the feed lips.


Moon
 

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...

Also, the PPK/s .32 mags seem to work just fine in my German PP.


Mike, a fast n' nasty vernier check on .380/.32 mags showed 0.304" on the former and 0.286" on the latter, at the front of the feed lips.


Moon
Moon:

Walther, Interarms, and Manurhin drawings are consistent that the distance between the lips of both .380 and .32 magazines for PP, PPK and PPK/s are nominally .291" at the rear, .283" at the front, both with a tolerance of +.008", which is to say a maximum of .299" at the rear and .291" at the front.

Note that that is for manufacturing purposes. With use, the lips often open wider, depending on how well they have been hardened. That allows the cartridge to be presented higher. Whether that causes any feeding problem depends on a wide range of other tolerances in both the gun and the ammunition, and can only be determined by actual test.

Generally speaking, magazines that measure smaller than the above dimensions have bent lips or weren't made correctly.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's very strange. I own only a small number of US made models but I never noticed problems with Mec-Gar magazines. Also, I've never heard of anything like this.
Well, call it strange, weird, whatever you choose, but there's definitely a problem with 'em. Its limited to the mags for the U.S. Interarms/Ranger-made .380 pistols specifically (not the Mec-Gar .32 ACP mags), and if you look hard enough, you'll find reviews by other consumers (on other firearm forums, Midway USA, Brownell's and other on-line retailers), who have experienced the same issue. Some apparently do and some don't, but the difference is quite real, and as discussed here, it appears to relate to the overall length of the magazine.
 

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Mike, I can't explain it, but my .32s and .380s mike different and look different; six .32s were 0.29", and three .380s were 0.31"; all are lightly used. All have worked without drama.
Also, my mags are larger at the front.
Fast n' nasty with my electronic mike this time.

BTW, a .32 mag for a Sig 230 also measures 0.029".
Go figure.
Moon
 

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MecGar

After reading this thread I am now totally confused. Please help.

My recently purchased 32acp MecGar 8 round, nickle plated, flat plate, magazines DO NOT have any caliber stamped (or otherwise indicated) upon them.
I contacted MecGar and was told that this is "standard".
My limited experience with any magazines, regardless of brand, all
have a permanent caliber indication.
Has anyone else experienced these 'unmarked caliber' MecGar magazines??
 

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Ppk magazines

Thank you for the information Mike. I guess my two Interarms 32acps are very strange. Even though the slide, barrel, etc are definitely 32, the darn slot for the mag rib is on the left side of the magwell.
I wish that MecGar would engrave the caliber on their PPK/PPKS magazines. That would be really helpful.
Just to let everyone know, my MecGar 32 mags easily accept a 380 round, so we users have to be more careful to not use the “unmarked” MecGar 32 or 380 mags. in the wrong pistol.
I think I will discard these new MecGar 32s, and buy directly from Walther, since Walther engraves the caliber on their magazines.
What a mess !!
Regards
Vin
 
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