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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

they offer now two kinds of hi-caps on GunBroker, both for 17 rounds, 9mm. www.FourFourMag.com offers the mags of unknown manufacturer, that's how they advertise:

"We recently aquired a small lot of these Walther P99 17rd magazines. They are super nice mags and load and feed smooth as butter. They have a slightly larger floorplate than normal to accomidate the 17 rounds. We aren't sure who made these but they are very high quality and we guarantee you will agree or money back."

Another vendor offers the following:

"Up for bids is a brand new Preban Walther P 99 mag. This mag is 17 round and flush fit. It is made by Promag."

So, does it mean we have two different brands? Does anybody has any kind of experience with them? They look very similar on photorgraphs.
The price is attractive but I had bad experience with Promag in the past (10 round 9mm mags would cause the slide to not lock back after the last shot has been fired).
On the other hand, this guy from Germany (forgot his name, Keahany?) offers 15 round pre-bans made by MecGar. They are a bit more expensive but they are 'factory' made.

Can somebody straighten the things up for me, please?

Thanks in advance,

Have a super Holiday,

Val
 

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From what I've gathered here and elsewhere, the only truly legal pre-ban high capacity magazines are the 16 round ones made by Mec-Gar selling for around $100-$125.

The 15 round ones made by Mec-Gar were for Turkish use and were made after the 1994 ban, even though they don't have any LEO marks.

I dont know anything about the 17 round mags, but I am pretty sure that they are not preban magazines. Walther introduced this pistol shortly after the ban. Walther/Mec-Gar are the only companies for whom it would make sense to develop magazines for this pistol while under development. Other manufacturers would wait until after the pistol has been introduced into the market before making mags for it - hence they would not be preban. Afterall, why make mags for a pistol that you aren't even sure will hit the market successfully unless you are the manufacturer of that pistol?

I personally would like 16 round magazines, but I am going to wait until the AWB sunsets this coming September. Then you and I can go out and buy them without paying ridiculous prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could please anybody post the patent number on the 16-round 'real' pre-ban mags?
The one on the 'Turkish' mag read 5,386,657.
Are the numbers different?
If they are not, who is to say that the 'Turkish' ones are made after the ban?

Val
 

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That is the same patent number on the ones I got from earl's with my euro p99. 5,386,657 They have 16 round witness hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This patent is dated February 7, 1995. It was filed July 19, 1993.

I am really confused now. The ban begun in September 1993. It means that for the mags to be pre-ban and 'legal' the only date that matters is the date this patent has been filed (not approved!!).

I've read carefully the long document regulating importation and posession of hi-caps (27 CFR Part 178, posted by extremist on his website, 27 CFR Part 178 ). The main demand they have for the mags to be imported and sold here is that the vendor would prove that the mags have been made before the ban. They prefer the mags will have markins as verification of the date. If Earl can legally import and sell these mags, it seems to me the 'Turkish' ones with the same patent number are okay, too.

What can we assume? If this patent number works, it means any mag with this patent number is 'kosher' and good to go. Do they actually have any kind of document that say: 'Gee, let's see. This one has the same patent number but only 15 witness hole. It must be a 'Turkish' one. Hey, arrest this guy!' Simple straightforward logic says that if the 16 rounds from Earl and elsewhere with the patent number 5,386,657 are pre-ban, any other mag from the same manufacturer with the same patent number would be pre-ban, too.

Another question would be how the vendors got them here. Earl has importation rights given to him by the big boys. We have no idea about the others. But is it our business to check out if the vendor has proper importation rights? If he violates a law by selling the mags that are supposedly 'pre-ban' without importing them properly, does it make the mags 'after-ban' and illegal? I seriously doubt it. But with laws like ours, anything is possible
.

Hey, any attorney out there? This question cannot be that tough to tackle. All the confusion we have steams from our ignorance about the law. Anybody with a basic knowladge of the law will straighten it out in a minute, I am sure.

Input, anybody?

Val
 

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I've been thru all this pre-ban magazine stuff, along with the loopholes that have been exploited in a thread a while back, do a search for 100% legal high capacity magazines.
 

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Let's all band together and write our congress men and women and then by this time next year we won't have to worry about this problem any more!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
[b said:
Quote[/b] (NM_P99 @ Nov. 26 2003,4:28)]I've been thru all this pre-ban magazine stuff, along with the loopholes that have been exploited in a thread a while back, do a search for 100% legal high capacity magazines.
Can't find the thread, although I remember it from some time ago. What did you mean by 'search for 100% legal mags'? Search here as the topic name?

Val
 

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I have purchased three of those 17 round mags that are advertised on Gunbroker. While some of the sellers represent them to be Promag, none of them have a manufacturer's name stamped on them, so that should be the first indication of quality if the maker will not even put their name on it. I paid between $29.95 and $39.95 plus shipping for them. In my opinion the ones I have purchased are all junk and I will send one free to anyone so they can evaluate it themself. As already stated, and my personal experience bears it out, they do not hold the slide open on the last round. Quality, as can be determined just by visually inspecting them is nothing close to the quallity of the original equipment MecGar mags. Again, in my opinion they are absolute junk and will gladly invite anyone else to check them out just to confirm or disprove my opinion, maybe they are just not compatible with my P99. I am a retired police officer and former semiauto pistol firearms instructor so believe I have a small amount of training and knowledge on which to base an opinion of a magazine. I highly recommend that you stick with only the MecGar brand magazines. Even without using them, just placing the MecGar mags side by side next to these other off brands, the difference is readlily apparrent. If you like the mag, you can keep it. All I ask is that if you like it, post your results so we can all benefit; if you do not like it and agree with my appraisal, send it along to another P99 owner for evaluation, so we can all assist each other.
 

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Every ProMag I've had experience with was a piece of garbage. I advise friends not to buy them, but some do anyway. One friend bought 2 10 round ProMags for his .40 P99, but could only get in 7 and the slide would not lock on an empty mag. He also had feeding problems with both. Buyer beware.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]What can we assume? If this patent number works, it means any mag with this patent number is 'kosher' and good to go. Do they actually have any kind of document that say: 'Gee, let's see. This one has the same patent number but only 15 witness hole. It must be a 'Turkish' one. Hey, arrest this guy!' Simple straightforward logic says that if the 16 rounds from Earl and elsewhere with the patent number 5,386,657 are pre-ban, any other mag from the same manufacturer with the same patent number would be pre-ban, too.
I'm not a lawyer or anything, but I take a step back and look at this and I see a dangerous assumption here.

A patent number represents a registration of an IDEA or a PLAN FOR CONSTRUCTION of a product with the US Patent Office. So if the patent was filed before the ban that DOES NOT mean that all high capacity magazines with that patent are OK. The patent number has nothing to do with the actual date of manufacture.

To further prove that patent numbers will not help you in this matter, I took a look at my brand new P99 9mm 10 round magazines that came with my P99 which I bought last week, date code AD. The patent number on these magazines is 5,386,657 - the same patent number reported on the true 16 round preban magazines and the Turkish 15 rounders. What does this mean as far as the patent number and date go? Patent number 5,386,657 means that the magazine could have been manufactured anywhere from Pre 1993 to 2003, which will not get you out of any hot water you might find yourself in for having high-capacity magazines.

So why don't the Turkish magazines have any indication that they are post-ban magazines as many claim them to be? This is simple to me...they are Turkish. The requirement for high capacity magazines to be marked LEO is a US law. Walther GERMANY shipping magazines to TURKEY could care less about what the US wants stamped on magazines.

I personally am going to stay safe and wait until this coming September.
 

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OK,  I'll chime in.  First of all, I am an intellectual property attorney (patent, trademark, copyright, tradesecret), but with that declaration, let me post my disclaimer.  None of my subsequent comment on this subject is legal advice.  It is merely an opinion in a non legal capacity and is not to be relied upon in any way.  (You'd be surprised how easy it is under the TX rules of professional coduct to become someone's attorney for legal malpractice.)  Now on to the patent number stuff.  It is illegal to put a patent number on a product before the patent has actually issued.  Patent Pending may be used prior to issuance, but only after filing the patent and receiving the number.  So all that said, whatever date this patent issued, is the first time that "patent # xyz" may be placed on the product.  There may be other loopholes out there for pre ban vs. post ban magazines, but I have no comment on any of those as I have not researched the legality of any of them (ie destroying a pre ban Ak 47 mag and manufacturing a pre ban p99 mag in its place).  Furthermore, owners of questionable magazines should remember that the whole "innocent until proven guilty" doctrine is not always the case.  For example, the 1994 crime bill outlawed all assault weapons...regardless of manufacture date.  That's right, all of them.  The pre-ban comes into play because of the grandfather exception to pre sept. 1994 manufacture.  That's why if you are found with an assault rifle, it is up to you to prove pre ban status and claim the benefit of the pre ban exemption.  THe government does not have the burden of proof because all the assault rifles are illegal.  The owner must prove the exemption.  So in that case, it is "guilty until proven innocent".  With that in mind, however, I vaguely remember reading a regulation regarding pre ban magazine markings that was opposite of the assault rifle mess.  In effect, if there were no markings, then the there was a pre ban presumption of legality.  So the gov't would have to prove illegal post ban status (which I'm sure with their resources would be quite easy to do).  Not too sure about that, just my comments.  So altogehter, I hope I was able to clear up the patent number issue, and forgive my rambling on about the assault weapons and other stuff...the stupidity of legislatures really frustrates me.  Happy Thanksgiving.

-TxAggie
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (TxAggie @ Nov. 29 2003,6:17)]Furthermore, owners of questionable magazines should remember that the whole "innocent until proven guilty" doctrine is not always the case.  For example, the 1994 crime bill outlawed all assault weapons...regardless of manufacture date.  That's right, all of them.  The pre-ban comes into play because of the grandfather exception to pre sept. 1994 manufacture.  That's why if you are found with an assault rifle, it is up to you to prove pre ban status and claim the benefit of the pre ban exemption.  THe government does not have the burden of proof because all the assault rifles are illegal.  The owner must prove the exemption.  So in that case, it is "guilty until proven innocent".  
I believe your interpretation of the assault weapons ban is incorrect. All laws flow from the Constitution. As you will recall from Con Law I, the Constitution forbids ex post facto law; Art. 1, Secs.9 (Cl.3) & 10.

Without the grandfather clause, the bill would've banned all assault weapons (by criminalizing their possession) and been an ex post facto law. It would have violated the Constitution and ultimately would have been unenforceable. The date is of crucial importance not just for gun owners, but for the law to be Constitutional. The burden remains on the government to prove the date of manufacture came after the ban. -The reality is that it's fairly easy to contact a gun company and learn the date of manufacture. I've done it.
 

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Yes, Ex post facto law is a constitutional doctrine whose importance cannot be understated. Admittedly, my area of expertise lies in intellectual property prosecution and litigation. However, without having time to research the application of ex post facto law, please allow me to explain my reasoning. I always welcome comments and please correct me if I am indeed wrong (I do not practice in criminal law, and thus, I do not come across ex post facto very often...never really).

Ex post facto law is a law that applies retroactively in a way that negatively affects a person's rights. Like criminalizing an action that was legal when it was committed. Ex post facto is strictly forbidden in criminal cases, but not in civil. However, based on my memory of the subject, if the assault weapon laws were ex post facto as you say, then that would be akin to the feds showing up at my door and arresting me for my possession of an assault weapon that I owned back in 1990 and promplty sold in 1991. As I remember it, ex post facto protects me from being prosecuted for something I did years ago that wasn't illegal to do back then but which is illegal today. So you see, I don't believe that the law is ex post facto because if it was, then I could be arrested today for something I owned back in 1990 when it was legal and sold in 1991 (3 years before the ban came into effect). The 1994 crime bill is not attempting to criminalize and arrest people for past actions that were legal when they occured, it is only saying that if you have an assault weopon today, it is now illegal. Again, the distinction is being arrested and in possession of the weapon today, not being arrested today for my act of having possessed the weapon for a brief period 15 years ago (the latter would indeed be ex post facto). Thus, the law is not ex post facto at all. Legislatures are smart people, they don't make careless mistakes such as that. From my memory of the bill, the law says if you have it today, you can be arrested for it today unless you can claim the exception (affirmative defense) of the weapon being manufactured prior to Sept. 1994. And yes, the burden is on the person claiming the exception similar to if not an affirmative defense.

Explanations of affirmative defenses. For example, in defamation cases, falsity is an element of the plaintiff’s case, an in other cases, truth of the matter is an affirmative defense. To illustrate, take Texas where two separate Tx.S.Ct. cases hold this, and neither one mentions or overrules each other. So which is it? We don’t know. What about § 1983 cases (where if the defendant did not act with bad faith, then he is entitled to qualified immunity). Is bad faith an element of the plaintiff’s case, or is good faith an affirmative defense. It has been held as an affirmative defense. The Court said that the statute doesn’t mention bad faith. So it must not be an element of the plaintiff’s case. However, the only problem with this reasoning is that the statute doesn’t say anything about good faith either. This US S.Ct case discussing this (Gomez) basically gave a bad analysis, because we don’t always care who has the knowledge of the element in dispute (see below). We use circumstantial evidence to prove a lot of the elements because we don’t expect the plaintiff, who may have the true knowledge, to just tell the truth. So Gomez only tells that qualified immunity is an affirmative defense. What about an employment discrimination case? Is intent to discriminate the plaintiff’s burden to plead and prove or is it the defendant’s burden to prove no intent. Statutes almost never tell you who has the burden. The defendant would be the only one who knows if he really had intent, but can a plaintiff win an employment discrimination case without proving intent to discriminate? No. It is obvious that congress did not intend for any plaintiff to be able to win an employment discrimination suit just by proving that he was fired because the defendant can’t prove lack of intent. Obviously, the intent to discriminate is the plaintiff’s element and the plaintiff’s burden of proof. Here, defendant has the knowledge about intent, but the element is still the plaintiff’s to prove. (Goes against Gomez.) Thus, the better way to analyze these questions is to look at who the statute was designed to benefit, and then assign the burden of proof to that person. For example, in the §1983 example above, the qualified immunity given if the defendant did not act in bad faith was enacted into law to benefit the defendant, and thus, the defendant should have to prove the lack of bad faith in order to have the benefit of the law. But sometimes this doesn’t work either. Nothing seems foolproof. Another example, when looking at defamation; is defamation intended to stop bad things being said about someone or to stop bad things being said about someone that aren’t true? It is to stop people from saying bad things that aren’t true. (False bad statements.) This leads one to believe that the plaintiff should not be able to recover just based on bad statements, they must be bad statements that are false. Thus, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove falsity. If truth of the statement was an affirmative defense, it would be much easier for plaintiff’s to sue and win just because something said was bad. And again, that is not what the law was designed to protect. Again, look at insurance claims. Is an exclusion / exception to insurance coverage an affimative defense for insurance companies. There may be a lot of exclusions. If we force the plaintiff to prove that none of the exclusions to insurance coverage apply, then we will be spending a lot of time trying to prove if any of the exclusions apply. Thus, the exclusion must be an affirmative defense if the insurance company wants to use it. In a Texas case, Eckman v. Centennial Savings Bank, the court said that in DTPA claims, if we require the plaintiff to have the burden of proof to prove that they are not only a consumer, but a consumer with less than 25 million in assets, then the plaintiff will be spending a lot of time proving their net worth. Thus, we require the defendant who wants to take advantage of the DTPA exclusion to prove that the plaintiff’s assets exceed 25 million.

So again, the US S.CT case touches on the issue of determining burdens of proof, but the case is a limited holding and is not widely followed (if followed at all). The general rule in the US is to look at who is claiming the exception to the law and have that beneficiary prove that the exception applies to them. So it is my understanding that the law is not ex post facto and that the burden of proof resides with the defendant. This analysis is well established in every state. I know it sucks, and it doesn't seem fair, but for laws to have effect, it cannot always be "innocent until proven guilty."
 

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I understand what you are driving at, but my point regarding ex post facto law was not about what you may have possessed 15 years ago. I was pointing out that by making them all illegal, that it would turn everyone who was engaged in previously legal activity (possessing a particular type of item) into a de facto criminal merely by continued possession. The law made no provisions for surrendering the items within a given time frame, nor to whom the items were to be surrendered. It made no provision for restitution. It made no provision regarding how to comply with the law. It made no provision for anything that it would have had to if it had declared on a certain date and a certain time all X is now contraband; anyone in possession of said contraband is now a criminal. It did not do what it would have had to do if it outlawed all assault weapons.

Looking back, I see that I did not focus on my real objection to your interpretation. Your premise as I understood it was that because all assault weapons were banned, you would have to prove that your weapon is within the carved-out area provided as a safe haven. Your contention regarding the possessor of the weapon having an affirmative burden to prove the date of manufacture flies in the face of reason and the way our system operates.

Under your interpretation, as an officer, I could pick up any individual carrying an assault weapon. I would claim that the weapon is an assault weapon and therefore illegal. I'd hook and book. The D.A.'s Office would then say, "Yep, it was an assault rifle; Let's squeeze the individual and force him to come up with a date of manufacture (under the Rules of Evidence, of course) to prove that he's in compliance with the law under the grandfather clause." That's just not how it works.

For the state to convict you of possessing contraband, it has to prove several things. 1) You intended to possess the item or material in question. (It can't just be something you found or had no reason to believe was contained in another item that has recently come into your possession.) 2) You did in fact have the item or material in question in your possession. (Basically you need to have exercised control or dominion over it. It can’t be lying by the road where you picked it up to look at it and then put it back.) 3) The item or material in question is in fact contraband.

In court, the state cannot simply assert, the lump in the individual's pocket was crack cocaine without evidence of it being so and hope to prevail. It has the burden to prove that the item, which showed through the person’s clothes as a lump, was in fact a controlled substance. (That is why many police cruisers are stocked with portable drug test kits.) You as the individual do not have the burden of proving that it was in fact rock candy you bought at a candy store via chemical tests and expert testimony.

Going back to your contention about assault weapons, it will not do for a prosecutor to tell a judge or a jury, "It looked black and was scary therefore it must be illegal under the terms of the assault weapons ban." A prosecutor is an officer of the court and has certain ethical standards. As an attorney, you cannot knowingly misrepresent something court. As a practicing attorney, you know that if you went into court say regarding a patent and you proceeded from the point that a patent was already filed and granted that there would be #### to pay if it had not. No judge in Texas would accept a line from you about how, in spite of the fact that you had no patent number, you thought it was but never checked. -Bill Dorsaneo, the guy who wrote most of your state’s Civil Procedure code, wouldn’t buy it. He'd laugh at you.

For the prosecutor, as the state's representative, this burden of good faith and due diligence is heightened. You hear it often enough that it may seem like a bunch of empty words, but anyone who is serious about his or her career is going to leg it out to check on the date of manufacture on an assault before going to trial. Functionally, this means if they find that the weapon was a pre-ban (or not within the defined class of weapons due to a lack of particular features) you are off the hook. Since this would occur before you even reached trial, it seems wrong to assert that the burden is on the possessor of the weapon. Therefore the possessor would not be guilty until he proved himself innocent as you had contended.

Regarding your well-cited affirmative defense argument, you’ll forgive me if I continue to observe the distinction between civil and criminal case law.
 

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I agree with most of you comments.  I do not think that we are far off.  As with all law, there is room to argue the interpretations.  However, please do not take my opinions the wrong way.  I'm not arguing with you, I'm merely stating my opinion on the matter.  Obviously, there is a great distinction between criminal and civil cases.  The affirmative defense explanation was written as an explanation of the theory behind the burden of proof.  I never stated that it had anything to do with criminal law.  It was merely illustrative for those who are not attorneys.  I would hope that an attorney would not presume that something so basic would be anything more than illustrative.  As for your comments on proving elements of a case (crack cocaine example).  I agree completely, but most point out some flaws in your reasoning.  The government must prove all of the elements to show a violation of the law.  With crack cocaine, the gov't must indeed prove that the substance is crack, and that you possessed it, just as with the assault wepon ban, the gov't must prove that the weapon is an assault weapon as defined in the statute (I don't disagree with you there).  But with the assualt weapons portion of the 1994 crime bill, the statute defines an assualt weapon as a rifle that is 1) a semiautomatic rifle 2) that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and 3) has at least 2 of: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii)a pistol grip; (iii)a bayonet mount; (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and (v) a grenade launcher.  Thus, based on this definition, the law makes the manufacture and possession of an assault weapon as defined above illegal (gov't has proving possession and that the rifle fit the definition).  So just like the crack cocaine analysis, the government proves the violation of the law by proving the elements as the law states them.  If you want to claim the exception, then there is reasonable argument that that burden is up to you.  Similarly, in murder case, the government is required to prove all the elements of murder (just like proving all the elements of an assault weapon).  The gov. is not, however, required to prove a lack of self defense (nor that an assault weapon was manufactured post 1994).  If that was the case, the gov't would have to prove that no affirmative defenses exist every time someone is on trial.  Self defense is claimed and proven by the accused, not by the prosecution.  I don't recall the assualt weapon ban as having an element listed of the government having to prove manufacture after 1994.  The wording of the statute provides an exception for prior manufacture, but proving a lack of preban manufacture is simply not an element the government has to prove by statute.  Reasonable minds can differ on this subject and that is probably why this topic garners so much attention and why the BATF recommends that you keep proof of pre ban status with your rifle to avoid hassles with law enforcement.  With little to no case law in the area, that's really all anyone can do is theorize about it.  As illustrated by my civil analogies, some of the brightest minds in law differ on the subject of placing burdens.  As for your comments on buy backs, etc.  The government is not telling you that you have to surrender your guns, it is merely telling you that you cannot have "evil features" on them.  Just like the law says I cannot have a vissually obstructing cracked windshield on my car.  The gov't isn't saying I can't have that windshield, or that they want to buy it back, the gov't is merely saying you can't put it on your car.  Another example, I can legally possess the chemicals to make crystal meth, but if I put them together, and make a "controlled substance" then that is illegal.  Thanks for the responses, I commend your enthusiasm and enjoy the comments.
 

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I don't know about all that legal stuff but...

I've got a couple of those 17rnd mags from fourfourmag.com. After MY evaluation I determined that they were probably assembled from raw mag parts from other 9mm pistols. The mag follower looks just like the factory walther follower. The mag body was designed for a different pistol (IMO) because the feed lips are cut at a different angle than the factroy walther mags. On top of that, they've put 10rnd mag springs in a what they claim is a 17rnd mag body ( I can only fit 16 rnds in mine).

I highly doubt these are legal but without LEO markings I guess its hear no, see no, speak no evil: knock on wood.
 

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Again, back to the mag itself in question...

I got one from stevehf48 in the mail today, and almost immediately realized what is was.

This is an old 92FS magazine that someone has cut a new retaining notch in toward the top, cut for length, and then put a new generic base plate on it to make it line up right. You can tell that the notch is new because it isn't blued like the rest of the cuts, edges, and witness holes are. The original manufacturer's insignia was probably on the original base plate. Additionally, for some reason, there's a spring in it that only has enough force to properly load 10 rounds. It needs a new mag spring to be serviceable, and until I get a new spring, I won't really know how reliable it is. As soon as I can, I'll get some pictures to better illustrate all of this.

By my understanding, this mag might still be legal, as it would still fit the 92FS compact, which it may have even been intended for in the first place. But I'm no legal expert. Either way, it has no LEO marking on it, so I think it's ok.

As it is now, it's a halfway crappy range mag, and certainly not something I'd want to use in a self-defense situation, regardless of legal ramifications. Past 10, the rounds don't load 100% reliably, and it never holds the slide open, under any circumstances. I'm going to order a new spring for it, and then take it back to the range, and we'll see then.

Right now, the only use I can see for it is as a training/teaching aid. As I end up teaching a few new shooters a month, this thing is actually useful to me.

My 2 cents.

-D.
 

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Let me chime in here. I got 4 of the 17 rounders, from reddogxx on gunbroker. Claims promag was the maker, but of course there is no name. Looks like it is a converted mag Maybe beretta as mentioned above, but I don't know for sure. I'll see if I can borrow a friends mag and look at cut out placements.

Good news is .... Mine have been 100% reliable. I hand cycled 200 rounds thru them. Then I range tested them. Then I used them in a 3-gun competition. All have fed flawlessly, and do hold the slide lock open. I'm guessing I've put 300 rounds thru the lot, some more than others.

stevehf48 - if you still have a loaner mag I'll take you up on your offer. I'd like to see if yours is like mine. Maybe swap followers or springs to see if it works then.

HTH
-K
 
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