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Unread 02-03-2024, 09:47 PM   #1
Randall_G
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Default Mec-Gar Magazines Falling out of Swiss Model 1929 and Mauser Parabellum Model 29/70

I originally posted this topic on the “other” Luger forum. But I think the ultimate Luger magazine guru, G.T., hangs out on this forum? Would be great to hear his opinion. My curiosity is killing me!

I’ve found contemporary Meg-Gar magazines will intermittently drop out of my recently-purchased Swiss Model 1929 Luger during live fire. Furthermore, I can jiggle a contemporary Mec-Gar magazine out of the model 1929 by hand with the toggle locked back, as shown on this video:

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q..._TaURXkyiVTuSd
(Those are dummy rounds. The magazine is easier to jiggle out with rounds in the mag, but the mag can be jiggled out when completely unloaded).

But I cannot jiggle the OEM Swiss magazine out of the pistol, as demonstrated on this video (and it does not drop out during live fire):

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...ENPWJpf3tU15C5


I’ve also experienced at least one of my four contemporary Mec-Gar magazines dropping out of my 29/70 during live fire. But I cannot jiggle a Mec-Gar magazine out of the 29/70 by hand, like I can for the Model 1929.

I think the issue is the cutout for the magazine catch, upper left corner. See attached image. The upper left corner cutout is (near) square for the contemporary Mec-Gar; radiused for the Swiss Model 1929 and Mauser Original 29/70 magazines.

Otherwise, I’ve had great luck with Mec-Gar magazines in my 1906 AE (7.65 mm), MM2 (7.65 mm), and 1939 Mauser (9 mm).

I did find this old thread, so I’m not the first person who has experienced this issue:

https://forum.lugerforum.com/showthread.php?t=27328

P.S. All of my “contemporary” Meg-Gar magazines are post-2018, which is when I purchased my first Luger.
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Unread 02-04-2024, 12:42 PM   #2
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Randall, I'm getting 404 errors with the first two links, but I think I get the idea from your description. I haven't experienced anything specifically like this, so can't really help much. But comparing dimensions of what you have might help, e.g. relationship of notch to feed lips and/or mag bottom. The mag body's width could potentially affect such things, as below, but I suspect that's not in play in your case. Also examine the engaging edge of the mag catches to check for wear, just to rule that out.

It's been a while, but the only gun and mag combo woes I ever encountered were with the mag that came with the Aimco- made 1900/2000 commemorative I have. The Houston Lugers are a different bird...their mag wells are definitely larger than original Lugers'. Some came with entirely flat-sided mags. Slapping on a couple of layers of masking tape helped that mag. but the two flat-sided mags I had do OK as-is--although they're proper for stainless Lugers branded to an earlier consumer-end seller/distributor.
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Unread 02-04-2024, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the response. I did compare mag catches. Fairly complex surface, not the easiest to inspect for wear. Anyway, OEM magazines working properly (does not drop) leads me to believe the issue is with aftermarket Mec-Gar magazine.

Perhaps this link to the videos will work:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/d5kGv4smgf7ELJBEA

I struggle with linking to photos in my Google drive. Used to be easy to set Google drive folders to "public"; that feature appears to have been removed. Testing links doesn't always work, since being logged into Google drive masks sharing issues.
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Unread 02-06-2024, 11:40 AM   #4
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Hi Randall_G, your magazine issues could be a number of thinks, both together, or alone? First we have to discuss the Mec-Gar magazine a little to get a starting point to our journey of descovery. Meg-Gar P.08 mags are slightly undersized compared to original P.08 mags. And this is by design, as a slightly undersized mag shell (1.095") will fit most with out issue, an oversize shell, or a "stretched " out original 1.110" will fit none? So, if you have a Luger with a slightly large mag well, maybe .010" over at 1.110" and a mag slightly under, at 1.095" then you have a .015" to .020" jiggle space. Doesn't sound like much, but it is huge on the land of, "catchey, stoppy things". Other considerations are, the mag catch button its self? It it rounded at the catch point and does it have a good profile in the mag well to interact correctly with the mag shell? Another consideration is the mag catch button spring. Is it full strength or soft and weak ? If'n it were me, I would apply some type of aluminum tape to the rear spine of the Mec-Gar mag, building it up layer by layer untill the mag slides in nicely and stays where its supposed to when sending down range. It's not a cure, but it is a difinitive test to let you know where you are at! BTW, you can field strip your Luger, and also disassemble the Mec-Gar and install, then look inside to see how much contact you have and go from there... Best to you Randall, til......lat'r.....GT
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Unread 02-06-2024, 03:49 PM   #5
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G.T.,

Thanks so much! Very interesting to learn the Mec-Gar mags are made slightly undersized. Which kinda jibes with the OEM 29/70 magazine not fitting well within my 1939 P08—could only be inserted about halfway. At least I think that was the combination. Currently on a business trip, will verify after I get home tomorrow afternoon.

I did buy a new magazine catch spring. Temporarily installed in the Swiss Model 1929 and Mauser Model 29/70. No difference, can eliminate that as a potential cause.

What do you think about the difference in the upper left corner of the magazine catch hole, Mauser Original Model 29/70 vs. Mec-Gar, as shown in the post above? The magazine catch hole on my Swiss magazines match the Mauser Original 29/70.

In my mind, the extra material (“radius”) on the Swiss Model 1929 and Mauser Original 29/70 magazine is providing just enough “catchy-stoppy”—as compared to the Mec-Gar magazine—to keep the magazines engaged. Or, is the extra material (“radius”) a red herring?
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Unread 02-06-2024, 04:16 PM   #6
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Default more mag stuff!

Hi Randal_G, The mag catch notchs you have pictured are most likely not the problem, as the top edge of the relief cut is all we are concerned with. The long sharp cornered one on the Mec-Gar is again an oversize catchall opening to fit the most out of tolerance magazine catch buttons. Where'as the Swiss mag notch is precisely tuned to the Swiss mag catch button and any issue with the curve will soon work themselves out by deforming the notch radius until it, the mag catch, fits fully. Lots of Luger mags show this deforming as the mags settle in after a rew hundred rounds are sent down. On most Luger magazines, if you have a soft jawed pliers, you can squish them on way to make them longer, or squash them another to make them short? It is because all original mags are made of soft formable steel, and not heat treated like the Mec-Gar. So, you are limited to what you can do with a Mec-Gar mag, unless you shim it as previously or try to swap out some mag catches until you see some improvement. One thing one of the members tried, and it worked for him, was to bend the top of the notch out on a Mec-Gar with good results, just looks bad... Best to you, til......lat'r....GT

BTW A 6" digital calipher might be your best new investment...
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Unread 02-06-2024, 05:36 PM   #7
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Thanks G.T.

Fortunately, I have magazine combinations that work in both Lugers. I have OEM Swiss magazines that operate properly in the Model 1929. And at least one Mec-Gar magazine works well in the Model 29/70—if it starts acting up, I can run one of my Swiss mags in the 29/70. The Swiss magazine of course costs considerably more than a Mec-Gar, but at least they’re (for now) plentiful. I’ll continue to use the Mec-Gars in the rest of my Lugers.

Speaking of 6” calipers…another oddity I’ve noticed is the OEM Mauser Original magazine doesn’t lock the toggle after the last round fired in the 29/70, but a Mec-Gar magazine does. The Mec-Gar magazine lifts the hold open latch considerably higher, as shown on the attached photos:

IMG_7553: Mauser Original 29/70 magazine in 29/70.

IMG_7564: Mec-Gar magazine in 29/70.

I measured the distance from the bottom of the magazine to the top of the follower button (empty magazine): the distance is about 1 mm greater for the Mec-Gar magazine. Sooo…perhaps another example of the Mec-Gar being designed to accommodate most Lugers?

IMG_7585: Mauser Original 29/70 magazine.
IMG_7587: Mec-Gar magazine.

Enjoying this discussion and really appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise.
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Unread 02-07-2024, 12:12 AM   #8
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Not to steal the thread, buy I've actually had this problem--in spades. It was with Erma's .22 caliber KGP 69. In my case, however, the problem manifest by exclusively involving factory original mags. I can't remember if any combo actually fell out, but the mags that were too big in relation to a particular gun's mag well couldn't even be started in.

I broke it down into three gradations--large, medium, and small--by trying every mag in every gun and noting the results. Then I basically did what Randall is doing, just keeping track of which ones fit best in each gun by labeling with a marker.
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Unread 02-07-2024, 09:19 AM   #9
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Erma
I got some magazines with same result - will not completely fit in magazine well
Measured too wide across the back - but correct along side - not much can be done as there is no direction for the extra metal to go. The tube is just a fraction too big.

Last edited by Kiwi; 02-07-2024 at 11:39 AM.
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Unread 02-07-2024, 11:31 AM   #10
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Fixed the typo.
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Unread 02-07-2024, 08:06 PM   #11
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Back from my business trip. Test fit the OEM Original Mauser Magazine (see IMG_4996) in the 1939 Luger. Just needed to it give a bit more push to get it to insert. A bit sticky when removed. But works.

However, the magazine will not fit in my Manuel II (MM2) Luger, nor my 1906. At least not with reasonable effort. I can feel and hear the magazine spring compressing when I try to insert the Mauer Original mag into the 1906, indicating it’s hanging up on the follower button.

To complicate and confuse matters more, I recently purchased another Mauser Original magazine on eBay. I consider myself lucky to have found one at reasonable price—near as I can tell, Mauser Original Parabellum (post WWII) magazines are scarce. Now I have two matching magazines for the Mauser 29/70, just as delivered when new back in 1971.

Anyway, I repeated the test fits with the recently purchased Mauser Original magazine:

1. Fits within the MM2 Luger, but for a moment thought it was stuck in the gun. After a few tries, was able to pull the magazine out of the pistol. Too tight!

2. Fits within the 1906 fine, subtle drag when removing the magazine from the pistol.

3. Fits within the 1939 P08 just fine.

I’m confident the difference in fit between the two Mauser Original magazines is the follower button protrudes out just a bit more on one.

Of course, I’ve put all of this information into a table. Lol~
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Unread 02-10-2024, 12:23 AM   #12
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Tolerance stack is not your friend.
There really was a reason that many/most luger mags were numbered to their pistol ! JMHO.
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Unread 02-10-2024, 10:38 AM   #13
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Good point!
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Unread 02-10-2024, 11:25 AM   #14
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And, as a matter of completeness, and perhaps of interest to some:

1. A photo showing the follower button protruding more on the Mauser magazine that came with my 29/70, as compared to the recently purchased Mauser magazine (blue tape on the base). I believe this is what’s causing the difference in fit between the two magazines.


2. A photo of the table I built:

a. Columns are magazines labeled as "Mec-Gar" or by the pistol it came with it.

b. Rows are the five Lugers I own.

c. Toggle locked back.

d. Y = Magazine is secure, cannot be jiggled out of the pistol by hand.

e. N = Magazine is not secure, can be jiggled out of the pistol by hand.
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