How many rounds in a 10 round mag?

Five 1911 magazines – fully loaded

I shot a match in Oxford on March 9, 2013 (my 7th match ever).

I continue to have malfunctions with the 1911. At a previous match one of the guys suggested I might be limp-wristing but I really didn’t think I was. If so, it would be happening more frequently.  I think everyone felt my frustration as I had magazine malfunctions in two stages: rounds jam at the top and the magazine starts to fall out the bottom.

At this match, one of the RSOs was shooting the exact some gun that I’m shooting: the S&W 1911 in 9mm. I have slimmer grips but that’s really the only difference. He stopped to talk with me after the match. He asked if I could be hitting the magazine release? With my small hands I think not but it was a good question to ask on the way to solving the problem.

Then he asked a question I didn’t expect: How many rounds are you loading in the magazines? Huh? They hold 10 rounds and division capacity is 10 rounds so the obvious answer appeared to be: 10 rounds. Not so…

He told me he loads 9 rounds in each magazine. These magazines are so tight that having 10 rounds creates too much pressure, causing the slide to drag and “voila!” the appearance of limp-wristing. Almost everytime I’ve had a malfunction it was on the 2nd shot so I think his logic may apply to my situation.

I’m shooting ESP. The consensus was that I could do this. I need to shoot the entire match this way and inform the RSO up front. One of the folks we consulted seemed to think this might be in a gray area as far as the rules, but since I’m nowhere close to competitive at this point, I don’t think this will cause anyone any anxiety.

And I want to see if it makes a difference. So the next match, I’m downloading to 9 rounds and we’ll see if that reduces the annoying malfunctions.