As your pistol get's older, the wear and tear can start to show and occasionally you can find yourself suddenly without a magazine in the heat of a firefight. This generally happens when the magazine release catch is accidentally depressed during holstering, crawling or whilst passing through thick brush.
There are a few ways to help prevent the loss of your magazine, the most common being the use of a decent holster with good retention and consideration for the magazine release button, this alone will prevent most loss, but not eliminate it. The remaining options are in the form of some DIY modifications to your pistol.
Magazine Elastic Catch:
The first and easiest option is to create an elastic strap catch at the base of the magazine that will apply a constant pressure on the magazine that will keep it in the magwell should the magazine release button accidentally be depressed.
You can create this catch using the following:
- A strip of elastic tape
- Camo Tape / Bandage Tape / Electric Tape
- Paracord or a fashioned piece of material to create a pullable tab.
Simply place the middle of the strip of elastic tape beneath the magazine whilst it is inserted in the pistol, then pull the elastic to tension vertically up the side of the grip, careful to keep both lengths even. Bind the pistol grip around the tensioned elastic strip using camo tape or similar. Finally add the material tabe to the elastic strip (by fastening cord around it to act as a ring pull).
Once in place, you need only slip the elastic band to one side when reloading and returning the strap over the magazine. This is sure to keep your magazine securely in your weapon.
The next retention method keeps the visual appearance of the grip nice and clean and without the use of any straps or camo tape.
Magwell Velcro Tabs:
This simple modification uses small strips of adhesive backed velcro inside the magwell to apply pressure to the magazine in order for it to act as a friction lock. It takes less than 5 minutes to install and is a reliable form of retention.
Place a small tab of velcro strip (about a 2cm) at the mouth of the magwell on either side of the internal wall, this will keep the pressure on the magazine balanced. If you have feeding issues or the magazine becomes too tight to remove, simply remove a tab of velcro from the magwell or reduce the length of the strip.
Last but least, there is a more permanent solution that requires you to physically deform the mouth of the magwell using a soldering iron. This method uses the heat of a soldering iron to melt the lips of the magwell mouth at each side to form an angle that pinches the magazine. Although effective, with the availability of options that do not damage the pistol, this option should only really be considered as a last resort.
Hopefully with these very quick and effective solutions, you should no longer be spending your games searching around for that lost magazine and can happily continue with your planned ejections!