Ok dudemans, here is the first post with the new purpose of this thread.
I've been in contact with MagGuts attempting to return the +2 kit. I'm not sold on their system in general and would prefer to A.) Test it as a +1 on a 7rd, and B.) Run the HYVE +2 so I don't need to jack with the factory spacer.
As far as springs go, the factory 7 and 8 round magazines I have use identical springs which are around 7" in length and straight as an arrow from the factory. The MagGuts flat springs are roughly 7.25" new and are the same for the +1 and +2 kits.
- Factory 7rd with MG+1: Factory spring failed after an absolute maximum of 12 load & fire and 2 load & unload cycles. Currently fitted with a MagGuts+1 and Pearce Grip Extension. Roughly 10 partial load & unload cycles have been done to seat the spring and explore the system.
- Factory 8rd: Factory spring slightly bent forward at coil reduction after an absolute maximum of 12 load & fire and 2 load & unload cycles.
- 44Mag 7rd: Factory spring slightly bent forward at coil reduction after 30 load & unload cycles.
- 44Mag 8rd: Factory spring, loaded once.
- 44Mag 8rd: Factory spring, loaded once.
- 44Mag 8rd with Hyve+2: Factory spring, loaded once.
I'll post updates as I'm able to test.
The following are measurements regarding how far past flush the various magazines protrude:
- 7rd: Flush (+0.0")
- 8rd: +0.44"
- 7rd + Pearce: +0.58"
- 8rd + MG+2: +0.70"
- 8rd + HYVE+2: 1.15"
It is my opinion that anything beyond the factory 7rd starts going against the design purpose. To each their own beyond that. I think the HYVE extensions are absolutely absurd, but are likely the most reliable way to get 10 rounds in the gun. The Pearce is staying around long enough for testing the MG+1 purely for comfort. Win or lose, it'll get dumped.
A couple of notes regarding the MagGuts "upgrades" - The flat spring is a bit of a cunt to put in. If you poke and prod with an Allen wrench, you can get some better results on the initial assembly. The objective is to get the top edge of the spring against the rear of the follower. Inserting the spring with a bit of tension, and pushing back on the top of the spring with an Allen wrench (or something) will force it back into place and make stuffing the spring much easier.
Because the follower is flat, there is a chance that the bottom round will end up at a diagonal. When this happens, they might all end up like that which really eats into your capacity. I've found the best practice is to spin the second round while inserting the third round and then spin the third in the opposite direction. The goal is to see a round right up against the #3 hole (on either side) so that the rounds can start staggering like they're supposed to.
Not much to say about the HYVE kits. They're built like fucking tanks and are pretty hard to fuck up. They work exactly like factory 8rd, except the 8th round goes in 3 times. Neat.
OK SO, lets have some pictures. Upon investigation of the magazine bodies, I found some subtle differences. In each comparison, the factory magazine will be on the top with one I got from 44Mag below:
Note that the S&W logo and 9mm markings in the second picture really aren't that blurry. They look like that on the mag itself, the "9mm" makes a small dent in the side.
The 4s are probably the most obvious. They aren't even kind of the same.
This image is horizontal on my computer but uploads like this. It is hard to see anyway, but if you look at the indentations near the top of the magazine body, they're different. The magazines that came with the gun have a narrower, more defined, and slightly deeper indentation. All of the magazines from 44Mag have wider, softer, shallower indentations.
I'm not saying any of these differences are significant, I'm just saying they indicate a change of some sort. There HAS to be a reason why some of you guys have high rounds through yours without issue and mine is on the struggle bus. There also has to be a reason why more posts have shown up around the Disinformation Cow Path since I started this thread.
The followers appear the same, as do the springs. Something is obviously different enough because I've got one ruined factory spring in less than 14 load/unload cycles and one slightly bent one after 30. One magazine that was a whore out of the gate and got progressively worse, and one that has always felt fine.
Here are a couple shots showing relative lengths.
I'm going the fuck home. Fuck New Years.