The M-11 firearm. Perhaps the only gun that needs instructions for using standard box magazines. Because of the shoddy manufacturing of these guns, there are three items that you need to check before using your new ZMAGs:
1. The ZMAG is designed for the standard SWD grip. If you are using the excellent Lage grip—and purchased it before December 2013, you will need to clearance the grip for the mag stop on the ZMAGs. (Lage grips purchased after that date are modified at the factory for the ZMAGs.) See the picture below for an example of the notch you will need to file on the inside front of your Lage grip to accommodate the ZMAG’s mag stop.
2. Next, you will need to check for obstructions in your magazine well. Any welds or other protrusions that are thicker than .010” (the thickness of two sheets of paper) can hang up the ZMAGs when inserting or removing them. See the weld that’s been filed down in the picture below:
3. Lastly, the ZMAGs are designed for variances in mag release and vertical bolt location (upper receiver to lower receiver fitment). See post below. As such, there are guns that will “wear” the very tops of the feedlips the first few times you rack the bolt. This self-clearancing is normal—and by design.
The M-11 by their nature are very imprecise firearms. We had to design the ZMAGs with this in mind—and incorporate this self-clearancing feature. If your magazine looks like the one below after racking the bolt a few times, it is completely normal.
We’ve received a few inquiries about bolt rub on the ZMAG feedlips. This self-clearancing feature is by design. The key to magazine reliability is having the mags as high as possible in the gun, minimizing how far the bullet has to “jump up” into the chamber.
The bolt should be just “polishing” or slightly “scratching” the top edge of the feedlips, the bolt will self-clearance your ZMAGs to your specific gun(s) and be incredibly reliable—more reliable than any other magazine you’ve ever tried. (Don’t worry, the bolt is much harder than the metal used in the ZMAGs. The self-clearancing process won’t hurt your bolt.)
This is what a normal ZMAG looks like after self-clearancing to an M-11/NINE:
If the feedlips are stopping the bolt dead in its tracks, your gun is simply too far “out of spec” in some way. (Again, don’t worry, many are. With these inconsistent guns, everything is a matter of degrees.) Usually, removing a few thousandths from the top edge of your mag catch will resolve the problem.
We are finishing the welding on the first batch of 1,000 today–and will be getting the mags to the metal finishers on Monday June 2nd. Should be able to begin assembling, packaging, and shipping them the following Monday–June 9th. It will take a week or more to get caught up with all the pre-orders.
Once we are completely caught up with the pre-orders, we will begin offering the mags on our website.
Thank you to all of you who have hung in there with us. And a big thank you to all the positive support we’ve received these past so many months. It does mean a lot to a small company like ours.
We’re in actual production! 🙂 Here are a couple of vids showing how the feedlips and tabs for the floorplate are formed as well as how the mag body is stamped with the relevant info. Finally, there’s a pic of this small, pneumatic tool that we use to form the final bend in the floorplates—to get them to fit perfectly on the mag body tabs.
Feedlips being formed
Mag body being marked and floorplate tabs being bent
Small, pneumatic tool for forming final bend in floorplates (not mounted in pic)
This past week, we got all the various tools mounted in the presses and tested. As expected, there were a few minor adjustments needed. (There always are with this kind of work.) These bits of fine tuning (mostly to the insert and floorplate tool) will be made over the next couple of days. We anticipate running the first 1,000 mag bodies, 10,000 inserts, and 10,000 floorplates next week. 🙂
This is the insert-floorplate tool in the press.
This is the “strip” that the tool above creates. (Toes not included.)
Here’s an overview of the coil going into the straightener and then into the press.
This 425-lb coil of steel will be 10,000 ZMAG inserts and floorplates in a week.
In this video, we’re testing the tool for stamping the insert and floorplate. You can see that we need to add a plastic “bridge” to the very end to keep the strip from rising up. This test was done in manual mode. Once we start this up in production mode, the press will be pushing out 53 inserts and 53 floorplates every minute! 🙂 To put that in perspective, the inserts and floorplates we need for the first batch of 1,000 mags will be stamped out in just 18 minutes.