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Discussion Starter #1
I just acquired a Model 1908 Vest Pocket .25 acp made in 1926. The magazine is difficult to remove from the pistol because the bottom of the magazine follower catches on the top of the magazine safety disconnector. It will come out by three methods: 1. brute force. The problem with this is that it tends to spread the magazine feel lips. Not good. 2. Wiggle it gently until it comes out. Works every time but is a nuisance. 3. Retract the slide and engage the hold-open catch. I can't figure out why this works unless it just holds the magazine disconnector in a slightly different orientation because of increased force from the recoil spring. I noticed that Numrich has the magazine disconnector in stock but I hate to just start throwing money at the problem when I don't really understand what is causing it. I'd appereciate any advice.
 

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Q1: Is the problem isolated to a Colt or after market magazine?

Q2: Have you tried another magazine?

Q3: If you have more than one magazine, does it do this with all of them?

Q4: Was the issue there when you acquired the pistol or did it show up after you dis/re-assembled it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. The only magazine I have is one that came with the gun, and it is an original Colt magazine. I would predict from the images I've seen that the Triple K would not have the problem given the different shape of the follower, but I don't want to spend $40 to find out. The issue was definitely there when I acquired the pistol. Stripping the frame and cleaning everything helped, the magazine slides out more smoothly now once past the magazine safety disconnector, but I still have to fiddle with the magazine to get it past that hang-up point.
 

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To be honest I never really paid much attention to the magazine disconnector mechanism in the '08 Vest Pocket. So I took out my pistol out, removed the grip panels and field stripped it to take a look.

Given that the magazine follower is catching on the disconnector as originally stated...

Q4: Is the magazine difficult to remove whether the pistol is cocked or not? I ask this because when the pistol is cocked, the disconnector appears to move into the magazine well. When it's not cocked, the disconnector remains in the forward position.

Q5: Is the magazine difficult to remove if there's a cartridge still in it or just when it's empty? If it is the follower, the magazine should come out easily if there's a cartridge still in it.

Observations with my pistol:

Both my genuine Colt and no-name aftermarket magazines when empty, exit just fine as the follower is no where near the disconnector.

What I think might be your issue:

If end of the magazine follower is sticking out far enough to where it's catching the disconnector, I think the magazine is at fault; perhaps it has a broken spring or someone took the magazine apart (can this even be done?) and put the follower spring in backwards, which can tend to make the follower want to push itself forward into the disconnector.

I don't think the disconnector can be in the frame upside down, but never say never.

Q5: Does the pistol otherwise chamber/eject and function as it should?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your questions and suggestions.

Q4: The magazine hangs up whether the gun is cocked or not. I don't see why that should make a difference since the magazine disconnector is pushed into the magazine well by the recoil spring with the same force in either case. Let me know if I'm missing something here.

Q5: The magazine does not hang if there is a round in the magazine. It pops right out.

I did take the magazine apart and verified that the spring was in correctly, at least front to back, where you could get it in backwards. I don't think there's any difference end-to-end, both ends look the same, but in any case I tried it both ways and it didn't make any difference. It's possible that the follower might be bent at the wrong angle, I don't have another to compare it to, but I'm not ready to start bending things yet. The disconnector is in the frame in the correct orientation. The ends of the arm are cut at an angle to correctly engage the trigger bar, so it would be easy to see if it were upside down.

Q5: I have not had the gun out to the range yet, and being that the firing pin acts as the ejector in this model, I'm not going to be feeding and ejecting live rounds. I'll give you a range report this week I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I finally took the gun to the range and found that the pistol could not feed ammo from the magazine. It could fire a chambered round and eject brass OK, but ammo fed from the magazine would jam. So of course I bought a new Triple K magazine and of course it works fine. Feeds fine and does not hang on the magazine safety when being removed. But I would still like to the get old magazine working. I tried slightly spreading the forward ends of the feed lips, and that cured the feeding problems, ammo would feed fine, but the interference with the magazine safety on removal was made worse unless the slide is retracted before removing the magazine. I figured out that when the slide is retracted, the follower tip is free to rotate up a bit, and clears the magazine safety when removed. When the slide is closed, the bottom of the slide prevents the follower from rotating out of the way of the safety. I'm considering playing a bit with the angle of the follower. I wonder if it would be possible for you to post a close up photo of your functional Colt magazine showing how the follower is oriented with the feed lips and forward edge of the magazine?
 

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I finally took the gun to the range and found that the pistol could not feed ammo from the magazine. It could fire a chambered round and eject brass OK, but ammo fed from the magazine would jam. So of course I bought a new Triple K magazine and of course it works fine. Feeds fine and does not hang on the magazine safety when being removed. But I would still like to the get old magazine working. I tried slightly spreading the forward ends of the feed lips, and that cured the feeding problems, ammo would feed fine, but the interference with the magazine safety on removal was made worse unless the slide is retracted before removing the magazine. I figured out that when the slide is retracted, the follower tip is free to rotate up a bit, and clears the magazine safety when removed. When the slide is closed, the bottom of the slide prevents the follower from rotating out of the way of the safety. I'm considering playing a bit with the angle of the follower. I wonder if it would be possible for you to post a close up photo of your functional Colt magazine showing how the follower is oriented with the feed lips and forward edge of the magazine?
Both of these magazines function flawlessly in my 1908 VP. In all the photos, the magazine on the left is a gun show special, no-name brand. The magazine on the right is a genuine Colt that came with the gun.

I'm sorry about the image quality and I hope one of the photos shows what you're looking for. Let me know if you need other views, etc.









I would have shown both magazines with a cartridge loaded into them but I don't have any .25 Auto ammo on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much, those are very helpful, and the quality is fine. The one on the left has a follower similar to the new Triple K i just purchased. The follower on your Colt magazine does not extend as far forward as mine, I wonder if mine has the wrong follower? My magazine otherwise resembles yours except it does not have the crimps just above the magazine floor. Photo attached. That makes it an earlier variation, and perhaps those had longer followers and were intended for the early guns without the magazine safety. Anyhow thanks again for the excellent photos, they will definitely help me with this magazine project. IMG_5977.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here are images showing the magazine partially removed and caught on the magazine safety which cannot be seen because it is under the magazine follower. You can see the plunger of the spring guide rod extending into the magazine well pushing the magazine safety back. The second image with the magazine removed shows the magazine safety pushed back. IMG_5980.jpg IMG_5981.jpg
 

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I can't imagine the need to have different magazines for pistols with and without the magazine disconnect. I've not seen magazines (Colt or aftermarket) for sale described as being for specific versions of the pistol. But never say never....

I took apart my Colt magazine and removed the follower to take some measurements. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my protractor, but the measurement shown below should give you an idea of the length and angle that the follower that's in my functioning magazine.



The full length of vertical leg of the follower should run against the spine of the magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again. My follower is exactly like yours in dimensions and angles. So now I’m looking at the magazine body at the top. If you look closely at my previous photo, you can see that the magazine follower is turned a bit. I’ve tried squeezing the top of the magazine together a bit, and that really seems to help. Back to the range to see if that is the answer. Thanks again for your help and the excellent photos.
 

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Hey oldgrey, I have an unused FN magazine, surplus to my current needs, Should be the same as the COLT. I'd be glad to send it to you to try if we can figure out how to communicate.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
paulo57509 Apparently I'm not allowed to send PMs, even in response to a PM, because I'm a newbie on the forum. So I'll have to respond here. I've seen a number of straight top magazines advertised, but like you I've never heard of any being backward incompatible with the early guns lacking the magazine safety as stated in the ebay description you found. I did find a reference to an article in a 1977 Gun Collectors Digest that is supposed to detail all the variations of the 1908 Vest Pocket. I found a copy of that book for sale and ordered it, so maybe that article will shed some light on the magazine variants.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
rustybore, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm OK since the new Triple K magazine works just fine with my gun. And I might have even rescued the old Colt magazine through some highly skilled gunsmithing (actually through lucking hacking with the needlenose pliers). Do you have an FN Model 1905 to go with that magazine?
 

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oldgray, No, sadly, I no longer have that FN, the mag was unearthed with a box of forgotten gun stuff, along with some M1 carbine parts and other assorted stuff. Glad your problem has been solved!
 
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