Canik Mag Hack – Big KCI USA Magazines Run Hard
If you have a Canik, you know the pain of seeking a proprietary magazine that is not common. With a little effort, you can cut a new locking notch into a Beretta pistol magazine and run it in the Canik TP9 series of pistols.
The magazines I used were KCI-USA 30 rounders made for Beretta 92 series pistols. For those of you groaning out there about Canik pistols, perhaps you can do this with other brands. If such is the case, convert some of them, and post an article. The more factual information we can share in the community, the better.
For the Canik fans out there, you likely already know that the TP9 mags can be used across the various models. You also know that the stock mags hold 18 rounds, and you can get +2 adapters for the bottoms. Twenty rounds is good capacity, but if 20 rounds are fun, 30 rounds are funner. Maybe you use the Taylor Free Lance adapters that give you 28 rounds, as Canik isn’t making 30 round mags at the moment. The Taylor Free Lance extenders are rather pricy, and for a pair of them I could get 4 Beretta 30 rounders.
I scored four KCI-USA magazines for about $60, after postage and handling. I went with KCI for the following reasons-
#1- I have several types of their products, including AR and AK drums, as well as standard offerings, and 30 round Glock magazines. I have had absolutely zero failures with any of them-all have been solid performers. #2- You would be hard pressed indeed to find better prices on anything they make, against some other brand. So, with KCI offering what I needed at very reasonable prices, it was foolish not to at least try the experiment.
If failure was on the docket, I know people who have Beretta 92’s, for whatever reason. The idea behind buying 4 was that 1 could be a sacrifice, and I’d simply sell the other 3 to recoup most of my initial expense.
This article is for the tinkerers out there, who have the tools and aptitude to try things. Sometimes the experiments work out, and sometimes not. Either way you gain life experience and insights that might help someone down the road. Anybody can MLOK a phaser to a rail- that doesn’t count for tinkering. That type of activity is merely a shallow morale booster for you to buy more gizmos, and call yourself a “builder”. If that brings you joy- fantastic, but I’m talking about something a little different than that.This project involves an existing product slightly changed to fill a different role, for a different gun.
These mags are metal, and the fit was very promising. All that remained was to put a locking notch in the correct place for a Canik, obviously. To make the notch, it’s wise to disassemble the magazine to avoid damage to the spring inside. The construction of the mags is solid, there were no quirky bits, and disassembly was extremely easy. If you’ve taken apart your fair share of mags over the years, chances are you’ve found some that just seem to have extra unnecessary stuff for no reason other than it happened to fit in the tube. Such was not the case here- the mags are simply designed, as magazines should be.
The base of the magazines have a single plastic stud that goes through a hole in the base pad (typical design) and on the other side of the stud are a pair of nubs that keep the spring engaged at the bottom.
This next part is pretty critical- the most important tool you can have for tinkering is patience. If you rush things, you’ll surely mess something up. All you need for these is a small punch, or, a pencil will work too. I used the pencil, because it was also used to sketch out where the new notch would go. I laid a stock magazine beside the 30 rounder for comparison, and made pencil marks for the cuts. Be certain to make your marks and cuts undersized. You need to cut a little bit, test for fit, and decide if you need to keep going or not. This is where the patience comes in.
The second approach is to sketch the location, hold the tube in 1 hand, and a Dremel in the other. This was my chosen technique. For the initial cuts, a metal cut off wheel was used. The fit check showed this wasn’t good enough, so the hole was enlarged with a chainsaw sharpening bit. This had me close to fitting, so I finished it with a diamond burr tip. The lock up was solid, and ejection was positive. The first magazine took about half an hour, and the other 3 took an additional hour. The magazine I was willing to lose was a first time go, as were the other 3.
If you make the notch too large, it will malfunction, as simple as that. A lot of people don’t seem to understand this. Apoorly constructed or worn magazine can hamstring a multi thousand dollar firearm quite handily. Remember this- they are considered disposable, and everything involving the shooting sports is finite, and perishable.
Since the notches were all fitting correctly, I filled all 4 with various types of ammunition. This included a majority of steel case, brass, various weights, and different hollow point types.Even with the added weight, there were no burbles. This meant that it was time to hit the range and download the magazines the fun way.
Here’s a bit about the Beretta mags. This type has been around since the 70’s, so they have “old” magazine technology. If you’ve loaded a Glock mag, or other more modern magazine, the rounds go in horizontally, consistently. With the older types, the nose or tail of the rounds might get wonky. All of the mags held all 30 rounds, which doesn’t happen with new mags, every time.
The base magazines revolve around ball, or FMJ type ammunition, and some firearms might not like/digest hollow points. This doesn’t make the firearm or magazine bad or defective, it’s just 1 more thing you need to be aware of. I’ve got pistols that are extremely ammo sensitive, but all of my Canik pistols are pigs- they’ll eat anything offered. You’ll also note that some pistols might not perform optimally with 115 grain bullets, or 124, or whatever. This data must be gathered by you.
It’s hilarious, and also kind of sad, to note how many people fail to learn these things. They just assume that everything is “plug and play”, and get seriously ticked off, and spend the rest of their lives blasting guns, ammo, or both. Unfortunately, these people may be failures at common sense, but they can sure as hell whip through social media and spread misinformation.
Be that as it may, 116 of 120 rounds went through the barrel with no issues. There were 4 rounds that did not. All four were the same type of hollow point. This particular type has a very large opening, a hot charge and light bullet to maximize expansion. When I put them in a stock magazine, all 4 fired fine. These particular “home made” magazines don’t like that particular type of round. That was pretty easy to determine, and no Shetland ponies were harmed in the research.
So there it is folks- you can indeed modify KCI Beretta 92 mags to work in Canik TP9 pistols.Provided you don’t make the notch too large, they will work reliably. Four factory Beretta mags would have been about 150$, the extenders are about 50$ each, and I “made” 4 for about 60$. Maybe this would be legal for 3 gun, I don’t know. This ends my remarks on 3 gun, as there’s nothing kind for me to say about that. If you want to do some tinkering for yourself, you’ve just been given all of the information and particulars.
Until next time,
Stay Safe, Train Often