One of the few improvements I wanted to make to my Remington R1 Enhanced is the same improvement that I think all 1911s benefit from … a mag well. Preferably the biggest most idiot proof mag well I can get my mitts on. Enter the Techwell TGO from Techwear USA.
Techware USA is one of the preeminent suppliers of shooting jerseys in the IPSC world. They also offer a few parts for competitive shooters. Techwells are available in 4 different models. Each of the models are machined from aluminum and are designed for slightly different uses.
- TGO – Designed by Rob Leatham, large flared sides, open front
- Carry – contoured sides are flush with grip panels, open front
- SP – Shorter funnel
- XT – Deeper funnel
Depending on the model they vary in weight and how large of an opening is available. I selected the TGO as it is supposed to be legal and fit “in the box” for IPSC, IDPA, and USPSA.
The major difference between the Techwell and other mag wells for the 1911 is how it attaches to the frame. Most mag wells require the main spring housing be replaced for the magwell to be attached, either as a single unit, by a screw, or by silver soldering. All model Techwells rely on a new set of grips to be installed as the grips are relived to accept the Techwell.
Installation of the Techwell is very straightforward. Unlike some magwells that require the main spring housing be swapped, the Techwell is only slightly more work then putting new grips on your 1911.
- As always before working on a firearm, unload it. Prove that it is unloaded. Put the ammo in another room. Ensure the firearm is unloaded. Don’t be that guy who’s gun “just went off”
- Remove the old grips
- Slot one grip onto the Tech well and start the screws, don’t tighten them yet
- Attach the second grip panel, it might take some wiggling and force to get the second grip panel on, now snug up all 4 grip screws.
- Function test. Remember; no loaded mags
Installation is super simple. I didn’t want to replace the MSH on my R1 as the grip safety and MSH have matching checkering and I worried that a new MSH wouldn’t match up.
The TGO cost slightly more then a comparable mag well from another vendor becuase you need to get the grip panels that are inlet to accept the Techwell. The Techwell is about $85 USD and Grips are about $75 USD. As a set both can be had for about $130. The Techwell can be ordered in black, grey, or silver. I of course selected black to match the R1 Enhanced. Techware USA offers several styles of grips in a range of colours. I’ve been very happy with G10 grips, so I ordered a new set of G10s in a diamond pattern as its a very aggressive grip. The new grips are almost identical to the grips that the R1 Enhanced shipped with.
Available from Brownells
Lightning-Fast Mag Changes; Drop-In Installation; No Permanent Alterations To Pistol [More]
Using the Techwell is exactly as advertised, my reloads are much faster and if I fumble a little there is some forgiveness. Anyone who’s used to speed reloading a single stack 45 knows how much a small error can cost during a reload. The TGO takes the stock 0.69″ opening and opens it up to 1.39″. This essentially doubles the space you need to put the magazine into. It also guides magazines that were close, right into the mag well.
I’ve been running the TGO for a few months its been two at least two pistol classes, an IPSC match, 2 IPDA matches and 2 service conditions matches. The only thing I might want to change in the future is to actually blend the TGO into the frame to add even more smoothness to fumbled mag changes. It does fit into “the box” and added 17 grams to my gun, not even noticeable on the all steel behemoth.
Have I mentioned that TGO stands for The Great One? It would seem that Mr. Leatham has a larger ego then I have. A little pricier then other mag wells, but your also getting new hopefully better grips. For Classic 1911s this is the mag well as far as I’m concerned, for open I think the XT would be a solid choice. The TGO Techwell kit can be found at Brownells under item 100-004-963WB.