magazines were considered the future in magazine development.
Light weight and cheap to produce, SWD thought they
had a break through with magazines produced using the
material Zytel. Unfortunately this was not to be the
case. The M-11 magazine design was not very friendly
to magazines made out of Zytel and this decision led
to a host of reliability problems that stemmed from
Over time the magazine
feed lips would be worn away & the pressure from
loading a magazine near capacity would cause the magazine
lips to spread out. This led to jamming & miss-feeds
because the feed angle of the round was altered. The
glue used to bind the two halves of early production magazines would
also come “unglued” and the magazine would
split rendering it useless.
Unfortunately for the
SWD guns a lot of the stories about the gun being a
“unreliable pos” were a result of the magazine
and not the gun.
Before metal replacement
magazines were available,
a lot of people had their SWD gun's magwell converted to use Sten
or UZI magazines during the AWB years (1994-2004) because
decent replacement magazines were difficult or impossible
to come by.
Today most of the past
issues with the Zytels have been solved. The magazines were redesigned decades ago to virtually
eliminate the splitting problem, and you can now
purchase steel feed lips for them to eliminate the wear issue (see the
link on Magazine Repair).
find Zytel magazines ranging in a number of capacities
from 16 to 32 rounds usually for both the 9mm Luger
and .380 ACP M-11s. 16-round magazines are actually 32-round mags that are intentionally cut-off just below the molded line for the alternative floorplate location (you can see that line in the photo to the right). For 32-round Zytel mags, most people find that it's best to stay with those that have the embossed Cobray logo.