I have been a staunch hold out for years on Colt factory mags made by checkmate but now own two Wilson 47 D 8 rd SS mags that I use in my Colt Commander XSE. If possible I like these mags (47 D) even better.
I think the round follower is a great design and is superior to the flat follower. It allows the rounds to stack straighter and more consistant through the mag. I had a lot of problems with the Wilson mags with the plastic follower though. I may have got some bad ones but the follower seemed to have wore down rather quickly then stoped activating the slide lock. I also thought the tube material seemed thinner than other mags. I think I may have stepped on one in a match because it developed a follower drag in the center of the mag and would cause feed problems. So I guess I will be the odd one here and say no, I don't think they are the best. Metalform makes mags with a similar round follower design that is all metal and the tubes seem more sturdy. They have been the best functioning mags for me over time.
I kinda agree with BO, in that the Wilson mags are not perfect. I shoot a lot, and my Wilson mag springs wear out quickly, and the followers get chewed up. I have not had any problems with the mag bodies or base plate. My fix for the spring/follower have been the kits from Tripp, they are great as the spring is super strong, and the follower is tough.
I have not tried those Tripp's. I like the looks of their follower. It appears the part that engauges the slide stop is metal? Is that right Primers? It looks like a much better design than the all plastic follower.
I would draw a distinction between functionality and durability. Functionally 47D has never let me down, although I only have maybe 6000 (+/-) rounds through all of mine. Never failed to lock back on empty, never failed to feed. Unlike Kimber ProTac mags.
Just last week I did have one of the mags develop a drag. I checked it out and saw a burr at the feed lip. Can't blame the mag since I don't know how many times I dropped it for a reload. So, I took a small file to it to smooth it out, pressed the lips back together by hands just for good measure, problem solved.
To me, durability is a separate issue. The follower is showing some wear, the springs are not as strong as they were when new. And the basepads on the older 47Ds tend to start loosening where the dimple on the metal base plate goes into the base pad.
I personally look at it this way:
1) so long as the mag has 100.00% reliability for a specified number of rounds (I'd say 1000-2000 rounds minimum) then I'm happy with the result and live with having to replace the worn parts.
2) Wilson 47D has a lifetime warranty. I'm not aware of any other mag that is backed up by such. When the plastic parts/springs wear out to the point where you have a stoppage, print a nice letter to Wilson explaining the problem, send in the faulty mag to Arkansas and get a brand new mag.
P.S. Never tried other mags (like those from Tripp) so they may be better.
Well, I have 16 of them, if that says anything. On the other hand, "Best", is a mighty big word. There are several very good mags out there, but none work in every gun, every time. My 47s, in all their incarnations, have run extremely well in all my guns.
As stated, the springs are the weak link. I wish they'd use Wolff springs, especially the extra-power version. When any of mine hiccup (usually failing to drop-free), they immediately get a Wolff. After that, I can pretty much forget about it.
Just a note. If your follower is showing signs of deformation from the slide stop, look at the stop, not the follower.
I like the 47D's, I probably have a dozen or so even after giving some to my dad for use in his '68 LW Commander...
But I like the Tripp Cobra mags better. I prefer to have the longer tube that's designed to hold the 8 rounds, and the hybrid steel/polymer follower just seems more sturdy to engage the slide stop.
Some of my older Wilson's are exhibiting a good amount of wear on the follower where they engage the slide stop.
Now if I wanted a mag with less of a base pad, I'd go with the Wilsons with the ultra slim base pad, however I do find that the larger base pad of the Tripp mags do make the mag easier to remove in the event of a stuck mag or wicked jam.