Simply stated, these are the ultimate magwells for the fighting 1911 pistol


Over the years, the original Chen Magwell has earned the reputation among hard core 1911 aficionados as the very finest magwell available. Its functionally elegant design elevates to a new level the shooter’s ability to quickly reload the pistol under stress, all while remaining compact and tactically sound.

There are now 2 Generations of Chen Magwells: The Gen1 original weld-on (aka “Chen Magwell Suite”), and the just-released Gen2, which is a one piece design. Both generations of Chen Magwells share all of the following features, which taken together, set them apart from all other 1911 magwells.



1.) Adds no length or width to the pistol - Concealability, portability, and the overall handling of the pistol is not compromised. If you can conceal a standard 1911, you will be able to conceal a Chen Magwell’ed 1911 with the exact same ease.

Most other magazine funnels protrude past the bottom of the pistol, which adds unnecessary bulk, and requires the use of extended base pads. The full size 1911 pistol is concealable with the right carry gear. However, it is not “small” to begin with, and adding length and bulk via other add-on magwells certainly does not help. Both Chen Magwells require the full size 1911 frame to be shortened by .300”. With the addition of the Chen Magwell, the pistol is the same length as it was in its stock state. Also, the Chen Magwells do not extend any wider than stock 1911 grips.


Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

2.) Huge magwell opening - for speed and consistency while reloading under stress.

Using sophisticated CAD design and CAM driven machining, the magwell opening is opened up as wide as possible without adding bulk. Additionally, the entry angle was carefully designed and 3D machined to be optimized at every point along the contour of the magwell; that is, it allows for the easiest insertion angle at any given point. Traditional magwells maintain a constant angle at all points along the contour, as they are cut with some form of a chamfer mill or countersink that is only capable of cutting one fixed angle, which does not optimize entry angle.



3.) Allows removal of stuck magazine by allowing access to the toe of the magazine - the magazine can be forcefully extracted in the event it becomes stuck in the pistol.  

This is accomplished by the combination of two unique features:

1. ) The front of the Chen Custom Magwell has a geometry that is considerably reduced compared to traditional weld on magwells. On our magwell, the entry angle constantly changes, and is optimized, at every point along the contour of the front of the funnel.   

2.) There is a pronounced access notch in front. The radius of the cut was designed so that the baseplate of a spare magazine can be used for extra leverage in ripping the stuck mag out. Simply cutting this notch in an existing magwell design is not totally satisfactory, as it does not blend with the inside contour that is already cut into the existing magwells.   


4.) Machined entirely from heat treated bar stock - for strength, durability, and overall quality of final fit and finish. Heat treated 4140 chrome-moly steel and 416 stainless steel are used.



Our tactically sound, two-piece design adds a huge magazine funnel for faster reloads without adding length or width to the pistol.

The Chen Magwell Suite™ for single stack 1911 pistols includes both a CNC machined magwell and an integrally machined oversize mainspring housing. It dramatically speeds combat reloads while remaining tactically sound and minimizing bulk.

Of critical importance to tactical and competition shooters, the front of the magwell is contoured and notched to allow the shooter to strip a stuck magazine from the pistol.

Its advanced CAD/CAM design and multi-axis CNC machining allows the largest possible magazine well opening while not adding any additional length or width to the pistol, making it perfect for carry applications.

The oversize mainspring housing is integrally machined to the internal contours of the magwell, and is cut to the rear as far as possible to yield the largest funnel profile and easy installation. The mainspring housing also has the proprietary BevelBlock™, a block of extra material in a key location to allow a seamless, gap-free blend with the pistol.

Magwells are fully machined from heat treated barstock, RC 28-32 for toughness and impact resistance. No special grips are required; nearly any standard 1911 grip can be easily modified to fit the Magwell Suite™.

Installation requires straightforward machining to the frame. Weld/silver solder on version requires TIG welding or silver solder.  Mainspring housings are flat and smooth. Complete, detailed instructions are included. 100% MADE IN USA.


Available through our online store

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

CHEN magwell Gen2: The one piece magwell


The Gen2 again breaks new ground in magwell design. It is the first and only magwell integrated with the mainspring housing, that adds no length or width to the original dimensions of the pistol. It delivers all the features and functionality of the original Chen Magwell, with significantly simplified installation. Multiple US patents have been filed by Stan Chen Custom/Legacy Custom Products Inc. to protect the magwell and the related intellectual property.


Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Elegant form, Simplified installation

The Gen2 is machined as one piece, integral with the Mainspring Housing. The entire bottom of the full size pistol frame is shortened by .300”, by machining, to accommodate the magwell. It is attached to the pistol frame via the Mainspring Housing Pin, which is relocated from its original position.

Installation is greatly simplified over the Gen1. No welding is required. This pistol is merely shortened, a new hole is drilled through both the pistol frame and magwell in one setup for a perfect fit, and minor final blending is performed.

The Gen2 Magwell utilizes a compact mainspring, in lieu of a standard 1911 mainspring. It is an industry standard “Officers” or “compact” size mainspring, which has been proven to be completely reliable in independent testing, engineering analysis, and over 30 years of use in numerous 1911 pistol models in the industry.

The Chen Magwell Gen2 comes contoured, blended, and dehorned throughout the part which further increases its utility and simplifies installation. The rear curve matches GI pattern grips. A generous roundbutt is machined into the part itself, enhancing shooting and carry comfort.

The proprietary Chen BevelBlock™ is carried over from Gen1 design. This is a block of extra material in a key location at the rear of the magwell, which allows a seamless, gap-free blend with the pistol.





Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Side Impact Reinforcement TabsTM (SIRTTM)

Hard side impacts are the achilles heel of all other existing magwells which attach to the mainspring housing. Hard side impacts to the magwell can cause the funnel to twist. They can twist to the point where the magwell becomes so out of alignment, that the magazine becomes stuck in the gun, and/or the new magazine cannot be inserted. This is real, it happens, and can spell disaster if the pistol is being deployed in a critical use situation. 

The Chen Magwell Gen2 adds two Side Impact Reinforcement Tabs, which effectively eliminate this weakness. The tabs snugly engage against the sides of the pistol frame, and provide a tremendous amount of lateral support to the magwell. Additionally, the pistol’s grips are relieved and further add support the the tabs, and thereby magwell, from the outside. The Chen Magwell Gen2 will simply not twist from any reasonable (and almost any UNreasonable) side impact, to include banging into walls, doors, vehicles and being dropped from heights that would cause serious bodily injury.


Availability and Support

Stan Chen Custom will directly supply and install the Gen2 Magwell on any quality, customer supplied 1911, with impeccable craftsmanship and reasonable turnaround time.  

It is also available as a standalone part from our online store, but only to Authorized Installers. Authorized Installers simply agree to some very simple and basic terms with regard to the marketing and distribution of the Chen Magwell Gen2.  

Authorized Installers receive a Chen Magwell Gen2 Installation Tool, which is a unique and innovate design in and of itself. It takes all the guesswork out of relocating the MSH pin hole and makes a perfect fit very simple. Its dimensions are precisely matched to the dimensions of the magwell itself. Authorized Installers also get unlimited technical support from Stan himself, ensuring that their installations are a success.

If you are an enthusiast, gunsmith, or manufacturer interested in the Chen Magwell Gen2, please contact us about becoming an Authorized Installer; you will find us friendly and easy to work with.

100% designed, prototyped, fixtured, programmed and machined by Stan Chen Custom in Durango, CO.


Available through our online store



They both have their place on high performance custom 1911s.  

The Gen2’s simplified installation will see its use more widespread, as it is easier for pistolsmiths and manufacturers to install. It is removable and replaceable if needed. Its magwell opening is also slightly larger at the rear of the funnel than the Gen1. The Gen2 brings Chen Magwell performance and elegance to a greater number of shooters. Stan Chen Custom will install the Chen Magwell Gen2 on any quality customer supplied 1911 pistol with impeccable craftsmanship and reasonable turnaround time.

The Gen1 will remain as the standard for those wanting the combination of the best performing magwell design, AND the highest form of a custom gunmaker’s art. When the Gen1 is welded on the pistol, then shaped and formed by a skilled pistolsmith, it becomes a seamless unit that becomes “one” with the pistol. It is more labor intensive and expensive to install, but there are those cases where the shooter wants exactly that... to push the top-flight pistolsmith to the very limits of his skill and craft, and own a pistol that represents the the finest in the gunmaker’s art. In our shop, both the Gen1 and Gen2 Magwells are offered as options on full house Stan Chen Custom pistols, but only the Gen2 is available for a la carte machine work.

Either of the Chen Magwells, Gen1 or Gen2, will deliver the 1911 shooter that absolute pinnacle of shooting performance, aesthetic elegance, and concealability.

Available through our online store

The Chen Magwell Gen1

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

The Chen Magwell Gen2

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography

Photo: Christopher Marona Photography•  (970) 385-7900
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