Magazine Care

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Cgull, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Cgull

    Cgull New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    I've heard it will damage the magazine spring if left fully loaded for long periods, If so, will having a half full magazine be better? I'd hate to have all my magazines empty during a home invasion.
  2. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Minnesota Gal!
    Rotate them, keep one or more full and then switch it out after a couple of weeks. Or load them only mostly full.

    Hey, welcome to the forum! Much information here, lots of excellent people to meet.

  3. artabr

    artabr New Member

    I've heard repeated stories of 1911 mags found that had been loaded since World War 2 that worked fine when fired.
    That being said, I would personally alternate or rotate my mags if possible just to be on the safe side.

  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Testing has proven that having a spring at rest or at full compression makes no difference on the life or power of the spring. What wears out springs is movement. The compressing and then uncompressing of springs cause their eventual failure.

    In simpler terms, leaving the magazines loaded all the time will make your mag springs last longer than unloading them, every so often, so they "can rest".
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    It may be true they dont weaken if loaded for long periods, but I rotate them anyway, and change the cartridges for fresh once in a while.

    I also number the mags, so I know which if any are mis behaving.
  6. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Mine are numbered also. ;) :D

  7. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    They were meant to be left fully loaded indefinitely.
  8. Cgull

    Cgull New Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    thanks all, very helpful info.
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    One of the Biggest " urban myths" in the gun world is , Magazines will get weak if left loaded. And there are those who will become very angry if you try and tell them other wise :) Also FWIW, if your ammo is clean and dry, there is no need to rotate it, however if you are the type to use a lot of oil on your firearm, then yes it would not hurt to rotate your ammo every 6 months.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  10. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Ask 'em if they also flip their cars upside down every so often to let those springs "rest" as well. :D

    I always liked that one. :D

    But seriously, I wouldn't fault anyone who switched 'em out every few months if it made them feel better, heck I know people who put a TON of lead downrange and aren't they compressing, then decompressing those mags? ;)

    My advice it to buy good quality mags in the first place to eliminate a few variables, then do what makes you feel good.

    Personally, mine stay loaded quite a bit, especially with the price of ammo and my inability to afford much range time these days.

  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    My ammo is constantly rotated; I most always will shoot at least a full mag of my defense ammo while at the range. I tend to believe that frequent practice with defense loads keeps me in better conditioning for the recoil and sight picture needed for point of impact. ( it also keeps a fresh round in the chamber, so as to avoid over chambering a round )

    I keep all my mags fully loaded, never had any premature failures. I clean them on a frequent basis, but not every time out. I think every 40-50 rounds is more than enough; I haven't had any magazine issues following this cleaning cycle.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  12. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    From an engineering point of view a spring is not damaged staticly as long as it is not compressed or stretched past the "yield point" of the the material of which it is made. Constant flexing (near to the yield point, and especially beyond) tends to wear a spring out over flexing cycles.

    Threaded fasteners are actually a type of spring. In some applications (like clyinder head or flywheel applications) they are tightened right up to the yield pont of the metal for maximum clamping force. They may remain there and retain their clamping power for many years and hours of running service. However in some extreme service applications they may not be reused (or reused only once) after being loosened or removed.

    The more fully frequently you load a magazine the more you stress the spring. I rarely load more than about 80% for practice with a mag that I use in a carry pistol. I do not "top off" magazines after loading the chamber for reliability considerations in a carry gun.

    As the late Jeff Cooper once remarked, Sgt. York's 6 Germans, with a 1911, seems to be the documented world record for the most men killed by one man at one time with a pistol in a fight. One is not likely to need many more shots unless one plans on missing a lot.
  13. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    As I said, I am sure those who say rotation is not necessary are correct, also that cartridges stay good for a long, long time.

    Non the less I for one will rotate, refresh and check from time to time because if TSHF a failure to fire, even a momentary failure of feed or misfire can cost you your life. No second chance.

    If you have ever used a firearm in the face of a threat, you will know the feeling 'this better work, and right now'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2009
  14. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA
    I have had a 1911 mag fully loaded for 22 years still functions fine. I check about once per year. I also have a 30 round AR mag that has been loaded with 29 rounds for the past 7 years and it still works fine.

    I have had to replace springs in a few mags that get used a lot.
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