Spring compression concerns.

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Wadcutter, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Wadcutter

    Wadcutter New Member

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    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Volumes have been written on the subject of revolvers vs. auto pistols. I have a question that I hope some of you might be able clear up for me concerning spring compression that I have not read anywhere.

    As we all know, a compressed spring is stored energy potential. Has there been any real research into how long a magazine can remain fully loaded before it becomes weak? What about recoil springs? At what point does a weakened magazine spring affect reliability?

    My favorite carry gun is a glock 19 with a pre-ban 15 rd. magazine. I usually carry it a couple of rounds short as I sometimes go months without shooting it. Is there really any reason for this or am I just being overly cautious? I would prefer to carry the full 15 rounds + 1. After all, I would hate to get killed for a lack of shooting back. :D
  2. punchie

    punchie Member

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    Things are a bit different today than they were in days of yore. There have been great advances in metallurgy over the years. In todays world a quality spring in a magazine is not subsantially weakened over time by full or partial constant pressure. The compression/decompression cycle is much more prone to weakening your springs after thousands of rounds.
  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    I think you're being a bit more cautious than is necessary. No need to "short load" your magazines. They're designed to be fully loaded.

    I've seen WWII GI .45 magazines that were loaded and fully compressed for 50 years....and then functioned perfectly when used.

    However, there are a lot of people who think that it's best to "rest" a magazine every now and then.

    One of my friends switches magazines in his carry gun every month. He carries one mag for a month, then unloads it and lets it rest for a month.

    I think that's overkill, but if spring compression bothers you, that's an option
  4. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

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    Feb 14, 2004
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    One of the problems with leaving a magazine loaded (with any number of rounds) is electrolysis. Different metals in juxraposition create a very faint electrical current. I've seen magazines loaded for one day that have frozen from verdigris or corrosion forming on the jacket material and some as noted above loaded since time immemorial that have not frozen. If you live near salt water or in a highly humid climate, check more often.
    Some things to remember:
    ALWAYS slam the base of the loaded magazine against the palm of your hand before loading into a pistol. This jars the loaded rounds into position to feed freely.
    Check your loaded magazines at regular intervals. When stripping cartridges from a loaded magazine, discard any cartridges that stick to the magazine walls or that hesitate before rising. These will usually have a slight green spot at the point of contact. Or, it could be a dark spot.
    If you take the time to carefully disassemble your magazines and coat the inside walls with a good dry lube it helps to defeat this freezing up problem.
    If you detect the effects of electrolysis, inspect and replace loaded cartridges 4 times a year minimum, or as often as it takes.
    Check chambered cartridges for electrolysis effects. Clean and coat your barrel bore and chamber with a good dry lube. (This has been frowned on in the past, since some pistols open faster when the chamber is lubed. So, do this only if you have determined that the action stays locked until chamber pressures are under control for normal extraction.) This effect will be found to vary with different brands of cartridges or powders.
    Many is the time, gents, when we cleaned and reloaded our pistols before we had chow or turned in for the night. Checking it is paying the premiums on your life insurance.
    Proper lubrication is a contributing factor to reliability. If you never use oil, which is hygroscopic and migrates, but a high quality grease or dry lube you will be ahead by orders of magnitude.
    Never, ever, oil a firing pin or a firing pin channel. It could cause a hydraulic lock. Always use dry lube in moderation. Don't let it cake up. Check it after firing.
    Some recoil and magazine springs are not heat treated for longest life. Try them all, if you can, and settle for the ones that hold up longest. You can use a spring tester from Brownells or rig one from drill rod and a pull scale. Most shooters don't want to be bothered with this, but it is the most definitive indicator of the point where springs should be replaced. Keep a notebook of the readings for each pistol that you trust your life to.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2004
  5. Wadcutter

    Wadcutter New Member

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    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Re: Many thanks

    Thank you all for the information. I’m cramming in the last load as we
    speak. (God I love Cor-Bons) :)
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