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How long should a magazine stay loaded? Login/Join 
Junior Member
posted
Can leaving a magazine loaded for a long period of time (days, weeks) cause any damage to the spring in the magazine? How often should the ammo be cycled out?
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: April 13, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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Extended loaded storage, even for years, will not harm the magazine spring.

Springs wear from repeated compression/decompression cycles, not from simply staying compressed for long periods of time.

Cycling the ammo will cause wear. No reason to do it unnecessarily.
 
Posts: 22641 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mensch
Picture of kz1000
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I have AK mags that have been loaded for years.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 15009 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of grumpy1
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Wolff has some good info about springs which may help you. For self defense purposes I change my double stack pistol magazine springs every five years which is very cheap insurance.

https://www.gunsprings.com/FAQ

https://www.gunsprings.com/ind...p?page=FAQ#question5

"5. How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.

Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.

More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.

In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably."


“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
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"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
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Posts: 8865 | Location: Northern Illinois | Registered: March 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
coffee, and sarcasm.
Picture of egregore
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It doesn't harm them to keep pressure on them. The time frame you're talking about won't even come close to wearing a mag spring.
 
Posts: 21946 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
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Good info, thanks all.
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: April 13, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
For real?
Picture of Chowser
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I still have a few 15 round Glock 19 mags and one 33 round mag loaded from 1998. I will shoot them all in 2023 when I retire. I’m not expecting any of them to fail. It’s all loaded with ancient Black Talon ammo (which was our issued ammo at the time).



Not minority enough!
 
Posts: 6125 | Location: Cleveland, OH | Registered: August 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I agree keeping them loaded for prolonged periods of time won't hurt the spring, unloading and reloading the magazines do the damage. I would unload magazines once a year and take apart the magazine and clean it though.
 
Posts: 17304 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I took control of my wife's grandfather's 1911 when her father died in 1997. It was loaded with military ball which was head stamped 1942 and suspect it was loaded then and remained so. I unloaded the mag and it suffered no problems. I can't tell any difference in it from my new Kimber mags.
 
Posts: 105 | Registered: January 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Chowser:
I still have a few 15 round Glock 19 mags and one 33 round mag loaded from 1998. I will shoot them all in 2023 when I retire. I’m not expecting any of them to fail. It’s all loaded with ancient Black Talon ammo (which was our issued ammo at the time).


I can't wait to get the range report on that! Smile

---------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7271 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bolt Thrower
Picture of Voshterkoff
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My grandfathers 1911 mags (one 2tone) have taken as set, but would likely feed all but the last two. They have been loaded since the 40's.
 
Posts: 8408 | Location: Woodinville, WA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
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quote:
Originally posted by 1stop:
Can leaving a magazine loaded for a long period of time (days, weeks) cause any damage to the spring in the magazine? How often should the ammo be cycled out?


How long do you think you will live? Big Grin


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 9510 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cxm
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I fired some ammo a few years ago (ammo was UMC 1916) that was loaded in mags around Christmas of 1917... Both the ammo and the mags worked just fine.

FWIW

Chuck


Hoist on High the Bonny Blue Flag that Bears the Single Star!!!

Certified SIG Armorer
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Posts: 1279 | Location: Florida, CSA | Registered: September 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
Extended loaded storage, even for years, will not harm the magazine spring.

Springs wear from repeated compression/decompression cycles, not from simply staying compressed for long periods of time.



I totally agree with this in principle.

ASSUMING the mag and spring steel are HIGH QUALITY OEM-type construction.

needless to say there are differences in metal (steel) qualities / strength / longevity etc

if the manufacturer of the items in question cut corners - all bets are off

--------------------------------------------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7271 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back in 1989 I responded to a shots fired/man down call. On arrival 1 Guy DOA 4 to the chest point blank with a 1911 45acp. He was laying beside a CAPRICE CLASSIC with almost all the windows smashed. Inside was a 75 year old man and his wife. Road rage on a WW2 Infantry Officer with his WW2 issued sidearm. He kept it in every car he owned. The mag had been loaded with no unloads since 1950. 39 years loaded.... 1943 head stamps...1 dirtbag down for good


Semper Fi
 
Posts: 385 | Location: orlando,fl,usa | Registered: September 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by cwt7691a:
Back in 1989 I responded to a shots fired/man down call. On arrival 1 Guy DOA 4 to the chest point blank with a 1911 45acp. He was laying beside a CAPRICE CLASSIC with almost all the windows smashed. Inside was a 75 year old man and his wife. Road rage on a WW2 Infantry Officer with his WW2 issued sidearm. He kept it in every car he owned. The mag had been loaded with no unloads since 1950. 39 years loaded.... 1943 head stamps...1 dirtbag down for good


winning

-----------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 7271 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sourdough44
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I’m one of those guys who doesn’t feel the need to cram 20 in a 20 round mag, especially if for an extended period of time.

For what I do, 18 is about right. YMMV.
 
Posts: 3700 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have several P226 mags, 9mm, where the springs are so tired I can push them down with my little finger. A new mag I can barely push down at all. The gun could care less which mag/spring/ammo combo is used. New springs just torture my bad thumbs. I would love to find a stash of "tired" old springs...
 
Posts: 782 | Location: CO | Registered: December 18, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
sick puppy
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I thought of this the other day. in regards to mags we always reiterate that leaving them compressed doesnt hurt, wear, or weaken the springs. But when someone gets a new pistol, people occasionally suggest or say theyll just leave the slide locked back to “loosen up” a new, toght recoil spring that may or may not be causing malfunctions.

At any rate, i believe the consensus that leaving mags compressed (or any spring) doesnt hurt it. Youre good to go.



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Posts: 7245 | Location: Alpine, Ut | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Springs can take a memory. I never load my home defense mags fully. If you haven’t solved the problem in 7 or 8 shots, you probably won’t. As a gunsmith and importer of old classic guns from Germany, I’ve found quite a few mainsprings that became Unserviceable due to the guns being left cocked for many years. I recommend folks put snap caps in and leave them uncocked.


“It's never too late to have a happy childhood.”
― Tom Robbins
 
Posts: 20 | Location: N. FL | Registered: January 18, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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