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Magazine maintenance/ spring question Login/Join 
Smarter than the
average bear
posted
I generally keep my magazines clean, with a very light coat of oil inside and out and on the spring for rust prevention. In another thread questioning P320 mags, someone posted this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdzfqZF6e8s

I pretty much maintain my mags as he shows in the video, with one big exception: he stretches the spring before reassembling the magazine. My understanding is that it is a big no-no to stretch a spring because it will significantly shorten the useful life.

I suppose you will get a temporary benefit of a stronger spring, and maybe get a little more life out of an old worn out spring, but I would never do that as regular maintenance with a new or normally functioning spring. But I'm not a mechanical engineer or a metallurgist. Am I wrong?
 
Posts: 2036 | Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana | Registered: June 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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He didn't actually stretch the spring, more like a flex and I wouldn't bother doing that. It didn't damage the spring but, does nothing for it. Also, its OK to clean the inside of the mag tube and add a fine coat of thin lube, I still would dry patch it so nothing more than a film remains. Dont be jamming no large rag out through the feed lips. Change the integrity of those and you earn feed issues. I used Breakfree and bore patches on mine followed by dry patch.
 
Posts: 13490 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
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Here's the thing, Honestlou. Magazines, and mag springs are consumable items. People always talk about preserving the life of a magazine like it had the life cycle of a cockatoo.
You may well be talking about best management practices, and I get that. But, springs are damn cheap. And magazines are damn cheap. The potential loss you might get from stretching the spring is the equivalent of taking aspirin for cancer. Putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound. Your actions just aren't going to matter. In the grand scheme, whether or not you stretch the springs isn't going to lead to a magazine only lasting you 30 years instead of 35.
My work magazines get replaced yearly. The ones that get replaced become training magazines until they stop working. When they stop working, they get new springs. When they stop working again or they have a significant external defect, they get pitched.
However, I have some 226 magazines that are in the back of my Tahoe that I still use for training and even teach classes with them. They have been in rotation since 1996. A new mag spring here and there, its all good.
Whether a mag spring is hurt by stretching, leaving loaded for an extended period of time, etc, means very little in the grand scheme. I personally think the practice of putting a light coat of oil inside a magazine is going to cause far greater problems than stretching a magazine spring ever could.


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Posts: 29724 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jones nailed it.
I'm a sucker for LE trade ins and the first thing I do is inspect the magazine(s). I've had a few magazines that were in piss poor shape. Externally and internally. Pitched them and got new ones.
I could have possibly replaced a few things and made them training parts but I've had damaged tubes before and just got rid of them.
If it comes down to it, I'll just buy new magazines.


I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
 
Posts: 1565 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is one of the most hotly debated topics on internet gun forums.

It is right up there with '9mm vs. .45', which defense ammo is best, which AR to buy, etc.

I shoot a couple thousand rounds per year. A decent amount - but nowhere near the volume of some serious shooters / trainers. I use quality guns. Sig, Glock, Beretta, S&W etc.

I do not have issues with magazine springs. When loading my mags for long-term - I download them a couple rounds. I realize that not everyone does this but I do. I realize if you are LE you would want mags fully loaded 24/7. I have mags that are 20+ years old that work fine with the original springs.

Quality of steel would matter obviously as well as how much 'hard use' your equipment gets.

As far as stretching a spring- I would not do that. Because you are basically bending it to a different shape which is not the original design spec.

Basically - the best thing is to use your gear frequently and let the performance of the gear speak for itself. I am more of a 'replace it if it breaks' kinda guy. If it's working - let it work.

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


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 5518 | Location: Eastern NC | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by joatmonv:

If it comes down to it, I'll just buy new magazines.


Agreed. And a good reason to have many mags for each gun type you have.

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


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 5518 | Location: Eastern NC | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Sig209:
quote:
Originally posted by joatmonv:

If it comes down to it, I'll just buy new magazines.


Agreed. And a good reason to have many mags for each gun type you have.

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


Jones talked about that before too and I heeded his advice.
The least amount of magazines I have for a pistol is 3 with at least one being new. Most I personally have for a pistol is 5. I have seen people have 7-12 for a certain pistol.


I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
 
Posts: 1565 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always keep two new but test fired mags to use as carry mags and then have two or three practice mags.


John

'Technically, It Is Not Illegal To Be Illegal In Massachusetts' ...MA Att. Gen. Martha Coakley
 
Posts: 1690 | Location: N.E. Massachusetts | Registered: June 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My carry and competition magazines I've had the bodies Metaloyed and use extra power springs.

Metaloy is excellent for concealed carry as I've yet to have any sign of rust on one and I've used it since the 80s. When it comes to competition, you often have to eject mags on the run, Metaloy bonds to the metal actually hardening the base metal, as for scratches, they simply buff out.

As to magazines themselves? I've got boatloads of Pachmyer sts magazines from the 80s. Those, Kimpro tac, Tripp research and mecgar 7rd enclosed follower mags are my choice. I maintain logs on each magazine as each are numbered. On simple range use magazines I change springs every 30k or so rounds, on competition and carry magazines, springs are changed out every 5k rounds and the springs added to the range mag rebuild kits. Some of my Pachmyer magazines have thousands upon thousands of rounds thru them.


לפעמים אדם עונה גורלו על הכביש הוא לקח כדי למנוע אותו
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Virginia | Registered: July 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sousana
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
Here's the thing, Honestlou. Magazines, and mag springs are consumable items. People always talk about preserving the life of a magazine like it had the life cycle of a cockatoo.
You may well be talking about best management practices, and I get that. But, springs are damn cheap. And magazines are damn cheap. The potential loss you might get from stretching the spring is the equivalent of taking aspirin for cancer. Putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound. Your actions just aren't going to matter. In the grand scheme, whether or not you stretch the springs isn't going to lead to a magazine only lasting you 30 years instead of 35.
My work magazines get replaced yearly. The ones that get replaced become training magazines until they stop working. When they stop working, they get new springs. When they stop working again or they have a significant external defect, they get pitched.
However, I have some 226 magazines that are in the back of my Tahoe that I still use for training and even teach classes with them. They have been in rotation since 1996. A new mag spring here and there, its all good.
Whether a mag spring is hurt by stretching, leaving loaded for an extended period of time, etc, means very little in the grand scheme. I personally think the practice of putting a light coat of oil inside a magazine is going to cause far greater problems than stretching a magazine spring ever could.


Hard to argue with this. When I was 5 my grandfather, who flew B17s during ww2 and was shot down over Germany and made it safely to French resistance lines gave me his 1942 issued Colt 1911. It came with 3 magazines, 1 of which had 2 rounds left over from his exfill the other was fully loaded and had been since it's issue to him. Those three magazines still function as is from the factory, the fully loaded mag which had been loaded for years functioned flawlessly.

As to oiling the inside, all that will do is attract crud and could cause the jam your trying to avoid. My advice is if it's going to be a competition or carry mag, have it either coated in NP3 or Metaloy Industries finish and use nothing but top notch extra power springs.


לפעמים אדם עונה גורלו על הכביש הוא לקח כדי למנוע אותו
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Virginia | Registered: July 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I occasionally twist the mag springs in my 2011 because they tend to develop a twist during use. I also typically put an "enos bend" in the 3rd coil to insure that the nose of the bullets stay up towards the end of the mag. I think this is more related to the platform I shoot than anything. I replace springs once a year, have 5 mags in rotation, and shoot 15-20k rounds a year. I clean with an Arredondo mag brush and use no lubricant. I use different magazines for dry fire. Your mileage may vary. Springs , while consumables, last a lot longer than most would think.


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Posts: 4639 | Location: MS | Registered: June 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would never lubricate the inside of a magazine. Keeping it clean will do far more, and lubricating will attract debris, lint, powder residue, sand, dust, etc. The only concern with friction inside the magazine is movement of the follower up and down, and that doesn't require lubrication. It's under spring tension, and whether metal or plastic, will have such a low coefficient of friction vs. the spring that there's no additional benefit to lubricating the inside of the mag. Only disadvantages.

The only potential to lubing the inside of a mag might be a blued steel mag, to prevent rust, but keep it dry and clean and you'll do more for it.

The only magazines or springs with which I can recall ever having an issue were the original mags that came with a HK P2000SK. I fired the pistol quite a bit initially and carried it in an ankle holster. The magazines stayed loaded, and one day I took the original three magazines to the range, put in range ammunition, and fired a shot. Malfunction.

I found that the rounds weren't feeding properly, and quickly discovered that the spring tension was gone on all three. That's after only a few months.

I happened by the HK booth at the NRA convention not long thereafter, and spoke with a HK representative about the problem. He assured me that it was my fault for keeping the magazines loaded, and told me that as soon as I was done shooting, I should unload the magazines. Not quite the most stupid thing I'd ever heard, but close. What was I supposed to do? Carry around empty magazines?

I like HK firearms and own several. I won't let the bad counsel of the HK rep color my opinion of the firearm or the company; for whatever reason they let out bad mag springs, and as I said, they're the only ones I can recall ever having. As noted above, replacement springs are inexpensive and can be had from numerous sources. I do think an experience like that serves as a reminder to check and maintain a firearm, especially one that's to be carried, and to pay close attention to the magazines.
 
Posts: 876 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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