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Thread: Magazines wearing out

  1. #1
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    This has been discussed before, and quite frankly all signs point towards leaving mags loaded having absolutely no effect on mag spring life. All the mag springs I've ever had go bad were heavily used military or police surplus.

    But the thing that convinced me to make this thread is that I read the writings of 2 very knowledgeable guys, who both suggested rotating mags, and leaving them some what underloaded. The first was Kill Or Get Killed by Rex Applegate, and the other was Larry Vickers' web site. That piece is available to view here- http://www.vickerstactical.com/Tacti...Magazines.aspx

    I have a rule that all my mags are always loaded. It has yet to cause me a problem. The springs I have had go out I attribute to extremely heavy use. But when 2 of the biggest names in gun fighting say I could be making a mistake, I have to take a second look.

    What I want to know is this. Who has had magazines go bad, and how did it happen?
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    I have never had a magazine go mad.

    Another fact is that keeping a quality spring under load will not wear it out. I currently teach a metal shop, and have taken quite a bit of material science.

    What wears out a spring is constant use, because the metal fatigues.

    I keep all my mags loaded, untill I unload them at the range, or if it ever comes to it, a BG.

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    The only magazines I have that are "bad" are some 1911 magazines that came with a used Kimber Classic Custom. One is a Colt mag, another looks to be a GI mag and the other is not branded at all. Sometimes I have a FTF or the the slide doesn't lock back when empty. When I use my chip mccormic mags, the gun functions fine. I have no clue how old these mags are, or how much action they've seen but the colt one looks pretty old.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    I lost a fully loaded mag out of a 459 S&W once. I found it 6 years, yes 6 years, later and it funtioned just fine. The spring felt stronger than the other original I still had.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    JDriver1.8t wrote:
    What wears out a spring is constant use, because the metal fatigues.

    This is by all means what I have seen with my own eyes and come to believe. I'm just looking for anyone that might have any experience contrary to this. Or perhaps any experience with a particular gun, normally thought to be good, that might have tempermental mags. Speaking of which, the only mag springs I wore out were in AK mags and Sig mags, but this was almost certainly from heavy use, because it happened before I adopted the strategy of load every mag and leave it that way.
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    Unless it is a really cheap spring, most magazine springs will last for many years if treated right. Leaving a magazine loaded will not harm the spring, it is the repetition of being loaded and unloaded which causes the spring to wear out. Being under constant pressure may however cause the magazine lips to expand or the sides to bulge in cheaper magazines. I have mil-spec rifle and quality pistol mags that have been loaded for years. I just unload and reload them about once a year or so and they function just fine.

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    If you're leaving your mags loaded long enough that it effects the spring integrity, you are not shooting your gun enough.

    Mags are not a part of your 'safe queen.'
    you DON'T have "carry mags" and "shooting mags."

    You have mags. They hold bullets. Empty them as often as you can afford, and preferably THROUGH THE BARREL OF YOUR GUN!

    P.S.

    NOTHING lasts forever. Your gun manufacturer will have recommendations on when/how ofter/at X amount of rounds, you should replace any and all parts in your entire platform.






  8. #8
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Do what works for you. Expert opinions on matters such as this often times are just their opinion with no empirical evidence.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/empirical

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/expert

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_(device)#Popular_mechanics

    A properly used and designed spring cannot fatigue or 'plasticly' deform. The Wiki article uses the example of an automobile engine valve spring with ~ 2.5 x10^6 cycles. I would use the tuning fork frequency standard in an electromechanical watch as example.

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    redlegagent wrote:
    Being under constant pressure may however cause the magazine lips to expand or the sides to bulge in cheaper magazines.
    So now I need to store loaded mags in a custom sleeve for support,
    thanks a lot for the extra work.....
    Of course the best custom sleeve is a second pistol.:celebrate Nope thats not
    a BUG, thats my BUMS (back up mag support)

    Has anyone worn out there revolver wheel yet, 42 years and counting.....


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    Be careful. I have heard of off brand magazines not dropping from the well due to bulging.

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    After hearing about the possibility of magazine springs wearing out I kept my glock 22 new factory mags unloaded for a month now. But now after hearing this I'm thinking about at least keeping one loaded. I'm guessing the standard magazines that came new with my new glock in may that I got as a present will not wear out like the cheaper mags, those are quality mags right? Also I will put 10 rounds in it only like soem of you are saying, I mean if someone breaks in my house I don't wanna have to load my clip! lol I may not have enough time. do ya guys think I should rotate monthly between which of my two mags I keep loaded?



    Ben

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    I would not worry about your factory Glock mags. Glock has built quite a reputation on reliability, I doubt that they would go cheap on the mags. Load them up and be ready if the need arises.

    The exception might be if dealing with a government contractor. Then you know that it was supplied by the lowest bidder.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    BJA wrote:
    After hearing about the possibility of magazine springs wearing out I kept my glock 22 new factory mags unloaded for a month now. But now after hearing this I'm thinking about at least keeping one loaded. I'm guessing the standard magazines that came new with my new glock in may that I got as a present will not wear out like the cheaper mags, those are quality mags right? Also I will put 10 rounds in it only like soem of you are saying, I mean if someone breaks in my house I don't wanna have to load my clip! lol I may not have enough time. do ya guys think I should rotate monthly between which of my two mags I keep loaded?



    Ben
    If it's your defensive firearm and you keep it for that purpose, keep the thing loaded! That goes for both mags. An unloaded gun is useful as far as you can throw it. If the springs really get pressed down hard, there is nothing wrong with underloading it by one round if you're worried. If you're really worried, you can even get some extra mag springs.

    And by the way, 2 mags is not enough in my opinion. I'm not one to panic buy or suggest panic buying, but Obama is a serious threat to full capacity magazines, and I'd say you if you can afford it, you should have at least 2 or 3 loaded, with at least 5 or 6 that you own.
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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    I've worn out some of the centerfolds around the staples.

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    As others have said, the spring wears out through use, not through being kept loaded. That's the science of it.

    As far as anecdotal evidence, I've read about guns being found from world war II with loaded mags that worked fine.

  17. #17
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    The only magazines I've heard wearing out from friends are those that were heavily used (loaded and unloaded repeatedly over their life).

    That said, I do rotate my magazines so as to spread out the wear & tear.

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    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    As others have said, the spring wears out through use, not through being kept loaded. That's the science of it.
    Barbara Streisand must be your "science" teacher.

    Y'all kneel before JDs - and rightfully so - but disdain metallurgy, metallurgists and engineers. The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.



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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    As others have said, the spring wears out through use, not through being kept loaded. That's the science of it.
    Barbara Streisand must be your "science" teacher.

    Y'all kneel before JDs - and rightfully so - but disdain metallurgy, metallurgists and engineers. The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

    I have read in several articles(referencing engineers),that as long as a spring is not forced to exceed design specifications (excessive compression or stretching), it will not be damaged by keeping it loaded. Under normal use, it is the working of the spring that causes wear.

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    I am an engineer. Springs do not wear.

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