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Old 10-04-2012, 00:06   #1
ContractSoldier
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Loaded Magazine Debate

The purpose of this thread is to see what everyone's view's are on the different schools of thought when it comes to wear on the magazine spring when leaving magazines loaded for self defense.

On one side, there are those who state that leaving the magazine fully loaded all of the time, wears the spring out faster and the magazines should be empty and rotated from mag to mag.

On the other side are those who state that the consistent loading and unloading of magazines will, overtime, wear the magazine spring worse then if you would just leave them always loaded, there for they should be kept loaded at all times.

Then there's the middle of the road side, that state that you can keep the magazines always loaded, just keep two rounds out of the magazine (13 rounds in a 15 round magazine) to be easier on the spring.

I personally keep one 15 round magazine loaded with 13 rounds, loaded at all times for my Beretta M9. So what do you think and what do you do?

Last edited by ContractSoldier; 10-04-2012 at 00:09..
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Old 10-04-2012, 00:42   #2
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I'll just make it as simple as I can.

I have shot magazines that I loaded new and stored for years after moving and they worked fine. I have shot magazines that have deen stored for probably decades and as long as there was no rust they worked fine.

I have worn out mag springs in less than 2 years using them as range mags.

That tells me something.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:12   #3
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There's not really any debate on how springs work.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:22   #4
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Leaving a magazine loaded, even for extended periods of time, shouldn't adversely effect the magazine.


That said, M9 mags, seem to be POS and require continual/often cleaning/maintenance.


I've had glock and H&K pistol mags loaded for years with no issues. I would never try that with my M-9. I clean its mags once a week, and verify function.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Stick View Post
Leaving a magazine loaded, even for extended periods of time, shouldn't adversely effect the magazine.


That said, M9 mags, seem to be POS and require continual/often cleaning/maintenance.


I've had glock and H&K pistol mags loaded for years with no issues. I would never try that with my M-9. I clean its mags once a week, and verify function.
What brands? My factory and Mec-Gars have been 100% for up to 2 years.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverMore1701 View Post
What brands? My factory and Mec-Gars have been 100% for up to 2 years.
He's probably talking about the Check Mate mags.
Mec-Gar mags are the best. Until someone makes aftermarket mags that can sing for me, I'm sticking with Mec-Gar.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverMore1701 View Post
There's not really any debate on how springs work.
Or wear out.

No debate what-so-ever.

Repeated cycling through their compression range is what wears them out.

To believe anything else is igonorant.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverMore1701 View Post
There's not really any debate on how springs work.
Exactly. Load em up and don't worry about it.

OP, here's a thread from a few days ago that might be of interest. As you could imagine people will never be able to agree on this subject.
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/show....php?t=1445436
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:29   #9
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Originally Posted by AK_Stick View Post
That said, M9 mags, seem to be POS and require continual/often cleaning/maintenance.


I've had glock and H&K pistol mags loaded for years with no issues. I would never try that with my M-9. I clean its mags once a week, and verify function.
M9 mags would not be any different than any other mags. It's just that mags in the Military are far more heavily used, so they wear out much faster.

Cleaning mags (loading and unloading them repeatedly) is only increasing the wear on the springs. You're doing more harm than good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:15   #10
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Using them wears the spring and to a lesser extent, everything else.

Leaving them loaded doesn't hurt anything. I've left mags loaded for years and never had one issue when I used them after.

If your worried about it, leave one less round in your mags or rotate them on a regular basis. I don't see any need to do that though.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&P15T View Post
M9 mags would not be any different than any other mags. It's just that mags in the Military are far more heavily used, so they wear out much faster.

Cleaning mags (loading and unloading them repeatedly) is only increasing the wear on the springs. You're doing more harm than good.
+1 on that!

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
Using them wears the spring and to a lesser extent, everything else.

Leaving them loaded doesn't hurt anything. I've left mags loaded for years and never had one issue when I used them after.

If your worried about it, leave one less round in your mags or rotate them on a regular basis. I don't see any need to do that though.
Edited for you.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:06   #13
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Edited for you.
Did you by chance read the part you edited out where I said I wouldn't bother with that?

Apparently not.

It helps to read the post completely BEFORE posting a response.

Your welcome.

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:07   #14
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Not to mention that you completely missed the point.

(Why am I not surprised....)
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:27   #15
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My limited experience suggests that if a magazine is used regularly it will give ample warning that the spring is getting weaker.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:42   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&P15T View Post
M9 mags would not be any different than any other mags. It's just that mags in the Military are far more heavily used, so they wear out much faster.

Cleaning mags (loading and unloading them repeatedly) is only increasing the wear on the springs. You're doing more harm than good.


Cleaning M-9 mags regularly, is the only way to ensure that you'll have a fire able sidearm when you need it.


I've had that issue with Mec-Gar, Beretta and Checkmate, and although the Checkmate's were the worst, and the new "sand modified" Beretta's the best, it has something to do with the design of the M-9 magazine, because every one of the magazines I own, and have carried on deployment have exhibited that behavior at one time or another.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:00   #17
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Originally Posted by AK_Stick View Post
Cleaning M-9 mags regularly, is the only way to ensure that you'll have a fire able sidearm when you need it.


I've had that issue with Mec-Gar, Beretta and Checkmate, and although the Checkmate's were the worst, and the new "sand modified" Beretta's the best, it has something to do with the design of the M-9 magazine, because every one of the magazines I own, and have carried on deployment have exhibited that behavior at one time or another.
Are you talking about sidearms you carried while deployed to the Middle East?
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:09   #18
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I would never even load a mag to it's full capacity. At least download by two or three rounds.

I also never leave my magazines loaded for any longer than possible. Like when I'm at a match, I unload all of my magazines between stages and only load the magazines I'm going to use when I'm on deck.

If I'm just at the range practicing, I only load two rounds in a magazine at a time, but I only shoot one round. This keeps the tension on the spring at a minimum and prevents follower wear.

As soon as I get done shooting I fully disassemble all of my magazines, clean them with q-tips and store the springs completely relaxed.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:11   #19
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I would never even load a mag to it's full capacity. At least download by two or three rounds.

I also never leave my magazines loaded for any longer than possible. Like when I'm at a match, I unload all of my magazines between stages and only load the magazines I'm going to use when I'm on deck.

If I'm just at the range practicing, I only load two rounds in a magazine at a time, but I only shoot one round. This keeps the tension on the spring at a minimum and prevents follower wear.

As soon as I get done shooting I fully disassemble all of my magazines, clean them with q-tips and store the springs completely relaxed.


I send my mag springs to day spas, so they can relax in total comfort, rejuvenating themselves.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:24   #20
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I always leave them fully loaded. The only mags I ever had problems with were the ones that I use for the range that get loaded and unloaded quite a bit. In the back of my safe, I found a Glock mag that was loaded for a few years. I took it to the range and it was flawless. Leaving them loaded does not weaken the spring; constantly loading and unloading will.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:46   #21
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Every armorers course I go to this comes up. Every time it is the same answer. I find it funny the people who are trying to save their mags by unloading them every week are actually wearing them out. What is sad is that they use the fact they are loaded all week as the reason why they wore out. Not that they cycled the springs every week for a few years.

Mags are essentially expendable items. Most of the time replacing a spring will fix the problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:12   #22
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I use revolvers. Problems solved.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:28   #23
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Are you talking about sidearms you carried while deployed to the Middle East?
Some of my experience comes from the Middle East, some of it from carrying in Haiti, and some from Kosovo

I have some new 90-2 mags that have performed much better but I rexeived them late in my last deployment and only used them for about 6 wks
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:47   #24
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This subject is a pretty simple one, but the internet and gun forums always seem to stir up debate about it.

I've listened to armorer instructors, other armorers & firearms instructors, repair technicians/gunsmiths, engineers and spring companies discuss this subject.

Springs can become weaker over time, whether from being left compressed or from constant use.

Some spring materials seem less susceptible to some wear than others, but it also depends on the application.

I've been to over 20 armorer classes, and have seen a lot of different magazine springs used in assorted weapons (box & tube). In armorer classes the recommendations can vary according to the manufacturer, but they all recommend periodic inspections by armorers for proper spring tension & function, in addition to owner/user checks each time the weapon is used, cleaned, etc.

Some manufacturers offer replacement recommendations based upon service usage (round count and/or time in service).

I've seen different design/style magazines offer differing spring service life characteristics.

I've seen some last longer than expected ... and some not last as long as normally expected.

I've seen caliber and ammunition power levels have an effect on things, especially when it comes to recoil springs, but also when it comes to feeding "timing" and mag spring tension & service life.

Bottom line, I check for spring tension using recommended bench checks discussed in the armorer classes, as well as by observing performance and functioning on the range.

I replace any mag spring either as it may seem prudent (based upon checks), or based upon a bench check (failing to hold the slide locked back on an EMPTY magazine when briskly running the slide), or at least as recommended by either the gun or spring manufacturer. Mostly sooner, as I prefer to err on the conservative side of things in the way of critical functioning matters.

I prefer to replace my own magazine (and recoil) springs before I start experiencing stoppages and malfunctions on the range caused by weakening springs. I definitely prefer to replace them before I might experience a problem off the range, in actual usage.

The magazines I leave loaded for extended periods get new springs periodically, usually as a "group", and I mark the mags when the springs are changed (marker ink dating on tubes, or silver/gold marker ink on floorplates).

I can't predict a premature failure due to breakage, damage or an unknown defect that causes early failure ... but I can try to make sure I stay ahead of the normal curve when it comes to periodic maintenance.

FWIW ... I've seen a significant number of stoppages & malfunctions caused by weakened mag springs occur during courses-of-fire over the years. These were in both issued and personally-owned guns being carried by both LE and non-LE (think CCW carriers).

The users & owners were all pretty consistently surprised when it happened to them. When questioned about when they'd last replaced their mag springs, the typical answer was a blank stare. Most said they were using the original springs, and that they'd been left loaded for anywhere from a few years to many years.

Suit yourselves.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 10-04-2012 at 11:49..
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:29   #25
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This post sums it up - I think!

However - Mas Ayoob claims he empties and rotates carry mags when changing to/from standard/daylight saving time. So...Cheers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
Using them wears the spring and to a lesser extent, everything else.

Leaving them loaded doesn't hurt anything. I've left mags loaded for years and never had one issue when I used them after.

If your worried about it, leave one less round in your mags or rotate them on a regular basis. I don't see any need to do that though.
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