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Keeping a shotgun fully loaded.

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by dc2integra, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. dc2integra


    Oct 3, 2009
    Ive had myshotgun fully loaded 5+1 for over two years so far and was wondering how often I have to replace the mag tube spring on my mossberg 500?Or will it hold up
  2. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    A spring doesn't wear out from from being compressed - it wears out from use.

    No reason your spring needs to be replaced.

    But a spring only costs about $5 - and WTH -if it makes you feel better - replace it.

    I just replaced a perfectly good spring in my Winchester Ranger 120 12 gauge pump - it was only 25 years old - been fully loaded for 15 years - shot thousands of rounds.

    When you clean the gun - and install the mag spring - if you need to fight to keep the spring in the tube while you screw the mag cap on - pretty good chance it is strong enough to push a shell down the tube.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

  3. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Some shotgun tube springs will wear faster than pistol magazine springs.

    Seen several 'loaded all the time" Mossbergs need spring replacement after only a few years.

    If it starts to have feed failures, change springs. Till then, not an issue.
  4. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    Agreed ^^^
    My Mossberg Cruser (20 Ga) has been under my bed for about the same amount of time fully loaded. I shoot it once or twice a year. Takes two men, and a boy to get the spring back in the tube and the cap back on after cleaning.
    I also noticed the spring is about an inch and a half from being fully compressed when fully loaded. No way anyone is ever going to convince me that spring looses it's tension from being loaded for a long period of time.
  5. aippi


    Jun 12, 2009
    Springs compact under load and need replacing.

    What does your ammo look like after two years? Any bulges? Most ammo will bulge after being loaded for long durations.

    So this is not good on the ammo or the spring. You can do it if you want to but cycle the ammo each range session to keep the ammo from deforming. Also, have a new spring at all times. When you clean the weapon lay the old spring next to the new one and look at the lenght. When the old one becomes 3 -4 inches shorter then the new one, change it out. A 6 shot magazine spring for a Remington 870 cost $3.40. For such a small price you get a lot of piece of mind. Change it often.

    Please let's not start the spring debate again as it has been beat to death on this and other sites. So I will not respond to any post on this topic as I know what I know and have known for many many years.
  6. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007

    Sorry aippi - but this is one area where I disagree with you.

    You take a NEW 40 inch long Wolff spring and put it in a mag tube that is 18 inches long - fully load the gun - and in a few months the spring will be 36 inches long.

    This is normal - expected - as the spring takes a set -

    Leave the gun loaded for another 10 years - I will guess the spring will be 34 inches long.

    The thing is - when the spring was designed the engineer took this situation into consideration - it is normal - expected.

    Sort of like in the old days - you buy a pair of jeans - the first time you wash them they would shrink.

    So when you bought jeans you always made sure they were a little bit loose - because you new they would shrink a little.

    BTW - just so I understand better -

    How long is the "worn out" spring (not compressed) VS the length of your mag tube.

    If it is 30+ inches long and your mag tube is 18 - where is the problem?

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  7. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311

    Jan 2, 2006
    Planet Earth

    SAY WHAT????????????:wow::wow::wow::wow: Cotton jeans CAN/WILL shrink. Steel springs DON'T. That applies to mags, leaf springs, coil springs, valve springs.
    This is not an opinion. it IS an engineering fact.
  8. Buffering

    Buffering The Cooler

    Aug 8, 2005
    Rocking the Casbah
    A dance fight! Cool!
  9. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007

    My Wolff spring started out 40 inches long - after sitting loaded for while + some use it is only 36 inches.

    Are you telling me that what is happening is not possible? By 40 inches I mean the length of the spring - not the legnth of the wire.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  10. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    I change mine when the plug starts having trouble coming all the way down. I have only replaced it once and I used a spring and plug set from Wilson Combat. Probably be a good idea to have 1 or 2 on hand.
  11. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    Bigger issue: You left a gun sit for two years that is there to defend your life. You have NO idea if it works and you haven't practiced with it.

    That gun needs once-overed every once and again and you should be taking it for a run too!!!

    I run over my HD shotgun once a month, empty the mag, check the shells, wipe it down, etc...JUST TO DO IT! Assuming it hasn't been shot, in which case it gets fresh shells, a cleaning, and all of that.

    I keep up to speed with it's feel, and up on the maintenance. I keep five rounds in the gun (7+1). I KNOW the spring is fine. I run it once a month no matter what. More if I shoot it.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  12. BillJ


    Sep 5, 2011
    Central NV
    Completely agree when it comes to shotgun mag springs. If you keep it loaded you should replace the spring every few years.

    Sometimes a quick stretch in 3 or 4 places (stay away from the nice coiled ends) on the spring will bring it back to life to buy you some time while waiting on the new one to arrive.
  13. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    NEVER EVER stretch a magazine spring - it makes it weaker NOT stronger.
  14. BillJ


    Sep 5, 2011
    Central NV
    I didn't say oh just stretch it out and it will be fine.

    As a emergency My 1187 wont load anymore and the new spring wont be here for 4 days type of thing, I feel its fine to give the spring a few tugs.

    Has helped me out a time or two at 3 gun matches when the spring lost enough bounce to not allow my gun to function properly.
  15. One of the great debates in the business. Lots said on both sides, so for either to claim they have THE TRUTH is somewhat questionable, IMO. I've seen mags loaded for decades that worked just fine, I've seen mags loaded for months go bad. Personally, I've seen enough springs go bad just sitting there under pressure to say I'm not going to chance it, so I replace them regularly and keep the shotgun downloaded by one for tactical purposes as well.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  16. IndianaMatt


    Jul 8, 2008
    Metal springs wear from repeated cycling (i.e., repeated compression and then decompression). They do not wear if you just keep a magazine loaded. Leave your spring alone.
  17. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    I left my 590 loaded for an extended period of time, and noticed when I unloaded it one day that the mag spring was slow to push out the last round. Left the mag empty for a while, and it seems to be working fine now. It's likely going to need a replacement soon, though.
  18. B Coyote

    B Coyote

    Jul 3, 2001
    NW Indiana
    I replace my mag springs annually. It's $5 insurance.

  19. soontobe.cop2666


    Mar 21, 2011
    I leave mine at 5. Only takes a second to rack one in and every scumbag in the world knows that sound. Hopefully they'll run off before I have to shoot them. I would prefer not to kill anyone unless I absolutely have to. Of course, if I rack that slide and he keeps coming or pulls a knife or gun.... Adios.
  20. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    You can always get a defective spring - could cause problems within a short time.

    Could have an issue with some crud inside the mag tube -

    I had feed problems as soon as I installed a Choate follower. Problem disappeared as soon as I changed it out.

    I have had really good results with Wolff X power springs - if I compare them with OEM springs I can see and feel the higher quality.

    I have 4 shotguns -

    One is 53 years old - I have owned it for over 40 years - and had never replace the spring (I assume it was original when I bought it)

    One is about 30 years old - I know it has the original spring.

    Both guns have been left sitting for years fully loaded - and have shot thousands and thousands and thousands of rounds.

    So I decided to buy both a new mag spring -

    Midway had Wolff springs for about $5 each - then I figured - WTH my 870 is pushing 5 years old on the same spring - should get one for it also.

    Then I discovered Midway has a 10 pack of X power Wolff springs for about $25! (I get the FFL discount)

    So 3 springs for $15, or 10 for $25. What would YOU DO? :upeyes:

    So after I took the springs out - I decided the 5 year old spring in the 870 was still good - and I used it in my oldest gun - put a "new" spring in the other two - and now I have 8 spare springs. :supergrin:

    At my rate of replacement I will be over 500 years old before I need to buy any more springs. Hope my eyesight holds up until then. :upeyes:
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011