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Leaving Magazines Loaded

Discussion in 'Valuable Info' started by jonathon, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. loose-proton


    Apr 8, 2009
    *edit by OP*

    springs do get weaker, but is that a problem? check out a box of surplus glock mags and compare the spring tension to new mags. seems to be a big difference, a lot more than lot to lot manufacturing variation would account for. Even in the one box of surplus mags, one can find some springs much stronger and some much weaker. There's a reason vendors sell spare mag springs.

    We should think about more than just springs. sure, we can cite WWI and WWII mags still shooting fine BUT we can cite multiple examples of mag failure. If someone can't, they haven't been shooting much.

    I have seen a half dozen GLOCK mags loaded by LEO and carried in the spare mag pouch for years that swelled slightly, making them stiff in the mag well for insertion and ejection. They functioned fine but stiff.

    I have seen hundreds of mags rusted into non-functional condition.

    I have seen spiders taking up residence in mags.

    Think about sand, dirt, mold, rat piss, etc.

    If someone isn't checking the mag, then maybe they're not checking the bore, either.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  2. Ken43


    May 7, 2005
    Glock recommends changing out your springs every so often. Maybe that is for their benifit, however, I have worked on Glock mag's. for about 15 years and I can tell you for a fact that magazines that have been used have a shorter spring than new magazines. So to some extent they do take a set. I don't know if that has caused any malfunctions but for that reason I keep my extra magazines unloaded when in the gunsafe. The mag. in the gun I am currently using has a fully loaded mag. in it.

  3. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    As long as Kari is in the show, I'll watch!! :hearts:
  4. Very informative. Now i'll always leave my mags fully loaded with no concern about "stressing" the springs. ... Thanks for the valuable info. Jerryb
  5. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    I WANT one of my loaded magazines to fail. So far no luck. I have many magazines loaded, AK, HK, Glock, Beretta, Wilson, Drums, etc......

  6. gatorhugger


    Aug 10, 2008
    Springs do weaken from being loaded.

    It may still "function" like the reports of the 30 year old mags still working.
    But it willl be be pushing up those rounds very slowly, and in a couple more trips to the range may fail.

    For heavens sake, once every 5 years or so, spend $5 bucks and get a new spring.
    You don't have to get an entire new mag or follower if you don't want, but
    a cheap spring is easy to replace and good insurance.
    People spend $20 for .01 ounce of the latest gun lube every 6 months,( which is probably not needed), $1000 a year on the best bullets, but won't replace a $5 spring every 5 years.
  7. kikeartur


    Jul 7, 2009

  8. orton89


    Sep 9, 2009
    nice, I was wondering if i should download my 4 Glock mags but now ill just leave them in the ready.
  9. raw6464


    Nov 11, 2009
    Yonkers, NY
    It's really the amount of compression/rebound cycles over time that kills a spring not a constant compression. A constant compression on a spring is no different then being contantly uncompressed.

    Using the same mag over and over is what kills springs not time. Springs engineered and manufactured to be springs DON'T weaken from being loaded within their design specifications as explained in the orginal post on this thread.

    So the issue at hand is if you have a mag that you keep loaded for long periods of time, do you need to replace them... just because?
  10. PBR Sailor

    PBR Sailor

    Dec 4, 2004

    I have worked on a few Glocks in my time. Some of them failed to lock the slide open after the last shot. Some of them had nose down failure to feed problems leaving a few rounds jammed in the magazine below the feed lips. A new magazine or magazine spring cured the problem in every case.
  11. Animalmother


    Aug 22, 2009
    Have read and heard a lot about this subject over the years and have come to conclude that leaving mags loaded is not a problem.
  12. whistler52


    Oct 7, 2001
    IMO the internet myth is that constant compression does not change a magazine spring. Go to the Wolff Gun Springs website and read FAQ #5.

    But, you really don't need Wolff to tell you this. Take a used Glock mag and a new Glock mag and press down on the follower. With my used Glock mags I can feel less force pushing the follower up compared to a new Glock mag.

    Now whether the spring force continues to reduce with age and use is debatable. But, to maintain that constant compression is the same as a totally uncompressed state is clearly wrong.
  13. Ryobi

    Ryobi SummertimeRules

    May 10, 2002
    No reason to replace them more than every 5 years or so. They'll function indefinitely, but it's cheap to replace them every 5 years or so, even though it's not really necessary. And if you're looking for good info, the internet isn't necessarily your first choice, to go further, if you're looking for good info on the internet, getting advice on whether replacement is necessary from the website of a company that sells replacements is ludicrous.
  14. den888


    Sep 4, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    I never overfill mags, but keep them loaded in my G26 (it's my HD weapon).
  15. SHOOTER629

    SHOOTER629 Let's Roll ! CLM

    Oct 8, 2003
    Originally Posted by raw6464
    It's really the amount of compression/rebound cycles over time that kills a spring not a constant compression. A constant compression on a spring is no different then being contantly uncompressed.


    Not to make a point but, I had this question hammered to me by students in the past. I called H&K, Glock and colt a few years back and they all stated the same thing-" Rebound Cycles causes the springs to weaken not constant compression. Also, just last year at a Sig Armorers class the question was asked again, Sig Trainer stated the same " Rebound cycles causes weakness in springs."
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010

    PATRICE . . . . .

    Jun 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  17. JohnKSa


    Sep 8, 2000
    DFW Area, TX
    It would be more accurate to summarize in the following manner.

    One faction says that leaving the magazine fully loaded may cause the spring to weaken if the spring materials, spring design, spring manufacturing techniques are wanting or if the magazine design overcompresses the spring either unintentionally or intentionally as a design compromise to save space and weight while maximizing capacity at the expense of an inexpensive easily replaced part. Otherwise it won't weaken the springs.

    Another faction says that cycling the magazine causes spring wear but only over a very long period of use unless the spring materials, spring design or spring manufacturing techniques are wanting.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  18. oldschool1961


    Jan 2, 2009
    Extremely Well writen and interesting article. You have answered several things I have often thought about. Thanks......
  19. cciman


    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    This (below) is probably the best engineering / chemical/ physics answer, but it assumes that the material used is not deformed by that first initial full load, or x loads after that. Cycle of one over time.

    Simple test is to have 50 new springs, measure them all before, and after a full mag load, then tabulate the lengths. Ideally, to do the same test over a few ranges in time: Immediately, 1 month, 6months, 1yr, 10 yr., etc. to see what effect time has on compression x length of spring.

    All I know is I have personally squashed once and shortened many a pen spring in my time.

  20. j-glock22


    Sep 20, 2001
    Central Ohio
    I've kept mags loaded for years and shot fine. I never have had to replace a mag spring yet to date... And I still have a few NFML's