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Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by slackercruster, Feb 8, 2017.
Can you leave Glock magazines loaded long-term without problems to the magazine spring?
Leave them loaded, won't hurt anything. I have magazines that have been loaded for years.
That issue has been beat to death on every gun board.
The general consensus seems to be that leaving mags loaded for extended periods does not diminish their functionality. Rather, it may be the repeated stretching and compacting over time that can weaken them.
I have a ton of Glock mags going back to the days of the gen 2 17. Most are stored empty, but many have been loaded for a long, long time. I have never experienced any problem even remotely associated with mag spring tension. The only exception was when I was shooting 357 mag in a 27 with an aftermarket 357 barrel. The slide was cycling too dang fast for the mag to keep up. But as a general rule, no worries. Buy them. Hoard them. Love them.
If we did not repeat ourselves, we would have very little to talk about.
That spring, think of it like a coat hanger. Flex flex flex flex over a bunch of cycles weakens the metal until it breaks. Leaving the mag loaded up, the energy is stored and not cycled. No problem with leaving loaded long term. And NO THE SPRING IN THAT MAG IS NOT MADE OF COAT HANGER METAL.
There is a guy on youtube that did a pretty decent test of spring fatigue in gun magazines. He used a dozen or more, over YEARS, and then at the end, measured the results. He left some mags totally unused/new condition, some mags used on a regular basis, but left unloaded when not in use, and some were never used, just left loaded to sit.
When all the magazines were disassembled, both the magazines that were used on a regular basis AND the magazines that were loaded and left alone were much shorter. I forget which, but I think the ones that were left loaded were the shortest.
So while they still may function, it WILL weaken the springs. My recommendation is to go ahead and just leave your mags loaded (if you want), and every few years just swap out the springs. Super cheap.
To sum-up. Don't worry about it. But don't listen to the guys that tell you it doesn't affect your mags.
Good magazines will take being loaded for many years.
About 1961 a fellow at work gave me a, fully loaded, GI 1911 magazine that his Grandfather brought back from WWI. The fellow said for as long as he can remember the magazine had been in the back of a drawer
(fully loaded with the WWI ammo, I fired the ammo. It was very weak but all fired)
The magazine spring was like new and is now mixed in with my other 1911 magazines.
On the other hand I've had magazines that the spring turned to mush after being fully loaded after less than a year.
I leave many magazines loaded for years at a time.
For instance, 5 Glock 19 mags that stay fully loaded in my car, 24/7.
Load the mags but until you can trust them, check them every few months.
The only problem I have had with leaving magazines loaded long term was with one of the original non drop free mags for my Gen 2 G20 I bought new in 1992 . It eventually developed a vertical crack on the back side and I retired all of my older mags with the U notch at the back. It was kept loaded for almost all its life and I noticed the crack a couple of years back. It was still functional but it had earned its retirement after 23 years.
I have a 27 & 23 out for carry rotation both have loaded mags in the pistols and two loaded 22 mags for carry
Well many people in the field recommend rotating mags every 3 to 6 months so what does that tell you? But it's not just for spring reasons.
Personally I'd rather not leave a mag loaded for 10 years that I am betting my life on. Springs do lose oomph when they are compressed or cycled. It's hard to believe any can think that a heavily compressed spring won't lose effectiveness over time, that doesn't even make sense.
If anyone out there has magazines that you've had loaded for years, why not take the spring out and compare it to a new mag and post the pic here?
Glock 27 mag I left loaded on the left. Starting having cycling problems replaced it with the new spring on the right no more problems. It was left fully loaded for probably 5 yrs.
After having a number of G21 mags fail after being loaded for two years, I tend to be a little more apprehensive about the lifespan of Mag springs.
Bought the pistol and mags new, loaded them after testing and left them loaded in my duty rig except for the biannual inspection, when the ammo was rotated and everything checked.
Had other range mags for practice and playing, so those stayed loaded and left alone.
Saved the springs, several different types, and different lengths on all.
Will get a picture when I can.
Good Mag springs generally don't have issues, others well those do.
I change out carry mags about every 2 months. I like to relieve the tension and clean them (despite not being incredibly dirty). I'm just a clean freak though. I know it's not necessary but I do it anyway. So this forces me to rotate which gets used. Replacing springs regularly (5 years?) are also key.
Being stuck in a 10 round state (save me Tom Cruise) I have never had a mag spring from Glock wear out. As a matter of fact I have left my 21 SF loaded with 8 in two mags for the past 5 months and still cannot get the 9th round in there without standing on it.
I have a couple range mags and after cycling 600 rounds through both I finally was able to load 9 in one and 10 in the other...which was no easy task.
You want springs? I GOT SPRINGS!!! Here's everything you ever wanted (AND MORE!!!) about springs and a bunch of other stuff. It's the Dept. of the Navy's "MecRel" handbook. It's got springs (page 81) and just about any and all MEChanical RELiability information plus drawings, specs, etc. You read this - you'll know springs! Might also make your eyes glaze over after a while but good info ... and a LOT of it.
(It's the first one C - Reliability Analytics Toolkit and takes a few seconds to load.)
I guess it depends on how the spring was designed, and what it's service life is like.
My last car had 198,000 miles on it which, not including time spent idling and driving in anything less than top gear, means each intake and exhaust valve, and its accompanying spring, cycled at least a quarter of a billion times! I never experienced high RPM valve float or any other signs of weak springs, and never dropped a valve due to a broken spring. Design, metallurgy and construction matter.
Obviously they wear out. You can get new ones for nearly a dime a dozen. Not saying they're cheap. Just saying if they didn't go bad, why is it so easy to get new ones? I leave mine loaded, but do test them on occasion (rare occasion, that is). When the slide doesn't always pick up the last round or fails to lock back after the last round, it's prolly time for a new mag spring.
A metalurgist that I knew told me that the spring does not get "worn" or weak from being compressed, but only from cycling back and forth between compressed and relaxed and that if made properly will function normally virtually indefinitely if left in a compressed position. Personally, I have had magazines remain full and untouched for years in guns that I have owned and have never had a single magazine spring failure, but maybe I've just been lucky.
So, one again, leave em' loaded or not your choice and the "Jury is still out"