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Loaded Magazines - how long??

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by copo9560, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. copo9560

    copo9560

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    Any limit on how long 30 round GI magazines can be kept loaded and not loose reliability due to spring set?

    Tried search feature but could not find anything there.
     
  2. BBJones

    BBJones

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    There is no such thing as spring set. What wears a spring is loading and unloading. With GI mags your concern would be feed lips stretching from extended loaded storage. I would say unless you plan to keep them loaded longer than 10 years I wouldn't even give it a second thought.
     

  3. Decguns

    Decguns

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    Ditto... it's the loading and unloading of magazines that wears out the springs. You can essentially leave magazines loaded indefinitely with no worries. Plastic mags tend to bulge and feed lips deform after prolonged storage. Not so much with the metal mags.

    I seem to remember Guns & Ammo had a story of a WWII vet who fired off two M1911 mags he had loaded during the war some 40+ years earlier. No issues. If war time production mags didn't have any spring set 40+ years later, I wouldn't be too worried about springs in modern USGI mags.
     
  4. Glock 1

    Glock 1

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    I have a total of 4 pmags now. :supergrin:

    Just got my AR last week. As I get the pmags, I load them and put them on a shelf. I have 4 GI mags I plan to take to the range when I go. That way I don't unload them all. My plan is to have 250 loaded and ready to go when the shtf.
     
  5. moishlashen

    moishlashen Senile Member

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    ^^^^Good plan. Pmags are awesome and inexpensive enough to get as many as you want.
     
  6. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

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    Love PMags!
    Love the ability to snap on the cover & relieve the pressure
    from the feed lips!
     
  7. Jerry

    Jerry Staff Member Moderator Millennium Member

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    I had 5 20 round mags and 5 30 round mags, all GI, loaded for over 30 years. I've taking one of the 20 rounder’s to the range several times over the last year. It’s been loaded and shot empty probably 30 or 40 times. It still functions perfectly. I have no doubt the others will too.

    Mag springs, any mag springs do take a set. If you measure a new one then load the mag and leave it loaded for a week or a month then re-measure the spring it will be shorter. However springs only takes a certain amount of set then they pretty much remain that length throughout the life of the spring. The set does not significantly weaken a spring. What cause spring to get week is compressing then stretching bake out over and over.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  8. copo9560

    copo9560

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    Thanks for informative replys -
     
  9. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

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    :agree:
     
  10. Jerry

    Jerry Staff Member Moderator Millennium Member

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    Measure a new spring then put it in a magazine and fully load it. Keep it loaded for a couple of weeks than take it out and measure it again, it WILL be shorter. That’s known as taking a set.
     
  11. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

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    Generally, though, it doesn't affect magazine operation - so why worry about it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  12. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

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    I have 17 -30 rd and 5 -20 rd GI mags mags fully loaded and they been in storage a long time and occasionally I'll pull one or two out to test and they function fine.
     
  13. whitebread

    whitebread ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    As mentioned above, from a metallurgical standpoint there is no concern with leaving them loaded. Cycling is far worse for the springs. The feed lips should also hold up if the mags are made correctly.

    I leave a few loaded for emergencies.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. CLoft239

    CLoft239 I Like Turtles

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    Lol that's a big emergency.

    I can't say too much tho, I'm only a few mags behind you...



    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
     
  15. Jerry

    Jerry Staff Member Moderator Millennium Member

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    Why worry about it!? Because knowledge is power and most people like to know everything they can about how their firearms function and why. The OP asked about leaving mags loaded. I presumed he wanted if and why it would or would not hurt. Evidentially you didn’t read my first post so I highlighted the important part, why it’s not something to worry about.


     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  16. The Shadow

    The Shadow

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    Here's my recent personal experience. I had a dozen USGI 30 round mags (some with the green follower but most with the old style) fully loaded with assorted milsurp ammo and stored for the last 15 years. Recently decided it was time to unload them and load fresh ammo.So I took them to range and unloaded them at the target as fast as I could. Not one glitch from either mags or ammo. I got them reloaded and stored for the next 15. As an aside, I also had 3 Glock 19 mags and 4 Butler Creek 30rd 10/22 mags loaded and stored for the same period. Unloaded them too..... same results. As long as you use quality mags with quality springs you have nothing to worry about. Hope this helps!

    Terry
     
  17. Glock 1

    Glock 1

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    Define "emergency" please. :rofl: I need to have that for when my daughter brings home her first date.
     
  18. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

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    Daughters first date?

    Side-by-side 12Ga.

    :supergrin:
     
  19. CAcop

    CAcop

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    We had a bunch of AR mags sitting in our gun locker at work that were checked out every day. We loaded them to 28 rounds to make it easier to insert on a closed bolt. They sat there from 2001 to about 2008ish. They were replaced with pmags and used as range mags to this day. The last time I pulled some at random to blast off 50 rounds they worked fine.
     
  20. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy

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    I used to work in Army basic training and our building was renovated in 2010 (built in 1951). When they were tearing it apart, they found a couple 20 round loaded GI mags on top of a heating duct. Who knows how long they'd been up there since the Army hasn't used 20 rounders for decades....

    So, we took them out to a reflexive fire range, inserted them in the magwell, and got to training :supergrin: 0 malfunctions to report.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012