loading and unloading magazines

Info, pictures, advice...
Post Reply
darrell
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: March 14th, 2006, 11:02 am
Location: tidewater, virginia

loading and unloading magazines

Post by darrell » August 2nd, 2008, 11:44 am

I keep my P-64 loaded all the time. I have been rotating magazines every month or so to increase magazine spring life. I was wondering what other members do. I think most modern magazines can remain loaded for years but older military magazines probably can't be. What are do think.

User avatar
normsutton
Global moderator
Global moderator
Posts: 3558
Joined: February 26th, 2006, 6:59 am
Location: LAKELAND FL.
Contact:

loading and unloading magazines

Post by normsutton » August 2nd, 2008, 5:11 pm

darrell

I keep them all loaded , I have 4 WW II 45 GI mag's that were loaded for over 15 years they still work just fine in all my 45 auto's

NORM
NORMSUTTON@AOL.COM
N.R.A. LIFE MEMBER 1976

ImageImage

butch50
Member
Member
Posts: 149
Joined: November 8th, 2005, 8:55 am
Location: Republic of Texas, DFW Area

loading and unloading magazines

Post by butch50 » August 3rd, 2008, 10:02 am

I am going to copy and paste below one of the very best responses I have ever read regarding magazine spring fatigue. The author, Bob ???, is dead spot on. Kudos to him, whoever/whereever he is. Here is the link to the response also:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Guns-Firearm ... atigue.htm

This topic is often debated with no clear answer being the winner. Each manufacturer, shop dealer, gunsmith, metallurgist, magazine writer, and pistol owner will tell you something different based on their own personal opinions or whatever information they have been given over the years. Here are some facts to consider:

- high quality magazine springs are made of special steel which is specifically formulated and treated to return to the normal uncompressed shape even when left fully loaded for very long periods (often many years)

- some springs might not retain their exact shape and original strength forever, especially if they were low quality to start with, of if they have been abused by over-stretching or over-compressing them beyond their original design parameters, or if they have been bent, over-heated, trimmed, treated with chemicals, etc.

- spring strength can be measured easily with tools which most gunsmiths will have on-hand, and the firearm or magazine manufacturer should be able to tell you the original strength of the magazine spring for comparison purposes, so you could easily have your magazine springs tested if you want to be 100% sure

- most magazine springs can be replaced easily and are usually available as an individual part from the manufacturer or from numerous after-market companies such as brownells.com

- in most cases it is easier and more reliable to just buy a new magazine directly from the firearm manufacturer

Based on this info most people would conclude that extended magazine spring compression is not something to worry about as long as you buy a quality firearm and do not damage the magazine or magazine spring as noted above. If the firearm or magazine was obtained in used condition, or if some damage has occurred, or if you just aren't 100% sure then it is probably best to replace the magazine altogether.

Also, even if you are 100% sure that there is no damage to the magazine or magazine spring, and that leaving it fully loaded will not hurt it one bit, you would also have to agree that there is absolutely no harm done by periodically rotating the magazines, rotating the ammunition, and/or replacing the magazines. Most of us like to shoot our firearms often and need to do so to maintain our shooting skills. Most of us also own a number of firearms and like to use them all. These are perfect excuses to rotate your magazines and ammunition after each use including those that have been carried or stored for any significant length of time. For me a reasonable period is 2-3 months but for others it could be 2-3 weeks or 2-3 years, or never. Since there is no harm I would suggest doing it more often but you have to decide this for yourself.

User avatar
normsutton
Global moderator
Global moderator
Posts: 3558
Joined: February 26th, 2006, 6:59 am
Location: LAKELAND FL.
Contact:

loading and unloading magazines

Post by normsutton » August 3rd, 2008, 11:00 am

butch50 wrote:I am going to copy and paste below one of the very best responses I have ever read regarding magazine spring fatigue. The author, Bob ???, is dead spot on. Kudos to him, whoever/whereever he is. Here is the link to the response also:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Guns-Firearm ... atigue.htm

This topic is often debated with no clear answer being the winner. Each manufacturer, shop dealer, gunsmith, metallurgist, magazine writer, and pistol owner will tell you something different based on their own personal opinions or whatever information they have been given over the years. Here are some facts to consider:

- high quality magazine springs are made of special steel which is specifically formulated and treated to return to the normal uncompressed shape even when left fully loaded for very long periods (often many years)

- some springs might not retain their exact shape and original strength forever, especially if they were low quality to start with, of if they have been abused by over-stretching or over-compressing them beyond their original design parameters, or if they have been bent, over-heated, trimmed, treated with chemicals, etc.

- spring strength can be measured easily with tools which most gunsmiths will have on-hand, and the firearm or magazine manufacturer should be able to tell you the original strength of the magazine spring for comparison purposes, so you could easily have your magazine springs tested if you want to be 100% sure

- most magazine springs can be replaced easily and are usually available as an individual part from the manufacturer or from numerous after-market companies such as brownells.com

- in most cases it is easier and more reliable to just buy a new magazine directly from the firearm manufacturer

Based on this info most people would conclude that extended magazine spring compression is not something to worry about as long as you buy a quality firearm and do not damage the magazine or magazine spring as noted above. If the firearm or magazine was obtained in used condition, or if some damage has occurred, or if you just aren't 100% sure then it is probably best to replace the magazine altogether.

Also, even if you are 100% sure that there is no damage to the magazine or magazine spring, and that leaving it fully loaded will not hurt it one bit, you would also have to agree that there is absolutely no harm done by periodically rotating the magazines, rotating the ammunition, and/or replacing the magazines. Most of us like to shoot our firearms often and need to do so to maintain our shooting skills. Most of us also own a number of firearms and like to use them all. These are perfect excuses to rotate your magazines and ammunition after each use including those that have been carried or stored for any significant length of time. For me a reasonable period is 2-3 months but for others it could be 2-3 weeks or 2-3 years, or never. Since there is no harm I would suggest doing it more often but you have to decide this for yourself.
butch50

good post

NORM
NORMSUTTON@AOL.COM
N.R.A. LIFE MEMBER 1976

ImageImage

3rdpig
Junior member
Posts: 31
Joined: June 21st, 2008, 5:49 pm
Location: Arizona

loading and unloading magazines

Post by 3rdpig » August 3rd, 2008, 11:51 am

Modern coil springs aren't worn out by keeping them compressed, they're worn out by compression cycles. One cycle is compressing it and then letting it become uncompressed.

darrell
Member
Member
Posts: 87
Joined: March 14th, 2006, 11:02 am
Location: tidewater, virginia

loading and unloading magazines

Post by darrell » August 3rd, 2008, 7:34 pm

Thanks, I have 3 magazines and only keep one loaded. I will continue to rotate every few months just because I enjoy loading and loading it. I usually go to the range every few months anyway so that takes care of the rotation.

User avatar
retiredsailor
Junior member
Posts: 13
Joined: August 7th, 2008, 4:01 pm
Location: Frederick, Colorado

loading and unloading magazines

Post by retiredsailor » August 7th, 2008, 4:25 pm

:-[

It's like this, IMHO. It isn't the spring so much as the the ammo becoming getting flat spots from the tension of being pushed; especially anything cheap.

I do go the range fairly regularly, and that's is how I rotate my ammo'mags for both my P-64 and my M9.

Post Reply