topping off your mags


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Sven
January 8, 2003, 10:45 PM
Do you top off your mag after putting one in the pipe?

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Ala Dan
January 8, 2003, 10:55 PM
I voted, YES as a rule! Cuz, I do, and I want every shot
that is possible.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. LIfe Member

AR-10
January 8, 2003, 11:16 PM
Yes, but I didn't vote. Used to hate the polling feature. Now I just ignore it.:neener:

New_comer
January 8, 2003, 11:27 PM
Only during competition, most especially when the course is long and with movers.

For carry, never ;)

mgjohn
January 8, 2003, 11:32 PM
All ways, never know when the extra round may be needed.

NJ3
January 8, 2003, 11:35 PM
I voted yes. I didn't think there was another option.

JPM70535
January 8, 2003, 11:40 PM
all the time. If the mag holds 7 rds, if holds 7rds. not 6


HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN

modifiedbrowning
January 9, 2003, 12:25 AM
Always top it off. Why wouldn't you?:confused:

sm
January 9, 2003, 12:30 AM
Always
Especially CCW
Always top off extra mags

MJRW
January 9, 2003, 01:16 AM
I don't. I may be misguided, but I feel it compresses the spring less and thereby increases the lifespan of my mag spring.

dfrog
January 9, 2003, 01:54 AM
I went 'Most of the Time' because I don't when I'm at the range. For CCW, yes.

Hkmp5sd
January 9, 2003, 02:43 AM
Always. Train as you fight. Same procedure every time.

Phyphor
January 9, 2003, 02:55 AM
Never know when that 16th round might come in handy. ALWAYS.

Chan Bates
January 9, 2003, 03:11 AM
I can't answer the poll the way it is written.

I carry a full mag with one in the pipe, but I do not load the top round of a full mag. I load one round from a spare mag, then insert the full mag.

Ridiculous, perhaps, but it would stop a slam-fire malfunction after one round, and it makes mag insertion and round count consistent without having to remove a mag to reload it after loading the gun.

I can imagine a scenario where by reflex in a critical situation you act as you train, i.e., load a full mag at slide lock, then drop it without thinking to top it off and find yourself in a WOS, especially if you shoot a gun with a mag safety interlock.

Modern springs, and even ancient ones, should not take a set because of the mag being full. If they do, you have cheap springs and you need to replace them with higher quality. There are too many stories of loaded mags many decades old that fire just fine, and too few that point to a spring that has taken a set as the cause of a malfunction, especially if you check your gear often.

CB3

Hkmp5sd
January 9, 2003, 04:19 AM
then drop it without thinking to top it off and find yourself in a WOS

Interesting viewpoint. I've always looked at it from drawing the gun and pulling the trigger only to hear click because I got distracted and didn't chamber the round before leaving home.

This way, if there is a magazine in the gun, I *know* there is a round in the chamber. Since part of my practice includes changing magazines, the odds of me dropping the magazine immediately after reloading are minimal.

Guess it is really what you are more comfortable with.

JimC
January 9, 2003, 06:51 AM
Always. Why would you not. :confused:

ruger357
January 9, 2003, 06:56 AM
All the time.

New_comer
January 9, 2003, 07:04 AM
I carry a full mag with one in the pipe, but I do not load the top round of a full mag. I load one round from a spare mag, then insert the full mag. ... but it would stop a slam-fire malfunction after one round, Very interesting. :)

Never thought such an AD would happen during casual chambering of a round, but come to think of it, 'tis possible! :eek:

Excellent point! Thanks a lot :D

Always learn new things from you guys!

FPrice
January 9, 2003, 07:14 AM
The smaller the mag capacity (e.g., six rounders) the more likely I am to top it off. For my G19 15 round mags I generally do not.

KMKeller
January 9, 2003, 08:00 AM
It would stink if I got myself killed for lack of shooting back...

Chris Rhines
January 9, 2003, 12:09 PM
Yep. I keep a handfull of my favorite carry ammo in my 'safety tupperware' and use it to top off my magazines.

- Chris

10-Ring
January 9, 2003, 12:17 PM
I voted yes. If I need to chamber a round, I want to have as many as possible at my disposal.

Gewehr98
January 9, 2003, 12:45 PM
Would you leave on a trip without a full tank of gas?

:scrutiny:

dave
January 9, 2003, 12:57 PM
"but I feel it compresses the spring less and thereby increases the lifespan of my mag spring." by MJRW




Yes, I always top off. I think I'd rather increase MY lifespan.

MJRW
January 9, 2003, 01:24 PM
The difference to me between 20 and 21 shots is negligible. If capacity where that big of a concern for me, I'd get something with a higher capacity.

cslinger
January 9, 2003, 01:38 PM
with relatively small hands I like single stack autos the best. Therefore I top off everytime all the time for that 7th, 8th, or 9th round.

I do have a wundernine also and if that gets topped off as well more out of habit then perceived need.

Chris

MitchSchaft
January 9, 2003, 02:40 PM
Yes, my Defender only has a 7-shot mag, so I want all that I can get.

eagles1181
January 9, 2003, 02:45 PM
I said yes, but actually what I do is put one round in a handy empty mag, chamber it, then put the full mag in. Easier on my fingers since I am putting a round in a empty mag with little pring tension then in a basically fun mag. If a empty mag was not avaible, yes I would top off anyway.


Eagle

enfwago
January 9, 2003, 03:23 PM
I voted yes, because with my luck I would need that extra round.

Detachment Charlie
January 9, 2003, 05:03 PM
I got pretty well flamed for this before, but....
I always top off because the first round in the pipe is a "flyin' ashtray," the rest in the mag are ball. Why? Mine won't feed the ultra,whiz-bang, deadlier than a nuke loads worth poop. But, it "eats hardball like Homer eats donuts." So first shot is already chambered and ready to go...with the confidence that the rest will feed, function and eject just like JMB said they would.

duncan
January 9, 2003, 05:28 PM
Topping mags off puts unnecessary stress on the springs and causes them to set.

Load up to full, strip one into the chamber. Top off the spare mag you carry though.

If 15 rounds can't do the job, you should be running for the home defense SG or AR!

TreeSquid
January 9, 2003, 05:47 PM
Pfft, unnecessary stress my butt. Yeah, I really bet that magazines weren't meant to be carried full, after all. It's just handy to have that extra round that you aren't supposed to have because it'll damage the springs and should carry it with one round less because...oh never mind. It's just ridiculous. If they hadn't meant for the springs to handle a full mag, they would have reduced the capacity by a round so it wouldn't be an issue. And mag springs are very cheap and replaceable, unlike your life. I mean, seriously. It's like not filling your tires to the proper pressure because you're afraid of damaging the tire, even though goodyear says "no, really, 36 PSI is just dandy!". If it's, say, a 12-rd mag made by a reputable company, it's a 12-round mag, made to hold 12 rounds, period. And that's my 3 cents. I found a penny!

GoldenLoki
January 9, 2003, 06:06 PM
For carry, or when making ready for home defense.. Always!

At the range, not always. sometimes I just load the mag and don't top it off after chambering a round.

GL

WonderNine
January 9, 2003, 06:12 PM
Yes, alot of people believe in putting one less round in for reliability's sake. But I believe that if the mag was designed to hold 15 rounds, then I will put that many in.

And I never carry with one in the chamber. However I have a gun that can only be loaded by putting bullets directly in the chamber, so I make an exception with that one.

Island Beretta
January 9, 2003, 06:48 PM
Eagles,

Get a Beretta 92. You can load one directly into the pipe, close the slide and insert your regular mag.

One of the most common cause of NDs whilst loading that first round is having your finger on the trigger as the slide closes. That snap sometimes cause a pull on the trigger and then you have a ND. A lot of the Glocks NDs whilst loading one in the pipe is caused by this though the operator would have you believe it was the gun's fault..:fire:

Phyphor
January 9, 2003, 08:34 PM
Dave said "Yes, I always top off. I think I'd rather increase MY lifespan.
"

Damned right. I can always buy more mag springs. Besides, aren't most modern mag spring materials much less likely to take a set?

chaim
January 9, 2003, 08:48 PM
If I carried (I live in MD where I can't carry so of course I never carry;) ) I would on those few occasions that I ignored MD law and of course I will when I carry after moving to a CCW state (or should MD become one).

At the range I do about half the time.

JohnBT
January 9, 2003, 11:49 PM
If I'm carrying a gun with a 17-round KRD mag and have a full spare on me I don't always top off the one the gun.

34 rounds of +P 9mm is a nice round number.

John

Lancel
January 10, 2003, 12:43 AM
Exceptions are with high cap mags, then I don't bother to top off.

triggertime
January 10, 2003, 01:44 AM
If you follow the practice of chambering a round from a magazine thats loaded to full capacity and then remove it and top it off, you're hampering reliability.

Why? Because magazines that are loaded to full capacity have no area left for spring compression which causes the slide to bind to against the top round in the magazine during the firing cycle and leads to a failure to feed.

So no, I do not top off my magazines as reliability is more crucial than the warm fuzzy feeling that extra round supposedly provides.

Hkmp5sd
January 10, 2003, 02:45 AM
Would you leave on a trip without a full tank of gas?

Well, not without gas. But I have walked out the front door with a holstered Glock 17 and the magazine laying on the bedroom dresser!:what:

That's why I standardized the process for chambering a round before leaving!:)

Gewehr98
January 10, 2003, 06:42 AM
If you follow the practice of chambering a round from a magazine thats loaded to full capacity and then remove it and top it off, you're hampering reliability.

Why? Because magazines that are loaded to full capacity have no area left for spring compression which causes the slide to bind to against the top round in the magazine during the firing cycle and leads to a failure to feed.

Whatever faulty magazines you bought, keep them to yourself! All the magazines I have for my pistols and rifles have worked just fine loaded to capacity, even after sitting full for a matter of years. No dragging of the top round on the slide. Better not tell the military that, either, we've been doing it wrong for so long... :scrutiny:

Climb14er
January 10, 2003, 07:40 AM
Isn't that why there's a 'capacity' number? I was under the impression that most people do too.

triggertime
January 10, 2003, 07:43 AM
"Whatever faulty magazines you bought, keep them to yourself! All the magazines I have for my pistols and rifles have worked just fine loaded to capacity, even after sitting full for a matter of years. No dragging of the top round on the slide. Better not tell the military that, either, we've been doing it wrong for so long..."

Why do you automatically assume that my magazines are defective? Because my level of insight may be higher than your own? :rolleyes:

I think you need to reread my comment so you can fully comprehend what I said and why I said it.

I was commenting on the practice of taking a fully loaded magazine and inserting it into a carry gun, chambering a round from it, removing said magazine, topping it off and reinserting it into the carry gun.

In a carry gun, feed reliability is paramount. So you shouldn't follow the practice of fully compressing your magazine springs so they bottom out and cause feed reliability problems.

If you disagree with my comment, then take it with a grain of salt before resulting to ad hominem attacks.

dinosaur
January 10, 2003, 08:03 AM
All except my BHPs. For years it was generally not done because of the possibility of a jam. Started with the SAS I believe when they carried Browning 9`s.

Gewehr98
January 10, 2003, 11:42 AM
Why would a full magazine inserted into a loaded handgun cause any more problems with the normal functioning of that gun's slide mechanism than one with fewer rounds?

The only answer is that by design or manufacture of the magazine, there is too much tension in the ammo stack/follower/follower spring system created by the addition of that final top round, actually "bottoming out". I've seen that in the cheaper AR-7 and Zytel SKS extended magazines. If there's so much tension that it drags on the bottom of the slide as it reciprocates, then it's a flaw in the magazine manufacture, especially since most of the magazines in my civilian and currently military life were intended to be loaded to full capacity. An easy example is our current (my duty cary weapon) Beretta M9 (92F) with one round in the chamber, and the M16 as carried with a full magazine loaded under a closed bolt. Maybe the military armorers and Combat Arms trainers are missing something in the process that they should be passing on to all the troops?

Conversely, if loading to Capacity -1 is good for system functioning and reliability, could we assume that loading to Capacity -2, or even fewer rounds, would increase reliability and extend the longevity of the gun even more?

Not a personal attack, I'd really like to view something empirical that states magazine tension boogers up reliability...

seeker_two
January 10, 2003, 03:15 PM
For IPSC competition: Yes.

For carry: No

I don't want my mag springs taking a set, and it helps me to keep count of my remaining rounds (each mag gives 8 rounds--whether in the gun or a reload).

LWCmdr45
January 10, 2003, 03:30 PM
Always on a CCW piece.

Steve

Blackhawk
January 10, 2003, 06:01 PM
Yep.

rick458
January 10, 2003, 07:38 PM
unless I am shooting 5 shot strings at the range, I always load, remove the mag, and top off. and half the strings at the range are of the 9 round variety. if you are worried about your mags GET A WILSON. I don't know about you but my life is certainly worth the extra $15.00 per mag.

SkunkApe
January 10, 2003, 08:50 PM
"If you follow the practice of chambering a round from a magazine thats loaded to full capacity and then remove it and top it off, you're hampering reliability.

Why? Because magazines that are loaded to full capacity have no area left for spring compression which causes the slide to bind to against the top round in the magazine during the firing cycle and leads to a failure to feed.

So no, I do not top off my magazines as reliability is more crucial than the warm fuzzy feeling that extra round supposedly provides." - triggertime

Triggertime speaks some truth here. I've seen more than a few autos where topping off the magazine created reliability problems. If I'm going to carry this way, I test the gun this way to check for reliability with that particular gun. I haven't seen many others doing this at the range, though. Have you guys that top it off actually tested your weapons thoroughly this way?

Gewehr98
January 10, 2003, 09:40 PM
For just over 20 years. ;)

Including IPSC, Thunder Ranch, and 16 years active-duty military using the M1911A1 and M9.

Soap
January 10, 2003, 10:10 PM
Always.

I don't understand why people worry about their mag springs so much. Just toss them, and buy new ones. Life is too short to worry about springs in magazines. I use Wilson 47Ds and if the springs went sour, into the dumpster the springs go, the rest goes into a spare parts bin.

Shaughn Leayme
January 11, 2003, 11:00 PM
Always,

At the range and before it goes into the holster and I walk out the door..

Wether it be 7, 8, 10, 14, 15 or 20. The magazine gets topped off.

I have also checked every single magazine for function in the pistol when fully loaded. Not one quality magazine has given me any problems by binding against the slide when loaded to capacity.

I know people who don't practice reloads under stress, because it will all be over in 3 rounds or less and they have x number of rounds in the gun. They don't consider that they may have a malfunction and need to drop the mag, or that they may just hit that 1 in a thousand event and they just might have to go to that second magazine, provided they even carry a spare.

Assumptions and averages can get you killed, don't trust your life to them.

Kahr carrier
January 12, 2003, 11:55 AM
Yep you never know when you will need that extra round.:neener:

Peetmoss
January 12, 2003, 03:48 PM
For all those who top off your mags after stripping a round off the top to chamber a round, why not just drop a round in the pipe close the slide and insert the full mag?

boing
January 12, 2003, 07:02 PM
Forcing the extractor to ride over the rim of a cartridge that's already in the chamber can cause damage to the extractor. Most auto-pistols are designed to have the rim slip under and behind the extractor as the round is stripped from the mag and levered against the breech face as it gets pushed into the chamber.

Duke of Lawnchair
January 12, 2003, 07:04 PM
I top off my magazines when I'm playing USPSA Limited 10 games.

boing
January 12, 2003, 07:35 PM
A properly designed mag spring will take a set fairly quickly, but it will set to the length and tension designed for proper functioning of the gun. A virgin spring is too long and stiff (no jokes, please), and is supposed to set.

None of my mags for my handguns bottom out when loaded to capacity and inserted, but that's the way they were designed, and they function reliably, as designed. Even after being fully loaded and locked into the magwell for years, they still feed.

If you're talking about postban Glock mags, or similarly neutered mags, these are known to have reliability problems, especially when fully loaded. The springs are over-stiff, with inadequate clearance at capacity, to prevent the Evil 11th Round from being mistakenly (feloniously) loaded.

If your gun won't run without downloading the mag, then...download the mag. I don't care. My guns run fine. :)

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