Magazine Springs Wearing Out?


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CZ 42
December 30, 2007, 12:24 PM
If you're gonna keep HD guns loaded, do you have to put in less than full capacity to keep the springs functioning? I heard something about GIs in Vietnam keeping their mags 3/4 empty because the last rounds would be too far below the mag lips by the time they got to them. Any of you load your guns part-way like that? Of course it's no problem with revolvers, SxS, and helical mags, but what do you all recommend for the more common guns? Do any good HD/SD guns have this problem worked out?

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TexasRifleman
December 30, 2007, 12:25 PM
After reading thousands of threads like this, seriously, many with responses from metallurgists, the clear answer is that with today's metals you won't have any problems.

The recurring story seems to be that it is actually the number of compression and expansion cycles that wear out magazine springs, not constant compression.

The stories like you mention, GIs underloading etc, seem to have more to do with the design of the follower than anything. That's why you will notice drastic differences in modern magazine followers vs 50-60 years ago.

LoadedDrum
December 30, 2007, 12:26 PM
Chrome silicon springs do not take a set. Better AR mags have them and you can buy them aftermarket for handgun mags. Check Brownell's.

CZ 42
December 30, 2007, 12:29 PM
Thanks, I haven't seen any of those older threads. That's a weight off my chest.

DMK
December 30, 2007, 12:29 PM
I heard something about GIs in Vietnam keeping their mags 3/4 empty because the last rounds would be too far below the mag lips by the time they got to them.The stories like you mention, GIs underloading etc, seem to have more to do with the design of the follower than anything. If you load an M16/AR15 magazine to full capacity you will have a hard time inserting it and getting the catch to lock when the bolt is closed. This is because there just isn't enough play at the bottom of the mag for the rounds to "give" a little when the top round of the full mag is pressed down. It can be forced in, but it doesn't go easily (The full mag will work just fine if you insert it with the bolt locked back though).

Most folks feel that this is the real reason the GIs underloaded the mags. Ever hear of GIs underloading BAR, Thompson, M14 or 1911 mags?

I store all my "go to" AR15 mags down two rounds for this reason. My AR15 range mags and the mags for all my other guns are full to capacity.

Biker
December 30, 2007, 12:31 PM
I'm old school - I download all my mags by one round. Old habits die hard.

Biker

jfh
December 30, 2007, 12:34 PM
What biker said.

Jim H.

JP from Phoenix
December 30, 2007, 12:41 PM
this has been kind of a concern to me too since Im still pretty new to guns and have 2 mags for my 92 at capacity that have been that way for like 2 months. So your saying i don't have anything to worry about?

TexasRifleman
December 30, 2007, 12:44 PM
So your saying i don't have anything to worry about?

You may have lots of things to worry about but wearing out a magazine spring is not one of them :)

skarpenz
December 30, 2007, 12:49 PM
I load my 12rd XD mags at 11rds and then chamber one. So 10 in the mag and one in the chamber. Same idea with my sigs +1 in the chamber, -2 in the mag. Thats how I carry it too. I figure I won't need more than 11 or 12 shots in a reasonable SD situation. I also don't want my mag springs wearing out. Whether thats a warranted concern or not, better safe than sorry I guess.

TexasRifleman
December 30, 2007, 12:51 PM
better safe than sorry I guess.

In keeping with the "better safe than sorry" mode I think I'd rather have the 2 extra shots :)

Avenger
December 30, 2007, 05:47 PM
I keep my HD mags topped, with one in the pipe. I also rotate between 4 mags on a monthly cycle, with one mag a week getting a "rest" while empty. Every 4 months, I fire off the oldest rounds, and replace with new. I also toss milk on the "Sell By" date, so who knows....

Guns that I am not USING are stored with the mags empty. It's simply safer that way.

Zundfolge
December 30, 2007, 06:01 PM
Springs don't generally wear out from being in one position for a long period of time, but from being moved up and down a lot.

So leaving a magazine fully loaded for a year is going to do less harm than loading and unloading the same magazine once a month for a year.

But mag springs are generally cheap (most around $7.50), so if you're really concerned go here (http://www.gunsprings.com/) and buy a few extras to keep in your spare parts bin.

ronto
December 30, 2007, 06:06 PM
HD pump shotgun...mag to the max, chamber empty, safety off, bolt closed...Rack it and the intruder is good to go...the easy way or the hard way...the choice is his.

tblt
December 30, 2007, 06:11 PM
Last month Guns and ammo or Handgun Magazine hade an artical of a loaded magazine for 16 years and still functioned properlly

rcmodel
December 30, 2007, 06:58 PM
Lets look at the way mattress factories test innerspring mattresses.

They could pile a 1,000 pound stack of bricks on one, and wait around for years for something to happen to the springs.

Or, they could build a machine that basically jumps up & down on the mattress a thousand times an hour, and find out how soon the springs wear out in just a few days.

Which testing method do you think they use?

Magazine springs are just like Mattress springs.
Except you can't have near as much fun with them! :o

BTW: I didn't vote because there was no right question.
When I store guns, I keep my magazines full, and my chambers empty!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

steelyblue
December 30, 2007, 07:10 PM
X2 for mags full and chambers empty.

TEDDY
December 30, 2007, 07:36 PM
I have 2 mags that were loaded when I got them they had been loaded since the 1920s cart marked 1918.they still work I unloaded to get the ww1 stuff out about 20 ys ago shot them in targets for 10 yrs.retired them because the became valuable.heat color on white lips and lanyard rings. :)

Mad Magyar
December 30, 2007, 08:19 PM
the clear answer is that with today's metals you won't have any problems.



I keep my radar up on these repetitive threads...It's not clear at all. If you really do the research, and not from what is said on these forums: it's clear that there is reduced poundage with age...Just because Uncle Joe's G.I. from WW11 fires doesn't necessarily mean that the springs have not decompressed with use & age...:)
Magazine springs are just like Mattress springs.


That's why I have to change my mattress every 5 years with the hole in the middle from my fat-butt...Are you kidding me?;)
I replace mag springs (mostly Wolf) on a regular basis...Why? Look at the the answers about why pistols FTF or FTE: 1st answer is check your mags...SPRINGS & FOLLOWERS.....

10-Ring
December 30, 2007, 08:25 PM
I have kept my mags to my HD gun at capacity -1

Coronach
December 30, 2007, 08:46 PM
Police officers carry their duty guns at maximum capacity with +1 in the chamber. The guns stay that way pretty much 24/7/365 for their entire operational life, with short stints on the range, down for maintenance, etc. They work just fine, and while armorers do check them over for function annually, mag springs generally don't require replacement.

I don't see why the nightstand is a more trying environment on mag springs than the duty belt.

Full capacity.

Mike

v35
December 30, 2007, 10:15 PM
Seems to me if I were to actually need my weapon, I would need it to work rightnowthisinstant. Sure I practice drawing and racking the slide at the range and do malfunction drills but I'm doing that in "training mode". If I came under attack I'd expect I'd be in an "oh sh--- mode" that I have never experienced. I'd be deluding myself thinking I would find a safety or consciously rack the slide. Under such circumstances I don't want to rely upon procedures or fine motor skills, I want to be able to point and shoot. And shoot, and shoot, and shoot...

possum
December 31, 2007, 03:37 AM
mags are always full, and the gun has one in the chamber. that is the only way that i think they should be.

i use my mags at the range as well as in my hd guns, if i see an issue at the range then i replace the mag spring easy as that.

RecoilRob
December 31, 2007, 03:44 AM
I just got a 10 pack of CZ-52 surplus mags. All fed and functioned just fine...except 7 wouldn't reliably hold the slide open after the last shot. New Wolff springs were MUCH longer and stiffer and cured the problem. But, they DID shoot just fine and I'd imagine they could have gotten a lot worse before misfeeding.

GaryP
December 31, 2007, 06:47 PM
One in chamber and one less than mag capacity in magazine. It works for me!


:evil:

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