How long can you keep a magazine loaded without damaging it.


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Paul Calligaro
March 16, 2008, 10:03 PM
How long can a magazine be kept loaded with out damaging it. What do police departments tell their officers?

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Drail
March 16, 2008, 10:16 PM
Well first off, I wouldn't concern myself with what police depts. tell their officers. They are not firearm experts. Magazine springs wear from repeated compression and release. In other words just being loaded has no effect on the spring.

TAB
March 16, 2008, 10:22 PM
. Magazine springs wear from repeated compression and release. In other words just being loaded has no effect on the spring.

that is not ture... It does have an effect, how much depends on the spring. In other words, it depends on the mag.

Car Knocker
March 16, 2008, 10:23 PM
How long can you keep a magazine loaded without damaging it?

A quality mag? Years.
Welcome to THR, Paul!

Ron James
March 16, 2008, 10:25 PM
You can load a good quality magazine and put it away for your great grand kids to use.:p

1911Tuner
March 16, 2008, 10:31 PM
I have an OEM Colt 7-round magazine that I installed a Wolff spring in about 6 years ago. I've left it loaded to capacity ever since, and fire the rounds in it once a year through a 1942 GI Colt...reload it to capacity, and place it back in the box with the pistol. So far, there have been no failures to feed or lock the slide on empty. The spring hasn't weakened to any discernible degree.

M2 Carbine
March 16, 2008, 10:31 PM
In 1962 a co-worker gave me a loaded 1911 magazine that his Grandfather had brought back from WWI.
To the best of his knowledge the magazine had never been used or unloaded.
Best I recall the ammo was dated about 1916.

The magazine was fine. Now it's in with my other 1911 magazines and I don't know which one it is.


I have many magazines that are always loaded, most for years at a time.

novaDAK
March 16, 2008, 10:32 PM
EDIT:

M2 just said what I had in mind :)

FlyPenFly
March 16, 2008, 10:33 PM
It will corrode before it gets "tired" as springs do not tire unless you exceed it's elastic capability. They do "break In" though.

Mad Magyar
March 16, 2008, 10:34 PM
There are varying opinions, various studies, and everyone has their own story to tell...If I know a certain pistol is not going to be fired for a time; just load one less in the mag...You'll sleep better...:)

johnle
March 16, 2008, 11:06 PM
compression and decompression wears springs.

If you load a magazine, and forget about it. Chances are very high that it'll be just as reliable when your grand kids get to it.

loop
March 17, 2008, 04:54 AM
It really depends on the mag, the design and the manufacturer.

Many of today's high-capacity, double-stacked mags go beyond the compression limits of the springs. There are many stories about 1911 mags that have survived many years loaded without a problem. Thank JB and the U.S. military for the design.

In 1911s, if a mag malfunctions I trash it. Even premium 1911 mags are cheap enough.

However, on most double stacks I replace mag springs relatively frequently. OTOH, I'm a stickler for perfectly functioning firearms. If it doesn't hurt my thumb to put in the last two rounds I replace the spring.

But, I also have a box full of baggies with mag parts in them. There are followers, base pads, springs, mag tubes, etc. If a follower shows wear the mag gets a new spring and follower and possibly a base pad if it shows deformation.

Maybe I'm a fanatic, but I rarely have mag-related malfunctions. I may not be a good person to base a decision on either. I've averaged 600 rounds a week of .45 ACP in the past month. About 200 a month are shot in competition.

JMHO

The Bushmaster
March 17, 2008, 11:15 AM
I really wouldn't know. I can never keep one loaded long enough to find out. Keep shooting them empty.:D

Shelf life on a spring that is designed to be compressed? A long long time. People have found WW II .45 ACP magazines that have been left loaded for 50 years and they functioned O K...

rcmodel
March 17, 2008, 11:34 AM
Some mags are fine forever.
1911 mags come to mind. Browning Hi-Powers are another.

Those mags were designed from the getgo so as not to stress the spring in the slightest when left fully loaded.

Modern hi-caps of today are a different story.

Glock mags for instance, are over-compressed when fully loaded.
The spring will degrade fairly quickly if left fully loaded.

Down-load a Glock mag a couple of rounds and the spring will last forever in storage, just like a 1911.

rcmodel

FlyPenFly
March 17, 2008, 12:05 PM
If you over compress a spring, it doesn't really matter how long you've kept it over compressed, the damage is done.

springer7676
March 17, 2008, 02:02 PM
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_163_27/ai_99130369

Headless
March 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
I don't think that high cap double stack mags are uniformly problematic either - I've got 3 factory 14rnd mags for my S&W 659 that have been loaded non stop for at least 10 years and the springs are fine - not to mention those mags have fed more than 25,000 rounds through the gun itself without any problems with the springs yet. Sounds like Glock's in particular have a crappy magazine design if what you guys are saying is true.

The Tourist
March 17, 2008, 02:10 PM
I have many magazines in .223 from veteran friends who used them during the Vietnam war. I have a few old Wilson Rogers and two Pachmyr magazines. I don't even know how many Colt magazines I have, both in .45 ACP and in .380 ACP. I don't even consider the more modern SIG and H&K magzines I own.

And none of them has ever failed.

Nikdfish
March 17, 2008, 02:39 PM
I believe that the short answer would be that loaded mags are probably good until corrosion sets in ...

Nick

Robert Hairless
March 17, 2008, 03:05 PM
Twenty-five years is the longest I've done it so far.

USMCDK
March 18, 2008, 01:42 AM
In 1962 a co-worker gave me a loaded 1911 magazine that his Grandfather had brought back from WWI.
To the best of his knowledge the magazine had never been used or unloaded.
Best I recall the ammo was dated about 1916.

The magazine was fine. Now it's in with my other 1911 magazines and I don't know which one it is.


I have many magazines that are always loaded, most for years at a time.

Good God I hope that you didn't fire that ammo my friend???!!! if you did you are lucky to be here without and damage sustained. I could be wrond but I have been told if it's older then 10yrs don't trust it to fire and if it does go bang it has a chance of be the wrong kinda bang. This is something I was told in the military but hey people have been known to be wrong. sorry didn't mean to divert from the original reason of this thread. My bad.

FlyPenFly
March 18, 2008, 02:30 AM
People safely fire 60 year old surplus ammo all the time.

It's more of a matter of inspecting the bullets, corrosion or dangerous ammo is pretty obvious to spot.

USMCDK
March 18, 2008, 02:51 AM
Tu che my friend it dawned on me after I had posted that. but still I would be very sceptical about doing it just outta my own safety and the safety of those possibly around me at the time.

Travis McGee
March 18, 2008, 08:15 AM
In the 80s, I bougt a case of WW2 war production .45 ammo. The cases were nickel plated steel, some were a bit greenish with tarnish. They were dated about 1943, if I recall correctly. Every one of those 40+ year old bullets launched.

1911Tuner
March 18, 2008, 08:26 AM
10 years? puh. Here recently, I've been shootin' reloaded ammo older than that. (Found some .357 and .41 mag stuff that I loaded up back in '89...and forgot that I had it.)

If it's stored properly, it'll be good to go long after you've shed this mortal coil.

dhoomonyou
March 18, 2008, 11:37 AM
rotate them once a month. imo

pig dog 02
March 18, 2008, 11:59 AM
Springer's posted article was a good one....but if it is true, then why is it common to dry fire guns in order to release spring compression in firing mechanisms?

rcmodel
March 18, 2008, 01:43 PM
If it's stored properly, it'll be good to go long after you've shed this mortal coil.+1
I'm still working on some sardine cans of 1950'ish Carbine ammo.

Oh! And 1968 National Match .45 ACP.

It's every bit as good as the day they loaded it!

If ammo went bad in 10 years, I'd be almost out of business in some older guns.

Still shooting some .22 WRF that is at least 60+ years old in one of my 1890 Winchesters. It's way better ammo then the new stuff they load now.

rcmodel

Steve C
March 18, 2008, 05:33 PM
The springs in my original (non drop free)Glock 19 magazines where left fully oaded between range sessions for 13 years before they needed to be replaced. They didn't fail to feed ammo but started intermittently failing to engage the slide stop fully. To get them running correctly I replaced the springs with new springs from Wolf and replaced the followers with an updated style. I'll let you know in the next 7 years or so if 13 years is a good approximation of spring life or not.

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