The longest I personally know of is,
in 1961 a fellow at work gave me a loaded 1911 magazine that his Grandfather had brought back from WWI. He didn't know what happened to the gun but he said as long as he could remember (as a young boy) the magazine had been in the back of a drawer. The mag was loaded (as I recall) with ammo dated 1916-1918.
Instead of keeping the ammo I wanted to see if it would fire. All seven rounds fired but were way too weak to work my 1911 action.
The magazine spring was fine and the magazine is now mixed up with my dozens of other 1911 magazines. I have no idea which one it is, but which ever it still functions fine.:)
August 10, 2008, 07:24 PM
As others have said, the ammo will last darn near forever, and the springs will not wear out simply by being compressed.
Springs wear from use, plain and simple. And ammo goes bad by long, long periods in the heat, or long exposure to water, oils, corrosive chemicals, etc. Keeping them in a mag will not damage or stress them in any appreciable way. However, you probably should not cycle them through the pistol on a regular basis, as there is the possibility for bullet setback if done too much to the same ammo.
August 10, 2008, 07:38 PM
Back in '92, my father-in-law gave me about 500 rounds of .45 ACP military ball ammunition dated 1963 when I bought my first .45 pistol ... a Ruger P90 :barf: . My wife and I shot all of the rounds without a single misfire (I'm still reloading the brass today). The ammunition had been stored in a hot/humid warehouse for almost 30 years!!
As for the magazine springs, unless you're storing the magazines at a temperature close to half the melting temperature of the spring steel, no harm will come to them. I don't ever "cycle" the rounds in my HD magazines .... I don't see any point in that.
August 10, 2008, 07:49 PM
It depends on the ammo and the magazine springs....I shot/shoot a lot of milsurp ammo dating prior to WWII...quality is all over the place, but the good stuff is sure-fire...and I know of far too many first-hand accounts of WWII GI-bring-back magazines functioning reliably to "know" long-term loaded mags are unreliable....also know of problems with reliability of some lots of Lake City ammo after long-term storage, and poor springs in some magazines in some weapons...but, generally, both are good for decades, perhaps more, depending on storage....
August 10, 2008, 08:10 PM
My XD9 has been loaded in condition 1 for about 3 years. Every few months or so I shoot it just to make sure it functions properly and it always does.
August 10, 2008, 08:31 PM
I like to empty my mags every month and clean both the spring and bullets with a dry cloth just to be careful but my dad left a 15 round mag from his old Glock loaded for 5 years and it still shot fine just, we unloaded it for a week and it was back to the factory tension that fast.
August 10, 2008, 09:52 PM
When I retired from the Navy in 1974, I put my 9mm Browning High Power, with three magazines loaded with Navy ball, in my sock drawer. Thirty five years later, having become interested again in shooting, I fired them off. Every one fired and ejected. None of the three magazines has ever given me problems, even though I have since pumped about three thousand rounds through them. I did replace the springs last year, just because I chickened out. I'll bet those springs would have lasted another several thousand rounds. But springs are cheeeeeep!
August 10, 2008, 09:56 PM
my dad left a 15 round mag from his old Glock loaded for 5 years and it still shot fine just
an old gun from my youth and my dad would have been a 1911A1 bought for a fast $25-$45 at a gunshow....there ain't no "old" Glocks....and won't be 50yrs from now, either, except NIB....
August 11, 2008, 06:59 AM
I shot a mag full of 32 acp from a Mauser that was loaded since
1920-something...fired all rounds.I wouldn't worry about it...especially glock mags ,that are pretty stiff as it is.
Carl N. Brown
August 11, 2008, 08:04 AM
How long is the ammo good for?
If stored in reasonable ranges of temperature and humidity, and not exposed to corrosive chemicals (saltwater) or penetrating solvents, modern ammo ought to last the lifetime of the user.
How long until the G17 magazine wears out?
As everyone has pointed out, it is flexing that wears out a spring. Springs at rest or left compressed should last indefinitely, if made of proper steel properly heat treated.
In the early 1990s I bought from an estate auction an M1 carbine pouch with two magazines fully loaded that had been a WWII souvenir bring back. The ammo was green from corrosion of the brass and the magazines had rusty spots. The ammo was headstamped '44. All cleaned up well and the springs showed the same tension as new springs even though they had been left fully loaded for about fifty years.
The ammo fired, although some rounds did not have the omph to fully function the gas-operated action. I would consider storage conditions that left the ammo green with external corrosion about as poor conditions as possible.
August 11, 2008, 06:28 PM
Tamara concurs with rcmodel here (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2007/04/boomsticks-download-errors.html).
Basically forever both for ammo and magazines left fully loaded with exceptions for AR-15 types and Glocks which will also be near forever if not crammed to the max. There's some notable disagreement on Wilson 8 round 47-Ds.
August 11, 2008, 06:39 PM
I'll bet those springs would have lasted another several thousand rounds. But springs are cheeeeeep!SO, how do we know new replacement springs are as good as the old springs that have already proven their metal, so to speak.
Even new spring makers work on Mondays too!
I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
August 11, 2008, 10:12 PM
I have always wondered why the .gov does not supply ammo pre-loaded into plastic bodied mags with a "pull-tab" on top. 100% water and dust proof, pull the tab to open, discard when done.
It would be just the thing for high speed, low drag types working in muddy, dusty, or wet conditions. Feel free to steal this idea and market it.
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