Keeping loaded magazine for long period of time


January 8, 2010, 08:34 PM
I know on AR's you can store Loaded magazines for long period of time without a problem.

How about Pistol magazines?

Keeping loaded Magazine for home defense is okay? i might load just 10/12 round instead of 15rd.

What do you guys think?

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January 8, 2010, 08:37 PM
Not a problem. The thing that kills springs is compression and expansion.

They will be fine loaded for a long time.

January 8, 2010, 08:44 PM
There isn't a magazine I own that I don't keep loaded to the brim 24/7

Out of all the guns I've had, the only ones that ever had a problem were SIG P250 magazines. But with those, I had them loaded for 5 minutes and they started to have problems, so I think that was just a fluke with mine :)

January 8, 2010, 11:06 PM
A properly designed magazine will never compress its spring beyond its elastic limit (where it would take a new set and permanently weaken) or to the point where "creep" (the gradual weakening of a spring under constant tension over time) would become a factor, which really shouldn't happen anyway with spring steel to any meaningful degree (creep is primarily a function of the material used). Basically, unless the magazines for your gun are of poor quality and have issues, don't worry about it.

That said, what you really don't want to ever do is either compress the spring beyond a full load (keep track of how many rounds you've loaded and stop right away when the mag is full), or take the spring out and stretch it even a tiny bit beyond its natural, fully extended length, which would permanently weaken the spring, causing misfeeds and eventually premature failure. Follow these rules, and you won't have to worry about leaving your mags fully loaded (as long as they're properly designed, that is).

M2 Carbine
January 8, 2010, 11:50 PM
As has been said, no problem keeping them loaded.

The most extreme case I ever saw was in 1961. A fellow at work gave me a 1911 magazine that his father had brought home from WWI, along with the pistol. The magazine was loaded with 45 Ball dated about 1916 (as I recall).
The fellow said that ever since he could remember the gun and magazine had been in a drawer and never used.
One day the fellow asked me if I wanted a 45 magazine, he had no idea whatever happened to the gun.
I couldn't resist it and fired the ammo. To my surprise it all fired but was so weak it wouldn't work the slide.
The magazine spring appeared to be like new and the magazines is now mixed up with my other 1911 magazines. I have no idea which one it is.

Zach S
January 9, 2010, 03:28 AM
I've had bad luck with Para P14 magazines, had to change the springs a couple of times within a year or so. I started loading 13 rounds, and haven't changed them since. That was probably in '03...

All other mags are fully loaded, except for AR mags, which are downloaded by two, so they're easier to seat on a closed bolt.

Full Metal Jacket
January 9, 2010, 05:41 AM
had my glock mags, including the 33 rounder, fully loaded for two years without any probs. i just changed the springs a couple days ago, just to be on the safe side.

January 9, 2010, 09:30 PM
I had an experience similar to M2 Carbine's.

July of 1975, I was at my ex-father-in-laws' house, helping him get some stuff out of the attic. He opened a box an showed me the GI 1911A1 he'd brought back from WWII. Three mags, all loaded since 1945.

He asked me if I thought the ammo was still good.

I had a coupla boxes of new ball ammo in the car, so I said let's shoot it up, clean the gun and I'll reload your mags with new ammo.

Every round fired and the mags worked perfectly. We cleaned the gun, reloaded it and he put it back in the attic.

January 15, 2010, 09:40 PM
Maybe not necessary but I keep my magazines loaded with one less round than what the full capacity is. Perhaps an unwarranted precaution but one that makes me feel more comfortable.

January 15, 2010, 10:34 PM
I have S&W Model 59 magazines that have been loaded since the late 1970's. I changed out the ammunition a couple of months ago and function fired the magazines and they worked just fine. I keep a lot of magazines for various semi-auto handguns loaded all the time and I don't worry about it.

Hope this helps.


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