my "long term" observations of loaded magazine springs in my Mossberg 590


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Sheepdog1968
October 2, 2012, 12:07 PM
Over a number of years, I have kept my Mossberg 590 magazine tube loaded (go to home defense gun) and I have some observations that I wanted to pass along. Please keep in mind that this wasn't a scientific study. Rather, it was me just noticing the spring every now and then and changing it out. I thought you might find it interesting.

It is a Mossberg 590 with a 20" barrel and can hold 8 rounds in the magazine tube. And yes, I have a safe as I don't leave unattended guns loaded in the home. Ammo listed below is 2.75" 00 buck shells

Spring 1 - original one it came with from the factory. After test firing the new weapon with a few boxes of ammo I loaded 8 rounds in the magazine and left it in the safe for one or two years. At that point I took a Loui Awerbuck class. The shotgun was working fine (never failed to deposit a shell onto the shell lifter) but the magazine tube felt week so we swaped it out. The spring was very short and the conclusion was that it must have been an incorrect short spring from the factory. Several springs later determined that wasn't likely the case.

Spring 2 - was whatever the local range had. The spring was about 9 to 12" longer than the magazine tube (what I've been told is what you want). It worked well for the class. I went home and loaded 8 shells into the magazine tube and ordered factory Mossberg magazine spring so I would have them ready in the future if I needed them. About a year later I was going to take another shotgun class. Prior to the class I checked the magazine tube spring. It was as weak and the same length as spring 1. No biggie, I just put in the new Mossberg factory spring for the class.

Spring 3 - the new Mossberg factory spring worked fine and provided flawless performane of the Mossberg 590. I had mentioned to the instructor what I had observed. He suggested that I store the shotgun with only 5 shells in it so the spring would be less compressed. After the class, I stored the shotgun with 5 (out of a possible 8 max capacity) in the magazine tube. About a year later, I checked the spring tension. The magazine tube spring felt weaker but maybe not quite as bad as before.

Spring 4 - this time, I used a Wolf spring as I had heard good things about these springs. I loaded the magazine tube with 5 rounds. After 6 months or a year (my memory is foggy on when I did the install), I checked the magazine tube spring and it feels nice and strong. I plan to stick with Wolf springs for the magazine tube.

Though some of the tubes weakened over time, they never failed on me to work. So far I'm happy with the Wolf spring (and I have another two new ones at home).

I thought you might all find this interesting even though it isn't scientific. It's taken a while for me to "collect" this data.

If you enjoyed reading about "my "long term" observations of loaded magazine springs in my Mossberg 590" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Fred Fuller
October 2, 2012, 12:26 PM
My informal nonscientific observations are in harmony with yours - Wolff is the way to go.

http://www.gunsprings.com/Rifles%20%26%20Shotguns/cID2

Sam Cade
October 2, 2012, 12:46 PM
Springs only wear through cycling, that is being compressed and released. How long a given spring stays compressed has zero effect on its lifespan.

Sheepdog1968
October 2, 2012, 01:00 PM
Springs only wear through cycling, that is being compressed and released. How long a given spring stays compressed has zero effect on its lifespan.
I had heard that as well and was a little surprised. Some of these springs didn't have many compression cycles at all on them. I should point out these shotgun springs are fairly sloppy relative to what I normally think of as a spring.

Sam Cade
October 2, 2012, 01:24 PM
I had heard that as well and was a little surprised. Some of these springs didn't have many compression cycles at all on them.

Sure. Shortening of the spring is to be expected though. When someone specs out a cheap compression spring it is common to build it slightly overlong.

The first couple times the spring is compressed it takes a slight set and THEN it is within the intended operating range. (Good example:subcompact glock magazines.It is very hard to load them to capacity when new. People leave these loaded trying to weaken the spring when all they have to do is just mash down the follower a few times with a pen)

FWIW, there isn't any mechanism for a compressed spring to loose strength outside of corrosion or temperature extremes high enough to destroy the entire weapon.

1KPerDay
October 2, 2012, 01:48 PM
I have the 590 (non A1) with the 8 round tube... the OEM spring got very weak after a while; the last round in the tube kind of dropped out, rather than being shoved out. It still worked fine in use, but I put the wolff in on the recommendation of the forum. For a while I couldn't put 8 rounds in the tube, but now I can (as long as there's a larger number of birdshot than slugs... I can't put 8 slugs in yet, at least winchesters).

New spring seems much stronger.

I love this shotgun, BTW.

Here's one 3-gun stage with it just for fun :)
http://youtu.be/tpBoezSUDzQ?t=42s

AI&P Tactical
October 2, 2012, 06:42 PM
Thank you sheepdog for proving this. I post the same thing and of course I am put in my place by the "Modern Metal does not set" crowd and the "springs only weaken through using the weapon" crowd.

I stopped debating them as I know what I know and what I know is what you found out. Great post of stating facts and not opinion by your own test.

What is really comical is a Magazine spring for the 870 (what I use) is only $3.20 and yet some guys state they have been leaving theirs fully loaded for 20 years and they work just fine. If a man can't spend $3.20 every other year to ensure his weapon is 100% operational then he most likely does not need a defense weapon to start with.

Dave McCracken
October 2, 2012, 06:55 PM
I set up my first "Serious" 870 around 1980. Two shot extension, Rem spring to match. Kept 5 in it,so down one round from full. TTBOMK, I replaced that with a Wolf spring in the 90s. Still works perfectly.

OTOH, I've had to replace a couple in hunting/GP shotguns every decade or so.

Like AI&P said, springs are cheap....

Drail
October 2, 2012, 07:32 PM
There's Wolff springs and then there's OEM (whatever we can get for the cheapest price springs). If you don't know what is in your gun replace it with a quality spring. I have had an 870 for around 20 years now and the OEM spring died a quick death from leaving the magazine full for the first year. It now gets a new Wolff spring installed as soon as I can feel a difference when loading the magazine. This gun has very little range time. It has spent most of its life just sitting next to my bed. Every time someone claims that springs only wear from use and not from compression I have to laugh. It's a little more complex than that. I have talked to several police armorers who told me that about the only maintenance they ever do to their dept's 870s is replace the mag spring because it's been sitting in a cruiser rack for years and only shot once a year for qualification purposes. Eventually it gets pulled out and taken to the range only to find the last several rounds won't feed reliably. New spring and it is 100% again. I have seen this happen on my 870. Also some shells will swell up if left under compression for long periods. I have quite a few of those in a box under my bench. You gotta look at this stuff once in a while. And like AI&P says, if you can't take a shotgun, don't go. Words to live by right there.

oneounceload
October 2, 2012, 07:54 PM
My 500 has the original mag spring and has been sitting fully loaded for almost thirty years. About once every two years I cycle the ammo through the gun and it works just fine

Sam Cade
October 2, 2012, 08:18 PM
Every time someone claims that springs only wear from use and not from compression I have to laugh. It's a little more complex than that. I have talked to several police armorers who told me that about the only maintenance they ever do to their dept's 870s is replace the mag spring because it's been sitting in a cruiser rack for years and only shot once a year for qualification purposes.

..because anecdotes are more reliable than materials science.



It's a little more complex than that.
Is it?
Tell us, how does a static spring weaken? Precisely what change takes place?


because it's been sitting in a cruiser rack for years and only shot once a year for qualification purposes.

..and that magazine spring is being constantly subjected to vibration, compressing and releasing as the cruiser is driven. Muzzle down in a vertical mount would be the worst I bet.

Uniquedot
October 3, 2012, 06:22 PM
My 500 has the original mag spring and has been sitting fully loaded for almost thirty years. About once every two years I cycle the ammo through the gun and it works just fine

This is my experience as well with my old 20" HD wingmaster.


Is it?
Tell us, how does a static spring weaken? Precisely what change takes place?

I doubt that question will get answered unless an metallurgist is lurking amongst us. If the spring is left compressed the atoms are still in the same position, but through release and compression (as you know) the atoms are allowed to move around as the repeated stress is allowing it. Any spring that goes bad under compression was not properly tempered when it was manufactured.

AI&P Tactical
October 3, 2012, 07:18 PM
Well...... I was wrong with my 20 year comment as it is now 30 years. Let's end this tired debate before it becomes 40 years.

Double_J
October 3, 2012, 08:05 PM
I had to replace the spring in my mossberg 500 after I got it. The spring still had tension and fed reliably but I noticed a LOT of rust coming off of it. I figure the original owner shot a lot of waterfowl and did not oil the spring, thus leading to rust. I bought one from wolff springs and had no further problems until it went underwater during a hurricane. I replaced the spring again and have had no problems since. That was over 7 years ago and many shells. I may replace it in the next few months when I make an order from brownells or midway. (got to pick up some other parts for a "project")

danez71
October 3, 2012, 11:51 PM
Here some info that shows springs in a static compression does have a negative effect.

Ive posted lots of data on THR and TFL.

Oddly, people that claim that static compression has NO/ZERO impact impact on springs has ever, to my knowledge, provided any test data to support their claim.

This 1st has data at only 200 degrees.
http://www.spring-makers-resource.net/support-files/fig_37.pdf

http://www.spring-makers-resource.net/spring-designs.html

http://www.spring-makers-resource.net/compression-spring-design.html


http://www.mechrel.com/articles/Mechanical-Spring-Failure-Modes/

The failure modes of interest for static springs include spring relaxation, set and creep.

The myth is not a myth. Contant compression does affect springs.

How much will be determined by the overall design.

But rest assured, nothing lasts forever. Not even a spring.

jhco
October 3, 2012, 11:55 PM
Never had a problem leaving a shotgun mag loaded for long periods of time as far as the springs go, however, I have experienced the plastic hulls bulging a little from the applied pressure on the shells.

JAshley73
October 4, 2012, 01:00 AM
On static-compression and spring wear...

In my Stamping-Die class from my machinist's apprenticeship, we talked about die springs -really large, stiff springs that get 100,000's of cycles- a little bit. Indeed, cycling of springs is the largest factor of wear. However, the further you compress a spring, the more susceptible it is to fatigue and failure. And the thicker wire-diameter of the spring, the more susceptible it is to fatigue and failure. In other words, to make it last longer, make it softer, compress it less, and cycle it less.

However, material plays a big part in this, especially when considering static wear. A properly selected spring-steel, when properly formed, heat treated and tempered, is probably almost immune to static softening under compression. But that costs money, and manufacturers have to compromise to hit a price point. I'm sure that the Wolf springs, as an aftermarket item, are a better material/process start to finish. Substitute that for cheaper steel and sub-par hardening/tempering, and the static softening would become far more likely.

Based on most everyone's experience above, I'd say it falls exactly inline with conventional engineering expectations...

Sam Cade
October 4, 2012, 01:07 AM
Oddly, people that claim that static compression has NO/ZERO impact impact on springs has ever, to my knowledge, provided any test data to support their claim.


Not actually Zero, but not meaningful. In a 10,000 hour test at room temperature a .05 inch wire lost .05 of its oomph.


Long duration stress relaxation tests were conducted for 302 SS wires of 0.05 in. diam. The stress levels varied from 0.5 to 0.75 of the Fta value. The tests were performed in the Mechanics and Materials Technology Center (MMTC) at The Aerospace Corporation. The room used to conduct the tests was maintained at constant temperature (70F 0.5F) and constant humidity (60% 5%). Also, the tested wire specimens were the same length. Therefore, the relaxation function ?(o0, t, M, T) for this case is independent of M and T.



Prediction of Stress Relaxation for
Compression and Torsion Springs

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA302507

Prepared for
SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CENTER
AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND
2430 E. El Segundo Boulevard
Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA 90245

(coolest source ever!)

forehire
October 4, 2012, 01:46 AM
Another "Wolf" for wolf springs. If there is better, I have not needed to look for them.

JohnKSa
October 4, 2012, 02:32 AM
Prediction of Stress Relaxation for
Compression and Torsion Springs

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA302507

Prepared for
SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CENTER
AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND
2430 E. El Segundo Boulevard
Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA 90245That article doesn't say springs won't weaken from being left compressed. In fact it was about calculating how much a spring would weaken from being left compressed. It correctly assumes that they will weaken and provides a model for predicting the amount of weakening for their application which they then confirmed with experimental testing.

For their application the figure worked out to between 2% and 3% for 1000 hours of being left compressed.

For other applications the figures will be different based on the spring design, the spring quality and the amount the spring is compressed when under full compression per the design of the item in question that incorporates the spring.

AI&P Tactical
October 4, 2012, 01:06 PM
It is comforting to know that a dumb Jarhead like me came up with the same conclusion as the Rocket Sceintist.

Uniquedot
October 4, 2012, 04:48 PM
it is comforting to know that a dumb jarhead like me came up with the same conclusion as the rocket sceintist.

Maybe you're in the wrong business. :)

Sky
October 4, 2012, 05:03 PM
Maybe not all springs are created of equal quality.

AI&P Tactical
October 4, 2012, 06:24 PM
Uniquedot - you may be right but my business is so sucessful I would be taking a serious pay cut signing on with NASA :). Besides, our all knowing and samarter then all of us (yuck) president (hopefully former president soon) has cut the heck out of the NASA buget so they are not hiring.

danez71
October 4, 2012, 09:33 PM
That article doesn't say springs won't weaken from being left compressed. In fact it was about calculating how much a spring would weaken from being left compressed. It correctly assumes that they will weaken and provides a model for predicting the amount of weakening for their application which they then confirmed with experimental testing.

For their application the figure worked out to between 2% and 3% for 1000 hours of being left compressed.

For other applications the figures will be different based on the spring design, the spring quality and the amount the spring is compressed when under full compression per the design of the item in question that incorporates the spring.

And that 1000 hrs represents ~41 days.

How deeply its compressed into its elasticity range has potentially more affect than number of cycles.

If you crush the spring down... it only lasts one cycle.


Bottom line, the number of cycles is part of the equation.Compression % in use is hugely important as is material properties.

Zoogster
October 5, 2012, 02:41 PM
My experience tells me that it is often the last round left loaded that causes the spring the most wear from just sitting.

A spring is meant to work within a certain range of compression. In many guns the last shell compresses the spring so much that if you let it sit that way long term is has a much greater impact than all the other shells prior.

Think about it. Measure the shell you are putting in (some can be slightly longer than officially depending on crimp), add up the length of them all and subtract that from your magazine tube. How much space is left over for the spring. Do you really think a spring that long should be that compressed?
Sometimes the spring gets so compressed it folds over itself or gets mashed sideways. So it is not even being stored compressed straight up and down as designed, but is slightly deformed with a load in a direction it was not designed for.
This issue is greater wth some barrel lengths and extension tubes that match the barrel length because some just barely let that last shell fit and so compress the spring more. While others have an extra inch or two giving a little more slack. After you load the last shell in, see how much you can push it down the tube with your finger. Assuming its not already smashed out of shape, that will tell you how much space it has to sit without being fully compressed or compressed beyond fully compressed. In some guns there is nothing. Compressing a spring 100% wears it a lot more than compressing it 90%

That is why I avoid the threads that say it is only the spring being worked that leads to wear, and not sitting loaded. Yes that is true if the spring is only being compressed within the ideal range. But often that last round takes them beyond that. I especially see this more in magazines designed for locations that limit capacity by law. Some of the 10 round magazines for California are designed so there is absolutely no possible way an 11th round could be smashed in there, even if the base plate was bowed and someone with mental issues insisted on crushing one in there. They accomplish this by making that 10th round barely fit in there with the spring so smashed it is deformed and crushed against the bottom of the magazine. The last round is so tight it has no slack at all and cant even be pushed down a little.
That is not the compression level a spring is intended to be at. Crushed at the bottom.

JohnKSa
October 6, 2012, 04:05 AM
My experience tells me that it is often the last round left loaded that causes the spring the most wear from just sitting.From what I have been able to determine, you're definitely on the right track.

fletcher
October 6, 2012, 08:42 AM
I doubt that question will get answered unless an metallurgist is lurking amongst us.
You rang? :p

This is one of those fun topics that never seems to get resolved. I've always been from the "a properly designed spring should not lose any noticeable amount of strength under static load" camp, and have made a couple posts in the past here with this view. Yesterday, I gave this thread a read and decided to do a bit of research to find what the underlying mechanism is behind loss of strength under static conditions, or stress relaxation (as with the paper Sam Cade referenced), in hopes of enlightening myself and coming to a definite conclusion.


Springs may lose strength after being loaded to a static condition (let's assume it's only one time, so fatigue isn't in the picture) in three ways:

1. The spring was overloaded (yielded) at some point when getting to the static condition.

2. The temperature is high enough that creep occurs. Creep is a thermally activated, time-dependent process which becomes significant at approximately 1/2 the melting point (in degrees Kelvin) and above. Depending on composition, steel melts at ~1650-1800 K, so 1/2 melting point would be ~1025-1160F.

3. Stress relaxation.

The mechanism behind stress relaxation is a bit less intuitive than those behind #1 and 2, but is pretty neat from a metallurgical perspective. Short answer - energy in the system due to loading, residual stress, surface energy, etc. can attain a point where metastable phases in the alloy convert to other phases, thereby relieving some of the stress. That may be a bit of a mouthful, but I'll try my best to explain what this means if people are interested (it would certainly result in a wall of text).

Uniquedot
October 6, 2012, 10:42 AM
The mechanism behind stress relaxation is a bit less intuitive than those behind #1 and 2, but is pretty neat from a metallurgical perspective. Short answer - energy in the system due to loading, residual stress, surface energy, etc. can attain a point where metastable phases in the alloy convert to other phases, thereby relieving some of the stress. That may be a bit of a mouthful, but I'll try my best to explain what this means if people are interested (it would certainly result in a wall of text).

I'm interested and would assume others that have posted in the thread would be too.

Fred Fuller
October 6, 2012, 11:18 AM
If you're willing to post it, I'm sure willing to read it...

Sheepdog1968
October 6, 2012, 02:32 PM
If you're willing to post it, I'm sure willing to read it...
Agreed.

fletcher
October 6, 2012, 03:36 PM
Warning - incoming wall of text as promised. I’m usually discussing this sort of thing with other engineers, so if I’m using too much jargon or if something doesn’t seem clear feel free to ask and I’ll clarify.

For this explanation, let’s assume we have a steel spring loaded to capacity. I’ll also need to touch on some definitions/basics:

Phase – Metals are composed of one or more sets of structures internally, which are known as phases. The formal definition is “A homogeneous portion of a system that has uniform physical and chemical characteristics.”

Equilibrium – State where the phase(s) will remain stable indefinitely. This will be a point where the free energy is at a minimum.

Energy – Energy in the system can come from many places, such as temperature, surface area (including internal surface area between crystals), elastic deformation, and amount of mechanical work (plastic deformation) put into the material. The first three are the most important here.

Phase Diagram – This isn’t particularly important for the explanation in itself, but I think it will be a good visual aid. For a certain combination of elements, this will show which phases are the equilibrium states. The iron-carbon (Fe-C) phase diagram (below) is the most important one for steels. The X-axis will be in either weight or atomic percent, and the Y-axis is temperature. In short, it shows the stable/preferred phase(s) at a combination of concentration and temperature. These diagrams are put together by calculations and/or experiments at various temperatures and compositions.

http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/MSE2094_NoteBook/96ClassProj/examples/FeC.gif

From the above diagram, we can see that the stable phases in a carbon or low alloy steel at room temperature are ferrite (α-iron), cementite (Fe3C, a carbide), and pearlite. Pearlite is a lamellar combination of the first two. The picture below shows a pearlite structure - the light bands are ferrite, the dark bands are cementite.

http://hsc.csu.edu.au/engineering_studies/application/civil/1-1/pearlite.jpg

Even though the above three phases are stable, often other phases present at room temperature under certain conditions. While the stable phases are certainly useful, they don’t really fit the bill when trying to get something of very high strength or hardness. This role is filled by a phase known as martensite, and it is used extensively in steel products to attain upper-end strength. Martensite is obtained most commonly in the following ways:

1. Rapid quenching from elevated temperature where the room temperature stable phases (ferrite, pearlite, cementite) aren’t present. This works because the stable phases rely on diffusion to form. Because diffusion is temperature dependent, cooling the alloy down rapidly “freezes” the process, and does not allow the stable phase(s) to form when cooled. Martensite is formed with a “diffusionless” transformation; that is, it does not require diffusion to form. Instead, the atoms do an extremely short-distance shuffle and pop into place so to speak. For example, with an extremely rapid quench, the resulting structure would be pure martensite. Quenches can be tailored to obtain various percentages of this phase.

2. Mechanical deformation/working. Some steels, notably a few 300-series stainless steels, can transform to martensite when deformed or otherwise worked. This type of martensite has the same structure as that in #1, but is known as “strain-induced martensite”.

This is where the magic starts to happen. Looking at the stable phase diagram, martensite is nowhere to be found, so why does it exist? By subjecting the alloy to certain conditions, a “metastable” phase has been created and locked in at room temperature. This happens when a phase is created in a localized low-energy state, but isn’t at the lowest energy.

In the image below, three example states are shown on a plot of energy (Y-axis) vs. position (X-axis). Martensite would reside at position #1, where it is pretty stable, and the stable phase(s) would be at position #3. Given the opportunity (enough energy to bump the system up to #2), the structure will try and go for the lowest-energy state. In the case of stress relaxation, that opportunity comes in the form of added elastic energy from our loaded spring.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Meta-stability.svg

When the extra energy is added to the system by compressing the spring, enough energy may become available to transform a bit of that metastable phase. In doing so, it has converted the elastic energy into a permanent change in the alloy. This will show up as some reduction in the spring force. This reaction would continue until some finite amount of the phase has transformed, at which point the elastic energy would be lower than the required energy to bump it over and stabilize. Stress relaxation curves will confirm this with a rapid drop followed by little to no subsequent loss over an extended period.

Since greater compression means more energy in the spring, Zoogster’s comment that it is often the last round which caused the set seems pretty reasonable. Maybe the spring is just fine until that last round or two gives just enough oomph to start the transformations.

One of the papers I looked at, Structural Mechanism of Stress Relaxation in Metastable Alloys by S.V. Grachev, showed that thermal energy also contributes to this transformation. Increases even to 200F, well below the creep temperature, combine with the elastic spring energy to cause noticeably more stress relaxation. The reverse is also true, where the same load will produce less relaxation at cryogenic temperatures.

Hope this is decipherable enough to provide some insight to the issue.

Uniquedot
October 6, 2012, 07:41 PM
Hope this is decipherable enough to provide some insight to the issue.

Yes it was very informative. I've done some reading on metallurgy in the past and was somewhat familiar with many of the changes you discussed. When things interest me I'll read up on the subject til i lose interest and the knowledge is generally lost with the interest. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

Fred Fuller
October 6, 2012, 08:35 PM
Thanks for that presentation.

It seems leaving room for a slug in the magazine when a defensive shotgun is loaded does more good than just saving time if 'select slug' is called for right off the bat.

JohnKSa
October 6, 2012, 11:36 PM
1. The spring was overloaded (yielded) at some point when getting to the static condition.I suspect that this is the case in most situations where a spring obviously weakens from being left compressed. Either because the designer decided that a spring is an easily replaceable (essentially disposable) part, or because the quality of the spring wasn't quite what it should be or because other design parameters were more stressing (in terms of what the designer was trying to achieve) than long spring life.

Frankly, these days, I don't hear about it happening nearly as often as it did back when high-capacity, double-stack pistol mags were first becoming common and every maker was doing their absolute best (worst?) to stuff an extra round or two into the mag in an attempt to remain competitive in the market.

Gary A
October 6, 2012, 11:51 PM
Whew! You guys are smarter than me. Let me ask this:

I use a standard 870 police model for home defense with a 4 round magazine. Since I only have 4 in the magazine I am reluctant to download by one round. However, the magazine will hold four three inch shells so it seems to me that loading it with four 2 3/4 inch shells (as I do) saves that final "inch" of compression and should prevent the extra strong police model spring from being over-compressed. I also avoid loading it with bargain loads like Sellier & Bellot which are crimped differently and have a longer OAL. I stick with Big 3 loads. Am I wrong? I have seen no degradation in the springs in the past several years.

PT92
October 7, 2012, 12:10 AM
Over a number of years, I have kept my Mossberg 590 magazine tube loaded (go to home defense gun) and I have some observations that I wanted to pass along. Please keep in mind that this wasn't a scientific study. Rather, it was me just noticing the spring every now and then and changing it out. I thought you might find it interesting.

It is a Mossberg 590 with a 20" barrel and can hold 8 rounds in the magazine tube. And yes, I have a safe as I don't leave unattended guns loaded in the home. Ammo listed below is 2.75" 00 buck shells

Spring 1 - original one it came with from the factory. After test firing the new weapon with a few boxes of ammo I loaded 8 rounds in the magazine and left it in the safe for one or two years. At that point I took a Loui Awerbuck class. The shotgun was working fine (never failed to deposit a shell onto the shell lifter) but the magazine tube felt week so we swaped it out. The spring was very short and the conclusion was that it must have been an incorrect short spring from the factory. Several springs later determined that wasn't likely the case.

Spring 2 - was whatever the local range had. The spring was about 9 to 12" longer than the magazine tube (what I've been told is what you want). It worked well for the class. I went home and loaded 8 shells into the magazine tube and ordered factory Mossberg magazine spring so I would have them ready in the future if I needed them. About a year later I was going to take another shotgun class. Prior to the class I checked the magazine tube spring. It was as weak and the same length as spring 1. No biggie, I just put in the new Mossberg factory spring for the class.

Spring 3 - the new Mossberg factory spring worked fine and provided flawless performane of the Mossberg 590. I had mentioned to the instructor what I had observed. He suggested that I store the shotgun with only 5 shells in it so the spring would be less compressed. After the class, I stored the shotgun with 5 (out of a possible 8 max capacity) in the magazine tube. About a year later, I checked the spring tension. The magazine tube spring felt weaker but maybe not quite as bad as before.

Spring 4 - this time, I used a Wolf spring as I had heard good things about these springs. I loaded the magazine tube with 5 rounds. After 6 months or a year (my memory is foggy on when I did the install), I checked the magazine tube spring and it feels nice and strong. I plan to stick with Wolf springs for the magazine tube.

Though some of the tubes weakened over time, they never failed on me to work. So far I'm happy with the Wolf spring (and I have another two new ones at home).

I thought you might all find this interesting even though it isn't scientific. It's taken a while for me to "collect" this data.
I was almost certain of your findings but read your post verbatim--Wonderfully useful information as this is a topic of perpetuity in the forums and the net at large.

-Cheers

Sheepdog1968
October 7, 2012, 02:28 AM
Whew! You guys are smarter than me. Let me ask this:

I use a standard 870 police model for home defense with a 4 round magazine. Since I only have 4 in the magazine I am reluctant to download by one round. However, the magazine will hold four three inch shells so it seems to me that loading it with four 2 3/4 inch shells (as I do) saves that final "inch" of compression and should prevent the extra strong police model spring from being over-compressed. I also avoid loading it with bargain loads like Sellier & Bellot which are crimped differently and have a longer OAL. I stick with Big 3 loads. Am I wrong? I have seen no degradation in the springs in the past several years.
For me, the most important aspect was the actual data I collected on my shotgun. If yours seems to be fine and you check it every now and then, I wouldn't worry about it.

Sheepdog1968
October 7, 2012, 02:30 AM
I was almost certain of your findings but read your post verbatim--Wonderfully useful information as this is a topic of perpetuity in the forums and the net at large.

-Cheers
I'm glad you found it useful. It took quite a few years to collect the info. My biggest driver was I just wanted to make sure the shotgun would work as intended if I ever needed it.

SSN Vet
November 1, 2012, 11:16 AM
Flether,

You are more cruel than you can possibly know...

By posting that wicked phase diagram, you have triggered a "post tramatic stress" relapse for me, resulting in flashbacks to my undergrad days :neener:

For some reason, all the MMM (Metalurgy, Mechanics, Materials) Department faculty at State were from India, and I couldn't understand a word my Metalurgy 101 prof said.

Now I'm waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat shouting out things like "chloride stress corrosion of Austenetic stainless steel" :eek:

SSN Vet
November 1, 2012, 11:37 AM
thermal energy also contributes to this transformation. Increases even to 200F, well below the creep temperature, combine with the elastic spring energy to cause noticeably more stress relaxation

Though this sounds really hot... much hotter temps can be seen in desert environments.

I designed several of the foam inserts for hard shell cases (Pelican & Storm)used to stowe PackBots (EOD robots similar to the Talon used in the movie The Hurt Locker). Most of the foam assembly is done with hot melt adhesive, but we received feedback that the lid foam was falling off in cases used in Iraq.

It turns out that the cases were often strapped onto Humvees in the direct sunlight, and the hot melt adhesive was softening up and the lid foam assemblies were dropping off under their own weight.

For the record, the hot melt adhesive we use doesn't flow untill heated up >300 deg. F.

We solved the problem by switching to a spray contact adhesive and changing the case color from black to a less energy absorbing tan color.

also of interest...

My co-worker is a USMC reservist who tells me that they download M4 mags to 28 rounds, as that is more reliable than loading them to the max capacity of 30.

Apparently 300 deg + max. compressed mag. springs = unreliable feeding from mags

AI&P Tactical
November 1, 2012, 08:30 PM
If it do or if it don't, think about this. A Magazine spring for an 870 in either 4 shot or 6 is only $3.20. If your defense shotgun is your go to gun and you can't spend $3.20 once a year or even once every two years to ensure the best feed possible then you must feel you have no serious need for a dependable defense weapon.

I am not a rocket sceintist and came up with the above answer. Sorry there are not charts, graphs and formulas involved in my humble response.

Snowdog
November 2, 2012, 07:22 AM
I plan on keeping my 590 loaded for HD and haven't any concerns. I left my Maverick 88 loaded for such use from the mid-90s to just recently and it never failed to function.

PT92
November 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
Agreed-I have always subscribed to the theory that the only way to weaken a magazine spring is to flex it past its normal range (elastic limit). If this is happening, somebody is trying to overload a magazine or has "adjusted" it by bending the spring. Both of these could cause feed failures.

Sheepdog1968
November 2, 2012, 06:42 PM
If it do or if it don't, think about this. A Magazine spring for an 870 in either 4 shot or 6 is only $3.20. If your defense shotgun is your go to gun and you can't spend $3.20 once a year or even once every two years to ensure the best feed possible then you must feel you have no serious need for a dependable defense weapon.

I am not a rocket sceintist and came up with the above answer. Sorry there are not charts, graphs and formulas involved in my humble response.
Nothing wrong with that. The whole reason I ended up doing what I did was to make sure the primary home defense weapon would be reliable. As this went on over the years I thought it might be good info to pass along so I eventually did.

I am a practicing scientist. Both experiments and theory are important. At the end of the day, I prefer experiments. Unrelated to this but similar in nature is my beloved 30-30 lever action with a 16.75" barrel. I could spend all day calculating POA/POI all the way out to 400 yards (I don't shoot animals beyond 200 but will shoot steel out to 400). I prefer to just collect the data and have a really good set in 25 yard increments out to 100 yards with between 5 & 10 shot groups. I will likely be gathering data in 25 or 50 yard increments all the way out to 500 yards just so I know.

At some point I will get around to chrono data at muzzle so I can eventually plot theoretical vs. actual data just for the heck of it.

On similar threads I see discussion on twist rates and bullet weights. At one point, I took my mini-14 out and at 50 yards shot from low 40 grain to mid 70 grain ammo to see if I could observe differences. Given the accuracy of the weapon plus me I couldn't (3 MOA give or take one MOA).

Most of these measurements/experiments have made for fun days at the range as it's something different.

forehire
November 2, 2012, 11:27 PM
"Wolf, wolf, Wolf"

Drail
November 3, 2012, 11:09 AM
You need to ask yourself which is more important to you - having that extra round stuffed in the mag compressing the spring fully - or having a magazine that will feed every round every time. And Wolff springs are higher quality than what most manufacturers install in their guns at the factory. All springs are NOT the same. Yours may have a high quality properly tempered spring or you may have a spring from the lowest bidder. I used to stuff my shotgun mags full and leave them that way for years and never worry about the spring. Experience has taught me that was not such a good idea.

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