Is there a time limit on shells in a shotgun?


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Lone Ranger
November 14, 2012, 10:03 PM
Is there any spring fatigue? Is it better to not load the tube to the max? Reference 12ga.

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BP44
November 14, 2012, 10:18 PM
No time limit, any descent spring wears out due to repeated compressions not just keeping it compressed.

oneounceload
November 14, 2012, 10:27 PM
The time limit is simple - either eternity or the flaming out of the sun, whichever comes first

Springs fatigue from "work", that is compression and decompression on a continuous basis

Lone Ranger
November 14, 2012, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. For HD.

jojo200517
November 14, 2012, 10:51 PM
The shotgun itself should have no problem with the mag or mag springs. However I have heard tells of the crimp end of the plastic shells deforming from the pressure of a fully loaded mag tube over time and possibly causing problems with chambering of the round.

Never personally experienced it and probably been addressed by the industry with better plastics by now i'd hope. I try to practice often and cycle out the rounds so this hopefully won't be a problem.

rbernie
November 14, 2012, 10:53 PM
Correct - the issue is the ammo and not the gun. The ammo should be rotated (used and replaced) every so often to avoid hull deformation.

Fred Fuller
November 15, 2012, 02:21 PM
You NEED to be shooting your HD shotgun every so often. Period.

You NEED to be shooting the exact same ammo in practice/training that you keep it loaded with all the time. Period.

Therefore you should be reloading your HD shotgun with fresh ammo every so often. How often? Well... every six months is not too soon, and every year is not too long from the stand point of the ammo, but from the standpoint of familiarity with the shotgun, I'm hoping you shoot the thing more often than every six months... :D

Shotshell deformation tends to happen more often in vertical vehicle mounts in patrol cars, where the gun gets bounced a lot. But I've seen it in shotguns that were stable, too - also had a 20 gauge shell stored in the buttstock storage compartment of a Savage 24C Camper .22LR/20 ga. (under no spring pressure at all) split open under internal pressure after a couple of years. And that gun was in the gun safe, not in a vehicle.

IMHO loading the magazine one short is a good idea, I do it to leave room in the tube for a slug to go in first if it should happen a slug is needed first up. That's just my reasoning, YMMV.

Drail
November 15, 2012, 09:57 PM
Some shells will swell when left in a fully stuffed magazine long enough. I didn't really believe it until I saw it. As Fred advises, shoot them up and buy more. I also download by one and in my experience it does help the spring to last longer.

Ehtereon11B
November 15, 2012, 10:38 PM
The elements (moisture mostly) will wear on your HD shotgun more than keeping shells loaded in the tube for long periods. Keeping shells in long term tube storage is almost the same discussion as leaving rounds in a handgun magazine.

rbernie
November 16, 2012, 07:52 AM
I disagree with that sentiment. Plastic hulls stored under spring pressure and stacked end to end will deform from the pressure, and I've seen then so deformed that they will not chamber at all.

Drail
November 16, 2012, 11:04 PM
Just because you have never seen a magazine spring that has weakened to the point that it will not feed the last one or two rounds from long term static storage (with no cycling having taking place) does not mean that it does not or will not or can not happen. It only means that you haven't seen it happen. Some of us have. I have replaced more than a few mag springs when a customer brought the gun in and claimed that they were experiencing last round feed problems. Guess what? Every single one was restored to 100% function by installing a new full or extra power magazine spring and no other work done. There's high quality springs and there's cheap poorly tempered/stress relieved springs made from steel that barely qualifies as "spring steel". Do you know which one your gun has in it? Are you willing to bet your life on that spring?

ChooChoo
November 17, 2012, 07:22 PM
Drail - Have all or most of the magazine tube spring failures that you've seen been OEMs?

If so, can you give us a link(s) or brand name(s) of good aftermarket springs?

rbernie
November 18, 2012, 10:17 PM
Just because you have never seen a magazine spring that has weakened to the point that it will not feed the last one or two rounds from long term static storage (with no cycling having taking place) does not mean that it does not or will not or can not happen. It only means that you haven't seen it happen. Some of us have.Sure I've seen it. I also know that spring fatigue has far less to do with being compressed over time and far more to do with repetitive compression/extension cycles over time.

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