How long to let mag springs rest after mag being loaded?


PDA






peacebutready
December 20, 2013, 01:46 AM
After a hi-cap mag(s) have been loaded for sometime, how long should it be unloaded for before being loaded back up again? In other words, how long should the mag springs be given a rest?

I know there's disagreement on whether keeping a mag loaded for extended periods will wear the spring. I don't want to get into that debate. Rather, I'd just like to hear from those who believe the springs should be allowed to rest.

Happy Holidays.

If you enjoyed reading about "How long to let mag springs rest after mag being loaded?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
HisStigness
December 20, 2013, 02:48 AM
I think the debate on magazine springs is definitely over. Loading and unloading is absolutely what causes spring steel to lose its power. That being so, I still leave almost all of my magazines unloaded. I am most worried about leaving the magazines loaded causing damage to the feed lips. Some guns are pickier than others (pistols more so than ARs) with feeding from worn magazines. With almost all handgun magazines being made with a metal body, the constant force from a fully loaded mag can't be good for the feed lips. I don't think anybody will be able to put a "rest time" on magazines. If you have metal feed lips just don't leave them loaded or rotate with magazines are loaded throughout your selection. If you are shooting pmags, or other quality polymer magazines, I wouldn't worry about loaded/ unloaded, baking in the sun, driven over, used as a shim to make your TV cabinet sit level, etc.

Cooldill
December 20, 2013, 03:47 AM
I think you should read up on the subject. Even if you want to hear from people that agree with you, it doesn't mean any of you are right. innumerable tests have shown properly manufactured springs do not "wear out" from a given compression load. They will wear from unloading/loading over and over. If anything, by "unloading to let the spring rest" you are actually accelerating wear because you will have to load the magazine again at some point.

The best thing for you to do is leave a magazine loaded (or unloaded) until you need it and go about your business. It will be ready when you are.

bigfatdave
December 20, 2013, 08:30 AM
You either borked the springs by loading the mags in the first place or didn't.

Letting the springs "rest" longer won't help that.

You could remove the springs from the magazine and allow them to hang from an overhead hook, but then we'd all be arguing over whether to hang them right-side-up or upside-down, and whether to hang them somewhere warm or cool.

peacebutready
December 20, 2013, 09:28 AM
I am most worried about leaving the magazines loaded causing damage to the feed lips. Some guns are pickier than others (pistols more so than ARs) with feeding from worn magazines. With almost all handgun magazines being made with a metal body, the constant force from a fully loaded mag can't be good for the feed lips.

If you are shooting pmags, or other quality polymer magazines, I wouldn't worry about loaded/ unloaded, baking in the sun, driven over, used as a shim to make your TV cabinet sit level, etc.


The issue of feed-lips separating due to mags being loaded is something I've wondered about. I know there are AR mag caps. They put inward pressure on the feed-lips. I haven't heard of caps for pistol mags...I didn't know polymer mags can be kept loaded without any concern for the feed-lips.

HisStigness
December 20, 2013, 10:37 AM
The issue of feed-lips separating due to mags being loaded is something I've wondered about. I know there are AR mag caps. They put inward pressure on the feed-lips. I haven't heard of caps for pistol mags...I didn't know polymer mags can be kept loaded without any concern for the feed-lips.

Two of my pmags came with those caps and I use them. But that polymer magpul uses is some tough stuff! I can't really see the feed lips getting bent and not returning to their original state. The hi cap pistol ones worry me tho because they don't have the caps and they are made of metal and they are much more expensive. If I feel that I have to leave those loaded I'll do 15 instead of 17 and rotate them from time to time.

peacebutready
December 20, 2013, 04:03 PM
Two of my pmags came with those caps and I use them. But that polymer magpul uses is some tough stuff! I can't really see the feed lips getting bent and not returning to their original state. The hi cap pistol ones worry me tho because they don't have the caps and they are made of metal and they are much more expensive. If I feel that I have to leave those loaded I'll do 15 instead of 17 and rotate them from time to time.


Maybe someone out there has done/is doing an experiment. I know it has been done for 7 round 1911 mags. They worked fine after many years of left loaded. Chip McCormick mags claims their 1911 mags has never had their feed-lips spread or something to that effect. That makes me think they would at least replace the mag body years down the line. I vaguely remember something about Checkmate taking exchanges if there's ever a problem. I don't recall if that's the body only or the follower as well.

dfariswheel
December 20, 2013, 07:22 PM
The caps that come with Pmags have nothing to do with preventing feed lip spread.
The sole purpose if the caps is to keep debris out of the magazine and protect the top round from damage.

This direct from Mag-Pul.

As for "resting" magazine springs, as above it's stressing and un-stressing the spring by loading and unloading that can wear a spring.

Steel doesn't need or respond to "resting".

the.batman
December 22, 2013, 10:28 AM
I agree with Cooldill and BigfatDave- I'm kind of surprised that there is still an argument going on over magazines being left loaded or unloaded....

Pistol magazines/springs are wear items. If the mag springs get weak or the feed lips spread, is it that big of a deal to replace them? Do the "unloaded magazine" guys refuse to drive their cars? Driving your car is wearing out the tires/brakes/windshield wipers/motor oil, transmission oil, etc!!

For heaven's sake just shoot your guns and if something wears out that's part of life- deal with it.

peacebutready
December 23, 2013, 12:58 AM
Pistol magazines/springs are wear items. If the mag springs get weak or the feed lips spread, is it that big of a deal to replace them?.


Right now, no. If we get hit with another mag-cap law in the future, yes.

BBBBill
December 23, 2013, 12:47 PM
Right now, no. If we get hit with another mag-cap law in the future, yes.

If that's really a concern, just stock up on mags to put away unloaded until that time comes. It doesn't take that long to load a mag with stripper clips or a mag loader.

Jim Watson
December 23, 2013, 06:11 PM
The current wisdom is that it is the number of compress-relax cycles that wears out springs, not the time spent compressed. You cannot "rest" a spring.

On the other hand we are also told that if a new magazine is difficult to load, we should leave it laded for a while to let the spring "take a set" and reduce its force against the follower.

Spring behavior is not as simple as it has been made to sound.

I find that a good magazine will show spring wear by failing to engage the slide stop after reliably feeding its contents. So you will not be suddenly disarmed by a weakening spring.

rcmodel
December 23, 2013, 06:56 PM
All new springs take an initial 'set' when compressed the first few times.

After that, if it is not over-compressed, or improperly tempered, continued compression will not cause it to 'set' further for many many years.

rc

guns54
December 30, 2013, 03:17 PM
When my son moved 25 years ago, He left 2 ruger Mini-14 mags here, I found them and went to the range and they work just new ones, I still use then. Have a nice day,and stay safe. guns54.

barnbwt
December 30, 2013, 04:01 PM
I'm not sure where this notion that metals are visco-elastic comes from. Visco-elasticity refers to a behavior of plastics that causes their deflection to an applied force to vary with time. It the result of polymer strands making up the material sliding past each other as they stretch and uncurl, like a wad of spaghetti sliding off your fork.

Metals are crystalline, with a rigid arrangement of atoms locked together like those magnetic Bucky Balls. Applied loads warp the structure like a truss frame, and if great enough, will cause slip planes (boundaries between crystalline regions in the metal) to slide past each other. That is what happens when a magazine spring takes a "set." Repeated loadings of the structure will cause micro cracks to form along grain boundaries as well (where they peel apart instead of slipping past each other). Neither of these behaviors is time-dependent; it occurs immediately during the loading (or at least faster than humans can perceive) and ceases when the load is removed. The rate of loading/deloading can affect things, but none of us are dumping mags every fraction of a second, let alone loading them that fast.

The only thing "time dependent" that happens to steel is the gradual re-arrangement of its crystalline structure at high temperatures (heat treating/tempering) and stress corrosion, in which corrosive elements invade the micro cracks I mentioned earlier and force them further apart, like water freezing in concrete fissures. Aluminum and some other metals are special in that they "age harden" once they cool from an elevated temperature, but it is well over with by the time we see the product as consumers.

The reason mag springs wear out so quickly is because they are designed to operate very near the "plastic zone" where they will take a "set." Once the "set" is taken after the first extreme deflection when the mag is loaded up the first time, subsequent loadings go all the way to that boundary, where fatigue of those micro cracks is the most damaging. As they spread, there is less and less material left in the coils or leaves to carry the load and it weakens like a fraying rope. It's very bad for longevity, but since mags are typically loaded no more than a hundred times or so, it still leaves an acceptable service life, and plenty of time for replacement. It also keeps the spring as small as possible, which is good for weight and mag size.

Take it or leave it, but those are the principles that airplanes and sky scrapers are built upon. Just because most of the flexible materials we deal with today are polymers doesn't mean metals behave like them.

TCB

peacebutready
December 30, 2013, 07:42 PM
@barnbwt: Thanks for your generous response.

BSA1
December 30, 2013, 08:23 PM
O.P.,

I let mine rest from 1 to 12 years. I usually keep two mags loaded for my S.D. Semi-autos and rotate one of my loaded mags every year with a fresh one. So the rest period depending on how many mags I have for that particular gun is up to 12 years.

HexHead
December 30, 2013, 08:46 PM
Right now, no. If we get hit with another mag-cap law in the future, yes.
I've got news for you pal, if there is another magazine ban, there won't be any grandfathering. Look at the laws passed in the past year or so.

Resting springs, mag lips wearing out from being loaded. I feel like I just wandered into a room full of ....

BSA1
December 30, 2013, 09:53 PM
Which is why semi-automatic magazine fed firearms are just a passing fancy.

HisStigness
December 31, 2013, 12:44 AM
Which is why semi-automatic magazine fed firearms are just a passing fancy.

So we're going to move to what? Double barreled shotguns? Tubular magazines? Belt fed handguns?

barnbwt
December 31, 2013, 01:22 AM
No, he means full automatics :rolleyes:. Anyone know if belt links need to be rested between uses? :D

TCB

peacebutready
December 31, 2013, 02:41 AM
I've got news for you pal, if there is another magazine ban, there won't be any grandfathering. Look at the laws passed in the past year or so.


In N.Y. I know concealed carry holders can only carry up to 7 rounds in their mags now. I vaguely remember hearing something about a court challenge to that.

IIRC, in CO a person can keep their current mags but no more similiar new ones.

If there's another hi-cap ban like mid 90s to mid 00s, will the ones that already exist be outlawed?

boomeradf
January 7, 2014, 05:52 PM
There is no way to say what future laws will bring. If your main concern is that a future law will make your ability to own or find normal capacity magazines then purchase more and fall out of your boat with them. Other wise worry more about preventing future laws and enjoy your firearms.

romulus
January 17, 2014, 12:37 AM
From the Wolff gunsprings website FAQ
5. How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.

Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.

More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.

In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably.

I understand they have an interest in selling more springs, but as a manufacturer I imagine they would have something to say with at least some authority...

If you enjoyed reading about "How long to let mag springs rest after mag being loaded?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!