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Do Mags loaded for 3 months ruin the MAG?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by STARR15, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. STARR15

    STARR15 Well-Known Member

    I keep some Rifle and pistol mags loaded in my safe for long periods of time. Does this mess up the mags reliability? Should I keep them loaded and ready or just a few? I just don't get the time to shoot enough.
  2. threehorse

    threehorse Member

    No. A spring kept under tension will not lose its strength over time.
  3. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

    maybe weakens the spring a bit if they are filled to the max, but my wilson combat mag in my carry pistol has had 7 rounds in it for 6 months.

    every few weeks i empty the carry ammo and shoot with it and no probs yet.
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    In one word No. Some claim that over time the springs weaken others say not. With todays metallurgy I believe the latter. I've got a car with 200,000 miles on it and the valve springs still work as do all the other springs in it.
  5. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    I usually rotate my home defense magazines for pistols, 6 months loaded/6 months empty, but I have had magazines that sat for WAY longer in the cabinet loaded and have never had one not work.
  6. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

    Contrary to popular belief, springs do not appreciably "creep" or get "tired" with age alone.[citation needed] Spring steel has a very high resistance to creep under normal loads. For instance, in a car engine, valve springs typically undergo about a quarter billion cycles of compression-decompression over the engine's life time and exhibit no noticeable change in length or loss of strength. But for good measure, springs can be replaced when doing a valve job. The sag observed in some older automobiles suspension is usually due to the springs being occasionally compressed beyond their yield point, causing plastic deformation. This can happen when the vehicle hits a large bump or pothole, especially when heavily loaded. Most vehicles will accumulate a number of such impacts over their working life, leading to a lower ride height and eventual bottoming-out of the suspension. In addition, frequent exposure to road salt accelerates corrosion, leading to premature failure of the springs in the car's suspension. Weakening of a spring is usually an indication that it is close to complete failure.
  7. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    welcome to thr, this gets asked alot, and the answer is simply no, in quality mags they will be fine, for crap aftermarket i can not speak for, but any good factory mags, from the major players in the industry you will be good.
  8. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

  9. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Well-Known Member

    I have always heard that its the compression/decompression cycle that wears springs out. Keep them loaded or keep them unloaded, but doing both frequently is what wears them out.
  10. erict

    erict Well-Known Member

    I keep alot of mine fully loaded and have used them for more than 10 years with no problems.
  11. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Well-Known Member

    I inherited some AR mags that were filled for >30 years and they function just fine.
  12. usmarine0352_2005

    usmarine0352_2005 Well-Known Member

    This is what I thought......

    Fully Loaded or Unloaded = No effect.

    Constantly loaded and loaded (ie. Firing) = Wears them down.

    I thought the "use" of the spring is what wears it down.

    I could be wrong though.

  13. azhunter122

    azhunter122 Well-Known Member

    No, just rotate them every once in a while and you'll be good.
  14. azhunter122

    azhunter122 Well-Known Member

    Btw I've had Glock mags stored for over a year and shot them the other day and they worked just fine.
  15. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Well-Known Member

    Magazines? I thought everyone used single shot rifles and pistols these days... learn something new every day I guess :D
  16. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    Did you read any of the dozen posts before yours? Your recommendation will wear springs out FASTER than if one loaded some mags and just left them, for years, and years, and years.

    This question is asked all the time here, and it's always the same answer, but people refuse to believe it and add in their own bit of grey area for good measure. Thus, it lives on.
  17. GregGry

    GregGry Well-Known Member

    Partially true. They can weaken depending on if they are exposed to the elements. If there is corrosion or other things going on they could be affected. Extreme heat or cold could also cause issues. Overall for most people its never going to be a problem.

    I have built a few engines, and most of my friends are into racing. A stock engine will likely have springs that will last a few engine rebuilds. However when it comes to racing valve float becomes an issue with stock springs, and springs that have been used for a while. The pressure a valve spring provides does change on a engine over time. In the case of a stock engine with typically large piston to valve clearences, low rpm (read under 5,500 rpm) and so on, it really wont be an issue. Any minor change really wont be a big issue, even more so since most car engines rarely operate in the 5K plus rpm range. On a engine that sees racing, has closer Piston to valve clearences, higher rpm for longer, more agressive cam profiles that require the valve to shut faster, etc a slight loss of pressure could mean a diaster. Its the main reason why your not going to see racers reusing parts that see a lot of abuse.

    In the case of mag springs they are typically overpressure then the minimum to feed rounds properly. A minor pressure decrease is not going to be a big deal. Hell they will probably still work with a 15% loss in pressure or more.
  18. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    It's cycling that wears out modern springs, not being kept in a state. While it was true a very long time ago that metals, kept under tension, would eventually start to permanently warp, today's tempering techniques have all but eliminated that.
  19. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    I have had an HK usp loaded since 1993 - still shoots fine.
  20. testosterone

    testosterone Well-Known Member

    Beats me, i think it depends on alot of things, but the question is timely for me.

    I inadvertently had a long term expirement brewing as the result of a few relocations and life going on that has prevented me from shooting for some years.

    I have two chip mcormick 8 rounders for my 1991A1 commander. With no exageration whatsoever, those two magazines have been loaded, 8 rounds each, since late 1999, just short of 10 years.

    Two saturdays ago(valentines day), part of my safety checkout for a new range, I brougt those loaded mags ran 50 rounds through both with no failures.

    Last fall, I did the same with a US GI 30 round AR magazine. It had been loaded with 20 rounds for the same time frame. It functioned perfectly for the 20 rounds that were in it and 200 more that day.

    I can't say if this was just luck or not, but it seemed to demonstrate, that at least for those three mags, leaving them loaded doesn't matter.

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