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How do you check mag springs?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Nathaniel Firethorn, Mar 2, 2003.

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  1. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    A simple question. What's the best way to get an early warning that a mag spring is getting marginal?

    Thanx,
    - pdmoderator
     
  2. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    First sign is the last sign, if that is what is truly wrong. The first sign will be a magazine related misfeed or, more likely, failure to keep the slide/bolt back. I suppose one could devise a contraption to measure tension and come up with an acceptable range. I doubt that it would be needed. Magazine springs just don't wear out that often.
     
  3. Riphalman

    Riphalman Member

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    Mag spring check

    I agree that the magazine springs don't wear out very often.....but they can wear out. The way I check them is to insert an empty mag into the pistol....I assume we're talking pistol here?......and pull the slide to the rear. Watch to see if the slide stop engages with positive authority. When it doesn't, it's time to change the spring.
     
  4. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    Slide stop? That has its own little springulator, doesn't it? How's it related to the mag spring?

    Here's the situation. I've got a Glock 19. A couple of times, it's refused to chamber a bullet when there was only one in the mag. But when I fill the mag up, it's OK.

    Any clues?

    Thanx,
    - pdmoderator
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Hi, pdmoderator,

    The slide stop spring, if any, is intended to pull the slide stop down out of the way of the slide when a loaded magazine in inserted and the slide retracted. The slide stop, internal or external, is pushed up by the magazine follower (or a button or projection attached to it), and failure of the slide stop to engage on an empty magazine could be a sign of a weak magazine spring.

    As to that Glock, what you describe could very well be due to a weak magazine spring. Does it happen on all your magazines, or only on one?

    The best way I can tell anyone to detect weakness is by feel. Take a new magazine, and push the follower down with the index finger. Do this several times and get a feel for the correct tension. Then do the same to other magazines; you can almost always detect a weak spring by this simple test.

    You can also use a wooden dowel and a bathroom scale. Put one end of the dowel on the scale, the other against the magazine follower and push the magazine straight down. The scale will tell you the tension of the spring.

    Jim
     
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