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Ok to store loaded 10/22 Magazines?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by KodeFore, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. KodeFore

    KodeFore Member

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    I'd like to set up my Ruger 10/22T as a survival rifle. I am wondering if it would be ok to leave 10 22 magazines loaded long term? I know that in general leaving magazines loaded has been hashed ok before, & the consensus seems to be that it was using magazines that wore them out and leaving them loaded really made no difference as far as long-term storage goes. However those Ruger 22 magazines are a different design and I am wondering if the same thing applies?
     
  2. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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    Specifically... which 10/22 mags ?
     
  3. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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    Wolfe Gun Springs has this to say....


    "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."


    IMHO... it sounds like having spare springs would be prudent. Or at the very least download your mags.

    I realize springs wear out from "use" ( compression / decompression )... but ... again, IMHO... better safe then sorry.

    I would think it depends on the quality of the material used.

    That said... I have recently used a fully loaded Thermold AR mag that was loaded with 30 rds. for well over 22yrs... it functioned perfectly.
     
  4. bhk

    bhk Member

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    I bought my first 10/22 around 1970. Except when actually shooting it, the original magazine has been pretty much keep continuously loaded the entire 47 years I have owned it. Still works fine and now sits in my pickup console loaded, of course, with a newer 10/22 only a couple of feet away.
     
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  5. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    I got a kick out of the reply quoting Wolfe springs. Imagine a spring manufacturer telling you that springs will wear out and you'd better replace them. I'm older than Wolfe springs has been around, and have never seen a firearm spring fail because it was compressed for too long.
     
  6. joed

    joed Member

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    I've been around guns for over 40 years, never seen a magazine spring wear out yet.
     
  7. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    Haha, the people who trust a gun spring manufacturer on how often to replace springs are probably also the same people using TrueCar to find out how much pay for their next car.

    KodeFore, assuming you're talking about Ruger rotary 10/22 mags, load them up and keep them that way if that's what makes you happy. You won't hurt them a bit. I unload mine periodically by checking my zero and shooting at game animals, but I always load them right back up so they're ready the next time I need them.
     
  8. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    When I was shooting action pistol games, I'd change recoil springs every 5000 rounds and magazine springs about every 2000 rounds. I had 8-10 magazines and didn't keep exact round counts for each mag. And I have seen failure to feed problems solved by new magazine springs.
     
  9. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    As soon as I saw that I started to laugh.

    In my experience the only thing that wears springs out is repeated use, compressing and decompressing. Leaving them in one state or the other for long periods of time should have no detrimental effect.
     
  10. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    Had a couple of Ruger manufactured 10 Round 10/22 magazines I dug out this past summer to take the grandchildren shooting. My son left a few loaded when he shot with his friends roughly 25 years ago. They worked just fine, were shot out and loaded again and again. Interesting in that when those magazines were loaded by my son, twenty-five or so years ago, he would never have dreamed his own 12 year old son would be the one to empty them. :)

    If it worries you then just replace the magazine(s) every few years. A three pack of Ruger BX1 magazines runs less than $35 through most retailers. There was also a company that made a nice two magazine pouch set for the Ruger 10 round magazines.

    Ron
     
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  11. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    I have seen mag springs that became weak from being left loaded continuously after several years. The mags I keep loaded in my carry guns are rotated every six months or so and loaded 1 round short of full.

    Cool story....
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Unless they are compressed past their design limit.
     
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  13. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Just how is that possible....lets see the mag holds 10....lets jam two more in there....yea....ain't gonna happen.
     
  14. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    IMHO it depends on what brand it is.

    I would not have any concerns about leaving Ruger 10 and 25 round BX magazines with metal feed lips loaded.

    I also some 25 round magazines that are all plastic. (I can't think of the brand name at the moment). I brought them a long time ago and they were considered to be good mags at the time. Since Ruger has come out with their mags they are now range and plinking mags only and will get tossed when they start to malfunction.
     
  15. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I have 10/22 magazines that have been continually loaded when not in use since 1978. No problems encountered.
     
  16. Charger442

    Charger442 Member

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    physics says the only thing that wears out springs is cycling them through their design range. over extending them will do it also, but in a magazine, its limited to exactly the length and compression length that it was designed for.

    so no, you cant wear out springs just by keeping them compressed. actually, the guy who is rotating out his supply of loaded mags is wearing his springs out faster than the man who loads up, stores it on the shelf for 25 years.
     
  17. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    For a significant number of years I worked part-time doing sales and repairs in a moderate sized gun shop. Besides new guns, we dealt a lot in older, used, classic guns. It was very common for people to bring in old guns and accessories for us to buy or sell on consignment, frequently after the death of a loved one. We would go through this stuff and it was surprisingly common to find many of the magazines or even the guns loaded, especially hand gun magazines. I can attest to finding many of the springs in pistol mags ruined from being left loaded apparently for years. I've seen the springs on a few mags so worn out from being left fully loaded for years that the follower wouldn't even go up to the top of the mag when emptied. This was the exception though. The normal mag ruined from being left loaded would function in the pistol OK for about the first 2/3rds of its capacity and then begin to exhibit failures to feed for the last few rounds.

    Over the years I've seen a lot mags with bad springs. I'm sure that all mags and springs aren't created equal, some are certainly made better than others with better steel and proper heat treatment. However, of those mags I've seen with bad springs, they weren't worn out from being cycled up and down. They were worn out by taking a "set" from constantly being under a full load. Who wasn't seen other purposed springs weakened from being under a continual load, mag springs are no different. Try putting a 3/4 ton load in the bed of your 3/4 ton pickup truck and then parking it for 10 years and then, despite the fact that springs haven't been "cycled" but once, see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  18. Charger442

    Charger442 Member

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    well, lets make sure we are talking apples to apples here. My statement is geared toward modern manufacturing and metalurgy. Many of those old classics used flat springs, had rust (which would effect the way it handles stress) and grease/dirt build up, and the mag springs will not perform the same as a modern (lets say, last 40 years) spring with better manufacturing and corrosion.
     
  19. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    These weren't rusty springs or flat springs. These were regular "spring wire" springs. Besides, when flat springs fail, at least in gun applications, it's usually because they break. I know this always isn't the case with mags left loaded but sometimes it is. Of those mags that were left loaded for decades and still worked, you can bet that was a very good spring/mag to start with and that the spring tension is less than what it used to be or what it would have been if stored empty.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  20. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Yeah that was kind of obvious. Like the local garage telling you change your oil every 3 months or your engine may go out in a puff of smoke.
     
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  21. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    I purchased 12 USGI Beretta M9 magazines a few months ago. They were not packaged so I don't know how old they are. 11 were made by Airtronics and the other one by Checkmate. Of the Airtronics six of the magazines springs were significantly shorter (1/2") when compared to the others and the Checkmate. The other five were the same length as the Checkmate. I did not brother to test fire them as it my S.O.P. to replace all of the springs in used magazines with Wolff 10% extra power. I kept the ones that were full length for just in case future use if I get more magazines. The others went into the trash can.

    Now that that they have new springs of proven quality I have no problems keeping them fully loaded. As I previously commented to the O.P. I would not have any concerns about keeping Ruger brand magazines fully loaded.
     
  22. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    This spring thread pops up now and again and I always think of my 22 year old F250. Same springs for all those years, holding up a 6000 lbs truck You'd think it would be sitting on its axles by now. But no it sits as it always has.
     
  23. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    Ah, yeah, but I doubt you've kept it fully loaded with 3/4 of a ton load in the bed for all those 22 years... It's common for many car collectors to put their cars on jack stands for the winter, not only to keep from damaging the tires, but also to get the weight off of the suspension. Apologies to the OP for getting off topic.
     
  24. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    The trucks 6000lbs empty. Those springs carry that at minimum. All the time.
     
  25. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    Yeah, I got that the first time around. Getting back to guns, if keeping mags loaded didn't ever wear out springs, they just lasted for ever and ever, there wouldn't be so many companies and parts retailers selling replacement springs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

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