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unit1069
09-29-2012, 22:46
I've read the pros and cons of leaving fully loaded magazines sit for years. From what I can tell even the experts are divided on this question, with some claiming there should be no problem and others saying it's not a good practice.

I haven't had the opportunity to go to the range in quite a few months and read that downloading the magazine by one round is a good way to "relax" the magazine spring if a loaded pistol is going to sit for sometime without being fired.

What say you, GT members?

mac9990
09-29-2012, 22:59
this has been beat to death on many forums. Steel springs do not need to relax. What fatigues them is a complete cycle. You will probably never wear them out in personal use. Leaving them compressed will not wear them out or weaken them. Check with a Metallurgist if you need to verify this. Unloading them simply cycles them one more time and is needless work.

OhioGlock90
09-30-2012, 01:12
you will wear out your mag spring faster by loading and unloading it all the time. if you load it just leave it alone, until your ready to fire.

samuse
09-30-2012, 07:58
The experts are not divided.

The people who know what they're talkin' about say 'load 'em up and relax'. The old geezers who clean their guns every thirty minutes and only use oil designed for guns are the ones who're scared to load their mags.

anubisgodofgods
09-30-2012, 08:25
We were issued our Sig229's 7 years ago. the magazines are fully loaded 24/7 for the entire time. No magazine issue what so ever.

The last department I worked for issued G22's. Mine was fully loaded for the 6 years I was there with no magazine issues what so ever. And this was a 2nd gen G22 that was issued long before I got it so load them up and be ready for when you need them which hopefuly will be never.

The Retired Sarge
09-30-2012, 08:29
Food for thought: Service pistols whose primary purpose is military/LE duty have magazines engineered to be fully loaded for extended periods of time with proper functioning. Military and LE personnel may not have the time or opportunity or even think to constantly be up/down loading magazines. Keep your magazines loaded and relax. Bill

Bruce M
09-30-2012, 09:20
While anecdotal only, I had a P226 magazine that I loaded with Hydrashocks shortly after Hurricane Andrew. I did not quite make it the twenty years as ran out of patience but a year or two ago I used it. The magazine that stayed loaded for a bit less than two decades along with the ammunition functioned fine.

If you use the magazines regularly they will let you know when the spring is weakening and if you do not use the magazines regularly the spring will not weaken very much.

M 7
09-30-2012, 09:22
My experience matches what is being said here. I have quite a few Glock magazines that are more than a decade old that have been left loaded for several (6-8) months at time over the entireity of their existence. I've not had an issue and would think that if it was going to occur I'd have seen it by now.

DWARREN123
09-30-2012, 09:31
Never had a problem with keeping mags loaded for extended periods of time. I do rotate thru my mags for carry about every six months. :supergrin:

Arc Angel
09-30-2012, 09:36
Oh, oh! (This could get nasty!) :supergrin:

I've got dozens of magazine spring posts and their answers on my hard drive; but, I'd really rather not get into all of that, again. Agree with me, disagree with me, I really don't care. Here's what I do: I always download my stored or EDC magazines by one round. Why?

Because while remaining fully loaded and stationary will NOT wear out a magazine spring, it WILL cause it to take a permanent set. (You can see this in large capacity AR and AK magazines.) If you download regularly loaded magazines by one round you'll have a stronger magazine spring to work with when you need it.

Don't agree? Fine! Do whatever you like. I'm not the one who's going to be standing behind your gun. :)

robhic
09-30-2012, 10:24
I don't think this will ever be completely resolved! There are SO MANY good points on both sides. Facts and examples abound, so who can say who's right?

Mags loaded for years fire like new. Others say download by one (or even 2) for spring life. I even posed this question to Mas Ayoob in the GATE forum.

In his book "...Gravest Extreme", he recommends downloading. The book was written in the 90's. I asked if his opinion had evolved. Metallurgists have been cited saying downloading is not necessary.

Mas said his springs didn't go to metallurgy school (:supergrin:) and he still recommends downloading. Now, are you even more confused?!?! :wow:

MikeG36
09-30-2012, 10:24
I'm not coming down on either side of this issue - both sides make good points. I can only speak from my experience. I have never had a magazine spring fail on any pistol I've ever been issued, owned, used, or seen. Back in the 1980s my uncle produced several 1911 magazines that had been loaded since WW II. We unloaded them and cleaned them up then took them to the range for some 1911 fun. There were a couple of FTEs but no FTFs. These mags had been sitting for ~37 years fully loaded and they still worked. I think today's springs are better than those of WW II and as such I'm sure they will last at least as long if not longer.

That said; repeated compression and decompression (as in a lot of shooting) will wear out a spring. Some magazines are much harder to load the first few times but loosen up over time so springs do take a set or break in. Down loading by one round would seem like a good idea if a springís tension could change over time Ė just sitting or through repeated use.

Bottom line here is do what you want. It may or may not make a difference. :dunno:

Arc Angel
09-30-2012, 15:10
One thing I've learned from reading these threads is that a lot depends upon whatever magazine you are using. Different magazines behave in different ways. A 1911 pattern magazine that was manufactured before, say, 1950 has a relatively short heavy spring. A Glock Model 21 magazine manufactured after 1990 has a longer and comparatively lighter spring. I know from frequent use and lots of personal experience that these two different magazine springs are N0T going to function in the same way. I've had spring problems with Glock 45 ACP magazines that I never had with 1911 magazines.

I've, also, had problems with 30 round AR and AK magazine springs that I've never had with, let's say, Sako magazines or even SKS magazines. As far as all magazine springs being vulnerable to taking, 'sets' read the instructions that come with some of these high priced spring-powered air rifles. These manufacturers, all, indicate that their springs WILL hold a certain amount of compression (Think of it as, 'fatigue'.) after they are released.

Some of the best information on spring fatigue and the effects of prolonged compression comes from, 'JohnKSa'. (Who is, in my considered opinion, one of these Internet gun forums' most experienced and best minds.) You can google any number of John's comments, if you like. There are a number of articles; but, here is the one I like best:

FROM: JohnKSa,

The idea that springs don't weaken from being left compressed is only true in the ideal case. A well designed spring, properly manufactured from good materials that is not over-compressed will not weaken from being left compressed. When you change any of those factors you end up with a spring that can weaken from being left compressed.

This has been common knowledge in the air gun world for many decades. Spring piston air gun springs are typically over-compressed when the gun is cocked because that offers the best combination of ease of cocking, performance, size and weight. They could make the springs so that they weren't over-compressed when cocked but that would either result in a much larger gun, a much heavier gun, one that's much harder to cock or one that has poor power for its size.

To optimize all those parameters it's usually considered acceptable to sacrifice spring life. Particularly since springs aren't that difficult to replace nor are they terribly expensive. At any rate most any spring piston air gun comes with a caution that the gun should be not be left cocked (spring compressed) for long periods of time because it will weaken the spring. For doubters, tests have been done showing that the longer the gun is left cocked, the weaker the spring becomes, I can dig up a link if anyone cares that much.

The same applies to magazines. Good quality typical single stack magazines don't seem to have this issue, but sometimes when a designer tries for maximum capacity, minimum size without pushing loading effort off the chart, the spring is what must be compromised. I'm sure the designer was telling himself that it was no big deal because mag springs are very inexpensive and simple to replace.

(09/26/08: JohnKSa/TheFiringLine Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semiauto Forum/Does Storing A Magazine Loaded Degrade The Quality?)

Arc Angel
09-30-2012, 15:15
...... I even posed this question to Mas Ayoob in the GATE forum.

In his book "...Gravest Extreme", he recommends downloading. The book was written in the 90's. I asked if his opinion had evolved. Metallurgists have been cited saying downloading is not necessary.

Mas said his springs didn't go to metallurgy school and he still recommends downloading. Now, are you even more confused?!?!

Score one for Mas! :thumbsup:



(Many of the older gunmen just seem to know!) ;)

federali
09-30-2012, 16:14
I was given a loaded .25 auto magazine that was sitting in someone's house since the 1940s. While I didn't have the gun to shoot the rounds, unloading the magazine indicated that it would probably have been just fine. The spring tension was as strong as current magazines.

ken grant
09-30-2012, 16:46
Saw on Tac-TV a while back where Larry Vickers and another Instructor ( Hacker something) said they always download Glock mags one round.
Not because of springs but because the mags can swell even the metal lined ones.

janice6
09-30-2012, 17:16
For ten years all my magazines are fully loaded all the time. I just grab a handful and spare ammo and go to the range. I have never had a mag issue of any kind in any of my pistols.

I buy police used trade in mags and never an issue with them. they are the same ones I refer to without issues for ten years. I have some I purchased that show considerable wear, but always function perfectly. I must have a mix of different followers but I never cared.

The advice you are getting from the posters is excellent.

How often do you change front or rear springs in your car?

whitebread
09-30-2012, 18:11
Oh, oh! (This could get nasty!) :supergrin:

I've got dozens of magazine spring posts and their answers on my hard drive; but, I'd really rather not get into all of that, again. Agree with me, disagree with me, I really don't care. Here's what I do: I always download my stored or EDC magazines by one round. Why?

Because while remaining fully loaded and stationary will NOT wear out a magazine spring, it WILL cause it to take a permanent set. (You can see this in large capacity AR and AK magazines.) If you download regularly loaded magazines by one round you'll have a stronger magazine spring to work with when you need it.

Don't agree? Fine! Do whatever you like. I'm not the one who's going to be standing behind your gun. :)

You clearly have no formal education in metallurgy, material science, or even, mechanical engineering. Spring set is complete nonsense.

ken grant
09-30-2012, 18:34
You clearly have no formal education in metallurgy, material science, or even, mechanical engineering. Spring set is complete nonsense.

If this is so, why can you take a new mag spring and have a hard time loading it but you can fully load it and let it set awhile and it gets much easier to load.

Also a new spring will shorten after being fully compressed for a while.

ithaca_deerslayer
09-30-2012, 18:59
If this is so, why can you take a new mag spring and have a hard time loading it but you can fully load it and let it set awhile and it gets much easier to load.

Also a new spring will shorten after being fully compressed for a while.

I don't have any spring science degrees, but that is a great question.

I'm of the opinion that springs don't set unless they start to rust, and thus start to "freeze" in place.

But springs do weaken with use. I wonder if pushing the spring down and immediately letting it come back up to weaken it is perhaps just the same as if you were pushing it down and holding.

So, yes, in my opinion, a spring will shorten after being fully compressed, but I disagree that "for a while" is part of the equation :)

Disclaimer, rust could happen over time and change the equation. Also, I could be wrong.

anubisgodofgods
09-30-2012, 19:14
Could it be that gun manufactures know that springs will shorten slightly (Say 5%) so they design them slightly long (again by 5%) so that when they shorten they are at the perfect length for years of service?

4Rules
09-30-2012, 19:50
Larry Vickers' Tactical Tip:
Magazines (http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/)
http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/


About Larry Vickers:

Civilian Background (http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/civilian-background/)
http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/civilian-background/

Military Background (http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/about-larry-vickers/)
http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/about-larry-vickers/

bigmoney890
09-30-2012, 19:54
The constant unloading and loading of magazines is what causes the springs to weaken. Leaving them fully loaded doesn't adversely affect their length, strength, or performance, but why risk it if you feel otherwise?

whitebread
09-30-2012, 20:02
If this is so, why can you take a new mag spring and have a hard time loading it but you can fully load it and let it set awhile and it gets much easier to load.

Also a new spring will shorten after being fully compressed for a while.

The spring length at rest is not a specification of the spring. Springs are defined by a force curve with respect to an absolute compressed length. Typically, the first ~20% of compression is not linear nor part of its design parameters. The extended length you speak about in your example has no relevance to the mag assembly function - it is compressed well beyond that point at rest when assembled.

When a magazine follower and spring assembly is compressed, there is a lot more going on (mechanically) than simply a spring compressing. However, I am not disputing that when the spring is brand new, and you compress that spring, the length at rest is inconsistent, or its first compression curve is identical to that of compression number 10, 50, or 5,000. I am saying that the spring is designed to behave in a specific manner over its lifetime. The first few compressions are not of consideration, and over a lifetime of compression cycles, it will fatigue...but, leaving it compressed for an infinite amount of time (after the spring is cycled a handful of times) will not produce any measurable difference in behavior. Cycling it 10,000 times while leaving another identical spring compressed will show a decrease in force/change in elastic limit with the one that was cycled. The only way to truly get 'spring set' is to introduce heat or over-compress it (would require disassembling the mag and stretching the spring or a heat-treating oven).

No reasonable person with the slightest hint of an engineering background would specify/choose spring characteristics that would be affected by leaving a mag loaded. ...especially not these days.

Arc Angel
09-30-2012, 21:11
You clearly have no formal education in metallurgy, material science, or even, mechanical engineering. Spring set is complete nonsense.

Yeah, and the moon is made of cream cheese! :supergrin:

My college record in, both, Christian Religion and statistical science was never lower than 3.8. I have never been ranked anywhere less than the upper 5 percentile of whatever class I was in. My recorded IQ is, 'in the stratosphere'; and here I am on the dumbass Internet taking crap from a dummy like you! Believe anything you like. All I can say is, 'Wow'! :shocked:

(Serves me right; doesn't it!) :freak:

jbglock
09-30-2012, 21:43
I download all my Glock mags by one because they are a pain to fully load. I carry a 17C on duty with 2 spare mags. Off duty a 23C with one spare mag. So on duty 49 rounds instead of 52. Off duty 25 rounds instead of 27. Just not that big a deal to me. I have 23 mags that are over a decade and a half old and still work fine so whatever I'm doing I'll just keep doing.

SCSU74
09-30-2012, 21:54
I've read the pros and cons of leaving fully loaded magazines sit for years. From what I can tell even the experts are divided on this question, with some claiming there should be no problem and others saying it's not a good practice.

I haven't had the opportunity to go to the range in quite a few months and read that downloading the magazine by one round is a good way to "relax" the magazine spring if a loaded pistol is going to sit for sometime without being fired.

What say you, GT members?

Go into the valuable info sub forum, beaten to death in there. No need to download pistol mags. Ar mags are a different story


Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong

Arc Angel
10-01-2012, 06:20
Larry Vickers' Tactical Tip:
Magazines (http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/)[/SIZE]
http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/

About Larry Vickers:
Civilian Background (http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/civilian-background/)
http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/civilian-background/

Military Background (http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/about-larry-vickers/)
http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/about-larry-vickers/


LARRY VICKERS ON TAKING CARE OF YOUR WEAPON MAGAZINES:

1.) Baby them. Treat your magazines as gently as you can within the realm of realistic training. Donít drop them fully loaded during a mag reload drill as that is very abusive and does not reflect reality. Donít drop them on hard surfaces such as concrete and gravel as a matter of habit. If it is necessary to do this due to range restrictions then put down something to cushion the dropped magazine.

2.) On tough to seat mags, download at least 1 round. If a fully loaded mag is difficult to seat with the slide or bolt assembly in battery then download the mag by at least 1 round as a matter of habit. USGI aluminum M16 magazines are a good example of this as they are really only properly designed to take 28 rounds, not 30 as advertised. Glock pistol mags as a general rule should always be downloaded 1 round as a fully loaded mag is difficult to seat with the slide forward.

3.) Leave loaded only when necessary and rotate with fresh magazines monthly. This will increase the longevity of your magazines.

4.) Attempt to keep them clean particularly in sandy and salt water environments. Do not oil the magazine internals as this tends to attract debris.

5.) Use OEM mags as a general rule. Original manufacturer mags tend to be the best choice across the board. An exception would be magazines for 1911 and AR15 magazines. 1911 manufacturers as a general rule supply a cheap, low bid magazine with their pistols as they realize most serious shooters will buy higher quality aftermarket magazines. Wilson Combat 1911 magazines are some of the finest on the market. I specifically like the Wilson Combat ETM magazines, but the 47D mag is good too. For the AR, Magpul magazines are worth a hard look.

6.) They require periodic replacement. I know this will come as a shocker for some of you but believe it or not after awhile you need to trash your mags and buy new ones if they are used a lot. They take a lot of abuse and are expected to work 100% of the time with no exceptions yet be reasonably priced. This is a tall order and it means that after awhile they have simply have met their service life and need to be replaced. I know it is a radical concept for some people but it is the truth.

I have lived by these guidelines for years and have had exceptionally good luck with my magazines. Those who know me also know my weapons tend to work very reliably and a major reason is I treat my magazines with the respect they deserve. I would recommend you do the same.

:) 4Rules, Thank you for making such an excellent contribution to this thread. Too bad the information has been so largely overlooked! :freak:

Larry Vickers, while he might not have a PhD in metallurgy or spring science, clearly demonstrates that he knows what heís talking about, and speaks with the wisdom and authority of an older, heavily experienced, gunman. I like what Vickers has to say, so much, that Iím going to keep a copy of his recommendations for my own use.

(Even though Iím already following these caveats, and have done so for many years, at least now Iíll have just that much more justification!)

Thanks! :thumbsup:

DocWills
10-01-2012, 11:47
Im a downloader. I refuse to force rounds in mags. Mine last forever. I drop 2 on the 9mm and one on the 40/45. I can not say it worries me. I can reload with ease, shoot well and not have single issu with anything.

I started this with highpowers in the old days. Then the smith 9mm issues.

Not stressing your equipment is old. Peacemakers were the first download. 5 rather than 6 unless your fighting.

We carried 5 nd 6 shot guns for years.If you cant finish it with 13 9mm rounds ball or otherwise hes more of a man than you. Same with 12 45 rounds or 13 40 cal.

You have to be realistic.

If you dont want to be realistic, well carry em full and fantasy up.

Also stats wise, first round failure to feed out of the mag drops way down. If your really in need that alone would do it for me.

Arc Angel
10-01-2012, 19:10
Im a downloader. I refuse to force rounds in mags. Mine last forever. I drop 2 on the 9mm and one on the 40/45. I can not say it worries me. I can reload with ease, shoot well and not have single issu with anything.

I started this with highpowers in the old days. Then the smith 9mm issues.

Not stressing your equipment is old. Peacemakers were the first download. 5 rather than 6 unless your fighting.

We carried 5 nd 6 shot guns for years.If you cant finish it with 13 9mm rounds ball or otherwise hes more of a man than you. Same with 12 45 rounds or 13 40 cal.

You have to be realistic.

If you dont want to be realistic, well carry em full and fantasy up.

Also stats wise, first round failure to feed out of the mag drops way down. If your really in need that alone would do it for me.

:thumbsup: Doc, you really said it! You and I must be close in years. ;)

SJ 40
10-01-2012, 19:42
This

Not stressing your equipment is old. Peacemakers were the first download. 5 rather than 6 unless your fighting.

was done because if one loaded all six chambers the firing pin was at rest on one of the primers of the six cartridges,different than fully loading your magazines. SJ 40

unit1069
10-02-2012, 16:18
Thanks for all the responses. I can see there is no consensus on this issue. Hoping others with opinions will chime in.

PEC-Memphis
10-02-2012, 16:42
You clearly have no formal education in metallurgy, material science, or even, mechanical engineering. Spring set is complete nonsense.

These folks probably know more about gun springs than everyone on this forum:

From Wolff Gunsprings FAQ's:

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.

Warp
10-02-2012, 17:08
The experts are not divided.

The people who know what they're talkin' about say 'load 'em up and relax'.

This.

robhic
10-02-2012, 17:11
This is more personal stupidity and non-focus than an equipment issue. Just today, I was at the range testing ammo in my Ruger .22's. I had my G26 with 10+1 concealed.

After finishing the .22, I had one target left so I shot it with my 26. Ten shots and then pointed the pistol downrange (THANK GOD!) before putting it back in the holster so I could leave and head home. Well, I had shot 10 rounds. The G26 carries 10 rounds, but ONE IN THE CHAMBER = ELEVEN!!!

I had the dreaded ND -- more like a SD (Stupid Discharge) -- down range!!! :wow: Because I am thinking/counting 10 rounds, the 11th snuck up on me. One more reason to only load the designed amount, downloading one round as the one in the chamber from now on. All Glocks..

Warp
10-02-2012, 17:15
This is more personal stupidity and non-focus than an equipment issue. Just today, I was at the range testing ammo in my Ruger .22's. I had my G26 with 10+1 concealed.

After finishing the .22, I had one target left so I shot it with my 26. Ten shots and then pointed the pistol downrange (THANK GOD!) before putting it back in the holster so I could leave and head home. Well, I had shot 10 rounds. The G26 carries 10 rounds, but ONE IN THE CHAMBER = ELEVEN!!!

I had the dreaded ND -- more like a SD (Stupid Discharge) -- down range!!! :wow: Because I am thinking/counting 10 rounds, the 11th snuck up on me. One more reason to only load the designed amount, downloading one round as the one in the chamber from now on. All Glocks..

10 rounds in a 10 round magazine is the designed amount.

SouthpawG26
10-02-2012, 17:50
Because I am thinking/counting 10 rounds, the 11th snuck up on me. One more reason to only load the designed amount, downloading one round as the one in the chamber from now on. All Glocks..

No, i disagree. It's one more reason to completely let go of the concept and mindset of counting rounds untill empty.

Nothing short of a removed magazine AND a locked back slide AND a visually verified empty chamber, constitutes an unloaded weapon.

Nothing.

Z71bill
10-02-2012, 18:57
Even if you download - you should still unload and reload your mags every 3 months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first.


:rofl::upeyes:

PEC-Memphis
10-02-2012, 20:14
This is more personal stupidity and non-focus than an equipment issue. Just today, I was at the range testing ammo in my Ruger .22's. I had my G26 with 10+1 concealed.

After finishing the .22, I had one target left so I shot it with my 26. Ten shots and then pointed the pistol downrange (THANK GOD!) before putting it back in the holster so I could leave and head home. Well, I had shot 10 rounds. The G26 carries 10 rounds, but ONE IN THE CHAMBER = ELEVEN!!!

I had the dreaded ND -- more like a SD (Stupid Discharge) -- down range!!! :wow: Because I am thinking/counting 10 rounds, the 11th snuck up on me. One more reason to only load the designed amount, downloading one round as the one in the chamber from now on. All Glocks..

Didn't notice slide lock (or lack thereof?)

Warp
10-02-2012, 20:16
Didn't notice slide lock (or lack thereof?)

Very good point.

Who thinks that their Glock is empty when the slide closes on an inserted magazine??? I mean, really...this is looking like a great example of poor gun handling.

Never Nervous
10-02-2012, 20:45
Even if you download - you should still unload and reload your mags every 3 months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first.


:rofl::upeyes:

If you're using synthetic you can go at least 7 maybe 8 thousand before downloading.:tongueout:

NN

.38 super
10-02-2012, 21:08
... I've had spring problems with Glock 45 ACP magazines that I never had with 1911 magazines... My 1911 style pre-historic Llama in .38super have both mags loaded since 1990 believe it ot not.
Besides the feeding problem with one of them that I dropped once, the other-one is performing perfectly. I know for a fact that this gun was not shot from 1990 till 1997, both mags loaded, it was my father in law's gun, the guy was ill, I never shot the gun for 7 years, it was in my possession.
Never had problems with my Glock mags too but they don't stay loaded longer than month or two...

jbglock
10-03-2012, 05:20
Actually their is a consensus. I trust Wolff. I trust Vickers. I have modern magazines that have lasted for 15+ years and counting. Download 1.

AquaHull
10-03-2012, 07:15
Never had a problem with keeping mags loaded for extended periods of time. I do rotate thru my mags for carry about every six months. :supergrin:

Me too, it's easy to do when you have lots of spares. Plus you stay sharp with the carry ammo, since I shoot it out.

Z71bill
10-03-2012, 07:20
If you're using synthetic you can go at least 7 maybe 8 thousand before downloading.:tongueout:

NN

Glocks & Glock mags are synthetic - aren't they? :dunno:

Z71bill
10-03-2012, 07:38
These folks probably know more about gun springs than everyone on this forum:



This is like asking Jiffy Lube if I should change my oil every 3 months / 3,000 miles.

They want to sell springs - what do you think they will say?

If I think really hard - I could come to the conclusion that --

If the manufacturer forces an extra round in - just so they can say - My gun holds 15 - Brand X only holds 14 -

And they do this by - reducing the size of the spring too much - and by "over compresses the spring" I could see a possible spring problem.

----------------
My -

S&W M&P9c mags hold 12 rounds of 9MM with no problem.

The S&W M&P40c mags hold 10 rounds of .40 S&W - but it is a tight fit.

The magazine body is the exact same size - they use the same spring.

I have M&P40c mags that have been fully loaded for almost 5 years - so far no issues - the springs are still strong - I know they are because I can feel it when I load the magazine.

If I need to use a mag loader to get the last few rounds in - because the spring is so stiff - is it possible that the spring is weak? Doesn't seem possible.

unit1069
10-03-2012, 08:57
Glocks & Glock mags are synthetic - aren't they? :dunno:

The mag springs are steel.

robhic
10-03-2012, 09:20
10 rounds in a 10 round magazine is the designed amount.

My point being load 10 and then rack the top round in the chamber so it becomes 9+1 leaving a -1 downloaded mag.

robhic
10-03-2012, 09:27
Didn't notice slide lock (or lack thereof?)

No, no I didn't. That was why I started the post saying it was non-focus and stupidity causing a SD (Stupid Discharge). I am completely at fault and will not make excuses. I didn't pay attention and ABSOLUTELY SHOULD HAVE OBSERVED THE SLIDE BACK IN BATTERY AND NOT HELD OPEN!!!

It has convinced me to download by 1 round by racking the slide on a loaded magazine to obtain the 9+1 configuration on my 10 round G26 magazines in the future. And others, too....

Warp
10-03-2012, 12:32
My point being load 10 and then rack the top round in the chamber so it becomes 9+1 leaving a -1 downloaded mag.

My point being that a magazine that holds 10 rounds is loaded to the designed amount when it has 10 rounds in it.

Another point: Don't assume a gun is empty because you counted rounds.

Another point: One should probably get out and shoot more if one thinks a Glock, with a magazine inserted, has run out of ammunition despite the fact that the slide closed after the last shot.

xrmattaz
10-03-2012, 12:44
I don't top off Glock mags, except the G38 and 39.

My old pal Chuck Taylor told me his G17 mag springs lasted much longer on his old 375K round Glock by doing so.

PEC-Memphis
10-03-2012, 16:24
This is like asking Jiffy Lube if I should change my oil every 3 months / 3,000 miles.

They want to sell springs - what do you think they will say?

Not really. If you read it they are telling you to not over stress the magazine spring to insure that you will not have to buy a spring from them. If you, as a matter of necessity, need to keep fully loaded magazines, they offer a way to do this (extra power spring) without having to replace springs as often to insure reliability.

They also note that the stress on the spring varies with the magazine design. So for some designs, fully loaded magazines for long durations matters, and in others it doesn't.

Depending upon design, cyclic fatigue is not the only mechanism for changing the k-factor of the spring. If normal stresses are close to the elastic limit, the k-factor changes - and "close", to a certain extent, is a function of time (ie. the "dash pot" in solid modeling)

robhic
10-03-2012, 16:49
My point being that a magazine that holds 10 rounds is loaded to the designed amount when it has 10 rounds in it.

Another point: Don't assume a gun is empty because you counted rounds.

Another point: One should probably get out and shoot more if one thinks a Glock, with a magazine inserted, has run out of ammunition despite the fact that the slide closed after the last shot.

I agree with you. It was my lack of focus that caused the issue. After 400+ rounds of .22 I was more on "auto-pilot" (not an excuse, I know) and counted 10. I always shoot until empty and the slide locks back. I then close the slide, point downrange and "click" to return the gun to my bag for transport home.

This time I slipped past step #1. And what about people who've asked about their slide not locking back after the last round is fired? The slide would be in battery but the weapon is empty. I am taking this as a lesson to be learned and, as such, I learned something...!

DocWills
10-03-2012, 17:22
oh please like none of us have not done it too.:supergrin::wavey:

jbglock
10-03-2012, 21:01
I've never done it but it that is just pure luck. I don't know why he's being criticized so heavily. He had it pointed downrange. It's not like he shot his TV or killed the family dog.

Warp
10-03-2012, 21:03
I've never done it but it that is just pure luck. I don't know why he's being criticized so heavily. He had it pointed downrange. It's not like he shot his TV or killed the family dog.

It's probably because he listed it as a reason to download magazines, as if fully loading his pistol was somehow to blame.

SJ 40
10-03-2012, 21:12
I've never done it but it that is just pure luck. I don't know why he's being criticized so heavily. He had it pointed downrange. It's not like he shot his TV or killed the family dog.If it's a Glock that I am carrying there are sixteen rounds,one in the chamber fifteen in the magazine Always and that's why to me the LCI extractor is a waste.
If the gun is in my safe it's empty Always,no matter what type it is,handgun,rifle or shotgun. SJ 40

FatBoy
10-03-2012, 22:01
This is more personal stupidity and non-focus than an equipment issue. Just today, I was at the range testing ammo in my Ruger .22's. I had my G26 with 10+1 concealed.

After finishing the .22, I had one target left so I shot it with my 26. Ten shots and then pointed the pistol downrange (THANK GOD!) before putting it back in the holster so I could leave and head home. Well, I had shot 10 rounds. The G26 carries 10 rounds, but ONE IN THE CHAMBER = ELEVEN!!!

I had the dreaded ND -- more like a SD (Stupid Discharge) -- down range!!! :wow: Because I am thinking/counting 10 rounds, the 11th snuck up on me. One more reason to only load the designed amount, downloading one round as the one in the chamber from now on. All Glocks..


I have to say this is craziness. :faint:Personally I actually ck my gun to see if it's loaded. I guess it comes from having good habits when I learned how to shoot.

All of my PD guns are loaded to the max; be that 5 or 31.

Back to the OP. I don't have a PhD nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have had two HK P7M13 mags loaded since 1989ish(except while being emptied at the range) They keep on ticking like a Timex. This discussion has been going on for ever, so I test them every now and then.

FB

Warp
10-03-2012, 22:31
I have to say this is craziness. :faint:Personally I actually ck my gun to see if it's loaded.

As well you should, if you are going to expect it to be unloaded. Check it visually and physically.

Southwind
10-04-2012, 10:09
A properly designed and manufactured spring will not change properties if left under load.

A properly designed and manufactured pistol will not eject brass into the user's face.

Hmmmm...

NDCent
10-04-2012, 10:28
Keep an unloaded extended round magazine in your pistol and loose ammo in your pocket to load if/when needed. :yawn:

wrangler5
10-18-2012, 17:35
Anybody notice the Technical Q&A in the November 2012 American Rifleman? The usual question is asked on page 47 (". . . I was wondering whether keeping the magazine spring compressed for long periods will eventually weaken it.")

The answer by Reid Coffield starts off Springs will lose strength over time if left in a compressed state. He goes on to say that it's impossible to predict how long that will take,[c]onsequently, the prudent course of action is to rotate magazines so no one magazine is left compressed or loaded for more than a few months.

Whenever this question has come up over the years, on this forum and others, the consensus seems to be near-universal that leaving magazines loaded will NOT weaken the springs, whereas constant unloading and reloading WILL. The question seems to have been settled for so many years that it makes me wonder where the Rifleman is getting its technical information, and whether the rest of the supposedly technical information they print should be taken with a grain of salt as well.

PEC-Memphis
10-19-2012, 08:16
Whenever this question has come up over the years, on this forum and others, the consensus seems to be near-universal that leaving magazines loaded will NOT weaken the springs, whereas constant unloading and reloading WILL. The question seems to have been settled for so many years that it makes me wonder where the Rifleman is getting its technical information, and whether the rest of the supposedly technical information they print should be taken with a grain of salt as well.

Of course the other position would be that comments on forums - by people whose technical, engineering or firearms experience/knowledge is unknown - should be taken with a grain of salt.

Having been an engineer for over 30 years - I've usually found that a "universal answer" is sometimes right and sometimes wrong - it (usually) depends upon the specifics of the design. When I am asked a broad question - my usual response is "...depends".

wrangler5
10-19-2012, 09:33
< snip > Having been an engineer for over 30 years - I've usually found that a "universal answer" is sometimes right and sometimes wrong - it (usually) depends upon the specifics of the design. When I am asked a broad question - my usual response is "...depends".

Of course you're right. Having been a lawyer for even longer I've learned that you never say "always" or "never." Well, almost never. :whistling:

That said, I think there are always some implicit assumptions in the question and answer (sometimes one or more are even mentioned) such as the spring having been properly designed in the first place for the particular magazine, and properly manufactured of the appropriate steel, the magazine being stored in environmental conditions (temperature, humidity) that do not adversely affect the steel in the spring, and the magazine not having been overloaded to the point where the elastic limit (is that the right term?) of the spring is exceeded. And there may be others.

Given all of THOSE assumptions, I have the impression that the metallurgical community can say with technical confidence that the storage of a loaded magazine will not cause the spring to weaken over time (at least not over time fromes that humans are concerned about.) Over the years I have seen statements to this effect on several forums which purport to come from metallurgists and/or gun designers. And I do NOT recall seeing comments from folks who claim to be metallurgists saying no, that's all wrong, I can tell you scientifically that springs DO fatigue just from being compressed for a long time.

The other side of the issue should also be mentioned. The metallurgists who (I've seen) say it's OK to leave magazines stored loaded for long terms also say, uniformly, that it's the compression and expansion of the springs that WILL weaken 'em over time - short periods of time if you do it a lot, like the competitive pistol shooters who change their mag springs every year or two. I've never seen any suggestion that this is not true.

Admittedly, we must take internet advice with caution if it's from persons we don't know. But the weight and consistency of this specific advice (leave 'em loaded, no worries) over the years from different folks who purport to know the scientific basis for it leads me to think that it's true, given the implicit assumptions noted above.

The opposite advice (which the Rifleman piece gave) to load and unload regularly in order to keep from weakening the springs, strikes me as "it just makes sense" advice. So I personally put it in the same category as other such advice in the gun world - you know, like "it just makes sense" that outlawing guns in Chicago will reduce violence there, or that letting "ordinary people" to carry hidden guns will bring gunfights in supermarkets, or that a bayonet lug makes a rifle more deadly than one without such a lug.

dhgeyer
10-19-2012, 10:05
I asked my father this question. He's not into guns, but he did get a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1943 with close to a 4.00. His answer was what a lot of people have said here so far: a spring will not weaken from being continually compressed within its design parameters for a long period of time, regardless of how long. It does weaken from being cycled; compressed and decompressed. I defer to his knowledge. Now, if, as some have said, current magazine designers are pushing spring materials beyond their design parameters, then that's a different story. A spring can certainly be weakened by being compressed beyond what the material can recover from if that amount of over compression can be achieved within the device it is placed in.

I personally download my mags by a lot more than 1. I have 15 round mags in my G19, and I only load 10. And then load the chamber. So the mag in the gun has 9, and the spare has 10. And I carry them that way. This is kind of off topic, because my reason for doing this has nothing to do with spring life. It has to do with two things. Given all the statistics and incidents I have ever read, heard about, or seen in 50 years, I have never heard of a legitimate case of civilian self defense requiring anywhere near 10 shots much less more than that, and I am absolutely convinced that I will never need more than 10 myself. Most such encounters require 0 shots fired. I have personally used pistols to defend myself from violent crimes twice in 66 years, with 0 shots fired. This in and of itself is no reason to not load up 15 rounds "just in case". My main reason for sticking to units of 10 is convenience. I shoot 5 or 10 shot groups. Boxes of ammo come with round counts divisible by 10. I cycle my ammo out fairly often, so it's just easier to keep track of it in units of 10. Everyone on this forum is going to disagree with me to the point of calling me a fool, I am sure. Please save your breath. I've heard it. And there's no need for a total thread hijack. I'm just saying what I do. Don't expect anyone to agree or be persuaded to do the same.

DPris
10-19-2012, 12:37
The only case of mag spring compression I've ever personally seen was in my duty Glock 17.
A round hung up inside the magazine on the range one day, the only malfunction I've ever had with that 1988 pistol (which I still have).
When checked, all three of the duty mags I carried had shortened springs in them.
Our department armorer said he routinely replaced mag springs when they shortened to a certain degree, and had done several.

Those were carried for months at a time by most officers without ever relaxing the springs except at quarterly qualifications or the annual armorer inspection.

After my incident, I defied department policy for the rest of the time I carried that Glock by downloading it one round.
When I carry a 17 today, same thing.

Metallurgical theories aside, that's my direct experience on the issue. :)
Denis

Warp
10-19-2012, 13:29
I really like the way this discussion has gone.

Excellent posts.