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Old 10-04-2012, 13:54   #26
zackwatt
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Springs don't wear out by staying compressed. If that were the case, they would wear out with the magazine empty! Because they are always under some compression inside the magazine.

Let's have a quick engineering lesson...

At temperatures outside of a furnace, steel doesn't have any appreciable creep. Under most conditions, steel flexes and then returns to its original shape. When pushed past its elastic limit, steel will bend and not return to its original shape. All designers of well-made magazines would make sure the spring never approaches the elastic limit when the magazine is fully loaded. This means the spring will not weaken when the magazine is fully loaded...not even over an extended time.

Creep: The flow or plastic deformation of metals held for long periods of time at stresses lower than the normal yield strength.

Elastic Limit: The maximum stress that material will stand before permanent deformation occurs.

Plastic Behavior: Permanent deformation of the metal.

Yield Strength: The stress at which the metal changes from elastic to plastic in behavior, i.e., takes a permanent set.

Permanent Set: Non-elastic or plastic, deformation of metal under stress, after passing the elastic limit.


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Old 10-04-2012, 14:43   #27
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Leave them loaded.
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Old 10-04-2012, 15:54   #28
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Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
Did you by chance read the part you edited out where I said I wouldn't bother with that?

Apparently not.

It helps to read the post completely BEFORE posting a response.

Your welcome.

If your worried about it, leave one less round in your mags or rotate them on a regular basis. I don't see any need to do that though.
OK, since you're so smart, here's English lesson of the day. Striking out part of your last paragraph and leaving the last sentence intact, as above, makes any sense to you?
Since it's already established that leaving the mag fully loaded for years does not affect its function, what's the point of being "worried about it"? Hence, I struck out your entire last paragraph.

That concludes the lesson for the day. You 're welcome, sir/ma'am . Get yourself some sense of humor, will you?

Btw, I leave my mags fully loaded for years, too. Never had a problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:54   #29
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Just like any other internet myth, science usually debunks it for those willing to take the time to try to believe the science. Unfortunately, most folks don't want to trust the science behind the debunking. Take Mr. Zackwatt, for instance. He's presented a very standard stress-strain curve for the very material most magazine springs are made of. As long as the spring operates within the elastic range shown in the curve between the origin and point A (which a descent engineer will make sure of by designing the rest of the magazine properly), the spring will not "weaken." The main things that will weaken a spring are: Operation beyond the elastic limit into plastic deformation (i.e.: loading more rounds into the magazine than the manufacturer says to), vibrations that cause a natural frequency (I can't even think of a scenario where a human can cause this to happen to a magazine spring), or if the spring is annealed (this would change the curve that Zackwatt provided, and I wouldn't trust any part of any gun that has been through that kind of heat treatment anyway.
So, until Ginger and The Walrus on Mythbusters go through the trouble to disprove this one, I guess we're stuck with the masses that espouse the same old "leave a round out, etc." Aah, the interwebz!
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Old 10-04-2012, 19:45   #30
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http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/

I pretty much did that long before I ever read that. Magazines weren't meant to last forever. I download by one in my Glock mags. By 2 in my AR mags. My mags last for years. As a matter of fact I have gen2 mags that I've never replace the springs in that function fine.
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Old 10-04-2012, 20:53   #31
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Originally Posted by jbglock View Post
http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/magazines/

I pretty much did that long before I ever read that. Magazines weren't meant to last forever. I download by one in my Glock mags. By 2 in my AR mags. My mags last for years. As a matter of fact I have gen2 mags that I've never replace the springs in that function fine.
Alright, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I read that whole crappy article. Not a single factual or referenced claim as to why he advises to down load magazines. 100% opinion. If you believe anything written there, you might as well believe me when I tell you to change your car's engine oil and filter every 100 miles because I think your engine will last longer than if you changed your oil at the manufacturer's recommended intervals! Seriously! The only thing in that whole article of rubbish that made common sense was to not abuse your magazines, and trash 'em if you do. Freakin' DUH!!! I've never heard of Larry Vickers before 10 minutes ago, but he has no technical credibility as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-04-2012, 21:41   #32
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Originally Posted by quichedem View Post
Alright, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I read that whole crappy article. Not a single factual or referenced claim as to why he advises to down load magazines. 100% opinion. If you believe anything written there, you might as well believe me when I tell you to change your car's engine oil and filter every 100 miles because I think your engine will last longer than if you changed your oil at the manufacturer's recommended intervals! Seriously! The only thing in that whole article of rubbish that made common sense was to not abuse your magazines, and trash 'em if you do. Freakin' DUH!!! I've never heard of Larry Vickers before 10 minutes ago, but he has no technical credibility as far as I'm concerned.
Your technical credibility is? His is listed on that site.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:21   #33
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Originally Posted by jbglock View Post
Your technical credibility is? His is listed on that site.
Please....

Larry Vickers is not anyone to listen to about technical engineering stuff.

No, properly engineered and maufactured mags do not need to be down-loaded. I have 3 G17 mags that are 5 years old, and have always been fully loaded....and they're completely fine. My 7 AR mags aways stay completely loaded, and they're fine as well.

I swear, some idiot wrote something years ago, and the same stupid information is being passed around by people not interested in figuring out the truth for themselves.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:50   #34
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Originally Posted by countrygun View Post
I'll just make it as simple as I can.

I have shot magazines that I loaded new and stored for years after moving and they worked fine. I have shot magazines that have deen stored for probably decades and as long as there was no rust they worked fine.

I have worn out mag springs in less than 2 years using them as range mags.

That tells me something.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:26   #35
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Originally Posted by M&P15T View Post
Please....

Larry Vickers is not anyone to listen to about technical engineering stuff.

No, properly engineered and maufactured mags do not need to be down-loaded. I have 3 G17 mags that are 5 years old, and have always been fully loaded....and they're completely fine. My 7 AR mags aways stay completely loaded, and they're fine as well.

I swear, some idiot wrote something years ago, and the same stupid information is being passed around by people not interested in figuring out the truth for themselves.
Your technical credibility is? His is listed on that site.

All I know is what has worked for me for getting close to two decades now. I've yet to have a magazine failure. I didn't need the internet to figure out how to take care of my mags. All those soldiers over the years were wrong also I guess.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:55   #36
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Your technical credibility is? His is listed on that site.
I never said it was, but everything I've stated is researchable.

I, reluctantly, went back to Vickers' site, and I found nothing related to his "technical" credability. Did I miss it? Can you show me where it is?
Also, He calls himself "the father of the Hk 416." Other sparse and vague phrases on his own website, and hkpro, I don't see any factual information that states exactly his involvment in any part of the design process. If you believe that, I urge you to believe that I'm the "father of the refrigerator." The father of the Hk 416 is Eugene Stoner. Some German mechanical engineer tweaked an old piston design and Hk decided to mill out parts instead of casting, and everyone wants to act like they reinvented the wheel? Please! I love Hks. I have one, and I've actually handled a 416 (not the MR556). While robust, it's not superior. I'd bet the German mechanical engineer at Hk has never even heard of Larry Vickers. Now back to the magazine issue:
I'm too lazy to find it to quote, but someone replied that the USGI 30 round magazines are actually designed to hold 28. THAT'S THE BIGGEST LOAD OF CRAP I'VE READ YET!! You show me where, in ANY firearms manual, the manufacturer suggests this, and I will gladly apologize for calling you an idiot. I certainly never came across that sentence in any firearms manual I've ever seen.
I give up. Everyone believe whatever you want. If you want the truth, demand it be backed by experiment and factual data.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:26   #37
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However - Mas Ayoob claims he empties and rotates carry mags when changing to/from standard/daylight saving time. So...Cheers.
There you go. Good enough for me. And think about it, springs are made to expand and contract. Under constant tension for long periods they have to weaken eventually. Take a vehcle that's put away for long term storage. The normall thing to do is to put it up on blocks so the springs won't wear our prematurely and the body is dragging the ground. I rotate the magazines for my G-19, SR9C and Mini-14 every month.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:46   #38
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Originally Posted by quichedem View Post
I never said it was, but everything I've stated is researchable.

I, reluctantly, went back to Vickers' site, and I found nothing related to his "technical" credability. Did I miss it? Can you show me where it is?
Also, He calls himself "the father of the Hk 416." Other sparse and vague phrases on his own website, and hkpro, I don't see any factual information that states exactly his involvment in any part of the design process. If you believe that, I urge you to believe that I'm the "father of the refrigerator." The father of the Hk 416 is Eugene Stoner. Some German mechanical engineer tweaked an old piston design and Hk decided to mill out parts instead of casting, and everyone wants to act like they reinvented the wheel? Please! I love Hks. I have one, and I've actually handled a 416 (not the MR556). While robust, it's not superior. I'd bet the German mechanical engineer at Hk has never even heard of Larry Vickers. Now back to the magazine issue:
I'm too lazy to find it to quote, but someone replied that the USGI 30 round magazines are actually designed to hold 28. THAT'S THE BIGGEST LOAD OF CRAP I'VE READ YET!! You show me where, in ANY firearms manual, the manufacturer suggests this, and I will gladly apologize for calling you an idiot. I certainly never came across that sentence in any firearms manual I've ever seen.
I give up. Everyone believe whatever you want. If you want the truth, demand it be backed by experiment and factual data.
So basically you have no data, no proof, nothing other than saying crap in all caps that what he says of his credentials is not true. Still waiting on yours.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:16   #39
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Arguments over how many rounds to put in a mag. I will load my mags to full capacity and not baby them. Do you guys also make sure you don't drop your empty mags onto the ground while practicing reloads? Wouldnt want to scratch them now would ya?
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:52   #40
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So basically you have no data, no proof, nothing other than saying crap in all caps that what he says of his credentials is not true. Still waiting on yours.
I'm making no claims of my credentials. I am, however, stating that anything I have said, or lay claim to, is researchable. I have yet to make a statement that you could not research for yourself. I'm not claiming to be an expert on anything, I just state factual information that anyone can research. I don't state opinion. That's the whole argument I'm making-that no one backs their statement up with anything concrete. This is the exact reason internet myths/wive's tales (just like this magazine spring debate) perpetuate. For example: I said I never read a firearms manual in which the manufacturer stated not to load their magazines to capacity. For reference, I've read a GLOCK pistol manual, and an Hk pistol manual. Neither stated to not load the magazines to full stated capacity for any reason. Also, to directly address the USGI magazine loading I caps'd: I just googled "AR-15 manual" and read Colt's manual. Still didn't see anything about down loading. Are the manufacturer's literature credible enough for you?
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:34   #41
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We are all in agreement that constant shooting and/or excessive compression-contraction of magazine springs will cause the springs to wear out quicker than if the magazine is left continually loaded or unloaded.

What's not agreed is whether a fully-loaded magazine spring will gradually weaken over time. My opinion is that if a fully-loaded magazine will suffer no deterioration in its reliability (the position of one camp) then certainly downloading by one or two rounds won't cause any deterioration either.

I recently began downloading my magazines by one round and leave them in that condition for at least several months at a time because I haven't had the chance to go to the range in that interim. After those several months pass I unload that magazine and use a different magazine. I know some will claim I'm actually causing more wear to the magazine spring by doing this but like a lot of firearms issues there's a difference of opinion. Over the past seven years since I became interested in firearms I've changed my opinions on a number of these issues and expect there will be other opinions that change in the future.
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:10   #42
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We are all in agreement that constant shooting and/or excessive compression-contraction of magazine springs will cause the springs to wear out quicker than if the magazine is left continually loaded or unloaded.
I actually agree with that part of it.

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What's not agreed is whether a fully-loaded magazine spring will gradually weaken over time. My opinion is that if a fully-loaded magazine will suffer no deterioration in its reliability (the position of one camp) then certainly downloading by one or two rounds won't cause any deterioration either.
Agree again. I think another key point is some magazines are just harder to insert and fully seat when fully loaded. Also I've actually seen a strain on the lips of some mags when fully loaded that I didn't see with one less round. I'm sure it's less of an issue with a mag seated in a gun and the top round against the slide or bolt as the case may be relieving pressure but I just don't like seeing that on the loaded spares. Like you I don't see anyone claiming downloading causes any damage.

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Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
I recently began downloading my magazines by one round and leave them in that condition for at least several months at a time because I haven't had the chance to go to the range in that interim. After those several months pass I unload that magazine and use a different magazine. I know some will claim I'm actually causing more wear to the magazine spring by doing this but like a lot of firearms issues there's a difference of opinion. Over the past seven years since I became interested in firearms I've changed my opinions on a number of these issues and expect there will be other opinions that change in the future.
I've been at this for decades but I've seen quite a few fads, experts, and recommendations come and go. I know what works for me though. Downloading isn't like religion. I don't see why it causes such a heated debate. Personally I think everyone should just do what makes them comfortable without resorting to calling others that differ idiots or other childish names.
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:45   #43
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... Also, to directly address the USGI magazine loading I caps'd: I just googled "AR-15 manual" and read Colt's manual. Still didn't see anything about down loading. Are the manufacturer's literature credible enough for you?
Just FYI ...

Of the 5 AR/M16 armorer classes I've attended, 2 of them were Colt classes, and in both of them we were told that magazines left loaded for extended periods of time in LE use should be downloaded by 2 rounds to help preserve best feeding/functioning. Specifically, 20rd mags loaded to 18rds & 30rd mags loaded to 28 rounds.

Now, as far as the various pistol armorer classes I've attended, I don't recall any of the gun companies suggesting we have our folks load any less than the maximum number of rounds the magazine bodies were designed to hold (meaning it was okay to "top off" magazines after loading the chamber, if that was our policy or practice).

When it came to the everyday experiences regarding the useful service-life for magazine (and recoil) springs, that's where it's often been interesting to hear about the experiences of not only the armorer instructors (and reps, if present), but the attending armorers, as well. Ditto in classes and training venue where other firearms instructors are present.

When you start hearing similar experiences of feeding & functioning problems which can be attributed to weakened mag springs, especially in guns only being fired for required training & periodic quals (not by "shooting enthusiasts", in other words), at some point it stops being particularly noteworthy and just another maintenance/wearable part consideration to keep in mind when supporting duty weapons. Not something about which to argue or debate. Just another equipment issue to keep in mind.

I've listened to some armorer instructors or factory reps hedge and refuse to be pinned down on what sort of service life to expect from mag springs, and then others who have adopted a "standard" recommended service time/usage interval for replacement.

Over the years of classes I've also heard one manufacturer change their recommendations regarding this subject, regarding both "official" and unofficial recommendations.

While I certainly agree that in a perfect world the engineers would always see their designs and recommendations implemented, and only the best of materials and manufacturing processes used ... we don't live in a perfect world.

Having seen the ups & downs of the early efforts to shoehorn 8 rounds into 7-rd 1911 magazines, including the use of different designed springs, and the more current practice of lengthening the mag tubes to allow that 8th round (and a stronger spring), I'm no longer surprised when new designs, springs and vendor and/or manufacturer recommendations come along.

I've seen enough instances of prematurely weakened mag springs, damaged mag springs, improperly installed mag springs and even the wrong mag springs used, to be surprised by much in this regard.

Also, there's always going to be people who like to squeeze every last inch or second of usage out of something they have to buy.

I've seen guys who had double column magazine springs become too weak to allow for proper feeding after only 3-4 years of the magazines being left fully loaded, and they said they only fired their guns 4 times per year.

I had another guy experience feeding problems due to weakened mag springs in all 3 of his duty mags, and he said he'd been carrying the same mags (with the original springs) for 10 years, and had only fired the gun when required to do so (annually, if I remember right).

I've seen 1911 users experience feeding stoppages related to weakened mag springs in as little as 1200 rounds, although they were using +P loads, which are harder on recoil springs (which is related to feeding "timing" and mag springs, which have to overcome the recoil forces & load-stack bounce in order to get the rounds back up under the lips fast enough for the pick-up rail to strip the top round correctly).

Weakening springs, even within their normal range over time, may sometimes also lack the necessary power to overcome unexpected issues such as excessive fouling, debris and environmental contamination (sand, grit, immersion in water, solvent/lubricant contamination, etc).

Cleaning magazines can help prevent adverse functioning due to debris, fouling and contamination, as well as allow the owner/user to inspect the springs (follower, insert, butt catch plate, etc) for damage, too ... kinks, deformation of coils, cuts, gouges, etc. Things that might decrease the expected useful service life of the spring, even in "good conditions".

Magazines are assemblies, and the springs are just one of the components which make up the assemblies. I've never heard a gun company engineer, rep, tech or armorer instructor ... or a spring maker or vendor, for that matter ... ever state that a pistol mag spring was a lifetime part.

I stopped carrying a dime store rabbit's foot when I was a youngster.

I prefer prudent maintenance (periodic and preventive) when it comes to things upon which I stake my life. As an armorer I also prefer to treat weapons being used by other folks as if I were going to be using them myself.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:18   #44
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There are a dozen threads on this, minimum.
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If you need something more powerful than a .45, you need something more powerful than a handgun.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:27   #45
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I think another key point is some magazines are just harder to insert and fully seat when fully loaded. Also I've actually seen a strain on the lips of some mags when fully loaded that I didn't see with one less round. I'm sure it's less of an issue with a mag seated in a gun and the top round against the slide or bolt as the case may be relieving pressure but I just don't like seeing that on the loaded spares. Like you I don't see anyone claiming downloading causes any damage.
I picked up a like-new 10-round G-23 magazine at a gun show for my G-32 on the off chance I might someday travel to a restricted state. Getting the tenth round into the magazine takes every bit of strength and patience I have. I have to use some pressure just to seat the fully-loaded magazine into the pistol.

Although I've never suffered a single malfunction with this magazine I decided some time ago to keep it unloaded. The pressure on the magazine walls is so pronounced that the sides bulge. I hadn't considered the pressure on the lips, which must be considerable, and I'd be surprised if leaving this magazine fully loaded for an extended period wouldn't eventually cause problems.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:35   #46
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The consensus is that it's not keeping them loaded that wears the springs out, it's the loading and unloading back and forth.
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If you need something more powerful than a .45, you need something more powerful than a handgun.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:46   #47
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Originally Posted by M&P15T View Post
Please....

Larry Vickers is not anyone to listen to about technical engineering stuff.

No, properly engineered and maufactured mags do not need to be down-loaded. I have 3 G17 mags that are 5 years old, and have always been fully loaded....and they're completely fine. My 7 AR mags aways stay completely loaded, and they're fine as well.

I swear, some idiot wrote something years ago, and the same stupid information is being passed around by people not interested in figuring out the truth for themselves.
This is correct, a properly tempered spring will not wear out from constant compression. Not all springs are properly tempered however.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:56   #48
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Let's have a quick engineering lesson...

At temperatures outside of a furnace, steel doesn't have any appreciable creep. Under most conditions, steel flexes and then returns to its original shape. When pushed past its elastic limit, steel will bend and not return to its original shape. All designers of well-made magazines would make sure the spring never approaches the elastic limit when the magazine is fully loaded. This means the spring will not weaken when the magazine is fully loaded...not even over an extended time.

Creep: The flow or plastic deformation of metals held for long periods of time at stresses lower than the normal yield strength.

Elastic Limit: The maximum stress that material will stand before permanent deformation occurs.

Plastic Behavior: Permanent deformation of the metal.

Yield Strength: The stress at which the metal changes from elastic to plastic in behavior, i.e., takes a permanent set.

Permanent Set: Non-elastic or plastic, deformation of metal under stress, after passing the elastic limit.


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If this was too technical, I will simplify...

A properly designed spring is worn out not by compression, but by many repeated cycles of compression/extension.

Period.

Failures of magazines that have been in long term storage are most likely due to dirt, debris, corrosion and/or lack of lubrication.
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:50   #49
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Of the 5 AR/M16 armorer classes I've attended, 2 of them were Colt classes, and in both of them we were told that magazines left loaded for extended periods of time in LE use should be downloaded by 2 rounds to help preserve best feeding/functioning. Specifically, 20rd mags loaded to 18rds & 30rd mags loaded to 28 rounds.

...
The only reason GI mags were ever loaded to just 28 rounds was so that it would more easily seat on a closed bolt. It won't compromise function at all to load them to capacity, even for long-term storage.
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Old 10-06-2012, 17:30   #50
GlockFish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuse View Post
I would never even load a mag to it's full capacity. At least download by two or three rounds.

I also never leave my magazines loaded for any longer than possible. Like when I'm at a match, I unload all of my magazines between stages and only load the magazines I'm going to use when I'm on deck.

If I'm just at the range practicing, I only load two rounds in a magazine at a time, but I only shoot one round. This keeps the tension on the spring at a minimum and prevents follower wear.

As soon as I get done shooting I fully disassemble all of my magazines, clean them with q-tips and store the springs completely relaxed.
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