Is Bad to keep your extra magazines full?

This is a discussion on Is Bad to keep your extra magazines full? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The only time my extra mags aren't full is when I'm bringing the empties home from the range. I'll usually load everything up again the ...

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Thread: Is Bad to keep your extra magazines full?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    The only time my extra mags aren't full is when I'm bringing the empties home from the range. I'll usually load everything up again the same day, and they'll sit for another week or longer.

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  3. #32
    Member Array 2700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLArmadillo View Post
    And no, leaving them compressed is fine. What wears out springs is constant compression-decompression-compression-decompression....
    This is a subject a some controversy and misinformation. I am not an engineer, but everything I have read from people smarter than me claims the same - it is the compression-decompression, etc. that wears the springs.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Wolfe Springs says not to, they will take more of a set;
    Given the above, I am surprised that Wolfe would say this. Do you have a reference for this?

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2700 View Post
    Given the above, I am surprised that Wolfe would say this. Do you have a reference for this?
    I did find this - Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

    Now, I'm not sure what to think. Is the fox watching the hen-house on this?

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbum View Post
    Wrong
    Military training and experience in Afghanistan says I'm correct. You should not store extra mags full. They should be empty so as not to cause problems with the spring, and thus cause a malfunction.

    We would even rotate an extra mag through usage.

    Oh well, they're your mags you can do what you want.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyMan View Post
    Military training and experience in Afghanistan says I'm correct. You should not store extra mags full. They should be empty so as not to cause problems with the spring, and thus cause a malfunction.

    We would even rotate an extra mag through usage.

    Oh well, they're your mags you can do what you want.
    Can you detail your experience that demonstrates this?

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    keep 'em full, it won't hurt a thing. Empty ''em through your gun at the range from time to time just to 'rotate' 'em and verify your trust in the spring. They'll operate just fine.
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2700 View Post
    This is a subject a some controversy and misinformation. I am not an engineer, but everything I have read from people smarter than me claims the same - it is the compression-decompression, etc. that wears the springs.

    Given the above, I am surprised that Wolfe would say this. Do you have a reference for this?
    From Wolff's Frequently Asked Questions website page:

    Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

    Quote:

    "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."

    It doesn't say you can't store them fully loaded, just that storing less than full helps extend spring life.

    So I stand by my thinking, mags needed for immediate use (in gun & backup) load to full; those "extras" (Spares in the safe, etc.) either empty or a couple rounds short of full. If I have 10 mags for my G30, I don't see the reasoning to store those I'm not using with the spring compressed. I have 2 ready to go at any time, the rest empty.

    If the hoards of Zombies suddenly show up at the door, I guess I might be done for, but if the situation starts to look crappy, I can certainly find the time to load the rest. But that's what I do. Others can do whatever they feel they need to do with their mags. I'm just passing on what Wolff, a highly respected firearm spring maker, reccommends. I tend to follow that over any internet lore.
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  9. #38
    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    From Wolff's Frequently Asked Questions website page:

    Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

    Quote:

    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."
    hmmm...they have a vested interest in selling mag springs...

    I have a Colt Huntsman that I bought 50 years ago and kept the magazine loaded for many years when I stopped shooting for a while. I have still never had a problem with the mag spring and I fired it yesterday again...no problems...

  10. #39
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    Cool

    Ive never had a problem with my glock mags in the 5 years and 4k+ rounds ive fired. However, My ex bought a G-32 because she liked mine so much. She would not shoot it as often as I would and would leave her mags loaded for long periods of time. One day shooting... She started having failure to feeds halfway through the mag. The gun was still less than a year old and no more than a few hundred rounds through it. And yes it was a magazine spring that was bad. It ran perfect with the other. This was a brand new gun or bought new so the mags had very little use other than being loaded/spring compressed for sometimes a month or two. I never have had a problem with mine but I do shoot at least once a week. Since that experiance I bought a couple extra mags to be able to let at least one "rest" and rotate them. It's possible the spring was bad from the get go. Maybe she had been shooting her other mag. All I know is that it sure seems like a possibility. So yes... Now I do rest a mag and rotate them. I also do not top off the magazine after chambering a round generally. I doubt I'll ever know if it really makes a differance. But it's easy enough to do... And if it could help prevent a malfunction especially since its my carry gun... Sure seems worth it to me...

  11. #40
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    I keep my gun loaded +1, and at least one extra mag fully loaded. Every once in a while I switch out the carry mags, but I do it more for peace of mind than anything else. I also shoot a full mag of my carry ammo every now and again, probably 2-4 times a year, whenever the whim strikes me.

    I just ordered up a fresh year's worth of carry ammo, and will shoot up the 33 rounds I have left over from last year. While I was at it I ordered two new factory mags. I plan to just leave them in the package, should my other six mags start getting sketchy. I've never had a magazine problem, and just bought the two new ones for peace of mind, and because you can never have too many magazines.

  12. #41
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I keep my extra Glock mags fully loaded and have for years without one hiccup of any sort. I can't speak to other guns since I only keep my 3 Glocks fully loaded at all times. The rest of my handguns just sit in their original box, empty. Maybe I should change that, hm....
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  13. #42
    New Member Array AquaHull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    From Wolff's Frequently Asked Questions website page:

    Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

    Quote:

    "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."

    It doesn't say you can't store them fully loaded, just that storing less than full helps extend spring life.

    So I stand by my thinking, mags needed for immediate use (in gun & backup) load to full; those "extras" (Spares in the safe, etc.) either empty or a couple rounds short of full. If I have 10 mags for my G30, I don't see the reasoning to store those I'm not using with the spring compressed. I have 2 ready to go at any time, the rest empty.

    If the hoards of Zombies suddenly show up at the door, I guess I might be done for, but if the situation starts to look crappy, I can certainly find the time to load the rest. But that's what I do. Others can do whatever they feel they need to do with their mags. I'm just passing on what Wolff, a highly respected firearm spring maker, reccommends. I tend to follow that over any internet lore.
    Coming from the spring experts is better than an internet commando

  14. #43
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AquaHull View Post
    Coming from the spring experts is better than an internet commando
    To be fair, though, they're in the business of selling springs.

    Whereas, someone who's tried various options can indicate unaffiliated opinions about the performance of those options. Not all users of products are "commandos" (read: irrelevant users without valid opinions).

    Opinions are just that. More-useful if you know what they're based on.
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  15. #44
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    I believe it was James Yeager who pointed out that having mags and not keeping every one of them fully loaded was foolish, to paraphrase him. I tend to agree. All of mine are kept topped off at all times. This does not cause any additional wear to spring steel (the mag spring) as the wear occurs from compression and decompression repeatedly, and not from being kept compressed for long periods.

  16. #45
    RKM
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    Many different theories and onions on this. I'm not 100% sure about the facts.

    I keep some mags loaded. I mean, why not? Most of the wear on springs come from being used. Being compressed and uncompressed, over and over again. Being continually compressed, while I think will cause stress on the spring over long periods of time, it's negligible. My opinion is, keep them loaded if you want. It won;t do much harm to them. If it really bothers you, buy some spare mag springs or just spare mags and keep them on hand.

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