Do you leave your magazines empty?

This is a discussion on Do you leave your magazines empty? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Do you leave your magazines empty until you bring them to the range, or do you fill them up with range ammo ahead of time? ...

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Thread: Do you leave your magazines empty?

  1. #1
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Do you leave your magazines empty?

    Do you leave your magazines empty until you bring them to the range, or do you fill them up with range ammo ahead of time? Or, do you fill them all up with carry ammo?

    I've got 8 magazines for my XD and I'm debating whether it is necessary to have more than 2 carry magazines - one in the gun, one in the spare mag holder. Maybe two for the car?

    Is it bad for the ammo if you leave it in a magazine for too long? I'm worried about leaving a mag in the car and then the ammo not working when it is needed.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

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    I have 8 mags for my Glock-36...4 are always full...same for my Kimbers.
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    I leave mine empty, except for a home defense magazine.
    I think I'm in the minority. It doesn't hurt the magazine to be loaded, it's the spring being compressed then uncompressed over and over that hurts the spring.
    As far as the ammo, I wouldn't leave it in the hot car, but other than that, it should be good. Realize that cops carry in all sorts of weather, rarely, if ever shoot their weapons, and the ammo seems to survive.

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    I mix and match when I load them for range use. I often load snap caps too.

    When it is really really cold, i load at home. Fingers are not so nimble when it is 8 degrees.

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    Member Array tmizzi's Avatar
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    I keep all mags loaded at all times. They get cycled at the range at least every couple of weeks. Guns get cleaned and mags get reloaded like clock work. I only keep 2 mags loaded for each gun I carry on a regular basis with SD ammo. The rest of the mags are loaded with range ammo.

    As far as the vehicle ... I wouln't worry about it. Only way that ammo is going to go boom is if shot or exposed to a fire. Car temps (even in extreamly hot places) are not going to cause a problem.
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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    I've taken to loading more and more of mine and placing them where they may do me some good in a time of need: some in the vehicle, some in the bedroom, some in the basement where I dress for outings.

    If I want empty mags, I'm going to need to buy more.

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Normal carry - I have two for my Taurus PT145. I only load and carry one. I plan on a monthly rotation. If / when I get 4 mags - then I'll load and maybe carry two at a time and rotate them monthly.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Do you leave your magazines empty until you bring them to the range, or do you fill them up with range ammo ahead of time? Or, do you fill them all up with carry ammo?

    I've got 8 magazines for my XD and I'm debating whether it is necessary to have more than 2 carry magazines - one in the gun, one in the spare mag holder. Maybe two for the car?

    Is it bad for the ammo if you leave it in a magazine for too long? I'm worried about leaving a mag in the car and then the ammo not working when it is needed.

    Generally, I'll leave my mags empty until time to deploy. If I and the wife are going to a match the next day, then I will fill them all the night before. For my EDC, I have one fully loaded magazine in the pistol, and one fully loaded for spare. I rotate carry magazines periodically. Leaving ammo in the mag for an extended period of time doesn't seem to be much of an issue. If it is for you, then I might suggest doing a monthly regimen of downloading from carried mags to fresh mags. Most of us here have already been down the magazine spring myths/facts. Too long? That seems to be the question, and quite frankly, if you think your magazines have been loaded for too long, then you might ought to follow up on it. This gives you peace of mind on one hand, and not having to sort out fact from fiction on the other. In other words...do what makes you feel comfortable in your world. That's the whole deal no matter what anyone else says you should do.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    I just keep the ones I use and carry loaded. My other mags are kept as spares.

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    The only time you'll find an empty mag at my house is after a range trip, before cleaning and reloading.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    The mags for my home defense sidearm are loaded (2 of em) and the mags for my carry gun are loaded (2 of em) the rest are empty.
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    Member Array CenCal's Avatar
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    I usually don't carry an extra mag with my full size auto, but when I carry a small pocket auto as a primary, I like to have a loaded spare magazine with me.

    I "cycle" my magazines about every other week with the spares sitting empty in the safe. Doesn't hurt to blow them out with the computer air cans just keep them clean.

    I once left some 9mm magazines loaded for several years and the springs fatigued. When I finally decided to use the magazines and buy some new updated home defense ammo, the magazines caused failure to feed problems.

    Newer materials are used these days and the springs are not supposed to fatigue, but I "rest" my magazines every other week just the same.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Carry mags are always full. Guns in storage have empty mags. Keeping ammo in mags won't hurt the ammo or mags.
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    Senior Member Array 2ndsupporter's Avatar
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    Mine stay loaded at all times! I have done this ever since I have owned firearms and have not had any issues.
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Nova your question is a two parter...

    + Transport of firearm, magazine, and ammunition as in a vehicle

    As related to condition of a magazine as stowed for transport, off body, and to/from a range or where ever else.
    To that end check your local and state laws but in some states transport of a loaded magazine being kept/stowed with a firearm deems that firearm to be 'loaded'. Even as the magazine and firearm are physically separate from each other, but are in the same (!) case.
    I've forgotten off hand the legal definition for "unloaded" as in VA but I do know that when I was living in VA I _always_ made sure all of my magazines were as empty prior to being cased or stowed as within my vehicle as during transport to and from anywhere...when not being carried on my person.

    VA Law - See items 1 through 4 as under "Carrying" in regard to transport of firearms as must being "unloaded".
    http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/VASL.pdf

    Further Federal law indicates the following:
    Transporting Firearms During Travel

    Notwithstanding any state or local law, a person shall be entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he may lawfully possess and transport such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and transport such firearm if the firearm is unloaded and in the trunk. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm shall be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    Source - NRA-ILA ::
    While the actual text of the Federal Laws in full can be found at:
    U.S. Code
    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > Sub-Section 922. Unlawful acts
    US CODE: Title 18,922. Unlawful acts


    + On/off body defensive carry of firearm, magazine, and ammunition

    * Again this is a local, state, and federal laws item.
    Some localities and states do not allow unsecured stowage nor storage (long term) of ammunition in areas that are unsecured, as in locked. Further several states do not allow or consider glove compartments to be secure even as they may have a locking device of some sort. Check the VA laws for this too to be absolutely sure.
    Then there are the states that deem magazines to be same as a firearm or ammunition. They are rare and very much in the minority but if you happen to go visit such a state and bring your VA practices there, and get caught doing so, you could find yourself in deep water problems.

    As to magazines being loaded long term or not it makes no functional difference.
    What wears out a magazine is use. Same goes for magazine springs. Springs wear out from use and cycling.
    While as to the ammo itself they are very much resistant to temperature hot & cold as well as simply being left alone. That should not be a problem, with quality commercial duty ammunition.


    In the end I mention the above, especially that with relation to laws, so as to bring awareness.
    Every state and even localities within a state may have laws and views different from some other state or locality. One size does not fit all. Where you are if you were to hop on say the Beltway as in Northern VA miss an off-ramp and wind up in MD then the mode of carry and transport you inquire about would be very much illegal. Problems.
    Additionally transport and keeping of firearms, magazines, and ammunition as you inquire about would be very unlawful in my current state...Which visitors here who have not done their homework have been caught surprised toward when I mention same to them during range and training events as they come from other states.

    A long read yes, but necessary....As I noted neither of these were mentioned by others prior.

    $0.02 Street

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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