Question, Will keeping large capicity mags fully loaded over time damage the spring?

Question, Will keeping large capicity mags fully loaded over time damage the spring?

This is a discussion on Question, Will keeping large capicity mags fully loaded over time damage the spring? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have heard it both ways. If you are going to keep high capacity mags loaded over an extended period of time only load it ...

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Thread: Question, Will keeping large capicity mags fully loaded over time damage the spring?

  1. #1
    New Member Array LEATHERNECK's Avatar
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    Question, Will keeping large capicity mags fully loaded over time damage the spring?

    I have heard it both ways. If you are going to keep high capacity mags loaded over an extended period of time only load it to 80%. that will not damage the spring. or the metal spring will create a memory and it will not function properly if left fully loaded.
    SOMETIMES IT IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE TO KILL A FLY WITH A SLEDGE-HAMMER.

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    I've never had to replace a mag spring regardless of whether they're kept stuffed to the gills or not. The "working" of the spring will eventually weaken them. Wolff Springs recommends leaving them short a round or two if being "stored." You define "stored" however you like.

    There, that help? I didn't think so.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Senior Member Array CowboyColby's Avatar
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    I leave all my 30 round AR mags fully loaded they have been loaded for a year and get shot about twice a month. If they last only a year as these have I don't mind buying a couple new ones if the spring goes out. I woudnt want to have to load a 30 round mag in a hurry if I needed it. I can change mags faster than loading one mag.

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    Distinguished Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Hmm.. I have thought about this in the past. My buddies 22LR magazine acquired this problem after about 14 years. The gun jams because the spring doesn't load the round fast enough. I have been keeping my mags all the way full - even in storage. Maybe I should knock a couple of rounds out of them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus222 View Post
    Hmm.. I have thought about this in the past. My buddies 22LR magazine acquired this problem after about 14 years. The gun jams because the spring doesn't load the round fast enough. I have been keeping my mags all the way full - even in storage. Maybe I should knock a couple of rounds out of them...
    After 14 years of use, that will happen. It's the repeated compression and expansion that eventually causes the spring to weaken.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I've had a pair of my G23 mags fully loaded (13 rounds) for over a year. I found way in the bottom of my range bag. I ran 'em through without an issue......several reloads.
    Their back in my mag rotation for range/carry.
    If you leave your mags loaded, it should be no biggie. I've had 30 round AR mags fully loaded for a LONG time and had zero problems.

    As for the 14 YO .22........after 14 years, the spring will wear out, especially with use. .22's ARE fun (and cheap) to use too! That is not all that uncommon. My grandmother's Marlin .22 finally got a new spring.......after over 30 years of 'abuse' from us g-kids. That was back in the late 80's. It's still going with that 'new' spring today.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    depends on how good the spring it to start... USGI CS or SS springs would be fine... cheep mags with cheep springs will die FAST, like schear glock mags will die in a week...

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    Oh my... here we go again.

    From a mechanical engineering and materials standpoint, springs do not "fatigue", "wear out" or "weaken" from being compressed and left that way (e.g., loading a magazine and leaving it loaded).

    What will cause a mag (or any other) spring to lose its spring rate is repeated use at or near its design limits. If a mag designer crams an extra round into a standard-length mag by over-compressing the spring - certainly not a good practice for commercial products - yes, that will probably cause the spring rate to decrease so the spring applies less force at any given deflection.

    Take two shooters: One never fires a round, but keeps his mags fully loaded in his sock drawer. The other religiously "rotates" his mags and keeps a couple fully loaded, but empties those two every month to "rest" their springs and loads up another pair in their place. Whose springs are more likely to suffer a loss of spring rate over time? The ones that are frequently being unloaded and reloaded.

    And that's the gospel according to mechanical engineering.
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    Senior Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    I think it was a couple of Wilson mags I bought for my 1911 which had a small slip of paper in the bag the mags came in saying something about at least with the Wilson mags this was not an issue.
    "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back."
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    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    I have three Pmag 30rounders that are full and a 20round Pmag that is full. These I store...been about a year now. The other four 30 rounders and three 20 rounders I use to shoot are C-Product (one colt 20rounder) mags and have held up to MANY cycles.

    Yes, the more a mag is loaded unloaded the faster the springs looses tension. either compressed or not in a static state they do not loose tension.

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    This is what I do...with my 12 gauge pump, it can hold eight...I have seven in it.

    Once a month I eject all rounds and then reload, just to make sure all is OK and working fine...

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Oh my... here we go again.

    From a mechanical engineering and materials standpoint, springs do not "fatigue", "wear out" or "weaken" from being compressed and left that way (e.g., loading a magazine and leaving it loaded).

    What will cause a mag (or any other) spring to lose its spring rate is repeated use at or near its design limits. If a mag designer crams an extra round into a standard-length mag by over-compressing the spring - certainly not a good practice for commercial products - yes, that will probably cause the spring rate to decrease so the spring applies less force at any given deflection.

    Take two shooters: One never fires a round, but keeps his mags fully loaded in his sock drawer. The other religiously "rotates" his mags and keeps a couple fully loaded, but empties those two every month to "rest" their springs and loads up another pair in their place. Whose springs are more likely to suffer a loss of spring rate over time? The ones that are frequently being unloaded and reloaded.

    And that's the gospel according to mechanical engineering.
    I don't know much about the physical properties of steel and how to calculate something like a springs equilibrium over time - in regards to stress or use. ....But basically you are saying that the more you use the magazine, the more it will degrade vs having a compressed spring 24-7? I guess that makes sense. So the real question we should be asking is... What is the expected life of a magazine with normal wear? Also, what is the expected life of a loaded magazine in storage?

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    It's like bending a paper clip. Bend it once/twice and its okay. Bend it enough and the metal weakens and breaks.

    Compressed springs will take a "set" over time, measuring somewhat shorter than when new, and that's normal.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Wolff Gunsprings states on their Frequently Asked Questions page that Single Stack magazines can remain fully loaded for extended periods of time but, that the higher capacity Double Stacks should be downloaded by one cartridge.
    It has something to do with the decreased amount of space available in the higher caps for the fully compressed magazine spring.

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    Thank you.

    Thank you for all of the feed back.
    SOMETIMES IT IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE TO KILL A FLY WITH A SLEDGE-HAMMER.

    MAJOR HOLDREDGE
    U.S.M.C.

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