Full Mags?

Full Mags?

This is a discussion on Full Mags? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; It is a rule of thumb not to fill 30 round M4/M16 mags. This my apply to ARs in general, but I don't have one. ...

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Thread: Full Mags?

  1. #1
    Member Array TangoMonkey's Avatar
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    Full Mags?

    It is a rule of thumb not to fill 30 round M4/M16 mags. This my apply to ARs in general, but I don't have one. This way the spring does not lose its "springiness" and develop a tendency to cause a jam. Now this is usually an M4/M16 problem, but I apply the same rule to all of my mags. It is a personal habit.

    I carry a full size Sig with 12 round mags. I usually load 11 and rack one, thus leaving 10 in the mag. Carrying a second mag mitigates the risk of loading less than a full mag. I don't carry a second myself, but that is a solution if a person wanted more rounds.

    Does anyone else do this? Are pistol mags in general prone to losing their "springiness" after being fully loaded for an extended amount of time? Lastly, are there any good aftermarket brands that have tougher springs?

    I know some people that open their mags and stretch the spring annually or so. I just don't like to do that.
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    Many different schools of thought. Wolff Springs site says not to leave mags fully loaded, leave a couple of rounds short. Says they will take a "set." Other are going to claim it's the cycling from empty to full that wears out a spring. Who knows....

    I keep my carry mag full for my G30 and swap it out occasionally. Like you, I rack the top round and let it go at that. I never was taken with the need for the "plus one."
    I've never had a mag "go bad," and if I do, I'll fix it with a new spring. I think mag problems are more common in the 1911s.
    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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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I carry full mags,never have any mag problems,I have some S&W 22a mags that have been loaded and fired hundreds and maybe thousands of times and they still cycle just like new
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    Yes and no, depends on woods or city since I usually shoot it in the woods at some item of trast or such.

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    Full. All mags, all the time - including AR mags.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    On 30rd USGI M16 mags, I'll usually load 28. It's not so much for the protection of the spring - it's just easier to load those mags into the rifle if they're a couple rounds short.... Magpul PMags - I go 30 because they're not so tight.
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    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    Whether, carrying ,HD, or hunting I have always carried full mag's. Back-ups also. No problems as long as all the mags are tested on the range so you can trust them.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    You need to start looking at basic mechanical engineering and physics to understand the question.
    Metal Fatigue and The Factors Which Influence Fatigue, by EPI Inc.

    What you're talking about with mag springs going bad is a progressive and CYCLIC failure. The springs are designed to have a specific tensile static strength. Anything beyond that can cause failure, as will any repetitive zero to max back to zero cycling will eventually have a cumulative affect that could result in failure.

    Any magazine springs that fail from being loaded to their intended capacity and not unloaded(ie sitting at their predesigned static tensile strength) are a result of a failure at the manufacturer level(ie bad math or laziness).

    Also check out Hooke's Law(specifically the elastic limits of springs)
    example:
    http://www.physics247.com/physics-tu...okes-law.shtml
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    I keep my pistols with full mags in them, my shotgun with a full mag and all my AR mags at full capacity at all times. I have 42 rounds of .45, 5 rounds of 00 buck, and 120 rounds of .223 ready for anything :)

    My understanding is that keeping mags full doesn't ruin the spring, it's the "cycling" of the spring that wears it out.

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    I have a couple mags that "rattle" if less than full. All pistol mags are full. Pistol is plus one.
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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Here's what Wolff says. They only suggest downloading higher capacity mags by one or two rounds to extend the life... I keep all mine fully loaded. I have a dozen loaded for my 1911's, three 15 round mags and five 20 round mags for the 226's and ten for the AR's - all PMAGs loaded to 28 rounds just since it's easier to seat on a closed bolt.

    I keep a ton of mag springs around so I change them regularly and I also leave them loaded and test them often. My carry mags get their springs replaced every 6 months.

    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.
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    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    Yes, I have read that it is the "cycyling" of the magazine that gives the most grief to the spring over time ... but do what you think is best. With that said, I load my double stack with 17 9mm then 'rack the top round' so the "full" magazine has 16 rounds instead of 17.

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    mags don't get set from being fully loaded. they get set from repeated cycling.

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    Mag springs are like light bulbs; they have a life span and are cheap to replace. Consider them wear and tear items that will need replacement at some point. The alternative is to not use them, and what's the sense of that?

    Carry them full, empty, or some point inbetween--whatever makes you most comfortable.
    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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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Mag springs are like light bulbs; they have a life span and are cheap to replace. Consider them wear and tear items that will need replacement at some point. The alternative is to not use them, and what's the sense of that?

    Carry them full, empty, or some point inbetween--whatever makes you most comfortable.
    This answer gets my vote!
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