Never unload my mags.....ever!!!

This is a discussion on Never unload my mags.....ever!!! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ok yeah went a bit over the top with the title....but seriously, has anyone had a spring that got too old or worn out to ...

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Thread: Never unload my mags.....ever!!!

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    Member Array 0331's Avatar
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    Never unload my mags.....ever!!!

    Ok yeah went a bit over the top with the title....but seriously, has anyone had a spring that got too old or worn out to use on a magazine SPECIFICALLY as a cause of not unloading or swapping out...any firearm is open for discussion here. Reason being, after carrying for 8 months straight on deployments with never being in a situation when I had to use a second sidearm mag, the other mags were fine when I returned and used them at the range (Beretta M9). Same thing for my M4, whenever mags where dry they went a max of 1 hour before being refilled. Just hoping this gives some people peace of mind depending on what everyone has experience with.

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    Member Array american.made's Avatar
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    How do you never unload your mags? That must mean you don't go to the range?

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    Member Array 0331's Avatar
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    I just constantly keep ammo in them. Never is there a time where I have less than 3 loaded

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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    I go to range alot so they get cycled a
    Bunch

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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    I have 4 mags for each of my semi-autos (except for the 50+ year old Colt) and 3 are always loaded.

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    Member Array malexander's Avatar
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    ALL of my mags are loaded.

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    Member Array Superacerc's Avatar
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    Re: Never unload my mags.....ever!!!

    Loaded here as well. Never had a feeding/spring issue at the range so far with any. Both rifle and pistol.

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    Member Array rogertc1's Avatar
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    I unload and never load some of my magazines

    Not being in a war zone I don't keep my mags loaded unless i am going to use them. I usually conceal carry a revolver or derringer myself. I do have tons of guns in my collection. Many I have never shot or not used for over 30 years. So no I don't keep the mags loaded. I am sure after 30 years the spring tension would be weakened.
    Also when I was in the Army mags were considered expendable and replaced a bunch of times with new ones.

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    Senior Member Array foxytwo's Avatar
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    I don't unload my cc mags very often. I have other magazines that I use at the range. I will shoot one of the cc mags about every three years and have never had a problem.

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    New Member Array Trooperc7's Avatar
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    My understanding of what weakens the springs is the compression AND release over and over......it takes time....Compressing the spring and keeping it compressed does not cause the spring to lose tension.
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    Senior Member Array RubenZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooperc7 View Post
    My understanding of what weakens the springs is the compression AND release over and over......it takes time....Compressing the spring and keeping it compressed does not cause the spring to lose tension.
    You are correct, Its not the compression. Its the constant compress and then decompress that weakens the springs.
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    I keep only those mags needed for immediate response loaded. Otherwise, they get cleaned and put away empty. If things start to go downhill, I've got time to load more, it doesn't take hours afterall.

    And for further consideration:
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    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    This question about "Is it okay leaving rounds in your magazine?" appears about 2 or 3 times a year.

    A. The Spring:

    Material properties of modern spring steel used in firearm magazines only has about 3 enemies:
    1. Cyclic fatigue (compress/decompress repetitively)
    2. Corrosion (rust, contamination, exposed to acidic or corrosive material, etc)
    3. Wear or physical damage (pinched, cut, bent or worn)

    Technically if it got really hot (over 500 degrees F) it could also be affected but that is extreme; and the whole magazine will be affected. While there is memory in most spring steel it is to a very small degree. Also, if contamination gets in and around the spring it could cause the spring and follower to bind.

    So the answer (while not absolute) is that under normal circumstances as far as the spring is concerned; it is okay to leave your rounds loaded in your magazine with the spring compressed.

    B. The Ammunition:

    Ammunition that is exposed to the air has the opportunity to corrode and or absorb moisture. The chance for a primer or powder to become ineffective through moisture is very small but the opportunity is greater when exposed to the atmosphere, moisture, etc.

    C. Magazine Body:

    Polymer body has less problems with corrosion but more potential for mechanical damage. Metal body is more resistant to nicks and cuts but more prone to corrosion.

    The bottom line is that if a loaded magazine is kept clean and dry it should work just fine even years after it was loaded. If it gets dropped in the mud, sand, water or anything else such that it is contaminated you should unload the rounds and clean it per the manufacturers recommendations.

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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    I have a bunch of magazines for mine, and I always have 1 for each that is UNLOADED. This is for function check, and training. These are older mags, and I need to replace the spring in one. But instead of tossing them, they turn into "trainers".

    I do keep all my other magazines fully loaded however.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I seem to recall reading that a WWII 1911 fired just fine after being kept loaded for decades. As mentioned, it is the compress/decompress cycle that weakens springs. Mags can be kept loaded for a very long time.
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