Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate

Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate

This is a discussion on Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am relatively new to gun ownership and have had several discussions with people regarding keeping your extra magazines loaded for quick use or empty ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array Mike_in_KY's Avatar
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    Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate

    I am relatively new to gun ownership and have had several discussions with people regarding keeping your extra magazines loaded for quick use or empty to keep the spring stronger. There seems to be two schools of thought on this and I am not sure which way to go. I have extra magazines for my 9 mm and A.R.---what do you do?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    I use two mags..... keep one mag loaded and one empty.... rotate regularly. For HD, I use a Glock 22 as primary and a Ruger SR40C as back up...Sr40C for EDC also. I like to replace my mag springs on my birthday every year also. I have 15 rnd mags ion the glock and 9 rnd mags in the ruger. If a HD situation reguires me to shoot everything I have I am in serious trouble to begin with. YMMV......
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    Member Array KoolBreeze's Avatar
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    The spring couldn't care less either way. I have a Browning Hi Power magazine that has been loaded for the last 15 years and it still works as good as it did the day I bought it.
    dV8r, BugDude, phreddy and 1 others like this.
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    I cc carry either a Bersa 380 or a Bersa UC 45. When I get home I unload the mag and put it away. I've read where people have kept their mags loaded for years and the spring is still good. While at home I have a revolver that is always with me. It has been loaded for years. good luck

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    As I posted in a similar thread a couple of weeks ago:

    "Daily loading and unloading of a magazine will wear the spring more quickly than simply leaving the mag loaded.
    The only time you'll find any of my mags unloaded are when I've emptied them at the range or when cleaning them."
    mg27, phreddy, dV8r and 3 others like this.
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    Senior Member Array BigCityChief's Avatar
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    Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Str8upguy View Post
    I cc carry either a Bersa 380 or a Bersa UC 45. When I get home I unload the mag and put it away. I've read where people have kept their mags loaded for years and the spring is still good. While at home I have a revolver that is always with me. It has been loaded for years. good luck
    I can verify that. I had 10 magazines, 5 each for a Smith & Wesson 5946 and a 3953 fully loaded in a safe for 4+ years. Since removing them from the safe, those magazines have fed thousands of rounds though each of these 9MM pistols without a single hitch. I fully expected the magazines to be useless and I was more than pleasantly surprised to learn otherwise.
    Retired LEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post

    "Daily loading and unloading of a magazine will wear the spring more quickly than simply leaving the mag loaded.
    "
    This is where I fall, read enough of these threads to make up my mind.

    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

    G19 AIWB

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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    This is where I fall, read enough of these threads to make up my mind.

    Yup, I'm with these guys.
    AR15VSCoyote likes this.
    BigJon


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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Pros- your carry mag is always ready. Your mag spring doesn't get fatigued. Your carry ammo doesn't wear from constant loading an unloading. (Yes, that does deform the case over time)

    Cons- ...???? If it's your only mag, you don't get to shoot. Buy more mags.

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    New Member Array Brownie65's Avatar
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    Pro's and Con's of leaving your magazines loaded, help settle a debate

    I believe metal fatigues when it is flexed or moved. I'm on the side of keeping my spare mags loaded for HD/SD/EDC. My extra mags that I have taken to the range stay unloaded when I'm done until I go back to the range again.


    ———You can't always get what you want, but if you try you get what you need.
    phreddy likes this.

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    Here's what I suggest reading every week when this question is posed:

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

    There are no pros and cons. I doubt you can load/unload a mag enough to wear one out. I've never managed to do it. Now do whatever you want to do with your mags. Worst case is a bad spring and replacements are cheap.
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I had an extra Glock 27 magazine fully loaded for over a decade. When I sold it to a friend, the first thing he did was test all of the magazines. It worked without any issues.

    Here's Larry Seecamp's opinion.
    L.W. Seecamp Co., Inc. - Frequently Asked Questions
    Does keeping a magazine loaded weaken the magazine spring?

    More stress is probably placed on a magazine spring by shooting only one full magazine at the range than in keeping the magazine completely loaded for ten or twenty years.

    The shock absorbers on a car or truck are not likely to suffer much damage if the vehicle is kept stationary ~ regardless of the load to which the shocks are subjected. Putting the car on a lift when it's parked won't do much to prolong the life of the shock absorbers.

    If, however, the vehicle is taken for drives on very bumpy roads, the shocks become stressed and may in time suffer enough damage to warrant their replacement.

    Magazine springs, similarly, are insignificantly stressed by keeping the magazine loaded. They are much more stressed when the pistol is fired. Unloading the magazine, rotating magazines, etc., is akin to parking a vehicle on a lift to spare the shock absorbers.

    Magazine springs are one length when they are first wound. They take on a set and their extended length becomes shorter when they are compressed manually to their solid height. This second extended height is the same whether the spring is very briefly compressed to solid height or held completely compressed for a year.

    Shooting a single magazine through the pistol will shorten the magazine spring beyond the above mentioned second extended height, whereas keeping the spring compressed for a year will not.

    Shooting hot or heavy recoil producing ammo puts more stress on a magazine spring than shooting lighter loads. It is the bumpier road.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I keep all of my mags for all of my guns loaded to the gills all the time. An empty magazine isn't doing me any good.
    AR15VSCoyote likes this.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    I keep all of my mags for all of my guns loaded to the gills all the time. An empty magazine isn't doing me any good.
    This is a lie, J frames don't have magazines!
    BigJon


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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Tzadik's Avatar
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    Can't shoot with an empty magazine. I keep 'em loaded.

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