When magazines fail... what fails?

This is a discussion on When magazines fail... what fails? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm fairly new to simi's, about a year, but I hear lots of talk of mag failures. I'm over 5k rounds on my XDm 9mm ...

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Thread: When magazines fail... what fails?

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    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    When magazines fail... what fails?

    I'm fairly new to simi's, about a year, but I hear lots of talk of mag failures. I'm over 5k rounds on my XDm 9mm 4k one one mag another thousand spread between 2 or three other mags and no issues yet.

    When they fail, what fails?
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    (a) Base plate comes off, cartridges and magazine innards fall out.

    (b)While carrying the pistol on the left side, you lean against something that depresses the mag release; next time the mag points down it falls out.

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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Follower tilts and gets stuck, does not feed the next round.
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    Feed lips get damaged then will not feed.
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    Distinguished Member Array oldman45's Avatar
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    Spring breaks and rounds will not feed right.

    Mag failure is over discussed. I have been shooting several thousands of rounds per year in all kinds of guns for over 45 years. Only once have I had a mag fail and that was due to damage.

    Buy quality mags and you likely will never have it happen to you.

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    Sometimes they go gently into the good night, other times, well, it's quite a show.

    I've had magazines that become unreliable over time for various reasons, springs, lips, etc. One Glock mag I recall unfondly threw a porpoise round up thru the ejection port. Never seen that one before. When the mag was removed from the pistol all the remaining rounds, the follower, and the spring ejected upwards. A mag lip had cracked and the results were dynamic.

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    Probably one of the most common problems is they get dirty and the follower sticks. Routine dis-assembly and cleaning will resolve this issue.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Folks have pretty much mentioned the issues, above.

    I've had:
    • The follower get tilted/stuck, causing the next round to nose-dive or go tip-up, getting stuck when it attempts to feed.
    • The lips on the magazine get out of shape, causing improper angle of the cartridge when it attempts to feed.
    • Gunge inside the magazine causing things to be less than smooth during feeding, fouling up the timing of grabbing the next round.
    • The spring getting tired, incapable of effectively pushing the rounds "hard" enough to the ramp/chamber (corrected by replacing the spring).


    Though, on some magazine designs (notably the Kahr MK/PM/CM series of pistols) the magazine is created with enough "slop" (for lack of a better term) in the magazine that it cannot control the most-basic of ills that most of us have seen occur from time to time. A better-designed magazine could correct these things, IMO (a la Glock's bullet-proof design). Of course, a less-than-smooth feed path and/or henky cycling characteristics on a pistol can exacerbate what would otherwise amount to a minor magazine issue.
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    Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
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    The only magazine failure I've ever had was a G19 mag that would feed the first six rounds and jam the gun on the seventh round........every time. Couldn't find anything obviously wrong with the magazine so I replaced the spring. Problem solved. I've never had to get rid of a magazine unless it was accidentally damaged. I guess I should also say that most of my magazines have been for Glocks and Rugers.

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...saw a cop smack the butt of his G21 against a railing while chasing a suspect through the apartments...base plate came off and he(not having a backup weapon) just stopped...a resident who was close snagged the suspect for him...

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    Hummm. I can barely get the Glock baseplates off.

    Haven't had a magazine go bad, but everything fails eventually. I do change light bulbs monthly so they don't burn our.
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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    I have yet to have a magazine fail. Not saying that they do not or won't, but I have not had the displeasure of it happening, well yet.

    My (now stolen) S&W 39-2 9mm had two magazines that came with it and they performed flawlessly even after over 500 rounds. The LCP (also stolen) had no issues with magazines but we didn't have it long enough. I actually have extras but sadly no pistol to use them.

    Currently have a Taurus PT 709 and the S&W Bodyguard each with only the magazine it came with. Hoping to find others should this "one" ever fail. You need to have extra ones just in case. If not, then perhaps a revolver could be used as your back up.
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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...you need to buy another gun...you don't have enough to do...
    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Hummm. I can barely get the Glock baseplates off.

    Haven't had a magazine go bad, but everything fails eventually. I do change light bulbs monthly so they don't burn our.
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    I had what was supposedly a factory H&K USP 40 13 round magazine fail right out of the bag. This is a lesson in always test firing your life safety equipment. It would feed one round then jam; repeat. Upon inspection I saw that the sides of the top (around the feed lips) were bowed out under the pressure of the ammunition. Looked fine empty.
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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    There are other reasons that magazines "fail" but they are more due to operator error....

    HK.jpgAR.jpg
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