Switching out Mags

This is a discussion on Switching out Mags within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; How often do you switch your mags out? I unload my mags at the first of the month, so the springs can relax and load ...

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Thread: Switching out Mags

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Switching out Mags

    How often do you switch your mags out? I unload my mags at the first of the month, so the springs can relax and load different mags for that month. I have my mags marked with ones and twos. The ones I carry on odd months and the twos on even months.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I don't. I do store my XD mags -1 round. My keltec mags are too short on capacity to download, so I'll have to test them regularly for reliablity.
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  4. #3
    Member Array Sporty79's Avatar
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    From previos post it's my understanding that mags do not need to "relax", they will only compress so far and it is of no harm to leave a mag fully loaded for long periods of time. However, I usually swith my carry mag every time I go to the range. My 2 cents

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Less often than I used to because of this forum mainly, and a search for the truth. I used to load 'em two shy of full, and change them every month unofficially. I had also been known to open them up (release floor plate and let the spring out of the bag) to 'rejuevenate'. After all is said and done, I now keep my mags to full capacity, and I'll change them out whenever I get the urge or think about it, or have problems. I stock a full line of replacement parts for my Glock magazines anyway.

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    I have 2 mags full at all times with defense ammo. I've got 3 others empty.Every 2-3 weeks when I shoot, I empty them and fill all my mags with target rounds, shoot em up ( a time or two), then fill 2 again ( at random) with defense rounds and start the cycle again.
    I don't worry about them staying loaded...

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Almost never; at the very least when I change carry guns. Why, do you ask? Because I never bought into the hysteria regarding the "mag spring fatigue" thing. Years ago, when I shot guns in IPSC I watched guys around me spend hundreds of dollars on every kind of mag spring ever made, and ten of them. They also paid thousands of dollars for high-cap mag tubes, because the ones they had "only lasted so long". I still have the same hard chromed 126mm tubes I used in my raceguns in 1994 that were set up by Benny Hill at STI, then chromed by Virgil Tripp. They now carry ammo for the STI 9x23 carry gun I use sometimes, and compete with in .38super from time to time. How many rounds have they carried? at least 100,000 that i can think of during my time in IPSC maybe more. have they ever failed me? nope, not once. the springs I use? ISMI rocket wire, and yes, they are ALL original. they simply get cleaned and maintained just like the rest of the gun. My other mags get treated the same way, just regular maintenance when they hit the dirt or get used, nothing more. Believe me, the change your mag to let the springs rest thing is just hysteria, nothing more.
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    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    How often do you switch your mags out? I unload my mags at the first of the month, so the springs can relax and load different mags for that month. I have my mags marked with ones and twos. The ones I carry on odd months and the twos on even months.
    If that gives you piece of mind, keep on that schedule...
    You're springs aren't benefiting from it though.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    There is science behind it. The spring will fatigue, that is not even debatable. Near the end of it's compressive limits it will fatigue faster, no question. The scale of time is our question. Downloading or letting them "relax" can add life, but it might be that you add 20 years to a spring that would've lasted for 100-250 years anyway. Springs have come a long way, but don't think for a minute that all are of the same quality. Buy cheap aftermarket chinese mags and don't be suprised if they fail at a really bad time. They can't even keep lead out of toy for crying out loud. If you must buy them use them for the range only. I highly reccomend sticking with something with the gun manufacturers logo stamped into it if you are betting your life on the mag.
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  10. #9
    Member Array American Pit Bull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    There is science behind it. The spring will fatigue, that is not even debatable.


    There is science behind it... Springs that are engineered properly and not stressed beyond their static yield strength (which should be impossible in a properly engineered mag) will not fatigue due to static loading.

    It is the cyclic loading that fatigues the spring... So, on a small scale... When you are "changing out your mags" you are actually fatiguing them.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    In my learning the advice is that double stack springs will fatigue faster than single stack springs and it isn't the compression itself that causes the most fatigue, it's the "cycling" of the spring from compressed to relaxed and so on. I keep my carry mags fully compressed and have for 27 years with various guns. Never had a problem but then again, I change my springs on a regular PM schedule. They are cheap.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    For each of my defensive handguns, there are a few loaded mags that stay that way all the time (e.g. for years at a time).

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    I switch mags fairly regularly, not because of fears of spring damage, but so that I always know that all of my mags are functioning properly.
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    I wish this myth about relaxing springs would go away. Engineers, spring manufacturers, gun experts say "Taint so," removing rounds to relax the spring in the magazine to prevent wear, accomplishes just the opposite. Doing that just cycles the spring, which according to the experts, is what WILL wear the springs out. If I had a nickle for every time this nefarious myth has appeared in gun forums, I'd be a very rich man.
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