Magazine maintenance

Magazine maintenance

This is a discussion on Magazine maintenance within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I got a question for ya, I carry every day where im at, with that said I usually dont load my mag completly full. I ...

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Thread: Magazine maintenance

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Question Magazine maintenance

    I got a question for ya, I carry every day where im at, with that said I usually dont load my mag completly full. I leave one out of each mag to minimize jamming. I also very often empty all my mags and stretch the spring inside the mags.

    I know this ensures that the bullets with chamber properly and keep tension within the mag. Just wondering if any others practice this or not.


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    I usually only load 28 rounds into my PMAGs, as does just about everyone else in my platoon. Also for operation in dusty enviroment, every few days I'll take the mags apart and wipe out all the sand that has accumulated in there and on the spring.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Cycling the rounds in and out and stretching the springs will cause the springs to weaken much more than leaving them loaded. Stretching the springs is probably a big no-no in any case. Thank you for your service.

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Absolutely right........

    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    Cycling the rounds in and out and stretching the springs will cause the springs to weaken much more than leaving them loaded. Stretching the springs is probably a big no-no in any case. Thank you for your service.
    Stretching the spring robs it of it's tension, there is no faster way to ruin one. I would simply disassemble and wipe clean with a clean dry cloth to remove the dust. Leave the springs alone!
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
    Edge of Darkness

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    OD*
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    Agree with what the fellas have stated, there is no faster way to ruin a spring than to stretch it. I would suggest you replace all the mag springs you have done this to with Wolff X-tra power magazine springs.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

  6. #6
    Member Array H8SPVMT's Avatar
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    Please, remove those mags, take'em to the armory and admit your mistake, turn them in. Get replacements, you and your buddies lives depend on it!
    Much easier to ask for forgiveness than to gruel thru an invesigation. Be safe.
    Retired Navy, thanks for the continuing support for our great nation.
    Certified Glock Armorer

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    Member Array mykeld's Avatar
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    I have 4 mags for my XD and I've numbered the bottom so that I can cycle them monthly: 1 & 3 for odd months and 2 & 4 for even. I load with 1 less then chamber a round. Then unused are dissembled and cleaned then not reassembled until I'm ready to load. I think that allows the spring to rest but isn't stretched. Just my opinion no real facts.
    Mykel

    more later...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H8SPVMT View Post
    Please, remove those mags, take'em to the armory and admit your mistake, turn them in. Get replacements, you and your buddies lives depend on it!
    Much easier to ask for forgiveness than to gruel thru an invesigation. Be safe.
    Retired Navy, thanks for the continuing support for our great nation.
    I shall not admit no mistake at all!!!!!!! This is what we have been instructed to do, I only do this bc that is what we are instructed to do. So please dont make it sound like im endangering my fellow brothers!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Member Array H8SPVMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyII View Post
    I shall not admit no mistake at all!!!!!!! This is what we have been instructed to do, I only do this bc that is what we are instructed to do. So please dont make it sound like im endangering my fellow brothers!!!!!!!!
    So, the question that begs to be asked is, "Who instructed you to do this?"

    Also, please quote from the TM were is says to perform this stretching manuver.

    BTW, You never mentioned the firearm you are discussing. What is your MOS?
    Certified Glock Armorer

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H8SPVMT View Post
    So, the question that begs to be asked is, "Who instructed you to do this?"

    Also, please quote from the TM were is says to perform this stretching manuver.

    BTW, You never mentioned the firearm you are discussing. What is your MOS?
    Alot of soldiers have to go to Kuwait before going to their Duty Station, at Kuwait you have to go to numerous training classes and courses, that is where we were instructed to check the springs inside our M9, Berreta 9mm, they even tell you exactually how much longer than the mag is should be and advise you to routinely check and stretch it.

    I never once said that I read it from a TM manual, however I did say that we were instructed to do this, I had no intentions of getting my ass ripped for this either, I simply asked if others did this!!!

    I am kinda shocked at a few posts, this is instructed for soldiers to do, maybe they just started doing it or maybe this is just one instructor that tell soldiers to do this, I dont know...

    31B is my MOS MILITARY POLICE

  11. #11
    Member Array H8SPVMT's Avatar
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    Do you understand the mechanics and why this weakens the springs?

    I was, and in no way, attacking your decision making process. It is a known fact that stretching the metal springs can create failures and feeding problem.

    So, to answer your question, no, I don't believe most of us here do that. With that said, the military may be experiencing shortages of M9 springs (do to any number of failure causes) and or the suppliers can't keep up with the demand. Purely, a guess on my part as to why you would be instructed to perform a manuver that would purposely weaken, an already weak spring.

    Stretching a spring is the same as bending a piece of metal back and forth.

    Being a rigger in the (Navy BMCS (DV)) and a locksmith/safeman in retirement, I do understand springs and metal just a little bit.

    I have to add to, that I carry everyday as well. I load my weapon to its capacity plus one in the chamber. Otherwise why expend the money and carry the darn thing? I carry a GLOCK and in over 15 years have experienced two spring weaking incidents. One was my own fault. After using the magazine for 10+ years I tried to extend the capacity without renewing the spring.

    The reason I suppose you're told to download your mags by one is to reduce the spring compression in the first place.

    So if you're not loading to capacity that should cause the spring to last longer.

    My real problem I guess, is that we're spending way to much money here on buying back GD Clunckers when we ought to be getting you soldiers the damn equipment to do your job. Mag springs ain't no big deal, I know how that goes in the think pools. But if you're having to rely on that gun when the SHTF that magazine full of projectiles is your last hope of walking away from a bad situation.


    And some research reveals:
    From: http://guns.wikia.com/wiki/Beretta_M9
    "An April 2002 presentation by the Natick Soldier Center presented by LTC Charlie Dean and SFC Sam Newland reported on lessons learned from M9 use in Afghanistan (such as use during Operation Anaconda):

    Soldiers had problems with the magazine springs becoming too slack. 25% felt that the ammunition needed to be more powerful and of higher manufactured quality. 50% reported rust and corrosion problems, especially with the barrel. 63% reported confidence in the M9. Many of the magazines (including the springs) issued for use with the M9 are not produced by Beretta, but are made by aftermarket manufacturers such as Mec-Gar, Checkmate Industries, and Airtronic Services, Inc. Many firearms experts maintain that the only reliable magazines to use with any pistol are those produced by the pistol's manufacturer (also called "OEM", or "Original Equipment Manufacturer"). Mec-gar and Checkmate Industries are both Original Equipment Manufacturers for Beretta."
    Certified Glock Armorer

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    H8SPVMT,,,,, I must say that I understand your concerns, and I understand exactually what you are saying about weakening the spring..

    I must say that I may have over-reacted as well, I only do what we are instructed to do and have no intentions of endangering my fellow brothers with faulty mags and springs.... I will take your advise and try to get new mags ASAP...

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    kellyII, your armorer is the one who really ought to be checking the magazines for serviceability. He will have the proper metrics to determine spring wear.

    If the spring is too short, it should be replaced, not stretched. I know your instructors didn't get this information from the TM because it isn't in the TM. If there is some kind of stretching procedure, it certainly isn't operator level.

    From one Soldier to another, please be cautious of these so called experts who pop up from time to time. When it comes to maintaining your weapon, you can't go wrong if you go by the -10. I've seen plenty of troops who heard a "better way" from some guy who supposedly knows everything about firearms make their weapons almost deadlined. When I maintain my weapon IAW the TM, the only malfunctions I have are due to faulty ammunition.

    Is your duty weapon a rifle/carbine or pistol? I've used an M-16 for many years and not once had a problem with a fully loaded magazine. I don't have a whole lot of experience with the M-9 or M-11 however.

    The only maintenance I would recommend for magazines is periodic disassembly, inspection and cleaning IAW the -10. METT-TC (i.e. how much sand are you getting in them) will determine the frequency.

    Springs wear as a result of compression and decompression, not by simply being compressed. If you have two magazines, one loaded at the beginning of the month, one left empty and loaded at the end of the month, they will have equal wear. If you have a 3rd mag that you load and immediately unload every day, it will wear much faster.

    Stretching to extremes may make your magazine unserviceable, but at a minimum decrease it's lifespan. Have your armorer (hopefully not the guy who showed you how to stretch them) inspect your magazines if you are concerned about them.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

    DaddyWarcrimes.com

  14. #14
    Member Array Hill Country's Avatar
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    I have to agree that stretching magazine springs is probably not a great idea. But my two tour grandson tells me that that is what they have do - apparently the aftermarket magazines the military purchased from the low bidder had some problems.

    Wikipedia says this about the M9:

    *****
    There were also a number of common mechanical defects, most notably problems with the magazine springs becoming too slack, which has been attributed to the fact that the M9 is a sidearm and as such is not reloaded for long periods of time, thus straining the springs.[4] and rust and corrosion problems, especially with the barrel. M9 pistol field stripped

    The U.S. military has been criticized for not purchasing magazines from Beretta. In 2006, the military awarded a contract to Airtronic USA due to the previous manufacturer, Check-Mate Industries, charging too much per magazine[5], though Check-Mate magazines are still sometimes issued. Prior to Check-Mate magazines being purchased, the military purchased magazines from the Italian firm Mec-Gar.[5] Aitronic has stated that its M9 magazines will be made similar to Mec-Gar's, due to Check-Mate magazines having reliability problems.[5]

    In 2003Ė2004 there were reported failures with the government contracted 9 mm magazines. After extensive testing and actual testimony given by the troops it was concluded that the failures were due to the heavy phosphate finish called for in the government contract, combined with the unique environmental conditions in Iraq. After corrections to the government required specifications for the magazine finish, almost two million new magazines have been distributed without any further malfunctions.

    In the competition to find a new vendor, three finalists were chosen; these three were Airtronic Services, Inc. classified as a "Moderate Risk", PHT Supply (partnered with Triple K Mfg.) also classified as a "Moderate Risk" and Check-Mate Industries, Inc. classified as a "Very Low Risk". Of the three Airtronic Services, Inc was chosen due to their low bid of "$22,471,600" (Source: GAO). Airtronic Services delivered the first 900,000 magazines with zero failures, while costing less than the previous supplier Check-Mate Industries (source GAO and US Court of Federal Small Claims).

    ******

    It is a damn shame our troops have resort to field expedients like stretching springs and not filling the mags. Typical Washington BS, though. We had the original M16A0 in Nam that was junk, and finally - 30 years later - they have *some* of the bugs worked out of the A4. Apparently the M9 is no different. Whataya bet all the new mags are sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

    God bless you guys who serve.

  15. #15
    OD*
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    ... the military purchased magazines from the Italian firm Mec-Gar.[
    The same company that makes the Beretta magazines.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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