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Loaded magazines

EddpyattEddpyatt Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
edited January 2012 in Ask the Experts
How long can magazines be left loaded without developing some sort of issue with the springs ( stored at the ready ). I am asking specifically for AR mags but is there a rule of thumb for all magazines in general?

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    EddpyattEddpyatt Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Anyone have an authoritative opinion on leaving magazines loaded for long periods of time? Specifically, AR magazines and pistol magazines used in home defense.
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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Modern spring steel is good stuff. I ususlly rotate mine twice a year (time change) it allows me to check the weapon and the ammo. You could acquire extra springs now and never worry.
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    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I load my AR magazines 10% light 27 in a 30 round mag 18 in a 20. I empty and refill my magazines at least once a year either shooting at the range or on a slow afternoon. If I get any sign of weakness I replace the innards with a rebuild kit from Brownells - spring and follower. Once this is done I have never had one take a set or give any other sign of failure - maybe I should just do this from the beginning.
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    TxsTxs Member Posts: 18,801
    edited November -1
    Cycling degrades magazine springs much more than simply maintaining them loaded.

    So long as a spring isn't compressed beyond it's design parameters, leaving one fully loaded opposed to downloading by 1-2 rounds makes no difference.

    As for AR magazine springs, do a bit of research on what's widely considered the best you can get...

    http://www.specializedarmament.com/products/MAGAZINE_SPRING_EXTREME_DUTY_RED_30RD_S_A-290-4.html

    As with many others, my agency policy is to refit all M16 mags with them.
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    Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,492 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I got a bunch of 70's and 80's used AR mags recently, and all were A-ok in the spring Depts. I did change all of the black and green followers to the Magpul yellows, but the springs all were fine.

    This is a question that pops up 3-4 times a year. The general consensus I get is that good springs will last ages loaded, but if you want to unload and check, or even unload and rotate to a different loaded mag, feel free to do so. Confidence in your equipment, and a good, safe routine for regular firearm maintenance, is a very good thing to have.
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