Magazine spring damage?

vallopez2000vallopez2000 Member Posts: 91 ✭✭
edited March 2003 in Ask the Experts

I've had all my AR15 30rd mags fully loaded for a while now. Does keeping the 30rd mags fully loaded for extended periods of time damage the springs? How long would be safe? How do you know when to replace a mag spring? I have more mags than I can take to the range so I can't realisticaly test them all. I hope I'm not the only one who keeps dozens of fully loaded mags. Feel free to insert "over prepared" joke here.


  • ranger37ranger37 Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    they should keep for a while not sure how long, but when they go bad you`ll have feed problems meaning the rounds will not come up properly and you`ll have miss feeds..in essence you realy should not keep the mags loaded but you should keep your ammo on stripper clips and in a ammo boxs.

  • dkfdkf Member Posts: 344 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you feel that you must keep loaded magazines, keep one empty magazine for each loaded magazine and rotate them every 3 days. Also to extend the life of the magazine spings, take the magazine apart once a month and leave the spring out for 3 days and than reassemble.
  • vipereatervipereater Member Posts: 118 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    How much longer does it extend the life of the spring if it was half loaded? Its a compression spring. If your going to disassemble why not just stretch it out and re-assemble?


    Sell the stock market and buy guns.
  • bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,378 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've got a Glock model 20 with 15 round 10mm mags. I have had 3 loaded all the way to the top since 1994 when I bought it (over 9 years now). The only time it gets unloaded is when it gets shot. I then clean the gun and the mags and reload the whole thing, all 3 mags, all the way back to the top again. I haven't EVER had a mis-fire or jam. I do have 7 to 10 mags that are empty and set aside for later use but I do not rotate them or anything.
    I'm not saying this is proper use or maintanance but it does show that they are fairly tough when they are made well like the Glock mags seem to be (maybe I'm the exception). Just get some spare springs and replace them if/when the gun starts malfunctioning. If the springs are no longer available, then I'd follow some of the other advice...
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
  • ItGoBangItGoBang Member Posts: 1,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Way back when, When I was in the army... We were told to keep 28 rds in the 30 mag, and 18 in the 20 mags. This would help with spring-set. The only problems with the mags I had were from getting dirty, or bent. [^]

    It will hurt you, More than it will hurt me..

    Life Member... N R A

    Thanks for all the help!
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 21,789 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think you could extend the life of the springs of your mags if you didn't load them all the way up. I usually keep 1/2 of my 30rd mags loaded with 20rds. I don't have any data to support this but I hear keeping the 30rd mags all the way loaded to the top weakens the springs quickly. 20rds seems to me to be a better number... 20rds in a box, 20 in the mag. You would hate to find that all your springs are dead when the time comes to need them. Maybe buy another case of ammo & test all your mags to make sure they still work. Shoot the ammo that's in the mags & replace it with fresh ammo. Get a grease pencil or use a pc of duct tape to mark mags that are starting to misfeed.

    I do know that I've gone thru 15 1911 Chip McCormik & Wilson mags over the years because I kept them loaded. The 1911 mag springs in my experience weaken quickly! I now keep my Ruger GP100 revolver loaded for home defense & let the semi mags rest. However I have kept one Glock 21 mag loaded which I rotate every couple weeks or so for carrying at the gun shop where I work part time.


  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by dkf
    If you feel that you must keep loaded magazines, keep one empty magazine for each loaded magazine and rotate them every 3 days. Also to extend the life of the magazine spings, take the magazine apart once a month and leave the spring out for 3 days and than reassemble.

    Gosh! How much spare time do you have that you can do all this "rotating"?!

    Don't worry about your magazine spring (assuming you're using a quality firearm and magazines with quality springs)--"spring-set" is largely a myth.

    If "spring-set" was a serious issue, all the major firearm manufactures would be warning against it.

    People may be able to give isolated examples of failures they attribute to "spring-set," but they cannot provide any engineering data (or scientific expanations) to demonstrate that it's something that happens.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 48,501 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My Dad brought back a Walther PP from WWII. It was pretty much continuously loaded from 1945 until about 1989, and it still functions perfectly with no misfeeds. Again, this is not a suggestion for proper use/care, but a testiment to how tough they are and a suggestion that spring set may indeed not be the problem some fear it is.
  • p3skykingp3skyking Member Posts: 25,750
    edited November -1
    I once had the opportunity to fire a Government model that had been loaded since WWII. I couldn't wait to try as I was anxious to see how the mag would work after all those years. I didn't disassemble ANYTHING prior to firing. It ran flawlessly.

    Maybe on some new weapons or inferior makes, spring set may be a reality, but I've never seen it.
  • rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,626
    edited November -1
    I have a Colt 1903 that had been kept loaded from just after Pearl Harbor was bombed until I found it in 1995. It was given to her by my Grandfather just before he was sent off so she could defend herself and their children in case the Japanese attacked California. She put it in a chest and forgot about it. When I found it, it was wrapped in a towel and in perfect condition.

    I stripped and cleaned the gun and then took it out and shot it. It functioned perfectly using the magazine that had been loaded over fifty years.

    This may be an exception, but there was no spring set on this magazine.
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