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Leaving magazines loaded

Standing ElkStanding Elk Member Posts: 5
edited September 29 in Ask the Experts

I was told by a friend that it is unwise to leave a detachable magazine (of any kind) loaded over an extended period of time. Acording to him, the spring will get weak and cause feeding issues. I certainly don't know everything but I have never heard of this before. Do any of you have any input on this. I wonder if the police officers and military swap out their magazines and if so how often do they do it. Thanks


  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 13,119 ✭✭✭✭

    it is my understanding a spring gets worn out by the constant flexing, compression and expansion, of the spring. leaving it one way or the other as long as it isn't overly compressed or stretched shouldn't hurt it as long as it doesn't rust while being stored.

  • Ruger4meRuger4me Member, Moderator Posts: 2,324 ******

    You will get as many opinions are there are answers... You can do a search and find lot's of differences of opinions... Personally I have certain guns and spare magazines stored in multiple places, each to their own, do whatever seems appropriate for you. Here is one opinion fairly recent about modern mags and their springs.

    my 2 cents worth.

  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 23,817 ******

    Well, it's not of much use if it's unloaded.

  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭

    Springs most often get weakened by either over compression or over stretching. I've noticed that many newer magazines make it quite difficult to push in that last round on top of the stack.To be extra cautious, you could load your mags with one round less than full capacity.

  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,014 ✭✭✭

    That is an old question that has been answered many times. There is no spring degrading in good quality magazines left compressed for a few short years. There are reports of 1911 mag's left loaded for years and were fully functional. My personal take is to unload any mag's about every six months.

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 12,959 ✭✭✭✭

    I've got somewhere around 10 AR magazines, 7-8 10-22 mags, 5-6 Ruger pistol mags, and an unknown number of 9mm pistol mags of various makes that have been loaded for YEARS. Sometimes they get shot dry but are immediately reloaded.

    I stake my life on a 9mm mag that's been loaded for 4-5 years.

  • Horse Plains DrifterHorse Plains Drifter Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 37,959 ***** Forums Admin

    What the dude in the video Ruger posted said.

  • bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,627 ✭✭✭

    Only trouble I've ever had with magazines loaded for many, many years was some of the early non metal lined Glock mags eventually started to crack. The ones in the 2nd generation and later which were FML (Full metal lined) were fine. Just not the early U notch mags have been loaded since I bought the gun in the mid-90's. I still shoot the ammo in the mags roughly once a year and they've yet to fail to load.

    I'm sure there are some out there that would fail over time, but I keep what I feel is an appropriate amount of mags loaded for each firearm that is "at the ready". Only those Glock mags which have failed one here, one there, another here (years apart and Glock replaced them all under warranty) failed. They actually still would feed except the last round. I had a metal mag of a handgun that got weak in time, but I suspect it was that mag as I kept quite a few loaded, and only one ever weakened and it was obvious by the loading before it ever stopped feeding that last round too.

    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 63,739 ******

    It's an old question that's settled down mostly to the "it doesn't matter so far as the spring is concerned" side. What a lot of folks overlook regarding this question is that plastic magazines will creep with stress applied over time. So the area that supports the feed lips, especially, may deform and particularly if the magazines are stored in a warm area for any length of time.

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