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View Full Version : Topping Off Your Carry Mag


NightSight
July 28, 2009, 08:42 AM
Just curious. How many top off their EDC magazine?? Do you leave it topped off?? If so, how much quicker, if at all, do your mag springs have to be replaced??

freakshow10mm
July 28, 2009, 09:13 AM
Load magazine. Rack slide. Top off mag. Go on with life. Leave it loaded until it's shot.

jgcoastie
July 28, 2009, 09:15 AM
By topping off do you mean inserting a round in the mag after chambering the top round? Or do you mean filling the mag to capacity every time?

If the former, then no, I don't like having loose ammo floating around and I find it much easier to release the mag, unload the chamber and place ejected round back in the mag. i.e. for my Glock 22 (.40s&w) the magazine capacity is 15, so my normal carrying capacity is 14+1 after chambering.

If the latter, then yes, I load my magazines to their capacity. I have seen no decreased performance of my mags, but I do cycle through them every couple of weeks.

mike21603
July 28, 2009, 09:26 AM
all my guns are full mags + 1. i have tested this every time i' am at the range. i put one in the pipe and load the mag full and shoots fine with all of my guns.

Crankylove
July 28, 2009, 10:28 AM
My mags always stay full. I will shoot the carry ammo several times a year, and replace it, but always carry mag+1

armsmaster270
July 28, 2009, 02:38 PM
Always +1 with my semi autos, tried to do it with the revolvers but the round just wouldn't fit.

Stevie-Ray
July 28, 2009, 02:48 PM
Full mag then load. I never top off. Spend too much time at gun shows where I have to make the gun safe. Don't like loose rounds in my pocket.

Terry A
July 28, 2009, 04:12 PM
I always top them off (full mag +1)

The only magazine problem I had was the Beretta 92F mags needed replaced after 12 years I think. All the other magazines of my semi's have stayed real strong, but I also rotate my mags the 1st of every month. I have 4-6 mags for each semi I own, with the exception of the KelTec .380. The only mag loaded in these other semis is the one in the gun. Occasionaly, I may load up a spare if we're going to a higher crime area.

Although the Keltec .380's mag is still strong, I'll replace that one every 2 yrs or so. Just to be on the safe side.

dabigguns357
July 29, 2009, 08:39 AM
I keep my g22 loaded with all 15 rounds in the mag and 1 in the chamber.I also carry a mag holder with 2 full 15 round mags,too.When i carry my .357,it's fully loaded with at least an extra speed loader.

You wouldn't go around filling your car up with 3/4 of a tank of gas would you.

Steviewonder1
July 29, 2009, 08:46 AM
+1 on the 3/4 tank of gas. I top mine off and back them with a minimum of 2 reloads or 2 speedloaders with my Colt Python.

johnwilliamson062
July 29, 2009, 09:25 AM
I said yes, but I don't currently. I have a G27 with the +2 extensions. With a full mag and closed bolt there is a lot of pressure on the bolt. Never had a problem, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did.

I thik the myth that full loaded mags wear out the springs has been disprove several times both in theory and practice. If I remember correctly someone dug up a story about WWI era loaded 1911 mags bring found in a trench somewhere not to log ago and functioning without problems.

johnwilliamson062
July 29, 2009, 09:26 AM
I said yes, but I don't currently. I have a G27 with the +2 extensions. Thinking about it I just traded a 26 for a 27 and I think the extensions are only +1 now. Not really sure how well it works in the 27 I have not played with it, but for the 26 I found the following to be true. With a full mag and closed bolt there is a lot of pressure on the bolt and the top cartridge. I worry about bending the top cartridges brass out of round mostly. Never had a problem, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did. With normal mags I always topped off ad if I carry a different gun I top off. Putting the loose round back in the mag would be nice, but I can't manually load the last round in a Glock mag without breaking a sweat, so i don't do it.

I think the myth that full loaded mags wear out the springs has been disprove several times both in theory and practice. If I remember correctly someone dug up a story about WWI era loaded 1911 mags being found in a trench excavation somewhere not to long ago and functioning without problems.

booker_t
July 29, 2009, 09:28 AM
I'd be interested to hear from LEO folks on this.

Do any local governments prohibit or regulate how officers/agents load their service pistols? Are there liability issues that muddy the waters, or are LEOs given the leeway to carry however they are most comfortable?

buzz_knox
July 29, 2009, 09:36 AM
If the former, then no, I don't like having loose ammo floating around and I find it much easier to release the mag, unload the chamber and place ejected round back in the mag. i.e. for my Glock 22 (.40s&w) the magazine capacity is 15, so my normal carrying capacity is 14+1 after chambering.


Do you check for bullet setback? Rechambering the same round repeatedly can lead to this problem.

J.Netto
July 29, 2009, 09:49 AM
I always top it off.

BigDaddy
July 29, 2009, 09:59 AM
I always top off my mag when carrying. Rotating the round I chamber helps to avoid setback. I have some extra rounds that I use as a comparison for bullet setback. When a round is too short, I chuck it.

--Dave

bikerbill
July 29, 2009, 11:47 AM
always topped off ... no reason not to, and some day that extra round might make a big difference ...

raftman
July 29, 2009, 12:11 PM
In my case, yes, it's a good idea to top it off. I currently use the P-64 which has a 6 round mag, so it seems to make sense to wanna have a 7th round in the gun.

M1911
July 29, 2009, 01:11 PM
The gun I typically carry is 6 + 1. You bet your bippy I top it off. If I was carrying my Glock 34, I might not bother.

stargazer65
July 29, 2009, 01:46 PM
I think the myth that full loaded mags wear out the springs has been disprove several times both in theory and practice.

When I was in the Navy we never had fully loaded magazines for the duty weapons. I was told it was to keep the springs from wearing out and didn't question it. I don't know if that practice is still in effect. I don't currently own a semiauto, but I'd be interested to hear if that "myth" really is a disproven myth.

What's EDC BTW?:o

FyredUp
July 29, 2009, 01:55 PM
Can't CCW here but I do top off my HD pistol. Gotta love that one extra 230 grain JHP in the mag.

azredhawk44
July 29, 2009, 02:18 PM
Stargazer: EDC is every day carry.

I don't top off... Not worth the hassle IMO. I don't practice with my gun in a +1 status at the range, so I don't know how reliable it would be when feeding under the super-tension imposed by that situation.

Since I don't practice that way, I don't carry that way.

Stevie-Ray
July 30, 2009, 07:02 PM
You wouldn't go around filling your car up with 3/4 of a tank of gas would you. Almost always. I usually put $30 in it and whatever that gives me is usually enough for the week. Generally, that's about 3/4 of a tank.

3/4 of a magazine OTOH, for me is 5.25 rounds, and I've never done that.

Brit
August 2, 2009, 07:33 AM
My Glock 19 takes 16 rounds, always has 16 rounds in it, spare magazine is a Glock 17 one, with 17 rounds.

Do I think I might need 16 rounds? I don't think about it.

PSP
August 2, 2009, 07:45 AM
I carry +1. That extra round is 10% of one load and 16% of the other. I always load one round in the mag, chamber it and then fill the mag. It's an easy way to be positive the round loaded.

scottaschultz
August 2, 2009, 07:46 AM
http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv124/scottaschultz/beatdeadhorse5.gif Springs wear out from repeated compression/decompression cycles, NOT from being compressed and staying that way.

Scott

FM12
August 2, 2009, 09:52 PM
Not worth it to me, too much hassle and handeling involved.:eek:

NightSight
August 3, 2009, 09:02 AM
Springs wear out from repeated compression/decompression cycles, NOT from being compressed and staying that way.

If you don't port load your handgun, which I imagine you don't, then you are subjecting your magazine to a compression/decompression cycle when you un-chamber a round for practice and then re-chamber for carry. This is especially true if you unload your magazine to make sure that you don't chamber the same round every time.

So, the question becomes, does compression/decompression cycles in combination with carrying a magazine in a maximum compression position wear out your springs faster.

I personally take the round out of the chamber and place it back in the magazine so I know where it's at when I practice or dry fire or whatever. The last thing that I want is to lose track of an HD round. That's the reason why I don't top off. I was just curious as to the SOP for everyone else.

OldMarksman
August 3, 2009, 09:24 AM
I personally take the round out of the chamber and place it back in the magazine so I know where it's at when I practice or dry fire or whatever. The last thing that I want is to lose track of an HD round. That's the reason why I don't top off. I was just curious as to the SOP for everyone else.

I've heard that doing that can result in the bullet being seated progressively deeper and deeper, causing potentially dangerous pressures.

Perhaps cycling through a whole box might be better.

ECHOONE
August 3, 2009, 09:38 AM
Why do people constantly insist in thinking that by keeping there magazines loaded it weakens the springs???????? IT doesn't!!!!!Keeping them fully loaded has the same effect as keeping them unloaded! What weakens the springs of a magazine is the act of working the spring,loading and unloading the magazine!!!!!!! Hope that clears things up

OldMarksman
August 3, 2009, 10:19 AM
Why do people constantly insist in thinking that by keeping there magazines loaded it weakens the springs???????? IT doesn't!!!!!Keeping them fully loaded has the same effect as keeping them unloaded! What weakens the springs of a magazine is the act of working the spring,loading and unloading the magazine!!!!!!! Hope that clears things up

I had a friend who was a Lt. Col. in the Army and who had a Model 1911. He kept the magazines empty, and when I suggested that he keep one loaded, he said it would weaken the springs.

I labored under that misconception for decades, alternating loaded magazines for my S&W Model 39--and I have an engineering degree.

I also remember people saying that the springs on old cars that had not been driven very much might weaken from having not been used.

NavyLT
August 3, 2009, 11:27 AM
I voted yes because that was the most accurate answer. I carry a Taurus PT-145 with 10 in the mag and one in the chamber. However, the Taurus has an extractor that pivots on a pin so the way I load it is:

1. Drop one in the chamber.
2. Ride the slide forward with enough force for the extractor to hop over the rim of the round.
3. Pull the slide back enough to ensure the extractor is pulling the round from the chamber.
4. Push the slide into full battery, double checking by verifying the back of the slide is flush with the top of the frame.
5. Insert full magazine, double checking to verify full insertion of the magazine due to the extra force required by the top round being pressed against the closed slide.
6. Engage safety and holster.

I know the argument about breaking the extractor this way.

I've done this at least a hundred times with my practice ammo at the range as well and the gun has always gone bang. If I can carry one more round without changing anything other than the weight of one round, why not?

bikerbill
August 4, 2009, 10:53 AM
So NavyLT raises an interesting point ... maybe it's just an urban legend, like keeping yours mags loaded trashes the spring ... but I recall reading here that placing a round in the chamber and then dropping the slide can damage the extractor ... when I reload after cleaning, dryfire, whatever, I load the mag full, rack the slide to chamber the top round, on safe, then drop the mag and add a new round before returning the mag to its place. can anybody confirm or deny the extractor issue?

NavyLT
August 4, 2009, 02:51 PM
I can deny it on my Taurus PT-145! It hasn't affected the extractor yet. Many people will say it will damage the extractor, but I have never seen anyone post that it HAS damaged an extractor.

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 02:53 PM
DROPPING the slide on a loaded round is different than gently riding the slide and pushing the extractor over the edge.

I still think it's easier to just insert the full mag, drop the slide and then drop the mag and top it off.

NavyLT
August 4, 2009, 02:56 PM
I don't want to wear my magazine spring out by cycling it through compression cycles for that one round. :D ROFL! ;)

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 04:06 PM
You got me there.:D

Dannyl
August 11, 2009, 02:21 AM
HI,
First, a quote from another post
"Always +1 with my semi autos, tried to do it with the revolvers but the round just wouldn't fit.

Thanks for a great laugh:D


As for topping up the mag, this is a habit I got into from the days when I was in the army, and have never seen a reason to change it.
My procedure is always to chamber a round from the mag, then drop it, add a round and re-insert the mag.

I also carry a spare mag on me, and a box of 20 rounds in my car.

Regarding the concern for mag springs wearing out from being compressed? I dont consider this a problem.
Again, in the army all your mags are always full except for when you empty them for inspection, (which takes a few minutes )and then fill them up again. or you are busy shooting. In civilian life, I have kept mags loaded for years (except when shooting them) and have never had problems with any of them (Browning HP, Glock 22, Colt 1911, S&W 4006, Whalter PPK .380, Berret 72, Berreta 92FS)




Cheers,
Danny