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Old January 14, 2013, 08:53 AM   #26
vito
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There are many things in life that seem to happen if you truly expect them to happen. How many people think a car runs better when it is washed? Obviously that makes no difference, but some will swear it is true. If you think compressing a spring weakens it, then you will "see" that a long compressed spring does not seem as strong as an uncompressed one. Have you ever met someone who wears their "lucky" shirt when shooting in competition? I have, and he is absolutely sure that he shoots better when he wears that shirt. So many things on this and other forums are really based upon things like this, or other non-rational factors. There are people who are convinced that certain moderately expensive guns are "better" even when their guns have given them a great deal of problems. It is because they want to believe that they did not waste their money on this brand firearm. (The reality is that in terms of home or self defense the overwhelming majority of enthusiasts on this website will never need to use their gun for these purposes, and if they do, it likely will be at very, very close distances. The differences in accuracy of various guns will, in reality, mean very little if and when the gun is truly needed and used. But that doesn't stop some from endless arguing that their expensive, modified and babied handgun is so much better than that $300 45acp semi-automatic made by a low cost manufacturer. I will note however, that I am referring to long range accuracy, not reliability which can truly vary. But of course, if you want greater reliability, use a revolver.)
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Old January 14, 2013, 09:08 AM   #27
Skadoosh
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Not sure what you're getting at here...are you saying that its all in our heads that spring strength is affected (or not affected) by compression? That this subject has mostly to do with our biases??
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Old January 14, 2013, 09:20 AM   #28
Hunter Customs
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Do what ever makes you feel comfortable.

I've answered this numerous times before, but here's the answer again.
Loading magazines to intended capacity and leaving them that way does not weaken or damage the magazine spring as long as the spring was designed to handle the capacity of the magazine.

What weakens springs is overloading of a springs intended use and the continuous loading and unloading of the spring in normal use.

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Old January 14, 2013, 09:25 AM   #29
Brian Pfleuger
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Springs get weaker due to metal fatigue. Metal fatigue comes from repetitive motion. Repetitive motion comes from repeatedly loading and unloading your mags. A loaded mag sitting on a shelf does not continually weaken the spring. If you think you're making your mags last longer by rotating them, you're wrong. You're doing the opposite. Every time you empty and reload one you are weakening the spring. Leaving them loaded does nothing to the spring.
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:43 AM   #30
vito
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So if it "seems" that a long compressed spring is weaker than one often compressed and released, yes, it might just be in your head.
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:55 AM   #31
Constantine
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Quote:
Do what ever makes you feel comfortable.

I've answered this numerous times before, but here's the answer again.
Loading magazines to intended capacity and leaving them that way does not weaken or damage the magazine spring as long as the spring was designed to handle the capacity of the magazine.

What weakens springs is overloading of a springs intended use and the continuous loading and unloading of the spring in normal use.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com

What Bob said..

I've left magazines in guns for years and decided to take them out to range and swap the ammo it's been carrying without a problem whatsoever.

As of now, in my safe. The following are loaded to capacity with one in the chamber. So they're at +1

SIG P220 and P226

Glock 21 and Glock 17

My Glock 19 is one me right now and also to capacity with +1
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:15 PM   #32
AZAK
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"One physical phenomenon with metals is that at stress below the yield strength of the material a very slow plastic deformation take place. In the spring branch this is called creep when a spring under constant load loose length and it is called relaxation when a spring under constant compression lose load."
http://www.lesjoforsab.com/technical...durability.asp

Quote:
A loaded mag sitting on a shelf does not continually weaken the spring.
While many may not have personally experienced spring creep and relaxation in their own magazines, that does not mean that it does not exist and plague some magazines and guns.

Quote:
What weakens springs is overloading of a springs intended use
Simple and well put statement on this topic.
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Old January 14, 2013, 02:45 PM   #33
Walt Sherrill
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This topic pops up here fairly regularly, and we hear all of the same old arguments. I've just summarized some of the commentary in the following.
-----------
Unloaded springs don't deteriorate, but with loaded mag springs the story is different and can vary. It depends on how the spring is used, the design of the magazine, and the work the spring is doing.

We've had a lot of discussions on this topic here on the TFL, and some of those participating were people involved in spring production and design, along with a few engineers familiar with steel. What they all say is that a spring that is consistently and frequently pushed to it's design limits will fail more quickly than springs that aren't pushed so hard.

If springs wore out from being worked (compression) alone, tappet springs in cars would arguably have to be replaced a lot more often than they are - which is almost never. Those tappet springs are designed for the task, and they are seldom pushed beyond their design limits. A 7-round 1911 mag spring seems to be about as reliable as any spring around, including tappet springs, but springs in hi-cap or compact mags often are asked to do more than other springs and may not live as long.

New gun designs have given us smaller guns that do what bigger guns do. The springs in those smaller guns have to cope with the same rounds, but must do it within tighter, smaller spaces, and sometimes with less material. In some gun designs, the designers clearly consider springs to be a renewable resource and, by design, sacrifice spring life so that the guns themselves can do more than they'd normally be able to do.

Coil springs differ from leaf springs in at least one important way: the material in nearly all of a coil spring does the work, while in a leaf spring just a key area or two does most of the heavy lifting. Because the "work" a coil spring does is distributed throughout the spring, coil springs start to degrade with microscopic breaks in a lot of places. A leaf spring will often simply break, because the work there is done in a smaller, more concentrated area. Coil springs can break, but most often start to soften or sag. Leaf springs can sag, but most often will break.

Leaving any magazine spring COMPRESSED at or near that spring's design limit will weaken the spring. That's because a compressed spring is a WORKING spring. In a loaded magazine, that spring is trying to lift a column of ammo![/B] But if, when fully loaded, the spring is NOT near it's design limit then there's not likely to be a problem -- as the designers built in reserve power. With some sub-compact or hi-cap mags, however, the space for spring metal that would have provided that extra reserve power has been sacrificed to make room for more rounds.
  • In the case of 7-round 1911 mags and most of the 10-round 9mm mags in full-size guns, there's plenty of reserve. With most fully loaded sub-compact and hi-cap mags, the springs are often FULLY COMPRESSEDat or near (or even past) their design limit. There's no reserve left!
A 7-round 1911 magazine that has been left fully loaded for decades may still have a long life ahead of it, if later used. It's like that tappet spring in a car engine -- it's been used well within it's design envelope.

Note: Wolff Springs recommends downloading a round or two for most mags, when the hi-cap or compact mags are left loaded for long periods of time. That's advice intended to prolong spring life, not to sell more springs.
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:37 PM   #34
Dragline45
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Quote:
I never understood the sense behind "rotating" the ammo in a magazine
Rounds that get chambered over and over again get their case rims chewed up and are susceptible to bullet setback. Bullet setback can lead to dangerous pressures especially with higher pressure or +p rounds. This is why its a good idea to change out the ammo in your magazines every now and then.
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:33 PM   #35
Onward Allusion
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Take two brand new springs for the same make/model pistol. Install one in a mag and fully load it for a week. Leave the other spring alone. Take apart the fully loaded mag after a week and compare the springs. Is anyone really gonna tell me that no compression took place?

Now, with that said - the compression is normal and the carbon spring steel is meant to do that. However, I can't believe that after a year in a fully loaded state that spring is going to be as long as the one compressed for only a week. Is it going to impact the functionality? Who knows. It depends on so many factors, like quality of steel used in the spring, double -vs- single stacked, totally new -vs- used...etc...etc...

I like to err on the side of caution for my nightstand gun, but that's just me.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:07 AM   #36
AZAK
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Quote:
I can't believe that after a year in a fully loaded state that spring is going to be as long as the one compressed for only a week.
Well, here is what Wolff Gunsprings has to say:
"Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting."
http://www.gunsprings.com/faq
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