The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 17, 2009, 11:30 AM   #1
awaveritt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 258
Giving magazine springs a rest

How long do you keep your magazines loaded before giving the springs a rest? I usually keep one loaded for a week or so and then cycle my other two. What say you?
awaveritt is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 11:47 AM   #2
OuTcAsT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,212
I keep my magazines loaded all the time, never saw any reason to "relax" the springs, as constant tension has no effect on the performance of spring-steel. Have heard this myth before though.

Whatever helps you sleep at night...
__________________
WITHOUT Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech. Silence Dogood

Does not morality imply the last clear chance? - WildAlaska -
OuTcAsT is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 11:55 AM   #3
45Gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2009
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 1,735
Call me a slave driver.... I never give those puppies a rest. They're at work so I can rest easy.

I do replace my magazines every once in a while. I have a ten year old Kimber and I keep the gun loaded and the magazines full to capacity since the day I bought it. I just ordered two new mags so it is not like I am buying new magazines every other day.

All this gun talk is making me have withdrawal....have a great day, I'm off to the range.
__________________
45Gunner
May the Schwartz Be With You.
NRA Instructor
NRA Life Member

Last edited by 45Gunner; September 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Going to the Range
45Gunner is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 12:08 PM   #4
ISC
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,982
Your magazine springs are worked harder by being cycled than sitting loaded. Unless it is a really crappy mag the springs will never wear out. You're wasting your time.
ISC is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 12:28 PM   #5
QBall45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 5, 2008
Location: South Central Minnesota
Posts: 583
My 6 mags are always loaded. The only time they get a "break" is on the range.

I switch out carry ammo for range ammo, then go shoot. Reload with carry ammo at the end of my range session.

I'm not concrened about the springs taking a "set".
QBall45 is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 12:48 PM   #6
JBriggs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 328
I have one government issue .45 mag that sat loaded for seven years. I forgot about it and it lived in the back of my gun closet the whole time. Found during cleaning and took it to the range. No flaws- worked perfectly. The steel in the springs is tempered so that they will work after even being compressed for some time.

I read an article not to long ago about how this demolition crew in berlin found an old WW2 pistol while excavating a basement. The mag was still loaded and it worked fine when they fired the pistol.
__________________
Bear Arms or Wear Chains
JBriggs is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 12:51 PM   #7
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
"They're at work so I can rest easy."

A spring that is held in a static compressed state is not doing any work since there is no movement.
brickeyee is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 01:04 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 7,169
I have mags that have been loaded for 35 years.
__________________
Bill DeShivs
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 01:12 PM   #9
azredhawk44
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 6,465
A good mag, with a quality spring, will never wear out if left empty or left full or left somewhere in between.

It's cycles that wear them out.
azredhawk44 is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 01:15 PM   #10
riggins_83
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2009
Location: Wherever I may roam
Posts: 1,484
I use Wilson magazines in my daily carry gun (Kimber) and will swap the mags every now and then, usually just when they need cleaning. If they do get swapped it's usually after a month or two.

Good metal springs keep tension best with constant loads. When they're compressed and released each time the spring looses a little strength.

I have a junk AR magazine that was left loaded fully for a long time (at least 4 years) and still works fine.

I tend to have a few magazines around that are for range visits.. this way my carry mags aren't being cycled as often.
__________________
l've heard police work is dangerous. Yes, that's why l carry a big gun. Couldn't it go off accidentally? l used to have that problem. What did you do about it?
l just think about baseball. -Leslie Nielsen
riggins_83 is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 01:38 PM   #11
hickok45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2000
Location: Nashville, Tn
Posts: 212
I guess I believe what I've read over and over about being harder on the springs to be loading and unloading them; however, I still feel better if I rotate in a different magazines every couple of months.

If unloading them and reloading them every two months compromises their reliability, they aren't worth much anyway.

Likewise, I know that the new lithium phone and camera batteries don't need to be run down completely before charging when I get a new one, but I feel better if I do it anyway. Couldn't hurt.

Guess I'm just destined to be "Old School"! Which reminds me, I think I have to go patch an inner tube in one of my new car's tires!
__________________
www.youtube.com/user/hickok45
hickok45 is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 01:51 PM   #12
Stevie-Ray
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: The shores of Lake Huron
Posts: 4,554
Quote:
I have mags that have been loaded for 35 years.
Yup, and they'll likely function perfectly. I just used a FAL mag last year that was loaded 20 years ago. It was my first mag used at the outdoor range then, and it went flawlessly.
__________________
Stevie-Ray
Join the NRA/ILA
I am the weapon; my gun is a tool. It's regrettable that with some people those descriptors are reversed.
Stevie-Ray is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 02:06 PM   #13
Walt Sherrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Posts: 4,537
Wolff Springs, which has some expertise on this topic, says that it really depends on how a spring is used.

In a standard capacity magazine, like a 7-round 1911 (.45) mag, or 10-round 9mm mag, you can leave the mag fully loaded forever and you'll have problems before it will. Over time, working the mag a lot will contribute to wear and weakness, but it will take a lot.

The problems arise when the mag spring is pushed to its design limits. For 8-round 1911 mags, or 15/16 round 9mm mags, for example, the mag makers typically use the same spring as in standard mags. But, in the high-cap mags, the springs are compressed farther. That strains the springs and accelerates their wear. They've been pushed to -- or beyond -- their original design limits.

Letting springs rest does NOTHING. Springs aren't animals, and don't get better after resting. Metal fatigue can't be overcome and the metal can't be rejuvenated by giving it time off. Rotating mags doesn't save the mags -- it just spreads the wear over a larger number of mags. You're just delaying when you replace the springs, and have to replace more of them.

Wolff suggests downloading a mag a round or two if you're going to leave them stored for long periods.

Check out the FAQ section on the Wolff website for more info.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; September 17, 2009 at 06:05 PM.
Walt Sherrill is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 02:40 PM   #14
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,682
I turn my car over once a week to rest the springs, you mean I've been doing all that work for nothing?
RJay is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 02:43 PM   #15
awaveritt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 258
I like what Walt Sherrill said about the advice from Wolff Springs. My mags happen to be double-stacked 9mm and backing off a round in each mag is not a huge compromise in my view. If I'm looking for that 16th round in my bedroom at 2 in the morning, I'm probably in over my head, anyways. Thanks for all your replies.
awaveritt is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 04:28 PM   #16
majortoo
Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2009
Posts: 27
Magazine springs

I seem to recall....(Hell, it has been 50 years!) that the Army used to require MP (Military Police for those of you who do not understand DODspeak) 45 magazines to hold five rounds each. No more, no less...I expect that the policy was based on some sort of rational thought, but have no idea regarding the source...
majortoo is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 04:38 PM   #17
majortoo
Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2009
Posts: 27
magazine springs

Another thought to consider: Do the hooks on your metal coat hangers collapse at two in the morning, dumping your cammies on the floor? Of course not; if you want to break a coat hanger, you bend it at the same spot, repeatedly, until it parts. That is what metal fatigue is all about. If you do that and touch the metal at the breaking point, you will notice that the steel is warm. All those little atoms bouncing off one another in protest....That is why coil springs usually last longer than leaf springs, all else being equal. Coil springs eliminate the stress point. I'll stop now; if you want more, talk to a metallurgist or ME (mechanical engineer)...
majortoo is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 05:19 PM   #18
OldShooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2006
Location: Maine
Posts: 846
Springs

RJay
You should have been saving yourself all that trouble. Use a lift to raise the car enough to have the wheels suspended in the air. Easier on the finish too.
OldShooter is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 05:24 PM   #19
madmag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2007
Location: The South
Posts: 4,239
Quote:
I have mags that have been loaded for 35 years.
same here.

Quote:
It's cycles that wear them out.
Exactly.

Quote:
How long do you keep your magazines loaded before giving the springs a rest?
50 years is a good number.

Until you pass the elastic limit on springs nothing much happens. Now cycles...that's a different story.
madmag is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 06:54 PM   #20
45Gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2009
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 1,735
I knew there was a reason I liked this web site. Beats the hell out of playing bridge.
__________________
45Gunner
May the Schwartz Be With You.
NRA Instructor
NRA Life Member
45Gunner is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 07:31 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 7,169
I work with a lot of springs. I have never seen a spring get weak from cycling. I have seen them work-harden and break, as in the coat hanger anology above, but I have NEVER seen a spring get progressively weaker.
The springs I work with are mostly small leaf-type springs that are subjected to enormous stress loads. These are the simplest of springs, and they just don't get weak. They work, or they break.
If you bend a spring past it's elastic limit, they will not return to their previous state.
BTW- remember that Wolff SELLS springs, so take what they say with a grain of salt. They wouldn't do much business if they told you springs don't wear out.
__________________
Bill DeShivs
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 08:43 PM   #22
armsmaster270
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,948
Majortoo: I remember that from when I was in the M.P.'s but we still always loaded 7 Black Talons anyway I was N.C.O.I.C. and we didn't have adult (Officer) Supervision.
__________________
http://www.armsmaster.net-a.googlepages.com
http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/f...aster270/Guns/
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
armsmaster270 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12824 seconds with 9 queries