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Old August 20, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
spclPatrolGroup
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How often do you rotate mags?

I keep my Glock 19 in a GunVault strong box on my nightstand, loaded and chambered. How concerned should I be about the springs in the clip wearing down under constant compression, I only load 14 in the clip thinking it may help giving the spring a little room. How often do you rotate magazines? I guess this wouldnt be a problem with a revolver, but pistols are all I have at the moment. Has anyone ever had a problem with a magazine due to keeping it loaded?
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Old August 20, 2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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follow up

Also what about the cartridge casings being under constant stress?
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Old August 20, 2010, 03:06 PM   #3
Don H
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I've had magazines that were loaded the best part of a decade that have exhibited no problems when used. Ammo was fine also. There have been a number of threads discussing this issue.
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Old August 20, 2010, 04:01 PM   #4
markj
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Every day I fire the mags untill empty thru my back door, then clean and re load. No that was wild bills method. Leave em loaded or unloaded I was told, it shouldnt hurt the spring.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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It's a non-issue for me as most of my magazines are stored unloaded, my revolvers are the guns I keep loaded.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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I don't rotate mags at all. I used to rotate ammo with some frequency, but only because I would accidently shoot my carry ammo. I finally got colored base pads for my mags with carry ammo. I don't mistakenly shoot my carry ammo anymore. The only round that gets rotated with any frequency is the one that has been chambered.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:37 PM   #7
Bartholomew Roberts
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I don't rotate magazines. I will occasionally rotate the first rounds in a magazine to prevent setback from a round being repeatedly rechambered and extracted; but that is about it.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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I have a couple of MP5 magazines that have been loaded for right at 20 years. I should give them a try to see what happens. Bet they shoot just fine.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:23 PM   #9
mothermopar
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I believe that what will eventually wear out a magazine spring is a great deal of loading and unloading it... not just leaving one loaded for an extended period of time or even leaving one unloaded for a long time.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:35 PM   #10
WARRIOR I
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Well, call me excessive/compulsive but I have the mags for my SD guns
numbered 1-4 and I rotate them every quarter. The exceptions are the 10
round, Clinton era mags and I could care less about them.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:49 PM   #11
FoxtrotRomeo
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Pistol mags with exception to my XD mags that I broke in, every two weeks more or less.

Right now my two 10 round mags don't get use outside of the range while I prepare to get my CCW.

Rifle mags? Mine are so heavy duty that I don't rotate them. My AK drum though I just don't wind it up till I'm getting ready to rock and roll.
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Old August 20, 2010, 07:02 PM   #12
Terry A
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I rotate mine the first part of every month. Just a habit I got into.
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Old August 20, 2010, 07:05 PM   #13
OldMarksman
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Quote:
How concerned should I be about the springs in the clip wearing down under constant compression, ...
You should not worry, because they do not.

Quote:
I only load 14 in the clip thinking it may help giving the spring a little room.
That may not be a bad idea.
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:35 AM   #14
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I almost never rotate mags. It's less wear on the actual spring to keep it loaded as opposed to unloading and reloading.

I do offload a round or two out of all of my high caps.
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:37 AM   #15
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Rotate? Never
Shoot them empty at the range every 6 months or so. Yes

AFS
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:51 AM   #16
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I never feel the need to rotate mags, but it happens. The springs degrade from compression and relaxing, not from staying compressed. Your mags will be fine if you leave them full.

I only rotate mags when I shoot them all empty on the range, or empty them for training or to swap ammo. When they get reloaded, I may have a different mag than I am used to carrying, but they all work.
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:55 AM   #17
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I've always wondered about that too. With my Glock 23 .40 I load 10 instead of 13 figuring it might be more spring friendly. Maybe an unnecessary precaution. OTOH, in my 61 years I've had maybe a dozen vintage 1911s, Lugers and Hi Powers from as far back as the WWII era and never found a magazine that was not fully functional. Add to that I've never had the need to replace a recoil spring in any semi auto.
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Old August 23, 2010, 10:17 AM   #18
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I've always wondered about this too. Interesting that static compression is believed to not be a factor. I do believe that squashing a spring to it's max and leaving it like that is not good though. For that reason I load 10 of 15 into the magazine (oops, almost said clip again). I figure if I ever have to shoot more than 10rds inside my home, something is very very wrong. If I wanted more, I'd get the 18rd mag and load only 15.

It's the same reason I release the firing pin spring on each gun before storing it.
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Old August 23, 2010, 10:20 AM   #19
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I rotate them when I change the clocks back. Not that it matters, they all get shot regularly anyhow.
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Old August 23, 2010, 10:42 AM   #20
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Sounds like most people here are not worried about the springs. But not many comments on the ammo, I have heard that under pressure the case will start to deform and can cause problems with chambering. I shoot often, but not the SD rounds, what is the longest you would keep ammo loaded before using it and then replacing?
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Old August 23, 2010, 10:58 AM   #21
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A little quick research. Springs degrade in 2 ways.

Fatigue which is the result of cycling and is usually after 10's of 1000's of cycles. I don't think this is an area of concern for a magazine (more like for valve springs in a car).

And creep/relaxation which occurs from being under continuous load or compression. The amount of relaxation (as applies here) is a function of the load, temperature (not really valid unless your the guy that hides his ammo in the oven ;-) ), and time. So I would think storing a fully loaded clip over a long time would relax the spring. As the load on the spring as it compress is exponential, those last couple of rounds in the magazine will stress the spring the most. 8 to 10 in a 13rd clip would sound like a good choice. I'm happy with my 10 of 15 choice.

Some spring info here: http://www.lesjoforsab.com/technical...durability.asp

Incidentally, reducing the rounds would be less stress on deforming the ammo as well. Good point.
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Old August 23, 2010, 11:51 AM   #22
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Interesting info. My favorite analogy on springs & mags is the garage door assist spring. It occasionally breaks due to cycles of opening & closing and will not experience stress when just sitting there.

Quote:
pgdion
A little quick research. Springs degrade in 2 ways.
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Old August 23, 2010, 12:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
I have heard that under pressure the case will start to deform and can cause problems with chambering. I shoot often, but not the SD rounds, what is the longest you would keep ammo loaded before using it and then replacing?
Absolute NONSENSE!!!

I just shot up some Corbon 40 s&w ammo that had been sitting loaded in some mags for 5 plus years. Ammo was fine, mags were fine, everything worked great. I just thought it was time to load up some new ammo in the mags. Corbon's 40 bullets shed their jackets too easily anyway so...
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Old August 23, 2010, 03:09 PM   #24
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
But not many comments on the ammo, I have heard that under pressure the case will start to deform and can cause problems with chambering.
There is no issue with normal ammo deforming while sitting in a magazine. If you have to eject and repeatedly rechamber the same round, you can run into issues with setback and primer sensitivity.

Setback is basically the bullet getting pushed slightly deeper into the case with repeated rechambering so that when it is fired, the pressures are higher than normal.

Primer sensitivity issues due to ejecting and rechambering occur in firearms with free-floating firing pins. The pins slightly dimple the primer with each chambering (M16 family of weapons being the most common example of this) and with many repetitions this can result in the primer not performing as designed.

For this reason, I will rotate the top rounds in a magazine with other rounds in the magazine (assuming that I am regularly chambering and ejecting ammo from those magazines without firing it).
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:06 PM   #25
Terry A
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Today 11:58 AM
pgdion A little quick research. Springs degrade in 2 ways.

Fatigue which is the result of cycling and is usually after 10's of 1000's of cycles. I don't think this is an area of concern for a magazine (more like for valve springs in a car).

And creep/relaxation which occurs from being under continuous load or compression. The amount of relaxation (as applies here) is a function of the load, temperature (not really valid unless your the guy that hides his ammo in the oven ;-) ), and time. So I would think storing a fully loaded clip over a long time would relax the spring. As the load on the spring as it compress is exponential, those last couple of rounds in the magazine will stress the spring the most. 8 to 10 in a 13rd clip would sound like a good choice. I'm happy with my 10 of 15 choice.

Some spring info here: http://www.lesjoforsab.com/technical...durability.asp

Incidentally, reducing the rounds would be less stress on deforming the ammo as well. Good point.
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Pgdion,
That was an informative read. Thanks for posting it!
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