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Old June 14, 2011, 11:11 PM   #1
Join Date: June 14, 2011
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Leaving magizines loaded?

I believe that leaving fire arm magizines loaded will hurt them by loosing the spring tension. I was just wondering what all of ya'll were thinking. Have any of ya'll had any experience with this?
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Old June 14, 2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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Leave 2 less, so its not max spring tension. This is what I was told. Glock 15 rounders=13, Glock 17 rounders = 15. 1911 6 in the magazine one in the pipe. LCP/P3AT(magazine holds 6??) one in pipe 5 in magazine. Just that simple, never apply full tension IMO.... Do what you want.
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Old June 14, 2011, 11:39 PM   #3
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I was always under the impression that it never really mattered. The science behind it says that full tension does NOT affect magazine function and reliability. It's constant use. Compressing and depressing the magazine that leads to it's weakening.

Also if it is categorized as a "cheap" brand.
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Old June 14, 2011, 11:51 PM   #4
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Leaving mags fully loaded can cause the springs to weaken but it's not a common problem with decent quality firearms & magazines. Before you decide you have a problem with your equipment you should probably do some checking to make sure.

Mag springs are cheap and easy to replace. Leave the mags fully loaded and check them regularly for proper function. You're already doing regular checks of your self-defense equipment anyway, right?

If you notice a problem then replace the mag springs with high-quality parts. Leave them fully loaded again and keep checking them as before. Maybe you just had a bad set of springs. If the springs weaken again from being fully loaded then it's possible that the magazine design is overstressing the springs when the mag is fully loaded.

Now you have a decision to make. You can:

...keep leaving the mags fully loaded and just replace the springs at intervals that are frequent enough to make sure the springs don't weaken enough to cause a problem before they're replaced.


...underload the mags by a round or two. It's the last bit of compression that puts the most stress on the spring.

But the odds are that you won't have a problem in the first place if you have good quality equipment.
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Old June 14, 2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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Knock on wood, I've never had problems with any of mine with exception, my 10/22.

Spring steel differs from normal steel in that it is very hard! It's carbon content makes it that way! Most quality firearms come with good springs that are quenched very, very hot and then tempered very, very hot to retain their springy qualities.

My advice is buy two extra OEM clips and rotate their use. Be sure to check for feed issues at the range prior their being put in service! I rotate my three every 6 months to a yr. and always have 2 loaded!
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Old June 15, 2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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I did a test a while back with FAL 20-round magazines, here's the results.
4 magazines were tested. Each magazine's spring was measured for length, compressed tension & released tension before & after the test.
The magazines were several differing manufacturer's & the springs were differing lengths at the beginning of the test. Tension also varied from Mfr to Mfr so the mags were numbered & the individual lengths & tensions noted for that exact magazine.
Each magazine was fired in slow fire & rapid fire to empty the magazine & check that they were fully functional at the beginning of the test, they were.
The magazine were fully loaded with 20 rounds each & left for one full year.
At the end of the year all 4 magazines were fired in rapid fire. They all ran perfectly.
The springs length & pressures were compared to the original measurements at the beginning of the test, changes were minimal & had zero effect on function in all the magazines.

This of course only applies to FAL magazines, but I suggest you actually test whatever brand you have to be 100% sure.
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Old July 8, 2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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It doesn't hurt the magazine to leave it loaded. I have over 20 very well used PMags for my AR-15's, and 15 well-used mags (from various manufacturers) for my 1911s, and all of them stay filled, and the weapons they're for stay in condition 1 all the time (and have for the last five years or so). By "well-used", I mean a coupel thousand rounds through all of the mags, with sometimes long periods between being used.
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Old July 8, 2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Springs weaken by "work". Work is defined by compression and decompression.

Think of a paper clip - left alone it remains in perfect shape - keep bending it back and forth and heat develops and it weakens and breaks
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Old July 8, 2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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leaving mags loaded

I don't have a ton of data but here goes.I have 2 1911's in use and keep 2 mags loaded for each of them-mine and my wife's.I have an additional 4 mags that I rotate with so we both always have 2 loaded mags.I don't adhere to a tight schedule to "rest" mags just every now and then change them up.I've been doing this for perhaps 8 years now and have never had any kind of a feed problem. For what it's worth.
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Old July 8, 2011, 04:00 PM   #10
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In the "for what it's worth" department

Last year I found a common GI magazine for my AR that I had loaded during Desert Storm. As best I can recall, that magazine was loaded sometime during June, 1991 when I escorted weapons from our deployment station to our home station. It got dropped in my duffle, then dropped in a filing cabinet where I keep duty leather gear. It's a 30 round magazine and it was loaded with 20 rounds of 5.56 GI ball ammo.

I found that magazine during May 2010 and used it during a law enforcement qualification in June 2010. I told the rangemaster that the magazine had been loaded for 19 years and I might need an alibi in case of a magazine malfunction. It ran without problems. That magazine has since been placed in the standard rotation. Same springs, same follower that it had during the Gulf war.

I don't think keeping them loaded hurts them a bit.
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Old July 8, 2011, 08:38 PM   #11
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I believe that leaving fire arm magizines loaded will hurt them by loosing the spring tension.
I don't believe that at all. I do believe that repeated compression and decompression will eventually cause the springs to lose tension, but, you bought the gun to shoot didn't you? All things eventually wear out so what's the big deal? Springs are cheap.
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Old July 8, 2011, 09:09 PM   #12
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I was always under the impression that it never really mattered. The science behind it says that full tension does NOT affect magazine function and reliability. It's constant use. Compressing and depressing the magazine that leads to it's weakening.

Also if it is categorized as a "cheap" brand.
This is correct.

I like to use paperclips as an analogy. They do not spontaniously un-curl or spring open, even after holding a sheaf of papers for 60 years. But if you bend it back and forth a few times, *snap!
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Old July 8, 2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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Springs do not lose temper from being compressed. Only high heat will take the temper out of a spring. Repeated compression and decompression won't either. However, repeated compression and decompression can cause the bends in a flat spring to work harden and eventually crack.
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