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Old September 8, 2012, 12:41 AM   #1
Sweet Shooter
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Magazine springs

Okay quick stupid question... Is it mechanically a bad idea to leave rounds loaded into a magazine. Will it weaken the spring pushing the follower? I have a couple of hard-to-find magazines that I don't want to bugger up. However I would like to be able to have them ready to go so that I can make a weapon hot in only seconds... for home defense. I'm thinking of my new CZ in 7.62x39 those mags are 45 bucks a pop!!

-SS-
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Old September 8, 2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Is it mechanically a bad idea to leave rounds loaded into a magazine.
In a word, no. They will last for decades if they are kept clean, dry and have a light film of lubricant on them.

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Old September 8, 2012, 01:32 AM   #3
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If it were me, and this might be nothing more than superstition or memory from advice of long ago, I'd either load one round less than maximum, to go a hair easier on the spring compression, or else I'd rotate a spare mag every year or two or three. Same reason I don't leave safe-queen shotguns or bolt-actions cocked.
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:55 AM   #4
davery25
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it wont be GOOD for it, but modern metallurgy is insanely good. See car springs . You'll be fine.

If you live anywhere but australia why don't you have a semi for HD?
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Old September 8, 2012, 06:19 AM   #5
madcratebuilder
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The mag spring does not wear when stored fully loaded. It's the spring movement, or cycling from loaded to unloaded that well cause wear over a period of time.
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Old September 8, 2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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I was involved in the making of special springs (for a transmission) so know the heat treatment etc. Compressing them over long periods of time won't hurt them unless you do it under heat (lot's of it!). That is how they are "set" to a certain height etc.

I have a Hi-Point pistol (quit laughing) that never jams because I've filled the magazines. I've heard when they are new they jam until you've filled the magazines and left them for awhile.
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Old September 8, 2012, 03:48 PM   #7
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I have had luck dismantling the mag and stretching the spring. It works.
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Old September 8, 2012, 06:52 PM   #8
FloridaVeteran
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Now I'm confused, but it might just be generational, inferred from davery25's post. If modern springs are impervious to compression fatigue (or whatever engineers call it), then it would seem we don't need to stretch the spring. I come from a time when coyota1's practice was generally accepted.

'Course, you could bury your kin in your back yard then, too...
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:13 AM   #9
warbirdlover
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They are not impervious to changing the compression. But you have to go to some techniques which they don't normally experience. Such as stretching them or compressing them under heat. Normal use doesn't effect them much.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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The mags I had trouble with were my 21 Bobcat, and 10 22 rotary mags. It helped to stretch the bobcat spring, and wind tighter the rotary mag spring. When taking apart a magazine, GO INTO A SMALL ROOM AND SHUT THE DOOR! I had a spring that got away from me and must have gone into orbit or something. I never recovered it. I haven't been able to buy just a spring either.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:12 AM   #11
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Leaving a mag fully loaded will not harm the spring.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:53 AM   #12
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The only way to stretch a spring is to deform it past its elastic limit. If you ever feel the need to stretch one you should go ahead and buy a replacement.

Springs operated within their elastic limit will last a long, long time.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:19 AM   #13
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If it were me, and this might be nothing more than superstition or memory from advice of long ago,
Long ago, this might have been good advice. But not so much today.
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Old September 10, 2012, 04:52 PM   #14
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Skadoosh - alas, for me, that applies to almost everything...
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:47 PM   #15
marine6680
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Yeah... its spring movement... repeated compression and decompression that wears the spring.

The spring will take an initial "set" after a few compression/decompression cycles, or if left compressed for a few days... but after that, leaving the spring compressed does not hurt the spring.

Stretching the spring or over compressing (harder to do) to the point where it changes shape/length is very bad for the spring. It will damage the metal and lead to future breakage. It may let the magazine/spring to work better for a short while, but it will quickly get worse than it was before.

As it was mentioned, high heat is used to form the springs, so avoid that. Firearm magazines usually do not need to worry about heat issues... springs in motors would.

I have seen the results of a 5+ year test on this exact thing... The person took 2 identical brand new magazine springs, compressed one fully, they compressed/decompressed the other spring a couple hundred times to allow it to "set". Then stuck the springs in his closet and forgot about them for years. When he found them again, he checked the spring left compressed for all those years and found very little difference in length between it and the spring left uncompressed. After cycling the two springs a few times, the difference shrunk even further.

If you are worried about your magazines... just buy some extra mag springs.

As long as you don't physically harm the magazine, it should out last several spring replacements... Though it does take a while to wear out the springs in the first place.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:34 PM   #16
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Magazine stretching was common military procedure. My Bobcat springs needed this from the start when they were new. It worked, and they are still working. I would have purchased the spring separately for the one I lost, but Beretta wouldn't sell just the spring.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:20 PM   #17
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Common does not mean prudent...

Too many metallurgists telling how it shortens lifespan to ignore that.

Beside... life span of the magazine spring is not of primary concern to the military... Good functioning during the brief time the mag is in the gun, to the inevitable loss on the battlefield is more important.

Plus, they can repair/replace them so its less concern for them.
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