View Full Version : Mags, loaded or unloaded

November 29, 2009, 03:59 AM
With a few recent threads I noticed mentions of gun and magazine storage, and many people who store their mags loaded, while other may keep one loaded, the others unloaded.

How do you do it?

Does storing loaded magazines have any ill effect on the springs, thus adversely affecting loading in your weapon?

November 29, 2009, 07:52 AM
For years, the Army and various other folks told me that compression killed the spring. But alas I have switched to the school of thought that says that repeated compression or repeated motion is what wears coil springs down. I read an article someplace (wish I could remember where) about some loaded magazines from WWII were found and the springs were still within correct specs after 50-60 years.

November 29, 2009, 07:57 AM
+1 on the above. It's OK to store magazines loaded. The spring will still push when you need it to.

10mm man
November 29, 2009, 10:24 AM
as a person that works for a spring manufacturer, I believe that I can shed light on the issue of spring life. springs wear out through the repeated compression-relaxation cycles. store them empty if that is what you want (cant imagine why) store them full so that they are ready to use when needed.
springs are manufactured with special steel wire then heat treated to maintain its shape. this allows a spring to be compressed and then for it to return to its original shape.
unless misused or cycled hundreds of thousands of times, the spring will perform as designed.
the issue people should be concerned with is not spring life but whether or not you have the right spring for the job. springs have different rates of compression and are designed by the mfg. for specific tasks. as an example, I have an EAA pistol in 10 mm, I use a 22 pound spring in the slide to control recoil, when I change the barrel to shoot 40 cal, I change the spring to an 18 pound rate. I use the same magazine springs for both.
hope this info helps explain some questions.

November 29, 2009, 10:45 AM
Really doesn't matter.
As stated it the compressing and decompressing the spring that wears them out.
Just sitting around doesn't do a thing.


Tony C
November 29, 2009, 11:24 AM
I don't doubt the two posts ahead of this one, but I got in the habit years ago of keeping my carry gun in my safe loaded so all I have to do is grab and go, and I rotate both the spare and the loaded mags monthly with unloaded ones. I do the same for my handgun in the safe by the bed.

Tony C

December 3, 2009, 06:00 PM
i like about as many mags as i can grab with one hand for
each gun exept for the hunting riffle thats only one

December 4, 2009, 06:28 PM
Stock springs, stock magazines this is fine I'm sure. I've always been a fan of keeping them loaded.

I did have occasion to put one more round in my modified double stack competition magazines than I should have and ruined the springs in all six magazines in a couple of weeks. Upon removal the springs were heavily distorted and the magazines no longer functioned. I now count the rounds I put in these magazines every time I load them and unload them completely between stages of fire. No problems since.

December 5, 2009, 04:27 AM
I keep the Ruger full (both mags) unless im transporting it to the range, they have always worked fine for me!

December 5, 2009, 07:40 AM
Loaded. You won't hurt the mags by leaving them loaded for extended periods of time.

The Great Mahoo
December 15, 2009, 06:51 PM
I keep my mags for carry guns loaded, mostly for convenience for when I decide to tote them. All other mags I keep empty, since I see no reason to load them.

I see no harm in keeping them loaded.

December 15, 2009, 07:09 PM
two ten round mags with eight rounds each then I rotate with the other two mags every two weeks or so.

December 17, 2009, 12:01 PM
I keep one loaded and one empty. I don't forsee needing more than 13 rounds in my home. Anyway, that leads me to another question that kind of fits here. My mags are 15 round capacity. I have always heard that it is bad to fully load them. Therefore, I load them with 13. Anyone feel free to post their opinions on this one.

December 17, 2009, 05:25 PM
I agree Iceman...

December 17, 2009, 06:06 PM
I keep the majority of my mags loaded, over 60, of various calibers/weapon systems. The ones I have unloaded are range mags. There is no affect on the spring if it is compressed or not.

We have taken long term mags loaded out after being left like that for over ten years and they run without a hiccup.

December 17, 2009, 06:06 PM
There's no way you can "wear out" a mag spring through repeated compression. Few cycles , low loads can't produce fatigue failures .If the mag spring is properly made it won't 'take a set' or wear out . Repeated compression is what you see in automobile valve springs for example - LOTS of compression cycles !
Take apart your mags occassionaly , clean and lightly lube them-they'll work better and last longer.

December 17, 2009, 06:09 PM
Iceman, that is a myth imo, yeah the military use to teach it, down loading mags, but it had to do with mags not seating properrly in the m16 platform. I have experience with over 200 different weapons through my job, all loaded with mags that are topped off all the time and we have never had issues.

Double J
December 20, 2009, 01:38 PM
I guess I kinda take a middle of the road approach on storing loaded magazines. In a 30 round mag, I normally load 20. In my old Winchester .30-30, I keep loaded with 4 in the tube+ 1 in the chamber. And the AK 75 round drum stays loaded but no spring tension until I need it. Same goes for my Calico M-100 Liberty.