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Old January 17, 2020, 10:56 AM   #1
BarryLee
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Loaded Gun - Switching Magazines - OK?

Ok, I understand that chambering a round in a semi-auto handgun can potentially cause bullet setback. My question doesn't include removing the cartridge from the chamber only switching magazines.

I often carry a GLOCK G26 with 12 round magazine. However, at home I might like to remove the 12 round magazine and insert a 17 round version. Then switch back and forth multiple times.

So, might switching magazines cause some issue I am not aware of?
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:04 AM   #2
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Yes.

It's the same thing as having an LCP loaded 6 + 1 and firing 6, then swapping in a loaded mag for the empty mag while the pistol is in battery with a live round in the chamber.

Edit:
Yes, it's okay to do it (as asked in the title).
No, it doesn't cause any issues (as asked in the text).

Last edited by Carmady; January 17, 2020 at 12:34 PM.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:28 AM   #4
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What exact issue does mag swaps with one in the chamber cause? A fully loaded mag shouldn't care if the chamber is loaded or not.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:42 AM   #5
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Swapping mags without being empty is highly recommended in a competitive shooting situation and is done regularly. Swapping when empty loses you time, so absolutely no issues with this practice.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:44 AM   #6
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None that I'm aware of, but just asking. I'm not sure I would have thought of bullet setback if I had not read about it here. So, just making sure.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:57 AM   #7
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I don't see why inserting and reinserting magazines would cause bullet setback. And if it does either change ammo brands or buy self defense stuff with cannelures. That said, I try to cycle my carry ammo every few months by shooting it at the range. This solves two problems- any bullets that get dented, dusty, dirty, pushed in or out get used up and the handgun is tested with these ammo carry conditions.
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Old January 17, 2020, 02:19 PM   #8
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Ammo in the magazine does NOT get bullet setback. (the exception is with "elephant gun" class rifle rounds, where recoil can slam the bullets into the magazine wall with enough force to drive the bullet deeper in the case) This does NOT happen in handguns.

Setback, if it happens, happens during feeding from the magazine into the chamber.

The only possible issue swapping loaded magazines is when the slide is closed, A little more force is required to lock the mag in place because the top round is pressing on the slide. This is true with ALL box magazine fed arms. It takes a little more force to seat and lock a loaded magazine than it does an empty one.

As you as you ensure the magazine is properly locked in place, there is no issue.
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Old January 17, 2020, 02:41 PM   #9
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The base of the magazine stops the mag from hitting and ruining your extractor. Glock has a built in stop on their mags.

Without the base plate acting as a stop, yes. Your extractor would be broken.
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Old January 17, 2020, 05:20 PM   #10
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What causes issues is when people use handguns w/o the proper training.
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Old January 17, 2020, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
The base of the magazine stops the mag from hitting and ruining your extractor. Glock has a built in stop on their mags.



Without the base plate acting as a stop, yes. Your extractor would be broken.
It's not just on the mags with Glocks. It's a combination of the stops on the mags and in the magwell itself. I wish more designs copied it.

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Old January 17, 2020, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
The base of the magazine stops the mag from hitting and ruining your extractor. Glock has a built in stop on their mags.

Without the base plate acting as a stop, yes. Your extractor would be broken.
Where the heck does this come from???

First, it has nothing to do with the OP (and therefore off topic) and second,
it is not true.
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Old January 18, 2020, 11:19 AM   #13
wild cat mccane
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It is absolutely true that your mag base plate and mag well funneling (thanks TunnelRat) stops the magazine being pushed past the mag release tab and slamming into your extractor when an mag is forcefully pushed in.

It answers the original question, because I detailed what the problem would be and provided the mechanism that foils the issue.

Nope. By design, the only thing you could be wearing is the mag release. That's not going to be a real problem, but we did see it happen in pistol examples like the Kel Tec PF-9 when gen2 first came out.

So, I guess I kinda answered it the best in here

Last edited by wild cat mccane; January 18, 2020 at 11:26 AM.
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Old January 18, 2020, 02:34 PM   #14
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The OP's question was about swapping mags while a round is still in the chamber.

That means the slide is shut, in battery.

The extractor is safe, no way the mag or top round in the mag could contact the extractor, baseplate or no baseplate.

If you look up the mag well with a flashlight while the slide is in battery the extractor is nowhere to be seen.
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Old January 18, 2020, 03:05 PM   #15
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Just asked about swapping magazines.

Last sentence.
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Old January 19, 2020, 06:59 PM   #16
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One potential problem that I can think of, but it is easy to check. Some magazines loaded to full capacity and inserted with the slide closed will not reliably feed the 1st round. Some will. It depends on the individual firearm and magazine.

If you are inserting a 12 round mag and loading the 1st round leaving 11 in the magazine and then later insert a fully loaded mag with 17 rounds it would be a good idea to verify at the range that the gun will function for the 1st round.

Some of my AR magazines won't work that way. One of the reasons many advise downloading by 1 or 2 rounds.
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Old January 19, 2020, 07:53 PM   #17
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All this hubbub over some guy wanting to put a longer magazine in his gun while ( around the house). I would have expected someone to simply suggest that he not worry about the 5 rounds to begin with. I doubt that any self defense action is going to hinge on him having a 17 round mag rather than the 12 round mag.

If the dang full magazine obviously seats properly while in battery, I wouldn't worry about it. Of course it goes without saying that you should always follow the guideline of the manufacturer, when and if such a guideline exists.
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Old January 22, 2020, 07:56 AM   #18
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When I shoot my Glocks, I often rack the slide, then remove the magazine, add one more round, re-insert the magazine..it hurts nuthin...
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