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Old September 9, 2019, 10:00 AM   #1
Chief Brody
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Do Magazine Springs Break In?

I recently took off the +2 extension on my 870P and installed a +3 that I had bought several years ago. The longer extension came with a magazine spring, but I don’t know if it’s a Remington spring or not.

Anyway, so the magazine now holds 7 rounds - I loaded 6 into it, all that I had in the shotgun case at the moment, and the spring was much stiffer than the old one. I think my 6-round spring was from Wilson Combat and it was very smooth. This one, not so much. Should I expect it to get better after some shooting? If not, maybe I’ll just order a new spring.

Thanks
Steve
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Old September 9, 2019, 10:15 AM   #2
USNRet93
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Related ?..I have 'heard' that shotgun shells, when stored in the magazine for long periods of time, can get crushed some so the rec. I 'heard' was to load fewer than the maximum if it's just gonna sit there..Is this a tale from my Aunt Matilda..her being an old wife?
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Old September 9, 2019, 12:20 PM   #3
bamaranger
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kinky

It's been my experience that tubular extended mag springs in shotguns can get kinked a bit when installed, the result being "notchy' travel of the spring and maybe even the follower within the tube. A few disassembly and reinstall tries sometimes helps, maybe not.....worth a shot.

Also, some of the aftermarket follower plugs have stems that the mag spring can coil on as the spring compresses, supposedly aiding reliability. I'll add that some of these stemmed followers rob you of one round. Sometimes trimming that stem down in length a bit allows the extra round and still provides a guide for the the compressed spring.

The mag spring is the first thing I change out if I am experiencing feed problems in a pump.....unless there are other obvious issues.

good luck
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Old September 9, 2019, 12:43 PM   #4
Chief Brody
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I do have a follower with that stem/tail you mentioned - it's from S&J Hardware. With that follower, wilson combat mag spring, and a Remington +2 mag extension, I put a few thousand rounds through the gun and the only trouble I had was from the occasional crappy ammo. Overall the action is super smooth and the gun shoots great. Never had any issue loading a full 6+1 with that setup, and a 7th round does fit with the new extension on, too. I'll take it apart and put it back together and see how it goes.

Last edited by Chief Brody; September 9, 2019 at 12:50 PM.
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Old September 9, 2019, 01:05 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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No, they don't. Coil springs do not lose temper from being used or compressed. A flat spring can get work hardened at the bends, but they do not lose temper from being used either(think in terms of rear car springs. Those are just flat springs. When they break it's not the spring that breaks. It's the strapping holding 'em together.).
A 6 or 7 round spring is a different length. A stiffer spring is just that. A heavier poundage.
"...can get crushed some..." Antique paper shells maybe but not a modern plastic one.
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Old September 9, 2019, 04:11 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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" Antique paper shells maybe but not a modern plastic one."

Oh yes they can.
This is called "Shotshell compression".
I seems to happen in extended shotgun magazines, especially when in a patrol car upright shotgun lock.
Possible contributors may be patrol cars with worn shocks and in hot conditions.

I once loaded a Remington 870 with a factory extension with Federal #1 buckshot plastic shells.
After 30 days when I was checking the gun I found the shells had developed bulges in the plastic between the shot and the shell head.
The bulges weren't yet bad enough to cause failures to chamber, but I've heard of cases where there were failures.
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Old September 10, 2019, 10:13 PM   #7
bamaranger
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+1

Yeah, I've seen that too. Don't recall it as being a problem with standard 4 rd mag tubes, but when we put mag extensions on shotguns (forbidden by policy for a long while) I started seeing slightly deformed plastic shells. Seems like buckshot shells were more susceptible than slugs.
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Old September 11, 2019, 09:11 AM   #8
MTT TL
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There are several things going on here.

- The spring
- The friction generated when the follower rubs against the magazine tube
- The friction generated when the ammo has intermittent contact with the magazine tube

The more you shoot the shotgun and cycle rounds the smoother you will make the inside of the mag tub and the smoother you will make the follower. Reducing this friction will make the firearm function more smoothly. GSR may subsequently foul the tube depending upon it's location and other variables. Oils and other lubricants may get inside the tube which may reduce friction or even increase it depending upon how much and where it is.

When a spring is formed the metal has formed a crystal lattice. Every time you compress and decompress the spring it goes through metal fatigue and there is a microscopic amount of deterioration of the lattice at the atomic level. Eventually the spring will warp or break. Springs used in guns are designed to go through tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of cycles. So yes, the spring will "break in" and will require less energy to compress over time as the lattice breaks down at the atomic level.
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