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Old January 9, 2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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General assistance

I will soon be a new and casual owner of a semi auto or revolver. I have 2 questions I hope I can get some help with. Is a semi auto better or a revolver better for me? I am most concerned with keeping a magazine full so long that 1) the ammo goes stale, if this is possible, and 2) will this practice make the spring lose strength? I know one answer will be to shoot a lot but I just do not have the opportunity to do this so I need these questions answered so I can make the best decision about which firearm to buy. Thank you.
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and to the world of guns. I understand that you don't plan to use the gun much but you should shoot periodically to keep familiar with the gun and have some degree of proficiency with it. For a new owner I think a revolver might be the best way to go. They are a little easier to deal with in the beginning. The revolver also solves the fatigueing spring problem.

You might find that you enjoy shooting and end up with more than one handgun.
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:32 AM   #3
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The first thing you should do it take a good course and familiarize yourself with the laws, safety, and guns in general.

After taking the course, go to a range and rent several guns to find out what you like, and more importantly what you Don't like.

Revolvers are simpler than semi-autos but that alone should not be your determining factor.
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Old January 10, 2010, 12:54 PM   #4
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Modern magazines have no problem with being loaded for a very long time, but I personally leave one round out because the magazine needs a little bit of play left in it for racking the slide over the top round.

Keep your ammo away from excessive moisture and humidity, don't let gun oil or other liquids get onto the primers. Ammo that you store long term without carrying it, try to keep it at room temperature and in a relatively dry and well ventilated environment. I'd keep them in their original boxes facing primer-up in the plastic trays they come in. Your carry ammo(if you carry) might need to be replaced once every couple months depending on the humidity it's exposed to and how often you chamber/unchamber each round.(if it's a semi-auto) If you chamber an individual round too many times it can push the bullet rearward in its casing which would cause too much pressure and a very dangerous situation when it's fired. This is called "bullet setback" and you'll be able to tell with the naked eye by setting the suspected cartridge next to a brand new one that's never been chambered.
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Old January 10, 2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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I agree with the above statements. The firearm you purchase is not a stapler or some other such object. It's a tool that has the ability and design to both preserve your life and to take one if need be as a last resort. Please, I don't mean to insult you- but 100% of the time I would ruther see a person get a can of wasp spray, pepper spray, or bear spray or even a stun device than a firearm they won't be able to practice and stay proficient with.
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:01 PM   #6
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I've owned handguns for 45 years and have never had a problem with ammo going stale or magazine springs losing their strength. I believe that quality ammo will last for decades if stored in a dry, dark place.

I do like to shoot and try to rotate my ammo, using up the oldest first. So I probably am not testing the limits of ammo in my particular case. And I agree with those who said that you should practice somewhat regularly with your gun to maintain proficiency. This would make your ammo questions moot.

As for the type of gun - revolvers are conceptually simpler than semiautos if you aren't going to spend much time with your gun.
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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I rotate mags about every 30 days. Even my duty weapon. Haven't had a problem.
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Old January 11, 2010, 05:37 AM   #8
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Ammo does not go "stale", springs in your mags will not lose there tension. Oh there is no such thing as a "casual owner", when you buy your gun you own it all the time. doesn't matter witch one you buy as long as long as it "fits
you, I would say most prefer an auto over a revolver, just mater of your choice.
chambered and unlocked
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Old January 11, 2010, 08:46 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what you mean by ammo going stale. In any event, I'll try to answer your questions. The magazine spring will not lose it's tension or "springiness" by storing it with it fully compressed with ammo for long periods of time. In fact, there are accounts of people storing loaded magazines for multiple decades where they still functioned perfectly. A spring loses it's springiness from being repeatedly compressed and decompressed many many times, not from resting either in the compressed or decompressed state.

I have a Glock that I've owned for almost 20 years. I tend to use the same magazine most of the time. It will sit fully loaded for many months, then I'll take it out and shoot the heck out of it and remain fully loaded for many more months sometimes. It still functions perfectly. The bottom line is that you don't have to worry about magazine springs unless you are shooting competitively and dumping thousands of rounds down range every few months.

Now to your other question - revolver or semi-auto. Get the one that you really want - you can learn to shoot either, and there is no rule that you must start out with a revolver. However, if you are going to keep it for home defense or self defense and have no real interest in shooting for fun right now, then I'd recommend a decent revolver. They are simpler to use - pull the trigger and it goes bang.
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Old January 11, 2010, 09:35 AM   #10
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Thank you, Chipperman, . . . couldn't have said it better myself.

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ammo , auto , mag springs , revolver , stale ammo

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