The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 21, 2011, 11:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: July 23, 2010
Location: No Va
Posts: 11
leaving the tube loaded

Well I've wanted one for a while and just got my first shotgun, mossberg 590. I'm sure I will have more questions later on but just one for tonight. I have seen all the debate on "spring fatigue" in pistol mags, I keep my mags loaded. Am I safe to assume the same for the tube in my shotgun? I would like to leave it loaded as I imagine it will be primarily HD. I live alone, no kids, little hands are not an issue.
kspain5 is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 01:06 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,028

Springs fatigue, period. Some more than others. Why is hotly debatedrolonged compression v. repeated cycling?

LE shotguns are routinely left "half loaded" in the "cruiser carry" mode.

A weak mag tube spring can be the cause of poor function and I would change one out on any gun shot a lot .
bamaranger is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 02:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Posts: 2,633
I left a Mossberg 500 (the 7+1 version) loaded for, oh, 18 years. Was the spring a bit weaker? Yes. Did it still function? Yes. Was the ammo still good? Yes.

Springs are ultimately a consumable item, but there's no reason to overdo it.
Slopemeno is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 02:38 PM   #4
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,069
No durability testing of a spring is performed by gently compressing it to within the compressed parameters and leaving it there...

Tests on springs will be cycles until failure or over compression until failure...

The reason the first is not done is 'cuz it matters little if at all.

hogdogs is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 03:01 PM   #5
Buzzard Bait
Senior Member
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 502
my understanding is that spring life is controlled by the #of cycles and that stored compressed will last about as long as uncompressed. But either way the spring will last a long time and is cheap to replace. I personally prefer condition 3 for all my guns that are loaded.
Buzzard Bait is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 03:24 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: April 6, 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 449
Springs in magazines are designed to be compressed. Hence, "springs".

A lot of what you hear even today applied to the springs used in decades past. For example, I often read of soldiers in Vietnam being coached to only load their 20-round M16 mags with 18 rounds to prevent jamming.

But that was long ago. These days, as long as you aren't using a really old gun or magazine, most of these issues have been fixed. You can leave your magazines fully loaded without fear of jams or problems. But if you are weary about it, you can always underload you shotgun magazine by one or two shells and leave the spare nearby to load up when the SHTF.
I have rounds yet to fire before I sleep ...
NightSleeper is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 03:48 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2010
Posts: 820
Sometimes I leave my 11-87 with a full mag sitting in the cabinet between hunting seasons. Hasn't quit working yet. I wouldn't worry about it.
hardworker is offline  
Old July 22, 2011, 06:40 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 7,054
You do need to watch out for shot shell compression.
Sometimes, shells left in a tube under spring tension will begin to collapse and will develop bulges in the shell body.

These bulged shells can cause failures to chamber or extract.
For extended use in a magazine, buy premium American made shells and inspect them at least monthly.
If you find them starting to bulge, shoot them up. Once they start to bulge they won't stop even if you "rest" them outside the gun.
Dfariswheel is offline  
Old July 24, 2011, 10:23 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 905
used to leave 3 in the tube of a 5 shot(+1) Mossy...just figured it was enough to get the job done, not enough to put too much stress on anything.

These days I'd stack em up.
IZZY is offline  
Old July 24, 2011, 10:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,442
I often read of soldiers in Vietnam being coached to only load their 20-round M16 mags with 18 rounds to prevent jamming.
Exactly! It wasn't because of spring fatigue, but because of increased spring pressure with the 19th and 20th rounds. With a full 20-round mag, there was a much greater chance of the first cartridge jumping out of the mag, upon rapid insertion, and causing a jamb in the M16.
Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, Tết Regatta
zippy13 is offline  
Old July 25, 2011, 06:31 PM   #11
John L. Smith
Join Date: March 3, 2010
Posts: 40
M-16 Mags

The M-16 I got in Nam had the forearm shot up when I got it and every time I put a new magizine in it I had to ram the bolt forward a couple of times to get it to chamber a round. made me a bit touchy at first. But once you got it chambered would burn right thru a full mag on full automatic. The reason I only carried 18 rounds was because if you filled it full and didn't empty mag and clean it every couple of days it would get full of dirt and rust together. When you are carrying 15 to 20 mags all the time you didn't have time to clean them as often as you should have.
John L. Smith is offline  
Old July 25, 2011, 08:11 PM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Springs do not weaken by staying under one condition - they weaken by "work", which is compression and use constantly
oneounceload is offline  
Old July 31, 2011, 06:13 PM   #13
Join Date: September 1, 2009
Posts: 17
spring kept under load

My wifes winchester 12 gage model 1300 has been kept loaded for the past 5 years. she takes it out once in a while to the range but when she returns home she loads it back up. We havent noticed any problems with spring tension. still cycles fine.
pistolerokid is offline  
Old July 31, 2011, 06:18 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: Upstate,New york
Posts: 308
I would not fully load it just leave one shell out and you should be fine.
SurplusShooter is offline  
Old July 31, 2011, 08:13 PM   #15
Junior member
Join Date: June 23, 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 2,149
This needs a smart guy to translate but

if you want to read about springs, loads, and failures see

See sections 4.3 and 4.4.1

I interpret this as saying that keeping a magazine full can weaken the spring over time. If you wish to keep it full, keep it full but periodicly empty the tube exept for one round and push it in to feel if the tension is weak.

Remember, if you ever have to fire down from an upstairs landing the spring will be working harder than if you are shooting on a horizontal plane or up.
TheKlawMan is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08672 seconds with 7 queries