How long can you keep mags loaded?
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default How long can you keep mags loaded?

I know keeping mags loaded for long periods of time can wear out the springs. But with a CCW weapon that I will have loaded most of the time, how often should I pop all of the bullets out to give the springs a break? I'd like to keep my high capacity mags intact in case I can't buy them in the near future.

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Old 01-08-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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I had 2 Kimber mags that I kept loaded for close to 10 years. The springs never suffered a bit. A lot of people will bad mouth Kimber magazines too.

Just short them a couple of rounds and you'll be fine. Try to stick with high quality magazines though, as cheaper magazines will have carbon steel springs, rather than silicon bronze or high silicon steel springs.

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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While I agree that any quality mag can be loaded at 90% and left that way for a good long time, I personally rotate my carry mags every month.

I load my carry mags at full load ( 8 rounds for my full size and 7 rounds for my compact ) and keep them in my shoulder rig, ready to go. I have done this for close to 20 years and have never had a magazine that previously worked perfectly fail to perform because it had been loaded for "X" amount of time.

A good quality spring and follower can be "abused" without failure with utmost certainty...

JD

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
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Good springs last a lifetime... I had a fully loaded magazine for my Tokarev that laid around for 20 years. I figured that either the ammo wouldn't fire OR the mag wouldn't feed. WRONG! It fired and fed ammo like it was just loaded.

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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somewhere between 50 and 100 years

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Old 01-09-2009, 01:01 AM   #6
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Good to know. Have had the same concern.

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Old 01-09-2009, 03:24 AM   #7
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Good to know. When I went to training events, a lot of times the M16's jammed constantly because the mags were ratty. I just wanted to make sure the same thing didn't happen to my handgun.

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Old 01-09-2009, 04:08 AM   #8
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You should be good to go. The mil-spec M16 mags are built by the lowest bidder, and the followers are usually crap (most other mags out there are better). Your pistol magazines should be just fine.

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:42 AM   #9
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I have always been curious about this, because I wonder if maintaining constant sprung weight wears out a spring slower or faster than regularly releasing tension and then later reloading the magazine.

I know people who cycle mags every 3 or 6 months, and I know people who never cycle mags. Neither seem to indicate experiencing problems.

I can tell you I know a lot of police officers who never cycle mags, and only unload them by firing semi-annual qualifications. They reload them right after qualifying, and year after year the guns function properly.

I wish I could find the magazine article I read a few years ago where they found a WWII 1911 in a gunwriters grandfathers footlocker when they went through it after he passed away. The gun had gone in the box in something like 1945 with a loaded magazine, and hadn't come back out. They decided to check the magazine & ammo to see if it would still function and sure enough, bang-bang-bang without any problems.

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Old 01-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bighead View Post
I have always been curious about this, because I wonder if maintaining sprung weight constantly wears out a spring slower or faster than regularly releasing tension and then later reloading the magazine.

I know people who cycle mags every 3 or 6 months, and I know people who never cycle mags. Neither seem to indicate experiencing problems.

I can tell you I know a lot of police officers who never cycle mags, and only unload them by firing semi-annual qualifications. They reload them right after qualifying, and year after year the guns function properly.

I wish I could find the magazine article I read a few years ago where they found a WWII 1911 in a gunwriters grandfathers footlocker when they went through it after he passed away. The gun had gone in the box in something like 1945 with a loaded magazine, and hadn't come back out. They decided to check the magazine & ammo to see if it would still function and sure enough, bang-bang-bang without any problems.
See post #4...
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