Keeping Home Defense 12ga. loaded - Spring Failure?

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by Newbie19, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Newbie19

    Newbie19 New Member

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    Hi guys. I'm new here, as the name shows, but I've enjoyed reading a lot of the stuff here. I'll probably keep lurking and learning, with a few questions as I go.

    And here's my first:

    We have a Mossberg 500 8-shot 12-ga. primarily as a weapon for home defense. For obvious reasons, I would prefer to keep it loaded at all times. We have no kids, and it's just me and the wife who is well-trained on it. So there is no real safety issue.

    I was worried that keeping it fully-loaded (7+1) would wear out the spring quickly. Is that true?

    Just in case, I've only been keeping 4 shots in there (3 + 1 in the firing chamber), so the spring doesn't get as much of a workout.

    Do I have to worry about that thing failing on me, after keeping it loaded (halfway or all the way) 24/7?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    Welcome Newbie!
    I've had my Mossberg loaded 24/7 for 25 years. Still feeds great.
     

  3. Shotgun Shooter

    Shotgun Shooter New Member

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    Springs get worn more from loading it than from it sitting compressed.

    S.S.
     
  4. Newbie19

    Newbie19 New Member

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    Those are not the answers I expected to hear, but certainly good news. Thanks!

    I started to wonder if buying the 8-shot was worth it, if I could only keep it half-loaded all the time.
     
  5. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    To be safe I leave the mag tube one shell shy of full. less chance of mis feed one the first cycle.
     
  6. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 New Member

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    My 2 cents...

    My Mossberg 500 Cruiser (20") is always loaded with 8 rounds of 2 3/4" 12 guage 00Buck...1 in the chamber.

    My springs have never taken a set.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shotgun Shooter

    Shotgun Shooter New Member

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    Very nice Shooter.
    I want one like that except with a stock.
    I need to start saving. :)

    S.S.
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    All springs will "take a set" or lose some degree of tension from being compressed. This will take place very shortly after they are compressed. Simply assembling the shotgun will compress the spring a bit so an unloaded shotgun magazine spring will "take a set". High quality chrome-silicone springs will exhibit the smallest amount of set, usually less than 2%. I have seen some dramatic reduction in spring tension in some shotguns after 20+ years and hard use. We used Winchester Defenders for many years and still have over 150 in the inventory. For the first 10 years of their lives they were loaded with 6 rds in the tubes and unloaded daily 2-3 times a day. For the next 10-15 years they were left loaded with 6 rds 24/7. very few exhibited any problems at all. Range guns that were loaded with 3-6 rds multiple times a day showed the most problems. Several had spring failures after 15+ years of this sort of use.

    My personal Defender has remained loaded for most of the last 28+ years and shows no sign of any failure at all. In short, don't sweat it but don't leave it loaded full. Load 1 rd less than max capacity and ignore it.
     
  9. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    You will NOT have any problems by keeping your 500 fully loaded. My Mossy 500 has always been kept fully loaded... she feeds & fires every time.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Mine's always loaded, no problems so far.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    The level of stress induced in modern coil springs is supposed to be designed to be below the plastic limit, i.e. the point at which the metal will undergo plastic yield and therefore take a set. Repeated stressing at close to the yield point can cause minimal deformation. Enough high stress cycles can cause fatigue, and fracture. Spring steel is selected to have a very high resistance to fatigue, on the order usually of several million cycles. The reason 747 wings, which routinely flap 5' at the tips, don't fall off, is because engineers know how to design for fatigue.
    The level of stress induced in many old flat springs was much higher, and the failure rates were too.
    Unfortunately, back many years ago, someone also invented "value engineering". Which says real basically, is the increased costs worth it, or are the savings worth the risk. So it is not worth the risk, monetary liability wise, for Boeing's engineers to buy cheaper metal to make the wings out of on a 747, but it was very probably judged worth the risk to buy gun springs that would only last 15 to 60 years in the 'normal' range of use.
     
  12. dogwalk

    dogwalk New Member

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    If it's an eight shot mag., then I guess six in the mag. and some loose shells handy. Don't recomend one in the chamber. Good luck and enjoy, Dogwalk
     
  13. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Fill 'er up! That includes the pipe! Unless you're leaving it in a salt spray test chamber she'll faithfully wait and be ready to rock and roll when you are!

    Otherwise just have the Bad Guys call before they drop over. That way you can take it out of the safe, remove the trigger lock, get the ammo out of the other safe, clean the gun, load it and be ready when they sneak in!

    Dan, that's what you guys in Mess-a-2-$hits need to do by law....right?

    You guys always sweat the smallest $hit...... [​IMG]