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Old 09-24-2005, 19:32   #1
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Keeping Magazines Loaded

Do you think it hurts a magazine to keep it loaded. If so, for what length of time would you say it would be ok to store it loaded without damaging the spring. I'm just curious about this cause I have mags for several guns that I'd like to keep loaded or at least partially loaded. Would partially loaded be better?

Let me hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2005, 20:15   #2
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Originally posted by rugmar@Sep 24 2005, 08:32 PM
Do you think it hurts a magazine to keep it loaded. If so, for what length of time would you say it would be ok to store it loaded without damaging the spring. I'm just curious about this cause I have mags for several guns that I'd like to keep loaded or at least partially loaded. Would partially loaded be better?

Let me hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
I do not have much experience with other magazines, but with the factory Ruger 10/22, you should NOT keep it even partially loaded, for any amount of time, if you do not plan on using it. I accidentally left mine loaded with 5 rounds in it, for 1 week, and now the spring is very bad. 5 rounds is half-way loaded.

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Spark Johnson.
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Old 09-24-2005, 20:36   #3
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Aside from the RUGER 10/22 magazine, it is usually OK to keep magazines fully, or partially loaded.

Having a magazine loaded is not what fatigues the spring. USE is what wears out the spring. Constant loading, and unloading of the magazine will wear it out.

Keeping your magazines at least partially loaded for a length of time will not hurt them. It may be a good idea to rotate your loaded, and unloaded magazines periodically though.

Hope this helps.

Good Shooting!
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Old 09-24-2005, 22:46   #4
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Won't hurt them a bit. Like it was already stated its the movement of the spring that wears it out not the compression. besides even if the mag is unloaded the spring is still under some kind of compression unless its totally out of the mag body. I have 15 20rd M-14 mags fully loaded aswell as a couple 8rdrs for my .45 with no problems. once i get more 5.56 I will have a bunch of mini 14 mags loaded too lol.
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Old 09-24-2005, 22:51   #5
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Agreed. Most soldiers on deployments, and LEO's keep mags loaded for sometimes a full year, then, when next rotation arrives, same thing with same mags. They last for years that way. I think more malfunctions are caused by mag bodies and followers than worn out springs. That includes M16, M9, 1911, etc, etc.
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:24   #6
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Sounds like the bigger the round the bigger the spring and the less trouble you should have. I keep a 9mm and 40 cal loaded partially all the time with no trouble. I don't keep my 22 magizines loaded because they do have smaller springs.

-just my .02, tri
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Old 09-25-2005, 12:51   #7
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We have some M1 carbine mags loaded from WWII and when you push a round out, the next kicks right up in to its place.
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Old 09-25-2005, 18:25   #8
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I've never known it to be an issue unless the spring is already fatigued.

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Old 09-26-2005, 13:32   #9
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A hot topic on some boards. Many different opinions. I've heard from some guys that replace the springs in their carry mags every year, thereby avoiding the possibility of a spring 'wearing out'. They figure a few dollars once a year is worthwhile insurance, just in case.
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Old 09-26-2005, 13:41   #10
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Here's a two-page thread on this subject:

Leaving magazines loaded
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:54   #11
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Originally Posted by Dorkface View Post
Won't hurt them a bit. Like it was already stated its the movement of the spring that wears it out not the compression. besides even if the mag is unloaded the spring is still under some kind of compression unless its totally out of the mag body. I have 15 20rd M-14 mags fully loaded aswell as a couple 8rdrs for my .45 with no problems. once i get more 5.56 I will have a bunch of mini 14 mags loaded too lol.
I would tend to agree. The spring is already under compression and not being hurt, adding 10 rounds only seems to add one more rotation of the spring, Im not sure that will 'hurt' anything at all.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:56   #12
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Originally Posted by Darth Ruger View Post
A hot topic on some boards. Many different opinions. I've heard from some guys that replace the springs in their carry mags every year, thereby avoiding the possibility of a spring 'wearing out'. They figure a few dollars once a year is worthwhile insurance, just in case.
If one has a mag that can be taken apart the springs in non rotary mags can generally be stretched a bit so theyre almost like new. We used to do this in a few different types of semi autos years ago.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:06   #13
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Wow. This was a really old thread.
Sorry. I found it in a google search. I should have checked the date of the last post
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:36   #14
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When I keep mags loaded, I only load them to about 1/2 way.

A buddy of mine on the other hand, he keeps his loaded all the way and claims that it does not hurt the spring.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:57   #15
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I read about a cash of 1911 mags found a couple years back, they were fully loaded since WW2. They worked flawlessly.
I keep my 10 and 30 round mags for my Mini 14, all my glocks and the tube on my shotgun fully loaded...been a couple years now, no issues.
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Old 03-08-2012, 14:07   #16
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Originally Posted by NWO View Post
Aside from the RUGER 10/22 magazine, it is usually OK to keep magazines fully, or partially loaded.

Having a magazine loaded is not what fatigues the spring. USE is what wears out the spring. Constant loading, and unloading of the magazine will wear it out.

Keeping your magazines at least partially loaded for a length of time will not hurt them. It may be a good idea to rotate your loaded, and unloaded magazines periodically though.

Hope this helps.

Good Shooting!
first he says its ok to keep them loaded or partially loaded and it is the constant loading and unloading that wears them out then he says to rotate them..... wtf ?
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Old 04-06-2012, 17:10   #17
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I left 16 bulgarian and chinese AK mags (30 rnd type loaded with 25 rnds ea.) for 2 1/2 years. I went to the range with my sons and shot the snot out of one of my AK's without 1 jam of any sort.

I left 3 1911 8rnd mags fully loaded for 3 years without any issues when used (I did however have wolff +5% mag springs in them).

I left 3 Glock G36 mags loaded for 3 years without any issues when used (original factory springs).

I leave my HD 1911 cocked and locked 24/7 365 without worry about the main spring.

Point is as mentioned earlier, it's the cycles that kill a mag and not the leaving them loaded.

I have 12 high cap Mini 14 mags that have been loaded for 3 years that I'm going to leave for another 2 years as an experiment but I'm sure the results will be similar. I do my own testing for my needs as I'm not a one size fits all kinda guy.

Ruger22C had a different result leaving a rotary type mag loaded, I'd heed the warning until proven otherwise with the rotary type.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:01   #18
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For what it's worth I left 9 30-round Pmags loaded for over 2 years without using them, and had absolutely no problem when I did use them. I don't think keeping a spring compressed hurts as much as cycles of compressing and decompressing.
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