View Full Version : Is it bad to always have your magazines loaded?

Jerry X
01-02-2010, 10:39 PM
My brother told me that over a period of time it will weaken the spring. What do you guys think?

01-02-2010, 10:41 PM
No, not at all in fact. Springs only weaken when they compress and decompress. Load away and let them stay loaded for as long as you would like. I would check the ammunition and make sure they still feed correctly periodically though.

01-02-2010, 10:47 PM
One of those posts where the first response nails it. Meaning I am responding for pretty much no reason.

Seriously though, he's right. Cycles of compression and decompression weaken springs. Leaving a spring compressed or decompressed is neither good nor bad for it.

There have been stories of people leaving loaded M1A/M14, AK, and AR mags sitting for 20 or 30 years and having them fire just fine.

01-02-2010, 10:53 PM
Good article here.

If leaving springs compressed in a magazine, what about the springs in weapons? I own milsurp weapons that had not been shot for 50 years and the springs are fine. Same thing for the magazines.

01-02-2010, 11:13 PM
Actually, just compressing the spring can cause it to weaken over time IF it's near the allowable stress level of the spring wire material. Things like magazine springs should be designed so that they never exceed 60% of the allowable stress when they are compressed as far as the design will allow. Sometimes, the engineer is painted in a corner though and has to design things that aren't optimum in order to fit inside a space envelope.

Basically, you have no real way to know if your magazine has the potential for the spring taking a set until it happens but with a high-quality and otherwise well-designed gun it shouldn't be a problem.

01-03-2010, 12:18 AM
I would be more worried about creeping feedlips than magazine springs though to be honest.

01-03-2010, 8:24 AM
You're right. Again, it depends on the magazine design but if the feed lips are unsupported and not heat treated to withstand the strain being put on them they can be permanently deformed. That's more of a problem with the magazines stored with a gun than the magazine that's in the gun, since the slide generally keeps most of the pressure off the feed lips when the magazine is in the gun.

Jerry X
01-03-2010, 4:10 PM

01-03-2010, 5:27 PM
The only ones I ever had problems with keeping loaded were the mags we were issued for the M9s over in Iraq, never had a problem with any other kind though.

01-03-2010, 5:48 PM
I can only speak for the HK usp 45 full size, 10 round factory mags cannot be left loaded without failure. i bought 3 extra for a total of 5. and a few months of ten rounds, ALL magazines failed to lock the slide back. solution was wolff +10% springs(amost 7$ each) and so far so good. 2 with ten loaded, 1 with 9. other is topped off loaded in the gun. waiting on one more spring due to a defective wolff spring(was bent differently than the others.) which held only 9. So in the end, if worried(you should be), either download by 1 when storing, or get some wolffies. im pissd i had to buy something aftermarket for my weapon to properly function, but now it's flawless.