Calguns.net  

Home My iTrader Join the NRA Donate to CGSSA Sponsors CGN Google Search
CA Semiauto Ban(AW)ID Flowchart CA Handgun Ban ID Flowchart CA Shotgun Ban ID Flowchart
Go Back   Calguns.net > INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES > Competition, Action Shooting And Training.
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 12:18 PM
Stan08's Avatar
Stan08 Stan08 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,055
iTrader: 25 / 100%
Default Fill em up…or not?! An essay on whether to fill your magazines up to capacity

Fill em up…or not?!

In my classes I often tell my students to “fill em up!” a colloquialism for filling up your magazines to capacity. In my introductory rifle and pistol classes (Rifle/Carbine 101 and Pistol 101 respectively) I discuss in the loading, reloading, and unloading portion that loading with a down filled magazine (28 round for a typical USGI 30 round magazine and minus 1 for a pistol magazine) is more advantageous because of the following reasons:

1. A fully filled magazine does not always seat properly unless the bolt, slide, action etc. is locked to the rear. Particularly so under stress like a speed reload.

2. When you need to load and make ready with a firearm with a fully filled magazine with the bolt, slide, or action closed (home) it is almost always harder (if they do at all) to cycle the action because of the added friction of the fully compressed magazine spring pushing the follower and all the rounds against the interior portion of the bolt or slide.

3. Because of # 3 above, I have noticed that sometimes a shooter will standby for a drill and upon my whistle of threat, they present to the target, attempt to fire and they get a “click” instead of a bang. In this situation the fully filled magazine was not fully seated (but they thought so) they cycled the action thinking the first round chambered but it did not. Thus they have to go condition one all over again and waste more time doing so. I’ve seen this on novices and experts alike and yet another reason for a press or chamber check as well in the beginning of a drill.

So here is my pitch, down filled magazines make for more reliable and efficient manipulations via the following:

1. A down filled magazine can be reliably inserted and will engage the magazine lock/release 100% of the time whether the action is open or closed. So if your firearm went “click” on your last drill and the action did not lock to the rear you can release your magazine, insert your new one and cycle the action with no issues, not always so with a fully filled magazine. In this situation a press check would not be appropriate but in my experience you won’t need to either.

2. Your firearm is easier to cycle (on that first time) with a down filled magazine. I have seen situations where like # 1 above, a shooter loads his fully filled magazine with the bolt or slide closed/home, attempts to cycle the action but a round is not stripped from the magazine. After repeated attempts I tell the shooter to remove the magazine (sometimes remove a round or two), lock the action to the rear and now try it again.

The bottom line: if all of your magazines are down filled you are almost always guaranteed to have zero issues with properly seating your magazines, loading or reloading whether the action is open is closed. You will waste less time having to fumble with your firearm via immediate or remedial actions outside of other type 1 – 3 malfunctions. With fully filled magazines there is always the possibility and doing so adds precious time away from being ready. Down filling your magazines is applicable for both combat and competition for all the same reasons.

You 1911 or whatever single stack magazine shooters are out of luck in this. For a 1911 with a seven round magazine every round counts more and this is yet another reason to be very selective when choosing your 1911 magazines. Some of the premium 1911 magazines can be fully filled and will have no problem loading and/or reloading with the slide either open or closed but you will have to experiment on your own.

So fill em up…minus one or two rounds!
__________________
Please visit my firearms training website at http://www.stcrispian.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:02 PM
HighLander51 HighLander51 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,144
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

I run my G17 with Taylor Freelance extensions full at 23 rounds plus 1 in the tube shooting USPSA every Saturday and run my AR-15 mags full also for 3 gun. Never had a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:18 PM
CalTeacher CalTeacher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 787
iTrader: 8 / 100%
Default

I shoot my .40 and 9 Glock Mag's with Dawson extensions and they work just fine when topped off, as do my 1911 Mag's. Ive also never had problems with any AR Mag's filled ti capacity. YMMV I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-15-2012, 5:32 PM
SuperSet SuperSet is online now
Vendor/Retailer
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: OC/DC
Posts: 9,073
iTrader: 41 / 100%
Default

Good point, Stan. Several other trainers teach this as well. Pat Rogers comes off the top of my head but there are others. But I know Kyle Lamb thinks it should always be completely topped off.
One thing to think about is when do you need to reload when the bolt is forward? There's only 1 circumstance, outside of a competition reload, and that's a tac (or reduced-capacity) reload and you seldom have to use that.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-15-2012, 6:37 PM
Stan08's Avatar
Stan08 Stan08 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,055
iTrader: 25 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSet View Post
Good point, Stan. Several other trainers teach this as well. Pat Rogers comes off the top of my head but there are others. But I know Kyle Lamb thinks it should always be completely topped off.
One thing to think about is when do you need to reload when the bolt is forward? There's only 1 circumstance, outside of a competition reload, and that's a tac (or reduced-capacity) reload and you seldom have to use that.
Other than an admin reload I can think of a few others:

1. Your slide/bolt/action did not lock to the rear on an empty magazine and on your last repetition it went "click" instead of bang. (a la the AK-47) This is also a good hint that you may need a new magazine spring.

2. I've seen others, both novices and experts alike, inadvertently release the locked bolt/slide/action upon an empty magazine (woops) and now you are back to square one.

Of course there will be those who always fill all of their magazines to capacity without issue but you still take a chance with all the things mentioned in my original article. And lets be fair, when your mags were new did you fill them up and leave them filled to relax the spring? Did you have to experiment any?

With what I suggested, particularly for a new shooter, it is statistically the most problem free method across the board.
__________________
Please visit my firearms training website at http://www.stcrispian.com

Last edited by Stan08; 11-15-2012 at 6:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:08 PM
HighLander51 HighLander51 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,144
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Forgot to mention, I do download one for carry.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:16 PM
USMC 82-86's Avatar
USMC 82-86 USMC 82-86 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Anaheim, Ca O.C.
Posts: 2,432
iTrader: 5 / 100%
Default

I do fill mine to capacity in my home defense guns, but I tried this at the range and I know my gun has been 100% reliable in this condition. When I was in the Army and later the Marines we did not load our mags to capacity.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:30 PM
BBB114 BBB114 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 190
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default Downloading mags

For my regular job we are required to down load rifle mags by 2. For the classes I teach outside of that, I run full mags with no problems. Most of the civilian students I teach have to run 10 mags anyway, so they are automatically downloaded.

As for the rifle not chambering the first round, it happens often.....even with downloaded mags. I teach my students to "tap and tug" the magazine to insure its seated. Some lowers are tighter than others with PMAGs and such, so if they dont fully seat, the student did not do a proper "tug" on the mag.
( if this was already mentioned, sorry I did not catch it)

I say operators should do whatever will make them more comfortable with their weapons system and know what works for them and their equipment. But personally, I dont feel down loading is needed. I am working on a policy with my regular employer to go back to standard capacity.

Boyan
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-15-2012, 7:56 PM
BBB114 BBB114 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 190
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default mag corrections

Now that I think about it, I would make one exception. If one was running a rifle without M4 style feedramps, I would down load the mags. I think I remember the old dinosaur M16A1's having issues with full mags.

Boyan
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-15-2012, 8:22 PM
GM_77 GM_77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: California
Posts: 594
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan08 View Post
And lets be fair, when your mags were new did you fill them up and leave them filled to relax the spring? Did you have to experiment any?

With what I suggested, particularly for a new shooter, it is statistically the most problem free method across the board.
I run all my mags full capacity but you are absolutely right, I had to tweak a few here and there and only had confidence in them after about 500 rounds through the whole set. I had to vet each magazine before I stopped downloading. This included my G19. I would have problems with 10+1 when shooting support hand only or from retention with some mags. I had to lock my wrist down more than I initially thought, I was doing fine when I only had 10 in the gun.

My G34 though has been a rock star!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-15-2012, 8:39 PM
ramzar's Avatar
ramzar ramzar is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SoCal, USA
Posts: 1,352
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

If you have to bang the magazine home hard you know you have problems and can cause malfunctions with not just AR mags but also 1911 pistols.
__________________
Their drills are bloodless battles, and their battles bloody drills.
- Historian Josephus (AD 37-101) on the Roman military
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:39 AM
The Virus The Virus is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,135
iTrader: 4 / 100%
Default

Handgun mags fully loaded no problems . AR I download 2
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-16-2012, 7:29 AM
ZombieTactics's Avatar
ZombieTactics ZombieTactics is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Roseville area, or wherever they pay my confiscatory rates for things only I know how to do (lol)
Posts: 3,684
iTrader: 3 / 100%
Default

All of my handguns operate flawlessly with fully-loaded magazines.

My carbine mags require downloading by 1 for reliability sake.
__________________
|

I don't pretend to be an "authority." I'm just a guy who trains a lot, shoots a lot and has a perspective.

Check the ZombieTactics Channel on YouTube for all sorts of gun-related goodness CLICK HERE
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-16-2012, 8:32 AM
HK35's Avatar
HK35 HK35 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The OC
Posts: 734
iTrader: 25 / 100%
Default

Very good points, Stan. I've experienced issues with fully loaded mags during reloading under stress/timer on a couple of my guns. Not so with others so my recommendation is to test/know your gun and magazines.

Also, magazines that have been blocked to only hold 10 rounds wherein the last round barely fits in will almost always cause an issue when loading with slide closed.
__________________
“All that is complex is not useful; all that is useful is simple.” – Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Practice does not make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect." - Vince Lombardi

Last edited by HK35; 11-16-2012 at 3:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-16-2012, 2:33 PM
Brian1979 Brian1979 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 483
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

I run a g21sf in uspsa with California 10 round mags and have no reliability issues so I CCW the same way. All my mags stay loaded after the match until next week and still no issues. All my springs in the gun and mags are Wolff so not sure that helps but it doesn't hurt either.

I do hate loading the 10 th round and recently fell in love with the uplula device.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-16-2012, 2:39 PM
ramzar's Avatar
ramzar ramzar is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SoCal, USA
Posts: 1,352
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian1979 View Post

I do hate loading the 10 th round and recently fell in love with the uplula device.
My sentiments and solution exactly. My UpLULA arrived a few days ago. My sore support thumb is ecstatic!
__________________
Their drills are bloodless battles, and their battles bloody drills.
- Historian Josephus (AD 37-101) on the Roman military
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-23-2012, 4:49 AM
D-Man's Avatar
D-Man D-Man is offline
Vendor/Retailer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 678
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Pistols I run at capacity. Rifles I tend to down load 3 rounds or so. Old habit I learned back in the military and it avoids a lot of issues. Good points Stan.
__________________
Darren

http://www.5arrowstactical.com/
Follow us on Twitter here. YouTube channel available here. Like us on Facebook here. and on Instagram here.
NRA Certified Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun Instructor / NRA Personal Protection (Inside & Outside) the Home Instructor / Metallic & Shotgun Reloading / Range Safety Officer
UT / FL / VA / OR / AZ CCW Instructor
Semper Fidelis to all my fellow and former Marines!
Ps 144:1
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-23-2012, 7:30 PM
Bobby Hated's Avatar
Bobby Hated Bobby Hated is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,542
iTrader: 161 / 100%
Default

single stacks to capacity. double stacks and rifle mags down by one.
__________________
USPSA IPSC X3 NRG PRG LDF SWPL

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-23-2012, 8:38 PM
BlackViper's Avatar
BlackViper BlackViper is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 320
iTrader: 21 / 100%
Default

All you have to do is take one carbine class where you do admin reloads and the people who load their AR mags to full capacity will reveal themselves with a subsequent **** show.

Never fails.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-01-2012, 8:10 PM
daybreak's Avatar
daybreak daybreak is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,735
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

AR mags I download by 2, handgun mags are loaded to capacity always. Never had a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-01-2012, 9:23 PM
GeoffLinder's Avatar
GeoffLinder GeoffLinder is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pacifica, CA
Posts: 2,425
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
I run my G17 with Taylor Freelance extensions full at 23 rounds plus 1 in the tube shooting USPSA every Saturday and run my AR-15 mags full also for 3 gun. Never had a problem.
^^ This! If a magazine is full (to capacity) and you have problems inserting it under a closed action IMHO you have a mechanical situation that needs to be corrected. Both my 1911 style pistols, all 3 of my Glocks (one open gun using Taylor Freelance +11 tubes at 29 round capacity), my SIG P-226 and all my AR's work just fine this way. If they don't then you need to either correct the mechanical issue or fix the technique in use. There is a specific mechanical fix for AR's. Pistol mag issues can be addressed by the installation of mag bumpers and some operator technique honing.

A properly designed pistol magazine will have some spring slop when filled to capacity to allow top round to depress properly under closed action. Same with an AR mag.

For AR's (and pistols) you need to make sure there is some spring down slop with the top round when fully filled, if not, the spring needs to be changed/trimmed, follower bottom shaved or base plate relieved.

Second important setup point with an AR is the amount of slop available when an empty mag is inserted under a closed bolt.

1st. Measure magazine lock detent from base of tube and make sure all your mags are within a couple thousandths on this. If too high, relieve until uniform with rest or discard. If too low discard (although not a problem if under 6-8 thou low).

2. Once this is uniformed, then you insert an empty mag under closed bolt and check how much up/down slop is present. If almost none, then the mag catch top face needs to be stoned down until there is about 1/10" of up down available. Doing this eliminates the need to tap magazine bottom when seating them. If you have to tap a mag into place you are in danger of experiencing the dreaded "one shot, drop" syndrome and your AR needs fixin'

Whenever I see anyone having to tap the bottom of an AR mag to get it to seat, I know they have this problem and the mag catch needs to be stoned down. Stoning the top face of the catch also restores a nice crisp edge that grabs the mag indent much better than the typical slightly rounded profile most catches come with, often due to some excess parkerizing finish or poor quality control in manufacture.

Easiest way to do this is to remove catch from lower and run it across a medium mill file till surface is shiny and edge is sharp. Then reinstall and test with mag for proper slop. Repeat as required until at least approx 1/10" slop exists with empty mag under closed bolt. Once you achieve this clearance you will notice that mags now seat with a satisfying click and very little insertion force even when full to capacity :-)

The other thing to remember with AR's and pistols is that the mag insertion needs to be done "smartly". This means with some speed and then follow through until it is properly "rammed" into place. With pistols, this can easily be facilitated with the addition of an aftermarket floor plate that gives you a bumper or by gluing on a 1/4" hard rubber pad. When a bumper exists, your palm now has something to push against during the last bit of seating (the critical point in a reliable reload, especially to a closed action).

Any slide that is retarded in motion by the friction of top round under closed action has an issue with it not being broken in yet (new gun syndrome), or in lubrication, or in operator technique (or some combination of the three). A proper mode for loading under closed action is to ram the mag in place smartly, never slide it in slowly and just push a little at the end, ram it home!. Then if chamber needs to charged snap the slide fully rearward to it's stop (not pull, snap it back, smartly!!) and release from full rearward in a clean motion, never "ride" it forward. Think slingshot here.

That is all folks!

Thanks for listening :-)

Last edited by GeoffLinder; 12-02-2012 at 9:16 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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 -8. The time now is 5:09 PM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Proudly hosted by GeoVario the Premier 2A host.
Calguns.net, the 'Calguns' name and all associated variants and logos are ® Trademark and © Copyright 2002-2016, Calguns.net an Incorporated Company All Rights Reserved.