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  1. #1
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    How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?


    I've always heard (and believed) that if you left a mag loaded too long, it could set the spring and fail to feed.

    Poking through an old ammo box yesterday, I found a full clip of seven 45 acps that I had loaded and stored away just before I moved back to San Antonio from the Coastal Bend. They've been sitting there for 4 years.

    Took them to the range this morning, as I hadn't had the 45 there in a while.

    Bingo! they all cycled perfectly.

    Any different experiences?


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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    Springs store energy. They only wear when exercised. You can store rounds in a mag for years and years and the spring will be fine as long as it doesn't rust.
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    I have had mine loaded for a while, have several mags sometimes I'll switch them around with the ones I use at the range and self defense
    To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined. -- George Washington, First Annual Address, January 8, 1790.





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  4. #4
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    it's a matter of debate.. some say it only wears when the load/unload cycle is complete.. others say they set over time.. perhaps both is true.

    i heard of a guy who found his one of his dad's 1911 mag's still loaded in the garage.. it had fell behind the reloading bench between the wall.

    he claimed it had been there for at least 10 years (iirc) and they all went bang.

    i dunno i personally keep my carry gun's loaded.
    i think both theories are true.. i say this because i noticed my 17rnd mags was hard to get the 17th in but after a few months i was able to get it in easier.. sure the gun was shot at the range but i think sitting around loaded with 16 helped somewhat.

    so i'd say there is a ring of truth to both.. cycling the mags probably produces more wear then just sitting though.
    If you can't shoot well, shoot often.

  5. #5
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    A typical gun or magazine spring is not completely at rest even when it's mechanism is at full travel. Over time it will tend to loose force no matter if it is cycled or not. The more tension it has while stored the more force it will loose. How long this takes is based on the metalurgy and engineering of the spring and the mechanism it is in.

    IOW, only time can tell.
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  6. #6
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    I have a Taurus Model 99 that is now 23 years old, and yes the magazines are also 23 years old.
    they and the weapon remain fully loaded all the time, the weapon gets to go out and play at the range MAYBE twice a year.
    it and the magazines still perform flawlessly, so i would say In excess of 23 years!-LOL
    Retired Firefighter, Advanced Georgia Master Gardener, Hazardous Material Response Member, Certified Hazardous Material Incident Commander, 1911 Addict and General Gun Lover.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    For years I always cycled my mags to keep them from loosing strength. A few months ago during a similar discussion, a member stated that springs loosing there tension was just a urban legend.

    I then did my own research and found a couple of studies and they all came to the same conclusion, storing mags full does not hurt the spring, it can damage the feed lips on cheaper mags, especially aluminum AR mags.




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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    On a related note, and perhaps more important in reality with our Taurus magazines and plastic followers:

    I keep an empty brass case (brand new unfired) in all magazines I am storing. I'd rather have the plastic followers shaking around on the round case and let the case get worn down from the feed lips.

    This doesn't really apply to sitting around I'd guess, but certainly in handling the magazines there is an every so slight erosion of the follower. So I don't leave them in my range bag completely empty. Probably overkill but I'd rather wear out my followers by firing the magazines :P

    There ya go folks... something new to debate!

  9. #9
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    I had a mag stored for ten years straight and it still feeds great. I work as a diemaker and the only time I have seen springs go bad is after excesive use. Don`t believe everything you hear about mags stored loaded and making the springs weak.
    In memory of Connie Ann Johnson, July 9,1962- March 31, 2011
    In memory of Calvin "P`nut" Hicks, August 22, 1950- August 14,2014
    U.S. Army 1969-1971. R.I.P. P`nut

  10. #10
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    Re: How Long Can A Magazine Stay Loaded?

    When I was in the Navy during the early 90's, we had only .45's aboard my ship. We received a sealed "tin" of about 100 .45 magazines that were dated to Korea era. We thought they were just mags. Once we opened the tin, we found them to be loaded and individually wrapped in wax paper. They had been loaded since at least 1952 according to the lettering on the top. We took them out and shot them dry without a single failure. Not a one of us thought that they would be any good, but were pleasantly proven wrong. All 100 mags went to good homes and I am sure have been reloaded and are resting comfortable in civilian life.

    Since then, I no longer worry about springs being damaged because of a magazine sitting loaded.
    Taurus Gaucho, .45 Colt.
    Taurus Tracker, .44 Mag
    Too many others to list.

    Long time reloader.

 

 
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