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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the appropriate way (in your opinion) to store semi-auto magazines for long periods of time? Most would agree that an empty magazine is fairly useless, but will long time periods of loaded magazines affect the action of the firearm? By long time periods I’m saying six months or longer.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on this.
 

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What I remember reading was to rotate them every month or so to avoid spring "set".
 
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I keep mine loaded.


 

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I have balance lol.....
My duty mags stay loaded but I do swap to spare mags every 3 months to clean as well as preserve spring tension.
As for my other weapons, the 10 mags stay empty wrapped in plastic for storage awaiting rotation while the other 5 mags are topped off ready to go.
 

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For safety reasons weapons and magazines in my vault are not loaded. However I keep a 7 shot 357 speed loader in the vault next to my 627. The reason I have for not keeping loaded guns or mags in the vault is, When I or other folks remove a firearm to look at , there is one less step involved of clearing the weapon. I had one instance where a friend grabbed his AR ( which I had repaired for him ) and caused a negligent discharge. I tried to grab it away , but wasn't fast enough. Luckily the round went into a filing cabinet I keep gun literature in. I now have a Taurus sticker covering that hole. I have plenty of loaded weapons stored around the house.
 

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I read this question and promptly went to the range. I took my FN FiveseveN which is my "house gun". I have seven magazines each holding 15 rounds and four 20 round magazines. All are always loaded some have been sitting for up to a year. I took two 15 rounders and one 20. From the bottom of the stack and they worked properly. Not a single malfunction. I also took my old colt 1911 and 5 magazines that have been loaded for more than a year (wad cutters) and it too performed great. I have not had time to reload them or inspect them but discovered something, I miss the range, I miss shooting my guns and plan on taking my Savage Recon out to the range this weekend which has been sitting in the safe for about six months and the loaded magazines have been sitting with it. Don't foresee any problems but just in case , I am going to stop by the gun store and pick up a few magazine "repair kits" (I live in Colorado).

Sent from my SM-T113 using Tapatalk
 

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From the FWIW Dept. I have a 1911 made in 1917, which last saw action in Korea. The two mags have been loaded since then. When I inherited the firearm...well, I just had to shoot it.
Two mags loaded since the fifties, not a glitch.

I understand a spring under tension or relaxed, does the same thing, nothing. Using it causes it to wear out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input folks. I guess I’ll just leave my mags loaded unless some malfunctions begin to take place. I like the idea of switching them out periodically though.
Panda..
 
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I do some of both just as a matter of convenience for taking unloaded mags to the range or a competition. There is a certain number of mags that are always loaded.


No different than your car. If you never drove the car the springs it sits on would pretty much never wear out.
 

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I understand a spring under tension or relaxed, does the same thing, nothing. Using it causes it to wear out.
Absolutely true. Keeping a spring compressed does not cause it to "set." It's constant motion that will eventually fatigue it.
 

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I keep all my mags loaded, that I use, as well. There are a lot of mags I’ve bought that I’ve never taken out of their packaging.

I did buy some cheap plastic (not polymer) mags for my Ruger MkII back in the ‘80s. Kept them stored loaded and went to use them about 15 years later and they were deader’n a door knob. Springs permanently compressed. But, make note, those were bought on the cheap because I used to shoot several times a month.
 

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I only load when I am using the gun they go to. I store both guns and mags empty and I keep the mags with the gun they belong to.

The rule around the house is simple. If it's in the safe or in a case, it's empty. If it's not, then it's loaded- and that means a round chambered, too.

If I've gotta dig into the safe to get something to shoot, then I'm pretty much screwed anyhow because there's already been a LOT of shooting going on.
 

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I have never had problems with magazines loaded for a period of time. I have read that it is the loading unloading that weakens the spring as has been previously stated.
 

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I never worry about this with my revolvers. BONUS! :D
 

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I've watched videos on the subject, and according to them you have to keep your magazines loaded for over a decade in order to damage the springs to the point that it'll cause malfunctions.

If springs were as easily worn out as folks seem to think, then I'm pretty sure that the majority of antique firearms would be terribly unreliable, yet there are folks who own functional/reliable old military/police surplus firearms which not only were likely kept loaded for extended periods of time, but were also carried daily, exposed to the elements/harsh conditions, weren't always properly maintained, and were most likely fired often as well. The way I see it, if there are firearms out there that were rode that hard for decades, stored under less than ideal conditions for extended periods of time, and yet still prove reliable to this day, then I see no good reason to expect that leaving magazines loaded for a few months or even years at a time is going to render them inoperable.

Besides, I can safely say due to experience that springs are worn out more by repeated compression and decompression than they are remaining in a compressed state, ergo if anything, I would assume that you're more likely to wear magazine springs out more by repeatedly loading/unloading them than you are simply leaving them loaded.
 
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Some of my mags have been kept loaded for 10 or more years, and I've never had a problem which I can attribute to spring "set". Most of the mags for my guns are loaded. I do take the loaded ones to the range on a regular basis. I'll shoot some of my SD ammo, and then range ammo. They go back in the safe loaded with SD rounds.
 

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I keep a few mags loaded with SD but different mags each range trip so I kinda rotate stock especially the two PT 1911's
 
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