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How Often Do you Change Your Pistol Mags

  • 1-30 Days

    Votes: 16 14.5%
  • 30-90 Days

    Votes: 12 10.9%
  • 90-180 Days

    Votes: 12 10.9%
  • 180-360 Days

    Votes: 12 10.9%
  • 1 Year +

    Votes: 58 52.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/magazine-springs-and-ammo-cycling/


I am sure this has been beat to death, but I searched and couldnt find anything here ... maybe my terms and words were off.

However, I used to change out my loaded mags at my home once a week and rotate them. Then going off the article above, I think I may switch it to every 90 days for the police method.

When do people mostly rotate their loaded mags out? I am mainly talking about pistol mags
 

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There is a notion that storing loaded magazines weakens the springs, but that is false. Working the springs is what weakens them, so essentially, you swapping them out weekly wears them more than leaving them compressed and put away. It is more important to swap ammo out than working your springs. It's not a bad idea to relieve them every 90 days or so, but leaving them compressed isn't going to wear them out.
 

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Agree with GCBHM. Did some research last year on this and essentially found that there was no reason that compression caused issues. However, everything needs actuating from time to time to make sure that it functions correctly.
 

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I guess it depends on what is meant by your question. A stored magazine I see as a stationary magazine, maybe one in your safe or loaded in your bedside weapon, stored in a lock box, again stationary. These mags that are not moving around at all, I don't change out the ammo at all. If we are talking about mags in a carry weapon, I'll shoot the rounds in my carry gun about every six months and replace with fresh. The constant movement and vibration of the rounds in EDC can cause some changes to the propellant, more physical than chemical, I just like to keep it fresh.

As stated earlier, cycling the mag springs is what wears them, not being in a constant state of relaxation or compression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was meaning a gun that was stored at home, not an EDC. Something that would be in a safe or in a safe place .. just in case.
 

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I was meaning a gun that was stored at home, not an EDC. Something that would be in a safe or in a safe place .. just in case.
Personally, if I were storing a gun in a safe with no intent of having to use it I wouldn't keep the magazines loaded, but again, it really doesn't matter. Loaded or unloaded, you're not going to wear the mag out. Using it repeatedly is what wears it.
 
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I leave a bunch of loaded mags around that I essentially never cycle. I've tried them, they worked fine, I loaded them up for the Zombie Apocalypse and put them in magazine holders while I wait.

Like other said, compression doesn't hurt or degrade them, loading and unloading does.
 

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I can't vouch for how officers "rotate" magazines now, if that's what it's called. Up to 10 years ago, we "shot" about every 6 months, annual qualification for "score", and night firing, shoot/no shoot exercises. We shot our "duty loads" during these times, any other firing would be with "training ammunition". So basically our duty magazines stay loaded for at least 5-7 months at a time. Being the armorer, I only had to replace 1 magazine spring, during that time out of basically 15 P226 9mm pistols, and 45 magazines in a 10 year period, before getting new guns (P226R .40 S&W).
 

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Change Mags?

Why would I do that? In all my years, I've never had a Mag fail either... Maybe it's just me.

Change mags, don't need no (changing) stinkin mags!
 

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I shoot my carry when I go to the range and usually shoot a mag full of my carry ammo .. My extra mag I carry then goes into my Jeep console and the one there on my belt as my extra magazine ..

So guess you could say I change out my carry mags about every 3 weeks in the summer and every 4 or 5 weeks during the winter .. but I carry 3 different pistols so that even varies according to what I am carrying that period .. I usually change and carry a pistol for months verses weeks or days ..

But I have loaded magazines for other carry pistols in my safe for up to a year .. I also have never had a magazine fail in 57 years of shooting .. I just counted and I have 12 magazines loaded for 3 pistols .. counting the magazines I carry in my 2 vehicles

Mags get wiped down after use with a oiled cloth ..
 

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I guess I never much gave too much thought to it, but I have not changed the loaded magazines in well over a year. Time to shoot off the loaded mags and restock with some newer rounds I guess.
 

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Mags loaded in the safe never change them out. Mags carried get shot ruffly every 6 months. When I shoot my carry guns I usually load up different mags with range ammo.
 

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I'm the odd man out.
I do not store ammo in my safes.
I only keep my edc loaded + a few extras, it is not in a safe.
 

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I'm the odd man out.
I do not store ammo in my safes.
I only keep my edc loaded + a few extras, it is not in a safe.
Let me clarify my last statement. I don't stack loaded mags in my safe either. lol I was referring too my bedroom gun G17, loaded with 2 extra mags in small quick access safe, my large safe I have 3 loaded handguns with an extra mag or two each (others in the back of safe I keep unloaded). This is not counting my edc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well after 70 votes ... the poll kinda shows what was mentioned in the thread. I guess I will extend my loaded magazine rotation time then and see how that goes
 

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My experiences mimic Willards...we shoot either quarterly or semi-annually, depending on how the department budget is doing that year. That is the only "rotating" we do of our magazines, when we shoot the duty ammo and replace it. We get issued the same three magazines for the service life of the gun. My first issued gun was a Glock 22, which I had for 14 years on the same three magazines, always loaded. The last couple years I've had a Glock 17 with the same 3 magazines, again, always loaded.

The off-duty pistols I carry I keep the magazines loaded for, but not the others.
 

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From mechanical engineering standpoint, there is plenty articles to read about spring fatigue and if one wants to study further then there is even spring force calculators with fatigue compensation.

Generally speaking, steel spring performance is defined by compound Plasticity and Elongation, where the plasticity is the area where the spring returns back to original state, while elongation is the zone where the deformation is permanent and spring has lost its ability to return to its original state.

If we would like to talk about sophisticated springs then we would need to dive into clock world and talk about automatic (mechanical) movements with rotors winding the main spring (by wrist movement) and how ambient temperature may affect the spring tension / release and how different spring material affects to its thermal expansion / contraction and how all this affects to actual spring force.

Sure magazine spring force is not as critical as it is on mechanical watches but I have no scientific proof to say fully loaded (completely compressed spring) doesn't affect spring effective life.

I do not know the magazine spring steel quality and considering fully compressed spring, where it is on its plasticity zone? If it is borderline the plasticity and elongation then it has greater possibilities for spring force fade than say, half loaded magazine where the spring is not at its limits.

A mechanism utilizing spring force should never be designed to have a movement to fully extend nor contract the spring as those are the extremes of spring travel/movement. Reality is not that simple as magazine is limited by its size and how many rounds it should hold and the weight of rounds it should be able to move and then some safety factor on top of all that.
 

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There is a notion that storing loaded magazines weakens the springs, but that is false. Working the springs is what weakens them, so essentially, you swapping them out weekly wears them more than leaving them compressed and put away. It is more important to swap ammo out than working your springs. It's not a bad idea to relieve them every 90 days or so, but leaving them compressed isn't going to wear them out.
Always wondered about that, and I've used handguns for more than a half century. Thanks for the wisdom!
 
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