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View Full Version : Long-term loaded magazines? Good/Bad?



dashaas
08-05-2010, 09:17 PM
I thought this question was resolved a long time ago, in that keeping magazines loaded for months or longer was a bad idea because the spring would weaken. Then I've recently heard that it's not the long-term storage that weakens the spring but the seemingly more obvious answer that it's repetitive use of the magazine.

NOW, I'm hearing that in fact it is long-term fully-loaded magazines that will weaken the spring. Is there any documented consensus on this or is it just personal opinion? BTW, we're talking AK-47 mags here.

MattCFII
08-05-2010, 10:16 PM
For AK mags I would tend to say not that big of deal.

Here's Wolff's take:
"5. How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.

Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.

More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.

In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably."

Overall I think the good springs used in most AK mags coupled with the longer follower that prevents over compression (like what can happen in 1911 7 rounders juryrigged to 8) I have no problem leaving mine loaded.

dashaas
08-05-2010, 10:42 PM
[quote=Don Robison;1000094]I'm not aware of any long term scientific mags that I had left loaded for three years; they shot fine with no issues.

Good enough for me. I'm going with this at least until I discover a good reason to think otherwise. Thanks.

weenis
08-06-2010, 07:50 AM
Springs cannot lose tension or "springiness" or whatever you want to call it, by sitting dormant. Repeated cyclic action of springs is what makes a spring weaken, hence, replacing recoil spring every X,000 rounds.

If the theory on springs weakening in loaded mags were applied to other springs, don't you think the other springs in your gun would also relax? Your recoil spring is in constant tension, as is mag release, hammer, etc.

And, if you doubt what I'm saying, call up a mechanical engineer or an engineering professor.


For AK mags I would tend to say not that big of deal.

Here's Wolff's take:
"5. How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting."


... and, Wolff is wrong.

ericb
08-06-2010, 09:41 AM
Springs cannot lose tension or "springiness" or whatever you want to call it, by sitting dormant. Repeated cyclic action of springs is what makes a spring weaken, hence, replacing recoil spring every X,000 rounds.

If the theory on springs weakening in loaded mags were applied to other springs, don't you think the other springs in your gun would also relax? Your recoil spring is in constant tension, as is mag release, hammer, etc.

And, if you doubt what I'm saying, call up a mechanical engineer or an engineering professor.



... and, Wolff is wrong.

wrong for his own benefit, the more springs you replace and buy from him, the more money he makes