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Old 05-21-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Do you keep your AR-15 mags loaded?

I have a GLOCK 17 under the bed and I've never had a problem with the springs in the mag. I either shoot the mag out or switch out the rounds into a new mag every few months.

I have an AR in the safe that is kind of my SHTF gun, and I keep a couple loaded AR mags nearby. They are basic GI mags, 30-round, with Magpul followers.

How would you deal with these, just rotate them out every few months to keep the springs fresh, or is that even necessary?
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:06 PM
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You will not have a problem with spring fatigue. They can be kept loaded indefinitely.

Dave Sinko
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:20 PM
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I second Mr. Sinko. If springs gave out, all our cars would be resting on the suspension stops.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:26 PM
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I tend to download a round or two.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:31 PM
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I use PMAGs, keep them fully loaded, no issues.
When I was in the service I worked as an armorer for a while and we kept scores of mags loaded all the time without any kind of problems.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:09 PM
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Do you guys feel the same way about the springs in other magazines, i.e. Glock, 1911, SIG, etc?

Also, do you feel the PMAGs are superior to USGI mags?

Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by aterry33 View Post
Do you guys feel the same way about the springs in other magazines, i.e. Glock, 1911, SIG, etc?

Also, do you feel the PMAGs are superior to USGI mags?

Thanks.
Springs is springs.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
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Springs is springs.
Not quite. There is a great difference in quality , life and price in spring wire alloys. Good springs , made from good wire and PROPERLY heat-treated will last indefinately. Cheap springs won't. It's that simple.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aterry33 View Post
Do you guys feel the same way about the springs in other magazines, i.e. Glock, 1911, SIG, etc?

Also, do you feel the PMAGs are superior to USGI mags?

Thanks.
I keep mags loaded for all of my duty/carry weapons, never had a problem.

Yes, IMO PMAGs are the best things since sliced bread. My son asked me to send him some the first time he went to Afghanistan because that's what the other guys "in the know" were using. After I looked into them I bought enough to send him what he needed and to equip myself. In fact, I have since sold all of my metal mags and use PMAGs exclusively. They function perfectly in both my carbon fiber Bushmaster AR-15 and my Kel-tec PLR-16.

(Those mags were among the few things he brought home and they went back with him when he returned to A-stan last month. He won't carry anything else.)
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:47 PM
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Not quite. There is a great difference in quality , life and price in spring wire alloys. Good springs , made from good wire and PROPERLY heat-treated will last indefinately. Cheap springs won't. It's that simple.
Guess I've yet to encounter that 'cheap' spring.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:24 PM
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Eh. I keep 90 odd AR mags laying around loaded. Good way to store ammo. Only about 16 of my mags are P mags. I keep an extra 1000rds of M855 on strippers with some spoons tossed in a can next to my pile of mags. Eh. Better safe than sorry.

Anyway, some apparently knowledgeable folks, such as Larry Vickers, say to load your mags only when you need them. There is some information to suggest that USGI type alum. 30 rd mags might have issued with feed lip deformation if left loaded a really long time. I haven't had it happen mind you, but something to consider.

P mags are nice, but I wouldn't get rid of all my other mags just to use them. All eggs in one basket being a bad thing, yada yada.

I also simply keep an M7 bayonet (cheap, stabby bayonet goodness) fixed on all my M4 clones and my Colt A2 semi. All else fails.... I've got that.

You probably want a min. of 14 to 20 loaded mags ready per rifle. Whatever your max combat load is that you're comfy hoofing it with.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:13 AM
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I tend to download a round or two.
Me too. I load two less in G.I. mags.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
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I second Mr. Sinko. If springs gave out, all our cars would be resting on the suspension stops.
You mean you don't loosen the valve springs every evening when you park it? How long do you expect THAT to last?
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:41 PM
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Springs do have a limited life but reality it for most of us that is not a problem. I keep a couple various mags loaded at all times, occasionally shifting them just because. Not to mention, one should rotate ammo on occasion, and that includes some practice.
Springs have improved in quality in the last several decades. I just changed the rear suspension springs on my 1977 project car, they were underload for over 33 years and had lost some height so it does happen.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:25 AM
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There no good unloaded
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:40 PM
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20 in 25 round mags,loaded till i need them[hope i never do!].
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:59 PM
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I keep eight loaded 30rd mags with the rifle, in addition to a 20rd mag inserted.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:42 PM
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An NRA Instructor who had been a mechanical engineer came up with an article on springs. Constant compression isn't want kills a spring, it is being "worked". If you have just a few magazines and are constantly loading and unloading them the springs have a "cycle life" that is how many times they can be compressed and uncompressed and still adequately function. Other causes of spring failure are rust and physical damage.

In metal AR magazines the reason one should keep 1-2 rounds down from the top as in 28 rounds in a 30 rounder, isn't for the good of the spring, it is the ability to reload the weapon when the bolt is forward. When most 30 round magazines are topped off there is almost no further spring compression as the follower is bottomed out. Try a speed tactical reload when the bolt is still forward and many times it is almost impossible to seat the magazine. This happened to several students in my last basic tactical rifle class who didn't listen and topped off all their mags. They would reload, fire a shot and then get a "click" as the mag had either fallen out of the gun or had dropped down just far enough that the round didn't strip off and into the chamber.

If you count out 30 rounds into a PMag you will find that they will often take an "extra" for a total of 31...leave it loaded like this with almost no compression and you end up with the same condition as fully loaded metal magazine.

My favorite magazine is the CProducts 20 round stainless steel magazine.

Bob
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:24 AM
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GI mags I keep loaded to 28 rounds, P Mags I keep at 30 rounds.

My duty rifle mags stay constantly loaded, never had an issue with this.

The P Mags are the best AR magazine yet made, ever.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:23 PM
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I claim no special expertise. The state of spring metalurgy is pretty good. PMAGs have a cover which takes the tension off the lips and seals the mag from dirt. IMO, it's the best currently available and meant to be kept loaded. A Glock rep told me that he keeps his mags loaded for months at a time before he rests them. As someone else pointed out, an unloaded mag is not much use. I keep some of my Sig, AK, and AR mags loaded and I sleep better.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:44 PM
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I agree with South Park and keep a couple of P-mags loaded. I have had some cheap mags in the past that developed feeding problems after being left fully loaded for about 6 months, but have had no issues with good quality magazines.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:52 AM
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I have a DSA 58 carbine .308 cal loaded with a full 20 round magazine in my safe. It was in there for a year and I took it to the range to cycle my ammo. I never had a problem expending the ammo and all 20 rounds fired. The springs do not weaken if you have a quality mag. The same with my semi-autos. I load my Springfield XD with the full 12 rounds and one in the chamber and never had a problem. Use the magazine to its full capacity.
Nick
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