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Post subject: Myths about magazines
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:00 pm
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There is a myth that keeping your magazines loaded wears out the springs. This is simply not true and the easy explanation is if you take a paper clip and bend it once it is still good to go but if you continue to bend it back and forth sooner or later it will weaken and eventually break. That explanation is not 100% accurate but the relation is constant working of a spring is what wears it out. That constant compression and decompression of the spring is what weakens it.

What I find with AR style mags is they have a slight twist to them when they are new and as they are used and abused they lose that twist and the tension becomes weaker. When removed from the magazine body the weaker spring lays more flat and is longer but the metal is fatigued. The less used or new mags are a bit shorter because of that twist and the metal is not fatigued.

Not all springs wear the same and the two photos are an example of that. The first photo is of (3) 30 round Magpul Pmags. The Pmag on the far left was loaded with 28rds for over two years, the middle Pmag is a range mag and has hundreds of compressions and decompressions, the Pmag on the far right has never been used. You can see the middle mag is the longest but when the magazine is fully assembled it is noticeably weaker but still functions. The magazines on each end are almost the same length and still have that twist, there is almost no difference in the new mag and the one that was loaded for over 2 years.
Now pistol magazines tend to compress as they weaken as the second photo shows. The photo is of (2) Kahr CW9 8round magazines. The one on the left was carried loaded for over two years and used at the range on almost a weekly basis. This magazine has hundreds if not close to 1000 compression and decompressions. The mag on the right is brand new and is approximately 1 inch longer. The used magazine still functions but I have retired to training use only.

What I want you to understand is that magazines are like the tires on your car. They are going to wear out over time and use. An unloaded magazine is worthless so budget for magazines. If they are constantly being used a good rule of thumb is to retire them to training use at certain point. So don't believe the myth, keep those mags loaded!

Stay Safe, Andrew

To whom much is given much is expected

http://apexshooting.com

https://www.facebook.com/ApexShootingTactics
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Post subject: Re: Myths about magazines
Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:17 am
1. Paperclips aren't made of spring steel.
2. Even a spring will deform if you stretch or bend it past it's yield point. Any child that's played with the spring in a retractable pen knows this.
3. If constants flexing (or compressing) and releasing in designed ranges caused springs to fail then the coil springs used in vehicle suspensions would be failing all the time. How many compression/release cycles does one of these springs go through in just one mile? What kills those springs is rust due to water and road salt.

rant off

BTW: I happened to find a bag with several fully loaded 1911 magazines that I had misplaced and forgotten about of over a decade. I took them to the range and all rounds fired and all magazines performed perfectly. This was over 15 years ago and I'm still using those magazines with no reservations.

AlanM
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. - RAH
Four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo - use in that order.
If you aren't part of the solution, then you obviously weren't properly dissolved.
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Post subject: Re: Myths about magazines
Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:31 pm
AlanM wrote:
1. Paperclips aren't made of spring steel.
2. Even a spring will deform if you stretch or bend it past it's yield point. Any child that's played with the spring in a retractable pen knows this.
3. If constants flexing (or compressing) and releasing in designed ranges caused springs to fail then the coil springs used in vehicle suspensions would be failing all the time. How many compression/release cycles does one of these springs go through in just one mile? What kills those springs is rust due to water and road salt.

rant off

BTW: I happened to find a bag with several fully loaded 1911 magazines that I had misplaced and forgotten about of over a decade. I took them to the range and all rounds fired and all magazines performed perfectly. This was over 15 years ago and I'm still using those magazines with no reservations.


I don't really understand the point of the rant...aside from the "spring steel" difference above (which, if you'll note, Andrew was simply using it as an illustration of "work" being the cause of a material's demise), what you've noted, Alan M, is exactly what Andrew wrote about.

Yes, any spring that's been excessively compressed or stretched will suffer damage. Any stresses beyond the yield limit causes failure.

In the context of a modern firearm magazine, this is unlikely, even should the end-user accidentally stuff an extra cartridge into the magazine, as is not uncommonly the case with especially 30-round AR box mags. Nevertheless, we know this, as you cited, to be factually true, and a legitimate concern that should be noted when owners try to "stretch" weakened magazine springs to seek slightly longer service life or, alternatively, to exercise due caution during disassembly/reassembly to insure that the spring is not damaged by improper handling.

As for the vehicle analogy, actually, the repeated cycles of road-use is exactly what causes the springs to "fail" over time - be it simply the loss of desired suspension control - which is the reason why those engaged in high-performance driving will change their springs as well as other components - or something more dramatic. That weather, more specifically, here in NE-Ohio, winter road treatments cause failure of the springs due to corrosion is an external cause, and not intrinsic to the functionality of the springs themslves, which wear from use-cycle. To-wit, why do vehicle valve springs fail?

That these two automotive examples show how tough springs can be made should be noted - exactly as you cited, just how many cycles does that vehicle spring go through in a mile: or even as passengers enter and exit the vehicle while it is stationary? How frequent is valve-spring failure? Each of these items endure extremes in terms of their service life, and they are designed precisely for that very purpose.

We know these as physical truths.

And your personal example is again exactly what Andrew noted:

ApexShootingTactics wrote:
Not all springs wear the same and the two photos are an example of that. The first photo is of (3) 30 round Magpul Pmags. The Pmag on the far left was loaded with 28rds for over two years, the middle Pmag is a range mag and has hundreds of compressions and decompressions, the Pmag on the far right has never been used. You can see the middle mag is the longest but when the magazine is fully assembled it is noticeably weaker but still functions. The magazines on each end are almost the same length and still have that twist, there is almost no difference in the new mag and the one that was loaded for over 2 years.

The photo is of (2) Kahr CW9 8round magazines. The one on the left was carried loaded for over two years and used at the range on almost a weekly basis. This magazine has hundreds if not close to 1000 compression and decompressions. The mag on the right is brand new and is approximately 1 inch longer. The used magazine still functions but I have retired to training use only.

What I want you to understand is that magazines are like the tires on your car. They are going to wear out over time and use. An unloaded magazine is worthless so budget for magazines. If they are constantly being used a good rule of thumb is to retire them to training use at certain point. So don't believe the myth, keep those mags loaded!


It would seem that your well-cycling decade-and-a-half old mags that were stored fully loaded fully supports the mythbusting that Andrew's post was aimed at doing.

Is it a rant in agreement with Andrew? If so, that certainly makes sense.

But if it is a rant against his post, I'm missing the point......

-Allen
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Post subject: Re: Myths about magazines
Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:49 pm
I didn't mean it to come across as a "rant".
I was just spouting off my standard answer to "do magazine springs wear out?"
In agreement? I would say so, yes.

AlanM
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. - RAH
Four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo - use in that order.
If you aren't part of the solution, then you obviously weren't properly dissolved.
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Post subject: Re: Myths about magazines
Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:29 pm
^ Ah, now I get it. :) Damned Intrawebz does not convey "tone" well!!!!!

-Allen
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