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.
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:
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......