Magazine Spring life span?


cam9910

New member
For any of your carry pistols where the magazine is kept full almost always, how often do you need to replace the spring? Obviously I'd rather not wait until I start having failures, but dont want to just change for the sake of changing.

I guess it could depend on the make, but is there a general rule to go by? Thanks
 

camiller

New member
Springs wear out by the cycle of compressing and releasing tension. The more you use it the more frequently you will need to replace. That said, unless you shoot thousands of rounds a month, the spring will last a long time. If you just have a bunch of magazines stored full, the spring would probably last a hundred years.
 

Nightmare45

NRA LIFE MEMBER
2nd, had my dad's old 45 he had it 50 years, never fired it stored in in bedroom, when he passe I took it to range fired 200 rounds no prob.
 

eaccents

New member
lifespan of springs

Springs wear out by the cycle of compressing and releasing tension. The more you use it the more frequently you will need to replace. That said, unless you shoot thousands of rounds a month, the spring will last a long time. If you just have a bunch of magazines stored full, the spring would probably last a hundred years.

camiller is right.
 

Iteach4U

New member
Cam,

A good rule of thumb is that you should never store your magazines loaded to capacity. Some will tell you this is bunk, but I have witnessed the spring-memory issue on multiple firearms from multiple manufacturers. It's best to store them with 1-3 rounds short of full capacity, carrying will be your exception obviously.

I always buy extra magazines and I have exercised the habit of rotating those magazines out once a week. This helps relax those mag springs so they aren't constantly wanting to release that stored up energy from being loaded. Since magazines don't compress in a uniform fashion, it's easy for the springs to develop weak points. I don't have an answer as to why in the physics, but it happens.

My military issue Beretta 92FS mags, brand new when we got them, lasted about 2 weeks fully loaded then went to crap immediately. The Italian magazines for the same pistol worked flawlessly for 10 months rotating on a 2-week basis. I've had Glock 30 magazine springs go bad without a reason as to why, Glock took care of me. The same goes for my M-16/AR mags, I rotated the loaded ones out weekly when I worked with them.

CZ magazines, same issue after 2 weeks without rotation. Para Ordnance LDA mags, same issue after just 3 days. Sig Sauer mags, same issue but those took 6 weeks fully loaded stored in one heck of a humid location (not mine either). Ruger 22 magazines have been the worst for me, don't store those loaded at all due to their unpredictability on spring-memory; some will have no issues and some will fail within just a few days, it's boggled me for a while that we had this happen on brand new mags.
 

Tucker's Mom

New member
Cam,

A good rule of thumb is that you should never store your magazines loaded to capacity. Some will tell you this is bunk, but I have witnessed the spring-memory issue on multiple firearms from multiple manufacturers. It's best to store them with 1-3 rounds short of full capacity, carrying will be your exception obviously.

I always buy extra magazines and I have exercised the habit of rotating those magazines out once a week. This helps relax those mag springs so they aren't constantly wanting to release that stored up energy from being loaded. Since magazines don't compress in a uniform fashion, it's easy for the springs to develop weak points. I don't have an answer as to why in the physics, but it happens.

My military issue Beretta 92FS mags, brand new when we got them, lasted about 2 weeks fully loaded then went to crap immediately. The Italian magazines for the same pistol worked flawlessly for 10 months rotating on a 2-week basis. I've had Glock 30 magazine springs go bad without a reason as to why, Glock took care of me. The same goes for my M-16/AR mags, I rotated the loaded ones out weekly when I worked with them.

CZ magazines, same issue after 2 weeks without rotation. Para Ordnance LDA mags, same issue after just 3 days. Sig Sauer mags, same issue but those took 6 weeks fully loaded stored in one heck of a humid location (not mine either). Ruger 22 magazines have been the worst for me, don't store those loaded at all due to their unpredictability on spring-memory; some will have no issues and some will fail within just a few days, it's boggled me for a while that we had this happen on brand new mags.
Hmmm...just thinking that if I check all the handguns and rifles in the house and have to rotate 'em bullets religiously, I might spend two weeks doing it and then it is time to rotate them again...:wacko:Maybe I should just ask my hubby to empty them all and just buy some more magazines for the ones that we carry...
 

JimPage

New member
I'm 75 yrs old, have been with guns and gunners all my life including a 20 yr tour in the military. I have never seen a magazine spring worn out from being loaded. I have seen some rusted through from neglect or fouled with dirt and foreign objects, but never one worn out from compression. It's possible to happen from repeated compression/decompression, but I seriously doubt any normal user here needs to worry.
 

BlueMR2

New member
As far as springs go, there's a few common reasons they fail. Bad material is obviously one. If the spring wire is not appropriate, it may eventually fail. Even if the material is correct, it can fail due to a poor stress relieving process. Another is over compression. Got a magazine designed to hold 15, but you find that if you push hard enough that you can stuff another one in there (or you fail, but tried really hard)... Another failure cause is due to cycle count. There's only so many cycles that they can go before performance drops off (it's usually a pretty big number though). A properly engineered and manufactured spring should not fail, or take a set, from being in the compressed state for extended periods of time. If it does, there was something wrong with it. If it fails from being cycled through the whole range of compression all the time, well, that's just the nature of the beast. :)
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
Some will tell you this is bunk,

There's a reason for that

CZ magazines, same issue after 2 weeks without rotation.

Interesting, I have 3 CZs (82-2075RAMI-75B) that have been loaded damn near continously for 3 years that have yet to malfunction related to the magazines. ( The RAMI did have some feed issue but that was a known factory issue that was corrected by a fluff and buff)
 

Iteach4U

New member
I'm 75 yrs old, have been with guns and gunners all my life including a 20 yr tour in the military. I have never seen a magazine spring worn out from being loaded. I have seen some rusted through from neglect or fouled with dirt and foreign objects, but never one worn out from compression. It's possible to happen from repeated compression/decompression, but I seriously doubt any normal user here needs to worry.

And this is why some will claim it's totally a myth. One never knows who will experience it or on what firearm(s). I'm not claiming they are worn out, I'm saying they can/may fail and there's a big difference. Normal use shouldn't be an issue because normal use isn't being stored loaded to capacity for extended periods of time. Some might log thousands of rounds and never experience this, some might log just a couple hundred and experience it. Look at it this way:

When a spring is held out of shape over a period of time that spring will eventually begin to lose its shape and will cease to function as initially intended by that particluar design. It takes on the shape of the type and placement of the tension it is placed under, an example would be taking a coiled spring and trying to hold it out in a straight line...it will eventually try to follow the tension to conform to a straight line as much as possible thus deforming the original shape and functionality of the spring. This should hold true for both positive and negative pressure, uncoiling being the negative pressure.

If that holds true, and physics says it should, then a magazine spring under compression with uneven compression points throughout should display weak points and failures over time. If this were not true then springs would ever need replaced and we all know they do from time to time. The million-dollar question is under what circumstances and when will this occur, clearly there is no answer that can be scientifically tested. It could just wind up being a bad batch of metal that day. 1911 shooters can attest that they have had to stretch their mag springs from time to time, it's not a permanent fix but it gets the job done at that moment.

Isn't it better to have the extra mags in the event of a failure so you can keep on shooting? Folks, this is no different than carrying just 1 magazine for your self-defense firearm. If that mag fails you're in trouble. None of us wants to experience a magazine failure at a critical juncture and Murphy's Law says that's when it is likely to happen.


Treo, my CZ mags that failed were CZ-75 magazines that may have been NIB older CZ-75 mags. They were not the newer SP-01 or P-01 magazines. Those mags I had no problems with and carried them to capacity for well over a month before my extras came in. I also experienced a similar problem in a Tanfoglio 45 mag recently becuase I forgot to unload the mags after a pistol match like a dummy, shame on me.
 

gunnerbob

PEW Professional
I've got an old Llama .380 baby 1911 made in the 80s... with some exceptions by the previous owners(dad & grandfather) the original mag has been loaded to capacity almost this whole time. About 1000 rounds have been fired with the original mag. The barrel is actually in worse shape than the mag... and in need of replacing in about 500 more rounds(ish).

Just a story I thought I'd post about mag life. Take from it what you will.
 

SFC

New member
Cam said it correctly

I will shoot about 2000 rounds of 9 mm a month, but.... once I finish at the range I will clean my magazines like I do my firearm. My same magazine are used for competitions and self defense, the only two I do keep completely loaded (18 rounds) are for home/self defense and that may change if I decide on a Mossberg 18.5" barrel 12 ga. The remaining magazines I usually will load them the day before I shoot and I will run 500 rounds once a week at the range, most competitions I will shoot about 250 rounds of ammo, 200 for the match and 50 for practice. My magazines are still is good shape, although by paying attention noticing when you are running a filled capacity magazine and about 3/4 of the way down you find the firearm is not chambering the bullet correctly it is more than likely to replace the spring.
 

LPC1625

New member
The main thing that is hardest on the springs is during practice and whatnot when the gun is getting hot. Cycles of hot and cold are the worst enemy of a spring. Anything else is a manufacturer's defect or user neglect or abuse.
 

tnhawk

New member
Instead of replacing springs in working magazines, I'd buy additional magazines. In almost 40 years of shooting firearms, I haven't seen a magazine spring failure.
 

kingbooker

New member
Stretch

Take the spring out and stretch it out. We did this to our M4 mags and it works. My Ruger P345 that I've had for 10yrs and my mags stay loaded with no spring issues. Good luck
 

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