Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    Hi - If a magazine for a semi-auto is left loaded to capacity, how long does it take for the constant tension to wear down the springs? Should a magazine be replaced when it reaches as certain age as a preventive maintenance measure? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    I dont think they ever do. I have mags loaded for 15-20 years and they still function perfectly.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    The industry says mags only lose tension from usage not storeage. And that takes many years to occur.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    Quote Originally Posted by IamOzzy View Post
    Hi - If a magazine for a semi-auto is left loaded to capacity, how long does it take for the constant tension to wear down the springs? Should a magazine be replaced when it reaches as certain age as a preventive maintenance measure? Thanks in advance.
    Compression and rebound fatigues springs not just compression.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogey1 View Post
    I dont think they ever do. I have mags loaded for 15-20 years and they still function perfectly.
    ^ This

    Don't focus so much on age as use. If you have a magazine that's been loaded and stored somewhere for a decade it will likely function better than a magazine that you've had for a couple years that's been loaded and unloaded many times. Springs lose tension through the process of being compressed and allowed to expand, and compressed and expand, and compressed and expand (you get the idea).

    In a similar vein, ammo properly stored will last for decades, but ammo that is repeatedly chambered and ejected can cause the bullet to seat deeper into the case, leading to an over-pressure round.

    Most of the people I know have some magazines they store or for carry, and others for the range. The magazines for carrying or for storage are tested for functionality, then loaded and put away or loaded and used in carrying the firearm. Range magazines are just that, the magazines that will regularly be dropped on concrete or the ground, not cleaned as frequently, and just generally beat up during use.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    Quote Originally Posted by IamOzzy View Post
    Hi - If a magazine for a semi-auto is left loaded to capacity, how long does it take for the constant tension to wear down the springs? Should a magazine be replaced when it reaches as certain age as a preventive maintenance measure? Thanks in advance.
    Constant tension doesn't wear it down. They weaken from cyclic stress.
    Life has a melody.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When Do Magazine Springs Lose Tension?

    most "coil" spring mags will last a good while left loaded. but flat wound springs (like in a tape measure or pull starter) dont always fair well, extended 10/22 mags seem to fail after being loaded extended periods.

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