Spring Wear

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by ALF, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. ALF

    ALF New Member

    6
    0
    A question for our Gunsmiths / Metallurgists.

    Someone once told me that keeping a spring compressed doesn't wear out a spring, that it's the cycling from compressed to uncompressed that does.

    If that's true is there any reason not to store magazines fully loaded? And wouldn't unloading an unused clip upon return from the range, and reloading it before the next trip to the range just wear out the spring that much faster?

    ALF
     
  2. FrontierTCB

    FrontierTCB Member

    992
    23
    You are correct. No reason to store them unloaded for the springs sake.
     

  3. Glockinator19

    Glockinator19 Certified Glock Armorer

    Store them loaded.. Wont hurt at all. Even loading and unloading them will wear it out faster, but your talking years and years before it'll even need replacing. My dad has glock 19 mags that are probably 10 years old with heavy use and they're still perfectly functioning
     
  4. This is a picture of a Glock 22 magazine that had been fully loaded for 4 months. The spring on the right is the original factory spring. The one on the left is a new spring purchased from Glock. As a LE Armorer, I come across this issue regularly. On my personal defense Glock I make it appoint to unload the mag fully and load when I carry. I've done this for years now and have not had any problems.
    mag spring wear.jpg
     
  5. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

    2,103
    3,754
    Keeping a magazine constantly loaded does have an effect, but doesn’t hurt it (as long as it was engineered and manufactured properly).

    Cycling thru loaded/empty/loaded/empty does have an effect, but doesn’t hurt it (as long as it was engineered and manufactured properly).

    I know of one instance (an acquaintance of mine, not me) where an AR magazine spring finally ‘let go’ suddenly and just died/broke in place while shooting. It was a very old GI aluminum 30-rounder and I don’t know if it had been cycled a hundred times or ten thousand times. But it’s the only one I’ve personally heard of in 40+ years of shooting.

    There are those who claim that leaving a magazine constantly fully loaded “has absolutely no effect”. They’re wrong. If it’s well made, it has no detrimental effect, but definitely has an effect. To test this, take two new glock magazines and load them fully. Then immediately unload one of them, leaving one empty and one loaded. A month or two later, unload the second one and reload both of them. Even though they've both only had one cycle of loading & unloading, the one that was left loaded will be substantially easier to reload because the spring has taken somewhat of a ‘set’ while sitting loaded. So it demonstrably had an effect, but it didn’t hurt anything; which to me is the only relevant factor.

    I haven't shot as many rounds in my life as some here; probably 350-400k all told, but I've never had a magazine fail due to spring fatigue. Personally I leave at least some magazines loaded for most of my guns, and have never had an issue.
     
    Danzig and rbbeers like this.
  6. rbbeers

    rbbeers Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    3,682
    4,622
    All new springs do... not just magazine springs :)

    Correct... springs are designed considering the 'set'. :D

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
    Danzig and Southlake like this.
  7. Danzig

    Danzig I do hood rat sh%t! Supporter

    33,122
    21,383
    Texas
    My duty Glock 21 started to have feeding issues after essentially being fully loaded for over 5 years, with random range sessions in between. I bought new springs and didn’t have issues afterwards.
     
  8. rbbeers

    rbbeers Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    3,682
    4,622
    Yep! :)

    From...

    loaded mags, post #16
    https://www.glockforum.com/threads/loaded-mags.51192/#post-1330522

    The above procedure 'sets' the spring, slightly reducing its initial length and 'stiffness' (load force).

    (Please refer to Compression Spring Set in the article Compression Spring: Stress and Spring Set, which may be found here... http://springipedia.com/compression-stress-spring.asp)

    Also, as the article states, cycling the spring wears it out... eventually.
    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  9. stokes

    stokes Active Member

    My 19 mags were used extensively for over 20 yrs with no problem.I have 6 mags.Since I retired 7 yrs ago most of them have sat fully loaded and still no problem.
     
  10. rbbeers

    rbbeers Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    3,682
    4,622
    In my experience, 'overloading' the magazine is the #1 destroyer of the magazine spring.

    To me, the spring on the right looks like it's been 'crushed'... that is, the last round was 'crammed' into the magazine... 'forcing' it to fit.

    Furthermore, for the pistol and magazine to function properly, there must be a little bit of 'play' in the spring such that the stack can be pushed down about 3/16" (shown below).

    Fully loaded magazine 1a.jpg

    Otherwise, in addition to damaging the magazine spring, the 'jammed' magazine forces the slide 'up', putting undue pressure on the slide rails (which can cause malfunctions), and the slide forces the magazine down, putting undue pressure on the magazine catch (which can damage the catch and cause 'unintentional' magazine releases).

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
    mattm and Danzig like this.
  11. j102

    j102 Well-Known Member

    3,836
    863
    Would the idea of loading the magazine with -1 round help extend the life of the spring?
     
    mattm likes this.
  12. rbbeers

    rbbeers Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    3,682
    4,622
    In my opinion, not noticeably... unless -1 round was required to prevent 'overloading' the magazine.

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  13. j102

    j102 Well-Known Member

    3,836
    863
    Thanks. I have always been intrigued by that idea.
    I guess Glock builds its magazines considering the spring set you guys mentioned, because I have kept mine fully loaded for years without any issues.
     
  14. Lucian_253

    Lucian_253 Well-Known Member Supporter

    I don’t own an unloaded Glock mag..well except my gen.2 17 mag that is cracked, lol!
     
    mattm likes this.
  15. j102

    j102 Well-Known Member

    3,836
    863
    lol. I keep several loaded, but not all of them.
     
  16. Olga17

    Olga17 C19 sounds like G19 Supporter

    2,040
    1,817
    All of my mags that are stored are loaded to capacity -2 rounds.
    There are no empty mags anywhere for any firearm.

    My G26 mags with the +2 extension still only have 8 rounds contained within.
    There are 33 round mags loaded to a 31 count stored around the compound.
     
    mattm likes this.
  17. Lucian_253

    Lucian_253 Well-Known Member Supporter

    IMG_3902.jpg

    Tactical Spring Wear...oh you meant magazines...
     
    mattm, j102 and Danzig like this.
  18. Danzig

    Danzig I do hood rat sh%t! Supporter

    33,122
    21,383
    Texas
    I was thinking same thing. Us fashion folks.:rolleyes:
     
    mattm and j102 like this.
  19. mattm

    mattm last one, I promise Supporter

    2,472
    4,040
    Similar to a few, I load -1 in all my mags, except for the 4 AR mags still in the bag. CT, land of the 10 round magazine, but still manage to have 1620 rounds loaded, from .22lr to .308 win..seeing that antifa coming to rural America meme makes me smile.
     
    Danzig, Lucian_253 and Olga17 like this.