Loaded Magazine Shelf Life

Discussion in '1911 Gear' started by clearshot7, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. clearshot7

    clearshot7 New Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    I like to keep 2 or 3 magazines (8 round) loaded with JHP in the unfortunate event that I need them. My question is how long can you keep a high quality mag (eg. Combat Wilson) loaded before it may become unreliable? If this question has been answered previously, I apologize. Thanks! Also, I was told by a clerk in a gun store that it's better to load only 7 rounds in an 8 round mag to help keep the spring strong. Is this true?
  2. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    Forever.. I don't think the "one less" method helps longevity, however it helps some with reliability.. Ron

  3. DAT85

    DAT85 BIG OL' BALD HAID ! Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    I'm with Ron on this one.

    I shot a 7 rd 1911 mag that was loaded in the early sixties about a month ago.
    Then I reloaded it and shot another 7 through it with no issues.(This was a Colt marked magazine that came from an estate of a man that was in his eighties when he passed,his wife said he hadn't gone shooting in 25-35 yrs)

    I believe the issue with mag spring life is more related to the amount of USE (loading and unloading) than actual compression of the spring.

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  4. dilespla

    dilespla Never made it to step 12 Supporting Addict

    Oct 12, 2011
    I've read this debate from all angles and the best to my knowledge (and what sounds scientifically/metallurgical correct), shooting is what wears them out. Springs that are used in magazines don't hold the shape under compression, or have a "memory" effect unless they are stretched (they weren't designed for that direction of movement, some springs are, but not in magazines). The actual working of the spring is what wears them out and makes them lose their 'spring.' So, leave them loaded, it won't hurt anything.
  5. John

    John Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Oct 7, 2011
    Keeping your magazines loaded could, hypothetically, spread the feed lips over time. But I wouldn't worry about it. Keep some mags loaded, cycle through on occasion if it makes you feel better.

    R0CKETMAN NRA member Supporting Addict

    Dec 24, 2011
    "Magazines should be viewed as disposable" Hilton Yam

    That said I replace all springs annually.
  7. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    I had a couple in my possession about 3 years ago that had been loaded in Normandy during the invasion in WWII...they were still loaded...and very dirty I might add. We unloaded them, cleaned them, loaded them with fresh ammo and shot them several times with no problems...they had been loaded and in a safe for over 60 years. Not bad if you ask me...
  8. clearshot7

    clearshot7 New Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Thanks all - I appreciate the quick response, and like the consensus!
  9. 50GI-Jess

    50GI-Jess Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    As DAT 85 said !
    It's usage not storage that will wear a spring.
  10. EdS

    EdS Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    Think of it this way.... the spring, outside of the magazine, is almost twice as long as the mag body. Even unloaded, the spring is compressed inside the body. If simple compression within the working limits of the spring caused them to weaken... even unloaded mags would go bad over time.

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