Many of us don’t keep magazines loaded for very long, since we’re going to the range and shooting on a regular basis. Sometimes, though, we’ll store fully loaded magazines in a safe or other areas in the house.
The question on many people’s mind; Will the spring of the magazine weaken over time if I keep the magazine loaded?
The answer may surprise you.
What Weakens, And Doesn’t Weaken, A Magazine Spring
Modern magazine springs are manufactured to maintain their function under stress. In other words, they’re meant to be fully compressed when the magazine is fully loaded. If you were to load a brand new magazine to it’s capacity and let it sit in that condition for years, it should be absolutely fine.
If course, there are outside elements that could play into the longevity of the spring. Corrosion, debris, moisture to name a few. With these factors, the lifespan and/or intended function of a spring is always up in the air. But if kept away from these elements, it’s function shouldn’t change all that much.
On the other hand, loading and unloading a magazine will degrade the spring’s usefulness over time. There is no real rule of thumb when it comes to this, so it’s always best to maintain good practices with your magazine springs just as you would your firearm.
A modern magazine should be able to handle tens of thousands of cycles, but with anything, your mileage may vary.
In reality, any sufficient movement of a spring will weaken it to a certain degree. This is unavoidable, and it’s why we should be checking it’s function to ensure that it’s working to our standards and expectations.
Maintenance Is Always Key
Discussing this along side concealed carry, your magazine spring is part of your equipment. Do you regularly make sure that your firearm is functioning properly? How about your holster? If you answer yes to these questions, you’re doing it right. The same should hold true for your magazines and their springs.
Let’s say you have two magazines for your concealed carry firearm. If you bring one of those magazines to the range on a regular basis, but not the other, it may be time to add both magazines into the mix. Some will carry a spare and simply leave it loaded all the time, without cycling rounds through it at the range. Not only does this hinder the ability to make sure that the spring is functioning properly, but it also hinders your ability to make sure that the magazine as a whole is working properly with your firearm.
I have had a few occasions where a certain magazine didn’t want to work with certain ammo in a gun. Had that been a spare magazine that I actually needed to use in a self-defense situation, I’d have some hefty problems.
If you keep loaded magazines in your safe, you should be good to go. If you keep unloaded magazines in your safe, you should be good to go. Just remember to cycle through different magazines that you plan to use for self-defense, simply to be sure that everything is working as it should. You don’t want to be caught with a severely weakened spring, or a broken one, should you have to use those bullets.
To answer the initial question; Will Your Magazine Spring Weaken If Kept Loaded For Long Periods Of Time?
Probably not substantially.
The full takeaway; If the magazine in question is one that could ever be used in a self-defense situation, it’s best to keep that magazine in a regular rotation to ensure that it’s still functioning properly.