View Full Version : Magazines: how-to, care & feeding, refinishing, et al

January 28, 2001, 11:16
Originally posted by DJ:

Ted, this has probably been discussed to death, but....Can you give us.....the proper methods of magazine maintenance and care?. Thanks
Like any box magazine, don't stand down-range when you disassemble. There's enough stored energy to loosen teeth and puncture important stuff.

- Remove the floorplate carefully. The sub-floorplate (depending on your magazine), attached to the spring, will extend.
- Remove the spring. Separate the spring, follower, and sub-floorplate.
- Immerse EVERYTHING in carburetor cleaner, or Simple Green. I prefer the petroleum cleaner because it penetrates the stiffeners of the body internals (again, depending on your magazines). Let stand for as long as you like.
- Get a BIG bottle brush and thoroughly clean the magazine body interior.
- Inspect/clean the internals. IF you like, use cleaner-soaked pipe cleaners inside the ribs. Polish the follower lightly- DO NOT remove metal.
- Ensure the spring is rust-free. Use appropriate brushes (old toothbrush is fine) to clean the floorplate, sub-floorplate.
- Spray w/ Brake Cleaner to dry. Let stand.
- Lightly buff the exterior w/ a 3-M pad (green or red). Use long strokes parallel to the long axis of the body. Painted exteriors WILL mar. IF you have tightly adhering rust, bead blasting works. Either process will eventually require a refinish.
- Spray the body interior w/ a moly-based dry film lubricant. DO NOT use normal lubricants on the internals, as they will contaminate MOST ammunition primers.
- Reassemble, and function check.
- Wipe the exterior down LIGHTLY w/ a lubricant, and remove ALL the excess.

IF you store empty, avoid sealed containers, or use LOTS of dessicant. Lubricant is OK for long-term unloaded storage.

Loaded MilSpec magazines will function fine after years of storage.

Before you bet your @$$ on a magazine, give it a good workout at the range.

There are different ways to clean; this is what I do w/ EVERY surplus magazine I buy. Adapt to suit your needs.

- Don't ding your magazine feed lips. They are the CRITICAL part of the magazine assembly.

- When 'polsihing' feed lips, removing too much metal can shave or cut your brass.

- A bad follower is almost as bad as a bad set of magazine lips.

- Straighten magazine bodies carefully.

Magazines are an integral part of your FAL. Take as much care of them as you do the rest of the system. FAL magazines are sturdy and reliable, as delivered. DOn't get creative; you'll have the same problems Armalite did w/ their .308 Ar-10.

(As more info is requested, I'll revise and repost this thread)
1*.....Train Like You Fight: Second Place is NOT an Option.

E.M. (Ted) Dannemiller II

[This message has been edited by EMDII (edited January 28, 2001).]

March 22, 2002, 12:36
can anyone give me some advice on what i need to refinish some inch mags.

March 22, 2002, 14:13
You may want to check out this thread for a start:
Magazine Refinishing (http://www.falfiles.com/cgi-bin/forums/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=003217)

The "Search" link near the top of the page should yield a wealth of information. I suggest it. It's a fairly popular subject.

Burt Gummer
May 24, 2002, 15:46
"- Spray the body interior w/ a moly-based dry film lubricant. DO NOT use normal lubricants on the internals, as they will contaminate MOST ammunition primers."

Please give example of a moly-based dry film lubricant.

I used a light coat of BreakFree for mine.

I think it will be okay.

My mags are shooters, not safe babies.

May 25, 2002, 08:12
Originally posted by Burt Gummer
Please give example of a moly-based dry film lubricant.

I used a light coat of BreakFree for mine. I think it will be okay.

My mags are shooters, not safe babies.

Molybdenum di-sulfide is probably the most frequently used chemical in dry-film lubrication. It is sold under a variety of trade names. It is part of the coating applied to USGI M16 magazine bodies. A USGI does not routinely perform any lubrication of his/her magazines as a result.

The problem w/ wet lubes is that they also attract dirt. For 'shooters', they also attract small particles that are the byproduct of firing a cartridge in small arms. These can eventually build up inside the body, and on the follower, and MAY impede complete reliability.

I advocate a good wet lube for long-term storage of magazines. Otherwise, remove all excess oil/film, and if possible use a dry-film as the lubricant. Crawling around on my belly like a snake still allows dirt and bugs in my USGI mag pouches. These will eventulally find their way into/onto your magazines and ammunition. The consequences are not good for real-world tactical applications. For weekend shooters (as I now am), a little wet-lube is OK, so long as it doesn't contaminate and compromise your primers.

Each of us has tricks and favorite things. If they work under the conditions in which you expect to use them, then you have no problem. But if you haven't trained in the same stress and adverse conditions under which you might be forced to use them, then you need to change your training regime.

See my signature line. Ask me how I know.

Burt Gummer
May 27, 2002, 16:01
I would like to ask how you know. I have no formal military training, and real life experiences have things that one cannot study in manuals.

I would guess that Perma-Slik G is a dry lube.

Maybe I am too paranoid about steel mags. I don't think they'd just start to rust, even here in Louisiana.

But my world of experience is with the AR-15 family of small arms.

I am interested in anything elese you'd like to add.

Thanks again.


May 28, 2002, 08:03
Perma-Silk is molybdenum di-sulfide:

See here for a MSDS, look at Ingredient 5 (http://hp9.wr.disa.mil:8001/msds/owa/web_msds.display?imsdsnr=1133)

No doubt, real life is a serious and harsh task-master. I have over 30 years combined experiences w/ military weapons in various shades and sizes. I have trained/served in every environment except Antarctic and Arctic areas. I have done ECW to EHW, unreadable to 100% humidity. I've had to learn some harsh wepaons' care lessons, too.

LA is probably a good place to learn about the effects of moisture on steel.

Don't discount your experience caring for magazines. I still recommend minimal lube, if any at all, on magazine internals. IF you put ANY oil/liquid-based lube inside, you MUST remove the excess before you go out for a round of "You bet your @$$ on your magazines". Failing to do so WILL eventually cause you problems according to the precepts of Murphy's Laws of Combat.

One of which reads:

"Things will invariably go wrong at the worst possible moment".

PS- I used USGI M16 magazines since 1970. Except for physical damage, the only fauilures I've had came from too much oil, and immersion in mud, not water.