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Old February 10, 2018, 17:01   #1
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Loaded AUG magazines

What is the longest anyone has had AUG mags loaded for......and they still work.
Just curious. Me and a friend took out his AR and some mags which have been loaded fully for 26 years. They all worked fine. Last round bolt hold open did not work on all but all the rounds cycled.
Wondering how well the Stery mags do.
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Old February 13, 2018, 09:03   #2
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I always think of this problem as the same as springs on a car. How much do they settle over the life of a car. Loaded all the time but not much change, and most of that is from driving not sitting.
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Old February 14, 2018, 15:55   #3
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it's the cycling of the springs that wears them down
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Old February 15, 2018, 09:42   #4
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Agree with the above. Mags kept loaded or unloaded doesn't affect the spring, using the mags (shooting and reloading) will wear the springs out. Have several different mags (both rifle and pistol) that I've had loaded for years (not even close to 26 years though, wow!) and all work fine when time to shoot. Haven't had any problems...

Curious though, that some of the BHO wouldn't work and some would. Was this found from a certain type of mag (PMAG, GI, etc)? Little trivia for sure!

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Old February 15, 2018, 13:57   #5
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Temperature may play a part. G-36 magazines left loaded in a warm place swell. AK-74 magazines don't have this problem and I would believe that the ribbed structure of the AUG magazines help.
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Old February 15, 2018, 17:21   #6
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All of the AR mags we used were USGI. Not sure what company except some were Colt. I don't think P mags existed when they were loaded.
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Old February 20, 2018, 18:09   #7
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I've always read about 'cycles' causing spring fatigue and not continued compression.
BUT,,,I know every single loaded M1 carbine and M14 mag I inherited from my uncle, had ruined shot springs.
How long he had them loaded and how much use they had prior, I have no clue, but some looked damn near NOS otherwise.
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Old February 24, 2018, 10:44   #8
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I carried an AUG-P for 18 years as a U.S. Customs Special Agent. I retired in 2005, and bought a AUG A3 in 2011. In 2012, I was going through some old gear, and I found two of my issued magazines that had been loaded for I don't know how long. I took them to the range and performed flawlessly.
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Old March 20, 2018, 14:34   #9
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Springs are a very complex subject for such a simple object. First we have kind of three general classifications; compression, extension and linear. Within each type we have linear rate, progressive rate and dual rate springs. Some springs are formed while others are machined or molded based on application, often plastic or odd materials for use in corrosive environment are molded. We can also add Belleville springs but not seen them used in magazines, a cupped or domed washer that exerts a force between head of fastener and what its holding is called a Belleville washer but is actually a spring. Another common item we don't generally look at in same manner but is still classified as a spring is a spring clip.

The force taken to compress or extend a spring is usually derived using Hooke's Law F=kx where F is the force, k is the spring’s stiffness (a constant), and x is the distance. The spring constant (k) is a function of the material’s properties, coil thickness, and the number of turns in the coil. Hooke’s law holds for most solid bodies, as long as the forces are small enough and large deformations do not occur. While we use a relatively simple formula to measure the force of a spring, as it ages (based on stored compressed or unloaded) and how many cycles it has been through its ability to exert force definitely changes. The design of a spring and material it is made from is very important in its ability to sit under a constant load or recover from many repetitive cycles. Due to having buffer springs, recoil and magazine springs all having same failure issue I use no multi-strand wrap wire springs in guns now.

Have recently (past couple of years) started switching to "flat wire" springs made from chrome silicone alloy for as many of my gun uses as possible. Currently most of my AR 10 magazines have Tubbs chrome silicone flatwire magazines and came to be this way because the first four AR 10's I built were in non standard cartridges. A pair of 338 Federal's and a pair of 6XC's. Was having some feeding issues with a myriad of magazine brands and since David Tubbs is kind of "the 6XC man" much of the necessary information on loads and builds comes from him and as he tweaked his rifles he began manufacturing (or re-labeling) chrome silicone flatwire springs to help magazines function with odd cartridge designs. ordered six of his AR 10 magazine springs, put in my pickiest mags that had actually pulled our of rotation and marked "do not work" gave them another try and all fed perfectly in both the 338 and 6XC. They didn't care which and are now working perfectly in my new 7.62 NATO DPMS Oracle's with binary triggers.

His initial foray into springs was the Tubbs Flatwire AR buffer spring. Its also made from chrome silicone and many AR10's were not operating properly with round springs or wound, multi-strand springs and his flatwire springs will work in any AR 10 or AR 15 whether carbine or rifle length. Best part is almost all of the infamous AR "sproing, sproing, sproing" distinctive sound of the buffer and spring traveling back and forth goes away with a chrome silicone flatwire spring.

I do not have any pictures of flatwire springs in my phone but can go to David Tubbs, Wilson Combat or EGW's websites and see almost every flavor of chrome silicone flatwire spring you could want. As I replace recoil springs in 1911's they get flatwire springs, any magazine or whatever application I can find as they compress more evenly during the compression process and decompress much more smoothly and I can feel an immediate difference in a 1911 when I swap it over. Have about seven SIG 2022's and noticed the older ones had multi-strand springs that have a tendency (not SIG's yet but others have used to have one of the wires in the twisted bundle to break and cause all kinds of havoc. Franklin sent out multi-strand springs with their binary triggers for a while but I discovered all my binary rifles ran much better with a Tubbs Flatwire that the Franklin multi-strand.

Below are some pictures I had on this computer at work from doing magazine maintenance on AR magazines and 1911 magazines. All are round springs, not the new flatwire have been switching to. First look at this 1911 spring comparison.

Both above springs are Wilson Combat 8 round springs that were purchased at the same time in a large lot. I shoot 1911's three to five days a week, 200 to 500 rounds per week on average. Have 15 to 18 eight round Wilson's and six to eight ten round McCormick rounds in my range kit use here at indoor range at work. When a magazine starts to get too easy to stick the last round it (supposed to be a tad difficult to shove a 1911 mag totally full) I generally pull it apart and swap springs but usually swap them every couple or three years all at one time so know they all have recent service.

Thus the above picture shows how much a round chrome silicone spring from one of the best 1911 magazines will compress with use. I do keep Wilson eight round and McCormick ten round magazines in all my carry 1911's where magazines spend most of their time loaded. Generally I load eight, stick in pistol, cycle slide then add a round to top off mag and then leave all my spares fully loaded. Once every week or two I take the one or two of the carry mags based on which rounds have tarnished the most, shoot a mag or two of my defensive ammo to make sure gun and I am still happy with it and hits exactly where aim so every one of my carry mags gets emptied, cleaned and reloaded a couple or three times per year. When I service the range mags I do the carry as well and in my 1911's the carry magazines which are cycled rarely generally show the same compression of spring as the magazines that are cycled often but left empty between range sessions.

Below are pictures from my last AR 15 magazine service before switching to Tubbs Flatwire. Had a bunch of the Magpul kits that come three springs and three anti-tilt followers to the kit so figured may as well use them. These magazines were going into range bag and have grown weary of beating up the floor plates when running combat courses and letting the mags fall on gravel, hard packed clay and even cement so this lot was getting the Magpul Ranger Plates added to cushion their fall to the ground and does bake them easier to grab if hands are sweaty and moving fast.

Did not find a picture comparing the old springs side by side with the new springs in my work computer but definitely remember they were similar to the 1911 magazines and old springs were significantly shorter than the new. As you can see from pictures, all magazines are cleaned well inside and out, any feed lip damage tweaked and insides are light lubricated using a lubricant designed for bicycles. For most magazines have found that lubricants made for mountain bike drive trains seem to last longer and do not collect as much powder residue, dirt and lint as traditional firearms lubricants.

While not in the pictures can darn sure guarantee they were cleaned with Hoppes #9 as its my most used firearms application scrub all. On magazines just pour some in a small container, keep dipping the toothbrush and scrub like a madman then once all is cleaned and dried, lube and reassemble, wipe down a final time and add to the completed stack. I occasionally find the odd magazine that have no idea how long it was loaded and most times out of curiosity take it to range or out back door of house if can run through a suppressor gun and let them all go down range and pretty much they always work except for as mentioned by OP have the occasional failure for bolt hold open to catch on follower after last round.

Am just over a year into swapping over to chrome silicone flatwire springs for all magazines and have pulled down a couple of 1911 and AR magazines just to check springs and compared to a control unit from initial purchase none are showing any significant, moderate or minor compression yet. Even in the 338 Federal dedicated AR 10 magazines which were the first to get chrome silicone flatwire's. The only magazines I have ever had trouble with long tern storage have been polymer mags of which I have had them swell and split from the first batch of Ramline's purchased many years ago to a bunch of Gen 2 Magpul's purchased after Sandy Hook panic subsided.

Over 40+ years have seen a lot of odd things happen with magazines, found a lot that were "lost" for decades and for the most part they would still work with the odd quirk like failing to lock back on last round or magazine spring to weak to push last few rounds up into position quickly enough in high rate of fire applications or even bouncing of rounds when magazine got mostly empty due to weak spring tension but if it fit in the gun they will almost always work decently till hit the top the stack and last round or two. The only caveat is aftermarket mags in Ruger Mini 14's, The Mini's like their OEM magazines, never figured out why aftermarket companies had so much trouble with making mags that worked in the Mini. The 6.8 Mini's have been extra fun.
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Old March 20, 2018, 14:59   #10
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I once inherited an '03 Baby Browning and some magazine that had been loaded for over 40 years. All performed flawlessly.

Much depends on the material and quality of the springs. As long as their elastic limit is not exceeded, a QUALITY spring should outlast anything most of us will ever do to them.
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Old March 22, 2018, 09:50   #11
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It's funny best 1911 magazines made are Wilson Combat though some are equal and Wilson recommends new springs annually. I swap about every couple years or so on my 1911 and AR range mags due to high uses and always shrunk in length 25% to 30% but are still working. Now that have so many binary triggers notice a weak spring way before shows issues with standard trigger.

Have learned to tune my binary rifles where run 100% except when grab an old, highly used range mag and last four or five rounds spring sometimes doesn't have enough tension to keep rounds from bouncing during bolt travel so picks up next round 100% of time. Could be not enough tension to push up quick enough or little of both. If swap in a new Tubbs Flatwire magazine spring then the issue with that magazine immediately stops.

Have not been using flatwire springs long enough to see how they are going to last over long haul in high duty cycle applications. Have pulled some of the originals used to make my 338 Federal's and first couple of 6.8's happier after a year or so of use and no real change in length yet. Still have another half dozen of the old style Wilson rebuild kits so only flatwire springs in 1911's are my carry mags which do not see near the duty cycle of my range mags.

Have 30+ year old milsurp mags that were used when came to me that work fine in most of my AR's but can grab a batch of the old ones that know are cleaned and lubricated and get occasional feed issue in rapid binary use but again, usually in last two or three rounds or failure to lock bolt back. If slow down toward end of mag dump they feed fine. Most came in a 55 gallon drum from military base where were abused and soon as would give trouble went in the scrap barrel and I bought barrel from scrap yard, had about a dime per mag in each. Until binary came along most could clean, fix dents and bent lips then worked 100% but rifle passes 400 rpm and some get funky. Saw springs and get happy. Have same issue with my M11's, at 1,200 rpm rate of fire if pull a 30 year old mag that's not been serviced bolt can miss rounds near top of mags. May be why dot mil surpluses so many older units, get finicky in full auto.
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Old October 13, 2018, 07:47   #12
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AUG magazines are among the most solid designs that I know of.

They are definitely up on the same level as any AR15 polymer mag, if not better.

You can leave them loaded for years, take them to the range and use them, and so far I have not seen any of them fail.
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