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Old December 05, 2001, 16:47   #1
awp101
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How long do you store loaded mags?

Just curious how long you keep your FAL (or any other mags for that matter) loaded for ready use before swapping em out.
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Old December 05, 2001, 16:52   #2
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Days, weeks, months, years, decades. It doesn't matter. Mine are mostly Austrian with quality springs, so I don't worry about spring fatigue.

Quote:
Originally posted by awp101:
Just curious how long you keep your FAL (or any other mags for that matter) loaded for ready use before swapping em out.
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Old December 05, 2001, 17:38   #3
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I keep a number of mine loaded to 16 rounds. This will reduce (read virtually eliminate any chance of) spring fatigue and still leave me with enough rounds to fight off the aliens flying through my living room.
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Old December 05, 2001, 17:43   #4
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Generally about thirty seconds.

I have no willpower and any mag I load must become an unloaded mag as fast as I whack it into the rifle, release the bolt, hopefully be outside, and pull the trigger.

As you can see, mine generally sit empty.
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Old December 05, 2001, 18:06   #5
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Here's a post of mine from one of Dr.Evil's earlier threads about the Mauser bolt that pretty much sums up the way I see it...
Quote:
As a machine designer I've never had a problem with any springs I've used failing or "wearing out" from either being in tension OR compression, or while being used in a vibration dampening role. I HAVE had customers who have had to replace springs that were on machines on assembly lines that endured hundreds or even thousands of cycles per shift...sooo, even tho' some may not see it this way, I figure from past experience that spring degradation and failure is more of a function of "use" rather than it's "state". So me, I don't worry about my springs being "stressed out" from being compressed...but you decide for yourself.
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Old December 05, 2001, 18:24   #6
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I have M16 mags which have been loaded fro almost 20 years. I shoot one per year. No problems yet except for a cracked feed lip which spread with time. I used to have an M14 mag which I found fully loaded in a manuever area at Ft. Hood in 1982. Rusty and ugly, but both mag and ammo worked fine in my M1A. Considering that M14s weren't around after 1970 or so, it had to have spent ten years in the dirt.
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Old December 05, 2001, 19:49   #7
chet
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My father-in-law some how dug up two Colt 20round AR mags (from his NG days in the early seventies) and gave them to me.They were loaded with 71 headstamp blank ammo (hey it was in the NG). I guess they had been loaded 25 years or so. Both the mags and the blanks worked fine. AND.... No, I did not use a blank to launch a cleaning rod section at 337fps into some sheetrock and no I did not use a chronograph either.
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Old December 05, 2001, 20:19   #8
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I had a friend launch a cleaning rod into a monkey in Panama in October '89...
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Old December 05, 2001, 20:31   #9
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Old December 05, 2001, 21:07   #10
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unfortunately the butt stock spring which was compressed for who knows how many years... cut a gash in my hand...my first FAL scar... it brings a tear to ones eyes
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Old December 05, 2001, 23:11   #11
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At work we keep our 20 round Ruger Mini Mouse Gun model 14 mags loaded with 16 rounds indefinitely...except that we unload and check them each shift, three times total per day. Ruger pretty much guarantees the springs will last forever, or at least longer than we will!!!
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Old December 05, 2001, 23:46   #12
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Found a Canadian C1 mag fully charged when my folks moved last year which was from atleast april 1994, I did unload it and use it later at the range and it worked fine, it now sits castrated with a pop rivet limiting it to 5rds I have been told that fatique in quality mags is a thing more of legend than fact.
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Old December 06, 2001, 01:45   #13
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I down load mine by 5 rds. I figure why give them any chance not to work.
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Old December 06, 2001, 01:54   #14
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Got 2 mags loaded with 15 rnds each. To have the mags loaded in my house is illegal already........so using them wouldn't make a difference in a SHTF situation........
Ohh...the mags are FAL mags.......
CZ

[ December 06, 2001: Message edited by: CZ ]
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Old December 06, 2001, 06:18   #15
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CZ, where the h$#@ do you live that you can't have a loaded mag in your house?? That's got to be about the dumbest most a$$inine law I've ever heard of.
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Old December 06, 2001, 07:46   #16
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With any mag springs it's cycles that will wear them out. In a static state (loaded, partially loaded, empty) they will last indefinitely.
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Old December 06, 2001, 08:38   #17
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I don't understand where this idea of under-loading a mag came from. The only mag I've ever heard of that had probelsm with it's full capacity is the old M16 Colt 20-rd mags. And then it was due to other issues besides spring fatigue.

All keeping a FAL mag loaded to 15 rds does is give you only 15rds. No benefit to be gained.
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Old December 06, 2001, 23:34   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mad Dog 7.62:
CZ, where the h$#@ do you live that you can't have a loaded mag in your house?? That's got to be about the dumbest most a$$inine law I've ever heard of.
Saw on the thread about ages that he lives in Holland.
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Old December 07, 2001, 00:08   #19
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I dont allow my FAL mags to drink.
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Old December 07, 2001, 12:56   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1gewehr:
I don't understand where this idea of under-loading a mag came from. The only mag I've ever heard of that had probelsm with it's full capacity is the old M16 Colt 20-rd mags. And then it was due to other issues besides spring fatigue.

All keeping a FAL mag loaded to 15 rds does is give you only 15rds. No benefit to be gained.
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The old WWII Bren magazines held 30, but were generally loaded with 28 for reliability's sake. This was both a function of the rimmed .303 Mk VII British service rifle [and M.G.] cartridge, and the early use of the guns in the Western Desert against Herr Rommel and his lads. Any oil or lubricant applied would attract sand, so the magazines were used wiped completely free of lubricant.

Later in the war, this practice was also followed around saltwater enviornments, as in landing craft while touring the sunny beaches of Italy and Europe.

Likewise, the magazines for the 9mm Sten gun were often loaded to 28 or so rather than their design limit of 32. That may be in part a carryover from the practice with the Bren in hopes of achieving Bren-like reliability from the Stench gun [Ha!] or could just be a troopie's way of saving himself the effort of having to remove the magazine loading tool from it's pouch on the magazine pouch, tool roll or in the soldier's small pack.

But it's certainly not a bit necessary with the BAR or Thompson, and we generally loaded 30-round greasegun magazines all the way up unless splitting a box of fifty between two magazines, 25 per. The M14 and FAL certainly don't appear to benefit from the practice, but I have known some folks who prefer the handling characteristics of a rifle loaded with ten in the mag rather than a full 20. It these circumstances, one shot is expected to be enough.

I have often seen M1 carbine 30-round magazines shortloaded to 25 each, though. GI carbine ammo also comes in 50-round boxes, so the same theory as for the greasegun is possibly at work here, though carbine 30-round magazines are among the most tempermental of feeding devices.
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Old December 07, 2001, 14:43   #21
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Archy,
Thanks for making my point for me! Once again, a PROPERLY designed magazine does not need to be downloaded for reliability.
And the issue has nothing to do with spring 'set', but rather with design of the magazine, itself. The BREN magazine, when modified to MKI* pattern, worked fine with 30rds. The STEn is fine with 30. Put 31 or 32 in it, and the spring tension is too strong for the bolt to reliably strip a round. No need to explain the poor design of the 30rd carbine mag. It doesn't matter how many or few rounds THAT has.

Fill your FAL mags, and rest assured that they will work reliably years hence. If you're really worried, buy more mags. It's not like they cost much!
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Old December 07, 2001, 21:48   #22
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I have a friend that is an engineer. I sent him the question of the theory of "spring set" and ask his opinion of it.
This is his answer in part:

"Theoretically any spring under constant load can weaken or "set". Springs are used in a great many industrial and commercial applications so a lot is known about them....

So, after having said all that, in real life conditions springs rarely, if ever, fatigue or weaken if the metal is properly made. I would say that if a spring became "set" the steel was inferior or the spring was compressed (or extended) far beyond the limits the designer intended....

In a magazine, the spring is never completely compressed. It is compressed
70-80% of its free length. The remaining 20-30% allows a lot of resiliency so the coils or loops are not crushed.

I have had a .45 military magazine loaded with 7 rounds now since 1969 and it works flawlessly....

I would say the spring in a FAL magazine is bigger and more robust that the one in the .45 so it should be no problem to keep a
FAL magazine loaded for an extended amount of time.

Heat and corrosion are the worst enemies of springs. Both these conditions will lead to the ultimate failure of a spring."
end.

My department carries Sig P226's and has for 12 or 13 years. The officers mags have stayed loaded 99.9% of the time.

There has never been a mag spring failure to my knowledge.
BTW - I am one of my departments firearms instructors, (or was until 8 months ago and let it go) so I had a good bit of knowledge about it. 180 officers X 2 mags X 12 years.
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Old December 08, 2001, 03:40   #23
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Mad Dog,

Sorry it took so long to reply but we've got a time difference of 6 hours minimal.
I'm from Holland, Europe. We're not allowed to defend ourselfs/family with guns. (or with anything else....you know: "just call the police")
So you guys have to keep the good things running in the USA! Europe is lost anyway. Yes, we got a lot of nice things about our history in Europe, but it's only history, if you know what I mean. About 100 years ago gunlaws where liberal, but now it looks like we're just game in the hunting season.

We are allowed guns but only under extremely strict gunlaws. No guns loaded except on the range. I tell you, I can't even let my girlfriend shoot my guns!! (I don't say she does shoot them regularly....hehehe some range officials know what it's all about).

CZ from a lost Europe.........
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Old December 08, 2001, 09:50   #24
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cz...unless we take a stand here, we will be in the same boat in less than 10 years, thanks to the war on terror.
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Old December 08, 2001, 21:01   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by toaster:
...one law to rule them all, one law to find them, one law to bring them all and in the darkness bind them...in the land of amerika where the shadows lie.
Nice Tolkien adaptation, Toaster!
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Old December 09, 2001, 06:21   #26
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CZ, sorry you have to live in place like that..on the other hand we have Anders in Sweden (it is Sweden isn't it?) buying Bren guns and silenced Sterlings....enough to give the BATF here a coronary (hey! There's an Idea!!). In the US our laws vary considerably from State to State (I know we have only one Constitution, don't ask me how...) but I am fortunate enough to live in a State where guns are common as fleas on dogs and so there aren't any real stupid State laws to worry about..just the stupid Federal laws. Holland, Britain, Australia....who's next??
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