Magazines: Store loaded or not? Find out here

Magazines: Store loaded or not? Find out here

Welcome back to the 14th installment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact the opposite. I’m a new user to the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.

 

To load or not to load. I'm fairly certain Shakespeare said that once...

Should you store magazines loaded or unloaded? Can I take the cheap and easy route and say both? Well I’m going to so deal with it. I have noticed that this is another one of the great gun debates. And like all great debates each side has its merits. I’ll get into both sides and give my final thoughts at the end. Ready? Well continue reading anyways.

 

What is a magazine?

 

A magazine quite simply puts the ammunition into your rifle automagically.They do this because they have a spring mechanism in them which feeds the cartridge into the chamber by the action of the firearm.

**IMPORTANT** If you call a magazine a clip, you will get laughed at, yelled at, your manly hood will surely be in question and you will probably spend the next 6 weeks in a corner of your bedroom lightly sobbing while listening to Nickelback on repeat.

 

Loaded Magazines

 

I touched upon home safety in my last post ( if you didn't read it, you really should). When it comes to being prepared it’s hard to imagine how one can respond quickly to a threat if they have to load a magazine first. Magazines, or mags for short (only cool kids say this), can be a great method for storing ammunition safely. I’ve heard of people storing fully loaded mags for over a year with no issues.

 

Unloaded

 

If your goal is to maximize the effective use lifespan of your mag then storing unloaded might be for you. A fully loaded mag places maximum tension and stress on the spring mechanism. Being under the constant tension may lead to wear and tear and may cause your firearm to malfunction. You want it to work when you need it.

 

Final Thoughts.

 

Why not do both? I think if you properly rotate your always loaded magazines you should see no issues with magazine malfunctions. With this technique you should also see an increase in the longevity of the magazine. There is no question you should always have a loaded magazine available. Its really straight forward because you don't have to pick a side. Simply keep some loaded, and the rest unloaded under the bed like everyone else. That way you always have your bases covered.

Intruders and nazi zombies aren’t just going to wait around for you to load your gun. Be prepared.

 

I’m curious as to what you guys do with your magazines? Leave a comment below.

 



8 Responses

hANNAbONE
hANNAbONE

April 29, 2017

The mag is a plastic or metal holder of certain caliber rounds. It has a spring for tension to feed those rounds to a chamber of a gun.
Having a magazine not loaded defeats the whole purpose of having them in the first place.
You could not load them fully (30 rounder mag – load to 25-ish)
I say, Load ‘em up to the top and be prepared.
I agree with the comment earlier that the spring will wear when you constantly load and reload cartridges into them.
Think of it as a coat hanger wire…bend it once or twice and everything is just fine – bend it a 100 times and it will stretch or malfunction.
Now, I’m not equating a coat hanger to a mag spring, but you get the idea.
Load ’em up…carry on…

Overwatch
Overwatch

April 23, 2017

LEO background, for 30 capacity mag I have 25 rounds (storage wise), keeps longevity of spring. Going on Op, just top off.

Eric
Eric

April 23, 2017

According to magpul their magazines can be kept loaded for years without issue. When i pressed their customer service guy, he equated it to cars, “you don’t put your car up on jack stands if your not driving it right?”

Cory Martin
Cory Martin

April 23, 2017

This is all great feedback. And for those who are military thank you for your service!

SFC BOU
SFC BOU

April 23, 2017

I have 4 combat tours and over 12 years in service in the ARMY. I have had loaded magazines for long periods of time and never had a magazine malfunction. Not across the pond nor here at home. All my magazines are fully loaded at home and the springs in the magazine are fairly stiff when new once they break in they are softer, not weaker. So the only time a softer spring will be a disadvantage is when you shoot full auto, the bolt may cycle faster than the magazine spring has a chance to lock up another cartridge on the lip of the mag otherwise there’s no issues with loading your mags

Joe
Joe

April 23, 2017

I have several magazines that have been loaded for a few years the other day I went out to the range and went through most of them none of them failed !! Almost always in the past I have always read that the loading and unloading and usage of the mags are what causes the Springs to fail not storing them loaded !!

CRH
CRH

April 23, 2017

I have had magazine’s loaded for years and have never had a problem. But this were good magazine’s. I’ve tried it with cheap mag and found that on some the second to last and last round would miss feed . I thank it depends on the quality of the magazine.

Alfonso
Alfonso

April 23, 2017

I have 20 – 44m D.E. mags, 40 – 5.56 ultimags, 10 – 308 Pmags, and my MB boomstick all completly loaded ready to rock is this a yea or nae?

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