Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rotating and Downloading Magazines

Personally I try to rotate magazines about monthly. While I have kept Glock and AR mags loaded for over a year without issue but have had issues with other mags. Just don't see a downside to rotating them even though it's mostly just a forcing function to make me inspect mags regularly. Also I have been downloading mags for awhile now putting 14/15 or 16/17 in Glock mags and 28 into 30 round rifle mag. I think it gives just a little more push to keep things moving and both hold enough rounds that it shouldn't be an issue.

Do you rotate magazines?

What about loading them with a round or two less than the full capacity?


Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

The rule we were taught in the military (South Africa) was that any double-stack magazine should be downloaded by 10%, both to ensure feed reliability and to preserve the tension of the magazine spring. So, my Glock 17 mags get 15 rounds; my AR-15 20-rounders get 18 and 30-rounders 27; and so on. Always.

Anonymous said...

I rotate Wilson Combat 8-rounders for my 1911 every year or two, as they'll demonstrably show no ill effects over a much longer period.

I only keep a couple of low cap and a couple of high cap battle rifle mags loaded, on the theory that with scads of ammo on strippers anything I can't handle with a few ready mags before I have to start loading mags is Red Dawn unlikely. And I rotate those about 1x/yr, as much to check on the ammo as to save the mag springs.

And having been broken in by people who knew from the Southeast Asian War Games, the zombie apocalypse mags only get 27 rounds out of 30, even after upgrading springs and followers. 3 less bangs are outweighed by the prospect of a click anytime before that.

Glock mags are another story. Stuffing Model 21 mags full up, let alone getting them to seat if full, requires gorilla thumb and hand strength I never had. 1 less than full works fine.


Anonymous said...

Grunt superstition from the days of 20-round magazines and helicopters that ran on steam power, was to load 18 or 19 to avoid feeding issues. Personally, I never experienced any issues loading 20's but peer pressure dictated otherwise. After several decades to think about it, it is my belief this superstition has more to do with clapped out magazines, and the ease of slapping home a slightly downloaded mag with the bolt closed, than any actual problems with good magazines.

As always, your mileage may vary, and you should drive your own car as you see fit.

Jeff Cooper once wrote that he loaded up several magazines for a Colt 38 Super for his wife before going off to WWII, and they all functioned perfectly after cessation of hostilities. I myself loaded up an early 30-round M16 magazine in 1985, and tucked it away until 2008. This magazine, and the TW 72 ammo in it, functioned perfectly.

But I would not expect anyone to bet their life on two widely separated examples of one, written by some dood on the innertubes. I myself download rifle mags by two cartridges and rotate magazines. Grunt superstition dies hard.


Craig M. said...

One source I can't remember says that actually you are better off leaving the springs either under tension or empty. The repetitive nature of constant downloading and loading actually causes more spring wear than leaving them full.

3rdman said...

The download of the mags for the M16 had nothing do with feed. It was about the magazine seating on a closed bolt only. The USGI mag does not allow for this fully loaded, because the spring is fully compressed. The Magpul mags have the extra space so you can load 30 and still seat a mag on a close bolt. As far as rotation the newer mag such as Glock, Magpul can be left loaded with out the springs becoming weaker over time. Now with that said ratation is not going to hurt!

3rdman said...

rotation not ratation, Sorry

2heavyb said...

1 or 2 down on all "normal" capacity mags. California style 10 Rounders for larger capacity weapons are full up since I feel there isn't any stress on the components.

Commander_Zero said...

The two big winners in the comments;

1) The mag is downloaded pretty much just to allow a full mage to be seated against a closed bolt.

2) Its the repetitive compression/decompression cycles that wear a spring...extended time compressed or decompressed does virtually no damage.

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