Storing loaded clips
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Storing loaded clips

This is a discussion on Storing loaded clips within the Handgun Maintenance, Cleaning and Gunsmithing forums, part of the Handguns category; I may be showing my stupidity but does it hurt a clip to leave it loaded? Such as using a ...

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    Default Storing loaded clips

    I may be showing my stupidity but does it hurt a clip to leave it loaded? Such as using a Hi point C9 as a CC weapon that may or may not be fired all that often. Will the springs in the clip get weak etc.?
    Jeff
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    I am going to jump in here..... My thoughts are that springs get weak due to compression/uncompression, that said it would depend on the amount of use, or just keep an eye out when doing cleaning and or general inspection.You should be able to detect a weak spring if there are more than normal feeding malfunctions, ai would think. Plus, I am sure there is lots of fourms out there on that subject. The key is use your best judgement and weed out the crap. Good Luck.
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    All of my firearms stay fully loaded, some of which are over 18 years old and have no weak springs. I have never had to replace a magazine spring. Magazine. ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey1235 View Post
    I may be showing my stupidity but does it hurt a clip to leave it loaded? Such as using a Hi point C9 as a CC weapon that may or may not be fired all that often. Will the springs in the clip get weak etc.?

    By definition, a "clip" doesn't have a spring. The term you're looking for is "magazine". With that said, I would recommend that you read your owners manual to see if it contains the answer to your question. If you can't find the answer in the owner's manual, contact the manufacturer. We as fellow gun owners may have experience with a particular firearm, but our answers to you would be our opinions. The manufaturer would be able to tell you how the firearm was designed and what the capabilities should be.

    Most reputable firearms manufacturers design their magazines to be stored fully loaded. All of my magazines are fully loaded unless I'm transporting them by air due to various airline and FAA regulations.

    If you're planning on carrying a firearm concealed or otherwise, I would strongly recommend hitting the range once a month, or at minimum every other month. Should you ever need to use your firearm to defend yourself, you won't have time to think about what to do. You'll barely have any time to react. I could go further into detail, but that would be going too far off subject.

    Hope I've been able to answer your question.



    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

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    Thanks for the info, I apreciate it. Most of my handguns are either revolvers or the break open type. This Hi Point C9 is the first semi-auto one that I've bought. What I was basing my question on is an after market large capacity magazine that I bought for a Rugar 10/22. It is a 25 round magazine. To make a long story short I left one loaded for a few days and noticed that when I went to fire it, it fired five or six shots and stopped. I looked down and the other 19 rounds were still way down in the magazine. I returned that one and haven't had a problem with the replacement. I wondered if this was a common problem or what. (as far as hitting the range. . . I have to kick myself because I live on an old farm. I do most of my shooting in an old, empty pasture that has a great back stop. I don't do anywhere near enough practicing. I have actually been kicking around the idea of trying to find some interested gun owners and setting up a private range but i've never done it. I've always figured that any insurance requirements would put a stop to the idea.)
    Last edited by Jeffrey1235; 09-02-2009 at 02:39 PM. Reason: add info
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey1235 View Post
    Thanks for the info, I apreciate it. Most of my handguns are either revolvers or the break open type. This Hi Point C9 is the first semi-auto one that I've bought. What I was basing my question on is an after market large capacity magazine that I bought for a Rugar 10/22. It is a 25 round magazine. To make a long story short I left one loaded for a few days and noticed that when I went to fire it, it fired five or six shots and stopped. I looked down and the other 19 rounds were still way down in the magazine. I returned that one and haven't had a problem with the replacement. I wondered if this was a common problem or what. (as far as hitting the range. . . I have to kick myself because I live on an old farm. I do most of my shooting in an old, empty pasture that has a great back stop. I don't do anywhere near enough practicing. I have actually been kicking around the idea of trying to find some interested gun owners and setting up a private range but i've never done it. I've always figured that any insurance requirements would put a stop to the idea.)

    I've had problems with a few aftermarket 10/22 magazines. I normally mark all of my magazines for all of my firearms so I can quickly determine if a particular magazine is giving me problems. The problem with one of the 10/22 magazines was the follower would bind and get stuck. Part of it may have been the spring, but I think it was mainly the follower due to the stiffness of the spring when loading.

    As for setting up a range on your property, shouldn't be too difficult to do. There are a lot of farmers here in PRHI who have large plots of land that they have converted for target practice and plinkng. The insurance wasn't too bad, so long as they don't do it for commercial purposes. A few of them actually use the range for NRA training.



    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glock Fan View Post
    If you're planning on carrying a firearm concealed or otherwise, I would strongly recommend hitting the range once a month, or at minimum every other month. Should you ever need to use your firearm to defend yourself, you won't have time to think about what to do. You'll barely have any time to react. I could go further into detail, but that would be going too far off subject. gf
    Off subject or not I think that is a really important point.

    I have talked to several folks lately who basically say they never shoot or unload their carry so it will be ready when they need it. That seems kind of backwards logic to me. I shoot my carry at least a little everytiume I go plinkin'. That way I am familiar with it and know everything is running right when I need it.

    If you do that, you should detect any issues in your mags before they let you down at a critical time.

    -bumble

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    The 'spring set' myth has been going around for a long time. I'm glad to see so many people on this forum have more brains than to fall for that load of crap. I have been in many debates about this subject, and from all the research I've done, this is my conclusion:

    -springs DO NOT wear out from long term compression

    -it is the repeated compression/decompression that produces microscopic cracks in the metal, thus decreasing spring tension

    -steel has an 'elastic limit,' meaning you can bend it until a certain point, and the spring will return to normal shape. Once the spring is bent past the elastic limit, then it will not return to normal shape. Any decent magazine manufacturer will make sure that thier mag springs do not reach elastic limit when fully loaded.

    There are several stories of people finding old WWII firearms that have remained loaded for decades, and still cycled perfectly. If long-term compression did wear out mag springs, then sixty years should make that magazine inoperable, you would think.

    Bottom line is, keep your mags fully loaded. That's what they are there for. An unloaded mag is useless, and a downloaded mag is foolish. Those one or two extra rounds could be the difference between life and death, and frankly, I don't see the point in trying to preserve a five dollar spring if it means carrying less ammo even IF the myth was true. Educate yourself on the facts, don't buy into bullsh**.

    Here's a decent article explaining elastic limit:
    Magazine spring madness: 'creep' to your 'elastic limit' to un-earth the urban legend of 'spring-set' | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET
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    Leave your magazines loaded. I have some 45 and AR magazines that have been packed away loaded to the max for over 20 years. They are just as good as the day I loaded them.
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    leave them loaded! springs don't get tired. here is a great article I found a while ago when I had the exact same question.

    Magazine spring madness: 'creep' to your 'elastic limit' to un-earth the urban legend of 'spring-set' | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET

    The shooting sports are full of some of the most knowledgeable and capable people you'll meet anywhere. I've been impressed consistently with the abilities of those I meet at the range to diagnose and fix a gun problem with as little as some spray lube and a cotton swab. However, sometimes a myth will creep into the folklore.

    The magazine spring myth has been around for many years and is growing in popularity. It goes something like this: "You should unload your magazines when they're not in use or the spring will weaken causing failures to feed." This has gone as far as shooting competitors actually unloading their magazines between stages to extend the life of their springs. A variant of this myth is: "You should never load a magazine to capacity and should always leave it one round short." What if you need that round some day?

    Recently, I read an article in a gun magazine suggesting you rotate your magazines so the ones not in use can "recover and rest." The same author uses the phrase "spring-set" to describe weakness of a spring because it was compressed for a long time. Hogwash. There's nothing further from the truth. Springs don't care how long they're compressed and don't require rest, recreation or even a vacation from time to time.

    To put this one to rest, you have to understand creep. Creep is the slow flow of a non-ferric metal like copper, brass and lead under force. At temperatures outside of a furnace, steel doesn't have any appreciable creep. Under most conditions, steel flexes and then returns to its original shape. When pushed past its elastic limit, steel will bend and not return to its original shape. All designers of well-made magazines make sure the spring never approaches the elastic limit when the magazine is fully loaded. Honest. This means the spring will not weaken when the magazine is fully loaded -- not even over an extended time. Like 50 years. American Handgunner recently ran a story about a magazine full of .45 ACP that had been sitting since WWII and it ran just fine on the first try. So there you go.

    Now that the light of truth is leaking out, lets talk about what is causing failures to feed. The only way to weaken a magazine spring is to flex it past its normal range (elastic limit). If this is happening, somebody is trying to overload a magazine or has "adjusted" it by bending the spring. Both of these could cause feed failures. Shame on you if you're a spring bender.

    Carlton Nether, Customer Service for Beretta USA, tells us keeping a pistol magazine loaded for an extended period doesn't cause magazine spring failure, however, failures to feed can result. He says, "The ammo will 'roll' in the magazine. If the mags are kept loaded and moved around a lot -- say on a cop's belt -- the rolling action can, over time, cause creases in the cases. These creases can cause malfunctions. Also the top bullet will roll against the magazine lips and creasing can occur there as well. Just check old ammo that's been bouncing around in a magazine for a long time.

    We tell police officers if they keep loaded magazines, take a few seconds to "cycle" the ammo. Periodically unload the mag and reload it in a different sequence. This movement will allow the bullets to be in different parts of the magazine and help eliminate creasing.

    At STI, Dave Skinner, President and CEO says, "Personally, I rotate my 'under the bed' and 'under the seat' mags about every six months. I always empty them the 'fun' way and have never had a failure." Given what we learned above, this sounds like a good idea. Smith and Wesson customer service also says magazines can stay loaded indefinitely without hurting the spring.

    As we add force onto a spring, it will displace the same amount for each amount of force we add. This is true until the spring passes a certain point called the elastic limit. Robert Hooke discovered this theory back in 1660. Hooke's Law states: "If the applied forces on a body are not too large, the deformations resulting are directly proportional to the forces producing them." Which means, in actual human being language, if we load a spring past its elastic limit, it permanently deforms. It still provides a force against the load but the force is no longer proportional. If this happens, when we unload the spring (such as when we empty a magazine that has been over-loaded) the spring never returns to a state where it can provide the same load for the same amount of displacement.

    Trust Us

    When a magazine manufacturer designs a spring, they plan for a preload. The spring is already compressed some in the magazine. On the curve below, this would be Point A. The spring compression would be designed to be below the Elastic Limit. When fully compressed, the spring would be at Point B. If the spring is ever compressed past the elastic limit, say to Point C, it won't ever behave the same. Like a recalcitrant lazy Uncle, it will have a lower spring force for each amount of displacement. On the drawing, the spring would now cycle between points D and E. This means that -- particularly with the last bullet or two -- the force pushing the bullet up would be less and lo-and-behold, a mis-feed might occur.
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