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  1. #1
    MaxResponse is offline Junior Member
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    How often do you rotate your magazines?

    Are you saying to yourself, "What a silly question." I'm old school and with my semi-autos, I never leave a magazine fully loaded for my than 2 weeks. The other day, a co-worker was talking about his Ruger and he kept it loaded and on his night-stand. I asked how often he shot it and replied, "Oh, since I've bought it from my neighbor a few years ago, maybe two or three times." Well after telling him he needed to practice more, I asked how many magazines did he get with his gun. He replied that he had two. I asked if he rotated the mags. "Nope, the one in it has been there since last July. Why do you ask?"
    So sitting here tonight, I thought I would mention it in the hope it may save some one some grief or their life. So how often do you rotate your magazines.

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  3. #2
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    No real need to rotate magazines. Actually, more wear and tear occurs to the springs when they are loaded and unloaded. Today's metallurgy is quite good, and mag springs hold up well.

    I've had magazines that have been loaded in excess of two years. They still function fine.

  4. #3
    RadarContact's Avatar
    RadarContact is offline Junior Member
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    I have 5 mags for my FNX, and I rotate through them every three months. I have a reminder set up on my phone. I keep one of them full of defensive ammo, the rest empty. It's more that I want to make it a ritual than anything based on fact or know how! I just like doing it. Lol

  5. #4
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    If I go to the trouble to rotate anything, it will be the tires on my vehicles, and my underwear of course.

    Every 5-7K miles for the tires, and every night for my Hanes.

  6. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Rotate my magazines?
    No, of course not.
    If I turned them around the other way, they wouldn't fit into my pistol.



    See paratrooper's reply: It's a good explanation of why changing magazines occasionally isn't important.

  7. #6
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxResponse View Post
    Are you saying to yourself, "What a silly question." I'm old school and with my semi-autos, I never leave a magazine fully loaded for my than 2 weeks. The other day, a co-worker was talking about his Ruger and he kept it loaded and on his night-stand. I asked how often he shot it and replied, "Oh, since I've bought it from my neighbor a few years ago, maybe two or three times." Well after telling him he needed to practice more, I asked how many magazines did he get with his gun. He replied that he had two. I asked if he rotated the mags. "Nope, the one in it has been there since last July. Why do you ask?"
    So sitting here tonight, I thought I would mention it in the hope it may save some one some grief or their life. So how often do you rotate your magazines.
    What grief?

    They do not need to be rotated.

    The more you operate the springs, the more you wear them out.

    It's actually better to shoot only one, and save the others, loaded, for when you might need them.

    Counter intuitive but true.

  8. #7
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Rotate my magazines?
    No, of course not.
    If I turned them around the other way, they wouldn't fit into my pistol.



    See paratrooper's reply: It's a good explanation of why changing magazines occasionally isn't important.
    I know, I thought of that too.

    Funny how late night humor should not be tried at home, or so Jay Leno warns.

  9. #8
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    No real need to rotate magazines. Actually, more wear and tear occurs to the springs when they are loaded and unloaded. Today's metallurgy is quite good, and mag springs hold up well.

    I've had magazines that have been loaded in excess of two years. They still function fine.
    Exactly.

  10. #9
    Scorpion8's Avatar
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    The mag spring is made to be loaded. As long as it is not overloaded, it is operating well within it's tolerance range to be loaded and left that way. You read stories of folks you inherit grandads WWII wartime 1911 and it's loaded and still functions just fine after 60+ years. As long as you're not trying to load 12 rounds in a 7 round mag and over-compressing the spring then all should be fine.

  11. #10
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    There was a time when I did rotate them every month but that is long gone. I do check them from time to time, but the quality of my carry gun mags is so good that rotating them is a waste of time. I have mags that contain my carry ammo and ones that are used for range time. The range time mags get dropped during reload drills and even then, they work fine.

  12. #11
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    If you feel the need to do something to your magazines, make sure that they are clean.

    Specifically, removing the rounds and checking for lint, dust, and debris of any kind, and so on. Even more important for your carry mag(s). You'd be amazed at what kind of stuff can work it's way into a mag pouch.

    Occasionally, I remove the mag base plate, remove the spring and take a dry, clean rag and run it thru.

  13. #12
    ymaharidr is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    No real need to rotate magazines. Actually, more wear and tear occurs to the springs when they are loaded and unloaded. Today's metallurgy is quite good, and mag springs hold up well.

    I've had magazines that have been loaded in excess of two years. They still function fine.
    I concur... the metallurgy is better in the latest magazines, therefore the springs have better 'memory' and don't fatigue.
    And, if you have a magazine (or two) that you are using for CCW, there is no reason to keep others filled... so just don't fill the non-CCW mags when you are done at the range...
    I have found that most military magazines are filled "minus one round" of capacity. I believe this is a practice to eliminate any feed problems.
    Paul

  14. #13
    MaxResponse is offline Junior Member
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    Yeah paratrooper, those Hanes probably get rotated inside to out every other day. Sorry just a little mid-day humor. LOL

    I have to say I am surprised by the responses. Unloading a magazine will wear the springs out. Whew, that is a knew one on me. I've carried semi-autos for 33 years and have never went a month without rotating my magazines and ammo. Once I've cycled my carry rounds through a magazine rotation ten times, they are set aside for one year or used as range fodder just to keep wear down on the casings. I found this info at Wolff's website. Don't rotate at your own risk, I just see it as being lazy and dangerous...

    5.) How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
    Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.
    Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.
    More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.
    In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably.
    6.) My spring got shorter after I used it for a short time. Is it bad?
    Most new springs will take a set when they are first compressed. That means they will shorten up. This is a normal event and you should not be immediately alarmed. The greater the stress on the spring, generally the more set that will occur. All Wolff springs take this set into consideration. The ratings of the springs you receive are the ratings after the set has occurred. After set has taken place, the spring should remain essentially stable for the life of the spring.

  15. #14
    MaxResponse is offline Junior Member
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    Trying not being a jerk but I have to call BS on the 60+ year magazine functioning properly. That is the most insane I have ever heard. If I saw it with my own eyes...I probably would still called BS. LOL

  16. #15
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Well......you asked and we responded.

    If I was going to do anything to a loaded mag, it might be to load one less round in it, than max. capacity allows. Other than that, I load um up and forget about um, and keep um clean as I mentioned.

    Even though I'm retired, and have time on my hands, I'm still too busy to establish a routine in regards to swapping out magazines. Besides, even if I did have a routine set-up, most likely I'd forget about it.

    But hey, if it makes you feel better, swap those bad boys out. Peace of mind alone is worth it.

  17. #16
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxResponse View Post
    Trying not being a jerk but I have to call BS on the 60+ year magazine functioning properly. That is the most insane I have ever heard. If I saw it with my own eyes...I probably would still called BS. LOL
    Well, I have WW2-issue M1911 magazines (anti-rust packaging dated 1942—1944) that were in daily use from 1977 through 1999, including in competition, and are still in use today (although no longer anywhere near daily). Of the (maybe) 30 that I'd originally purchased, only two went bad—and it wasn't the spring, but rather the feed lips.
    I realize that these magazines do not fit the criterion of 60 years fully loaded, but it's a start.


    Just for fun: In the winter, I still occasionally wear the officer's-quality, wool uniform shirt that my stepfather wore during our involvement in WW One. It's no longer in perfect condition, but there are no holes in the fabric, and all of the buttons are still in place, held by the original thread. And it's still warm.

  18. #17
    MaxResponse is offline Junior Member
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    I still have German military uniforms from my days there and they are well over 35 years old. I can't wear them due to my size now but up till six years ago, I wore them often. Very heavy garments and not in the best of shape but I could still wear them if I dropped a few pounds.
    With that being said though, in no way can any of those scenarios equal to a 60+ year old loaded 1911 magazine working flawlessly. No way, no how.

    I agree with those who say that rotating mags is a pain but the added safety factor it gives me or piece of mind is well worth the aggravation and time spent. I kinda feel that way about practicing but know that if I don't stay at it, one day, diminished skills may cost me or my family their life.

  19. #18
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxResponse View Post
    I still have German military uniforms from my days there and they are well over 35 years old. I can't wear them due to my size now but up till six years ago, I wore them often. Very heavy garments and not in the best of shape but I could still wear them if I dropped a few pounds.
    With that being said though, in no way can any of those scenarios equal to a 60+ year old loaded 1911 magazine working flawlessly. No way, no how.

    I agree with those who say that rotating mags is a pain but the added safety factor it gives me or piece of mind is well worth the aggravation and time spent. I kinda feel that way about practicing but know that if I don't stay at it, one day, diminished skills may cost me or my family their life.


    The process of wearing out metals is by working them. The mechanical energy transferred to them causes the atoms in the lattice of the metals to crystallize and thus become brittle.

    If you don't get that part, then you need to read up on metallurgy.

    By giving really bad unscientific superstitious advice on a handgun forum, you are hurting others as well as yourself.

  20. #19
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxResponse View Post
    Trying not being a jerk but I have to call BS on the 60+ year magazine functioning properly. That is the most insane I have ever heard. If I saw it with my own eyes...I probably would still called BS. LOL
    What about science, specifically metallurgy? Is that B/S too ???

  21. #20
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    Well......you asked and we responded.

    If I was going to do anything to a loaded mag, it might be to load one less round in it, than max. capacity allows. Other than that, I load um up and forget about um, and keep um clean as I mentioned.

    Even though I'm retired, and have time on my hands, I'm still too busy to establish a routine in regards to swapping out magazines. Besides, even if I did have a routine set-up, most likely I'd forget about it.

    But hey, if it makes you feel better, swap those bad boys out. Peace of mind alone is worth it.
    Let's burn a witch while we're at it !!! Peace of mind.

  22. #21
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamSmith View Post
    Let's burn a witch while we're at it !!! Peace of mind.

    I really don't think that you're going to damage mag springs by loading and unloading them on an occasional basis.

    My point was, and still is, it's not necessary to do it as much as some might believe, if at all.

    If someone feels better by doing it, I say go for it. Just don't let it turn into an obsession and become too frequent.

  23. #22
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    I really don't think that you're going to damage mag springs by loading and unloading them on an occasional basis.

    My point was, and still is, it's not necessary to do it as much as some might believe, if at all.

    If someone feels better by doing it, I say go for it. Just don't let it turn into an obsession and become too frequent.
    What about the witch? Why not throw her in the fire just for good measure?


  24. #23
    Scorpion8's Avatar
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    Well, my routine is to under-stress my magazines. Something about all of them being set up for odd numbers: 13-round, 15-round, 7-round, 17-round. Yuk. I'm not superstitious, but I prefer even numbers. So I load my mags with an even number of rounds: 12 in a 13, 6 in a 7, 14 in a 15 and so forth. Since none have a round in the chamber while in the house (even the nightstand gun is an unloaded chamber) and since i've never had a breakin or occasion to draw a weapon at home, my even-ness must have seen me through. And it doesn't overstress the mag springs.

    My quirk. It works for me.

  25. #24
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    Well, my routine is to under-stress my magazines. Something about all of them being set up for odd numbers: 13-round, 15-round, 7-round, 17-round. Yuk. I'm not superstitious, but I prefer even numbers. So I load my mags with an even number of rounds: 12 in a 13, 6 in a 7, 14 in a 15 and so forth. Since none have a round in the chamber while in the house (even the nightstand gun is an unloaded chamber) and since i've never had a breakin or occasion to draw a weapon at home, my even-ness must have seen me through. And it doesn't overstress the mag springs.

    My quirk. It works for me.

    Ouch.....a gun that is not 100% ready to fire.

    It's your call and the best of luck to you.

  26. #25
    AdamSmith is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    Well, my routine is to under-stress my magazines. Something about all of them being set up for odd numbers: 13-round, 15-round, 7-round, 17-round. Yuk. I'm not superstitious, but I prefer even numbers. So I load my mags with an even number of rounds: 12 in a 13, 6 in a 7, 14 in a 15 and so forth. Since none have a round in the chamber while in the house (even the nightstand gun is an unloaded chamber) and since i've never had a breakin or occasion to draw a weapon at home, my even-ness must have seen me through. And it doesn't overstress the mag springs.

    My quirk. It works for me.
    I cannot imagine a single instance when it would be appropriate to keep a pistol in Condition #3 (mag loaded in the gun, no round in the chamber), other than a particular state law about carrying a pistol as such in a car.

    This makes absolutely no sense on your person, either open carry or concealed, and it makes no sense in your house either.

    You might as well take the mag out, for whatever reason, and keep it in Condition #4 (gun empty, loaded mags elsewhere, like in your mag pouch).

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