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Thread: Spring's

  1. #1
    1911 friendly is offline Junior Member
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    Spring's

    I took a NRA class - where it was advised to "change you magazine spring once a year", (if kept loaded with bullets) as the spring will weaken. And since it is so cheap - do it. Got me to thinking - if that is true, how about keeping the 1911 hammer always cocked.
    Change that every year also ? Not going to happen.

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  3. #2
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Full of poop, IMO.

    I've always heard (from reliable sources, such as mechanical engineers) that springs are primarily weakened by compress/decompress cycles, not time under compressed load, as long as the design limits of the spring have net been exceeded (such as over-compressing or bending/stretching them). I've personally fired ammo out of magazines that were loaded and left full for over 20 years (AR-15 and Mini-14), that functioned fine when finally used, and those same mags continued to function properly for many more years. Heck, I'm probably still using the AR mag, but I'd never be able to tell which one it is. I also have Glock mags with all original parts that were still perking along with no problems after 20+ years, some of which had been loaded for more than a year at a stretch; and then I sold them to folks in states that still had AWB-style magazine bans in place, and they're STILL using them.

    When you find a reference to "replacing magazine springs yearly", you might be surprised at how many times this has originated with a company that sells replacement springs. I've seen it a lot in online sources, especially ones aimed at Law Enforcement or concealed carry folks, usually using the old "How much is your life worth?" or similar statements to sell replacement springs.

    I'll see if I can find some sources for you to review on the subject.

    EDIT: Try this article:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_99130369/
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  4. #3
    yeti's Avatar
    yeti is offline Junior Member
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    Replace every year? Ridiculous.
    I am all for maintenance, but that is wasteful. Complete overkill! Modern coil springs fatigue and wear out from cycling (compression-extension) thousands of times.

    Can you send me all those "used up" one year old mag springs?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
    . . . I've always heard (from reliable sources, such as mechanical engineers) that springs are primarily weakened by compress/decompress cycles, not time under compressed load, as long as the design limits of the spring have net been exceeded (such as over-compressing or bending/stretching them). . .
    Plus 1 with DJ. And Yeti too.

    I've been retired from my mechanical engineering career for 15 years.
    But, my feeble mind still remembers that DJ's observations are correct.

    The key is "as long as the design limits of the spring have net been exceeded".
    If this has happened, then the "engineers" doing the original specs and testing for the gun/magazine springs
    should be strung up and shot, so to speak. Because they didn't know what they were doing.

    For example: I purchased a new Beretta 92 Centurion in 1992. It has two magazines.
    They have ALWAYS been loaded, one in the gun, one for reserve.
    Every few months, I empty the "expensive SD rounds", load FMJ cheap stuff, and fire all the cheap stuff.
    Clean and lube the gun. But, not the mags. Reload the "good stuff". Every couple of years I fire all the "good stuff".
    And replace with whatever "everybody says is the new and latest SD good stuff". It's a good "safety" measure, and fun.

    Never had any mag or gun spring failures with my 92, or my other semi-auto, revolver, or rifle springs for that matter.

    This is just the very long way around of saying "spring fatigue" is NOT due to "setting in a compressed state".
    Oops, gotta add the "properly designed" caveat.

    For some reason, this "spring failure while setting compessed deal" is NEVER going to get the "stake through its heart" that it deserves.

    Now having said that, I would NEVER advise letting a "properly lubed" semi-auto or any other firearm set around for years,
    and expect it to work properly when needed. THAT is a function of lots of "lube parameters" you cannnot predict.
    And I would never "bet my life" on ANY of the lube manfacturer's claims.

    Finally, for those people who are putting thousands of rounds through "a firearm", then changing springs is a "preventive
    measure" that makes sense. After all, they are NOT getting paid to test the system through failure. That is the function
    of the engineering/reliability fatigue testing system of the manufacturer. Assuming they "give a sh_t". Some do, some don't.

    It is left "to the student" to evaluate which manufacturers do "due dilegence" in this area. I have my opinions. YMMV.

  6. #5
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    DJ, Dan P and yeti are correct. It's cycling that wears the springs out, not remaining under tension. I've checked this out with some pretty sophisticated people. Like other sports, shooting is full of myths, and that's one of them.

  7. #6
    DWARREN123's Avatar
    DWARREN123 is offline Member
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    I only change out parts when I start having problems. I do keep an extra recoil assembly on hand just in case.
    Mine are Glocks.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWARREN123 View Post
    . . . Mine are Glocks.
    OK, I cannot resist being snarky. It's in my DNA.

    "I only change out parts when I start having problems. . ."

    Well yeah, I only change out my fridge, my cookstove, my washer, and my propane dryer when "I have problems".
    Just like a Glock, they have served me well, and truly. All four have lasted 15 years, with just a tiny bit of "tuning" on the washer and stove.

    Now, when it comes to firearms, I'm just NOT into the "GLOCK appliance category". YMMV, of course.

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