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Old 04-07-2017, 03:29 PM
albud3 albud3 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sweet home, Alabama
Posts: 127

I bought my first M1A in 1982 and loaded one of my mags with 20 the day I got it. When I re-enlisted active duty in the Army in 1987, I accidentally packed that mag into storage along with ~12 other mags. I finally unpacked that box in June of last year and my first thought was I'd screwed the magazine's spring after 29 years fully compressed. However, stripping the rounds out was as difficult as a newly loaded mag and comparing the spring to the spring from a unused USGI mag the overall length was for all intents and purposes equal. Loading the mag and shooting over 200 rounds using it showed no difference from any of my other USGI and CMI magazines.
So no, keeping a magazine loaded for years doesn't damage the spring in any way IF the mag and springs are high quality. However, I have seen cheap imported magazine springs and feed lips ruined by keeping them loaded over time. USGI and OEM high quality mags/springs will very seldom be effected by long-term storage loaded.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:03 PM
Hawky Hawky is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,156

What about the pressure on the feed lips?
RGN 20881 and still waiting!

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Old 04-08-2017, 03:47 AM
rickgman rickgman is online now
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,203

Originally Posted by Hawky View Post
What about the pressure on the feed lips?
The stress on the feed lips is well within the elastic limits of the material so it is a non- issue.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:33 PM
buchkshot buchkshot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 327

H2O and USMC - it must be a southern thing. I too keep four loaded mags in the bug out bag (North Carolina). 40 Portuguese FMJ and 40 FN AP (holy smokes, where did they come from)
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:44 PM
neorebel neorebel is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Missouri
Posts: 133

I can tell you from experience. Yes, you can leave them loaded. I experimented with this a long time ago and left them (usgi) loaded for 10 years. They worked fine and stll do.

Last edited by neorebel; 04-11-2017 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:07 PM
howardhuge howardhuge is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: nc
Posts: 1,457

A unloaded mag = a hole in you. I do have a m1a for home defense... and hope I never have to use it.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:24 PM
JetFuelBurner JetFuelBurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 183

I have been using the same 6-8 magazines since I got my first M14 from Fulton Armory over 10 years ago. When not at the range, they stay loaded in a 6 pocket bandolier. Zero issues so far. FWIW...I have a few dozen spare springs just in case. Haven't needed a single one yet.
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