Magazine springs

After carrying a full mag all day, I take the shells out over night and reload the next morning. My reasoning is that I don’t want to keep the spring compressed and have a failure to feed in the future. Am I just being paranoid? Any opinions? Thanks.


I leave magazines loaded at all times. The older ones have years of being loaded. Never had any issue related to the magazine spring.

As I’m sure you’ve seen in other forums there are going to be a variety of reasons why people are either for or against it. I just don’t hear of a rash of magazine spring failures to worry too much about it.

On the extreme off chance of a magazine failure, that is why I carry multiple magazines.


Welcome to the community! This is certainly one of those “hotly debated” topics, and there’s a plethora of videos available:

From what I remember, I think the answer is that there’s no noticeable loss over even a very extended period. But it doesn’t hurt to rotate every once in while. And you can test the springs and if they feel loose, you can always stretch them back out. I believe most magazines use more of a flat coil spring, which retains the springy-ness longer. I don’t think you need to unload and reload every night - but the occasional unload and spring check might should be part of your maintenance routine.


Yep, lots of debate. What wears a spring is the repeated compress/uncompress cycles. Staying either compressed (loaded), or uncompressed (empty) does not wear on a spring. They will take a “set” after a couple of times cycling a new spring.

I go through a LOT of magazine springs, because I am using my magazines a lot. Different brands will last varying amounts of time. Also a good time to inspect those feed lips too. I generally replace my magazine springs every year now. I used to wait until I had a failure (competition magazines), then replace. Nope, not the best plan, which is why it is every year (actually do all the springs in the gun too).

For my carry magazines, it would be years before I replace the springs.


From what I gather, the majority of the internet physics experts say that the springing cycle is what wears a spring. “They” say staying compressed or relaxed for long periods is less strain than reloading all the time. I leave my mags loaded mostly out of laziness.

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Have to agree with the concept that magazines that get loaded and unloaded a lot will wear out, those either compressed or “sprung” rarely wear out.Hence I have “duty or ready service” mags that stay loaded and range mags that get loaded and fired on the range. Then there are the “spare” mags that are not loaded. Most of my duty mags get unloaded once a year ish when the ammo gets changed out. I’ve only ever replaced springs in my range mags. I fired a magazine of 855 that I loaded in 1989 last month because I wanted to replace it with green tip. Worked fine, the 30’th round was still a pain to fit.




Welcome to the forums @Istvan. Great topic. I am not a gun expert, nor do I play one on TV, I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. So this is my experience, and my experience alone.

I have multiple .45 it’s a round I am comfortable with and it’s one I would be willing to place my life on in a self defense situation.

I have 6 magazines for each handgun. 3 range ammo FMJ and 3 Hornady Critical Defense for self defense. I do this so if I go to the range I just change out the magazines and save myself some time. My wife has a Ruger that she has had for 30+ years. It only has 3 magazines for it. For 30 years it has been kept fully topped off for the entire 30 years.

She shoots it alot more often now since 12/19/18 when she started getting more serious about the CC lifestyle or at the very least backing me up. It’s never hung up our had a FTF or a FTE in 30 years of use. She gets it maintained by the same Gunsmith at least once a year.

So, personally, I think it’s a myth.


Standard disclaimer do not try to make this post at home. This was made on a closed course by Professionals, no animals were harmed during the making of this post. Nor any sponsorship for tobacco related products. :innocent:

You didn’t say if you are or are not leaving one in the chamber. I ask only because I was thinking that if you’re continually slamming the same round in day after day, you may have a single round malfunction. Btw, I stay loaded ready to go.


IMO leave the mag loaded at all times.


Certain magazines I have loaded all of the time, others I don’t. I tend to rotate my carry magazine every 6 months (unloaded when not carrying, loaded while carrying). I haven’t noticed a difference in performance due to age/spring fatigue yet.

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Mine always stay loaded because as others have said, the compress/decompress is what wears on them. I’ve only had one magazine wear out on me and it was because I was shoving 18rds into a 17rd mag. It didnt really fail catastrophically but it was no longer able to put enough pressure on the slide catch to lock my slide to the rear when I go empty. I try to count my shots but sometimes you lose track.

I want to thank everyone for their input. Advice taken…Thanks.

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