Storing magazines loaded

At the gun range this morning, I was asked by a new shooter, “should I store magazines loaded or unloaded?”

I’m sure this topic has been covered on this platform already, but some of us may not have seen it.


Even without the explanation from that video, I’d keep some mags loaded and ready. If the weapon is for home defense, the bad guy isn’t going to wait for me to load up. If it is EDC, I don’t want to have to spend time loading up mags before I leave and then unload when I get back.

If they’re still worried about wearing out the spring, you can always buy some spare mags that you keep unloaded and rotate which ones are loaded/unloaded after every trip to the range. You can always buy replacement springs too.


Agreed. All of my mags are loaded. I’m not going to say how many, but more than 2 and less than 100.


From my understanding, unloading and loading a mag does more wear than leaving the magazine loaded.


That’s my understanding as well, especially the unloading part…through the barrel!


Doesn’t matter enough to give it more than 2 second’s of thought. Springs are cheap and easily replaceable. When you need your ammo, you want it ready.

I keep mine full. My pistols have never had feeding issues with all sorts of ammo. When I get more than a couple feed failures at the range, I’ll replace springs with new ones. My SW40V Sigma was new in 1997, and hasn’t feed failed yet. Newer Glock has not yet failed either. :crossed_fingers:


I keep two loaded; two unloaded. You can rotate the mags if you are worried about the spring.


For EDC and home they are obviously loaded. For the range, I load the night before and empty them at the range. They stay that way until the next range trip.


I do store some magazines loaded such as my concealed carry and home defense magazines. Some guns I don’t use as much I store them empty until I go to the range.


I have stored metal magazines in 380, 9mm, & 40 S&W for many years with no failures when shooting them.

I am new to the AR platform and bought composite PMAG magazines. The magazines came with a dust cover that seems to double as a feed lip stress reliever by pressing the loaded cartridges down off the lips. Since I don’t have any experience to make a decision yet, I have been leaving those fully loaded with the dust caps on for the last couple of months. I took them to the range today and had no issues.


I am from the old school, you just didn’t do that. I have seen hunting rifle mags rusted and bullets
in the mag green with verdigris.
BUT! After careful study and learning about metallurgy and manufacture of springs I have come over to the dark side. I now keep a number of mags for rifle and pistol fully loaded. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. :+1:


All but 2 of my magazines are loaded. The 2 that are unloaded are in my range bag and are just used at the range, loaded with the Ammo du jour.


I always keep mine loaded.


3 mags for my EDC/primary. 3 more mags for my home defense/backup. When I get a backup EDC piece, I’ll probably keep at least 2 mags loaded.

Mags go with me to the range and get unloaded. Immediately after I get home, I clean the guns and then swap out the mags for 3 fresh ones that get loaded and get used on my next range trip.


My magazine is fully loaded!image