Should You Store Your Magazines Loaded Or Unloaded?


Leave Your Magazines Loaded Or Unloaded?



I have often wondered if it really mattered one way or the other if magazines should be left loaded or unloaded.  I have heard for many years that leaving them loaded is fine and leaving them unloaded is also fine, but that it is the loading and unloading that actually causes the springs to break down and need replaced.  Recently I was cleaning out my pistol safe and found a couple of old 10 round Glock 23 magazines that I purchased with my Glock 23 in 1999.  The ban on high capacity magazines was in effect at the time so all I could purchase were the 10 round magazines.  Shortly after the ban was lifted I purchased a few 13 round magazines and used them to shoot with whenever I would take the Glock 23 to the range.  As an unintended consequence the two 10 round magazines got left in the back of the safe and for the most part forgotten about.

This weekend when I found them I started adding up just how long they had been unused and figured it was pretty close to 10 years.  possibly as little as 8 or 9 but they had been sitting loaded for a very long time.  So I figured taking these 2 magazines to the range would make a great test to see if it really is safe to store magazines loaded for extended periods of time.  Check out the video below to see how the magazines performed!

See How These 2 Magazines Perform After Being Loaded For Nearly 10 Years!

Do you leave your magazines loaded or unloaded? Tell us why or why not in the comments below!

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5 thoughts on “Should You Store Your Magazines Loaded Or Unloaded?

  1. Dude.

    I haven’t had a failure of a spring yet, and some of my mags date back to the mid eighties….

  2. Left loaded for how long ?

    The old east block AK mags, steel, ribbed, are fine left loaded for years. Usually all steel pistol / rifle / carbine mags are fine left loaded for years. Keep in mind, the ammo should be checked from time to time for corrosion.

    If concerned try this. Remove the mag spring and compare it to a new mag spring in terms of length. When spring has shrunk about 3/4 to an inch, I just buy new springs. Wolff makes the best springs, and longest lasting springs.

    Some polymer mags should not be left loaded for a long period of time – I’m talking about a year or so. Case can stress and bulge over time. Feed lips might deform a bit too.Just about all firearms manufacturers will tell you just about the same thing.

    One last thing. If the last couple rounds are real hard to load, that is a good sign to short load the mag. Otherwise that will have an impact on the life of the spring and might also impact on normal bolt cycling in stripping off the top couple rounds. These mags should not be fully loaded for extended period of time.

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