Can Compression Damage Magazine and Action Springs?

   04.16.18

Can Compression Damage Magazine and Action Springs?

In this vid, Paul Harrell takes aim at another popular gun topic, and that’s the question of whether you’re messing up if you keep all your magazines loaded for long periods of time, or store your guns with the actions locked open.

Can a firearm or magazine incur damage if a spring is compressed for a long time?

Naturally, some folks say, “Heck yes,” while some say “No way.” Which is accurate? Well, in my opinion, both can be correct. But what does Paul have to say about it?

His first example is that of a semi-automatic shotgun which was stored with the action locked open for about a decade, which thereafter lacked enough spring tension to operate reliably. This is a known phenomenon, and anyone who argues that it can’t happen is an ignoramus.

Through anecdotes and firing on the range, he shows that yes, sometimes magazines will still work well after being loaded for a long time, while others will not. In short, some springs can and will indeed lose “oomph” over time. Not all, of course, but some.

After that he gets a little lost in a diatribe about what people should do and that most folks don’t actually do many of those things, which is of course the reason actions get locked open and magazines stay loaded for decades.

Afterward, he gets back into useful info by advising those of us who procrastinate or otherwise neglect maintenance to consider those tendencies whenever we’re selecting magazines, firearms, etc. Want a mag that can stay loaded for ages? Don’t buy a cheap mag. Not willing to put in a ton of training at the range? Maybe you need a double-action revolver instead of a semi-automatic pistol.

All in all, it’s good advice presented thoughtfully online by a guy with plenty of experience. And that’s something you don’t see every day.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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