Maintenance – fresh magazines

Regular maintenance isn’t the most fun thing, but it’s an important thing.

By no means do I have a perfect track record here, and when I do maintain things it’s not always regular. But I do try to address things from time to time.

One thing I’m semi-regular about is rotating my carry ammo. Yes I know it’s expensive, but when the flag files the last thing you want is for things to not function. While self-defense ammo is of high quality, takes many factors into account to fend off the elements, all that sweat, humidity, and other factors of being on your hip for months on end… yeah, there’s no harm in putting in fresh ammo maybe every 6 months or so. How often? Everyone debates it endlessly, so just pick a reasonable schedule and try to stick to it.

But did you think about rotating your magazines?

A lot of people treat magazines like gold, and to some extent that’s understandable. But on the whole, magazines are disposable. They should be considered wear parts that need to be replaced every so often.

Case in point:

These are 2 magazine springs. They are both from a S&W M&P9 17-round magazine.

The shorter one came out of one of the magazines I’ve been carrying for a while (honestly, don’t recall how long but probably a few years). The longer one came out of a brand new, just-removed-from-box magazine. I wish I had a brand new spring that hadn’t even been inside a magazine yet for additional comparison, but alas that was at home in the closet.

Essentially the same thing, but you can see the great difference in the older magazine.

I don’t use my carry mags for anything other than carry. They only get used maybe every 6 months when I shoot the ammo I’ve been carrying and then refill them. They still worked, they still fed properly. But no question the older springs had lost a bit of tension. What actually spurred me to get fresh mags wasn’t anything with springs or feeding, but the magazine bodies – from being up against my skin all the time, they had started to take on a little rust. Nothing big, but it was enough to make me notice and figure new ones couldn’t hurt. If not for that, I probably would have just swapped in new springs and kept the bodies.

The old ones will go into my range bag to use in practice. Ran a few magazines through the new ones to ensure they functioned correctly, then loaded them up with Gold Dots and into service they go.

I started to make a practice of every time I’d go to the store or order something online, just throw another magazine into the cart. If you buy one here, one there, next thing you know you’ve got a good stockpile. Then when you need a new one, you’ve got one — there’s not always in stock when you need them.


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