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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer: Please confine your comments to the mechanical nature of my question. Please start another thread if you want to discuss the issue of having a loaded rifle around your house.

Anyway, I typically use my rifles for short yet frequent periods of time. I live on a farm and may take one out every evening for 20 minutes. I just recently started using my 336 and it's a pita to shove in 5 and then cycle them out each time I use it. After a few times my cast bullets get a lot of nicks and scrapes which can't be good for accuracy.

So, anyone leave their's loaded for long time periods? Does the mag spring sag? I'm thinking of opening the action when I'm finished for the evening and leave it in that condition.

Suggestions based on experience appreciated.
 

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I'm no engineer, but reports that I have read about metal fatigue and firearms is that loading/unloading, cocking/uncocking, etc. will wear out parts such as springs. Compression, such as a loaded magazine or a cocked hammer will not.
 

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As far as I know its the movement of the springs that wears on them, I've never had a problem keeping pistol magazines loaded, and some of them only get fired once a year.
 

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Agree with all the comments made. The small amount of heat generated by compressing and uncompressing is what wears out springs. Its like bending a piece of wire back and forth till it breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input, guys. I leave loaded revolvers and striker-fired pistols around so I guess this would be no different. Habit, I guess. I just always unloaded my rifle before going back in the house.
 

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Depend on the age of the gun. With Modern metallurgy it's fine. With an older gun, maybe. If I were going to keep a gun from the 1970's loaded that I planned to bet my life on 24-7 I might have a set of springs handy. I have rebuild some AR 30 round mags from the 70's that failed to feed. They ran just fine with a new wolf spring. Each spring is different and a lever action tube spring might or might not have enough pressure to feed well.

YMMV.
 

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No

I've got a family marlin that has been loaded since 1967. It shoots every time and gets cleaned every year. Even the piles of ammo grandpa left are still good with some rounds probably from the forties.
 

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A friend of mine conducted a 15 year experiment with a 1911 magazine the he loaded sealed in an envelope and dated. When he found it again years later the magazine was torn down and checked. The spring was still the same poundage rating and length as the other magazines in his collection. The magazine performed flawless at the range.

Competition shooters have to change springs in their magazines because the get weak from the repeated high speed use that competition shooting puts on them. The same is true for the springs in their guns. Check the suggested maintenance schedule for AR 15s trigger packs and other three gun weapon types.
 

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When my G'Pa passed away in 1981, I inherited the Remington UMC Model of 1911 he carried during WWI while in the All-American Division. I remember seeing it for the first time, when I was a wee-little pot-licker, and of course, the men in the family took turns banging away with it from time to time. Other than that, the single magazine that he had with that pistol was always stacked with the six remaining rounds, the chamber was charged, and that pistol remained in Condition 1 at all times.

I still have that magazine, it still functions fine, but I don't leave it stacked up any longer - - I have some eight-rounders for that.

Point is... This is an example of a magazine that was charged for the better part of 60 years, with periodic cycling of ammo, and it still functions as well as the day it was issued to him. Cycling springs is what wears out springs, not being placed under static compression. So... Load up your 336 and relax.
 

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I've heard that story bout all my life--that leaving mag.tube or clip loaded for long time would weaken spring in em----guess it's a old wives tale but it caused me to only load to 2/3 or 3/4 capacity if gonna be put somewhere for any length of time-----live & learn!!!
 

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i have heard of 45 magazines that were loaded in ww2 and fired in modern times and you would not want to be in front of the gun! they shot fine.
 
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