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Posted: 12/30/2020 9:56:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2021 1:49:50 PM EST by Makarov]
Let’s find out!

So, shortly after 9/11 (as in days after) I stashed away a few “just-in-case” bags with goodies such as loaded AR magazines, some cash in small bills, an MRE and other essentials. I was recently cleaning out a rental property that I have on the market and came across one of my stashes.

This is a loaded, pre-‘94AWB OKay Industries 30 round USGI magazine.
Attachment Attached File


Attachment Attached File



So, to settle this question it was off to the range.
Attachment Attached File


It was loaded with 29 rounds of Winchester Q3131A (Israeli assembled) M193 spec. ammunition with an 01 headstamp. I was buying this by the case for like $0.19/round at the time.
Attachment Attached File


All 29 rounds fired without issue. I shot a combination of slow, aimed fire and then some double-taps. Feed, Fire and Ejection were consistent and flawless.

Then I discovered I was shooting with the dreaded BLACK FOLLOWER and thanked God I had survived to tell the tale!
Attachment Attached File


CONCLUSION: So, at 29 rounds it was not technically a FULLY loaded magazine and it hasn’t been quite 20 full years (19year+3 months). However, there was absolutely no loss of performance. The mag and the ammunition worked exactly as designed. Also, remember this was a “used” pre-ban magazine to begin with and now is at least 26 years old.

ETA- iirc, I paid $25 each for these used, pre-ban magazines in 1999.

Edit #2- I was sorting brass today and unless somebody else was shooting W.W.C./01 the mag was loaded to 29 rounds.
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 1:30:33 PM EST
I have a box of 20 round GI mostly Colt mags that had been loaded for 20+ years. I took several to the range and had many FTF issues. I'm looking at buying a bunch of Wolf replacement springs. YMMV
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 3:37:21 PM EST
I enjoy seeing posts like this so thank you.

I have several mags loaded top to bottom that sit in an emergency kit.  There are 20 round metal, 30 round metal and 30 round Pmags.  They've only been loaded for around 10 years or so though.  From everything I've read it's a pretty safe bet they will be good to go if needed.  At least there are multiples so if one does fail I can quickly swap it out.  

Link Posted: 12/30/2020 8:53:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2020 6:55:03 PM EST by Makarov]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brandi:
I enjoy seeing posts like this so thank you.

I have several mags loaded top to bottom that sit in an emergency kit.  There are 20 round metal, 30 round metal and 30 round Pmags.  They've only been loaded for around 10 years or so though.  From everything I've read it's a pretty safe bet they will be good to go if needed.  At least there are multiples so if one does fail I can quickly swap it out.  

View Quote


It’s anecdotal, which is telling when combined with other firsthand reports. However, as TNZ71 remarked; YMMV -as always.

FWIW- None of my go to mags for CC/HD have been left loaded with the same ammunition for 20 years. Although, I do have Glock mags that I regularly shoot and keep loaded that are probably 20 years old, at least.  

ETA- I was sorting brass today and unless somebody else was shooting W.W.C./01 the mag was loaded to 29 rounds.
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 8:58:00 PM EST
A friend had a Glock 23 (.40S&W) that was loaded with a round chambered and untouched for 13 years.  It shot to slide lock with no malfunctions.
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 9:09:21 PM EST
most of my mags I shoot with are pre-1994 black follower 30 rd mags, they work just great.  Have a few with green followers.
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 10:10:23 PM EST
I had a 1911 magazine given to me in 2002 by my dad that had 5/7 rounds remaining from his service in Vietnam in 1969. He was a packrat and tried bringing home all sorts of crazy shit, so a partial mag was not surprising. The story behind where the first two rounds went was... interesting.

In any case, 30 years later, those five rounds fed and fired just fine out of the Springfield 1911 I had at the time. The mag is now a keepsake I keep on my desk, but a basic Colt USGI .45 mag definitely worked after all that time.
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 12:48:39 AM EST
Have mags that have been loaded since the 80s
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 1:25:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
Let’s find out!

So, shortly after 9/11 (as in days after) I stashed away a few “just-in-case” bags with goodies such as loaded AR magazines, some cash in small bills, an MRE and other essentials. I was recently cleaning out a rental property that I have on the market and came across one of my stashes.

This is a loaded, pre-‘94AWB OKay Industries 30 round USGI magazine.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/4BF5E376-378F-4DBC-A1DF-52D439962AB6_jpe-1754916.JPG

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/4A18EDE4-896F-4A5A-B0E2-DA1113A9A504_jpe-1755857.JPG


So, to settle this question it was off to the range.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/300B96EA-0292-40BE-B021-C8DA51F9E0B3_jpe-1754917.JPG

It was loaded with 28 rounds of Winchester Q3131A (Israeli assembled) M193 spec. ammunition with an 01 headstamp. I was buying this by the case for like $0.19/round at the time.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/97264F6C-601D-4267-B078-7AA2390B9CE3_jpe-1754919.JPG

All 28 rounds fired without issue. I shot a combination of slow, aimed fire and then some double-taps. Feed, Fire and Ejection were consistent and flawless.

Then I discovered I was shooting with the dreaded BLACK FOLLOWER and thanked God I had survived to tell the tale!
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/86C5A3CD-8E7E-4178-8E2A-A31FF519E67E_jpe-1754920.JPG

CONCLUSION: So, at 28 rounds it was not technically a FULLY loaded magazine and it hasn’t been quite 20 full years (19year+3 months). However, there was absolutely no loss of performance. The mag and the ammunition worked exactly as designed. Also, remember this was a “used” pre-ban magazine to begin with and now is at least 26 years old.

ETA- iirc, I paid $25 each for these used, pre-ban magazines in 1999.
View Quote


Ah yes, the ban years. Pretty typical price for those back then. I still remember the $100 Flock mags too.

Thanks for sharing OP.
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 6:26:45 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RABIDFOX50:


Ah yes, the ban years. Pretty typical price for those back then. I still remember the $100 Flock mags too.

Thanks for sharing OP.
View Quote


Yep, I distinctly remember paying $95 for a pre-ban G17 magazine

Link Posted: 12/31/2020 7:57:42 AM EST
Most of these loaded mag threads (that we do at least 20 times a year end  with about 50/50 results.

My take is that clean non rusty metal mags will be fine . Flexing springs to unload will stress the mag ever so slightly more than leaving it loaded .

I believe that some reports of "bad" mags are just dirty/oily mags where the dirt and old oil crusted over with the ppasage of time.

I have some small level of mistrust when uncapped pp-mags or early plastic lip glock mags are involved . Mostly lack of use on my ppart , wouldn't toss them , just not count on them at the head of rotation.

Yeah, I get that many "feel" that a spring will weaken over time but the science guys that know materials and metal are pretty firm that this is not so.

Make your own decisions
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 8:05:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2020 8:07:37 AM EST by BMCBreeder]
I haven’t had any bad experiences leaving PMAGS loaded.

IWI Jericho .40 , Springfield XDM, Springfield XD MAGA all got noticeably compressed after several years and would fail to lock the slide back.

I recently ordered all new Upgraded springs and rebuilt them, as well as new mags for each for spares.

I’m wondering if some companies get the heat treat wrong on the springs.

I heat treat different types of steel for knives I make and do some blacksmithing. There is no 100% correct answer to the question. Depends on the steel, the QC. Any company can release a bad batch of springs.

And yes my mags were clean. You could visible see a marked difference in all of the spring lengths once removed. You could even stretch them back out but they all feel weaker by far than new factory replacements.
Springs are cheap.
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 8:06:10 AM EST
I am not a big AR fanboi.....so why are you here?

Well the last time my AR was out was for a CMP match and my kid shot it.  He is/was a little small for his age, he is 22 now about 180-ish and 5'5"...built like a little fire plug, but being small I wanted something a bit soft for him to shoot.

The rifle I bought way back the first time they talked about taking them away from us.  It is a Colt HBAR, I think that was really the only choice back then, and it came with 2x 5 round mags.  They look just like GI 20 rounders, I think they have a block in them but I never took them apart and there is no point now.

He shot those two mags in the match, well practice for the match and they had been loaded from the late 80's early 90's.

After that match the gun got parked again, and he went on to shoot rifles that start with a 3.

It sat till last year when I dug it back out, gave it a lube, oil and filter and went out to shoot it again.  It had been a VERY long time for me shooting this thing.  I shot it a great deal when I got it, but then they became popular, the people shooting them got a little nutty and I put it in the back of the safe.

So I dig this thing out carry it out back and start to ding some steel, with again mags that have sat for over a decade again.  Some things I learned.

They are fun to shoot.
I now understand all the "speed loaders" and why they are for sale.
Loading those huge plastic mags really does suck and get old fast, see point 2.
You can leave mags loaded, unloaded, partly loaded. and it really does not matter.
Yes tracers will start a fire.
Look to see what has been loaded in the mags 30 years ago, you might have loaded tracers in them.

And lastly I understand the AR....phenomenon.

And now we have a shortage of about everything, so no shooting just when I rediscover just how much fun this thing is.
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 8:06:36 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 9:27:52 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Miami_JBT:
I've had a Beretta 92 mag that's bene loaded since the late 90s. Still has Winchester Black Talon in it.
View Quote
Choot it!
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 10:09:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2020 10:17:54 AM EST by humahuma]
thanks for posting!

i have 3 groups of mags: new mags, loaded mags and range mags. my loaded mags move over to range mags after several years and get replaced with new. i understand that this probably wouldnt work for those that keep 100s of loaded mags.

ive also given away a bunch of my older loaded mags to friends who are reloading at the range. AR mags are too cheap to not have enough for a range session!

no where near as good as your experiment but i had zero failures shooting 5 pmags that had been loaded for about 8 yrs with 29 rnds in each.
Link Posted: 1/8/2021 8:38:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2021 8:39:36 PM EST by d5griffin]
Thanks for the post.  Tons of conjecture out there, no BS data points are refreshing.

Is the jury out on PMAGs loaded for 10+ Yrs?
Link Posted: 1/8/2021 9:29:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 4:11:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2021 4:11:29 PM EST by Wizardali]
My 1911 45acp w/ Wilson mag has been fully loaded (+1 chamber con1) for past 20yrs.
No issues when at the range.

Empty mags are like "hey, can you hold a sec while I put bullets in my mag, then we can fight".
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 6:56:19 PM EST
I had an Okay Industries 30 round surplus mag loaded for almost 21 years.
When I got a new Colt M4 I took it to the range and fired the mag with no problems.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 7:01:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 1:28:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By d5griffin:
Thanks for the post.  Tons of conjecture out there, no BS data points are refreshing.

Is the jury out on PMAGs loaded for 10+ Yrs?
View Quote



A couple of years back I grabbed some Pmags that had been loaded since 2006. They worked without an issue.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 1:57:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Makarov:


Yep, I distinctly remember paying $95 for a pre-ban G17 magazine

View Quote



My second handgun purchase after turning 21 was a very well used Glock 22, with 2 nfml 15 rd mags for like $700 OTD.  Wasn’t easy to find pistol mags in 2002.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 5:31:32 PM EST
4 Ruger Mk II mags left loaded for 14 years, no issues, still using them today (14 more years later)
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 2:28:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
Let’s find out!

So, shortly after 9/11 (as in days after) I stashed away a few “just-in-case” bags with goodies such as loaded AR magazines, some cash in small bills, an MRE and other essentials. I was recently cleaning out a rental property that I have on the market and came across one of my stashes.

This is a loaded, pre-‘94AWB OKay Industries 30 round USGI magazine.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/4BF5E376-378F-4DBC-A1DF-52D439962AB6_jpe-1754916.JPG

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/4A18EDE4-896F-4A5A-B0E2-DA1113A9A504_jpe-1755857.JPG


So, to settle this question it was off to the range.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/300B96EA-0292-40BE-B021-C8DA51F9E0B3_jpe-1754917.JPG

It was loaded with 29 rounds of Winchester Q3131A (Israeli assembled) M193 spec. ammunition with an 01 headstamp. I was buying this by the case for like $0.19/round at the time.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/97264F6C-601D-4267-B078-7AA2390B9CE3_jpe-1754919.JPG

All 29 rounds fired without issue. I shot a combination of slow, aimed fire and then some double-taps. Feed, Fire and Ejection were consistent and flawless.

Then I discovered I was shooting with the dreaded BLACK FOLLOWER and thanked God I had survived to tell the tale!
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/8568/86C5A3CD-8E7E-4178-8E2A-A31FF519E67E_jpe-1754920.JPG

CONCLUSION: So, at 29 rounds it was not technically a FULLY loaded magazine and it hasn’t been quite 20 full years (19year+3 months). However, there was absolutely no loss of performance. The mag and the ammunition worked exactly as designed. Also, remember this was a “used” pre-ban magazine to begin with and now is at least 26 years old.

ETA- iirc, I paid $25 each for these used, pre-ban magazines in 1999.

Edit #2- I was sorting brass today and unless somebody else was shooting W.W.C./01 the mag was loaded to 29 rounds.
View Quote


Yes.
Link Posted: 1/15/2021 9:39:56 PM EST
I've shot some 15rnd M1 Carbine mags and some 1911 mags that I know were stored in the '50s based on the (previously) oiled newspaper they were wrapped in.  They were in a box of stuff given to one of my uncle's after his friend passed away.  The ammo all had US WWII headstamps and the guy served in WWII and Korea so no idea when they were first loaded.  Even with a little surface rust they all went bang although one or two of the 1911 mags were a little sticky in a SA GI model.  I would not want to rely on those mags as defensive mags but after cleaning them my uncle uses them as range mags and I haven't heard him mention any failures.  

As I understand it, as long as the springs themselves don't get rusty, it's the compressing and relaxing them (whatever the engineering terms are) that wears them out, not leaving them compressed.  I will say that old Argentinian .45ACP ammo sucks and I won't shoot it ever again. It all went bang but it was inconsistent in both felt recoil and muzzle flash and I worried about getting a squib.  
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