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I have always had revolvers lying around in the night stand for home defense. But I recently have replaced my revolvers with my P99. My question is should I load the mag to capacity or only half way to save on the mag spring tension? And what is the life expectancy of a mag spring. If I load one to the max how long can I leave it before I should worry about feeding reliability? You individuals who serve in law enforcement, do you change mags every night, once a week or once a month? What is the standard rule of thumb that you follow for keeping mag springs in proper tension?
 

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This is an area where I don't think anyone really knows what they are talking about. On one side you have people saying don't even leave the springs compressed over night and then on the other end you have people saying they can be compressed for years and not have any ill effects.

Personally, I tend to lean a little to keeping them compressed for as long as you want. I've seen magazines that were stored fully loaded for years in Grandpa's secret hiding place go to the range and function just fine.

I leave my P99 magazines loaded all the time since I bought my first one back in 1998. I haven't replaced one magazine spring yet.

Personally I think (being and electrical engineer and not a mechanical engineer) that the more you use something the faster it will wear out. Thus, wether the magazine spring is compressed or not for many years will not wear it out as fast as a magazine that see's lots of action on the range, being loaded and unloaded constantly.
 

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I have to agree with P88 - what wears out a spring is the constant movement. When you compress it, all you do is store potential energy. When you cycle a spring (by loading/unloading a magazine), that's when you begin to induce fatigue and stress. Leaving it in one condition (loaded or unloaded) is the best way to preserve service life.
 

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My sentiments exactly! I think this also pertains to the idea of leaving a P22's hammer cocked between uses to "wear" it in a little. In reality, it does nothing really to wear the hammer spring down for cycling lower velocity ammo. Only continual shooting works the spring, and wears it out.

I've got a buddy with a very old P38. It hadn't been shot in almost 15 years. It functioned flawlessly at the range with those old mag springs. Considering the gun has been fully loaded for almost the entirity of that time, that says a lot.

Loads of fun to shoot, too.

-stunks
 

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I have a Browning Challenger .22 that was purchased in 1975 and have had 1000s of rounds put through it and I have had to replace some of the springs on the pistol but have never had any problem with the magazine springs, (I have two).

I have a Series 70 Colt that I have probable shot no more than 2000 rounds through it in the 27 years I have owned it and never had a problem with the magazines, even though the only time the mags are not full is when I shoot them out. After it is emptied, it is loaded back to capacity and may sit that way for months at a time.

I could go on and on about the different autos I have owned and I have never had a spring from the magazine give me problems, (the lips of the mags, maybe, but never the spring).

If you are worried about it, get a spare spring and keep it for piece of mind, then carry and care for your P99 as you see fit.
 

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P88 is correct.
If it's loaded and compressed it can't wear out. It will "set" but it will retain it's strength.
 
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