Could I Ruin My Magazines if I Keep Them Loaded?

Repeating firearms owners sometimes keep magazines loaded for those “just in case” moments when a gun is primarily used for personal protection. Some gun owners also get into the habit of keeping magazines loaded to be better prepared for practice sessions. Regardless of what applies to you, it’s important to have a better idea of whether or not keeping magazines loaded could ruin them. Here’s what you need to know, brought to you by the firearms education professionals from Online Texas LTC, the experts to turn to if you want to take a Texas concealed carry class online.

Generally, Loaded Magazines Are Fine

According to, it’s generally fine to keep magazines loaded without ruining them. This is the consensus among notable gun experts who’ve voiced opinions on this topic. In fact, one gun owner shared a story about testing a very old gun with a loaded magazine that hadn’t been fired for at least a century. It reportedly worked just fine when tested. Realistically, though, this is likely a rare exception.

But There Are Possible Spring Concerns

The one concern that’s fairly common with keeping magazines loaded involves the spring. Over time, it’s possible for loaded magazines to cause some degree of wear to this important part. The potential problem is that a worn or “less springy” spring could contribute to firing difficulties or malfunctions.

It’s a Good Idea to Periodically Relieve Spring Tension

Springs are already subjected to natural wear because they compress as bullets are added. This causes the tension to build until the gun is fired. The next bullet is then automatically shifted into the chamber. Each time this process occurs, there’s some degree of wear. For this reason, there’s no way to predict with certainty how long a spring will remain naturally springy and capable of allowing you to successfully use your firearm. This is why it’s best to regularly ease spring tension and double-check your magazine to make sure everything is still in good working order.

Err on the side of caution and do this periodically. A good way to remember to do this is to relieve spring tension when you do a thorough cleaning and inspection of your gun. Thorough cleanings aren’t required/needed very often, and the timing depends on how often you shoot your gun. A thorough cleaning isn’t needed after every range trip.

There Are Reasons to Keep Magazines Loaded

In the heat of the moment, you’re not going to have time to load your firearm if a prompt response is needed. Granted, refilling an empty magazine isn’t hard, but it’s time-consuming. There’s also the convenience factor. If you’re going to your local range, it’s not unusual to pay by the hour for your practice time. When this is the case, bringing loaded magazines with you allows you to have a more productive practice session. Check with your local range first before you bring loaded magazines with you, since some ranges don’t allow gun users to do this. 

Whether you use a gun for hunting, self-defense, or competition, make sure you have the proper training to handle, use, and store it safely. You can count on the firearms education pros at Online Texas LTC for the highest-quality training available. Whether they’re looking for LTC proficiency testing or they want information on how to get a handgun license online, Texas residents should call us today at 512-675-2124.

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