MAG Stress Test


As a gun owner, you know how important it is to have reliable firearm components. The magazine is a critical component, as it feeds ammunition into the chamber. But what about the spring? Does it lose its elasticity over time or become damaged when you load the magazine? Ammo To Go set out to answer these questions with their mag spring torture test.

The team spent almost a year loading and unloading 13 different mags, including Magpul PMAGs, ETS Glock 17 mags, and USGI AR-15 mags. They subjected samples of each mag to a series of tests over the course of a year, including loading and storing them in a climate-controlled environment, storing them in a shed where temperatures fluctuated to over 100°F, and not loading them at all.

The team regularly took the mags to the range for field testing, firing one round every two seconds, and then using a digital force gauge to determine whether the mag springs' resistance values changed in any significant way. After about ten months and thousands of rounds, the team determined that all of the mags they tested performed flawlessly during field testing, and the digital force gauge revealed zero significant variability in their springs' resistance.

They recruited help from Applied Technical Services to determine precisely how much punishment a mag can tolerate before its spring starts wearing out. The team gave ATS a factory 17-round G17 mag and a 30-round PMAG and proceeded to punish the springs with their spring compressing contraption. The G17 mag spring endured 14,842 cycles (the equivalent of 252,314 rounds) before it snapped; the PMAG endured 69,881 cycles (2,096,430 rounds) before it gave up the ghost.

While it's safe to conclude that mag springs are incredibly rugged, ATS's testing didn't perfectly emulate real-world conditions. In reality, mags get dirty, subjected to temperature fluctuations, dropped, quickly reloaded, and otherwise mistreated. Nevertheless, the results of the mag spring torture test are impressive and demonstrate that mag springs can last for many years without losing their elasticity or suffering significant damage. So, next time you load your magazine, rest assured that your mag spring is up to the task.

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