Magazine Failures

Yesterday’s post about spare magazines for daily carry brought up a few issues regarding magazine reliability. All I can say is if you have questions about your magazines there may be bigger problems.

I hear what folks are saying, they are saying the magazine is the most unreliable link in the whole system. Just so we are clear; system implies firearm, magazine and ammunition. Obviously they don’t “really” feel that way or they would have replaced the magazine in the first place and this blog would be the shortest ever in the history of blogs.

Magazines for hire

However, there is some really entrenched thought on magazine reliability so I figured it would be good to explore. I will assume this thought process has come at the cost of first hand experience. Meaning they experienced failure after failure of magazines to the point they had to be retired and replaced. I have my doubts that is the case. The reality is magazines that are properly cared for will last an incredibly long time. I’m sure everyone has heard about the old WW2 pistol brought home and stored in the attic. Found almost fifty years later with a loaded magazine just like grandpa left it. Fired at the range without issue. I have found loaded magazine at the bottom of my kit bags, they had to be loaded for at least 10 years and I fired them without incident.

Magazine Etiquette

The quick comeback will be, those are isolated incidents and magazine failure is more often not reported. In this last class we had one student with some old M4 magazines with the original followers They were causing a failure to lock back on the last round. Pretty simple fix and now that he knows I’m sure he will see that problem fade away. Like any other part of your system you do need to care for them. We recommend a group for training and a group for duty only. You put them into service after a function check and rotate them at your discretion. I am not saying you will not experience a magazine failure, but the chances become so remote to base a philosophy on this concept is weak.

Logical Flow

Now, let’s follow this logically. You are carrying concealed a firearm for personal defense. Because you have a doubt about the magazine’s reliability you are carrying a spare. The thought process is in the middle of a gunfight you will recognize the magazine’s failure and perform a super high speed combat reload. Does anyone see a problem with this train of thought?

How about if the first magazine has a problem, what is saying the second one won’t have the same and therefore require a third magazine; etc… Then there is the question of how do you know it was a magazine related issue, what if it was operator error like failing to seat the magazine or even faulty ammunition. Then if it was a magazine related problem who is actually practicing after a “click” to immediately perform a combat reload. I don’t think there are a lot of folks who are so then the next question is how have you been able to practice this skill so it is reliable under stress. You recognize the issue, employ the correct remedy and get back in the fight.

I might sound a little condescending and if so, tough. I think there are a lot of reasons to carry a spare magazine, but carrying a spare because you are “worried” about it malfunctioning should be pretty low on the list.

One thought on “Magazine Failures

  1. flashback says:

    Another great post….
    If a magazine is prone to failure why not just replace it with a good one…keep in mind that the letters NEW mean “Never Ever Worked”….if one could tell ahead of time when a mag or whatever item is going to fail we’d never have any breakdowns because we’d just take care of the issue before it became a problem.
    I’ll continue to carry a spare mag “just in case”….not just in case it fails, or just in case I need more ammo, but just in case for just in case’s sake.

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