Why Do You Rotate Magazines?

If you take a magazine* apart you will see that it is a real simple item.

You can see the parts are few. Inside the tube of either metal or plastic, you have a follower at the top resting on a spring. The job of the follower is to follow the ammunition up the tube to ensure that it lies at the proper angle to feed into the firearm when its turn comes. Below the spring you have a floor plate and a keeper that closes the magazine at the bottom. The floor plate gives the spring a flat, secure footing so that it does not wallow in the magazine tube. The keeper keeps all the parts of the magazine in the tube.

If you live and practice in a dusty or high humidity area, you should disassemble the magazines periodically to get the gunk out. Remember the dirt at the range you wiped off the outside of the magazine when you dropped it while practicing a tactical reload? How much of it got inside?

How do you disassemble and clean the magazine? This is usually accomplished by slowly removing the floor plate from the bottom. Be careful because the spring is under a little tension. Remove the floor plate, spring and follower. Now clean the parts and the inside of the magazine with a brush and gun solvent to remove dirt, dust and fouling from magazine. Reassemble the magazine by reversing the procedure used to take it apart. If you feel you must use lube, use a dry lube.

I try to rotate my magazines after cleaning to let the springs rest. Metal springs take a set over time if they are exposed to load stress. I rotate the magazines on a specific schedule to relieve this stress.

I keep three magazines for range use. These magazines are dropped, reloaded, slammed into the gun and changed often during drills. I load these prior to the range with ammunition for the range.

I usually carry two spare magazines and I have one in my firearm.  These are the cleanest, freshest magazines that I own. I load them with specific ammunition suited to the hunt or for personal protection.

My rotation is not my invention. I got it from a friend and from books on tactics. In short:

*    Three magazines at rest after a complete cleaning

*    Three magazines for use

*    Three magazines for practice

*    Now stop and clean the practice magazines and rotate!

Remember:  Rotate, rotate, rotate.


Bruce Hosea J & B Ventures, Inc. bruce@jbventuresabq.com
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