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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like most LEO's, I had some disagreements with my Department's policies and procedures now and then.
But one set of policies I'll support to the ends of the earth were those that prescribed how we were to protect and manage our auto pistol magazines, and I still use them fifteen years after retirement. Here's how they worked.

Our duty pistol was the Smith and Wesson Model 4006. Each pistol was issued with six stainless steel magazines. Three had red baseplates and were called "Range Mags". The Range Mags were for use on the range only and were never allowed to be used for any other duty purpose. These were the mags we dropped on the concrete, stepped on during training exercises and kicked into the mud. The remaining three mags were called "Duty Mags." The Duty Mags were for duty use only and were never allowed to be used on the range except that once a year they were to be test fired in the pistol they were issued to. If a Duty Mag ever hit the deck for any reason, then it was not allowed to be carried on duty again until it had been thoroughly inspected and test fired in the pistol it was issued to. I still maintain these standards in my carry pistols today.

I maintain several first-rate, pristine mags for each carry pistol and only use them for test firing once each year. I never drop them for any reason. I maintain a separate quantity of mags for range use only, and these are not necessarily top-line mags. As long as they function, then I do all of my practicing with these. I usually mark the baseplates with fingernail polish or something to identify them as range mags so they don't get mixed in with my carry mags.

I sometimes see shooters fire defensive practice exercises and drop their mags onto the concrete floor of our covered ranges repeatedly. Then they pick them up, load them, lock one into their carry pistol and leave. I wince every time I see this because a lot of these mags are being repeatly dropped on the feed lips, and that scares me to death!

How do you nice folks handle this issue? What system do you use?

Best wishes

Jerry
 
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I sorta agree, sorta disagree, instead of a year I go about a month, BAsically once a month during a normal practice session I'll load my carry mag and shoot it, reload it with hollow points and call it a day. No it doesnt get dumped or kicked across concrete. My carry mag and my carry reload are just that. But they do get used in practice. like I said bout once a month. Once a year all my competition and carry mags get new springs. Dunno the idea of walking around and needing 9 shots on the 365th day that a magazine has been loaded kinda worries me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Point well taken, Joe. I've never had a problem with the one year thing because my mags are kept in a good carry case, kept out of dust and weather, and taken out and inspected every month or so. If I was just carrying them in a coat pocket or the console of my car I too would test fire them more often. Nonetheless I can see where the one year thing would cause some astute folks like yourself to be a little goosey. I guess my point is that everybody needs some kind of a system to make sure banged up mags aren't carried in carry pistols, and that carry mags are treated with great respect. I hope we can get a good discussion of this issue going here. Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate them very much.

Best wishes,

Jerry
 

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Hello,

For some semi-autos, I do have practice vs. carry mags for the reasons you've mentioned above. I try to use factory new and tested mags only in my carry semi-autos. For some models, I've got an abundance of "rehabbed" beater range mags, i.e. my MK III HP.

Chris
 

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Gents,

I tend to be fairly anal about magazine regimens only because I've seen so many stoppages caused by bad magazines. Interestingly, most bad mags were crap to start with the others damaged in training.
So, I clean magazines frequently, use base pads on them, if available. If not, I make my own. I do have specific "carry vs training" magazines and think that is good policy.
Also, I keep extra magazine springs for my carry pistols, as well, and change them out when needed.
This may be considered excessive, but one stoppage when that round is needed may be one too many.
Just one man's opinion, but it's worked for me...

Wes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not excessive at all, Wes. I'm so paranoid I just go ahead and change out the entire magazine. Your comment that "one stoppage when that round is needed may be one too many" is the point I'm trying to develop here in our discussion, so thanks very much......right on the money, bigtime.

Jerry
 

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Prefacing my remarks that even paranoids have enemies, it may well be excessive policy about range v. duty mags but policy is policy. Having said that, I routinely drop my IDPA mags willy nilly into the mud, the blood and the beer of the ranges. I buy 10-round mags for that purpose in hicap guns. I carefully test and maintain my hicaps for carry and agains hard times acumin. In my 1911s, I have play mags and carry mags as well. Now, just because they get dropped, I am not in a position to replace them at the QMD.

I do, however, carefully and regularly inspect my play mags. I clean them and replace the springs/followers at intervals. I don't like stoppages. I also don't use crappy noname mags either. Glock, MecGar, Wilson/Wolff/Ed Brown/similar high quality stuff. No 8 rounders in 1911s as they tend to fail for me unpredictably.

Think of it like an airplane: If you don't pre-flight inspect it carefully, you may not get the chance to yell at the quartermaster. S&W makes a good mag but they are mechanical. When I was a young deputy, I was always taught to carefully inspect my revolver before going on duty. I threw in inspecting the speed loaders (thought revolutionary by the QMD and range folk) as well for free. I saw a few who not only inspected it but failed to reload it. Then there were the green ammo guys in the loops. It is your life. I recommend following policy and then inspecting the heck out of them. Everytime you belt it on. There are old pilots and bold pilots. Just no old bold pilots.
 
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