Sometimes soldiers will tap their rifle magazines against their helmets to ensure all the rounds are seated towards the back end of the magazine.
This helps ensure that the magazine will load and seat properly, and the ammo will feed smoothly.
On the battlefield, magazines sometimes get dropped or knocked around, and while the bullets might stay in the mag, they can move around and might not feed smoothly.
Another reason soldiers tap their magazines against their helmets is to knock loose any dust, dirt, or grime that’s built up in the magazine.
In addition, soldiers accustomed to the battlefield could tell a lot from tapping their magazines.
They could tell if it was damaged or cracked. Some could even get a good idea of how many rounds they had left in the mag.
For many soldiers, the sound of a “good” magazine is different from the sound of a “bad” magazine.
Now, the importance of gun magazines is sometimes overlooked, but if a magazine does fail it could be a deadly mistake.
Due to this, here are a few things you can do to care for your ammo magazines.
Before cleaning your magazines, you should take them apart.
The majority of magazines have a floor plate or tab that is pushed up into the body of the magazine, and when you push it up it allows you to slide the base off.
If you have a Glock, the magazine body has teeth that hold the baseplate, and you have to squeeze the body to get the teeth to disengage.
Some gun manufacturers sell specific tools to help take apart magazines.
Get the grime out:
Like cleaning a gun, the first thing you want to do when cleaning a magazine is to remove excess dirt and grime.
A nylon brush or even a toothbrush can do a good job of removing dirt. Run the brush through the magazine, then pull a paper towel through the magazine body.
Keep doing this until the paper towel comes out clean.
If you can’t get all the dirt out, you can add a tiny amount of water to help clean it. But make sure you allow the magazine to completely dry before putting it back together.
There is no need to lube the parts of your magazine.
Check the parts:
When you have the magazine taken apart, look for cracks or dents in the magazine body itself.
If there is a dent it could impact the way the bullets feed. If there is a crack, I would stop using the magazine.
Also, inspect the feed lips of the magazine to make sure they aren’t bent or worn out. A damaged feed lip is one of the more common causes of malfunctions.
In most cases, if the feed lip is worn out or damaged, you will want to replace the entire magazine.
Depending on the specific manufacturer you can replace factory magazines for about $40 or $50.
Before putting the magazine back together you should check the parts while you have everything taken apart.
Make sure the spring and the follower are clean of dirt. Also, springs can wear out over time.
So, if you’ve been using the same magazine for years and loading it a lot, you might need to replace the spring.
The more a magazine is loaded and unloaded the faster it will wear out. But keeping magazines loaded for a long time won’t necessarily wear it out.
Replacing the spring is relatively inexpensive. Most gun shops will carry parts for popular guns.
The bottom line is, you don’t want to forget about taking care of your magazine, because if it fails, your gun will fail.
Ultimately, if you can’t get them clean or they are worn out, it’s best to buy a new factory magazine.
Plus, the potential for magazine failure is one reason to carry spare magazines in your but out bags (along with having enough rounds for self-defense).
But there are plenty more items and gear you should be carrying in your bug out bags in addition to your spare magazines.
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