Pistol Mag Maintenance: Basic Info

It’s a wonder that some shooters clean their guns religiously but never give so much as a thought to their pistol’s mags.

Your pistol mag – like all detachable box magazines – is a small, stamped piece of steel, aluminum, or possibly even polymer, with exact, precise dimensions. The smallest discrepancy in alignment, seating, or even a simple fatiguing of the spring, can eliminate smooth feeding and cycling.

Damage can often be prevented with responsible pistol magazine maintenance. Here are a few things you should know.

Pistol Mags: Good Practice
When you clean your pistol mag:

Disassemble the magazine fully before cleaning. Take care when dropping the base plate, as the magazine spring will want to shoot out the bottom.
Use only cleaners that are appropriate for use with the mag. Some solvents are not compatible with polymer components. When in doubt, don’t use it.
Clean the mags on a clean, well-organized mat or surface. This will help prevent the loss of parts. It’s also helpful to keep a magnetic tray around where you can keep the base plate, follower, or screws so you won’t lose them.
Replace parts that are worn or damaged. If you have a damaged follower or mag spring, don’t attempt to bend it back to shape. Get a new one.
Apply only a light coat of oil after cleaning. Too much lubricating oil will trap dirt, sand and fouling and will actually accelerate corrosion and wear.
Reassemble the magazine in the reverse order, carefully.
Test cycle the mag with dummy rounds or snap caps after cleaning to ensure functionality.

Things to Avoid
When you are cleaning your pistol mag:

Don’t use excessive oil. Too much lubricating oil will trap dirt, fouling, and grime.
Be careful when using solvents or lubrication on polymer mags. Or better yet, don’t use them at all. Some polymer mags are self-lubricating, and oils and solvents can dissolve others.
Don’t waste your time with a superficial cleaning. That is, you need to disassemble the mag to clean the interior and spring. Fouling on the outside isn’t what cripples a mag. It’s what’s going on on the inside.

How Often Should I Clean My Pistol Mags?
If you clean your pistol every time you go to the range, you may as well drop the mag and clean it, too. That will keep your ritual in line and ensure your mags are in the same working order as the gun.

However, it really all depends on frequency of use. All the same, good practice is to clean your magazines at least once per year, regardless of how frequently you shoot.

Where Can I Get New Pistol Mags?
Sometimes, damage or corrosion is irreversible. In this case, the only reasonable pistol mag maintenance is the purchase of a new one.

Visit SARCO, Inc., online at SarcoInc.com. They carry a wide range of rifle and pistol mags, including magazines for Rock Island and 1911 pistols and AR-15 rifles. They also carry lots of historically significant parts and components for rifles like the Lee-Enfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, and much more.

Visit their website or take a trip to their shop in Easton, Pennsylvania to get the full experience. One of their most highly recommended products is their bestselling 7-round 1911 auto magazine.

It has numerous selling points and features, all of which are well regarded by customers, including its parallel feed lips, springs tested to 20,000 cycles, a rounded follower, and superior construction with fewer radical bends that produce less metal stress.

For more information, visit their website via the link above or get in touch with them at 610-250-3960.

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