Airsoft magazines are a part of airsoft guns, and if they are not properly taken care of and stored the whole gun suffers. Hopefully, magazine care really isn’t complicated and all you need to know is a few good practices that will ensure a good, long lifespan for your magazines.
When you take care of your airsoft magazine it can work flawlessly for years, but this is only under the assumption you bought a good quality magazine from a reputable brand in the first place. Some guns have less variety in terms of which magazines fit them and gas magazines are more sensitive than pure spring magazines.
Is it bad to leave airsoft mags loaded?
When BBs are left in a magazine the spring is under tension which compresses it and it puts a toll on the spring’s lifespan by making it weaker. Airsoft magazines shouldn’t be stored loaded if you want to avoid the risk of misfeeding, so it’s worth spending 10 seconds to assure the magazine is fully empty before you store it until the next game.
The reason this happens is due to something called mechanical (spring) creep which explains the fact that certain materials deform and weaken when exposed to unyielding force for an extended period. While the spring will be perfectly fine for years when it’s being constantly compressed and decompressed (as it happens during a game), being compressed without decompression for weeks or months in storage will greatly accumulate and permanently weaken it.
Another factor is the quality of the spring, as not all brands produce the same quality magazines. Logically, the weaker spring will sooner give up than a quality one, but no spring will defy the laws of physics and will eventually give up under pressure.
Should green gas airsoft magazines be stored pressurized?
You should always leave some green gas in a gas magazine to pressurize it because gas will support the good seal in a magazine and will lubricate the o-ring until your next airsoft game. You don’t want to let the o-ring dry out as it will greatly impact the magazine’s lifespan and sooner or later the magazine could start leaking and become unusable due to a worn-down.
To pressurize the magazine with green gas you don’t need a lot, simply don’t completely dry out the mag during play, but if you do just put a little bit of gas in there and store it.
Remember, basic gas magazine maintenance requires some silicone oil to keep things smooth and fresh, but green gas already contains silicone oil as it’s composed of propane and silicone oil, so you don’t need any extra silicone oil.
Should you leave Co2 cartridges in magazines?
Co2 cartridges can be kept in magazines for a few weeks, if you want to store them for longer than that it would be smart to remove the cartridges from the magazines.
The Co2 cartridge has higher pressure than a gas magazine but in my opinion, it shouldn’t hurt the magazine if it’s left in, yet the higher pressure means a higher toll on the valve which may cause leaking if the valve gives up from it.
This is the reason why I wouldn’t feel safe storing the magazines with Co2 cartridges for long period, but I wouldn’t remove the half-full cartridge from the magazine neither If I will use it for the next week or so.
It would be cool to make an experiment to see how long could magazine be stored with a Co2 cartridge before it gives up, but I unfortunatelly haven’t done it yet.
Moreover, It’s important to drop a bit of silicone oil into the valve area when using Co2 gas magazines as Co2 doesn’t contain silicone oil as it’s the case with green gas.
Clean and lube your magazines for increased lifespan
Cleaning may not be needed every game, but if you notice any sign of dirt even on the outside walls of the mag, clean them as the dirt can accumulate and enter the internals which then makes it harder to clean.
Dirt such as earth can cause feeding problems, and if you leave the magazine wet it could corrode, so use a piece of cloth or hairdryer to deal with these minor issues which could result in a way bigger issue if things get out of control. Finally, if the magazine is so dirty you can use detergent/water or alcohol and soak it for an hour and then wipe the dirt off.
Always apply some oil such as silicone oil to the valve area to keep everything smooth after cleaning and don’t forget to always leave some green gas in your green gas magazine (then you don’t need additional lube as I explained above).
Final take on
Airsoft magazines are simple and they are not difficult to maintain, but these few practices are important to keep in mind as anything that requires minimal care will go bad if at least minimal care is not applied to it.
With good care, the magazines can easily endure for years, but eventually, if nothing else gives up the spring may weaken and it may need to be replaced or you’ll have to buy a new magazine.