Lets talk about how to clean your Mags

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by GrandpaDave, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Lets talk about how to clean your Mags

    Just yesterday my son brought me a couple of mags that looked like they had spent a month buried in a swamp... "Where did you get these?" "Found em..." "Found em where?" "At a yard sale... they were cheap!" I bet they were... bet you couldn't get threw half a mag before you had a missfeed!" truth is a lot of feeding problems are due to damaged and dirty mags...

    Those of us who've been in the military have had the how too drilled into us... how to clean and inspect our Magazines... on forums like this we often chat about what guns we like and how to care for them but I almost never see anything written up on how to care for the Mags...

    You'd be surprised to learn how many people dont even know you can get into one to clean it... so lets start with how to open one...


    The bottom of a Mag is called a floor plate... most of these will have a hole you can slip a drift-punch/ball point pen into... you'll feel it depress and as you hold it down the floorplate with slid away...

    Okay once you got that off you can access the inner workings

    Inside the body magazine body and remove the "spring", "follower" and "lock plate". Set these parts down on a spread-out cotton rag. Inspect each part for wear, damage, Dirtiness, rust, etc...

    I like to use an old toothbrush for this soaked in a good CLP (cleaner lube protectant)... if your Mag is Poly or plastic you don't need leave a little lube... doesn't hurt in my opinion but you don't have to either...Give it a good wipe off to... you dont want it it dripping with oil...

    Inspect the Magazine feed lips... that's the part at the top that holds the bullests in place
    ... look for wear make sure their not bent or damaged... the good news is nowadays they make wear gages just for mags so you know if their good to keep or maybe time to get a new one...


    Anyway you just reverse the process to put back together and your golden... see that wasn't hard now what it?
    And now you dont have an excuse to have a dirty mag either!
  2. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Just noticed I added an r to lets...oh will so my spelling sucks this morning...
    when I click the edit button it doesnt let me edit the title????
    can one of the mods kindly fix my title...
    thanks in advance
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I have been known to hose out mags dropped in the dirt or mud with automotive brake cleaner without disassembly. Brake cleaner will remove any lube that may have been present that's holding onto guck so re-lube as needed. This is a field expedient, and not a substitute for detailed inspection.
    Gator 45/70, Cephus and GrandpaDave like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Edit the title by going "advanced" in the edit choices. Go ahead and do it for practice. Let me know if it doesn't work.
    GrandpaDave likes this.
  5. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I always take a little while about every three months to break my mags down wheather I shoot or not and run a oil rag through them. I have about 20 mag for my AR and 5 for each auto. I only keep 3 loaded for my AR and 2 for my pistols. My carry I keep 3 loaded but every 3 months switch them out to give the spings a break.

    This is a good thought for a post GrandpaDave you are right alot of people have no idea that mags even com apart. One tip I would like to add is no matter who tells any of you dont spray them full of wd-40. It will gum up nand cause the mags to stick.
  6. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Got it... thanks for the heads up...
    just goes to show you can teach an old dog a new trick... or in my case I guess that would be "Old Goat"
  7. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Good point and no WD-40 is not a CLP... its a penetrating oil... great for a rusty door hinge... not so good for a precision machine...
    tacmotusn and Hispeedal2 like this.
  8. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Might NOT want to use brake cleaner on sybthetic mags, like GD showed in his excellent pics! Hate to see good mags melt like the Wicked Witch......

    I always try to get other shooters to understand, the magazine is the heart of any semiauto weapon - if the mag fails, you have a singleshot! Keep 'em clean! ;)
    GrandpaDave, tacmotusn and Alpha Dog like this.
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Great Post Dave.... Looking at my Browning HiPower Mags, I never noticed the removable FloorPlate. I will be servicing the Mags this evening. Thanks for the HeadsUp.... Much appreciated....
    GrandpaDave likes this.
  10. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Alpha Dog, GrandpaDave and Hispeedal2 like this.
  11. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Let me also point out... while you can fix bent feed lips... the fact that they bent in the first place is an indicator you might need to replace it... once bent it will keep bending in the same place and the more you unbend the weaker it gets... just like when you take a wire in your fingers and keep bending until it snaps...
    Wolfgang2000 likes this.
  12. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    You know I was thinking when I read this post alot of time we take for granted because most of us guys here have worked on and used firearms most of our life and we think that everyone should know atleast what we know but we forget they don't. Like a couple of posts in the past couple of weeks people who have never owned or even touched a fire arm has ask our opinion on what to buy. A person who is just starting or some one who has owned a gun for years but it was only shot when they bought it and its been in a nightstand for 10 years. They think well its a gun and as long as I put a bullet in it it will work. We all know thats not the case. I have seen where Grandpa Dave has posted a few times about how to. I think it would be nice if we had a section in the firearms heading for how to and what needs to be. So that way some of the Monkey's would have a dedicated place to go and get info on how to clean, maintain and fix problems when they come up. Your firearm is as only good as you are and she need loved and rubbed on just like our Ol'ladies to show we care and she will love us back when the SHTF. I know other officer who bring their weapons to me to repair and clean. These are veteran officers not boots.
    Anyway just wanted to say thanks and good post Dave
  13. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Little wonder your the big Alpha Dog round these parts...
    we could use a Back to Basics section... would help clear up some of the confusion and myths associated with Survival subjects
  14. glassparman

    glassparman Monkey+

    Cleaning magazines . . .

    Just a little thought:

    Pay attention to the direction of the spring when you disassemble the magazine (front to back).

    I was cleaning a mag for a 1919 Spanish .32 acp and when I went to the range, it would jam every round at a high angle. I had put the spring in backwards so it was pushing the follower up at the wrong angle.

    I removed the spring and turned it around and everything functioned properly.

    This may not be as important on large magazines with full followers but on this particular mag, it caused a BIG problem.
  15. Dogfood

    Dogfood Monkey+++

    I have not seen this talked about much at all. It is very important to check the M16/AR15 mags. The normal operation of the weapon will spread the lips over time and make the weapon double feed. They have a relative short lifespan.
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