Question of the Day: Have You Cleaned Your Mags Lately?

Here, James Yeager gives a decent demo on taking down a Glock magazine for cleaning. And I have to admit, I’ve never cleaned any of mine. Glock or otherwise. I’m sure I have a spare tooth brush around here somewhere. What about you? When was the last time you cleaned yours? Have you ever?


  1. avatar Vendetta says:

    Nope. Sure haven’t.

  2. avatar MN Matt says:

    Wait, you can clean those?

    Just kidding. I did happen to clean out a used mag I got once, just to be safe. Other than that…why bother unless a mag takes a dive in the dirt?

  3. avatar Sean says:

    When I was in the military I cleaned the G.I. issue ones. Most were old never been cleaned and beat the hell up. It was real easy to get issued a bad mag in the military, which could result in a bad day.

  4. avatar gloomhound says:

    When I clear my guns I clean their mags at the same time. Habit I picked up in the Army.

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Same here

      1. avatar Mr. Lighter says:

        Same with me. PMags are so easy to disassemble, I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

    2. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Yep, me too. Though in my case you could just mutter “typical HK owner” and move on…

  5. avatar CA.Ben says:

    Well my 10/30 AR mags are epoxied shut…

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Mine aren’t. I refuse to compromise the integrity or maintainability of my rifle mags just because they’re capacity limited when I’m in CA.

      I do ensure that the original locking plates for my PMAGs (replaced by the capacity limiters) aren’t anywhere easily accessible or discoverable when shooting at public venues or transporting within CA.

      1. avatar CA.Ben says:

        Watch out, CA reduced capacity magazines are only legal if “permanently modified.” So if you can easily change them back to normal capacity, bam, illegal.

        1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

          There’s more than one school of thought regarding how to handle that requirement.

          Yes, sealing your magazines with epoxy or pinning them after installing a limiter is pretty definitive. That’s not the only approach, though.

          Any magazine in my possession within CA, as constructed, will hold only the legal number of rounds. Even my pre-ban AR magazines are capacity-limited because I don’t have a “featureless” AR .

          I never have the parts required to convert them to a complete working full-cap magazine on my person or readily accessible while said magazines are in the assembled state. And if they’re disassembled, they’re parts kits.

          This will all be irrelevant if the retroactive magazine ban passes and withstands court challenges.

  6. avatar MoltElevator9 says:

    When purchased and prn.

  7. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I only cleaned the ones that were full of cosmoline.

    1. avatar TUCO says:

      I’m the same

  8. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Nope, but I’m not in the habit of dropping mine in the dirt. They’re nearly pristine, except for the scratches from sliding in and out of the magwell.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      You need to try some practical shooting courses sometime. Some dirt on those mags would be a good thing. 😉

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The mind is willing, the body is… mostly able, but the wallet is unable at the moment. It’s on the list, though.

  9. avatar vioshi says:

    Yes, almost every time I clean my gun. Which isn’t often. If you don’t feed them then they don’t dirty themselves. I wonder if this is true for dogs and babies …

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      If you don’t feed dogs or babies they will gnaw on you when you sleep.

      1. avatar Eric says:

        Cribs and cages

  10. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I clean my Taurus mags and my at mags, about every 1000 rounds, my Taurus is very unpredictable when the mags get dirty, never fail to feed but get stuck in the mag well its strange.

    1. avatar Carry.45 says:

      Yup happened in my M&P. if it can make that gun gum up than it can do it to anything. Though I will admit I was using cheap Russian steal cased crap called WPA.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        All my M&Ps have been flawless only having the problem with that PT92, it goes bang everytime (occ diff with steel wolf) but the mag issue keeps me away from it in a tough spot or or if I were to shoot idpa.

  11. avatar ensitue says:

    All my mags are cleaned and lubed once when new. Training and Carry Mags are blown clean then tossed into the ultra sonic cleaner on a as needed basis and then lubed again. I pocket carry and those mags will fill with lint, just like the firearm

  12. avatar jwm says:

    I only have 2 auto pistols. A Sigma, which has mags that are easily taken down and cleaned which I do every few hundred rounds and a Makarov. The design of the makarov makes it unnesecery for stripping to clean the mags.

    My Ruger 10-22 has never had a mag failure and all I’ve done is wipe the feed lips and follower off. My Winchester Wildcat, which is actually a Russian Toz, Came from Russia with 4 plastic mags wrapped in brown paper and soaked in oil. It was a major undertaking to contain that oil spill. Since then it’s just been a lip and follower wipedown for them with no mag failures or issues of any kind.

    1. avatar William says:

      Is it in Parabellum, or that redheaded stepchild .380? My daughter wants a handgun, but not a .45 ACP like dad, so I ‘ve been talking Makarovs to her. I want one also.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        My Makarov is 9×18. I have never had a malfunction of any type with the pistol and only one mag failure. That was an after market mag that lasted 1 trip to the range and it fell aprt. I bought 2 of those new made mags and the second 1 still works but it won’t reliably lock the slide back so I just use it for range work.

        During the ammo draught the price of 9×18 has gone up, but it has remained available. I have curtailed shooting my Sigma 9×19 because I have trouble replacing the ammo.

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          The makarov is a bad mother bear.

          I hate the 8 round magazines, but its worth it to find a double stack (that holds 12).

          Also, 9×18 is available. 😀

          Now here’s a idea: somebody MAKE Glock make a 9x18mm conversion >:(

        2. avatar jwm says:

          WLCE, did you ever think you would live to see the day it was easier to get 9×18, 7.62x54r or even 7.62×39 than it was to get .22 rimfire?

          To me the Makarov is a great range toy that does backup duty as a replacement house gun if my revolvers are off line for whatever reason. The 9×18 round is like a .380+p load.

  13. avatar KY1911 says:

    Sad to say, I clean my mags after every visit.

  14. avatar APBTFan says:

    I’m still working off a lot of old Unique that burns a bit dirty so I clean mags when I clean the gun. Take them apart, toss them in the ultrasonic cleaner and four minutes later they’re squeaky clean. Blow them off with the compressor, a bit of dry lube and bingo.

  15. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve cleaned mags. Our practice mags get dropped in the dirt so much that they become impossible to load to full capacity. You can hear the dirt, sand, and grit inside. However, they still function with decent reliability. I’m referring to Smith 4006 metal mags, by the way. Magpul AR 20 and 30 round Pmags also work well even under substantial neglect.

    In a self defense gun, I’ll give the mags an occasional once over, but Glock mags also work well when dirty. However, I inspect the mag regularly and swap them out to avoid spring tension loss. Perhaps I’m more particular than necessary, but I like clean guns and mags. I don’t want to hear a click when I need a boom.

  16. avatar Hobbez says:

    Funny coincidence, I just tore down the mags from my sig today and cleaned them. I don’t do it very often though.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I clean mine once every year or so … depending on how much I use them.

  18. avatar user3369 says:

    I highly recommend cleaning AR mags pretty often.

    I would pull my PMAGS apart about once a month in country, and it never seemed to be enough. I never had a malfunction with them, surprisingly, as they were damn near black every time I cleaned them.

    Buy quality gear.

  19. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I’ve only one weapon which uses detachable magazines.

    Those magazines needed to be cleared of смазка, but now they’re sparkling. Unless I had a primer penetration with corrosive, I don’t see cleaning ’em again any time soon.

  20. avatar Mike Crognale says:

    But, but but, that lady said that they come preloaded with bullets and when they are empty you are supposed to throw them away! Or some such rot. Yes, I clean my mags after every range session. It’s easy to do. I also make sure to rotate the carry mags and let the springs relax. My rifle mags also.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Modern metallurgy is such that springs that are “exercised” are more likely to have issues than those that are compressed once and left in that state. In general, they won’t “take a set” like they may have 30-50 years ago.

      1. avatar Mike Crognale says:

        Well, there you are. I learned to shoot at the age of 10 (1956) from my Dad. When I went into the service, 1966, they also taught me to leave the springs loose every so often.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I have had a friend that left two xdm mags full for about 9 months, one of them was not very functional after that time and he had to replace the spring.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          That’s good to know. I was speaking from an engineering standpoint, not an empirical one. For my part, I have 16-round XD(M) mags that I’ve used fairly regularly for about three years now. A couple of them have stayed loaded for months at a time, and I can’t tell which ones. They all still work without failure. I have not disassembled any of them to compare spring lengths between the long-term ones and the not. I know there are people who have done so and published their findings on the web. Perhaps your friend just got a bad one, and perhaps not. I honestly don’t think there have been any published extensive tests that prove it one way or the other, to be honest. As I said, I was just speaking from an engineering and design standpoint.

        2. avatar Mike Crognale says:

          I spent time at Frontsight Firearms. I bought the 4 day defensive handgun course and got a “free” Springfield XD in 45ACP. One of the things that they emphasized was to never load the mag to capacity. The XD and XDm take the same mag, 13 round full. We kept no more than 11 rounds in the mag and one in the chamber. The reasoning was 1) spring tension and 2) a full mag would sometime fail to feed with either a stove pipe or jam. I loved that gun. So much so that when Springfield announced the XDm version I immediately bought one and gave the XD to my son who carries it to this day. I just checked my mags and they all have 11 rounds in them.

      3. avatar Labman says:

        In Nam, we had the first of the M16’s in early ’67 and we were advised to put 19 in a 20 rd mag so the spring wasn’t fully compressed. Never saw a mag failure but maybe because they were “exercised” fairly regularly. Had to keep the gun clean though…lotsa dirty gun failures, always at the wrong time.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Dito on the mag rotation.

  21. avatar paultmccain says:

    Why does “Truth About Guns” keep featuring Jerk Yeager?

    Seriously….it’s just embaras

    Are you really that hard up for content? Really?


    1. avatar joe smith says:

      I agree about the Yeager part.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I’m not sure why you say “keep featuring.” He doesn’t show up here that often.

      Second, what’s the problem? It’s a video that relates to the question. Just because you don’t like the guy doesn’t mean the video doesn’t have merit.

    3. avatar Carry.45 says:

      Ok I will ignore you.

    4. avatar Azman says:

      Idiots sometimes have valid points. Example: I MUST clean my fpk magazines because the surplus ammo sheds bits of the casing when it fires.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        That’s an… um… interesting story. “Bits of the casing,” huh?

        I’m not questioning your truthiness; I’m genuinely intrigued.

  22. avatar Fyrewerx says:

    My Taurus PT709 came from the factory so loaded with cosmolean-like gunk, there’s no way it or the mags could be used until thoroughly cleaned.
    So, I been cleaning every mag, often, regardless of pistol/rifle brand.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      My 709 mags and the gun were pretty goopy too. On the other hand they had zero rust from the box.

  23. avatar BlindKyle says:

    I clean my 1911 mags every 500 rounds or so. Mags for plastic guns? Not so much.

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    Nah. I use Diana DeGette Signature Model Magazines. When mine get dirty or run out of ammo I just throw them away.

  25. avatar Ben says:

    I clean mine every time I clean guns. Usually just consists of breaking them down and running a patch with Rem oil through them. Even my 870 and Model 60 mag tubes get that treatment every time.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Huh? I’ve cleaned my shotguns feed tube but my marlin 60 never in fact I rarely clean my .22lr no problems yet after 2-3k rounds, maybe I’ll clean it next weekend after a range trip?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        half the mags for my Makarov come from the bargain bbin at the lgs. Some have rust on them. No failures yet after a quick cleaning.

    2. avatar William says:

      Never cleaned my 870 like that. Just lots of bore spray and let it bleed out in the pavement.

  26. avatar Anthony says:

    I have a habit of buying old mags out of the bargain bin at my local shop. So when I take em home I’ll clean em out with WD-40 by dragging a rag through it after letting it penetrate for a minute or so, that rag always comes out filthy.

  27. avatar IllumFiati says:

    Is the wear on the baseplate worth cleaning the mags every time you go shooting? I feel like I would cause unnecessary wear on my 1911 mags.

  28. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Let me ask you a question instead. Do you want your equipment to work properly when you need it?

  29. avatar LC Judas says:

    Once. Only the mag that was in my 1911 after I shared my Rasin Bran Crunch in whole milk at 0330 with it.

  30. avatar Al Cohol says:

    2 weeks ago for the first time since owning my glock I bought a year ago. A lot of dirt from USPSA, but surprisingly not as bad as I thought.

  31. avatar William says:

    OMG! Wait. Does it count if you empty a load of bore spray into it once in a while? I do that!

  32. avatar AecDuck says:

    I clean the mags for the gun I’m cleaning at the time. Because it takes 60 seconds and… why not?

  33. avatar Totenglocke says:

    I only clean mags from surplus guns I buy (normally to remove the cosmoline).

  34. avatar disGRUNTled says:

    Yes, I clean my magazines when necessary. My work mags obviously get heinous rather quickly considering what we put them through.

    The real question is, how the hell can I ban or block James Yeager from ever showing up on my YouTube?

  35. avatar RS says:

    Clean mine after every other range trip/regular cleaning. I usually clean after every competition or training session when they spend time on the ground.

    So easy to clean, I figure why not…

  36. avatar Gunner442 says:

    Not usually, I wipe down the exterior and get the gunk off the follower and lips. I did pick up a new Stoeger Cougar Compact (great pistol BTW) that was having FTFs. Used a older Beretta mag, no problems with FTF. Stripped the Stoeger mags and the interior of the mags looked like they were dunked in old broiler oil. Cleaned them out with some Ballistol. Flawless now.

  37. avatar Gyufygy says:

    Cleaned my XDm mags when Tula steel cases was jamming inside the mag itself. Hoped the residual Slip2k would help. Sadly, it didn’t. Otherwise, I’ll wipe the follower and feed lips with paper towel when I clean my guns, but haven’t done much beyond that.

  38. avatar sophia says:

    I cleaned all my mags when the cat pissed in my range bag. That and after a couple of matches with required mag changes.

    1. avatar Carry.45 says:

      That reminds me of the scene from boondock saints. Is it dead?

  39. avatar John says:

    I’ve started to clean my mags out. I just like the act of cleaning my pt92 and adding the magazines to the list wasn’t too difficult. The whole process is soothing.

    On a side note, I undertook the project of modifying a few military surplus Beretta to fit my pt92. With a grinder and a metal file, it’s a simple fix. I highly recommend the effort if you have the tools.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I have one surplus mag waiting for the surgical fix next time I go shooting at my grandparents house. Sadly my dremel was cordless and it only lasts about a min at a time…I keep putting off buying a new one because I keep buying guns… I like tools that go bang way better than tools in the garage.

  40. avatar mnoswad1 says:

    I thought that you threw them away when they were empty? Then there won’t be anymore. right?

  41. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

    I clean pistol magazines every time I shoot pistols. I don’t clean my AR magazines that often, though.

  42. avatar 0351 says:

    Every week. I find it therapeutic.

  43. avatar Justice06RR says:

    When you have plenty of extra mags, you don’t necessarily need to clean mags if you rotate them. If you have a limited amount, by all means clean them routinely.

  44. avatar mike says:

    If using a silencer, then yes, definitely every so often the mag should be cleaned out. Lots of extra carbon blowback gets built up inside. No harm in using gun cleaner spray with a soft brush to wash out the insides.

  45. avatar TheDabbo says:

    I would clean mine, but they were lost in a tragic boating accident. Along with the guns.

  46. avatar TZH says:

    I clean my competition gun’s mags after a particularly dusty or muddy day. or perhaps before a level-3 IPSC match. that’s pretty much it

  47. avatar Tim says:

    Yes. But the full disassembly occurs only 1-2 times a year. Rest, use a small tooth brush and Frog Lube and a rag with a probe to go inside. Mostly it at the lips at the top where the blow back powder ends up. Do the quick clean every 2 or 3 times in use to keep it clean.

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