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Thread: Chrome silicon vs. Stainless mag springs

  1. #1
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    Chrome silicon vs. Stainless mag springs

    I realize that I should probably know this already, but what are the advantages/disadvantages of either chrome silicon magazine springs vs. stainless magazine springs in M16 magazines?

    Thanks.
    Employee of colonialshooting.com

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    Chrome silicon has better fatigue life. Regular stainless costs less.

    You could make springs from coat hangers as long as you were diligent about replacing them often enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kartoffel View Post
    Chrome silicon has better fatigue life. Regular stainless costs less.

    You could make springs from coat hangers as long as you were diligent about replacing them often enough.
    Thanks, that reflects my gut instinct.
    Employee of colonialshooting.com

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    "You could make springs from coat hangers as long as you were diligent about replacing them often enough." - No you can't, the yield strength is not high enough to survive one loading.


    CS can last longer, SS is more corrosion resistant.

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    .


    I've disassembled and gone through a few hundred used mags the past year and have never seen more than a surface rust, no pitting or rust through. Just a little rust that you could basically just scrape off with your thumbnail. Maybe I just haven't seen a bad one yet??
    I'm sure if the CS spring was exposed to salt water, they'd rust more ... but I haven't seen it.

    Magpul, Brownell's, and NHMTG use SS springs in their current mags. It looks like the new USGI mags all have SS Springs. A new mil-spec?

    It depends on what grade SS they use, but some grades of SS will rust like crazy if exposed to salt water?

    .
    Last edited by ucrt; 02-05-11 at 18:33.

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    Like SS, not all CS springs are the same. Some CS are coated to help prevent rust, but this is one untreated on pulled from the wrapper.

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    I'd be willing to bet that most mags would have issues with feed lips LONG before they got to the number of cycles where CS vs SS makes any difference.

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    Maximum stress levels occur at the surface of the spring. Surface defects (rust / corrosion) can seriously reduce a spring’s fatigue life. I would be inclined to choose a stainless spring over a chrome silicon version.
    Last edited by MarkG; 02-06-11 at 07:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK18Pilot View Post
    Maximum stress levels occur at the surface of the spring. Surface defects (rust / corrosion) can seriously reduce a spring’s fatigue life. I would be inclined to choose a stainless spring over a chrome silicon version.
    Mk18 is correct about maximum stresses occurring at the surface of the spring and defects exacerbating fatigue. There are three modes of spring failure, breakage, fatigue and creep. Fatigue is a consequence of many, hundreds at least, usually thousands or more loading / unloading cycles and the result is fracture. Creep occurs with continuous high stress and the result is a relaxation of stress resulting in a loss of spring force. I have looked and can't find documentation of my recollection that chrome silicon steel is creep resistant but fatigue prone.

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    This may be a dumb question but how can I tell what kind of springs I have in my magazines? I have several different types of mags and of the ones I've taken apart most have the dull copper-colored spring in them. Is dull copper chrome silicon? Or SS?
    Last edited by El Pistolero; 02-06-11 at 07:53.

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