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I've done a lot of reading online and basically came up with a "don't worry about it" answer but lets see what discussion this gins up...

How long would you be comfortable storing a PMAG (specifically, gen2 I guess) in a fully loaded state? That is, 30 rounds of 5.56NATO. Seems like there is no real issue leaving them loaded, but the official testing I've seen only qualifies the timeframe as "long term" without quantifying it.
 

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The ones I have loaded and in my pouches, have the covers on them.

My understanding is, the covers take the load off the feed lips, allowing indefinite storage.
 

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The ones I have loaded and in my pouches, have the covers on them.

My understanding is, the covers take the load off the feed lips, allowing indefinite storage.
If you're speaking of pmag covers, they're just dust covers' and don't take any stress off the lips at all
 

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I think mine are all Gen 2's. I remember reading something about them taking the pressure off the lips when they are in place. Maybe the new ones dont.

On the underside of the cover, theres a rectangular rib that contacts the top round and pushes it down as it clicks shut.
 

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There have been quite a few tests guys have done with and without the covers, and as far as I know, there's no difference in the feed lips after years of storage.

I toss the covers in a box. Never saw any use for them for me, other than to get in the way. My mags that are loaded and in pouches are ready to go. The rest are empty.
 

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Magpuls website doesn't say anything about it
Im pretty sure they used to. If you do a search on it, it still comes up in the descriptions of people who sell them, or at least the older ones.

I also came across a comment in that search that they were to keep the spine of the mags from splitting, which I can readily believe, as that was an issue with my early Cobray MAC mags until they reinforced them with metal clips. They would split down the seam in the back of the mag if left loaded, or even used for an extended time.

The more I think of it now, I wonder how the extended loading of the mags affects the mag body over time. Does that constant pressure budge the mag at all, maybe to the point of not fitting the mag well? I have issues with a couple of AR's and that, with mags that are empty, what happens over a couple months or a year, etc.? I have a couple of pouches with MagPul that have been loaded over a year, Ill have to give that a try.

Regardless, the covers I have do depress that top round and they definitely take the pressure off the feed lips.
 

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I shot 2 of magazines from that same batch of mags that had been left loaded. They have probably been loaded for 7 years now. They worked just fine.

Also, the dust covers do take pressure off the feed lips. HOWEVER, Magpul has stated that they are not neccessary. I think originally they thought they would be important, but it turns out the PMAG really just is that well designed that they can be left loaded indefinetely without problems.
 

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I think the download thing is a combination of "old school" thinking, that being a reliability issue (you always loaded 18 in a 20 rounder, and 28 in a 30), and the reality that the downloaded mags, are easier to insert, and lock more positively, when inserted on a closed bolt.
 

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I think the download thing is a combination of "old school" thinking, that being a reliability issue (you always loaded 18 in a 20 rounder, and 28 in a 30), and the reality that the downloaded mags, are easier to insert, and lock more positively, when inserted on a closed bolt.
That reality is not applicable to a PMAG, they have extra room to allow the follower to slightly depress, even when fully loaded. There is no difference in feel or function when loading a partial or full PMAG on a closed bolt.
 
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