You’re Doing it Wrong: the 31-round magazine

Yes, it seems obvious. Yes, we know many viewers will laugh it off as an FNG error, boot mistake, or derp move. Do you have too many rounds in that loaded magazine?

We also know that many of the ones scoffing the loudest have made this mistake (or will do so in the future at some point).

Simple mistakes happen, even to experienced people. Some folks who tend to reload from slide-lock or an open bolt may not even be aware they’ve made the mistake – and they’ll continue to get by until the time they don’t.

AR15 magazine filled with too many rounds
How man bullets you got there in that loaded magazine?

Take a moment (or in this case a Mag Life Minute) to keep from embarrassing yourself on the range. After you’re watching the video, feel free to weigh in with your manicure suggestions for Daniel Shaw. That topic isn’t really much in our wheelhouse.

And now, the latest episode of You’re Doing It Wrong.

Go subscribe to the Mag Life YouTube Channel – don’t miss another Mag Life Minute. They’re good. You’ll learn. It’ll be great. You could…

Learn how to set up a double feed for training…

Set up a double feed for training with a properly (for training) loaded magazine.
Set up a double feed for training with a properly (for training) loaded magazine.


Get some advice on the best mags to use…

Anti-tilt followers in a gun magazine

Thanks for readin’. Check back frequently why don’t ya.

AR15 magazine filled with too many rounds
Just so we’re ready for the next Mag Life Minute, what would go best with that AR15 magazine…paraffin? Gel? Shellac?

30 Round Magazine Q&A for the Crowd

Is it bad to keep magazines loaded?

We don’t think so. Well unless you overfill ’em, but that’s more because of what’ll happen when you go loud. But what do our readers think?

Keeping magazines loaded. Should you?

See above. But yes, though there’s nothing wrong with keeping some mags segregated from the others (i.e, keep a bad mag you know will occasionally induce a malfunction for training purposes, but make sure it goes nowhere near the gear you might have to use defensively.

Does keeping a magazine loaded weaken the spring?

That’s a topic that always sparks up a debate. All things being equal, you can leave your mags loaded. That said, the frequency of loading and unloading will impact spring fatigue (if we can call it that).

What other topics do we need to address in future episodes? 

Looking for more on this sorta thing? Check out Lucky Gunner on the subject of ammo cycling. 

Josey Wells is a former military man who spent most of his career assigned to 11th Special Forces Group and JTF-6 (including a little work with Coronet Nighthawk in its final days and a couple of OEF-CCA missions), moving on to a civilian billet around the time JTF-6 transitioned to JTF North. He is an intemperate gambler who enjoys shooting 2-Gun Action matches (though he never seems to win any). Formerly a SOF team leader with the Triarii, Wells currently works "GFC Violent Persuasion Services" serving as an advisor to an SMU south of the US-Mexico border, and lets us use his name for some of our basic news posts because "Admin" is boring. Like many other fictional characters, the Missouri native is capable of frequent and improbable feats of valor.

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23 thoughts on “You’re Doing it Wrong: the 31-round magazine

  1. 28 rounds in all my Pmags and Colt mags because they care 60 in all my Surefire box mags and Pmag drums because they don’t care. 30 in my Lancers because they don’t care. That covers AR mags in my house.

    1. Colt mags seem to care a bit more than my Pmags, but most of my Colt mags are Vietnam era.. some bought as used, some still new in plastic 10 round multi pouches – all green followers but maybe they all were…

      1. My dad had around 15 of the colt 20rd mags from the early 80’s, they are still running good.

        1. Yep… mine too, I’ve had a new Brownell’s start to be weird and I’ve only had it for 4 or so years. The mags from my dad are so well used they look like brass, there is almost no parkerizing or anodizing or whatever gave them the dark color.

  2. Carried 30 in all of my moe and m3 pmags since they were introduced. Never had a single misfeed in thousands and thousands of rounds.

    1. Same here. You can do 31 if you must, just lock the bolt back, insert mag and be sure to slingshot the thing. I don’t do that for the obvious reasons of fucking up in an emergency but it can be done, there is plenty of spring strength to strip that 31st round – but again… why?

  3. I use a LULA magazine loader never a problem. My Thumb feels much better after loading three dozen P mags, same with the D60 drums

    1. I need to get a LULA for my uzi & mp5, loading the uzi mags is brutal on thumbs from about 1/2 loaded to full.

      1. I can easily load straight and curved MP5 mags by hand as long as they are real German mags… the amber plastic 30 and 40 round mags are pure crap and I ended up sticking mine in the dirt and shooting them with my MP5. The real German MP5 loader/unloaded is the best… find just the loader at HKPARTS.HKPARTS.NET or hkSpecialist.something. You will be happier than the others.

  4. Never more than 28 in the crap Uncle gave us. Got am M1A when I retired because…you know, accuracy, range and doesn’t need help to seat the bolt.

    1. Well.. to be fair to him… some kids today spent too much time learning about guns from video games and never became real riflemen or pistoleros… and an awful lot of people don’t reload. I think I could get rich selling clean once fired brass from a medium sized range in Alaska… people leave so much 10mm, Blackout, 458 Socom on the cement that I just have to grab it… all clean, all once fired – that empty brass is expensive in 50 and 100 unit bags at Cabala’s and other places up here…

    1. Someone didn’t read the article or watch the video. No one suggested such a thing. Unless you are referring to the dude on YT who said his SOCOM friend recommends it along with always loading/reloading on an open bolt. If so, I agree with you that “It is idiotic.

  5. My mags can stay loaded for years. I used to rotate 5 full 5 empty the swap in January. But when Americans started putting Islamist sympathizers into office. :):):):):):):):) For other reasons I decided on 10, 5 Lancers 5 Mag. 6 in the vest 1 in the well and 3 in the drop bag. I put 25 rounds in each mag 250 I hope will do it. God forbid the day I have to use a vest. It means gangs are running the streets. MS13 has control of my agricultural community. They are already here selling drugs and stealing, paying off LE. I hear they ran their flag up in S Cali last week and stomped the stars and stripes for a time.

    1. My dad had 20rd aluminum GI mags loaded since the 1980’s. I tried a few at the range a couple months ago and they ran flawless.

  6. 26 years ago I loaded some Vietnam era 20 and 30 round Colt and mil issue other brand CT mags with their full capacity with older mil ammo from the ’70’s my dad “found somewhere on base” and left them alone in a box in my shop. Every couple of years I would take one of each and shoot them in a good clean gun. Never a failure of ammo or magazine after all these years. 10 years ago I took two of each of them and put them in a bucket of water for the whole summer and only took them out and drained them, but did not unload them, and let them dry upside down on a towel. Not a single failure of any kind when fired. Crimped, lacquer sealed primers and I think some sort of sealant on the case necks.

  7. I clicked the video and saw it ran for 1 minute and figured “aw crap, I have to mute a commercial” but no, the whole video was a minute long and covered what needed to be covered.
    I REALLY like that.

  8. when I read the title of the story I thought…..31 round mag must be some new mag from Glock!
    Kinda like a G18 33 rounder for the 9MM………so 31 must be a new 380acp mag for the Glock42?

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