Loading, Unloading, and Cleaning Gun Magazines

Gun maintenance is vital to ensuring your weapons keep working properly. An area that can often get overlooked is the firearm magazine. Where you store your ammunition on your weapon needs to be in stellar working order, just like the rest of the firearm. Keeping gun magazines clean is essential to this. Whether you are cleaning AK-47 magazines, handgun magazines, or pistol magazines, you will want to remember the following:

  • Always wear safety glasses

This might seem excessive, but with many working parts (some of which are spring loaded) keeping your eyes protected is a good idea.

  • Follow a routine to achieve perfection

I’m not saying your weapon will be perfect, but routine cleaning is how you keep your weapon firing properly. Oftentimes this includes brushing the magazine and its components with a brush and wiping away the residue. There is nothing overly fancy about it, but this scheduled cleaning can make a difference.

  • Simple tools make a difference

Your best ally in this fight is a good brush. Find one that works in the magazines you have. Brushes that are designed for rifle magazines are not as efficient in shotgun magazines, so diversify your stock and keep several on hand.

  • All magazines are not created equal

Every magazine is different. Not only will it require a different brush at times, but a different method of how you clean them. Sometimes you must disassemble the magazine to effectively clean all of the areas of the magazine. The key to keep in mind as you brush is clean and dry. Wet, oily areas will attract more debris.

Now that your magazine has been properly cleaned, let’s take a look at how to load and unload it. As with all weapons, double-check that you have the right caliber rounds before continuing on to load your weapon. Take extra care to not only check your ammo box, but also each round to ensure that you are loading the appropriate bullets in your firearm. Once you are 100% positive, you can proceed with loading your magazine. To do so, follow these basic steps:

  • Keep your weapon aimed in a safe direction.
  • Take a firm grip on your weapon WITHOUT placing your finger on the trigger. Release and remove the magazine.
  • Once you have removed the magazine, verify that there are no rounds still in the chamber. If your weapon is free of all ammo, set it aside pointed in a safe direction. If there are any rounds remaining, safely remove them and set aside.
  • With the magazine held in your non-dominant hand, position it away from you and slowing insert bullets into the magazine. Press firmly enough to push the spring down and load the round. Continue until the magazine is full.
  • Pick up the firearm again and insert the magazine (rounds pointing forward), until you hear it click into place.
  • To load a round, disengage the safety and slide lock to allow the firearm to engage the top round into the chamber.
  • You weapon is ready to be fired in a safe direction.

To unload your magazine, follow these basic procedures:

  • As always, point your weapon in a safe direction.
  • Once it is pointed in a safe direction, release the magazine.
  • Now that the magazine is out, double-check to make sure there are not any rounds in the chamber of you weapon.
  • After you are sure that your firearm is free of ammo, set it aside, being sure it is pointed in a safe direction.
  • You can now turn your attention to the magazine. Beginning with the top round, gently press down on the bullet and slide it out of the magazine. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to clear your magazine of any remaining rounds.
  • Store the magazine and weapon in their proper place and return your remaining ammunition.

Be safe when loading and unloading your weapon. Also, keep in mind that a clean magazine and magazine accessories will go a long way towards getting a return on your invested time and money as well as helping keep you safe while shooting.

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