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Weird Things, Springs and Firearm Magic

Weird Things, Springs
and Firearm Magic

If you have been a firearm owner/enthusiast for any length of time, then you are well aware that “weird things” happen when on the range. I want to assure you, that while it may not be obvious at the moment, there is a perfectly factual explanation for all of those things.

In addition to being a firearm enthusiast, I have been a Journeyman Tool and Die Maker for my entire adult life. I have always approached firearms with that technical attitude, and the fact is that a firearm is a mechanically functioning device. When the dimensions and tolerances within the mechanical properties of the firearm are where they should be, the gun will function exactly as it was designed to.

Post Spoiler: There is no such thing as Firearm Magic.

Most people enjoy magic “tricks” and yet are also mature enough to know that they are illusions of slight of hand or other “tricks” performed by the magician. With firearms, there is no magic.  We do not suddenly step outside of the laws of physics, just because our mechanical device is a “firearm”.

There are outside factors that can affect the performance of the firearm, such as improper ammunition for example. This is especially important with semi-auto firearms, that rely on a certain amount of gas pressure and spring tension in order to function properly. If the ammunition is not at the specification that the designer intended, then the mechanical device will fail.

But we are humans, and if they say it needs this much pressure, we want to know what will happen with that much pressure. To know why it needs this much spring tension to what will happen with that much spring tension. I get it…and it is all fine and good as long as we remember one thing: there is no magic in firearms.


firearms magic

That is from page 501 of the Machinery’s Handbook 21st Edition.

You see what wears out a coil spring, is not sitting in it’s “free state” nor it’s “closed state”. What wears out or weakens a coil spring is deflections. It is reasonably safe to assume that the coil springs used in these Turkish vertical magazine fed shotguns is of the “average service” variety. As the handbook states, if you are running at around 18,000 cycles per hour, you should expect to only get between 100 thousand cycles to 1 million cycles out of that coil spring.

There is no magic trick that is going to get you to 100 thousand rounds of deflection. When a machinist or a gunsmith uses the term “tricks of the trade”; they are not talking about “magic tricks”.

Go ahead….say “lock the bolt open for 30 days one more time”

Dale, President

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