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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I have a Mini 14 Tactical (Hogue stock) and it came with the 20-round magazine and a 5-round magazine. I was thinking about keeping the 5-round magazine loaded with some 5.56 as a home defense gun for the closet. I had the bolt closed and the safety on and tried inserting the magazine. It went in, but took a good bit of force. I didn't try pulling the charging handle back to see if it would feed, but I suppose I could. I just didn't want to mess anything up. I dropped the magazine and pulled the charging handle back and locked it open manually. I inserted the magazine and it popped into place without a hitch.

Is this normal? Is it okay to insert a magazine with the bolt closed? I don't want to store the gun with one in the chamber if I can help it and I don't want to store it with the bolt open if I can help it, thus the reason for a loaded 5-rounder with the bolt closed. I can charge the handle quickly and efficiently if I need to. Just wondering if it's okay to store the gun this way...
 

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Yes, it's fine. You had difficulty because the bolt rests on top of the rounds in the mag, so you had to compress the spring a small amount further than it was already. The mags have a follower that sticks up & triggers the bolt to hold back when empty, so you will notice this a bit even when inserting an empty mag.

You certainly can store it this way, and it's perfectly safe, but if I store a gun loaded I usually prefer to keep a round chambered. (The only time it would be a good idea not to do this would be if you expect to load/unload the gun frequently for some reason, due to bullet setback. I recommend loading it & leaving it or leaving it empty.)
 

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I keep mine with loaded 5rounder empty chamber all the time hasn't hurt anything yet been doing it for years.
 

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On these forums and others you will find that a lot of people note this exact same thing with the 5 round and 10 round mags. These really do not have very much slack when fully loaded, so the spring is pretty much right down at the bottom with no room to give.

Be careful though - depending on how tight they are, you can end up denting the top round in the magazine against the bolt. I have a couple of 10 round Ruger factory mags that will do that if loaded with a full 10 rounds and inserted in either my 581- stainless ranch or my 582- tactical. My 20 round mags do not suffer the same problem.

Some "fixes" I have seen posted include disassembling the mag, cleaning and ever so lightly lubricating the follower and inside of the mag. Also some posters report the problem seems to ease off as the mag gets used and cycled a bit. I've not noticed either to change how my 10 round mags are though, and I just don't ever load them full and try to insert them on a closed bolt (I only bought them for range use when seated at a bench anyway, otherwise I use the 20's).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input guys!
 

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I treat it like a bolt action box magazine rifle. Lock it open, insert mag, hold down on last round and close action slowly.
 

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I had no issue with the 5 round mags but couldn't get the 10 round mags in until someone pointed out locking the action open (and then reminded me to read the manual).

I did dent a couple rounds pretty bad in my attempt to slam the 10 round mags in. Good lesson learned early.

I now store it with the action open in my gun cabinet.
 
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