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How many rounds do you REALLY need in a CCW?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by davetron, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. davetron


    Aug 3, 2011
    I'm a traditional 45 acp guy but my primary carry weapons are a G19 and a G23 because I felt like I needed the extra capacity. I also have a Kahr P9 and I've started to carry it more and more since I've put on a few lbs and it's easily the most comfortable. So i was thinking if I'm going to limit myself to 6-8 rds in my CC piece why not do it with a 45? (see how I'm rationalizing getting a G36).
    Anyway, so I got to looking for stats, stories, urban legends of ACTUAL SD discharges an and I cant find any. Does anybody know any of this info? From what I glean from the news etc it seems like most people (civilians) whoe are involved in shootings it tends to be some kind of domestic and I have yet to read "local man attacked by band of wild gypsies and glock 19 with 15+1 saved his life". Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  2. TrueGunNut


    Apr 28, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Just read on here somewhere that most sd situations involve ONE SHOT...

  3. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    You need as many as you need. There is no way to predict it, but I'd rather have too much than not enough.
  4. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX

    1) It's 2011. Get over the 45ACP. There is no rational way to consider a Kahr or a Glock 36 superior or even equal to a Glock 19.

    2) So it's gonna come down to: You can't keep yourself from getting fat, so youre gonna get a thinner gun to hold you over until you buy more jeans. :supergrin:
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  5. Long running debates on this subject. I personally would choose capacity over caliber. My personal minimum is 10+1. But if you're just looking for rationalization to buy a 36, try this: you want one and Christmas is coming.

    You're welcome.
  6. HK Dan

    HK Dan

    Mar 27, 2008
    How much ammo do you need??? twice what it takes to end the fight, plus one. I've never read that self defense encounters are one shot affairs, traditional wisdom goes to the 3-3-3 model. 3 shots, 3 seconds, 3 yards.

    That said, if he's still coming after 6, I want to be able to give him 6 more, and I'd LOVE to have 6 more just in case. (G17, hello!)

    I took a class with Dr Jim Williams, Milwaukee area ER surgeon and LFI affiliate. Jim said he can't ID the caliber of a wounding bullet unless they find the slug. What's that tell ya? They all do pretty much the same thing. Now Jim is a die hard 1911 guy, and his point is that 9mm is .40, is .45. Until you hit 2000 FPS, they all make a hole, 95% of them go through and through unless they hit a major structure like the pelvis or T spine, FMJ, JHP, doesn't matter.

    So, I'd carry a 9mm high capacity with hot ammo and call it good. Either Golden Sabre or Hornady HP/XTP hollow points have my complete faith (hunting). I know that they work after going through hide, so I'll bet denim won't be a challenge. 9mm is an older cartridge than .45 ACP and has killed more people and critters than .45 ever thought of. It's served with more militaries and PDs than .45. If you want "combat proven", 9mm is the only choice! <waiting for the .45 worshippers to explode>

  7. RX7Boricua


    Jan 15, 2004
    Central FL
    This. I recently switched from carrying a 36 to a 19 for greater capacity, quicker followups, and more training/dollar. While .45ACP is still a fantastic, proven round, modern 9mm JHP expands reliably to .6-.7" with plenty of penetration. These days you see a lot more incidents with multiple assailants, so I'd much rather have 31rds of 124gr +P GDHPs on me than my 36 with 13rds of 230gr Golden Sabers. I'm pretty sure I won't need them all, but damn it feels good to have them on me.

  8. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    I'd recommend at least 3 rounds - 6 to be safe. If you can easily carry extras, why not? But it isn't like "OMG I'm unarmed with 7 rounds of .45!" I tend to carry more rounds if I have a .38 spl or .380, but not with a 9mm or larger. On the other hand, I prefer .40 for giving me a little extra capacity in the gun at no real cost in size or power.
  9. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Rebel South
    5 or 6 rounds should be able to assist you quite well in "most" situations.
  10. 69Charger


    Jul 25, 2011
    Tacoma Wa
    Fill your mag and go on with your business.
  11. davetron


    Aug 3, 2011
    1. Well, I wasn’t really fishing for a caliber debate but as a previous poster pointed out the 9mm is similar in age and effectiveness so there's really only personal preference and nothing to "get over" (I have guns in 9mm, .40, and 45acp).
    2. I didn’t say I was getting fat. I said I had put a few extra lbs. on. In the winter time I go from more of cardio routine to weight lifting and I tend to eat more and for me 5 lbs make a huge difference in the way a gun carries.
    Thank you for your input
  12. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    1-3 rounds cover 90% of shootings
    4-6 rounds cover 90% of the remaining shootings after the 1-3 round shootings
    7-10 rounds cover 90% of the remaining shootings after the 4-6 round shootings

    See a pattern? It's all about playing the odds.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  13. showtime0799


    Nov 19, 2011
    I carry a .357 Magnum stub nose (EAA corp) its heavier than most .45 and if i feel like shooting a moose on the way to the store i can besides who is saying the guy trying to get in your pants (for your wallet) isn't on cocaine? i would rather have 6 magnums than (12) 9mm. i dont miss often so i suggest carrying the bigger caliber w/ the less rounds... if your worried about how many rounds you need... hit the range more often...
  14. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    I started carrying during the Klinton ban so 10+1 is the unscientifically based self induced minimum that I have. My first carry gun was a G19, and just cause I had to carry it with 10 rounders didn't mean I felt I needed to move up in caliber to compensate. I didn't feel undergunned with 9mm then, and I still wouldn't.
  15. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    You don't miss often? How many firefights have you been in?

    BTW, .357 isn't a "bigger" caliber than 9mm. And do you not realize that .357 Magnum out of a snubbie is actually quite slower than a 9mm? You need a 4" barrel before .357 Magnum starts shining. What you essentially have is a hot 6 shot .38. I'll prefer 15+1 of 9mm 124+P Gold Dots from a 4" Glock all day long.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  16. Hour13

    Hour13 Tah-dah!

    Aug 21, 2011
    San Antonio, TX
    "Most SD situations are handled with one shot."
    "Most people will go their whole lives w/out ever needing to shoot a BG."

    You can be over-prepared every day of your life, but you only get to be wrong one time.

    Just saying...
  17. davetron


    Aug 3, 2011
    I don’t know if this information is pertinent but I also have G19 I use for a "truck gun" in addition to the weapon I normally carry on me so unless I'm just too far away from my truck to fight my way back to it and I get caught in the middle of a shootout between the crips and bloods I normally have a high capacity weapon in a reasonable proximity. ( At least in the most likely places to get attacked, parking lots etc.) I mean, know there could be a horde of homicidal maniacs holed up in house wares at Wal-mart but I think my chances are at least even. I just have a hard time believing that if were assaulted my 2 or more people and I pulled a G36/Kahr P9 etc and start blasting they would say "Hey guys he's only got 7 rounds let's get him!"
    Not to make light of a potential serious situation but like Cowboy said it's about playing the odds. And we all calculate what the "acceptable" odds to each of us, otherwise we’d never leave the house unless we had mag's sticking out of every pocket we had. My original posting was to try to see if there was any empirical evidence as to how many rounds were fired in a normal SD situation and based on that it looks like 6-8 plus a spare mag will cover 99% of the situations.
  18. Misty02


    Aug 25, 2008
    Even if you were to find the stats, what they would show are averages. I’m afraid we get to find exactly how many are needed right after an encounter, even that doesn’t guarantee what a future encounter will entail.

    Beyond question I would say you need, at a minimum, enough to stop the threat(s) and enough to not travel home with it empty. How much is that exactly? I have no clue and I hope I never have to find out.

    For now I'm carrying a G19 with 2 spare mags (one of which is a 17 rounder)

  19. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    There is no way to know how many you will really need. Until you are no longer walking the earth or no longer own/possess/ever carry a firearm, you will not know how many you might really need.

    Chances are the number is zero.

    If the number is a non-zero, chances are pretty good that 5 will do it. I see no point in discussing a number lower than that as, IMO, anybody at all serious about this will have a pistol that holds 5 or more.

    How many to cover 99.9%...that's really what you are asking, I think. 10+1 seems like a pretty good number. I wouldn't mind having more, though. 15+1 in my Glock 19 sure seems like a lot.
  20. xmanhockey7


    Dec 6, 2010
    All I can say is whenever I carry the mag is full with one in the chamber and I have AT LEAST 1 backup mag. I keep this rule true whether I'm carrying my Glock 22, Springfield XDm 3.8 compact, or Ruger LCP.