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Mags - how many is too many?

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by Kith, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Kith

    Kith

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    Yo -

    I was wondering how many mags you would consider to be the 'right' number in a few different scenarios.

    I understand that opinions will vary greatly on this issue, so maybe try and support your answer with a 'why' to help keep it in context.

    I only have a G19 right now, and don't plan on getting any high capacity mags right away, but i'd love to hear about opinions on different mag capacities too.

    Currently I only have the 2 mags it came with, but high priority on my list is to get more, and I was hoping to solicit opinions on how many more I should get my hands on.

    Don't hesitate to post different calibers, mag capacities too, i'm sure the info will help others (and maybe me some day). And in that spirit, it would be nice if you could speak for what caliber/capacity you were talking about when you throw out an answer.

    1 - So when you go to the range for the day, how many mags do you usually take with you? I think just having 2 is horrible. I spend more time reloading mags then shooting, and it seems like my whole range session is just reloading mags.

    I'd like to get a nice shoot in, maybe get into a rhythm, and then stop to reload mags after a while and contemplate that 'round' of shooting. I was hoping for some suggestions on what a good number to take with me is.

    (I am also the type of person that will pick different areas of the target to shoot clusters in, thereby increasing the usage of a single target, for general practice if that helps for any advice below).

    2 - When you carry your firearm. How many mags do you usually take with you, in addition to the one that's already in the gun?

    (also for this one, do you keep them in your pocket, or prefer to have a holster/mag pouch for them, or maybe some other configuration?)

    3 - If you keep any in your vehichle, how many and why?

    4 - At home. I know you may have more mags then are loaded (though some would wonder why all the mags aren't loaded...) But how many do you usually keep loaded at home? - If less then all of them, why are some not loaded?

    I think it is good to keep one empty mag laying around the house for each caliber, personally. I just don't have enough to be able to do that yet! ( or other calibers yet for that matter, but this will be my practice as the collection grows).

    5 - Add your own situation that I missed, if you can think of a circumstance that could work with this thread.

    I posted this in Tactics/Training, because I am primarily interested in the number of mags to go off to the range with, but it seems like a good idea to gather opinions on the other situations mentioned above too while i'm at it.

    Thanks in advance for all the info!
     
  2. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    Caliber, capacity, etc. don't change things much for me. I have the same philosophy whether it be a G17, a 1911, or a .38 snub.

    1. As many as you can and think you will shoot. Like you said, reloading mags all the time isn't much fun.

    2. I generally don't carry a spare mag with me. The chance of needing it is extremely small, the chance of needing it and being able to use it even smaller.

    3. Generally there are two spare mags in the car, but that is mostly a function of the fact that I use a two-mag holder for storage.

    4. At home I keep one loaded handgun in each safe, no spare loaded magazines. Just can't envision a realistic scenarion where I would have to quickly grab a spare mag there in the house.
     

  3. gunsablazin

    gunsablazin

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    For the range as many as you like, I usually have 6 or so for that.
    I always carry a reload for whatever I'm carrying.
    At home I have my spare mag next to my carry gun, when I'm at home my carry gun is also my home defense gun, I don't keep guns out around the house because I have children.
    You should do what you feel comfortable with, there are guys who carry a spare gun and a knife to back that up etc. That is too much for me, but a spare mag is not a bad idea.
     
  4. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    My range mags are separate from my carry magazines, and marked differently. The range mags get dropped, stepped on and generally abused. I don't want to worry about what that might mean for the real world. (But how do you know that your carry mags work? I run through them without the gymnastics when I rotate my ammunition, every 6 months or so. If they don't work perfectly, well, I've got a new range magazine.) Right now that's 6 magazines.

    On my own time, I carry one full-sized spare, whether I'm carrying a G27 or the G22 it was intended for.

    On department time, I've got enough to hold off Al Qaeda until HRT can make it in from Quantico. :cool:
     
  5. krush777

    krush777

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    I never carry a spare magazine. I practiced reloading for street duty, but in a CCW scenario, I agree with Armstrong. A defensive situation would not likely require a reload. I also use the same gun at home and have an 870 which is my preference for home defense.
     
  6. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Three mags would be considered a bare min. One to carry, one in the gun & only one extra. I like having 5 mags min per gun type, then I can have practice mags & carry mags. I do carry a spare mag, mostly for MrMurphy, regardless of gun type. What ever can happen will. I do know guys that carry 2-4 spares on them at all times, but I think them a bit paranoid.
     
  7. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I would agree 3 minimum... You do realize what you have if the mags break? (a poor single shot) It does not take a lot to ruing a mag. I have mags I have dropped on ground/cement/etc over a hundred times. They are still good. (even had them stepped on) I had one that broke on a minor drop onto soft surface.
     
  8. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    When I go to the range I typically have 4-6 magazines, but sometimes only take one or two, depending on how much I am going to shoot. I have 9 total magazines for my G23, 3 for my G17, 2 for my P6, and one for my BuckMark.

    For carry, you are fine with the two mags the gun came with. Honestly, the chances of needing the reload are slim, and if your gun jams you'll probably get killed while trying to clear it. I don't typically carry an extra magazine, but I probably should. Glock magazines are thick and uncomfortable to carry. Adding an extra two inches to your waist looks weird too, unless you wear a shirt 3 sizes bigger than you normally wear, which screams either GUN, or WIGGER/POSER. Sticking a Glock magazine in your pocket isn't that comfy and I find it hard to draw in a hurry.

    When I travel long distances I throw an extra 13 round magazine (Glock 23) in my center console. Local driving, I leave it at home.

    At home I have the mag in my G23 loaded and an extra mag loaded, sometimes two.

    If you are in the woods doing some deep woods hiking I say carry as many spare magazines as possible. Weight is everything, so if you can manage it, do it. That being said, one extra magazine in this situation will work just fine. You carry a Glock 19, so 31 rounds of ammo should do nicely in the woods. Ammo has more uses than just shooting stuff. Bring along a good multi tool and push comes to shove you can yank the bullet, pour some powder under kindling, strike it with your flint and you have a fire in a survival situation. Some people can use the spark created by the primer if they don't have flint, but I've never actually seen it done.

    I say go buy yourself 2 more magazines. Then you have 4 magazines, 2 for carry/HD, and two for the range. You can pick up more along the way, spend the rest on ammo.
     
  9. MaximaDrvr

    MaximaDrvr

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    I like to have 6+ mags for each firearm that I own. I am still working on that for a couple, and have more than that for others. This has just been the number that works well for me between carry, practice, and rotation/parts.
    Just running errands I don't carry a spare mag as I have 13 of .40 in my EDC, but I do sometimes carry a J-Frame BUG. If I'm traveling into areas I don't know, or more than 2 hours away, I will keep a couple of spare mags in the car.
     
  10. Kith

    Kith

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    I like the advice of having seperate magazines for range and carry. This seems to make much sense to me for reasons above.

    Seems like somewhere around 6ish is a good place to start with heading down to the range. Sounds like a good enough number to play with, and truthfully it'll take some trial and error to figure out what a fun number is. But you guys have given me a good target to start with.

    This'll encourage me to get more then 6 so I can have dedicated carry mags. So far it's sounding like something south of 10 is a good place to start.

    I'm tossed on taking spare mag(s) with me for carry. I'll probably have to see once my license comes in and I try it out with and without.

    I like the advice about spending mag money on ammo. Getting more mags can be something I can work up to because instead of buying 4 I could buy 2 and ammo, then next time same thing etc... I suppose having a bunch of mags and not much ammo right away does seem kinda silly. But that's something I wouldn't have thought too much about until I got home from the gun store.

    Thanks so far for the advice you guys threw out, hopefully theres more fun ideas coming through :)
     
  11. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

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    I have 7 magazines per weapon as a minimum.

    :cool:
     
  12. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW

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    My standard carry setup is a Glock 19 with two extra mags out of the gun, all full capacity. I own a total of 6 mags and pick them up when I find a good deal. Sometimes you can find ten round mags at gun shows for $5-10 each because nobody wants them.
     
  13. sapper1911

    sapper1911

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    I will have to disagree. In my current assignment I often carry a G23 and 1-2 spare mags conceled throughout the work day (off duty it is the often the same because I already have it on). There has been a slight modification to my wardrobe, such as 1 size larger sweatshirts or open short sleave button-up shirts over heavy tee-shirts in summer. I would not discribe myself as appearing the way thegriz has.

    As to the practicality of carrying a spare, I feel it is comforting to have it. I may never have time or the need to use it, but then again gun fights have a sneaky way of not being what we plan them to be. A spare gun is great, for me its often a S&W 442.

    For the range, buy as many cheap mags you can find and mark the bottoms red. There are many places on the internet where you can find used / discount mags. My friend has had some luck with the Korean manifactured Glock mags for range use. When I was still on the road, I loaded my range mags with spare ammo and keep them in my oh crap bag. At the time I carried a Kimber 1911 and as much as I loved carrying that gun I understood the ammo capacity limitations. I also loaded extra AR mags and carried some buckshot and slugs even though I didn't carry a shotgun at work but some of my co-workers did. Two things you will never wish for in a fight, less ammo or a smaller gun. Even in my covert role, I have a small bag with spare ammo, knife, handcuffs, energy bars, ect.

    For the home, spare mags are great, but a shotgun is better. I don't leave ammo in the car, but if the enviroment calls for it I'll toss my Mossberg in the trunk.
     
  14. Cooper's Mom

    Cooper's Mom

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    For every handgun that I used to own....:whistling: ....4 or 5 mags is enough for me...

    .
     
  15. W4CNG

    W4CNG

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    I have more than 20 Mags for each semi-auto gun I have. Average is 25. For Revolvers the Speed Loader minimum is 12. All loaded up and ready to go, including the 6 Dade Speed Loaders I bought in the late 70's after the movie "Magnum Force" where they first came on the market. That was hard to do before computers and the Internet....
     
  16. cessna_driver

    cessna_driver Donut Molester

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    I carry two spares as a habit for 2 reasons....one, as I am now a RETIRED cop...and I doubt I will be in a protracted gun battle with the forces of evil...it is to balance the weight of the gun on my off-side. I learned over the years that my back was not as sore at the end of a day if I balanced the weight of the gun in this manner.

    Two....the magazine is the weak link in a good defensive pistol....i.e....more likely to be the cause of a stoppage than the gun itself. So, it just seems smart to me to have a spare or two on hand.
     
  17. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith

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    Glock 26 IDPA local match gun, I take eight.

    Glock 17 IDPA state gun, I take 10.

    Carry Glock 26... why I use my local IDPA gun for most of that as it's set up like my CCW gun.

    But for any other weapon, as many as I can afford to take, after all they do cost money!


    1 spare Glock 26 mag. But many times there is a BUG gun also. I use a good mag pouch that fits on my belt.

    Don't keep it in the car unless I am going into some place were I can't pack. Then I just leave my Glock 26 and spare mag in the car.

    Same as when I carry it. But... there are a few wheelguns stashed so there is extra firepower there.

    Deaf
     
  18. ghostwn

    ghostwn Ghost Member

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    The number of mags you should have is determined by the number of unsold mags on the market. When there sold out, you have enough.:rofl:
     
  19. Mr540i

    Mr540i

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    I carry G27, one mag in gun loaded, one in my jacket pocket. You never know what may happen. Maybe accidental discharge of the mag while your running for cover and then your screwed if you don't have the backup...Just sayin'

    While I'm at work/class I'll leave gun in glove box locked and take my mags with me.
     
  20. Bashful

    Bashful

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    :laughabove: