Is mag capacity your #1 priority?


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NGIB
December 31, 2007, 07:39 AM
I read a lot of post where folks say they wouldn't buy this or that becasue it will only hold 7-8 rounds. Personally, mag capacity is pretty incidental to me as I look at many other factors first. Is it comfortable in my hand and to shoot. Are the controls positioned well and operate smoothly. Do the sights work for the intended mission. Does it meet the need I have such as carry gun, truck gun, range gun, etc.

I have 2 high capacity double stacks but it's because they met all the other criteria first. My latest buy was a Sig 225 (P6) which is a single stack 8 rounder - it may end up as my carry gun as slim & compact is the highest priority for that. Just interested in any and all opinions...

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TAB
December 31, 2007, 07:43 AM
Mag capacity is the last thing I look at.( stuck at a max of 10 anyways in CA.) I'm much more worried about things like, will it go bang every time, does it point well, can I shoot it fast and accuratly... etc

XavierBreath
December 31, 2007, 07:53 AM
No.

Since it seems you are talking about a carry/defensive handgun, here are my priorities, roughly in order. Others may have a different opinion and that's OK.

1. Reliability
2. Portability or Concealability
3. Speed of deployment
4. Stopping power
5. Accuracy and/or Shootability
6. Durability
7. Capacity
8. Ease of maintenance and availability of parts

As you can see, capacity is pretty far down there. I don't forsee myself fighting off hordes of airborne triggerfish so I figure a tool to assist me in my exit from Dodge is an adequate one. If my exit is hampered, tactics, spare mags or a BUG make up the difference.

NGIB
December 31, 2007, 08:26 AM
I wasn't really focusing on carry/defense pistols, just bottom feeders in general. What brought me to do this thread is I see a lot of folks say things like "it's a great gun but I wouldn't buy one because it only holds 8", etc...

Clipper
December 31, 2007, 09:02 AM
The guys who have fantasies of having to stand off the Crips single-handed will go on about needing 15-round mags and only carrying 4 spares at the beach, etc...I guess I'm dangerously undergunned, but I normally carry 8 rounds in my PF-9, and though I'll get one sooner or later, I currently don't even carry a reload. The shame...

PTK
December 31, 2007, 09:05 AM
I carry a 3032 Tomcat made by Beretta. Yes, it's .32acp, but I'm accurate with it, it runs 100%, and it's small enough to carry fairly much 24/7 under just a t-shirt while still remaining quick to draw.

Forgot to add that it carries 7+1.

FranklyTodd
December 31, 2007, 09:28 AM
normally carry 8 rounds in my PF-9 . . . I currently don't even carry a reload

I've got you beat - I usually carry a 5-shot .357, with no reload on person. :)

Geno
December 31, 2007, 09:28 AM
For a defensive pistol, I am first and foremost concerned with:

1) reliability
2) accuracy
3) stopping power**
4) durability

I look to **"total firepower". It is reasonable to assert that 10 rounds of .45 ACP possess as-much total firepower-as a 15 rounds 9mm, perhaps even more.

DMK
December 31, 2007, 09:36 AM
Reliability is #1

Mag capacity is near the end of the list. I prefer thin handguns.

That said, I do have some factory 25 round mags for my CZ-75. They're just a cool novelty(AFAIK the Berretta 92 and CZ75 are unique to have such large OEM mags) and 9mm isn't as expensive as other centerfire ammo. My '75 is mostly a range toy though. I don't carry it and definately would not with those huge mags.

I wasn't really focusing on carry/defense pistols, just bottom feeders in general. What brought me to do this thread is I see a lot of folks say things like "it's a great gun but I wouldn't buy one because it only holds 8", etc... In a 22LR range toy I might rank capacity a little higher than in an SD gun. I hate loading those little mags. But reliability is still the #1 priority. I can't stand a gun that jams at all.

Mad Magyar
December 31, 2007, 09:37 AM
Not really...Not crazy about the added weight when in CCW. Similar to XavierB, but on parts: I enjoy hunting for parts, if you are a Spanish owner; you'll understand....:)

Pilot
December 31, 2007, 09:39 AM
No. I prefer a slim package and many of my carry guns are single stack semis including the HK P7, Beretta M85 and Makarov.

Double Naught Spy
December 31, 2007, 09:48 AM
Is mag capacity your #1 priority?

I read a lot of post where folks say they wouldn't buy this or that becasue it will only hold 7-8 rounds.

I think you have confused a disqualification trait with being a priority. There is a difference. Mag capacity is not my number one priority for making a purchase but it may be a reason, one of many, for me not to make a purchase.

bannockburn
December 31, 2007, 09:54 AM
Pretty much the same as what the others have written, with a few alterations:
1-Reliability
2-Concealability
3-Caliber or Stopping Power
4-Accuracy
5-Durability
6-Ergonomics
7-Mag capacity
If mag capacity were an issue, that is if I could get the same model with more rounds per mag; and it didn't negatively affect any of the other factors, then I would consider it. But if there was a problem with any of the top 5 factors, or if it just didn't perform as well as it's single stack counterpart, then I would opt for the single stack model.

JaxNovice
December 31, 2007, 09:58 AM
I do not see myself getting into a prolonged gun battle. 8 rounds of .45 acp should deter anyone trying to rob my house.

gcrookston
December 31, 2007, 10:03 AM
Hi caps don't really do anything for me and are not a consideration when purchasing a weapon, even a rifle. Except in CC, I rarely, if ever load them up all the way anyway. My P226 rarely gets more than 10, my HK Tactical more than 5, My most used mags on my M1a and HK93 are the 5 rounders...

XavierBreath
December 31, 2007, 03:34 PM
I wasn't really focusing on carry/defense pistols, just bottom feeders in general. What brought me to do this thread is I see a lot of folks say things like "it's a great gun but I wouldn't buy one because it only holds 8", etc...Aw well heck, I have a couple of single shot pistols that are a lot of fun at the range.

The only reason for having a handgun that brings up another round at all, whether a revolver or a semi-auto, is so you can get off another shot before the other fellow kills you.

If the handgun is not going to be used for self defense, then the issue of capacity is really an issue of whether the shooter is to lazy to stick another round in the chamber. Some of the highest quality, most accurate target pistols are single shot.

gbelleh
December 31, 2007, 04:01 PM
The importance of capacity depends on the gun's purpose. For CCW, capacity isn't as important as size, weight, reliability, etc. I usually carry a 7, 8 or 9 shot pistol with a 7 shot BUG. For home defense, extra capacity might be more important, but is still less important than reliability. My current primary home defense pistol is a 9 shot .45.

NG VI
December 31, 2007, 04:20 PM
ok, i gotta admit that i'm a sucker for guns that hold more than they seem like they should. for instance i can never get over how small the grip on my S&W 9VE is, and it's short too, but it holds a 16 rounder!

but sometimes when firing i can't wait for it to be empty...

Hoppy590
December 31, 2007, 04:34 PM
1: reliability
2: point and feel
3: caliber
4: Design. id take metal over polymer, single action over DA or "safe action"
5: features ( mag size, mag prices, availability, parts etc)

my P14 satisfys 1-4 and hase large mag size, and fairly available parts, how ever mag prices and availability in MA are killers. that said. the 14 round didnt make the deal. it just made it sweeter

SDDL-UP
December 31, 2007, 04:39 PM
Magazine capacity is directly related to "stopping power" of the firearm.

All of my 45 ACP's hold seven or more

All of my 40 S&W's hold thirteen or more (had some ten round magazines because they were cheap and felt okay with that but got rid of them)

All of my 9mm's hold thirteen or more

Of course people take magazine capacity into consideration wheather they admit it or not. No way would someone take a super slick, accurate, ergonomically perfect, 100% reliable, three or four shot semi-auto for self defense when they could have a full capacity Glock 17 or Wilson Combat 1911. For a backup gun of some kind to supplement your primary gun you can get away with lower capacity, but not for your primary gun.

I've got a CZ-75 SP-01 that holds 20 rounds fully loaded, ergonomics are nearly perfect (for me), it's super reliable, accurate, etc. I've also got a Glock 17, I like some things about it a lot, but prefer the SP-01 and other CZ-75 variants with 16+1 capacity based on ergonomics and DA/SA operation. With just a couple of rounds difference in capacity it makes little differance, but as I noted in the beginning there are lower limits to what I'll even consider based on caliber.

lurch37
December 31, 2007, 04:48 PM
Mag capacity is the least of my concerns when buying any handgun.

fastbolt
December 31, 2007, 04:49 PM
Is mag capacity your #1 priority?

No.

Boarhunter
December 31, 2007, 05:29 PM
Obviously, mag capacity is not the primary consideration, for what does it matter how many rounds are in the magazine if the gun won't shoot reliably and with some measure of accuracy.

BUT. I will be the first to admit that the closer we get to the presidential election, the more anxious I am to have as many hi-cap guns and hi-cap mags in my possession....

I do not care to be caught short if the entire country goes "california."

Boarhunter

biscuitninja
December 31, 2007, 05:41 PM
I agree with you Boar. But really since I like in **********, just having any firearm will be a win in my book. This is why I've gone with C&R stuff.

As far as capacity, its all a balancing act. An accurate pistol doesn't need as many rounds, a powerful pistol only needs one shot to connect. Getting the weapon to fire at all is the very first step. That being said, you must do your part. But having backup doesn't hurt.
-bix

Blarelli
December 31, 2007, 05:45 PM
Reliability is number one for me. After that what purpose the gun will fill decides what is next. Small, slim, and light for carrying. Power, control, and capacity for home defense. And for the range, I think the coolness factor comes into play.

denfoote
December 31, 2007, 05:57 PM
Small and light are good things.
Decent caliber is a plus.
Thus, the perfect concealed carry gun, for me, is the KT PF9.
Capacity can be delt with by hoofing more mags.

phaed
December 31, 2007, 05:59 PM
my ability to shoot accurately is primary (i.e. over 4" barrel, controllable recoil). mag capacity is secondary, but i won't use a small cap weapon for self defense. i know that the probability is low that you'll need more than 3 rounds, but it still exists.

AK103K
December 31, 2007, 06:05 PM
I used to think not, but these days, I put it right up there with reliability and reliability. Most of the other factors are really not an issue.

I always used to carry a 1911 with 7 or 8 rounders in the gun. I now carry a P229 with 13 rounds in it. Guns about the same size, just hotter ammo and more of it. Whats not to like? If I could get more rounds in the same package, I would.

Size is irrelevant, you can carry a big gun with little trouble if your of a mind to.

Accuracy is also really a non issue, most any pistol you pick up will shoot better than you can at realistic distances.

Caliber? I'll take as hot as I can reasonably get, and as many as I can possibly get in the gun.

Design and ergonomics, sure, I want something I can shoot well and that is friendly to me. There are plenty of pistols out there that will fit the bill for just about anyone.


I'm not one of those lucky people who knows just how many rounds its going to take or where and when and exactly how things will shake out. Nothing that ever seems to happen to me is what I'd call "average" either, so the 3 rounds at 3 feet at 3AM, 3 miles from home on the 3rd Tuesday of the month isnt me. If I'm unlucky enough to have to deal with it, and by some freak of nature the average fairy happens to light on me, I'll still be happy to have 10 more rounds in my gun. If I get what I usually do, I'll really be happy I still have 10 more rounds in my gun. Ammo is cheap, be generous. :)

Vern Humphrey
December 31, 2007, 06:17 PM
My criteria are:

1. Reliability. It's got to go bang! every time I pull the trigger, or else it's just a silly-looking club.

2. Shootability (accuracy in my hands, under simulated combat conditions). Given that it went bang!, it would be a shame to miss.

3. Power. Given a hit, I like to know the hit will be as effective as possible.

After that, other considerations like concealability and so on come into play. Personally, I think reliable 8-round magazines for the M1911 are about ideal.

possum
December 31, 2007, 06:42 PM
Is mag capacity your #1 priority?
short answer no, i own and did carry a kahr k-40 which is 6+1 that was until my wife decided that she would have it. i also have a 1911 which i don't carry but that has nothing to do with the capacity. like you said there are many other factors that go into a gun for than capacity.

10-Ring
December 31, 2007, 06:45 PM
My priorities are reliability, durability, shootability, asthetics and somewhere in that would be mag capacity

NeveraVictimAgain
December 31, 2007, 07:39 PM
My number one priority in a self-defense gun is reliability.

Koblenz
December 31, 2007, 08:44 PM
Reliability and handling are more important to me than magazine capacity. I own a S&W 4006 and a Glock M23, both in .40. The S&W holds two less rounds, but because its handling is so superior to the Glock, I prefer the 4006.

Beowolf1911
December 31, 2007, 08:49 PM
I have 3 requirements in a carry gun. First and foremost it has to shoot every single time I pull the trigger. Secondly if has to hit a chest size target from ten yards if I point shoot it. Three it has to fit in the inside pocket of my leather jacket. I have two carry guns depending on the size I can get away with on what I am wearing, a norinco 1911 and a FEG PA-63 I love them both and they are both 8+1.

byf43
December 31, 2007, 09:03 PM
Obviously, mag capacity is not the primary consideration, for what does it matter how many rounds are in the magazine if the gun won't shoot reliably and with some measure of accuracy.

BUT. I will be the first to admit that the closer we get to the presidential election, the more anxious I am to have as many hi-cap guns and hi-cap mags in my possession....

I do not care to be caught short if the entire country goes "california."

Boarhunter


Well said! Well said, indeed.


As for magazine capacity, I'm not too concerned about what I'm carrying/using capacity is.
Extra magazines are available, so, I can buy more (for now) and practice my reloads.

Caliber/stopping power is more important to me, along with shot placement.

I just don't want to be holding the short end of the stick after the election.

Clipper
December 31, 2007, 09:37 PM
Of course people take magazine capacity into consideration wheather they admit it or not. No way would someone take a super slick, accurate, ergonomically perfect, 100% reliable, three or four shot semi-auto for self defense when they could have a full capacity Glock 17 or Wilson Combat 1911.

Right off hand, I have a hard time recalling a more pompous bit of pontification lately. If Kel-Tec would introduce maybe a 4 or 5+1 .45ACP version of my PF-9, I'd be ALL OVER it.

Shadow1198
December 31, 2007, 10:58 PM
Aww, come on guys. You know what we all need to be concerned about is having at least a 33rd extended mag so that when you are simultaneously attacked by 17 people, you can take all of them on at once! ;) j/k In all seriousness though, most common brands of guns out there typically have the availability of extended mags anyways so I think the ammo capacity thing isn't much of an issue. Carry a 7 or 8rd mag in your 1911 with an extra 10 rounder just in case. ;) I'm half joking and half serious. I prefer to side with the having and not needing side of the argument myself. Yeah the typical self defense shooting might only take 1-4 shots to stop, however what if on that rare occasion say your home is invaded with multiple armed people? I'd rather have a good 10+ rounds just in case. All that being said, IMO reliability is the number 1 factor by far as a gun is no good if it can't shoot. I think everything after number one is mostly a matter of personal preference.

fastbolt
December 31, 2007, 11:46 PM
All that being said, IMO reliability is the number 1 factor by far as a gun is no good if it can't shoot. I think everything after number one is mostly a matter of personal preference.

Agree.

Reliability is my number one criteria.

Secondary criteria may vary depending on the anticipated tasks, the conditions in which they may occur and whether a particular platform's overall characteristics may better lend itself to what I think I'll need ... (presuming the choice is one in which I have a say, of course) ... or whether or not I just happen to prefer it, for whatever reason..

I've carried issued service weapons ranging from S&W K & L-frame revolvers, backed up by speedloaders & speedstrips ... to pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, with magazine capacities including 15, 14, 12, 9, 8 & 7 rounds.

My current issued pistol is a 7+1 capacity .45 ACP ... and I don't lose any sleep over it.

FWIW, a couple of my personally-owned .45 ACP pistols even have 6 round magazines.

Oddly enough, while it may simply be a habit ingrained from years of owning and shooting .45 pistols, I do find I prefer either 7+1 or 8+1 capacity .45 pistols when it comes to single column magazine designs. The first double column magazine .45 pistol whose grip ergonomics actually interested me is the new M&P 45. I'm seriously considering ordering one (like I need a 9th .45 pistol).

I have more 5-shot than 6-shot DA revolvers, and the 5-shot ones get the duty when it comes to off-duty roles.

I once carried a 4-shot COP .357 Magnum as an off-duty weapon for a while. I wouldn't choose to do so again, though. I suppose that means I'd draw the 'capacity line' at least at 5-rounds. ;)

Beowolf1911
January 1, 2008, 01:06 AM
I got to say I get a kick out of the guys who pack multiple mags as a day to day carry load. I am a banker, but I work in a back office not a branch so I am relatively safe, and maybe a lot of them are on the road a bit more then me but they way I look at it If I find myself in a situation where 8 rounds is not enough, I think I made some poor life choices and I need to use my 8 rounds to get the heck out of there. My primary concern in carrying is not to kill the bad guy but get myself out of a bad situation, and I am not too proud to run like hell.

phaed
January 1, 2008, 01:09 AM
there's a lot of "reliability first" replies. i agree it's important, but with the quality of modern day handguns, it's hard to find one in median price range that is not reliable.

ironvic
January 1, 2008, 01:27 AM
My first priority is reliable accuracy. Second is caliber/capacity. 9mm gets hi-cap. .45 ACP, 8 rounder OK, .357 5 rounds in a round gun are fine.

One key thing is also state of mind. If it goes dry, I will still have the will to survive by all brutal means. My 2 1/2" S&W 686 Plus is a stubby, heavy gun with lotsa sharp edges. I would use it as a skull crusher if run dry and consider the frame as my "8th round."

ironvic

ognnosnim
January 1, 2008, 02:38 AM
Capacity is not a major factor.

But it still plays a part when I choose a carry piece.


Sure in a most situations you won't need but 1 to 3 shots. But it gives me some comfort to be the extra rounds in the mag just in case I do need it.



My main carry gun is my Kahr CW9. It holds six rounds in the mag + 1 in the chamber.

I always carry a extra mag which holds seven rounds with the extension installed.

So 14 rounds of 9mm on my person and I feel pretty well armed with that.



I also carry a blade and pepper spray.

AK103K
January 1, 2008, 08:56 AM
I got to say I get a kick out of the guys who pack multiple mags as a day to day carry load.
If you carry an auto, a spare mag is almost a given, just from the standpoint of malfunction. The mags are the weakest point in the system, and regardless of how reliable you think your gun is, you may just have to rip that mag out and get a new one in there if the gun fails to work. Its just something you do, you dont have time to think about it or analyze why its not working. If you dont have a spare, your SOL.

I'm one of those people who is "on the road" of sorts, I dont sit in an office and I'm in nice and nasty places, often a good distance from my vehicle and off the beaten path, even where there is concrete and black top under foot. I've been in some places I wish I had more than a pistol and a couple of mags, and more than once. While so far, I havent needed the one in the gun, its reassuring to know I have a few more should I need them. They take up no room and weigh basically nothing, so whats it hurt? I cant think of any situation where having to much ammo was a bad thing.

Another thing for me is, since I'm often 50 -100 miles away from home during the day and a long walk from home, suppose your somewhere like LA or NYC and something like the King riots or 911 occurs and you get stranded on foot somewhere you REALLY wish you werent? I'm not saying you want or need to be Rambo, far from it, its the last thing you want, but are you still just as happy with that 5 shot J frame and no reload? The only way I would be was knowing it was the back up to my P229.

I think if your going to carry a gun, you need to think it through and at least allow for (and practice for) more than just one possible scenario (that so often seems to be the case in a lot of these type threads, narrow minded, specific uses). If you go through life with your only plan being a swift kick to the nuts, for all encounters, I think your going to be in for a shock. Same goes for no reload. If your not carrying at least one, your deluding yourself.


If you think a 5 or 6 shot gun, regardless of caliber, is enough, try a little force on force with some airsoft, and throw in just one extra person in the aggressor mix. I think you may just have a mind altering experience. :)


it's hard to find one in median price range that is not reliable.
Unfortunately, I havent had any troubles doing so, and with guns that were in the above median range to boot.

Mad Magyar
January 1, 2008, 09:09 AM
The mags are the weakest point in the system, and regardless of how reliable you think your gun is, you may just have to rip that mag out and get a new one in there if the gun fails to work.

...and that is because?

Mandirigma
January 1, 2008, 09:10 AM
Once upon a time, yes capacity was a major concern.

When I first started getting into guns I never understood why anyone would DELIBERATELY limit themselves to 7 in those old fashioned guns (1911's), or worse yet 5 or 6 in a revolver. When you could carry a modern handgun (Beretta/Glock) and get 15 or more rounds per "clip".

As my training progressed, and my confidence in my ability to hit my target increased. I found I understood why some people are fully confident in revolvers and lower capacity handguns. In time I became one of those people. I started with a Glock 19 as my first handgun. I enjoyed the size, capacity, reliability, and price of target ammo. It was also the handgun I started "serious" training on. Now I find that I carry a 1911 more often than not.

In the course of my training I've also learned a few other things. Like one you've already seen here. Reliability. I learned that every make of gun malfunctions. There are individual weapons that are 100% reliable, but no one magic make or brand. Revolvers, Semi-automatics, Automatics. they all malfunction. Like others it is my primary concern. In my training I've seen, high end guns ($1000+) jam and malf. while others people may consider beaters run consistantly.

Personally I carry either a 1911 or a Glock 33. Not because either of these platforms are any better than others. But these are the platforms I have the most trigger time on.

I got to say I get a kick out of the guys who pack multiple mags as a day to day carry load. I am a banker, but I work in a back office not a branch so I am relatively safe, and maybe a lot of them are on the road a bit more then me....

I'm one of those. If its the glock its one extra fullsized mag, if its a 1911 then its two mags. I also keep extra mags in the glove compartment/console in both my vehicles. Simply for the fact that one of those lessons learned is that 95% of the time if Tap/Rack/Bang doesn't fix it, the fastest way to get a malfunctioning autoloader back into the fight is a mag change. And failing that, a handgun with a fully charged mag is one hell of a club or one heavy rock.

Another thing I found interesting, carry the magazines opposite of the handgun tends to balance out the weight on my belt.

Never been especially lucky, Murphy tends to show up more often than not for me. I guess I plan for the worst, but hope for the best.

,but they way I look at it If I find myself in a situation where 8 rounds is not enough I think I made some poor life choices and I need to use my 8 rounds to get the heck out of there. My primary concern in carrying is not to kill the bad guy but get myself out of a bad situation, and I am not too proud to run like hell.

Sometimes, the choices are made for you. I'm like you in that I'm not too proud to run. But I've been in situations where I've not only had to fight it out (thankfully no guns were involved in this one) but I had to draw attention so the person I was with could run like hell.

IF going out to dinner, a movie and a nightclub are bad life choices, well than I'm guilty.

Beowolf1911, please don't take my comments the wrong way. I know my life and circumstances are different that just about everybody elses on this board. You prepare for what your life experiences have taught you, I do the same. We've just both had different experiences.

AK103K
January 1, 2008, 02:59 PM
...and that is because?
Any number of factors. You dropped one and bent a feed lip, you neglected to clean them on a regular basis and lint and crap fouled things up, spring is getting weak from constant use, you cleaned it and put it back together wrong, etc, etc,.

Generally the first thing you look at if a pistol starts acting up is the mag that was in the gun when it starts. If it starts in the middle of something serious, are you going to stand there and analyze it, or are you going to dump it and get a new one in there at your first opportunity?

You did bring a spare, right? ;)

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2008, 03:17 PM
It only makes sense to carry extra ammunition -- whether you carry an automatic or a revolver. As Jeff Cooper used to say, "There is such a thing as enough ammunition. And there is such a thing as not enough ammunition. But there is no such thing as too much ammunition."

Or to put it another way, you can miscalculate how much ammo than you need. There is no penalty for having ammo left over when the gunfight ends. But there is a penalty for having gunfight left over when your ammo ends.

And if you carry ammunition, it makes sense to carry it configured for a rapid reload. For an automatic, this means at least one loaded spare magazine.

And as others have pointed out, the magazine is the weak point in the automatic. A replacement magazine only makes sense.

gbelleh
January 1, 2008, 06:38 PM
I usually carry a BUG instead of a spare mag. My BUG weighs about as much as a spare mag.

DHart
January 1, 2008, 06:51 PM
Some quote: "if you can't protect you and yours with 5 or 6 rounds, you can't do it no matter how many rounds you have."

This type of comment is often casually made here and there. It is simply wishful thinking! Usually offered by someone who relies on a low capacity gun.

Let's start by realizing that handguns are VERY POOR STOPPERS. Yes, it's entirely possible that 5 or 6 shots might be enough to stop an attack on you or your family.

But then again, think about how quickly those five or six shots will be fired and how unlikely any one or two of them are in causing a doped up, pumped up, muscle bound, cold-hearted, cold-blooded killer to drop in his tracks instantly.

Do you think all five will all strike the target perfectly? Do you realize that two or three or four of them, or ALL of them, may miss the target as you scramble to protect yourself in the heat of a sudden, violent confrontation? And even if you do get two solid hits, do you think the perp is going to instantly fall to the ground and cease the attack?

Are you sure you won't find yourself in a situation where there may be two or three (or even more) people threatening you? There are so many possible ways for this to happen. And all you have are 5 or 6 shots before your gun turns into a stone? Reload? Yeah right... possible, for sure, but not very likely in the heat of close-encounter defense. I'll take a five-shot gun over none at all, but not if I have a choice.

Do you quote the old statistic (probably coined thirty years ago) that *most* defense encounters are over within three or four shots? If you set your strategy on that statistic, then why don't you set your strategy on the statistic that you are not likely to ever need to use a gun to defend yourself - therefore, don't even bother to be armed?!

I submit that these days it makes a LOT of sense to carry a gun with as high a capacity as you can comfortably handle in a caliber as potent as you can manage. Assailants simply don't instantly fall down when they are hit by bullets. You may have to get five or six or more very well placed hits to drop an assailant in his tracks. And beyond that, you may have two or three or four jacked-up, heartless, soul-less jerks to deal with. One or more of them may be very heavily built people; one or more of them may be heavily numbed by drugs or alcohol - and feel little if any pain.

There is a good possibility that it may take FIVE OR SIX SOLID HITS very well placed in very rapid order to bring an attacker to the ground quickly. After your five or six are spent, assuming you were fortunate enough to have made all of those rounds count perfectly, what do you do about the other guy or two who are hell bent on taking you out? Throw the gun at them?

Certainly 5 or 6 shot capacity is infinitely better than none. But greater capacity is ALWAYS much better. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Don't plan for the best and find yourself having to deal with the worst.

Every choice you make in life involves a compromise. Whatever you gain, you give something up. Can't get around that. I love .45 and have a lot of guns in that caliber. My most cherished guns are my Colt 1911’s in .45 acp, but I rarely carry them due to their lower capacity. I also like .40 and 9mm Glocks.

After considerable study and thought, I alternate between the Glock 23 (14 rounds of .40) and the Glock 30 (11 rounds of .45) and a spare hi-cap mag along as well. Each of these guns are compact, very concealable, and stone reliable.

These Glocks are NOT necessarily my "favorite" handguns, but are my smartest choices in a CCW because of the reliability, capacity, and potency. I like the guns a lot, I like the capacity a lot, I like the reliability and durability a lot, I can shoot them very well, and the caliber is a reasonably good choice for a handgun. Your mileage may vary. My most cherished guns are my Colt 1911’s, but I rarely carry them due to their lower capacity.

Just some thoughts.

Beowolf1911
January 1, 2008, 10:40 PM
Mandirigma, I by no means take anything you said as an insult. Fact is I live a very boring life and am basically home by the time it gets dark, I live in a quiet little country and would feel safe with a 5 round snub in .38 if that was what I had. If I do go out at night I am normally going out drinking and I don't carry when I go drinking, The only situation conceivable on my average day would be a car jacking as I leave my home and go to work then leave work and go home, or coming home to someone who had already broken in. In both of those situations I feel 100% comfortable with my nine rounds. yes there are a million worst case scenarios where adding a few extra mags could pay off but they are a pretty slim chance and if they do happen I think I have bigger things to worry about. To me you build a load to fit your life, I am 25 I weigh 210 lbs and I can hold my own in a fight so a gun is only a worst case scenario option, if I pulled it to put down a 165 lb mugger the courts where I live would put me away, they tend to support criminals over honest gun carrying civilians. I also have to leave my gun in my truck when I go into work so if I would pack them they would end up left in the glove box anyway. My ammo stockpile will stay at home with my rifle if a situation calls for a large quantity of ammo, it calls for a long gun IMO.

The Lone Haranguer
January 1, 2008, 10:57 PM
As Charlie Askins used to say, "There's them as likes lotsa ca'tridges in the clip." ;) But I view this as more of a bonus than a requirement.

Capstick1
January 2, 2008, 02:33 AM
I think so but stopping power plays a part as well. I've always felt that the 8 rd capacity of most .45 1911 mags was too small. To me the 10rd Wilson KZ45 10 rd, H&K USP .45 12rd, and the Paraordinance P14 14rd mags are about ideal. I've never been a fan of the anemic 9mm round but if I have to carry one I'd definitely need at least 15 rds in my magazines or more.

Evocatii
January 2, 2008, 03:00 AM
Capacity is not a real concern for me. The area I live in is not that dangerous. I am just as worried about mountain lions as I am of the two legged critters. I generally carry a 5 shot j-frame with one reload for just-in-case. I am just as happy with this setup as I was with an XD-40 with four magazines. Its all compromise. In any case, I figure if I can't hit my mark within the given 10 shots, then I can bludgeon the unfortunate attacker with my model 60. :D

.357 magnum
January 2, 2008, 06:40 PM
In Order I look for-

1] Realiability/Dependability
2] Accuracy/Ergonomics
3] Stopping Power
4] Mag Capacity
5] Looks

If the gun has all five of these, then I am going to buy it. I know I put Accuracy and Ergonomics on the same line. But if the guns ergonomics fit me well, then I am always more accurate with that gun. I am not down playing Mag Capacity that is for sure. Because you cannot predict what situation you may encounter or how many perps would be involved, or what weapons they may have. I only had a little over 8 years of LE experience, but there are plenty of missed shots in most gun fights. Also in these Home invasions I have noticed for the most part there are multiple intruders. In my home I have extra loaded guns. I just find it easier then extra loaded mags. I Thank God In my case I have a wife that can shoot very well and a German Shepherd/and a Lab too alert us. Having a spouse as back up is always good :evil:[She has her own Berreta 9mm now, and she loves it!] I want to teach her the .45 and .40 too, all in good time.:)

The Best to All!

Frank

kokapelli
January 2, 2008, 08:43 PM
The question suggests we have to compromise!

We have had a number of home invasions in the Phoenix area recently and they all involved more than one person. As a matter of fact, in one home invasion last week in Phoenix, there were eight guys that stormed through the door and one before that involved six invaders.

There are plenty of pistols available that have all of the traits, so why compromise?

All of the traits are equally important to me with the exception of looks and if I'm able to carry one, it will be one that is reliable, accurate and has high capacity.

With that said, I usually carry a PM9, but if I know I'm going to be in a bad part of town, the least I'll be carrying is a 9mm Wharthog with 12+1, that will give me time to get to my car and something even bigger.

AK103K
January 2, 2008, 08:50 PM
The question suggests we have to compromise!
Ahhh, the NRA response! :neener:

No thanks to them, my home invasion specific 9mms have 30 round mags and selector switches. :)

legion3
January 2, 2008, 08:55 PM
Only in 9mm and even in that caliber quality counts first.

I had a P7, great gun but heavy and only 8 rounds.

For the cost and weight, 8 rounds seemed like not much.

Of course if a Democrat get elected with a democrat congress the mag capacity might just be a #1 priority again

DHart
January 2, 2008, 09:08 PM
Because you cannot predict what situation you may encounter or how many perps would be involved, or what weapons they may have. I only had a little over 8 years of LE experience, but there are plenty of missed shots in most gun fights. Also in these Home invasions I have noticed for the most part there are multiple intruders.

Missed shots & multiple perps make 8-round (or fewer) handguns plenty "iffy" in my mind. These days in a carry gun I look for a minimum of 11 rounds of .45 on board before a reload... (G30), or 14-rounds of .40 (G23), or 16-rounds of 124+P 9mm (G19). With a spare mag on hand as well.

Autolycus
January 2, 2008, 09:17 PM
I consider it a priority. Just because I view the pistol as a primary means of defense in case something happens while away at home. I have found that I could carry a meduim size gun with little trouble. A gun like a Glock 23 or HK P2000 that has a capacity of more than 7+1 or 8+1.

I figure if I can carry that, I might as well. I like the .45 ACP round but I feel that the .40 S&W is a better choice. Not to mention I get more of it in most guns.

TimboKhan
January 3, 2008, 05:48 AM
No. Capacity is not my #1 priority.

I have no problems with hi-cap mags, and I have a Taurus 92 sitting all of 1 foot from me right now that has 15 rounds ready to go. But, I also carry a five-shot revolver and my bed stand gun is a 6 shot S&W. Also, I have a 1911 that I keep loaded and ready to go.

The correlation between all of these is that I can shoot each one reasonably well. By that, I mean that I can shoot each one consistently. On my best days, I am maybe a slightly above average shot with a handgun, but the key is that I know what I can do and what I can't. With the exception of my .22 pistols, I know I can put rounds into center mass with consistent regularity with every single one of my "combat" guns and that to me is more important a consideration than capacity. After all, missing 15 times is still missing!

Reliability is also key, but to me, that goes without saying. Regardless of brand, all my guns work, and I demand that all of my autos feed everything that I throw at them. I don't care if an auto is 100% reliable with one brand of ammo: I want it to be 100% reliable with ALL brands and types of ammo, and if it isn't, I ditch it. Obviously, if it is a crappy round I don't blame the gun, but provided the rounds are good, the gun better feed them. All my guns do, with my P90 (8 shots) being the king of kings when it comes to reliability.

Another thing I don't particularly care about is ease of disassembly. I don't want to have to hassle with it to clean it, but neither do I require that I can field-strip it in seconds either. Frankly, if a gun won't run when it gets dirty, I don't particularly want it anyway. To that end, I use a grease on my autos as opposed to oil, and the grease gets applied sparingly to just the parts that need it. Everything else stays dry. Colorado isn't humid, so rust is rarely an issue. Right now, my 1911 has about 500 rounds through it and I haven't cleaned it one bit, as I am specifically trying to figure out at what point it will fail. My P90 got 1000 rounds through it with zero cleaning and never failed, and thats good enough for me, so I cleaned it. My Taurus 92 is the same as the other two. I have shot it dirty, it runs fine, and it has earned a spot in my collection. My revolvers all work perfectly dirty or clean, and I run them about 99% dry, with just a touch of oil at the pivot points, but then, it's a revolver.

I guess what this all boils down too is this: My #1 priority is ruggedness. Not reliability, but ruggedness. I want a gun that can maintain a certain level of performance under relatively bad conditions, and all of mine do that. I will add that once they have passed my "torture test", I do keep them pretty clean, and I care for them.

My #2 priority? Good sights. I am no crack shot, but I want to be able to see my sights clearly and well. I can forgive my little snubby for not having great sights, but all the rest of my guns do, with the exception of the Taurus 92, whose sights are too small for my taste. One day I will change them, but for thats really my only complaint with that particular gun.

DHart
January 3, 2008, 06:04 AM
Some clarification of my views... I don't feel that mag capacity is more important than anything else... I think only someone terribly ignorant would feel that way. My approach is that given one's got a reliable gun, of sufficient potency for defense, and is skilled in handling the weapon and putting rounds where they need to go, yes, magazine capacity can be so important that your life may very well depend on it. But I would never place mag capacity above a gun's reliability or a shooter's ability to shoot well.

Calling capacity "#1 Priority" is stating the point incorrectly, in my view, because no one thing is #1 priority... I presume that it's a given that a shooter can shoot well and that his gun is reliable and of sufficient caliber with superior ammunition. So, no, mag capacity isn't the #1 factor. Nothing is #1. But once a reliable gun in sufficient caliber is relatively mastered, yes, I think mag capacity is VERY important, because missed shots and multiple perps are to be expected! I do vascillate between 11 rounds of .45 in my G30, 14 rounds of .40 in my G23, and 16 rounds of 124 gr +P Gold Dots in my G19. From a logical standpoint, I guess I'd have to say that of the three gun/caliber options I mentioned, the happy medium of caliber and capacity is the G23, though I usually carry the G30. Would feel well armed with the G19 as well.

MostlyGenius
January 3, 2008, 06:23 AM
Capacity is money in the bank for a rainy day, nothing more. How much you need depends upon how hard it is raining. A five shot revolver in the right hands is plenty of capacity against an attacker (or two) with a bit of luck. However that is a pretty thin margin.

I don't mean to derail the thread, but a lot of people have chimed in saying that stopping power is more important than accuracy. Most modern guns are accurate enough for defensive purposes and it is not really an issue (though I would say that if your handgun could launch bowling balls at 3000 ft/sec. you would probably like to know that they were going where they were aimed.) My question is what are people basing this assessment of stopping power on? As far as I can tell there is no consistent science to say that any major caliber handgun caliber/round is a more reliable fight stopper than another.

In relation to capacity, I would want more than double the "stopping power" to make up for having half the capacity. A reduction in capacity is a reduction in the number of chances to effect a stop for each threat you are facing.

AK103K
January 3, 2008, 06:57 AM
I just got this in an email, Gabe's ears must have been ringing. :)


KILLING SACRED COWS

Some COMBAT TRUTHS ignored in most gun schools.

The fight will be what the fight will be. Period.

If you are one of those guys' whose proactive fight will be solved by a 5 shot snubby revolver with no reload available, great for you. If you do not get one of those fights, and all you have is a snubby 5 shot, you will wish you were carrying something else. Simple.

Force on force is as close as you can get to a real gunfight. Is it a real gunfight? No. You want to know what that is all about, go to a Crip/Blood neighborhood in L.A. wearing a KKK outfit, or to some of the places we hang out at in South America. You will find out. If you don't want to do that, FOF is your only test.

What we have learned from FOF (and Gunfights because some of our guys have actually shot for blood).

Fights are either ambushes or reaction to ambush. If you can guarantee 100% 24/7/365 that all your fights will be ambushes because you eat live and breathe in condition orange all the time, then go practice your marksmanship and don't worry about anything else. But I would ask if you are so tuned and alert, you can probably avoid all those fights anyway which would make the carry of ANY weapon unnecessary.

If you agree that at least 50% of the time (perhaps more) you will be reacting to the ambush, then what we teach here should make sense to you. Too much range training in search of marksmanship is like too much kata in search of visual appeal. Both drive you away from combat truth.

When you are reacting to ambush, standing still and trying to out-draw and out-marksman the other guy will simply get you shot. I defy anyone to show me otherwise at a FOF session.

When you realize you have to move dynamically off the x or get shot, we move away from range-based marksmanship to what is adequate marksmanship. Marksmanship on a paper, cardboard, or steel is all well and good and easy to pull off on a sterile range where you are in no danger. Its another thing altogether when you are being shot at.

Hit ratio? I will say that most shots hit. Once the guys get used to "letting go" of old range habits, the ratio improves. Think you can guarantee 100% hits by standing still? Great. Do it with out getting shot by the other guy when he has started the fight. Show me against a man who is trying to hit you, don't just tell me what you can do on a target.

Do you miss? Yes you do. It is inevitable. Don't want to miss? Too bad. Again, show me you can do this in a reactive fight (you don't get to start early).

Do your hits go to peripheral areas like hands, arms and legs? Yes they do. If this is the trade off for you NOT getting shot it sounds like a fine deal to me. Again...if you have a better way, show me in a live FOF drill with an uncoop opponent trying to shoot you.

If your hits go to peripheral areas, you will need to keep shooting until the bad guy has had enough, physically succumbs to the damage, or you hit a vital area. If you can do this with 5 shots, again...great for you. Now do it with a 200 pound MMA fighter running right at you from 5 yards fully intent on knocking your block off with a tire iron. What's that? It affects your flash sight picture a little bit when you have to haul ass away from him? Yes...we know that.

The other thing is that Americans are some of the toughest and biggest people on earth. I have seen guys get hit in the chest wioth just about every type of SD caliber out there and still keep fighting. I know of a case where it was a shotgun slug no less! If you give him your best five and he is not impressed what will you do? Reload while running away? Do you train that?

Some of you say "Is spraying fifteen plus rounds around as good as shooting five rounds and accomplishing the same results.?" Again, taking into consideration the difficulty in stopping an angry shooting American, and hitting him while you yourself are getting shot at, I would ask that you show me how you do this.

Are we assuming that one hit = one stop? If that is the case, best of luck to you.

"Where are the other ten plus rounds? In the bad guys also or through a window, wall and into an innocent victim?"

Choose right now.

1). Guarantee all your rounds will always hit what you aim at, but you also get hit with the bad guy's rounds. You will be shot, and maybe injured or dead, but you will be liability free.

Or

2). Do your best, but accept that some of your shots may not only over-penetrate, but not even hit the bad guy...but you will not be hit by his bullets. But you may incur some legal problems due to your gunfire (MAY not SHALL).

Pick now. But talk is cheap. Show me you can back up your choice 100%, 24/7/365 in a force on force drill.

Listen guys...I think my staff and I are pretty good shots. We get to shoot all the time. We have run probably close to 1000 FOF students to date, and none of them have been able to replicate the marksmanship they were so proud of at the range under these circumstances. I know full well that none of us is a superman and all of us are liable to the dynamics of the fight.

That is why I carry a Glock 22 with a couple of extra magazines and train in stress-proof gun handling drills, and shooting while exploding off the X. I like snubbies, but selecting a 5 or 6 shot revolver in today's world is like choosing a lever action rifle when you have FALs and AKs in volume. You can make them work if everything is working for you. But if things are not working for you, you will be screwed. So do you feel lucky?
__________________

Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA, Inc.
One Source Tactical
info@suarezinternational.com
Office 928-776-4492

S&Wfan
January 3, 2008, 10:03 AM
Capacity is WAY DOWN on my list about what's important about a handgun. WAAAAY down. It is literally not even on the radar.

Here's my list of elements that are important, in decending order:

1. Proficiency - The ability to handle the firearm extremely well in all conditions (strong hand, weak hand, strong eye, weak eye), using correct tactics and cover, extensive practice, extensive competition at the area level, proficient draw, etc.

As side point . . . I practice at all ranges out to 100 yards with my primary defensive handguns and instinctively know the bullet drop at each distance. Without a head knowledge of where the bullet will go, ya can't hit the target accurately!

2. Weapons that fit the hand perfectly, point perfectly AND . . . with great triggers.

3. Reliable weapons that always go bang, and that point naturally.

4. Shot placement (see point #1). The best caliber and bullet won't do you much good if you don't know where to put it . . . and/or can't put the bullet on the spot!

5. Experience . . . as in anything else requiring manual dexterity, the better and harder you practice doing things . . . the better you get. This includes speed + precision in shooting AND reloading, plus the instant recognition of whats going on . . . and experience gained in clearing all sorts of malfunctions that comes with shooting tens of thousands of rounds.

6. Calibers with stellar performance results.

7. Ammo with the best performance results

8. Adaquate reloads handy

9. Back up firearm (that meets all the above criteria) handy plus reloads for this weapon.

For legal concealed carry purposes of course, this would also include weapons that conceal well but also have great accuracy, PLUS excellent holsters and ammo carrying equipment.

HIGH CAP? Are you kidding? I'm not LEO or soldier who has orders to hold ground and potentially trade lots of rounds with cover with an entrenched gunman. If trapped in a fight, either on the road or at home, I've always got 60+ primary firearm rounds loaded in magazines, speed loaders or moon clips . . . plus at least 15-20 for my backup . . . and that ought to give me time to fight to the SHOTGUN!

If all that fails . . . it wasn't my day anyway.

HOWEVER . . . I gave my oldest son his first centerfire pistol last year, after he got his CCW. It is a Glock 23 in .40S&W.

Like lots of novice shooters, he lacks the range time, practice time and experience that I've got . . . and high cap magazines can allow for more misses when the shooter is a novice. I see a big plus to have high cap. handguns for novice cops and soldiers for the same reasons!

BTW . . . missing scares the HELL out of me!!! With each shot a shooter hurriedly cranks out with poor skill . . . comes the added risk of hurting or killing an innocent person. Thus, it is best for a civilian to "pay their dues" and master all facets of handgun use and carry.

Lots of bullets is no substitue for hitting your targets perfectly, quickly, and with consistency using a great SD round!

Blackbeard
January 3, 2008, 10:55 AM
For those of you answering that mag capacity is not a priority, how many already own a "high" cap handgun?

For me, I only got back into guns after a bill was introduced to ban the so-called "high capacity" magazines. (I won't say which party, but it rhymes with Phlegmocrats.) So, my priority was to acquire one before the ban could be passed.

I do have small hands and I think a single-stack would be easier for me to shoot, so future purchases will focus on usability and suitability for a particular purpose, but I feel the need to aquire politically incorrect firearms while I'm still can.

glocktalk362
January 3, 2008, 11:12 AM
Well A .45 8-9shot Firearm Is Probly Not Sutible For Duty Cary Due To The Fact That The Officer Will Be Sent Into Places That Civilians Can Avoid, Like A Gun Fight With 8 Gang Bangers. This May Instil A Problem Of The Reloading Aspect Of The Gun. But For Just Everyday Carry A 1911 Pistol Should Be Fine. FOR INSTANCE NYPD ON DUTY GUNS ARE THE .40CAL GLOCK 22 ( 15RDS ), AND THE SIG229 ( 13RDS ) WHILE THE OFF DUTY CARRY GUNS ARE 7 SHOT .40CAL KAHR FIREARMS

FLA2760
January 4, 2008, 02:01 AM
Not really. A second and or a third gun is the primo reload.

Vern Humphrey
January 4, 2008, 10:34 AM
A second and or a third gun is the primo reload.
Depends on accessability -- a gun in an ankle holster might take longer to get into action than a reload from a magazine in a belt carrier.

And you can reload an automatic before it runs dry.

bigmike45
January 4, 2008, 11:16 AM
My priorities are as follows:

Accuracy-I am a consistiently accurate shooter and my gun must match or exceed my ability.

Reliability-My firearm must shoot every time I pull the trigger. My firearm must also cycle every time fired without failure in any way.

Caliber Choice-I prefer large and slow to small and fast.

Magazine Capacity- At least 5 rounds....must match or exceed my revolvers, or I will carry them instead.

Size for Concealed Carry- This is a personal preference, but I will carry a full sized gun from time to time. Mid sized (4") barrels are my preference in semi-auto's, 2"-3" barrels in my carry revolvers.

Asthetics-Yes I want a good looking gun. Nice bead blasted stainless or a deep blue and a nice set of wood grips if possible. No it does not make it shoot better or function better. I guess I could just live in a tent instead of the house I remodeled to my liking, or drive a Yugo instead of my nice car...! Both would provide for my basic needs but I prefer to splurge a little.

AK103K
January 4, 2008, 07:33 PM
Asthetics-Yes I want a good looking gun.
If you carry a lot, it wont be "as" good looking long. :)

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