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How many mags per gun is enough?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by River Wraith, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Deep in the valley
    If I don't have three mags I don't feel like I have enough. That said, I more typically have 5-6 with one of them being the "designated dropper" for practicing mag changes.
  2. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    Everyday carry, at least one reload.

    To possess for general purposes, 24 magazines for "serious" arms or guns that are shot often.

    SHTF, as many as possible.
  3. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Keene, CA
    All kidding aside, it depends on the gun. As much as I love 1911s, I feel the need for LOTS of mags for them - like 30 mags for 2 1911s. These stinkin' ugly Glock magazines just seem to work, and work, and work, and (stop and swish it around in a mud puddle to CLEAN it) then work some more...

    It seems like if I drop an empty 1911 mags, 25% of the time it suffers functional damage. It also seems like I can throw a full G21 mag down a river gorge, find it a month later, scrape the dirt off and it'll work fine.... I know that both are exaggerations, but there IS a difference in durability. Something that ugly HAS to be strong!

    Every gun I own that takes magazines (including bolt rifles) has at least two mags, not matter how little I shoot it. If a mag fails, I want to still be able to use the gun.

    Carry guns have a minimum of three mags, 30 rounds total.

    Range guns get 5 minimum.

    It gets really fun when you own multiple Glocks that can use other mags. My G26 has 3, but also accepts the 11 G17/34 mags I have on hand. My primary carry is a G30, with 5 mags, but it also accepts my 7 G21 mags. My G36 is an orphan, with 3 mags.

    Even my Browning 1911 22 has 3 mags.
  4. BK

    BK Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Blood of the Apache
    Five or six, gives me three that are loaded with defense ammo and carried. Then I have two or three that can be used for range ammo so that I don't have to empty the hollowpoints from the carry mags everytime I hit the rage.

    I've also gotten into the habit of buying two of the pistol model that I intend to carry. Since they always come with one or two mags to begin with, it's easier to get up to the level of six or more mags when you just buy another pistol just like it.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Murphy's 1st. Rule of Magazines law.

    1 = 0 - If you only have 1, it will break, get lost, or run over by a truck.
    2 = 1 - If you have 2, one will work and the other one won't.
    3 = 3 - If you have 3, all will work, and none will ever get lost or broken.
    4+ = You are set for life for that gun.

    This especially applies to older guns with expensive and hard to find mags.

    If you carry a SD pistol?
    Carry a spare magazine for it too.
    (See Murphy's Magazine Law #1.)

    A pistol without a working magazine makes a very poor impact weapon in a fist fight against a gun or knife.

  6. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Hill County, Texas
    What I carry, and what I want, or would like to have readily accessible are two totally different matters. Mostly due to economics. Pre, and Post Sandy Hook. I would like to have ten mags per pistol for range work and play time. But, given the fact that most of my mag. prices vary between $30 and $40+- apiece, that makes it tough. So given the fact that my carry weapons range between 12+1 to 17+1, I usually only carry one spare mag. on me. And with the thought that if it does happen, I can hopefully rely on my experience and or training to get me and mine through.

    But if I have a few pennies just laying around and I do see a mag. just sitting there all lonely, I have no problem escorting it home to it's brethren. Hate to see an orphan like that.
  7. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    One in the gun and 2 on the belt and 2 at home for rotation = 5.

  8. Zardaia

    Zardaia Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    Daily carry, two. Extras for spare wouldn't hurt. SHTF, I'd say three since by the time it's that bad you should have a rifle. Pistol then becomes back up and I'd rather carry more rifle ammo than trying to carry extra pistol mags.
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    Sounds reasonable.

    When I was traveling and had a risk of ending up a "million" miles from civilization, I'd carry a couple spare magazine and spare rounds. I was as much concerned about four legged animals as two.

    Now that I do not stray far from civilization, I carry only one magazine with the pistol. Maybe false economy.

    I tend to not practice with my carry magazine and only occasionally make sure it functions.

    I like to have a bunch of spares on hand for each hand gun.
  10. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    I have a minimum of 6 mags per weapon.
  11. Chris-bob

    Chris-bob Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    I immediately get 3, then as finances allow, I start increasing the numbers.
  12. olderguns

    olderguns Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2010
    Florida near Orlando.
    I have 16 mags for my G29 6 of them are for the 29 so they 10round with+2 extension on each, and then I have 10 G20 mags again with +2 extensions and mag sleeves, for my 1911 I only have 4mags but I don‘t carry or shoot it very often, thee only gun I have only one mag for is a S&W swve9 got it as a gift with one mag and can‘t find any at a decent price.
  13. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2010
    OR. / State of Jefferson.
    It depends on the gun. H.G.( 6-7 ). Rifle. AR, ( 11 ), B.A. ( 5. ).
  14. Mayvik

    Mayvik Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    To own? One more than you have/need.

    For carry, consider why you need reloads. I generally lump it into 2 categories - 1) need more ammo 2) gun don't work.

    Number 1 doesn't bother me too much. By the time you look at the statistical chance of you ever needing to draw and fire you gun and factor in needing to draw and fire it so many times you run out of ammo, you may as well wear a rubber suit just in case you get hit by lightning. Also, I'm not a huge guy and frankly don't want to buy size 40 pants just so I can stuff an extra 3 double-stack mags in them.

    Number 2 is what bugs me because while you should be working your reliability stuff out during practice (does each mag work, does my ammo work with my mag/gun, does the mechanism of my gun work every time, and when it doesn't can I clear it, etc), Murphy happens. I would consider carrying a second gun as a BUG/NY Reload before carrying more than 1 spare mag (or any) unless you have some other driving reason - especially so if you're carrying something that's 16+1. Mag changes don't fix everything. There are plenty of options out there in the <1lb loaded range. Personally even an extra five rounds of 22 mag from a mini revolver in your watch pocket for something like 7 ounces seems like a no brainer. Now you've added the unlikely chance of running out of ammo to the even more unlikely chance of both/all of your guns not working.

    SHTF is not generally a topic around here, but consider what you can reasonably carry on your person, along with all the other crap you may want to carry, including your longarm if applicable. If you can't carry it, it doesn't do you any good (handguns used because they are portable). It's probably around the same as your regular carry loadout (but you probably carry it differently). You don't see the guys deployed overseas running around in full battle-rattle with 20 pistol mags strapped on top of everything else.
  15. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Arizona Territory
    Daily carry...one in the gun and (if possible) two more in a magazine carrier.

    SHTF...have you seen "Last Man Standing" where Bruce Willis is loading for his 1911s?

    On another note, in Iraq I always carried two spare magazines for the handgun on my vest/belt/leg. But I also had 14 magazines for my long gun.
  16. JEB

    JEB Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Douds, IA
    for my uses, 3 is enough, but 6 would be more convenient . i have 3 mags for my competition gun and have never needed more than that. i HAVE had to use all 3 in the same stage, but it was still enough. i would rather have 6 just so that i can have the loaded mag in the gun and the other two loaded as spares. then i would just use the three non-carry mags for range time. for daily carry, i rarely carry a reload at all. sometimes i will carry a single spare mag if i am heading to the big city. sometimes i carry two spares just because i can :).
  17. 3GunEric

    3GunEric Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    Morgan County, WV
    I agree with most of the above. Figure out what is the minimum you need and then double it! Sure three or four will last a lifetime if they stay locked in your safe or nightstand but with real-world use they will develop problems over time.

    If you train like you will fight, and not just shoot at a static range, problems will develop. Feed lips get bent, bodies get dented and any number of other problems can cut your total count down. They get dropped in the mud - stepped on and many other potential mishaps.

    Make sure to buy only top quality mags as well! Saving a few $ on mags is a big mistake.

    Go Mec-Gar!
  18. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    10 per weapon.
  19. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    WOW! After seeing some of the responses for daily carry that the OP asked for, I gotta ask...Do you guys carry them in a duffle bag, briefcase, purse, wheelbarrow???
  20. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    It's not hard to carry one or two spare mags.

    The rest of them are for SHTF, per the OP (or in case laws pass that prevent you from ever buying another 11+ capacity magazine)

    Me, I'm surprised that so many folks think 2-4 is more than enough for a serious/primary gun.

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