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How many rounds minimum are borderline sufficient in your semi auto pistol?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by el Godfather, Nov 12, 2013.


Minimum capacity desired?

  1. 6+1

    135 vote(s)
  2. 8+1

    72 vote(s)
  3. 10+1

    36 vote(s)
  4. 12+1

    24 vote(s)
  5. 15+1

    10 vote(s)
  6. More

    14 vote(s)
  1. el Godfather

    el Godfather Well-Known Member

    Dear THR:
    What do you all think about the minimum desired capacity of semi auto? Before selecting a gun for a self defense, do you have any minimum capacity requirement?

    Any studies that elaborate on this subject?

    I personally lean towards higher capacity pistols - thinking better be safe than sorry.

    Or do your circumstances of travel dictate the capacity of the firearm chosen for the day? I know it does influence me sometimes. When going to a country side, I am partial to a double stack magazine with 12+ capacity, irrespective of a caliber. May they be a Glock 23 (in near future Glock 20 and Glock 29 might replace it), H&K USP 45 or even the big boy Mk 23 placed next to the car seat or on the floor mat (but mostly a gun on body with Mk23 handy).

    I am not a firm believer in loads of magazines unless I want to be fortified some where and expecting a drawn out gun fight, in which case I wont be relying on pistols. I rather have two pistols than one with 3 mags. I, somehow, have the feeling that gunfights don't last long like hollywood movie scenes. Instead they are sudden and are over with quickly, not leaving much time for magazine changes. Just some non-expert thoughts. Therefore, two guns ready to go bang when trigger is pulled is what I like - also it minimizes disasters due to an unexpected jam/malfunction in a gun. I mean the chances of two quality firearms jamming on the same occasion have to be pretty low.

    What do you think?
  2. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    I think that your logic for not having a spare magazine, is flawed. Carrying a spare magazine because of the additional rounds is not why you should be carrying it. That magazine is there in case of malfunction in which your first magazine needs to be removed from the gun and not used anymore. It is easier for me to clear a malfunction than to go back to my car and grab a second gun.

    Anything with 7 rounds+ is good for me, and always with a spare magazine.

    I also think that you have asked this before...
  3. el Godfather

    el Godfather Well-Known Member

    My logic may be flawed as I am no expert, but it works for me. However, I think your reasoning is also not quite spot on as well because I rather have second pistol ready to go than figuring out if malfunction is due to magazine and change it to clear it- no thank you Sir.
  4. decoy562

    decoy562 Well-Known Member

    I voted 6+1 since I carry a Beretta Nano. Basically, anything that carries more than a revolver is fine by me.
  5. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    If you are having to think then you have not practiced. You really should add that in to your practice sessions. If you any clear a malfunction quickly while determining the problem by feel then you aren't properly prepared to defend yourself. I would rather have the option of a magazine change than find myself with a malfunction that I don't know how to clear, wetting my pants in the middle of the mall because my "Plan B" is back in the car :rolleyes:
  6. gunsablazin

    gunsablazin Well-Known Member

    If I were an LEO I would be much more interested in a high capacity sidearm, as a civilian HCP holder, my .45 with 7+1 and a spare mag of 8 has been 16 rounds more than I have ever needed. That being said, although I will, when circumstances dictate carry a 5 shot snubby, I am more comfortable with the .45
  7. el Godfather

    el Godfather Well-Known Member

    1. Rather shoot the next gun than waste time clearing a jam. However, thank you for the advice I will try to add it to routine.

    2. Mall? I hardly go to any Malls where people are shooting at each other. Not to mention Glock or H&K is just fine with magazine loaded. I rather not go to a Mall than going there with quad magazine pouch and a BUG strapped to my each ankle.

    3. The plan B you to refer to was for a specific situation "country side" not for hanging out local the target store. Read my post please.
  8. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Well-Known Member

    It depends entirely on the caliber. If it's a 9mm, I generally prefer 10 at least. If it's .45 then I'm good with 7 or 8. I always carry a reload with me just in case.

    It also goes the other way for me too. I don't carry a chunky 14 shot .380. I can pack a 9mm/40/45 in the same package. However, I do carry an LCP when I can't carry anything larger. For me, the micro .380s fit roles that even the smallest 9s can't fill.

    So in short, it depends on the platform. If it's a striker fired 9mm, I want extra rounds. A hammer fired .45 is just fine with 8. I have 5 shot .357 on my hip as I type with a "reload" of 5 loose rounds in my pocket and I'm not really worried about my general safety. I just make sure that I am capable with whatever weapon I select to arm myself.
  9. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Well-Known Member

    Im not fighting a war. My p220 compact is 6+1. And i dont add the extra round. If i need more then 6 rounds, i need more then a carry piece.
  10. TestPilot

    TestPilot Well-Known Member

    10 rounds minimum magazine capacity for me, for a primary pistol, but higher the better.

    I wanted to be able to react to 2~3 opponents before having to reload. That is under the assumption that it would take about 3 rounds or less to deal with each opponent. Of course, that is not guaranteed in real life.

    I have done research and read studies, but no study at the moment can produce a definitive number of rounds any person would need to deal with each opponent, so I just had to make my own assumptions.
  11. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    7+1 or 8+1 is good enough for me. I'm a M1911 shooter and although I've collected high cap guns like the G17 since they first came out, but I prefer platform over capacity.

    Be realistic, most SD gunfights end after the first 2-3 rounds exchanged. It is better to work on accuracy, technique, tactics and situational awareness rather than feel security because you are carrying X-quantity of bullets.
  12. cor_man257

    cor_man257 Well-Known Member

    I said 8+1. I think carrying that many rounds of 45 is well armed. I didn't feel like I needed more gun with my 220.

    I now carry a G17 with 10 round magazine. Not because of the capacity, because of the price of ammo.

    I carried a spare magazine with the Sig, and still do with my Glock.
  13. Hometeached1

    Hometeached1 Well-Known Member

    My minimum magazine capacity depends on the size and caliber of the pistol. If given the choice between a compact 1911 in .45ACP with 7+1 or a glock 19 15+1. I would almost always choose the 19, the almost being if I had good JHPs on hand.:D If given the choice between a Para P14 14+1 of .45ACP or a glock 34 17+1 of 9mm, I'd go with the p14. As far as a second pistol or a spare mag I choose.... Both!:neener: that way I would have spare ammo just in case I ran out or had a malfunction, same for the second pistol. It is ALWAYS good to have optoins. It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. But that's just MHO.
  14. IdahoHk416

    IdahoHk416 Well-Known Member

    For CCW, I carry my Springfield XDs .45 with 5+1 capacity and a spare 7 round magazine.

    If I were to carry a pistol to use as a duty weapon, I would want the highest capacity possible.

    For CCW, it is not as much of a concern for me. The average SD shooting is over in 2 rounds or less, according to the statistics out there.
  15. el Godfather

    el Godfather Well-Known Member

    It is sad to see people restricted to 10 round magazines. Beats the entire evolutionary phase in the handgun history.

    Would somebody repeal these stupid acts and put behind bars these neo-politicians before they force us to use only 7 round 1911 with .22 short. :)
  16. Rock185

    Rock185 Well-Known Member

    I guess my minimum must be 7+1, since I carried a pistol of this capacity 40+ hours a week for several years. FWIW, I did have a quality pistol malfunction during a close range interpersonal confrontation over a decade ago. I was carrying a very well known polymer 15+1 .40 Cal. pistol at the time. I can sure appreciate the value of a "New York Reload," but was not carrying a second weapon at that time. Probably 99.9% of people will never need a second weapon, I never had before, and I thought I never would. I was wrong. I still have the scars. Afterwards, I started carrying that traditional 7+1 capacity American pistol designed by JMB, which, to this day has never failed. I also carried two extra magazines a second weapon with that 7+1 pistol until I retired...ymmv
  17. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Where do you keep the second pistol? Are you going to call a time out while you reach for an ankle holster?

    Minimum desired for me would be 5...
  18. csa77

    csa77 Well-Known Member

    im more then comfortable with a 5 shot 357 j frame. for a pistol, 6+1 is icing on the cake.
  19. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    Nah man, that can't be correct! Everybody knows that Glocks never fail and 1911s are always unreliable!

    (Glad you're OK and still with us!)
  20. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Sure I have a minimum capacity...7. Because that's the magazine capacity of my Colt 1991A1, the smallest capacity sidearm I own.

    There. I fixed that for my case. Part of situational awareness and risk management: avoid trouble wherever possible.


    (Yeah, yeah...I know there are exceptions to this...)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

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