How many magazines, first time gun owner

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mars5l, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Tampa Bay area
    Magazines? I don't need no stinking magazines.


    But if I did I'd want at least a half a dozen per pistol.
  2. FFGColorado

    FFGColorado Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    My son says he has enough so he can carry ALL his guns and magazines at once :)
    BUT..all more magazines do is allow you to shoot more and reload less when at the range and have a spare if one crumps..I have 3-4 per handgun ...I have 4 for my Mossberg Predator bolt(all 10R)...4 for my 10/22...
    Glock 26-3
    Glock 17-3
    Glock 42-4

    Not really worried about the zombies coming over the fence and needing 50 or so magazines, a barrel of 10,000 rounds of ammo and somebody sitting there reloading the empty ones.

    IMHO and YMMV and all that.
  3. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    I tend to buy less expensive mags more often than expensive ones. I also tend to impulse buy magazines found readily on the shelves of the LGS. I dont buy many SIG or FN mags due to cost.

    One of the reasons I have started to gravitate toward a 1911 as my full size gun of choice is that good magazines can be had for about $25 a pop, magazine springs abound, and if the political climate changes I am sitting pretty well stocked with a bunch of sub 10 round magazines. I think i have about 6 or so for my 1911, and I plan on picking up one or so a month the next few months. Generally 3 boxes of ammo and 1 magazine a month is my goal. I dont shoot much at all, but I figure having it on hand won't hurt for when I do.

    I would like maybe 2 more magazines for my Shield .45. I never see them in the wild, though.
  4. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    My solution for SVT mags was to acquire multiple SVT-40s, each with one OEM mag. That way I can take out one to shoot and have 7(8?) loaded mags with me. :)

    :what: What?! o_O



    Mars5l, sounds to me like you are on top of it, thinking it thru in advance. Good instinct, that. :)

    I am one of the many here (I am sure) who accumulates many more magazines than they "need", especially the less expensive ones.

    On several occasions I have availed myself of discounted 10pks of AR-15 magazines. To (try to) talk myself out of new block-sale mag purchases (Brownells 10rd straight AR mags are particularly hard for me to resist) I head for the basement and run a quick inventory of the type of mags that are on-sale. That process usually works ... usually. ;)

    About 20 years ago I purchased 100 EXC/LN H&K G3 alloy magazines from TAPCO. That purchase cost me $100. I already had ~50 EXC H&K G3 alloy mags. <shrug> Couldn't walk past that deal. :oops:

    All 100 are still in their two Priority Mail shipping boxes.

    While I have many more than 2-3 mags for most of my bottom-feeder handguns, I would assure that I had a few more for any of the carry pieces in my rotation. My reasons for that are three-fold: extra mags for practice, extra mags for swap-out in case of mag-failure and extra mags to salt , loaded, around my house. Rather than leave firearms hidden around my house (works for some folks), the only operational firearm not locked-up is with me.

    BTW, IMO it is a very good idea to assign a unique identifier (such as a number or letter) to each mag so that as you are practicing if you experience an Issue it is not an Issue with "one of the mags" but with "P365 mag#03". :)

    Sharpie makes some nice light-colored metallic-ink markers that show-up very well on dark mags ... just apply the ID in an out-of-the-way spot. I have found them to be a good solution for temporary markings on dark surfaces.
    792mauser and Demi-human like this.
  5. rkittine

    rkittine Member

    Jun 15, 2020
    New York
    Never less than three for anything I own.
    armedwalleye likes this.
  6. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

    Jul 3, 2018
    Not DFW

    That's a good base. I started numbering my 1911 mags. I quit when I got to 75. There's still a big box of them I need to number.

    I do own more 1911 pistols than anything else. 19 mags wouldn't be enough for a pair for each pistol.
  7. mcb

    mcb Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    North Alabama
    150+ for each revolver.

    For my magazine feed handguns I have at least 6 magazines for each and for ones I am using in competition at least a dozen in most cases. Similar for my magazine feed rifles, though for my AR's is more like several dozen. I think I even have nearly a dozen alone for my 450 Bushmaster AR.
    Demi-human and P5 Guy like this.
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Florence, Alabama
    I shoot a bit of pistol competition; so I want at least six double stack or 12 single stack magazines for an IDPA or USPSA gun, and actually have more; five for Steel Challenge or GSSF. Three is enough for a hideout carry gun.
  9. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Tampa Bay area

    Six at the minimum. While I no longer have the 17 and 19 I still have 10 for the 34. The orange floor plate got replaced with a plus two extension. All the 17 magazines work perfect in the 26.
  10. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    You "need" a minimum of one.

    Anything more than that is a personal choice subject to whatever you think is important. And your reasoning is perfectly OK.

    I go for convenience.

    My Colt 1991A1, for example, came with one 7 round magazine. My "minimum" for that pistol is 7 magazines. Why? 7 magazines is 49 rounds, plus 1 in the chamber is 50. That's one full 50 round box of ammo.

    When I'm headed to the range, and while I'm there, it's mighty convenient to load a full box of ammo at a time. And I'll spend more time shooting between having to stop and reload again.

    For our M&P-15s, same logic. The .223 ammo comes in 20 round boxes, but the magazines are 30 round. 4 magazines means I load up a nice, even 6 full boxes of ammo with no loose rounds left over.

    Some buy more for investments. Some buy more for some "worse case scenario".

    Get what makes sense to you.
    Demi-human and Hartkopf like this.
  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Usually around 5 to 10. If it's an often used competition gun, I have enough not to have to load mags during the match. If it is a EDC that I take classes with, I probably used it for competition have a similar high number of magazines. For my 223 rifles, one I used in matches, lots of mags. Others, 5 would suffice.
  12. Megawatt maker

    Megawatt maker Member

    Nov 12, 2017
    Simple. Many as you can afford, and these days...find.

    But like you are late to the party.

    The best advise Ive seen on this thread?

    Join the NRA (or GOA or any other gun rights group) and take classes.
  13. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    I was going to say that. The minimum number of magazines for any given weapon should be the standard "loadout" for that weapon. Look at the web gear commonly used with that weapon. For auto pistols, that could be anywhere from 2-4 spare mags. For an AR rifle, at least 6. For a FAL or G3, probably 4 or 8 spare mags. That's for each weapon. Of course, with the threat of hi-cap magazines being outlawed, the sky's the limit on how many you should put aside.
  14. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Birmingham, Alabama
    For a defensive gun (pistol or rifle) I’d probably recommend a minimum of 10 mags. Maybe 6 if they’re difficult to find (or expensive). If you know that a gun you have is going out of production, I’d try to find as many mags as possible because it will only get more difficult as time goes on.

    Having 10 or more mags per gun sounded crazy to me when I first started, but I have to say it’s really nice being able to load up your mags before a range trip. It’s also a huge help to have enough mags that you don’t have to unload your defensive ammo every time you go to the range. I used to be the guy standing at the line unloading a couple of mags of hollow points just so I could load up some FMJ and practice. Now I just grab another mag and can get right to shooting. This really helps if you’re on an indoor range and pay by the hour.

    As also pointed out, if you have a problem with the gun, the first place to look is the mag. It’s usually the weakest link in a semi-auto platform. Being able to say “my gun is jamming, but it only happens with mag number 4” is very useful for diagnosing issues, and having extra mags so that the loss of one mag doesn’t put you in a bind is helpful as well.

    And people will eventually try to ban magazines again, and most are currently available. So buy some extras.
    NedNederlander and Hartkopf like this.
  15. hq

    hq Member

    May 24, 2011
    I've never felt a need to have more than maybe three magazines for my hunting and target rifles. Battle rifles may be different and full autos are the primary reason I originally hoarded so many STANAG mags and drums. Of course, anyone can have as many as they like, but having had crates of mags sitting unused for decades, gathering dust, I sometimes find it hard to see a point.

    As far as preparing to have a stash of grandfathered, otherwise outlawed items is concerned, to each his own.

    These are just my observations. YMMV.
  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    For a carry handgun, I would want 4 magazines. 2 loaded (1 in the gun and a spare) and 2 "others". The 2 others get switched out every 6 months, and if I decide to take the carry gun to the range, I use the 2 "resting" mags for that 1 range session. I also have several Glocks that I keep in a ready state in my house. Each of them must have 2 mags minimum (1 loaded in the gun- no spares needed in the house), as they do the same 6 month mag rotation. I do it on my birthday (May 26) and thanksgiving, as they are 6 months apart. For range use, more mags are never a bad thing- for any gun. I will load my mags at home watching TV sometimes days before I go to the range, so I spend my time out there training and not messing with equipment- esp. when its really hot, raining, etc.
  17. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    I keep 3 in regular use for each gun and another 2 or 3 on reserve hidden away. As the used ones get worn out, I'll buy more.

    I refuse to let fear mongering over an election or any other event push me into spending money I need to put elsewhere. But if you have the cash, there's nothing wrong with a big stash to last a long time.
  18. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

    Jan 29, 2019
  19. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

    Jan 29, 2019
    Weasel-esque Wayne does more for gun owners and users before his first coffee every morning than you have in your whole life.

    Every class the NRA offers also gives a suggested range of equipment in the description when you are signing up. Something you might give some thought so you don't look so stupid next time you start spouting off advice to people you don't know about topics you don't have a clue about. You don't have any idea what that guy owns or how many magazines he needs. HE DOESN'T even know.

    People like that need a class before they are even safe enough to shoot what they already have. They sure aren't going to learn anything useful from this thread. In two pages he has been recommended any thing from one to hundred and fifty magazines by people he couldn't even name let alone get gun advice from.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  20. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    For me it depends on the gun. Somewhere between 1 and 20. I have old milsurp stuff that only came with one magazine and I don't feel like spending $30 or more for a magazines that'll never get used. For my Glock 17 I have at least a dozen 17 to 21 round magazines and at least half a dozen 30 to 33 round magazines. For my 1911's I have at least 30 magazines compatible between a number of guns. For a couple of guns I have the 2 or 3 magazines they came with and don't have any desire to acquire any more. For some guns I've bought 2 or 3 extra and called it good.

    I bought an extra 15 rounder for my P365. I want to try out one of the new aftermarket magazines once those are in stock. The OEM Sig mags are ridiculously priced.
  21. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

    Dec 8, 2016
    The Haymarsh, MI (Aka, Paradise.)
    Well, that’s good, considering I’m a carpenter.
    Touchy subject? Your nephew?

    Spouting off? What would you call this?
    There’s also a way to say they have a class supplies list without looking like you do now...

    Which is why he asked a question on a forum, genius. That is what we are here for right? Or do we need to feel big about ourselves today?

    Said every liberal, gun grabbing puke I’ve ever heard.

    It would behoove you to not wake up so angry. It makes you appear disheveled, even though I’m sure you are much smarter than everyone here.

    Have a wonderful day, neighbor. And bless your tiny little heart.:)
    Trunk Monkey, GBExpat and mcb like this.
  22. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Pierre, SD USA
    I don't know how many magazines a person needs, but good sources for them include CDNN and palmetto state armory. When serviceable magazines start at $10 and are on sale periodically, some of us have been known to overbuy. Then we are overcome with buyer's remorse, and it makes us feel better to help others overbuy as well :D
    hq and Demi-human like this.
  23. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Back on Puget Sound
    Easy answer: as many as one can afford without diverting funds better spent elsewhere. (Don't take money from your kid's college fund, or live on rice and beans for six months to save up money for expensive mags, like say, H&K or factory SIG mags).

    For a carry pistol, I need at least three. For range pistols, as many as possible. As the OP notes, one would rather be shooting than loading mags (especially for those unfortunates who have to rent commercial range time by the hour).

    For most of my commonly-used pistols, I tend to keep at least six, acquired over the years in my early days. Got ten or twelve for some, but for the old mil-surp types, a couple pistols with only two. 'Course, for the AR, well, too many might not be enough.

    Not sure what joining the NRA has to do with how many mags [we think] one "should" own, thought the OP was asking for advice on that topic alone, but anyway, you don't need to be an NRA member to take a firearms training course, so let's let that piece slide and move on ...
    Demi-human likes this.
  24. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Well for my take-------it depends. The following is for each firearm. For the ones I have multiples of.
    Hunting 3 mags
    Range toys three to 10 depending on how often I use them.
    SD minimun of 5 and 15+ for high use ones.
    rust collector likes this.
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Not really "wrong", but just a bit new to it all.

    As pointed out, magazines should be viewed as consumable items. Feed lips get bent, springs wear, baseplates get damaged.

    As also pointed out, a "couple" is never enough when you have to spend range time loading magazines. Range time should be for shooting, not loading. Load mags at home and bring enough to the range to avoid having to load every "couple" of magazines.

    The phrase "one is none..." means if all you have is one and it fails, and all machines fail at some time, then you have nothing but a clumsy club. Two is one, then, but you don't want to go to the range, or out of the street knowing that you might end up with one working magazine since part of training, practice and use involves failure drills. How many is enough? I usually set a minimum at 6 for handguns and 18 for defensive long guns. How many is too many? That depends upon storage space and funds, but I usually say have 3x the minimum of whatever you will need and then any additional is "gravy".
    Walkalong and RetiredUSNChief like this.
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