Quantcast

How many rounds should your carry gun have loaded in it?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by george burns, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. sbwaters
    • Contributing Member

    sbwaters Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    591
    Location:
    Rome, NY
    How many rounds?

    All of ’em.
     
    CoalTrain49, Jack Ryan and George P like this.
  2. george29

    george29 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,452
    This is the way I was taught since basic
     
    Trunk Monkey and Jeb Stuart like this.
  3. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,227
    Some magazines bottom out on the spring and loaded +1 with a full magazine a lot of resistance has to be overcome feeding that first round. Some springs also seem to wear sooner loaded in a way that compresses them beyond 100%. Certainly seen it in tube fed shotguns with lengths that fully compress the spring with that last shell. The spring wears twice as fast and risks binding or kinking.
    I would think it could increase the risk of trouble if the feed lips on the magazine distort at all from a lot of pressure if the spring is bottomed out.
    A gun I really liked certainly did not have the room to top off without obviously compressing the top round on the bottom of the slide into a bottomed out magazine spring and then latching with a lot of force. That means the first shot is overcoming more resistance cycling the gun than all other rounds in the magazine.

    If not legally limited to a capacity I would prefer a magazine slightly larger in capacity than I intend to load. A spring not near max or minimum compression will function with the most linear amount of resistance and be the most reliable and wear the spring evenly and slowly.

    So I would say there is certainly wisdom in downloading a magazine. Downloaded by one on the length of a typical pistol magazine is probably more than enough, -2 is something that would be taught for higher capacity military platforms where the number of rounds is a smaller percent of the springs total working length. Two rounds in a 30 round box fed rifle magazine is a lot like 1 in most pistols.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    george29 and Jeb Stuart like this.
  4. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,271
    Location:
    Confederate Country
    Well said Zoo.Something I believe in and have done for years. Ever see someone try and force a last round? Trying to "FORCE" something should be a indication something is wrong.
     
  5. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    Colorado


    Much truth here
     
  6. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    4,746
    Location:
    Northern KY
    I top off my 7+1 9mm or my 6+1 40 S&W just because they don't hold that many to start with and I might need the extra round for real. I don't top off a double stack, figuring that if I'm down 12 rounds or more and still shooting then it's time for a fresh mag and maybe a reevaluation of my technique :)

    When I pocket carry in dress clothes I usually don't carry a reload even though I know I should. I can't find a place for it among all the other stuff in my pockets. I always carry a reload with an IWB gun. It's not so much that I think I will need 30 rounds but more that the easiest fix for a malfunctioning auto is to drop the mag and try again with a new one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    bikerdoc likes this.
  7. Pure2nd

    Pure2nd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    15+1, no extra mags unless I'm carrying excess cash. 92fs, no feed issues(only factory mags.

    I carry this amount as it is how I practice the majority of the time.

    I will occasionally run 10 round mags when competing with friends and family, but only because they mostly have lower capacity tools.
     
  8. Wisco

    Wisco Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,181
    16 in the clip. One in the hole.
     
    JR24 likes this.
  9. Colt451871

    Colt451871 member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    United States of America
    I've wondered about this myself having heard conflicting information from various sources. If your edc is an autoloader then I have heard a full 17 shot mag with one spare. If the edc is a revolver then, two extra speedloaders. My understanding is that needing more than one or two rounds to resolve a situation is very rare. My source on that is a former military turned youtuber named Paul Harrell.
     
    george29 and Trunk Monkey like this.
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    17,322
    Location:
    proud to be in AZ
    It wouldn't matter where I was going, I would never download my sidearm, always a full mag +1 up the pipe. Two spare mags are normal, as well.
     
  11. HPCadm17

    HPCadm17 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    In our state we're limited to 10-round magazines, so I bring along 1 or 2 extra mags. Regardless, I usually carry single stacks with either 6+1 plus 1 or 2 extra mags of .45acp, or 8+1 plus one extra mag of 9mm, so anywhere from 13-19 rounds total depending upon that day's CCW.
     
  12. Gridley

    Gridley Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Washington State
    Needing a firearm at all is very rare. So, yes, needing more than one or two rounds is thus also very rare. Most situations can be resolved without drawing. Many situations can be resolved by drawing but not firing (good statistics are hard to find on this point, since many such incidents don't get reported). Many situations can be resolved by drawing and firing just one or two rounds, whether they hit or not.

    If you're going for the "probable" event there's no point carrying at all.

    FWIW, I carry two different ways depending on the situation.
    Concealed carry: S&W M&P 40 (full size), 15 rounds in the magazine and often a second 15 round magazine.
    Open carry: S&W 686P (6" barrel), 7 rounds loaded and two speedloaders.
     
  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,356
    True.

    But the analysis of how many rounds would be required only coe into play after the event unfolds.
     
    Spats McGee likes this.
  14. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    2,796
    I load the gun to capacity; I live in a very safe area and do not travel to high crime areas, so I do not carry extra reloads. Has worked fine for me for over 20 years.
     
  15. dbmjr1

    dbmjr1 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    435
    Location:
    In a van, down by the river
    All of them
     
  16. Gridley

    Gridley Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Washington State
    Worse than that, actually - knowing how many rounds you have, or rather how few, might alter your behavior during the event. One more thing to worry about when you've already got a whole lot to worry about.

    As the saying goes, you don't hear a lot of people say "gee, I wish I hadn't brought all that ammo" after surviving a gun fight.
     
    Spats McGee and armoredman like this.
  17. CWL

    CWL Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,521
    While entertaining, Paul bases a lot of his information from shooting watermelons. If you want to see real-world defensive encounters, look at Active Self Protection on YT.

    The average # I've always heard from trainers is 3 rounds within 7 yards, but what if there's more than one BG? Be prepared for the worst. Better to have bullets left over than to run out.
     
  18. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    ''How many rounds should your carry gun have loaded in it?''



    full?
     
  19. Jeff22

    Jeff22 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    GEM was correct when he said that many trainers these days recommend an auto pistol with a capacity of ten or more. It may take a rapid multi-shot application to neutralize one attacker, and it may take more than that. Or, you may be facing multiple adversaries.

    Tom Givens has studied this issue and came to a number of conclusions relevant to a citizen acting in self defense. One was that incidents are most likely to happen at distances of 15 feet and closer, and that a reload is rarely required in most defensive shooting situations. However, one would not wish to be the exception to the general rule and be unprepared . . . .

    For years my most common off duty gun was a 3 inch Smith & Wesson Chief's Special with two reloads carried in speed strips. In my environment that's probably enough. Nowadays I most often carry a Glock 19 or Glock 43 and at least one reload, depending upon the situation and how I'm dressed.
     
    Trunk Monkey likes this.
  20. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    3,227
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Over the years, my full, carried capacity has ranged from 5 to about 30.

    • My warm weather "Saturday Morning Special," for running errands, grocery shopping, etc. early on Saturday mornings, is a Ruger LCR. Pocket carried, usually no reload. 5 rounds.
    • My standard EDC, covering about 95% of my time, is a 9mm Shield with 2 backup mags. 24 rounds. I don't like the 7 round mag, so I gave it away and bought extra 8-rounders. I've been on the fence about topping off for a long time. I'm not an engineer, so I rely on the professionals to design them. My Shield is advertised as having a capacity that includes +1, so I guess topping off would be OK. At the same time, I'd really, really like to be sure that the first mag performs as it should, so I have some reservations about stress on the spring. Not topping off also means that every mag has the same # of rounds, and I'm a big fan of consistency in matters of concealed carry . . . . . (I should write a book: "Overthinking 301: Graduate Studies on Going in Circles.")
    • For 3 or 4 years, I carried a G19 with one spare mag, so that was about 30 rounds. My Shield pretty much drove her into retirement, though.
    • Back when I carried a 1911, it was 8 in the gun and 2 spare mags, for a total of 24, if I recall correctly.
    • To be honest, the real reasons I carry spare magazines are not because I think I'll need the ammo in them, though that's a HUGE bonus if I ever do. It is because, in no particular order: (a) it balances my belt and makes carrying more comfortable; and (b) in case of a malfunction.
     
    Derek Zeanah likes this.
  21. paulsj

    paulsj Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2017
    Messages:
    1,085
    The cylinder of S&W 337 holds five cartridges. I use Federal .38 Micro because the HST bullet is held inside the casing.
     
  22. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    8,851
    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Spats nailed it with regard to balance - it's easier to carry a full-sized 1911 on your hip if you've got 2 mags on the other hip. That said I'm carrying one spare mag right now because this pair of pants doesn't fit my dual mag pouch in a way that lets me carry it where I want it.

    I think there's a bit more analysis required here. As someone who doesn't belong to a gang, doesn't sell drugs, doesn't live in a bad neighborhood while playing Keep Up with the Joneses, doesn't engage in road rage incidents, and so on, I see the standard risk assessment like this:
    • It is very rare that one will need to pull a gun
    • Once that gun leaves the holster, most of the time that solves the issue without any shots being fired.
    • When shots are fired, 3-4 shots seems to be the average number of shots required to solve the problem.
    So, pulling probabilities outta my behind I get:

    There's a one in 15,000 chance of needing my gun today (that's once in 40 years - adjust if you feel you're at greater risk). If I do need it, then there's a 30% chance I'll need to fire. If I fire, there's a 30% chance I'll need more than 4 rounds (let's assume I can hit what I aim at and my opponents aren't that disciplined and motivated.) That means that the odds of needing > one mag out of my pistol today are 0.0006%. Which is a pretty low probability. There's a black bear that's been pooping by the steel targets in the back yard which I'll guess I'd have a greater chance of needing to shoot, hence the hardball in my gun at present...

    Feel free to attack the numbers. I can remember twice around about a decade ago when some fairly aggressive folks appeared on my property (likely looking for stuff to steal and sell for salvage, and didn't expect anyone to be home, and certainly didn't expect me to be studying on the back porch smoking cigars) who turned more respectful when I stood up and they saw the pistol on my hip. Does that count? Or is it the fact that I'm a big dude who's not easily intimidated and can come across as angry with very forced politeness unless I try to be nice?

    If we adjust the numbers a bit to assume there's a once-every-four-year need for your carry sidearm, then we're still only looking at a 00.006% probability you'll need the excess rounds on any given day. Do that every day with the same probabilities and you'll find after 40 years you had about a 90% probability of needing > 4 rounds at least once.

    So you're probably fine to do whatever it is you're doing, but as a general rule a spare mag or two is solid advice. Rule One of a gunfight is to bring a gun, so if you're not willing to bring more than a pocket revolver then bring it - it's a whole lot better than an empty hand.

    Me? I try to carry at least one spare mag with a full-sized pistol. I prefer two, but I don't feel unarmed with 9 rounds of 45ACP (or 8 rounds of 9mm if I really need to conceal).
     
    reverseturn likes this.
  23. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    8,055
    Location:
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    I haven't read through all the posts, but my 2 cents is "magazine capacity, plus 1 in the chamber".
     
  24. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Oregon
    I pocket carry a P32, LCP or DB9 with a full magazine and one in the chamber.

    My car gun is an XDs .45acp with an extended magazine, one in the chamber and an extra flush magazine. I can draw my car gun much quicker than trying to get the gun out of my pocket while in the car. If I find myself somewhere where only a small caliber pocket pistol does not seem wise the XDs comes out of the car with me and goes in the IWB holster I also carry in the car. I also keep a jacket in the car mainly because the high desert climate I live in has hot days and cold nights... but it also makes a good cover garmet.

    I have a gun on me all day when I am out of the house every day.

    I have friends that would never feel comfortable carrying a small caliber pistol or a low capacity pistol and insist on a double stack 40 or bigger. They seldom actually have a gun on them.

    0128192150.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  25. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Oregon
    My friends that carry high capacity pistols... seldom have a pistol on them. I always have at least a Keltec P32 on me. All day in public... every day. Maybe my friends will have a high capacity pistol on them when they need it... I will definitely have something on me when I need it. Even if I wish it were bigger when I actually need it I WILL at least have something.

    I have one friend that admits he only actually carries when he is riding a motor cycle.. he doesn't even own a bike any more.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    guyfromohio likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice