1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

When did our standard mags become "high cap".?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Droid noob, Feb 10, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    In 1994, when it was made the law of the land.

    Same way that "pistol" came to exclude revolvers (though that happened earlier).

    Laws frequently include definitions for various terms. When discussing the law, the definitions that the law creates/adopts tend to get used.
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    That's true of pistol magazines, but do keep in mind that over-10-round rifle magazines have been pretty mainstream since the 1860's. The 16-round Henry rifle (ancestor of the 15-round Winchester rifle of 1866) was patented in 1860 and IIRC hit the market in 1861.

    Here is Mary Fields holding her Winchester Model 1876, capacity 15 rounds, that she purchased and kept for self-defense:


    FWIW, you could buy a rifle with a 34-round magazine in 1873, the Evans rifle, made from 1873 to 1879; capacity was 28 to 34 rounds, depending on model. The magazine was helical, like a modern Calico. Caliber was .44 Evans, similar to .44-40. "Buffalo Bill" Cody owned one.
  3. Vector

    Vector Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    Good points.
  4. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Within the lightning
    Yep, say what you want, but they've been called "hi-cap mags" since before legislation existed which used that description.

    I remember when the Browning HP's & S&W M59's were referred to as having "hi-cap mags" because they held more rounds than the mags used in Colt 1911's & S&W M39's. It was a comparison reference seemingly caused by the simple fact that the double column mags had a higher capacity than single stack mags. No political agendas. It was simply a design advantage used as a selling point.

    I heard them called hi-caps when I was a young man in the 70's, and then when I was a young cop at the beginning of the 80's. We were told we were transitioning from revolvers to double stack "hi-cap" 9's at the end of the 80's, too.

    Nowadays, of course, a lot of gun owners are somewhat sensitive to the use of the label "high capacity magazine", and double stack hi-cap mags have increasingly become the norm, or "standard", when it comes to service-type pistols. Some folks even like call single stack pistols, like 1911's, to be "low capacity" guns.

    It does tend to create some semantics issues when you consider the previous federal legislation that formalized the use of terms like "high capacity magazines & feeding devices", and then the several states that have introduced their own legislation using legal descriptions of similar nature.

    You can call them "standard capacity" if it makes you feel better. ;)

    You know, though, the idea that 10-rd mags are "lo-capacity" is a bit different than how the early extended 10-rd 1911 mags were considered by many folks to be "hi-cap" mags. :neener:
  5. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    Hastings, Michigan
    Select fire meaning it can be fired in semi-automatic.

    The G18 was based on the G17, also.

    I don't have a problem with 33 round pistol mags, or 100 round rifle mags. It did bother me that you have no issue with the grabbers going after those, but don't want to give up you 14 round mags.

    If they go after one, they might as well go after them all. I don't have or want a Beta mag, but I'm not willing to ban them to save anything I own. I'm not throwing anyone under the bus to appease the government to, pretty please, let me keep my mags.
  6. BigG

    BigG Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Ben Ezra - the double stack pistol goes back before JMB. The 1907 Savage 32 ACP had a double stack mag. Designer was Searl.

    The Mauser Broomhandle pistols also were double stack even though most had fixed mags loaded with stripper clips.
  7. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    I hate to say it, but this type of logic is what lost a certain FUDD his job a couple years ago.
    "It's okay if they take away all the XXX from those guys, because I don't use/own/need/want one."
  8. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

    Jan 25, 2013
    When? When the Left decided to disarm real Americans, make criminals overnight of law-abiding citizens, and we let the anti-American minority in this country (including illegal aliens) have undue influence...

  9. c1ogden

    c1ogden Member

    May 30, 2003
    We have to constantly remind others that just because a law defines something as a "high capacity" magazine doesn't mean that it is one. After all, the state could make a law that defines a Ford Mustang as a boat but that doesn't mean it's going to float when you drive it into the lake. Any time we discuss the issue, orally or in print, these items should be referred to as "so-called high capacity magazines".

    I wrote a letter to Roy Huntington at American Handgunner Magazine last year about this. He printed it in his magazine and I reprint it here for you:

    Hi Roy,
    I just read your answer to "Assault Rifle Nonsense" in the March/April Speak Out column. I've long advocated using "real" terminology instead of legislated definitions that are designed to imply evil or induce fear in the unenlightened. This comes under that "winning the hearts and minds" part of the battle. I've posted in a number of forums and recommended that we stop using the term "High Capacity Magazines" unless it really is a high capacity magazine.

    Different states have different legislated definitions for "high capacity" magazines. Here in NJ it is anything larger that 15 rounds. In CA and NY it is anything larger than 10 rounds and in MD it is anything larger than 20 rounds.

    I use, and recommend, the terms -
    "Standard Capacity Magazine" (whatever the gun was designed for),
    "Restricted Capacity Magazine", (legislated capacity smaller than standard) and
    "High Capacity Magazine" (greater capacity than standard).

    Thus, a 15 round magazine for my Glock 19 is a "standard capacity magazine" since that is what the gun is designed around, while a 15 round magazine for my Browning Hi-Power is a "high capacity magazine" since that gun was designed for a 13 rounder.

    A 10 round magazine is a "restricted capacity magazine" for either gun since, other than legislation, there is no valid reason for it to exist, and a 20 or 33 round magazine for either gun is a "high capacity magazine" since they are larger than either gun was designed for.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page