Defensive handgun capacity: how much of a concern is it for you?

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,052 Senior Member
Pretty much what the title says: are you overly concerned with how much ammo your defensive handgun/concealed carry piece holds? I've seen a couple of threads where folks advocate a firearm because of ammo capacity, but do most folks even worry about it? Maybe it's because I started carrying a revolver, but I figure if my handgun carries 5 or more shots (I always carry a reload or two) I'm pretty well good to go. What say ye?
Overkill is underrated.
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Replies

  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,545 Senior Member
    I carrry a five shot .44 special snubbie the greater majority of the time and I don't carry a speedloader on my person but I do have one in each of my vehicles. I'm no closet rambo and I don't anticipate getting into a lenghty firefight at the grocery store. I feel perfectly confident that five flying ashtrays can potentially save my life in all but the most extreme situations. I used to carry a P-12 for many years but it was always pulling my pants down. I'm searching for an officer's model size 1911 and I still won't see the need to carry a spare mag on my person.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,061 Senior Member
    I started a thread looking for recommendations on a new 9mm compact. My primary reason for wanting a new 9mm was because the 9mm has a little more firepower and a lot less weight than the stainless .380 I have now. I thought having one that had a little more ammo capacity would be a plus as well, but I wouldn't say I was overly concerned about it.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,903 Senior Member
    If I was, I carry a pistol; I don't.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • GunnerK19GunnerK19 Senior Member Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    When I carry with my shoulder rig, I have 30 rounds at my disposal (actually 31, one in the pipe with 10 behind it, and 2x 10 rd. mags offset) but highly doubt an encounter where every one of those rounds would need to be fired...
    I'm a Conservative. How conservative? Only Alex P. Keaton has me beat.

    Taurus 605 .357, Ruger .45 Vaquero, Ruger 10/22, Colt frontier commemorative .22 SA
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I don't see why folks see a need for snitty comments on an otherwise good question.

    A high capacity autoloader pistol has lots of ammo to cover almost any problem without reloading, if the size of a full size pistol is not too much for the wearer.
    It has nothing to do with being Rambo or his kid sister.

    Some folks would rather not deal with a combination of older shakey even arthritic fingers and a revolvers speed loaders, it is easier to deal with a Glock 17 or Glock 19 and a full magazine of ammo.

    Bottom line, carry whatever you want to carry, 5 shots, 2 shots or 12 rounds and better, you don't have to defend your opinion though.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I don't shoot once. I shoot until the threat stops or realizes the error of their ways. That may be two, it may be 6 rounds. I don't think as most CCW carriers, I guess. When the smoke clears, I want a full load in my gun or enough to do what just happened all over again. I get antsy with a 5 shot revolver or 8 shot magazine. 12 shots make me happy. It just does. Call it a buffer for human error. Mine or theirs.

    Darn few of us have had to open fire on a perp for any reason, so we simply don't have your training and perspective. It depends on what I am carrying and why, If I carry my 642 it's casual and I won't have a reload ( a trip to the ATM ) . If I carry my Makarov PM I may have a reload, depending on my "mood" ( travel / hiring casual labor). If I were to carry my G19 / G23 / G22 it's because I feel the need for the extra protection and would carry a reload, and I have yet to feel the need to carry any of these. If I am carrying my G20 I must be hunting and if I every feel the need to carry my G20 for defense, I most likely would not go there. ;)

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,837 Senior Member
    For normal, every day carry, nope...not really. I carry a 1911 and a couple of spare mags and figure that is adequate. Even when I lived in a pretty much crime-ridden urban environment, my G36 filled the bill nicely, I will admit however, if my travels took me into a gang-ridden part of town where, if an assault were to occur, it would likely be committed by multiple perpetrators, I left my daily shooter at home and carried my XD45 with a pair of spare mags...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    I try my beat to stay away from the type areas where I'd need more than 8+1 in a 1911. If I have to venture into an area of higher risk I'll take somebody to cover my butt. I do always have an extra mag or 2 on the glove box but if I need more then the 9 in the weapon I've either been S.O.L. or missed way to much.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    I'm happy with 8+1 in my 1911 and a spare mag if something goes wrong with the first mag. If I need to shoot more than that, I'm in waaay over my head.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    It is not about having to shoot that much, it is about having that option open if the need arises, however slim.
    Gangs of rouging teens numbering from 10-20 are not unheard of in many areas.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ADRidgeADRidge Member Posts: 173 Member
    I'm not overly concerned about capacity, but carrying the G23 does give me a warmer, fuzzier feeling than my SP101. The shrub does make a valid point though.
    In space no one can hear you scream... but if you put a helicopter up there, some jerk would complain about the noise!
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    I mostly carry a SR9c 10+1 and an extra 10 in my pocket,however sometimes I carry my SP101 with a speed strip or two in my pocket and do not feel under armed at all.
    I have been known to just put a 2 shot derringer in my pocket for a quick trip to the store.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    It is a concern that is covered during the pre-op brief. Depends on where I'm going and how long I'll be gone from the house. As was discussed in a previous thread about extra mags, I usually have two guns and another mag of each, again depending on the outing. We all live in different areas and threat levels, so I would imagine the basic load will be different of each of us. I feel fine going into town with my .38 and an extra strip of ammo but if I go to B'ham or Huntsville I have more.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I don't get this "threat level" concept at all, I mean how does one know ??

    I got ambushed on the way home from physical therapy once, I figured low "Threat Level" and was dead wrong, I was walking (struggling) out to My car unarmed, walked back and retrieved a snubby S&W J-frame - 5 shot / .38 sp cal revolver, no extra ammo,
    On the way home, still not far from the healthcare facility, a carload of teenaged Youths cuts Me off, they start raging at Me and demanding money, one of them runs up and grabs My medical folder.

    I draw on them and the uniforms show up and grab them for Me, if i had not bothered to grab that snubby, who knows ??? How could I have known one way or another ?? I sure can't.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NomadacNomadac Senior Member Posts: 890 Senior Member
    The city I live in has a pop. of 44,000 so the odds of running into any gangs period, and most crimes are of 1-2 perps, does not justify carrying excessive rds. IMO. I often carry my Colt Pocket Pistol .380 acp 7 rd. mag and 1 extra mag. or my Colt Lt. Wt. Ofc. model with 7 rd. mag and one spare. If I run into a greater problem I would try to escape before expending all of my ammo.

    FBI statistics have suggested that most shootings are at 2-4' distance and end with 2-3 rds. in the past. If you cannot do the job with 5-7 rds. maybe you should not be in that area to begin with.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,837 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    I don't get this "threat level" concept at all, I mean how does one know ??

    .

    Let me clear that up for you a little bit partner....Without mentioning the city I have experience with, if you have business that takes you into certain parts of town; the threat level went up....if it's after dark; the threat level went higher and if your skin is a different shade from the rest of the population; you have about pegged the meter... nothing racist here...just the way it is...even the police go into these areas in force...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,670 Senior Member
    Back to the original question, it's not a concern of mine.

    The odds of me needing my ccw are slim and the odds of getting involved in an extended shoot out are astronomical.

    With my Kahr or 1911, I normally have a spare mag in my offside pocket, but I don't sweat it if I forget it
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Let me clear that up for you a little bit partner....Without mentioning the city I have experience with, if you have business that takes you into certain parts of town; the threat level went up....if it's after dark; the threat level went higher and if your skin is a different shade from the rest of the population; you have about pegged the meter... nothing racist here...just the way it is...even the police go into these areas in force...

    True, but sometimes, unless your crystal ball is in perfect order, you may find a wide variety of trouble in an unlikely and somewhat safe place, it has happened to Me way too many times, and My crystal ball is broken, has been broken for quite some considerable time. :jester:
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    It is not about having to shoot that much, it is about having that option open if the need arises, however slim.
    Gangs of rouging teens numbering from 10-20 are not unheard of in many areas.

    First answering the OP, I carry my 1911 with 9 in the gun and a spare mag or two on my person, 'cuz I figure if I do down in a firefight (as unlikely as that may be), it won't be for lack of shooting back.

    Now I quoted Dr. Who for a thread hijack; is there any merit to the idea that if one were accosted by a gang of 10-20 people, and one felt in fear for his life and was forced to shoot, the sight of some of them going down to gunfire may cause the others to lose interest and run? Not saying one should count on that, but is that scenario unrealistic?
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Gangs of rouging teens numbering from 10-20 are not unheard of in many areas.

    But Doc, give us the details... what type of rouge do they wear?

    (sorry, could not resist, thinking often about the still-funny rouge groundhog threads)

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    When the smoke clears, I want a full load in my gun or enough to do what just happened all over again. I get antsy with a 5 shot revolver or 8 shot magazine. 12 shots make me happy. It just does. Call it a buffer for human error. Mine or theirs.

    :that:


    I know that in a stressful situation, I'm gonna dump multiple rounds into whatever/whoever caused me to get into that situation in the first place. It doesn't matter if I'm carrying a 1911, Glock, or AR/AK, if somebody causes me to shoot them, they are going to get shot......a bunches.

    When I get through with the first one, he or she might have friends, If I'm running a 1911 or a revolver I'm probably S.O.L.

    After all, I'd much rather my obituary say "he killed two of his three attackers", than "he wounded all three of his attackers". Very rarely do folks go down with one hit and if I do have to put somebody down I want to make damn sure that they aren't getting back up.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    As I said originally, I tend to carry a spare reload or two of ammo. Why? Well, with the J-frame, it's 1-2 speed strips, so it's not like they take up that much room. Full-size revolvers, well, I am ammo limited, and it doesn't take up that much more room. As for the autoloaders: most problems are due to mag issues. Yeah, I clean the mags regularly, use good quality, and make sure the springs are up to snuff. But, I figure if I have a problem, it'll most likely be mag-induced.

    Also, the spare reload or two tends to balance out my loaded handgun on the opposite hip, so it makes carry a little more comfortable. And, if I do have to use the firearm, I can top off and be prepared.

    I'm not really worried about large groups of folks causing problems. My town doesn't have those issues, generally, and the areas where it does happen I don't frequent.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Good question, Bream. And some good answers too.

    I'm thinking that maybe 7-8 rounds might be the minimum, more would be better but maybe never needed.

    Thinking about genuine, non-LEO shooting confrontations (armed private citizen vs armed bad guys), and of course you could come up with ANY scenario where you'd need more ammo, but in actual fact, even if the number of attackers were greater than, say, 3, question is whether you'd either (1) ever need the extra ammo or (2) ever get a chance to use it.

    What I mean is this... say you're attacked by several armed baddies and you manage to shoot back (if you never have the opportunity it matters zero how well armed you are). You hit the first guy, then the second, put them both down. As was said previously, I'm thinking that the others will run. It's one thing to bang away at some stranger, another thing when your bad-boy cuz has just caught a .45 slug in the eye. It would take iron discipline to keep shooting when your buddies are dropping. Can they stay there and keep shooting? Sure. I just consider it unlikely.

    I've said this before and I may be wrong --- I'd appreciate someone showing me news reports or similar stories where continuing firing was needed in a civilian vs thug shooting. But it's my guess that you'd probably never need that 2nd magazine of ammo, and that the first 6-8 rounds you fire will decide the confrontation.

    Yeah, in a LEO standoff, multiple mags can be used, and I'm not saying "don't carry them" but for a non-LEO shooting, I think it would be over in the first 30-40 seconds, either way.

    Bottom line, a full magazine for most any pistol should be enough. I'd be slightly less confident of a revolver's six. Question is, would you have an opportunity to reload anyway? I'd guess that your first magazine would take out as many real enemies as you have in front of you, which is to say 2 or 3, max.

    Of course it's good to be the king, and better to have that extra mag when you need it rather than need it and be wanting. But realistically, we can't all go around like mall ninjas, two hi-cap pistols, 4 extra mags, maybe a couple of backup snubbies on the ankle.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,466 Senior Member
    Nomadac wrote: »
    The city I live in has a pop. of 44,000 so the odds of running into any gangs period, and most crimes are of 1-2 perps, does not justify carrying excessive rds. IMO..

    Don't count on that. I live in city of 12,000 documented citizens. There is a large chicken slaughterhouse nearby that has a mostly Guatemalan work force. One day as I was pulling out of the Dairy Queen drive-thru I saw a carload of fellas that looked just like this.......

    ms13-gang.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    Don't count on that. I live in city of 12,000 documented citizens. There is a large chicken slaughterhouse nearby that has a mostly Guatemalan work force. One day as I was pulling out of the Dairy Queen drive-thru I saw a carload of fellas that looked just like this.......
    ms13-gang.jpg

    They don't look like a threat to me. They all have crippled hands.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,837 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    It would take iron discipline to keep shooting when your buddies are dropping. .

    Assuming of course, that in the heat of the moment, they even noticed a couple of their number on the ground....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    Nomadac wrote: »
    FBI statistics have suggested that most shootings are at 2-4' distance and end with 2-3 rds. in the past. If you cannot do the job with 5-7 rds. maybe you should not be in that area to begin with.

    By that logic, a derringer or the old Mossberg COP should be dandy. Me, I look at averages as something that you'll be under 50% of the time, and over the other 50%. I tend to focus on a realistic worst-case scenario, and go from there.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Since my chances of ever needing to draw a gun in self defense let alone fire it are astronomical, nope.


    My thinking is along the same train tracks.......just going in the opposite direction.

    I very seriously doubt that I will EVER have to use my carry gun, but IF I do the situation will probably be so effed, that I (if I have time/live that long) might actually have to USE the rounds in my reload, instead of just having it to top off after all the excitement.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    Those are amateur ninjas. These are the ones to worry about.

    ninjas.jpg
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    :that:

    I heard the 7 feet and three shot clack in the Academy, did not buy it then, will not buy it now, I want a dern Autoloader I can load on Sunday and shoot all week, I may not need it, but I want that option open to Me.

    And yes, yall can laugh all you want, I have had to face multiple assailants and lived to talk about it, true once a few go down the rest crumble like milk sop cookies, but I want the option.


    Ninjas no, but nasty teenagers in groups will smash you and care less,
    A NYCPD Lt. tried to tell three teens to get lost from his home, they smashed his face so he needed plates and screws to put his head back to some semblance of a head, and of course he was never the same.

    Don't worry, this never happens, so chortle it off.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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