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Old January 13, 2013, 11:56 PM   #1
cloud8a
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Pros & Cons of loading just a few in the mag.

This just popped in my head and I have not thought about it too deeply so forgive me if this is a silly question.
I was thinking in regards of carrying a mid size XD .40 or anything similar in the hot south concealed. What are the pros and cons of loading 6 or less rounds in the mag to decrease weight?
I understand the obvious ramifications like just having less rounds. But I am trying to find some that I have not thought of.
I have been through training courses that have you load different amounts and fire according to instructions for different time intervals in combat.
But in a case where it is 104 outside and your going out for the day with the family could this have more cons than pros.
Also I am not buying anything smaller anytime soon and I am aware that is an option. I am just strictly speaking with mid size in mind.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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I don't get the point. Say an average .40 magazine holds 12 rounds. How much weight are you really reducing by only putting 6 rounds in it? How much do 6 .40 caliber rounds actually weigh? A .40 round weighs between 6 (105gr) and 13 (200gr) grams depending on the grain you choose. So lets say the average weight is ~10 grams.

~60 grams, that is all you are reducing. I say fill the mag and forget it.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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If reducing the weight by such a small amount makes a noticeable difference, I would get a better holster and belt before I'd download the mag.

If I'm going to go to the trouble to conceal a mid-sized gun, I'm not going to forego the benefits of the larger size by downloading it to save a couple of ounces of weight.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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Ok so your saying that the weight reduction of -6 is not enough to risk not having the total amount of rounds.
I don't really have a point. More a question.
I know my XD .40 is clearly heavier with a full 12 rounds in the magazine than it is empty. But plenty of people carry 5 shot revolvers concealed but have to deal with the bigger width.
But what about different combinations like maybe even 4 rounds in the magazine locked in the gun and then maybe a full twelve rounds in the 2nd magazine on the other side of the body. The 2nd magazine could be in a cargo shorts pocket.
I am really just looking for opinions on where the line might be with comfort and weight distribution ideas vs. negatives with messing with how much load one carries.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:23 AM   #5
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If reducing the weight by such a small amount makes a noticeable difference, I would get a better holster and belt before I'd download the mag.

If I'm going to go to the trouble to conceal a mid-sized gun, I'm not going to forego the benefits of the larger size by downloading it to save a couple of ounces of weight.
That makes sense and I do plan on getting the best holster to carry IWB. But in terms of just fooling with the weight, are there only cons in doing so?
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:31 AM   #6
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It still seems like an odd question. Why not carry a full magazine? If you want to carry 6 rounds just get a revolver. Maybe I am just missing something that you are trying to convey.

I see no benefit of carrying a magazine with less than it's full capacity.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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There can in some cases be a benefit to underloading the magazine by one or possibly even two rounds in terms of pistol reliability and in terms of magazine spring life. But that has nothing to do with weight, and you really don't get any benefit for underloading by a significant number of rounds. One, maybe two rounds might help in certain magazines, past that you're not getting any more benefit.

Some magazines rattle when fully loaded and underloading by a round or two can sometimes eliminate the rattle. Again, usually taking out one round, maybe two at most, will do the trick. Past that there's no additional benefit.

I guess what I'm saying is that you might be able to come up with some reasons why underloading by one, perhaps two rounds could be worthwhile. Once you get past two rounds, I can't think of any benefit. And if 6 rounds isn't a significant weight savings, 1 or two rounds is really a non-issue in terms of weight.
Quote:
Ok so your saying that the weight reduction of -6 is not enough to risk not having the total amount of rounds.
I think it boils down to the weight reduction of maybe 2-3 oz isn't even something that anyone would notice except in unusual circumstances. In other words, it's not that the reduction isn't worth the risk, it's that the reduction isn't worth anything at all since it's not really practically significant.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:43 AM   #8
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6 rounds of cons. One may do the trick. Or two. Or all 12 might be needed to get the job done depending on distance attacker and about a thousand other variables you have no control over. I suppose its up to you if you wish to lose a couple of ounces vs loading six rounds and wind up wishing you had more if you need it.
Biggest con of all is the one sure one. If you will need your pistol, and when you will need it fully loaded in the worst possible way to defend yourself and your family will not be up to you.

Your choice though. Be safe.
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Old January 14, 2013, 12:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
I see no benefit of carrying a magazine with less than it's full capacity.
Just looking for thoughts experience and wisdom.

Is it saying that carrying a mid size gun with a full 12 rounds and dealing with the weight is the only way to go when carrying a mid size? Otherwise go with a revolver?
A revolver can be lighter but still have 5-6 rounds. Is it careless to say "I am going to carry the same amount of rounds today in my semi auto as I would if I carried my 5 shot revolver". This is not for me about revolvers vs semi autos.

But I guess what I am getting at is, is it a good thing to think that since I can load more I have the option of loading less and still carry a mid size semi auto with the weight of a smaller revolver.

I'm working through this. I ask questions sometimes until I irritate the ones I love. But this is how I have always been and how I learned.

Like I said I really do not have an answer or even know if the question is even worth while Just looking for thoughts experience and wisdom.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:02 AM   #10
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I don't really think the weight reduction of 6 rounds is really going to be noticeable. Most of the weight is in the gun itself, not the rounds. Try it for a day and see if you can really even notice a difference between a gun with 6 rounds and a gun with 12 rounds. I bet by the end of the day you will not feel any real difference.

Personally I always carry my guns fully loaded with one in the chamber. Currently I am carrying a S&W 645 that I got today and it weighs a ton but it only holds 9 rounds (8 in the mag, 1 in the pipe).
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:05 AM   #11
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It could be just a matter of feeling. Like I could say to myself "I don't really feel like carrying my 5 shot .38 special but then I don't want to deal with my XD .40 with a full mag on a hot day either. So I will just split the difference and carry my XD with 5 shots in the magazine." Maybe even put 5 in an extra magazine in another pocket. I'm pretty sure my XD even with 5 rounds is still heavier than my .38 snub but the XD is slimmer.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:10 AM   #12
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Ok lets try thinking about it this way. Your packing that 40 mid size anyway. six less rounds saves you a few grams of weight. Thats grams not pounds.

Now just food for thought here. Is your life or the life of your wife gf family etc worth a few grams of weight???

I see where your going. Why carry 6 more when a lot carry 5 in a Sp101 357? A lot like five for sure and dont trust semi auto. I carry semi autos and trust the ones I do so its not about semi vs revolver. I also carry a 357 mag at times with 5 and with that particular round im totally comfortable with 127 gr jhp.

But if im going to pack the mid size semi Im going to load it to capacity. Why?
For the same reason I would not load the 5 shot 357 with 3 rounds. If my wife or family was killed or injured because I only carried approx half the fire power available to save an ounce of weight I wouldnt sleep very well afterwards. Just something to think about.
edit I guess if i did that and got killed myself because of it Id be sleeping ok but waking up would be a little hard which would be a real bummer
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Maybe even put 5 in an extra magazine in another pocket.
So if you are actually carrying the other rounds in another magazine you are not really reducing any weight. You are just limiting yourself on the rounds you can fire before you have to reload.

I am assuming you carry a gun for self defense and the worse case scenario right? Well wouldn't it be better to carry a full magazine to be better prepared for the worse case scenario? Ghost1958 brings up some good points. I see the thought process you have and see how this question came up but I think it would be simpler and better just to carry as many rounds in a gun as it can hold.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:23 AM   #14
cloud8a
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Quote:
But if im going to pack the mid size semi Im going to load it to capacity. Why?
For the same reason I would not load the 5 shot 357 with 3 rounds. If my wife or family was killed or injured because I only carried approx half the fire power available to save an ounce of weight I wouldnt sleep very well afterwards. Just something to think about.
I see that and it makes sense. I feel the same in regards to if I would have put all the rounds I should in it.

So is the whole point then of having a mid-size is having more rounds? I mean I know its better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.

Even though we are not talking about pounds, we are talking about alot of oz though right?
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:27 AM   #15
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So if you are actually carrying the other rounds in another magazine you are not really reducing any weight. You are just limiting yourself on the rounds you can fire before you have to reload.
But you might be distributing the weight a little better. Maybe getting a weight and comfort differential that is close to carrying a small revolver but you still have access to more rounds.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:27 AM   #16
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Even though we are not talking about pounds, we are talking about alot of oz though right?
About 60 grams. There are 28 grams in an ounce and 16 ounces in a pound.

You are lessening the weight by a little over 2 ounces, not very much.

Also as far as weight distribution goes, I carry my pistol on one side and a spare mag on the other (plus a BUG IWB but that is another story). While the spare mag does not weigh anywhere near the same as the pistol it does seem to help lessen the pull of the gun on the one side.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:32 AM   #17
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I just put 6 rounds of 230 grain 45 ammo in my hand. While I dont have a scale that would measure that tiny amount of weight 2 oz would be a close guess. And that is 230 gr 45 not the smaller 40. So no not a lot of oz maybe a couple at best.

Oh and that should be 125 gr 357 stupid typos

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Old January 14, 2013, 01:43 AM   #18
cloud8a
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Hmm Ok I see that I might be grinding into something that already has a fit. I just feel like there is something here tactically that could be a good idea. Problem is I don't know what that is. So I guess I am going to agree with all of you and not underload.
But I will keep thinking about this.
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Old January 14, 2013, 02:01 AM   #19
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Tactically I promise there isnt any advantage to under loading. If I knew I was going to get into a SD situation when I went out the next time Id stay home.

But if I had to go knowing that I would be armed with 12 ga and 00 buck or an AR 15 or something and as much ammo as I could carry. And bring six friends similarly armed for bear.

The pesky part of SD is that you dont know if or when it will happen. Or what it will take to handle the situation. It could run the gamut of just having to draw a weapon and not fire to firing everything you have and still wishing for more.
Best advise I have to offer from my own experience.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:38 PM   #20
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But you might be distributing the weight a little better. Maybe getting a weight and comfort differential that is close to carrying a small revolver but you still have access to more rounds.

Uh, maybe put some rocks in the other pocket ??

Seriously -- listen to what's been posted and carry the gun loaded like it was designed to be carried. You're overthinking a nuance -- to an extreme.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:35 AM   #21
cloud8a
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Seriously -- listen to what's been posted and carry the gun loaded like it was designed to be carried. You're overthinking a nuance -- to an extreme.
You're probably right. I have a tendency to over think things alot. But I consider it a good thing when I seek advice during an over thinking episode, which I always do. But even though I will not under load based on the advice you good fellas have given me I will keep this thinking around for awhile.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:32 AM   #22
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Cloud, I personally don't see anything TACTICALLY advantageous about carrying an underloaded mag. I can see a potential for a very slight comfort issue, but nothing tactical about it.

I'll be the guy to say it- do you have the right gun for the job? If you're gun is not something you can feel comfortable concealing, then perhaps you need to look at a different weapon.

I personally have 5 different weapons that I carry in some assortment of primary and back-up guns, ranging from full size to pocket size, and can carry in a variety of styles- IWB/ OWB/ Ankle/ Shoulder/ Pocket. I know some people suggest that you dress around your gun- I'm giving myself options, by choosing my weapon and carry style based on my dress and environment- is it hot or cold, am I wearing a jacket or shorts, etc. I have traded around a few, and found guns that I can carry effectively- and they all play a role in how I carry.

Just my humble opinion, your results may vary, IANAL, IDNSIAHIELN, and this opinion has a 1/100 cent cash value, redeemable at select locations.
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:26 AM   #23
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This just popped in my head and I have not thought about it too deeply so forgive me if this is a silly question.
I was thinking in regards of carrying a mid size XD .40 or anything similar in the hot south concealed......
Sorry, but buying a pistol of a certain size and carrying half the ammo the gun was designed for, doesn't make sense to me personally. I'm hoping the silly idea just "popped" into your head, because if you really did think this out I'm going to be worried about you.

TIP: (even if you are already aware of it They make guns that are small and light designed for half the ammo your pistol accomodates. And some such pistols actually accomodate larger magazines (for backup) designed for larger pistols. G26, 27 come to mind.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

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Old January 15, 2013, 07:57 AM   #24
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Some guns do run better with one less round in the mag. My XDM 40 is like that. The 16-round mag runs fine if you fill it up and put it in an empty gun. If I try to run it 16+1, it jams.

So, I just run it 15+1. Problem solved.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:58 PM   #25
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But in a case where it is 104 outside
It is still going to be 104 outside regardless of how many rounds you are carrying. You are going to lose more weight in sweat that those few rounds weigh. Load up and go. Downloading your pistol is not going to make you more comfortable in the heat.
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