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Old November 29, 2009, 10:13 AM   #1
whip1
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How much is enough?

Recently I've read a few discusions about how much "gun" is enough. A few people have said they feel underguned with a 5 shot revolver. I'd like to know about any non LE or military situation where more than 5 rounds was required for self defense.
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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So would I. Though I am sure that the gotta have more gun folks will miss the point when they launch into the "if I can carry more gun, why shouldnt I?" tangent.
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Old November 29, 2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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It depends on the person. If I lived in or frequented a very bad area with a lot of gang activity (i.e. more likely to have multiple attackers) then I'd want a high capacity semi-auto and probably also a small revolver to back it up. However, being that I don't live in or frequent those sorts of areas, my six-shot revolver and a speedstrip in my pocket are more than enough for me.
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Old November 29, 2009, 01:47 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Here is a well-debated case where the man fired 14 shots in self-defense:
http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum60/3331.html

I believe he was ultimately acquitted, although the event cost him everything he owned, his dogs, his house and a great deal of suffering.
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Old November 29, 2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Stand up, out in the open face to face gunfights don't last 32 rounds. If your gun runs dry and you're still alive, it's because the threat has been neutralized or you have moved to cover. You have plenty of time for a magazine change there.

6+1 x 9mm in my Kahr PM9 + an extra mag is good.

7+1 x 45acp in my Colt Defender + an extra mag is very good.

18+1 x 9mm in a Glock + an extra mag is awesome
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Old November 29, 2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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There are more and more stories of multiple attackers (see the Denver Thug thread). Even if each shot from a 5-shot revolver is a one shot stop, you will still be sorely lacking, IMO.

I think a very good case can be made for high capacity and at least one spare magazine.

Sure, statistics say this and that, but you have to remember-someone has to make the high and low end of a statistical measurement.
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Old November 29, 2009, 02:53 PM   #7
Mello2u
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Quote:
whip1

How much is enough?
Recently I've read a few discusions about how much "gun" is enough. A few people have said they feel underguned with a 5 shot revolver. I'd like to know about any non LE or military situation where more than 5 rounds was required for self defense.
In the book "Deadliest Men: The World's Deadliest Combatants Throughout the Ages" by Paul Kirchner one story about Lance Thomas will answer your question.

He was the owner of a watch store. He had several armed encounters in his store over the course of a couple of years. If I remember correctly, he was engaged by both single and multiple adversaries in these encounters. After feeling under-gunned with a five shot .38 he used in the first encounter against a two adversaries, he bought more handguns and used them in the subsequent encounters.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...6/ai_82533205/
This is a link to a retelling of the Lance Thomas encounters by Massad Ayoob.
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Old November 29, 2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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There was a post on here with a video interview of a guy who fired far more than five shots in self defense. If I remeber correctly he and his wife were cleaning a condo or apartment which they rented out. Two BGs attacked him inside the place. One was armed with a pistol one the other had what looked like and uzi to the GG. He first tried faking a heart attack as they had him on his knees with weapons drawn on him already. I think they punched him or pistol whipped him, when he recoiled from the blow he drew his weapon, I think it was a Glock.

Shot the closest guy once, then the other guy once, back to the first guy for a second shot, they emptied his weapon at the second guy who ran and died outside.

I do carry a 5 shot as my only weapon sometimes. I'm uncomfortable with the low capacity but it is better than no gun. I do carry a speed loader with it.
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Old November 29, 2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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If we tried to be prepared for every possible encounter we would have a Uzi as primary and a Thompson with a 50 rnd canister as back up. Yes its nice to have the rounds above 5 and yes, If you do your part 5 will be enough. As far as having to be or live in a area that requires 10-17 rnds for SD maybe its a reason to move or just not frequent the area. Just to ask a question, how many years did LE carry 6 rnd revolvers? Loooong time
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Old November 29, 2009, 04:46 PM   #10
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i've asked a few cops this question... and *in the majority* most gun fights last 3-5 seconds and 3-4 shots, usually no more than 2! just something to keep in mind.

i carry my 1911 7+1, or sp101 5rds (.357) and feel perfectly comfortable. sometimes i'll carry a spare mag or speed loader, very rarely, and for no reason other than i want to.

i feel that if i cant talk, run, or hide my way out of the situation i can neutralize the situation well enough, and if im going against more than 2 people im gonna get shot anyway. im a very good shot but with 3+ people shooting at me...

that's just me though.

i never could get used to carry a utility belt... 3 mags, light, cuffs, badge, sap, chewing gum, phone, tactical nuke, hand grenade, bat throwing starts....
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Old November 29, 2009, 05:11 PM   #11
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I carry a semi-auto and a spare magazine, but I am less concerned about shooting my way out of a gang than I am about needing extra shots to stop one or two assailants. Getting a perfect one-shot stop with every cartridge while under stress and firing at a moving target doesn't seem to be a realistic expectation to me.
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Old November 29, 2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Here is a well-debated case where the man fired 14 shots in self-defense:
http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum60/3331.html

I believe he was ultimately acquitted, although the event cost him everything he owned, his dogs, his house and a great deal of suffering.
I could be wrong, but don't think that having a hi-cap pistol caused this man grief. The article certainly made it sound as if his tactics, and not his choice of sidearm, was the cause of his legal issues.

There is no way to really know how many rounds you'll need. The reality is that most of us will never need to fire a single round. On the other hand, I know of few folk that have had to draw in self-defense who wished that they'd carried fewer rounds.

I don't see any compelling reason to be afraid of carrying a hi-cap pistol if that's what you shoot best and can comfortably carry. On the other hand, if you shoot best with a J-frame or that's as much as you can conceal, then it would be hard to argue against it..
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Old November 29, 2009, 07:19 PM   #13
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On the other hand, I know of few folk that have had to draw in self-defense who wished that they'd carried fewer rounds.
I have never even heard of anyone who was ever in any gun fight wishing that they had less ammo than they did....
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Old November 29, 2009, 08:24 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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This has been discussed over and over and over on every gun list. It is full of total misunderstandings of risk analysis and use of statistics.

So kids - here is the answer.

1. You decide your risk level.
2. The average score is NOT what always happens. Depending on distributional shape, 50% is above the average.
3. If you go by the modal number of shots, it is ZERO fired, so don't carry ammo - see the silly nature of not understanding statistics.
4. There seem to be two types of gun usages if shots are fired.
5. The single mugger, burglar or two. Handled with a low number of shots.
6. The rare intensive gun fight as in a rampage. Then you might need lots.
7. You need to decide if comfort of carrying is worth the possible error of running out in an intensive gun fight.

So if we descend into cliches again, I might suggest that all who want to play in this one and the OP - use the search to read all the previous discussion and then see if you can add anything new.
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Old November 29, 2009, 08:39 PM   #15
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Also, speaking as the moderator of this forum, I have a challenge for you all. Here it is:

Do NOT use the word or the concept "paranoid" in any of your responses in this thread.

Do NOT use the word or the concept "sheep" in any of your responses in this thread.


Think it can be done? The winners get to use the thread for a thoughtful discussion. The losers? Well ... Looks thoughtfully at ban stick We'll see what happens.

Lest anyone think I'm being heavy-handed with this very proactive warning (everyone's been great so far), a quick perusal of our forum history on this topic would easily explain my reaction.

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Old November 29, 2009, 09:21 PM   #16
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As far as having to be or live in a area that requires 10-17 rnds for SD maybe its a reason to move or just not frequent the area.
What happens when the people from the 'bad area' decide to visit your neighborhood? Grocery store? Mall? And all you have is your snubbie with no reload?

Just curious
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Old November 29, 2009, 09:46 PM   #17
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This thread, like so many others, comes down to one thing: what YOU feel comfotable with. If you are fine carrying 5 rounds in a snubby, then that's great. If you don't feel comfortable with less than 2 17 round mags, then thats what you need to carry. No amount of statistics will change what you think is appropriate for your situation. If someone says you are carrying too much and you don't think you are, then what should you care? Is anyone here honestly going to change their carry set up based on what someone 5 states away whose face they will never see thinks? Even if only 4 rounds are fired in the average gunfight, you may not feel comfortable with less than 40. Do what you need to do to feel safe.
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:11 PM   #18
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Thanks Jontz, . . .

I would only add that my first handgun, some 43 or so years ago, was a WW2 leftover 1911 that had wandered around Indo-China for who knows how long before I bought it.

I got comfortable with it and 2 magazines, . . . haven't looked back since, . . . though I do own a Colt Det Spec .38, . . . but that was in a moment of weakness, . . . and my wife would probably invite me to fix my own breakfast for a couple of months if I got rid of the ugly little thing.

Anyway, . . . to each his own, . . . I'll keep my 1911, . . . thank yuh, thank yuh vurry much.

May God bless,
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:33 PM   #19
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It's about covering as many bases you feel like you need to. No matter how much gun you have, there's always some headline-making story that goes to show you that what you carry isn't enough for some scenario or another.

For me personally, a P-32 in the pocket is just fine. Odds are I won't ever need it. Heaven forbid, if I ever do need it, odds are against it not being enough gun. Can something vastly against the odds happen? Sure, but I've gone most of my life without having a gun, and all of my life without needing one, the way see it, enough bases are covered.
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Old November 29, 2009, 11:38 PM   #20
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Plan for the worse, hope for the best.
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Old November 30, 2009, 08:11 AM   #21
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
I could be wrong, but don't think that having a hi-cap pistol caused this man grief. The article certainly made it sound as if his tactics, and not his choice of sidearm, was the cause of his legal issues.
My bad, I didn't mean to make it sound as if the 14 shots were the cause of his problems. It just struck me that here was a guy who had a "good shoot" and still ended up losing everything he had as a result of it and now lives in constant fear of retribution.

It just reminded me that, we often downplay what a life-changing event that can be.
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:39 AM   #22
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Life style, where and how one lives is, for me, the determinant factor in what and how much one should carry. If I am going into combat, I would want my AR and as many rounds as I could carry, along with helicopter and artillery support. Been there, done that...don't want to do it again.

I carry a 1911, with little exception, with two spare magazines. Overkill? Perhaps, but it is my comfort level. If I felt the need to carry more firepower, than I would really need to consider my lifestyle. Am I frequenting areas loaded with bad elements, gang-bangers, drug dealers, etc. If I lived among them, perhaps an Uzi would make me feel comfortable. But I don't.

I live in an upscale, upper middle class neighborhood. It used to be safe to walk the streets but with the down swing in the economy, the crime rate has been rising, mostly as a result of gang-bangers and other low life elements coming into our community to prey upon those who may provide a larger bounty than in the poorer communities. I'm sure this is not isolated and is happening across America.

My house is protected by a monitored alarm system and a watch dog. My house is in a gated community. I have an AR and Shotgun, along with my 1911 to protect my "fort." I am adequately prepared for nearly all possibilities (inside my house.)

I avoid going places that obviously will lead to trouble. I don't use my gun as a confidence builder...if I thought I would need my gun, then I am in the wrong place. My gun(s) is a last resort measure. I hope I never have to use it. And, I see it as an extraction tool, to get me out of a mess I never wanted to be in, in the first place. It is to save my life and those of my loved ones. Realistically, how many gang-bangers am I going to chase down with 22 rounds of ammo? I am not the aggressor, but a defender. If I can't extract myself with 22 rounds, chances are I wouldn't be able to extract myself no matter what I had.
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:55 AM   #23
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This thread, like so many others, comes down to one thing: what YOU feel comfotable with. If you are fine carrying 5 rounds in a snubby, then that's great. If you don't feel comfortable with less than 2 17 round mags, then thats what you need to carry. No amount of statistics will change what you think is appropriate for your situation. If someone says you are carrying too much and you don't think you are, then what should you care? Is anyone here honestly going to change their carry set up based on what someone 5 states away whose face they will never see thinks? Even if only 4 rounds are fired in the average gunfight, you may not feel comfortable with less than 40. Do what you need to do to feel safe.
While I'm sure this is true, many of us are limited by what we can PRACTCALLY CARRY. I live in South Florida and concealing a weapon can be rather difficult with normal attire. I am also smaller in size than the average male 5'7" ~160 lbs. and that also has an effect on the size of gun I can conceal. My first gun was a Sig P228 which was impossible for me to conceal without a jacket. I ended up buying a Glock 26 which was a huge improvement, but was still a little bulky despite the smaller dimensions. I bought a Kahr MK9 for the smaller size, but the weight became and issue. I also had problems with the frame rusting from pocket carry. I hope I have found the perfect solution with my Kahr PM9. I pocket carry in a Desantis pocket holster and I usually carry my wallet in front of it. It is still a little bulky, but dark pleated pants make concealment pretty easy. I don't top off the mag after chambering the gun so I am at 6 shots (or 5+1). I heard it causes spring fatigue and possibly causes jams in some guns. I sometimes carry a spare mag (7 shot) in my back pocket, but not consistently. Do I feel 6 rounds of +P hollow points are enough? I certainly hope so, but it is not practical to carry much more than that.
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Old November 30, 2009, 10:18 AM   #24
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Good points Stephen. I am 5'10", 170 lbs. I can't conceal a full size service pistol like some can. When I try, I look like I have a tumor on my right side. That being the case, I can conceal my Bersa Thunder 380 with no problems. That gives me 7+1. I usually carry a spare mag for it as well, giving me another 7. I'm good with that, and I don't feel under-gunned. However, I don't live in a high crime area. If I did, I'd find a way to pack more, and I wouldn't let anyone else tell me I was carrying too much. In all honesty I'm not sure how much good the reload I carry would do me in a bad situation, but I'd rather have it than not.

You've hit a comfortable balance between weapon size and capacity vs. your safety in the area you live in. If you were absolutely convinced that you needed more, I'm sure you'd find a way.
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Old November 30, 2009, 10:25 AM   #25
stephen426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jontz
i'm sure you'd find a way. :d
I am NOT going to wear thunderwear!!!

In Indiana, you could probably wear a jacket for almost half of the year (at least if you were a thin blooded Floridian). With a thick winter coat, I could probably carry full sized handguns on both sides with mag holsters all the way around! I'm not sure how comfortable that would be, but it sure would be a workout. Heck, with a trench coat, you can even conceal rifles and shotguns, though it might be just a little much for self defense purposes. Heck, with a heavy winter coat, you can even conceal body armor!
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