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Old April 18, 2014, 08:16 PM   #1
WheelGunRealGun
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Are 8 Shots Enough?

How do y'all feel about having 8 shots or a self defense firearm? Advisable or is it an unnecessary risk that can be easily avoided?
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:25 PM   #2
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I guess that would depend how good you can shoot under pressure.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:25 PM   #3
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That's a personal decision you will have to make on your own based on you comfort level. Some will not carry anything under 10-12 rounds while others are comfortable with a J frame snubby with only 5 on board. As for me often the 5 is fine but, if I have to be going someplace I'm not comfortable it's the 8 to 13 rounds selection, always with 2 reloads no matter what I'm carrying.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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If you can't find some cover (for a mag change) in less than 8 shots, you are maybe standing still too long ...... and someone is going to put your head on a stick anyhow, 15 round mag or not .....
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:29 PM   #5
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One approach is that of the fellow who posted that he carried four Glocks, two big and two small, with two extra loaded magazines for each, plus a 50 round box of ammo, a large knife and nun-chuks. On the other hand, I carried a Model 36 and one speed loader as a deputy sheriff and never felt undergunned. I admit that I never was in a gun fight - maybe if I had been I would have wanted more firepower, but I do like to be able to walk.

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Old April 18, 2014, 08:31 PM   #6
barnbwt
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Yes.


No. ...maybe...


...




I dunno.

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"One approach is that of the fellow who posted that he carried four Glocks, two big and two small, with two extra loaded magazines for each, plus a 50 round box of ammo, a large knife and nun-chuks."
Anyone remember that one scene from "I'm Gonna Get You, Sucka" ..?
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
the fellow who posted that he carried four Glocks, two big and two small, with two extra loaded magazines for each, plus a 50 round box of ammo, a large knife and nun-chuks.
.... that fella is negatively buoyant.

He also can not help but draw attention to himself, if he's really packin' that much stuff .... which I doubt.

All that weighs but a few electrons on the interwebz .....
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:36 PM   #8
RJay
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If you can't do the job with 8, then you should not even be carrying. Heck, I spent most of my army career carrying 7 ( or six in a Model 10 ), Of course that is just my opinion and I'm sure there are those who may not agree.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:48 PM   #9
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Handguns exist with huge magazine capacities, not that I own any of them, but these large capacities have to be seen as some kind of advantage unless the individual operator comes up with the idea that with the large capacity magazine he can afford to miss. I suppose its not unheard of for someone to empty several large capacity magazines. The only incident that comes to mind of an individual making eight quick hits with a handgun is Alvin York. If other examples of someone using a more modern handgun and getting more hits faster, I would love to hear about it.

I know that I'm not good enough to make a hit on every shot I try, but I'm not sure I understand the value of using any of my ammunition unless I at least think I can make the shot.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:53 PM   #10
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Are 8 Shots Enough?

Yes.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:56 PM   #11
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I don't worry about being out gunned carrying a 5 shot revolver so yeah, I think 8 is enough.
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Old April 18, 2014, 08:57 PM   #12
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Yes. For me, 5 shots is enough to feel comfortable.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:02 PM   #13
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Higher magazine capacity is not for making more misses faster.
It's for making more hits without the need to reload.
That can be important when facing a lot of enemies or a few that are body-armored or super determined.

“Need more then 8?

Not likely I hope, but NEVER let some politician rule that 8 is "enough".
Next it will be 4, and then 2 and then zero.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:03 PM   #14
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It simply takes what it takes.

All you can hope for is, you have enough along in the gun, if and when your turn comes.

That, and youve been practicing realistically, and diligently, with whatever you carry, and understand that you may have to expend more than youre often told, and are prepared and practiced to shoot them to the ground.

If youre lucky, your opponent is someone who has watched a lot of TV and movies, and thinks because they are shot, they are dead. If you run into someone like Matix and Platt, all bets are off.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:09 PM   #15
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Old debate and the clichés rise like zombies from the grave. It depends on the intensity of the incident. You may not be able to do the job with eight if you are lucky enough to land in a serious rampage with multiple shooters and distance. If it the single mugger who stands in front of you and announces - I'm going to mug you! - then 8 might do it.

You have to determine the risk cut off for gun fight intensity that works for you. Or you can just say clichéd items - as repeated since the Internet was invented by Al Gore.

To be pragmatic for me. A semi and an extra mag or a revolver and two speed loaders is where I make the cut when I am out.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:11 PM   #16
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So much depends upon what you imagine you are preparing for, and whether that matches up with what you actually encounter (heaven forbid you ever encounter a situation requiring the use of a firearm).

The simple fact is that most cases where a firearm is successfully used in self-defense don't require the gun to even be shot at all. So, if that is what you encounter, you don't even need a loaded gun. Zero rounds are just fine.

Next up in likelihood are cases where one or two rounds are fired, and the perp (or perps) decide "that's it, I am outta here!" That occurs whether or not they are hit. So, maybe all you really need is 2 or 3 rounds, right?

Unfortunately, we don't get to pick our fight. Whether they are the majority of cases are not, people are often enough accosted by determined attackers, multiple assailants or people on drugs, who do not respond in typical fashion.

Honestly 8 rounds is probably "enough", assume you are well trained and well practiced. I'd certainly carry at least one extra magazine, as that just seems prudent. If you can carry something with more capacity, you probably should.

I'd echo Glenn's pragmatic suggestions.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:22 PM   #17
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8 rounds should be enough unless you are jumped by more than one lone bad guy. And if they have guns I guess I'd want 17+1 at least.
I'm glad I moved out of Detroit in the early 90's which was way before concealed carry was legal and all I carried was a knife. Situational awareness was key to getting by back then.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:29 PM   #18
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IIRC the old FBI analysis of the "typical" gunfight was "10 feet, bad light, 3 rounds." What little IPSC shooting I did emphasized reloads, moving, etc. I think defensive shooting should emphasize "worst case" scenarios, train for the worst, that makes anything else easy. As others have noted, it's only the hits that count.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:30 PM   #19
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I survived for 21 years without a carry weapon, I personally feel that a single shot .22 short derringer is enough.(I don't own or carry one however, just sayin)
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:32 PM   #20
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For me personally, 8ish is the minimum I go with. But in short, yes I feel it is enough.

My normal carry gun is 13+1 (90% of the time) and the other one I carry depending on attire is 6+1.

In my training, I have found that my first two shots hit their mark, while my third is usually a marginal hit at best at any distance over about 15 feet. So for me when rapid firing using point-and-shoot, I hit at 66%. I figure that with 14 rounds, I will be good enough to handle a group of 4 attackers with 2 good shots on each. The way I see it, if there are more than that, I am in too deep as it is.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe I need more training, but that is how I have analyzed it.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:38 PM   #21
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For a gun for home defense you should have more than 8 rounds. For a ccw I think it will be okay. Always nice to keep a spare mag in your car, purse, or saddle bag.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:43 PM   #22
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It is until it isn't. The only times I felt outgunned with a revolver and three reloads was working the canyons west of El Paso chasing bandits and smugglers at night.

Too many variables for a good answer, how good a shot are you under stress? How well do you keep your cool under stressful situations? What is your personal threat level? Are those 8 shots from enough gun or are they from a mouse gun?

These days of semi-retirement I carry a semi and 1 or 2 extra mags depending on the semi.
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Old April 18, 2014, 09:56 PM   #23
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Large cap magazines encourage "spray and pray" mentalities in civilians. People tend to forget you "own" every round out of that barrel. Taking an approach that "I can hit something with 17 rounds" is not something to encourage. Yes, every round does eventually hit something, however that something may be your neighbor or a kid riding his bike.

Unlike LE, most civilians are not intentionally putting themselves in positions of having a gun fight. As many have said, a 5 shot S&W has provided exceptional service for self defense. Develop your skills to put your rounds on target rather than depend on high volume fire. Unless your also train to clear jams, misfires and mag changes also..... you may end up with a one shot auto with a mag full of bullets As for multiple bad guys, one you shoot the first the rest are usually wetting their pants and running. Unlike the movies no one is standing there spaying magazines back and forth. Even with a 5 shot revolver, I have never seen anyone volunteer to be numbers 2, 3, 4 or 5 in line!

Last edited by colbad; April 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM.
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Old April 18, 2014, 10:30 PM   #24
Dragline45
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I carried a 5 shot revolver for a few years and never felt undergunned. These days I carry a 7shot .380 or an 8 shot 9mm.
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Old April 18, 2014, 10:37 PM   #25
Bezoar
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its enough. No offense but...

is this a "is my gun good enough to get the job done"?
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