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Old March 22, 2012, 12:03 PM   #26
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You can never have too many guns

You can never have too much ammo

You can never have too many mags

For all the reasons previously stated
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Old March 22, 2012, 12:16 PM   #27
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Old March 22, 2012, 12:31 PM   #28
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I try to have at minimum the number of magazines it takes to load a 50 round box up at one time, and then shoot. This means the number of magazines varies, depending on if the mag holds 7, 8 or 10 rounds.

For a 'carry' gun, I'd probably have twice that number. For those guns I have multiple examples of [1911, BHP] I have enough magazines to load 100 rounds at a time, in case I wish to shoot a couple of different ones of that model.
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Old March 22, 2012, 12:53 PM   #29
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Over the years I've known a surprising number of cops and CCW licensees who only owned the 1 or 2 magazines that came with their pistols. It doesn't surprise me with the CCW folks (a very high number of those with whom I've talked said they only fired their guns for renewal range qual requirements every 2 years). I'm a bit more surprised the cops didn't invest in more magazines, though.

Magazines are assemblies, being made up of other parts. Assemblies can occasionally fail to perform properly due to wear, tear, damage and maintenance (cleanliness) issues. They can also get dropped at the most inconvenient moments (falling off a car seat and being kicked under a car, in the dark, as the owner exits their car/truck, dropped in a water-filled curb, or in the bushes, etc).

Magazines are also at the very heart of proper pistol feeding & functioning, too.

Personally, I like to have 3 good carry/use mags for each of my pistols. That's a minimum.

Then I like to have 3 backup/range use mags. I'll check/confirm proper function with my carry mags (both initially and then periodically), but then often set aside 1-2 mags specifically for range use/abuse/long-term testing.

Then, I like to have at least 1-2 mags to put back (after confirmation of good condition & function) as repair/replacement mags, in the event of lost/damaged mags during the normal course of events.

I generally don't load up more than 2-3 mags for range use. Most of the qual courses-of-fire and drills I shoot require anywhere from 30-50 rounds, but I don't mind stopping to reload mags between stages/shot strings. It gives me time to re-assess what I'm doing.

I also like to use the mag carriers I normally wear, so having more mags on my person would require using coat pockets. I like to practice accessing and using my mag carriers for most range sessions. However, I shoot at a LE range, so I can use a holster & mag carrier(s). Using a public range would probably change my habits.

Lastly, once I've put back the standard "minimum" number of mags I've listed, I'll occasionally buy (order from a manufacturer, or pickup from a local LE dealer) another mag. Those get put back as "surplus", in the event I have to replenish my existing inventory of carry/range/spare/repair mags over time.

I've certainly had wear & damage issues require me to replace various mags over the years.

Then, of course, there's keeping enough replacement/repair parts, such as springs, followers, butt/floor plates, buttplate catches & inserts so repairs can be made to mags now and again.

It just all depends.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
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Old March 22, 2012, 01:55 PM   #30
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It is a matter of preference for the most part. You do not necessarily need more than two. I like having extra magazines so I buy them. If one breaks or if I were to lose some somehow (which has never happened) I will have replacements. I also enjoy emptying my magazines more than I enjoy loading them. I keep between 6-10 for each semi-auto that I own. If I enjoy shooting the gun I might have more. I rarely buy new magazines. You can find used magazines fairly easy at reasonable prices. Clean them up change the springs etc..
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Old March 22, 2012, 03:41 PM   #31
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I have at least 4 per pistol and some have 6 or more. I also keep replacement followers, mag springs and recoil spring for all carry guns. Dan
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Old March 22, 2012, 03:49 PM   #32
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I have eight for my EMP (I used the discount coupon that came with the gun in order to buy extras). I do like being able to keep three loaded with SD ammo all the time (one for the gun and the two that live in the off-side of the shoulder holster), while still having five more to load up for range trips. For the other pistols, I just have two each, but I'm really looking at more for the .22s - we always seem to go through so much ammo when we take them shooting!
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Old March 22, 2012, 05:07 PM   #33
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4-6 for me too.
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Old March 22, 2012, 05:14 PM   #34
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I have 3 for carry and another 2-3 for range use. Once my magazines go bad/springs wear out I will throw those into the range pile.
Has Taurus really spent more on shipping customers their firearms back to them than actual sales?
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Old March 22, 2012, 05:48 PM   #35
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I try to keep FOUR

2 with every day defense rounds(carry)
2 empty till range day (saturday), then I drop my two good ones out
and since they are all four factory mags, I rotate them

unload my loaded ones into the empty to allow springs to decompress

reload the empties for range practice and then clean them with the pistol at the end leave them unloaded till next range day

I have no proof that this helps or hurts the mags springs, but I think it makes sense to not keep them loaded 365 24/7 just my opinion though.
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Old March 22, 2012, 07:35 PM   #36
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I have 8 magazines for each firearm I own.
I rotate 3 of those magazines out every 2 months to maintain spring elasticity.

When I head to the range I bring all 8 for the weapon I am firing.
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Old March 23, 2012, 07:56 AM   #37
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I rotate 3 of those magazines out every 2 months to maintain spring elasticity.
This is a topic that comes up from time to time.

Rotating magazines doesn't maintain spring elasticity -- it just limits use of any given mag and spreads the "use" wear over more mags -- which can delay, temporarily, spring replacement.

Springs don't heal with rest.

Note: five mags used evenly for 20000 rounds will degrade about the same as one mag used for 4000 rounds if they are all stored in the same state when not used (i.e., all loaded or unloaded).

Having a bunch of mags used in rotation delays spring replacement, but when you finally have to replace the springs, you have to replace MORE of them. Over time, given the same number of rounds, you haven't saved much. That doesn't mean that extra mags are not a good idea. If you do have problems, it's nice to have spares available until you can get replacement parts.

As noted and explored in many in many discussions here on TFL (and other forums), amply supported by technical sources and proofs, storing some mags fully loaded (mostly hi-caps and mags for compacts) will speed spring degradation faster than use, but for many mags and many guns, the mag springs will outlive the shooter.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; March 23, 2012 at 08:03 AM.
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Old March 23, 2012, 07:59 AM   #38
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Springs don't heal with rest
Absolutely true.
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:02 AM   #39
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I have 5 for my amazing SP2022 and plan on buying a couple more.
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:19 AM   #40
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Minimum of two and max of six.

I see no reason for my 22 lr pistols to have more than two. Same thing for my LC9.

Most of the others have four, the 1911s get six.
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:19 AM   #41
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I posted in a different thread recently that I thought I was being prodigal when I bought a spare magazine for my Walther, which now makes a total of three that I have for it. I still think that way.
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:33 AM   #42
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A good friend of mine had a policy of at least 10 mags for every firearm he owned. Of course, he tended toward overkill. He once asked me: "Guess how many 1911 mags fit in a .50 cal. ammo can?"
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:58 AM   #43
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i consider 3 mags to be the minimum amount for any semi auto i own. i figure thats why they make 2 mag pouches, 2 in the pouch and 1 in the gun.

on my favorite guns i like to boost that up to 5 mags each. guns like my taurus 92 or my s&w 59 have 5 mags each. my 1911's have 5 mags for each 1911 i own.

revolvers deserve back ups too. i have 2 speed loaders for each gun with a double speedloader pouch for each gun as well.
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Old March 23, 2012, 09:10 AM   #44
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I only have 4 mags for my handgun. 2 for SD and 2 for practice. But I have my own range, so loading time really isn't an issue - it allows my gun to cool off, and it keeps my hands busy while I'm looking over groups. I started with 1 for practice, but it made it pretty much impossible to drill for reloads.
It makes sense that if you were having to drive out to a range it would be much more convenient to be able to pre-load mags, but for me - at this point - I'd rather buy a box of ammo than another mag.
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:43 AM   #45
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I have 5 total mags with my new gun, I'm taking a class in a few weeks and they say you should have 3 double or 5 single stack mags.
I wouldn't have bought that many if it wasn't for the class, but you guys are making a lot of good points, I may order a few more now

I don't want to just mindlessly blast through ammo at the range, so having to reload is a good way to slow down some and really focus.
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Old March 23, 2012, 06:40 PM   #46
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Many posters before me hit the nail on the head; I have mags for HD ammo, mags for carry ammo (if, at the time, the two differ and they sometimes do), mags for practice at the range and I even have four mags for my carry gun, Ruger SR9C, still in the original packaging, JIC.

Mags wear out, they fail, and it's good to have spares. I have (8) 17 round mags for it and (3) 10 rounders. I am always looking to acquire more. I number mine to keep them straight and to help identify poor performers.
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Old March 23, 2012, 07:14 PM   #47
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I have 7 mags for my 1911, but 2 are on the fritz. 47D's too. I feel like I should have 10 for rotation and use and another 10 for storage after proving them. I only have two semi auto handguns so one would think that buying 10 magazines would suffice for the life of the weapon, right?

My original Colt 7 round mag that came with my gun new in 1984 still works good and has the original spring. The round count says the spring should be replaced but it works and if I put in a new spring it might not work.
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Old March 23, 2012, 07:18 PM   #48
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10+ for semi auto.

3 - 30's + 1 - 100 for my Draco.
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Old March 23, 2012, 07:50 PM   #49
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I only use 1911s.

I have forty mags from two companies, Wilson and Metalform for them.
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Old March 23, 2012, 08:26 PM   #50
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I have 10 mags each for my semi-auto pistols. Eventually there will be more.
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