How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

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How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by aikorob » Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm

the Mrs. asked about magazines---do we have enough.
so I had to do an inventory---not as many as I thought
back when there was ammo, we went to the range monthly, it was nice to have 4 or more loaded mags for rifles so we could shoot without reloading every 5 minutes
At least 2 for our EDC pistols

How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?

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Re: Firearms CHAT: [insert chat title here]

Post by Phil » Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:15 pm

aikorob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm
How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?
50-ish loaded stripper clips for my .30-06, and 6 boxes of 0000 shot and 2 boxes of #8 for the 20 GA. It's what we have, so it has to be adequate.

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Re: Firearms CHAT: [insert chat title here]

Post by PistolPete » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:24 pm

aikorob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm
the Mrs. asked about magazines---do we have enough.
so I had to do an inventory---not as many as I thought
back when there was ammo, we went to the range monthly, it was nice to have 4 or more loaded mags for rifles so we could shoot without reloading every 5 minutes
At least 2 for our EDC pistols

How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?
Depends on the use of the gun. For a bolt action rifle for hunting you use once a year? I'd say 2. 1 is probably even fine, except for the whole 2 is 1 and 1 is none bit. I know guys you have shown up to deer camp without a mag in their rifle, having an extra would be super handy.

For CCW I'd say 3. A mag can fail and it's always good to have a backup, even if you damage or lose one. Often CCW guns use less common mags so it's possible in 10 years you won't be able to find mags for it anymore.

For a gun you take to the range all the time I like 5. That means I can get a reasonable amount of shooting in without reloading. If I take a Glock and a 22 to the range I can get well more than 100 rounds downrange without taking time to reload.

For a rifle you take to a class I also think 5. One in the gun and 4 reloads.

For a bug out gun? 2 or 3. Mags and ammo are heavy and if you're carrying more than a couple reloads you've chosen a poor route or strategy to bug out.

If you have a Glock or an AR, at least 10 mags for each since they are so cheap right now. AIM Surplus gets shipments of used Glock mags from time to time, I bought something like 20 .40 cal mags for $4 or $5 a while back. I had to replace a couple springs, but Glock mags are pretty durable.

Good luck! Luckily magazines are way easier to find right now than ammo.
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Re: Firearms CHAT: [insert chat title here]

Post by MPMalloy » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:53 pm

aikorob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm
the Mrs. asked about magazines---do we have enough. so I had to do an inventory---not as many as I thought
back when there was ammo, we went to the range monthly, it was nice to have 4 or more loaded mags for rifles so we could shoot without reloading every 5 minutes
At least 2 for our EDC pistols

How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?
I keep a minimum of 12 for each firearm. When I got the AR9, I bumped it up to 2 dozen. I have at least a dozen for my 5.56 - When I sold the P94 & PC4, I let that go with 7 or 8 mags. I found this past weekend that I still had 53 mags for it. 4 were 10 rounders. The rest were 11 rounders. I found that I only have 2 for the 10/22.

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Re: Firearms CHAT: [insert chat title here]

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:12 pm

I've got 24 for my AR, about 30 for my AK, 20 for my Glock 21 and 41, and about 11 to share between my G17 and PC9 carbine.

I think I'm good for ammo given the current situation (I could use more 5.56 ammo and 9mm and .45 ACP hollowpoints.), but I need to pick up more mags for my G17 and PC9 carbine.

I'm not even sure how many I have for my 10/22's. I actually haven't counted those in awhile. I think the total number may be around 12 or so with the majority being the BX25 extended mags.

ETA: Stopped by Academy today and picked up another pair of Magpul G17 mags. So I updated my G17 mag count in my post.

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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by NT2C » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:35 pm

aikorob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm
the Mrs. asked about magazines---do we have enough.
so I had to do an inventory---not as many as I thought
back when there was ammo, we went to the range monthly, it was nice to have 4 or more loaded mags for rifles so we could shoot without reloading every 5 minutes
At least 2 for our EDC pistols

How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?
My best answer? It depends.

It depends on the purpose of the gun, and the price and availability of mags for it.

For my EDC pistols, I prefer to have 3 on my person, one in the weapon and two spares. I don't do it for the extra rounds, though more ammo when you really, really, need it is a plus; I do it because mag failures happen. I really need to pick up more but they're pricey. I probably will soon though.

For my rifles, with the AR, mags are so cheap that it's silly not to stock up during sales. I think I've got 40, maybe 50 of the thirty rounders and maybe a dozen forty rounders. For my BM59, mags were so stupidly expensive ($60+ ea. new and $40+ ea used) that I only had two, and one was used. Then Classic got in a shipment that looks like they were used by little old ladies once a week for church on Sunday, so I bought three more. If 5 mags of 7.62x51 NATO can't fix the problem I'm in a lot deeper than I should be and may need air support. For my PC9, I've got a dozen or so Glock 33 rounders, which should be adequate. For my bolt guns I've got a few 10 and 5 rounders, not a lot because they're just varmint guns, not range toys. For my 10/22 I've got 4 or 6 (can't remember how many of the twin packs I bought) of the 25 rounders, and I think 4 of the 10 rounders.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:51 pm

I want to pick up some of the Glock 33 rounders now that I've got a PC9.

I'm thinking of also picking up some of the Magpul 24 round G17 mags as well since they're relatively cheap. Might pick up some ETS mags as well.

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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by 91Eunozs » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:13 am

At least one more than what I already have... :awesome:

Agree with the two or maybe three 5-10 round mags for my hunting rifles. I include my 450 BM and 6.8 SPC-II uppers in with my hunting rifles...only with 28-rd mags for the 6.8.

For my 5.56/300BLK ARs and my non-revolver hand guns, well... No such thing as too many. Some stashed away unloaded (brand new in original packaging), some stashed away loaded. A couple dozen in regular rotation in the range bags. Have a dozen or so (total) 5, 10, and 25-rd mags for my lone AR-10 chambered in .308.

Plus extra springs, followers, base plates, etc.

Edit: forgot about the 10/22s. A few 10 round, some on couplers, and two or three 25-rd for each one as well.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by 91Eunozs » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:25 am

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:51 pm
I want to pick up some of the Glock 33 rounders now that I've got a PC9.

I'm thinking of also picking up some of the Magpul 24 round G17 mags as well since they're relatively cheap. Might pick up some ETS mags as well.
I’m finding none of my Glocks like the ETS mags, so they’ve all been relegated to range only use. Tried ‘em in .380, 9mm and .45 ACP. Damn shame too, cheap and the extra capacity is nice.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by woodsghost » Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:21 am

It depends on what you are doing and how long you might wait for replacements.

For a fighting gun, I think 4x-5x is a start. I feel 10x is a better number.

For a range or hunting gun, I think 2x.

If you might experience losses or damage without replacement? I feel "more" is better.

Fighting loads of different infantry in the 50s-80s seems to have been around 100-120 rnds. Maybe not the US infantry while in theater, but that seems to be the typical historical fighting loads I've seen. That is mostly with 30cal weapons. More recently with 22 cal weapons, it seems 200-300 rnds is typical.

Afgani and Iraqi militia carry 1-3 mags, right? Usually 1 in the gun, one in the pocket?

Preppers are not "modern infantry," and not "random militia" either, and infantry, at least, usually have a light or medium support weapon that does the real fighting, along with all those friends. So I think ones purpose and context are important. Infantry are in a unit of other people. Preppers should probably not be looking for a fight and should probably be seeking to stay away from conflict, even if they might have to finish one or disengage from one.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by MPMalloy » Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:23 am

woodsghost wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:21 am
It depends on what you are doing and how long you might wait for replacements.

For a fighting gun, I think 4x-5x is a start. I feel 10x is a better number.

For a range or hunting gun, I think 2x.

If you might experience losses or damage without replacement? I feel "more" is better.

Fighting loads of different infantry in the 50s-80s seems to have been around 100-120 rnds. Maybe not the US infantry while in theater, but that seems to be the typical historical fighting loads I've seen. That is mostly with 30cal weapons. More recently with 22 cal weapons, it seems 200-300 rnds is typical.

Afgani and Iraqi militia carry 1-3 mags, right? Usually 1 in the gun, one in the pocket?

Preppers are not "modern infantry," and not "random militia" either, and infantry, at least, usually have a light or medium support weapon that does the real fighting, along with all those friends. So I think ones purpose and context are important. Infantry are in a unit of other people. Preppers should probably not be looking for a fight and should probably be seeking to stay away from conflict, even if they might have to finish one or disengage from one.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:19 pm

3 is my opinion of bare minimum for handguns

5 bare minimum for Semi-Auto rifle

Prefer at least 10 per though, and more is always better
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by NT2C » Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:43 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:19 pm
3 is my opinion of bare minimum for handguns

5 bare minimum for Semi-Auto rifle

Prefer at least 10 per though, and more is always better
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by Brekar » Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:11 pm

For me pretty much what everyone else has said. At least 3 minimum for my CCW pistol or backup pistol. My biggest problem with my CCW pistol is that the magazines for an M&P Pro are $45 each, but at least hold 15 each. My back up Beretta Nano magazines are only $25 each, but only hold 6 to 8 rounds.

I don't own any high capacity rifles like the AK or AR, the closest I've got to that is a Winchester model 94 or a Lee Enfield Mark 4 no 1, but when I do get an AR or AK I'd think minimum 7-10 magazines, but more is always better...

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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by tony d tiger » Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:21 pm

NT2C wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:35 pm
aikorob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 pm
the Mrs. asked about magazines---do we have enough.
so I had to do an inventory---not as many as I thought
back when there was ammo, we went to the range monthly, it was nice to have 4 or more loaded mags for rifles so we could shoot without reloading every 5 minutes
At least 2 for our EDC pistols

How many mags for each gun do you consider adequate?
My best answer? It depends.

It depends on the purpose of the gun, and the price and availability of mags for it.

For my EDC pistols, I prefer to have 3 on my person, one in the weapon and two spares. I don't do it for the extra rounds, though more ammo when you really, really, need it is a plus; I do it because mag failures happen. I really need to pick up more but they're pricey. I probably will soon though.

...
Yep. EDC is different from range day.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by FlashDaddy » Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:21 pm

Those are some great and well reasoned responses. I will add to them that I have a feeling my mags may not last as long, or function as well as my gun and that higher round count mags may be harder to get in future, whether by legislation or zombie invasion. When the lawless economic collapse hits in one of the Rawles books, a character says that it’s hard to call any mag a “spare” or something like that, anyway.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:21 pm

If I have to pick a number, I'd say minimum is 4 for a CCW and 10 for a carbine.

CCW: one in the gun and one in the pocket/belt/waistband, 2 for training/range use. This is the minimum to practice reloads without having to unload and reload your carry ammo constantly.

Carbine: I go by the basic light combat load of 4 in the belt/chest rig/plate carrier and one in the gun. Same logic, one set always loaded and ready to go, one set for training and range use so you can completely work through your load out. A third combat load lets you cache a spare rig with a friend or elsewhere; but I wouldn't say this scales linearly with the number of carbines; it'd probably be something like 3:1 > 4:2 > 5:3 etc. Diminishing returns hit early.

If legislation is your fear I run my calculations according to how many kids I plan to have; my grandkids might have to fend for themselves.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by MPMalloy » Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:17 pm

FlashDaddy wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:21 pm
Those are some great and well reasoned responses. I will add to them that I have a feeling my mags may not last as long, or function as well as my gun and that higher round count mags may be harder to get in future, whether by legislation or zombie invasion. When the lawless economic collapse hits in one of the Rawles books, a character says that it’s hard to call any mag a “spare” or something like that, anyway.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by NT2C » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:11 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:21 pm
If I have to pick a number, I'd say minimum is 4 for a CCW and 10 for a carbine.

CCW: one in the gun and one in the pocket/belt/waistband, 2 for training/range use. This is the minimum to practice reloads without having to unload and reload your carry ammo constantly.
IMHO, and it's just an opinion, this is the wrong thing to do. Carry ammo takes a lot of abuse. Dust, dirt, sweat, temperature changes and extremes, all combine to work against it. Those cases aren't nickel plated just to look good, it's done to stop the brass from corroding due to sweat and moisture. All that really takes its toll on carry ammo, and is one of the reasons why I usually expend my actual carried ammo on range trips at least 3-4 times a year. (once or twice a year now with my far reduced outside activity and carrying during the pandemic)

Yeah, it gets expensive, and it might be ammo that's near impossible to replace at this point in time, but my life may depend on that ammo someday and It'd really suck moose balls for one of the last thoughts running through my head to be that I really should have spent the extra $$ and loaded up with fresh carry ammo after my last range trip. Fortunately, I have a pretty generous supply of carry ammo because in the past I've made it a practice to buy fresh carry ammo when I bought practice ammo, and a little extra when I caught good sales. I'd also been in the process of changing my carry ammo from Federal HST to Federal Hydra-Shok Deep when the panic buying started, so I don't have much of that but I do have plenty of HST to fall back on, in all three of my favored carry calibers. I expect that my carry ammo which has been sitting loaded in magazines tucked away in dark climate-controlled closets because I rarely go out these days will be as fine as when it was fresh out of the box, so I'm going to continue to carry it another 6 months or so, but it will get expended by that time and replaced with some fresh HST from my ammo stashes because that just seems the right way to do it in my view.

But hey, what works and is a "correct" solution for one shooter likely isn't the ideal solution for all other shooters, but I feel it's good to exchange thoughts and opinions on things like this in our online community because it sometimes presents us with new ideas and gives us new things to consider in our personal decision-making process. That's what we're all here for anyway, isn't it?
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 pm

NT2C wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:11 pm
IMHO, and it's just an opinion, this is the wrong thing to do.
Have you ever had a bad round from a quality brand? I've personally never had a 9mm not go bang, even the cheapest of crap or 10 year old defense ammo. I've heard concerns over losing velocity over the years, but I've never talked to anyone else that failed to have a round go bang either. Bullets being pushed back into the cases from being rechambered repeatedly is a concern of mine, but once again it mostly lives in the land of hypothetical concerns, and I just do my best to rotate my +1 round.

rotating carry ammo 3 times a year might be a good idea, or every year, or every 3 years. We probably won't ever know what the right number is, so like many gun rituals it will remain at its core a superstitious ritual. Until I have a first hand or hear of a second hand problem with 1 year old or 5 year old ammo I'm hesitant to engage the ritual that often.


ideally you are also going to the range more than 3-4 times a year, so that still leaves a use for extra mags for both convenience and to save wear and tear on your carry mags.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by Phil » Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:55 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 pm
Have you ever had a bad round from a quality brand? I've personally never had a 9mm not go bang, even the cheapest of crap or 10 year old defense ammo.
Twice while I was in the Navy, I had 9mm ball ammo fail to fire. Once in February, 2001. The second time in September, 2004. First time was on the range up in Whidbey Island, Washington. Second time was shooting at a berm "range" at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.

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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:00 am

Did you ever find out anything about the ammunition?
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by NT2C » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:11 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 pm
NT2C wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:11 pm
IMHO, and it's just an opinion, this is the wrong thing to do.
Have you ever had a bad round from a quality brand? I've personally never had a 9mm not go bang, even the cheapest of crap or 10 year old defense ammo. I've heard concerns over losing velocity over the years, but I've never talked to anyone else that failed to have a round go bang either. Bullets being pushed back into the cases from being rechambered repeatedly is a concern of mine, but once again it mostly lives in the land of hypothetical concerns, and I just do my best to rotate my +1 round.

rotating carry ammo 3 times a year might be a good idea, or every year, or every 3 years. We probably won't ever know what the right number is, so like many gun rituals it will remain at its core a superstitious ritual. Until I have a first hand or hear of a second hand problem with 1 year old or 5 year old ammo I'm hesitant to engage the ritual that often.


ideally you are also going to the range more than 3-4 times a year, so that still leaves a use for extra mags for both convenience and to save wear and tear on your carry mags.
Yes, I have. I had two boxes of Magtech Guardian Gold 124 gr. 9mm that 1 round in 3 wouldn't fire despite good primer strikes (I avoid the brand now). I've had a pair of Winchester "Service Grade" .45 ACP squibs that barely made it out of the barrel, I've had 2 .380 ACP rounds that failed to fire with good primer strikes (I forget what brand now, maybe PPU?) and I had one Federal 55 gr .223 underpowered round that hit the dirt on the 100-yard range about 50 yards downrange. That's just in the past decade. If you want to go back to my military days I've seen everything from issue .38 Special all the way up to 3" rifle rounds fail to fire. Hell, in boot I got cheated out of qualifying with the 1911 by a round that failed to fire (I qualified later on).

And I never said extra mags weren't a good idea. I said that I recommended expending carry ammo and replacing it with fresh on a regular basis.
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Re: How many mags do you consider "enough" for each gun?

Post by NT2C » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:19 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:00 am
Did you ever find out anything about the ammunition?
If procedure was followed on it then it likely wasn't even reported. Failures to fire were expected now and then, given the millions of rounds we .mil folks expend. Unless there were multiple instances of rounds not firing, protocol would be to clear the round and carry on. If it happened again with the same weapon then it gets taken out of service and a guy like me got to strip it down and test everything. (I was a GMG) If it happens on multiple weapons then reports get filed, lots get pulled, and BuOrd gets involved.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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