Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Many Rounds Do You Carry?

And why that many?

A couple weeks ago MandaFern took her CCW course (provided free through Wisconsin Carry, Inc.) and I tagged along, both for morale support, and because (generally) any training is good training and I treasure gathering viewpoints and training techniques from any source I can.

At a few points throughout the course, the instructor (an avid 1911 fan) voiced his negative feelings towards people carrying wonder-nines with super-high capacity magazines.  One of my typical carry guns is my M&P9, fully stoked with 17 rounds in the mag, and a spare 17 round magazine on my support side.  Amanda knows this and nudged me a little when he mentioned it the first time.

I grabbed my pen from my pocket and scribbled down on her notes "'Coyotes' travel in packs" semi jokingly.  While this is a valid point, my other standard carry piece as of late has been my Smith & Wesson 442 J-frame revolver.  Typically with a speed strip of five rounds in my watch-pocket of my jeans and a speed-loader in my coat pocket.  That loadout has less rounds total than one magazine in my M&P.

Do I feel undergunned carrying that few rounds?  No, not really.  Despite my coyote comment, we live in a small enough town that large gangs of thugs are not really a threat.  .38spc+P is a proven round, and the most likely threat I'll ever face around here is an overzealous convenience store robber or the like.  I don't ever see myself being sucked into a running gunfight through downtown Stevens Point.

So why carry 34 rounds of 9mm when I carry the M&P?  Why not save some strain on my belt and leave the spare at home?  I should be able to deal with any likely threat with 17 rounds, right?

Simple.  The biggest Achilles's Heal of any semi-auto weapon system is the magazine.  Add to that the fact that just about any malfunction drill on a semi-auto pistol involves stripping the magazine out to relieve pressure on the action.  If something goes south inside my gun, it's much easier to grab that spare mag, where I know it is, than look all over for the half a mag I tossed in the dirt while fixing my gun.  And since I'm going to carry that second magazine, I may as well fill it up to capacity.


Robert McDonald said...

I'm a 1911 fan. I carry 25 rounds, a topped off gun and two reloads
I'm thinking about getting an M&P9 or a Glock 19. I'll probably carry two reloads with either of those. I don't really get the hostility some people have towards standard capacity mags.

I do get annoyed with the, "Durrr, I got 17 rounds and you got 8 so I'm better off cause i can miss more than you."

Fred said...

I'd actually rather shoot my 1911, but it just doesn't work as well as the M&P. Eventually I'll get one that does, and I'll probably carry that more. It would be easier to carry more mags too, they're half the thickness of an M&P mag.

And I don't think anybody should brag about missing... 8D

Robert McDonald said...

The reliability issue is what's pushing me toward one of the wonder 9s. I wish I could afford one of the really nice 1911s, but it's just not in the budget for now.

Jack said...

When I carry my 1911, it's always 8+1 in the weapon and two 10 rounders in the offside carrier, for a total of 29 rounds of Win. PDX-1 .45s. I do not feel undergunned. Heavy, though.

LibertyNews said...

Another 1911 fan here. 8+1 and another 8 in my pocket. At least 8 in the truck and mags stashed in various places around the house. When I carry my .380 I carry 2 extra 6rd mags, they're so tiny it would take 4 of 'em to equal one full 1911 mag.

James said...

Was the instructor against high cap magazines for the typical Bill Ruger reasoning? ("No honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun.")

Or did he just see 9mm as being inadequate?

Fred said...

Definitely Ruger-esque reasoning. He also is a huge revolver fan.