How many magazines is enough?

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How many magazines is enough?

Post by KnifeStyle » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:39 pm

I so far have a very small battery of firearms. My AR has ten USGI mags a neighbor gave to me, I have six Glock magazines for my IPDA/CCW Glock because I needed a ten rounder for when I go into Cook County and wanted a set of competition magazines. My 10/22 has two whole magazines, because I needed a second one for an Appleseed shoot. But as I see more and more gun safe photos and note the stacks and racks of magazines of all kinds...I'm starting to wonder if I need more. For example, how many of you keep all magazines fully loaded to save time on the range? Do you keep a set handy for each weapon in case you have to take care of a coyote in the yard? Do you find it saves space compared to boxes of ammunition?

...Also, I need excuses to spend money on more toys...Help me out, everybody!
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by tinythief » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:45 pm

I have 7 m&p mags. 3 came with the pistol and the other 4 were bought at a good price. So i could not pass em up. 3 mags are for edc/ccw, always loaded. The rest are range mags.


I believe in having 7x 30round mags per ar and I came across a magpul mag sale too. There for 15-24 ar mags. Probably half are loaded and the other half are range mags.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Sworbeyegib » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 pm

One thing to remember about magazines, is that even though a quality magazine will last a very long time, they should be treated as consumable items. Eventually they will wear out and need to be replaced. Especially if you do things like drop them, step on them etc, while training or competing. So it's never a bad idea to have more than you think you'll need.

For my AR, I'd have to count, but I think I have somewhere around 25 magazines. I know that seems like a lot, but they all have their purpose.

I have a few dedicated home defense magazines I keep loaded with gold dots, general purpose 30 rounders for the range, some 20 rounders that I prefer to use at the range when I'm shooting either prone or low off of the bench, a couple of 20 rounders that are blocked off to 10 for hunting, and of course my dedicated "shtf" magazines I keep fully loaded and lives in my chest rig.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by woodsghost » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:44 pm

For my SHTF rifle I have 12 mags, but only 8 are fighting mags. The other 4 could be loaded and tossed in the car if bugging out, but I don't trust them to last long in a PAW. Tests have shown they break more easily than my fighting mags.

Of the 8 serious mags I have, 4 are all steel and 4 are synthetic with steel reinforcement. The steel ones are heavy and not much fun carrying around with a loaded BoB, so.....they are "defend the house/car" mags and if I have to go on foot, my lighter surplus mags are what I"m carrying. Which means I"m carrying 4 mags....maybe 6 if I decide I can afford the weight.

Any package that densely packs your rounds will save you space vs. using a magazine to store your rounds. With any magazine you have extra space taken up by the walls of the magazine and space at the bottom of the magazine where the spring is compressed. That means you are using a greater volume of space to store those rounds than is necessary. Those boxes of American Eagle 5.56 store those rounds in as small a space as possible. Buffalo Bore uses way more packaging than necessary, so taking your rounds out of those boxes will actually save you some space. Well, their pistol boxes use way more than necessary, I don't actually know about their rifle round boxes.

Using stripper clips saves a lot of space and allows for rapid reloading at the range or in the PAW. In the box and on stripper clips is how I store my ammo.

Getting back to how many mags you should carry: between 3 and 10. Most anybody ought to carry 3 or more mags. It seems optimistic to think you will never need more than 2-3 mags to end a bad encounter in a PAW. As far as the max number, I"d say as many as you can comfortably carry. Set up your BoB, your carry rig, your long-gun and sidearm, and then go camping with all that. Go walking 5 miles. Then take your pack off and run around like a pack of wolves is trying to hamstring you and eat you. Then imagine those wolves have rifles.

My point is carrying a bunch of ammo and mags seems like a good idea till you work through an actual, potential scenario. Carrying a bunch of weight sucks, but if you can do it, then cool! But my choices are to pair down how much weight I carry on my person in case of a foot bug out.

Now, if you are driving from point A to point B, then throwing 20 mags in the car makes sense. Also, having extra mags you can trade to people or use to replace ones lost while fighting also makes sense. In a PAW, you might have to expend mags and then will not be able to police up those mags at the end of the firefight. You simply have to skeedadle.

For home defense, having 20 mags makes sense too, for the same reasons above. And if you have extra money, you can always buy mags now and if a ban comes down the pipe or a PAW arrives at your doorstep, then cool! You have mags!

Just make sure you have enough food, water, and medicine, and training with firearms, medicine, and survival to make sure you actually live long enough to use your ammo and mag supply. Otherwise, you are buying stuff for someone else to use. Someone better able to survive.

In other words: mags are cool. Buy all you want. But if you are buying them for the PAW, make sure your other preps are in order before buying more mags.
Last edited by woodsghost on Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by WutsFrequencyKeneth » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:48 pm

I like having enough magazines to be able to get through a half-day of training classes without loading magazines. For rifle, a whole day. And then having enough on backup to replace the majority if needed. Then in addition to those training mags, I keep full 'ready mags' for each gun with the loadout it requires with carry/use ammunition loaded up.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:11 pm

30 quality per rifle.

20 quality per pistol.

Yupe, buy a lifetime supply now. They've never been cheaper nor more available.

And yes, I have that many per rifle. I just factor it into the cost of the purchase. And ammo too.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by manowar1313 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:17 pm

Um, right now I have ~5-10 mag pulls windows and 40 gi mags. I did have >200 of the gi mags before the gun craze hit. I don't keep any of them loaded because I haven't had an AR in about 5 years.

I have 7 bx-25 mags for my 10/22 and a bunch of the 10 rounders in tri-mag configuration. The 10 rounders you can usually pick up for $5 bucks at pawnshops or gun shows.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:36 pm

Gingerbread Man wrote: Yupe, buy a lifetime supply now. They've never been cheaper nor more available.
Think of what they will cost if they suddenly become unavailable. A lot of you guys are too young to remember the AWB that ended 11 years ago. Used full sized Glock police trade ins were going for upwards of $85. AR mags were not crazy expensive (say $30+) but few people shot ARs back then compared to now. Some stuff could not be had no matter the price because they were no longer made. There was no disaster just legislation.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Sworbeyegib » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:42 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Gingerbread Man wrote: Yupe, buy a lifetime supply now. They've never been cheaper nor more available.
Think of what they will cost if they suddenly become unavailable. A lot of you guys are too young to remember the AWB that ended 11 years ago. Used full sized Glock police trade ins were going for upwards of $85. AR mags were not crazy expensive (say $30+) but few people shot ARs back then compared to now. Some stuff could not be had no matter the price because they were no longer made. There was no disaster just legislation.
Heck, just during that panic a year and half ago, pmags were going between $30-$60 for awhile.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by manowar1313 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:48 pm

Sworbeyegib wrote:
Stercutus wrote:
Gingerbread Man wrote: Yupe, buy a lifetime supply now. They've never been cheaper nor more available.
Think of what they will cost if they suddenly become unavailable. A lot of you guys are too young to remember the AWB that ended 11 years ago. Used full sized Glock police trade ins were going for upwards of $85. AR mags were not crazy expensive (say $30+) but few people shot ARs back then compared to now. Some stuff could not be had no matter the price because they were no longer made. There was no disaster just legislation.
Heck, just during that panic a year and half ago, pmags were going between $30-$60 for awhile.
I sold most of my Pmags for $100 NIB and my Gi's for around $30 each. I never advertised any of my mags either, I responded to people looking for this stuff.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Neptune Glory » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:25 pm

I currently have 2 mags EDC for my Glock 26 (10 round loaded and 15 round reload).

I have an extra 15 round reload mag in my car... I'd like to have a second 15 round mag in the car but I haven't bought it yet.

At home for my Glock 19 I have a 15 round mag loaded, and a 33 round mag reload.

I would like to have more of the 33 round mags... in a SHTF situation, I'd be running my Glock 19 primary and my 26 as a backup gun, and the 26 can't function properly with the long 33 round mags.

My shotgun has it's tube mag capacity, I think 5 + 1 of 2.75" shells.

The rifle I want to own, the Ruger Gunsite Scout, can take 10 round magazines in .308 and I would like to own quite a lot of them... both for bug-in, and for patrol if SHTF... with night vision and FLIR to help me figure out what the heck is going on around my house.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:00 pm

Gingerbread Man wrote:30 quality per rifle.

20 quality per pistol.
This is the number I went with. Especially after the '94-'04 AWB ended.

It's not just for the centerfire rifles/pistols either. I made it through the entire 10 year ban on two Ruger 10/22 25 rd mags. Those things were wore out there towards the end. First thing I did when the ban ended wasn't to rush out and buy anything FAL, AR, BHP or Glock related, it was to go out and buy some Butler Creek 10/22 mags.

Finding AR mags was easy as guys coming out of the military would just often give you theirs, but I remember some crazy $115 prices on a single Glock 23 mag. Someone bought that thing too.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by manowar1313 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:20 pm

Neptune Glory wrote: I would like to have more of the 33 round mags... in a SHTF situation, I'd be running my Glock 19 primary and my 26 as a backup gun, and the 26 can't function properly with the long 33 round mags.
I'd never heard this, what does it do? And is it a factor mag?
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:22 pm

He may talking about the early Korean 33 rounders.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by madoka » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:55 am

Gingerbread Man wrote:30 quality per rifle.

20 quality per pistol.
For some people, such recommendations don't make any sense. For example, using those numbers I'd end up having to buy over 600 AR mags, another 600 various rifle mags, and over 1,300 pistol mags. So how many mags you buy really depends on how many guns you own.
manowar1313 wrote:
Neptune Glory wrote: I would like to have more of the 33 round mags... in a SHTF situation, I'd be running my Glock 19 primary and my 26 as a backup gun, and the 26 can't function properly with the long 33 round mags.
I'd never heard this, what does it do? And is it a factor mag?
I believe he is referring to the Glock factory 33 round mag.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Browning 35 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:45 am

Well if you have 30 different AR's (the number needed to reach 600 mags) and a wheelbarrow full of pistols then you're probably beyond needing any suggestions about the number of mags that you should stock. So by all means come up with your own custom figure.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Nick Adams » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:20 am

I think for a defensive pistol 3 is probably all you really "Need" but doesn't hurt to have more I have an old Browning Sig P220 .45 and magazines for it are not that common, I have 4 factory, two heel release and two button release and then two after market ones which while they look cheap have so far worked OK.
I probably have 15 for my Beretta 92 compact, two original 13 rd. ones and the rest 16 rd 92 mags
Have five 1911 .45s and probably at least 25 mags, I buy a good many collectable .45 mags to sell and have sone very well with it, got around $300 for a Springfield one before so I look at lots of 1911 mags but I don't feel I need any more for shooting
Have I think 12 mags for my semi auto M14 about that many for my Mini UZI
I think for a personal assault rifle I don't think you "need" more then 10 and that is taking into consideration long term storage. I'm having a hard time seeing a scenerao where you are going to really need more then two but you never know I guess. I do worry about AR mags since I feel they are more prone to damage then an AK mag.
I have three AKs and probably have 30 mags for them not including two drums
Have three ARs and probably have 50 AR Mags I used to have almost 100 but I sold some off during the Mag Panic buying the other year and made out very well.
With me most of these mags such as the Beretta, ARs and AK mags I get very cheap or even for free by tossing them in a lot with something else at auctions so is easy to accumulate a bunch. I guess it comes down to since they are so cheap and easy to get why not get them?

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:04 am

madoka wrote:
Gingerbread Man wrote:30 quality per rifle.

20 quality per pistol.
For some people, such recommendations don't make any sense. For example, using those numbers I'd end up having to buy over 600 AR mags, another 600 various rifle mags, and over 1,300 pistol mags. So how many mags you buy really depends on how many guns you own.
Well, if you have enough to service 20 ARs and 20 various other rifles then feel comfortable with that, sure. I have 12 ARs and I'm still working towards that goal of 30 per. They're consumables. They will get lost and worn out. If there is another rainy decade or permanent cloudy weather then they will be of great use.

I remember paying $100 of one Glock 17 mag. I remember paying $20 for a Vietnam era 20 rd mag. There is no call for that, I stand by my statement, buy now and buy a lot.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Beowolf » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:44 pm

My first consideration is encumbrance--that is, if I needed to carry the firearm and magazines, how many would I "need" and how many of those could I actually carry?

I consider a realistic and reasonable number to be 10 AR mags and six handgun mags. Now, that's a minimum, functional number. I would say double that for range play. I think anything beyond that is excessive or of a number that presumes failure of some along the line.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by KnifeStyle » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:11 pm

What about my 10/22 in particular? What's a justified amount for a practical rimfire used heavily for Appleseeds every month?
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:32 pm

I don't do Appleseed. I should figure out if they do anything in my area. But if you are doing Appleseed every month, then you probably have a good idea what you need....which is to say as many as you want! Is 2 cutting it for you? Or do you feel you'd like more?
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by KnifeStyle » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:26 pm

Because you're prone for the whole weekend and supporting the rifle with a sling, a flush ten rounder is ideal whether you're using an AR or a 10/22. No course of fire more than ten rounds, reloads just require one more magazine. You prep magazines in assigned time slots before volleys, theoretically all you need is two mags because they discourage participants from spending on equipment and would rather they just show up with what they have. I usually get tossed a loaner from the instructors just in case one of mine goes bad. At one point they did drills which require 'everything you have' for rapid fire in which case some one has to load my second mag while I'm firing, that was a chore for the instructor I'd rather avoid that. If I ever take my AR, I'm going to need some flush ten round AR mags.

Another factor, is that I'm now getting active as a volunteer with the program doing set-up and registration before I bum around shooting all day. They operate on a shoestring budget, the loaner equipment and spare rifles belong to the instructors. I may be able to justify this childish urge with the option to visibly mark my magazines and loan them out at these shoots, both the 10/22 and AR ten rounders because there's always some guy with a new AR who fights his banana mag in the instructed positions.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by manowar1313 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:52 pm

madoka wrote:
Gingerbread Man wrote:30 quality per rifle.

20 quality per pistol.
For some people, such recommendations don't make any sense. For example, using those numbers I'd end up having to buy over 600 AR mags, another 600 various rifle mags, and over 1,300 pistol mags. So how many mags you buy really depends on how many guns you own.
manowar1313 wrote:
Neptune Glory wrote: I would like to have more of the 33 round mags... in a SHTF situation, I'd be running my Glock 19 primary and my 26 as a backup gun, and the 26 can't function properly with the long 33 round mags.
I'd never heard this, what does it do? And is it a factor mag?
I believe he is referring to the Glock factory 33 round mag.
I've seen some of the Chinese hicap mags, I think usually they are 35? But that could be part of the problem. I know when I had a G26 4 I never had trouble with the factory 33's and still have a couple just in case.
KnifeStyle wrote:What about my 10/22 in particular? What's a justified amount for a practical rimfire used heavily for Appleseeds every month?
I know for me personally, the BX-25's are expensive NIB but about every month or so, someone who went a little too crazy during the gun scare is selling off a load of them. I've bought them as low as $10 before but usually it's 3 for $40. I gotta stop buying them but at these prices it's really hard not to go crazy myself. I've tried some of the other brands but usually end up giving them away to distant relatives or trashing them.
As far as a "Justified amount", just watch on Armslist. Honestly it's harder to justify not buying them sometimes. Right now I have 7 in my apartment (that's how many fit in my case) and at least 10 at my moms house. I also emailed a guy this morning selling another 3 mags for $40.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:02 pm

KnifeStyle wrote:Because you're prone for the whole weekend and supporting the rifle with a sling, a flush ten rounder is ideal whether you're using an AR or a 10/22.....

Another factor, is that I'm now getting active as a volunteer with the program doing set-up and registration before I bum around shooting all day. ....
Thanks for that information. Like I said, I have not been to an Appleseed event. Sounds to me like having 6+ would not be bad, if you have a little extra cash and are wanting to spend it on something. Like you said, mark everything with paint. That is cool that you plan to help out others. My AK mags would totally be digging into the dirt :) But that is fine. I found out you can use an AK mag as a monopod just fine. Rifle feeds fine. It does not do a whole lot to the mag unless you are on some sort of nasty gravel, and even then.... not much.
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