How many magazines is enough?

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:18 am

Beowolf wrote: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.
Exactly why I feel like I need more magazines, personally.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by bufordtjustice » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:23 am

I was in the Army and just getting into shooting a lot when the first AWB occurred. I remember having three magazines for my glock 22 when the price went through the roof...and that was if you could find mags at all. I ended up selling a nice M1A at the time because I had one good quality magazine for it. It was a really sucky time to try and buy mags. As a result, I now buy probably too many magazines for weapons. I always seem to justify just a couple more. I don't know what the magic number is for you but I will absolutely guarantee you, if they get banned again, you will wish you had bought a few more.

If I were to offer any advice, I would say a MINIMUM of 9 for pistols: 3 duty, 3 training, 3 brand new in reserve. I would also say a minimum of 12 for rifles: 4 duty, 4 training, 4 brand new in reserve. I would also suggest standardizing platforms to get the most out of your magazines. I run Glocks and M4s but you could apply the process to any weapons.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Keith B » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:07 pm

bufordtjustice wrote:I was in the Army and just getting into shooting a lot when the first AWB occurred. I remember having three magazines for my glock 22 when the price went through the roof...and that was if you could find mags at all. I ended up selling a nice M1A at the time because I had one good quality magazine for it. It was a really sucky time to try and buy mags. As a result, I now buy probably too many magazines for weapons. I always seem to justify just a couple more. I don't know what the magic number is for you but I will absolutely guarantee you, if they get banned again, you will wish you had bought a few more.
It's funny you should mention an M1a, I made a house payment while unemployed by selling 4 20rd m1a mags.
Last year when mag prices went thru the roof I sold off about ten mags at what was then market price. I have since replaced them, and added more. I use appx 10 AR mags for normal use, I have another 8 stashed in a go bag, and 30ish mags in storage waiting for a rainy day. When that rainy day hits I will give a few to my friends that didn't think ahead, and sell the rest at a 300% profit.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by tedbeau » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:47 pm

woodsghost wrote: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.
I agree with most of what he said, except that using the mags to store ammo actually does save space because the mags are going to take up the same amount of space whether they are loaded or empty but loaded you gain the space the ammo would have taken up separately.

As far as the number to have, keep in mind that as you train you are going to wear out mags so you need to keep some that have been used enough to be tested but not worn out, and then you need some to train with. Then you need to have extras in case there is a ban on mags.

I have about 8 plastic mags for training and 6 metal defensive mags for my AK. I was just thinking about picking up some 20 round mags for training because I seldom load up the mags to more than 10 rounds when training so I can practice mag changes without expending as much ammo. For training and "Social" work the 20 rounders make more sense if they cost less.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by woodsghost » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:24 pm

tedbeau wrote: I agree with most of what he said, except that using the mags to store ammo actually does save space because the mags are going to take up the same amount of space whether they are loaded or empty but loaded you gain the space the ammo would have taken up separately.
I realized that recently but had not gotten around to fixing my post. Thanks for noticing that little fact and calling attention to it! Great minds think alike, even if mine *is* a bit slower.

Also, I"m wishing there were 20 rounders for my -74, as that would allow me to get way lower and closer to the ground. I think 20s are great for the -47 as they allow you to get lower if prone or maneuver better in a vehicle.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by minengr » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:50 pm

I like having at least 5 for each pistol. I like to keep three loaded and rotate in/out the other two.

AR mags? As many as you can afford. I really don't know how many I have and I'm too lazy to dig them out for an accurate count. I know I still have around 20 30rd's NIW. I bought throughout the ban and stocked up further after it went away. They are like money in the bank. They can always be sold or traded at a later date.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by learntwoshoot » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:53 pm

Minimum number of magazines should be 10 per gun if it is for self defense.
I only keep three loaded to eliminate the wear and tear on the mag springs on the spares.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:55 pm

I was just getting out when the AWB was (or was not) set to twilight. Since I had zero intel on the matter, I thought it only sensible that 24 pre-ban rifle mags follow me home...

I look at mags as investments, to a degree, as the market fluctuates from time to time. Buy low, sell high. Buy more than you need now when you have the chance. Buy more than you'll ever realistically need, in your lifetime, because you'll have children to pass your weapons down to, and you may need to sell some.

So, to answer your question, you need to buy more, but only as you can afford them.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Big D » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:46 pm

If you know how many you have, you don't have enough.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Brotherbadger » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:37 am

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.
Yup. I flipped 10 NIB Pmags for $50/each. It was insane, but it funded the final parts of my AR build. Since then, i keep all my Pmags except 2 NIB. When the next panic occurs(and it will, because humans are predictable. Probably not as bad as the last one, but i still expect it to happen), i hope to flip quite a few more for a nice little profit and help fund my next gun project.

To OP: I probably have 30 or so AR mags. 15 USGI and 15 Pmags. I like to add a few of each if i can find a deal, or generally pick up 1-2 every month. You can never have too many and if you do decide to get rid of some, you won't lose money on them.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:36 am

Big D wrote:If you know how many you have, you don't have enough.
Yeah, I'll go with that. :clap:
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Mikeyboy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:39 am

I think bare minimum you should at least have 5. One for the gun, 2 to reload, and 2 spares. For a rifle like an AR or AK, I would bump the minimum to 7.

Like other have mentioned I found magazines almost like investment. During the last two gun panics, I made some money selling spare magazines. Then when things settle down just buy quality magazines one at a time. At one point pre-2008 panic I had over 20 AR mags, some were USGI, but most were P-mags. Pre panic I would go to a gunshop payday or so, check out what they, and unless I was buying a gun, I would buy one $10 to $15 P-mag and/or a box of ammo on the way out. Its an easy and painless way to stock up. At the height of both panics I was selling my excess AR mags for $50 a pop (which was cheap compared to other scalpers). Today they are back at the same price they were 10 years ago.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by tedbeau » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:30 pm

Yep I just picked up (4) 20 round steel ak mags. They look really nice and the price was pretty good at $9.99 each.
I haven't tried them yet, maybe next weekend. I plan on making two of them my practice mags along with my tapco's which I consider disposable. The other two will go with my SHTF 30 rounders

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Beowolf » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:39 pm

Conversations like this really suck for those of us in mag ban states. My 10 7.62x51 mags and my 4 5.56 mags will have to last...

The upside--I don't have rifles for those at the moment. ;)
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by eugene » Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:21 pm

I'm basing it on whats integrated into my gear. I have two in my EDC, one in the pistol, one in the spare mag slot of the holster. Then I have a pair of dual holsters attached to my BOB.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Groucho » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:52 pm

Enough to last you the rest of your life and your children's lives.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:44 am

I think it depends on how fast you can read. I have 3 subsciptions and I normally get through them before the next editions come out. So maybe 4 magazine subscriptions would be perfect for me.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by eeb » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:46 am

Beowolf wrote:Conversations like this really suck for those of us in mag ban states. My 10 7.62x51 mags and my 4 5.56 mags will have to last...

The upside--I don't have rifles for those at the moment. ;)
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:29 am

JeeperCreeper wrote:I think it depends on how fast you can read. I have 3 subsciptions and I normally get through them before the next editions come out. So maybe 4 magazine subscriptions would be perfect for me.
Also depends on the magazine

I may flip thru a time magazine in 30 minutes.

Take a day or two to read Nat Geo or Scientific American

But I may linger for month perhaps years on a good edition of Playboy or Hustler reading it in daily private 10 minute sessions.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by eeb » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:47 am

Don't forget to pick up a few extra firing pins, extractors, spring kits, etc. relevant wear items for your firearm. I remember a couple guys trying to sell an AR to the LGS during the panic. Should have been a high profit slam dunk, but no dice, the charging handle was broken and none were available. Would have been a lot sweeter for them if they'd had spares.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by Dave_M » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:27 am

My bare, absolute, minimum suggestion would be two combat loads. For a range toy it doesn't really matter, but the ability to have a couple loaded on hand is never a negative.
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by mrbplace » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:56 pm

I'm looking to at a least double my supply of AK mags in the next couple of months. And a large supply of mags means nothing if you don't have enough ammo to fill them several times over. :D
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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by SNAFU-M1A » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:26 am

I like to have 25 for each weapon type but usually buy more when a deal comes along. Like a lot of people here I got into guns just as weapons ban was ending & stocked up quite a bit. Now I buy for my kids as well possible trade/sell fodder.

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Re: How many magazines is enough?

Post by 0122358 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:24 pm

Browning 35 wrote:
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.
This...Although I would probably drop down to 10-12 for primary handgun and 25-35 for primary rifle. Glock 19, Sig 9mm/.45's would be my primary handguns for SHTF so 2-5 for loadouts, the rest in an ammo can for storage with two reloads of ammo, maybe 2-3 for range use.

Rifles...2-16 for loadout, 12 stored in an ammo can with two reloads

Although I wouldn't mind picking up a bunch of AR mags to sit on to sell at premium incase things go south politically again

Any other fighting weapons as loaners (AKs, other ARs) get a minimum of 5-7 rifle, 3 handgun (5 if single stack)
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