How Many Rounds are Enough?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

The recent spate of mass killings have fanned the flames of anti-gun rhetoric once again, with renewed cries to violate our Second Amendment rights and severely restrict what you and I are allowed to own and use. The same old “common sense” gun control measures are being talked about again, without one shred of evidence showing how they will help take guns out of the hands of criminals and reduce crime, rather than taking them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

One of those “common sense measures” is magazine capacity. According to the progressive left, anything more than 10 rounds is just too much. None of us can apparently be trusted with 11 rounds in a pistol or rifle, because criminals can’t be trusted with them.

Granted, the Dayton shooter had a 100 round magazine attached to his AR-15. Now that’s high capacity; high enough that it enabled him to fire off 41 shots in less than 30 seconds. Of course, I can do that with normal 30 round magazines; but I guess he isn’t as well trained as you or I am. He needs that double-drum magazine, because he never mastered the fine art of changing magazines.

So, because he used a 100 round drum magazine, that’s supposed to mean that you and I don’t need a normal 30 round magazine. Not sure how that works, because if he has that much ammo, I think I need at least that much. I just don’t want to lug that heavy magazine around. Give me standard 30 round magazines instead.

But this raises a very valid question in my mind; that of how many rounds are really enough. I’m not referring to magazine capacity here, although that is a factor; but rather, how many rounds are enough to carry for self-defense?

With people running around committing mass murder, it would seem that maybe it’s time for us all to start carrying our AR-15s and AK-47s too, along with a plate carrier and ballistic armor. But that’s just a bit too paranoid for me. The chances of actually being involved in one of those shootings is so low, that I can’t see any reason to lug all that weight around. My pistol will have to suffice.

Of course, that brings me back to the very same question: how many rounds do I need to carry for my pistol? There’s really no right answer to that question. A few years ago, a police officer was in a shootout with a suspected criminal. When all was said and done, the officer had three rounds left. He had fired 48 times, hitting the suspect 18 times before putting him down. From what I hear, that officer carries more ammo now.

But are you and I likely to end up in such a situation? Unless you have a particularly accurate crystal ball, I don’t know any way to find out. In 70% of the cases where someone with a concealed carry permit draws a gun, they don’t even have to fire one shot. Just showing they are armed is enough to cause the criminals to flee. In 70% of the remaining cases, where they do have to shoot, it’s three rounds in three seconds. That’s all.

Based upon that, it would seem that any pistol designed for concealed carry has enough magazine capacity to use for self-defense. But then there’s that other 30% of the cases. What about those?

The thing is, this isn’t a numbers game. We really can’t rely on the odds being in our favor. If you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation, you’re already on the wrong side of the odds. So don’t think that you can depend on being in that group that only has to draw their gun or the group that only has to fire three shots. It would be better to be ready for anything.

That’s the philosophy I use. For me, the question isn’t as much one of how much I should carry, as it is a question of how much I can carry. Since I limit myself to carrying a concealed carry pistol, rather than a full-sized one and I carry a .45 caliber pistol, I’m kind of limited in how many rounds my pistol can carry. Like the revolvers of the Old West, I’m limited to six rounds in my gun.

To me, that’s just not enough. While I don’t expect to go through 48 rounds, like that police officer, I don’t want to be limited to no more than six. So I carry a couple of spare higher capacity magazines, which will each hold seven rounds. That brings my total up to 20. Not a lot, but I hope enough.

Why two magazines? Because a two magazine holder fits comfortably in my pocket. While I could carry three or even four magazines, it would severely limit what else I could carry as part of my EDC. So, while I would really like another 10 or even 20 rounds, I only have 20. I back that up with a box of ammo in my car, in case I get a chance to reload.

As with many other things in the world of self-defense, this is a very personal question. You have to decide for yourself what will work for you. I’d just ask that you don’t let your gun’s capacity make the decision for you. Decide what you think you can reasonably carry and go with it. Then, work to make sure that you’re good enough with your carry gun, that you can put down a criminal with what you’re carrying, even if they’re on drugs and moving.

The price is just too high to do anything else. So maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing. While you’re at it, you might want to check that you’re still keeping your powder dry and your survival gear is in good shape, close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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