What percentage is it?

This is a discussion on What percentage is it? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have read many times on here about carrying an extra magazine in case of failure. It has been stated time and time again that ...

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Thread: What percentage is it?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    What percentage is it?

    I have read many times on here about carrying an extra magazine in case of failure. It has been stated time and time again that the magazine failure is the primary cause of semi auto malfunctions.

    First of all I will say that I have only had one semi auto that has had a failure due to a magazine. This was a pro mag I bought for my Bersa Thunder (2 or 3 magazines actually) that would not feed Magtech First Defense rounds. I measured and the OAL was a bit longer than the Corbon, which cause the round to hand in the magzine. They shoot ball ammo, Corbon, Golden Saber, everything else just fine without any problems or failures. Rest assured I don't use Magtech First Defense, and don't use the Prog Mags for carry purposes. None of my other semi autos, have ever had a problem with failures due to the magazine.

    So back to my original intent of this thread. From all the list of possible problems with semi autos:

    Lack of cleaning, lack of lube, limp wristing, weapon preference as to bullet type, ie failures to feed specifice ammo, failures to eject, low energy rounds, ie practice ammo, operator errors any number of them, and magazine failure. I am sure I have left a number or things off of this failure cause list, and they will be pointed out. Feel free.

    Where are the numbers to show that magazine failure is the number 1 cause of semiauto handgun malfunctions? Because in my real life experience I have not found this to be even remotely close to accurate information. I can only come up with a very small percentage of failures that relate to the actual magazine itself. Much higher number are due to other factors, mostly in the area of cleaning and operator errors.

    I don't want this to become a debate as to whether or not we should be carrying additional magazines. I know some feel they should be prepared so they carry extras just in case. Ok that is out there, we already know that, just like an extra gun, or knife or flashlight whatever.

    I simply want information, hopefully with some sort of reference or backup to show that magazine failure is in fact the number 1 reason for failures. I prefer not to have opinions, but I am sure there will be many. I also prefer for this to remain focused on handguns, primarily the self defense ones, since any of us that have had to slam an M-16 magazine into our steel pot before putting it in know full well about problems with them.

    Thanks in advance for the information that I have been unable to find relating to this issue.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Have to admit, I've never carried an extra mag because I'm concerned about a possible mag failure. When I do carry the extra mag, it's because I want the additional rounds......

    I consider the magazine to be an integral part of the weapon system that consists of the weapon, the mag(s), and the actual carry ammo. I only carry a weapon system that has proven itself to be reliable after many hundreds of rounds.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I keep a spare tire in my cars along with a can of liquid tire inflator per vehicle.
    I have redundant fire and smoke detectors in my home.
    I wear a three point seatbelt in my cars and used to have a 4 pt. safety racing harness installed in a past vehicle.
    I keep in my wallet Visa and AMEX cards just in case one or the other is not accepted or becomes non-functional.
    I always carry one of not two spare magazines.
    I own 7 fire extinguishers, 8 flashlights of varying sort, 4 spotlights all the same type, and 7 or 8 umbrellas with two in either car in case of rainy days.
    And I am always carrying, something.

    Not because I expect to need use of any of the above but because I know and have learned the hard way that the unexpected occurs when you least expect it.

    - Janq

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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    My only failure due to mags was the cheap Scherer mags I got for my Glock, they are restricted to Range duty now. My reasons for a spare is more for the possible damage to the mag in the gun, Glock mags have a plastic floor plate, a good whack in just the right place from being knocked into a wall, or the ground, now I have a one shot pistol. Like Jang said, I don't want my first factory mag failure to be when I need it the most.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
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    I have not had a magazine related malfunction but I did have the experience of finding my pistol's magazine laying on the driver's seat when returning from shopping. I still don't know how I managed to pull that one off!

    I have also been an assistant Police Range Instructor and witnessed seasoned Officers eject a full magazine to the deck in a stress training scenario.

    So for me, it's like the the old saying goes... "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it".
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I keep a spare tire in my cars along with a can of liquid tire inflator per vehicle.
    I have redundant fire and smoke detectors in my home.
    I wear a three point seatbelt in my cars and used to have a 4 pt. safety racing harness installed in a past vehicle.
    I keep in my wallet Visa and AMEX cards just in case one or the other is not accepted or becomes non-functional.
    I always carry one of not two spare magazines.
    I own 7 fire extinguishers, 8 flashlights of varying sort, 4 spotlights all the same type, and 7 or 8 umbrellas with two in either car in case of rainy days.
    And I am always carrying, something.

    Not because I expect to need use of any of the above but because I know and have learned the hard way that the unexpected occurs when you least expect it.

    - Janq

    "And that's our stand." - Allstate
    +1
    i couldn't have said it better....as I get older, I realize I carry some things that I may not need and that is far better than needing something I do not have.
    you should absolutely carry an extra mag, for failure, for tactical reloads, for help in clearing jams.
    carrying an extra mag just for the rounds is being short sighted in my opinion. in a defensive situation, 99% of the time, you will not need that many rounds....and you many not be getting the training you need to clear jams, failures etc....training should be more than dropping an empty mag at slide lock and quickly putting another in.
    all firearms are mechanical and can/will fail, no matter the make or the seemed reliability.
    ----DOC-----

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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I keep a spare tire in my cars along with a can of liquid tire inflator per vehicle.
    I have redundant fire and smoke detectors in my home.
    I wear a three point seatbelt in my cars and used to have a 4 pt. safety racing harness installed in a past vehicle.
    I keep in my wallet Visa and AMEX cards just in case one or the other is not accepted or becomes non-functional.
    I always carry one of not two spare magazines.
    I own 7 fire extinguishers, 8 flashlights of varying sort, 4 spotlights all the same type, and 7 or 8 umbrellas with two in either car in case of rainy days.
    And I am always carrying, something.

    Not because I expect to need use of any of the above but because I know and have learned the hard way that the unexpected occurs when you least expect it.

    - Janq
    Janq,

    You're a sick, sick, man......

    ......but I wouldn't mind having you around when times got tough!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array ElMonoDelMar's Avatar
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    I think people carry spares for the reason Thumper said.

    Plus if you have to drop the mag AND rack the slide to clear a jam it's just a lot easier and quicker to let the mag drop on the ground and pick another one off of your belt.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Free American's Avatar
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    However, although the mag may not be the problem...regardless of the failure it is much easier to clear by dropping the mag, racking the slide and reloading. Much easier to do if you can let the mag in the gun fall to the ground.

    Wow, I didn't see ANY of the responses that said what I just said..until I posted.
    Last edited by Free American; May 19th, 2008 at 05:01 PM. Reason: VERY SLOW on the response
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  11. #10
    Member Array billfromtx's Avatar
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    I have never carried a spare mag... I carry my xd 45c with 10 +1. I guess I just hope that 11-45's would bail me out of ALMOST any situation that could possible arise short of a race riot or Government Coup.......If not I guess I'm be SOL.

    Maybe I should re-think it?
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  12. #11
    Member Array LiveLFF's Avatar
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    Before I even read about magazine failures ect, I decided I would carry an extra one.

    What if for some reason you have expended all of your ammunition in your one mag... Throw the gun at the BG like a superman movie?

    I think if you're carrying a gun already, the extra magazine shouldn't be too much more of an inconvenience, and could save a life(including yours).

  13. #12
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    I have always just based that on what I have read by Nonte & Hallock and various other assorted professional gunsmiths.
    They state that bad or defective mags are the #1 cause of semi-auto failure.

    I'm not sure where or how you would find any published statistics.

    #2 would be an improperly fit, tuned, and/or tensioned extractor.
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElMonoDelMar View Post
    I think people carry spares for the reason Thumper said.

    Plus if you have to drop the mag AND rack the slide to clear a jam it's just a lot easier and quicker to let the mag drop on the ground and pick another one off of your belt.
    I've watched a very helpful video on the subject. Tap, rack, fire. If that fails, quickly remove the mag, into your other hand, transfer to your firing hand, tap, rack again, reinsert mag, open fire. Make sure you have the mag in your possession at all times. Keeping your weapon aimed at your target the whole time.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Magazine related problems are probably one of the most prevalent problems with semi-autos, but the problems don't necessarily come from every magazine. By that I mean that cheap or damaged magazines cause otherwise reliable pistols to jam, while the use of quality magazines that are proven to work with the weapon will eliminate these failures. Case in point... my Colt Commander has been dead reliable with its stock magazines and Wilson 8 rounders for over 2000 rounds, but when I used Tripp Research Cobra mags it started having failures to feed. The magazines weren't necessarily bad or defective, they just didn't work with my gun. That's why magazines are considered the main point of failure on a semi-auto, because often malfunctions that appear to be the fault of the pistol are actually caused by the use of magazines that are out of spec or just poor quality.

    So actually you do have a good point. Because magazine related failures are caused by 'bad' magazines, carrying a spare for a known good magazine doesn't really make sense. If it has always fed reliably with that weapon there's no reason to believe it will suddenly stop. On the other hand, that exact thing does happen from time to time. I remember one post on this forum about a Glock magazine in which the spring broke while the weapon was loaded. The owner carried it for weeks before finding it was broken. It was essentially a one shot pistol due to that failure. Now that's a pretty rare occurrence, but so is the need to use your weapon in the first place. I don't want to play the odds so I prepare for all contingencies I can foresee and easily prevent. Carrying an extra mag falls under both categories.
    - Kurt
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    Member Array Zuki-doo's Avatar
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    Once I figured out the right kind of bullets, the only failures I have ever had have been because of mags. Keep in mind I'm using a gun I bought used and I've only put about 10,000 rounds through it in the year I've had it.

    Also, doing IDPA practice every week, I've seen a few failures that were not mag related (k-boom, broken extractor, etc.). But, after running over 100 people at a sanctioned match this weekend, the ONLY gun issues I saw were with magazines.

    I ALWAYS carry an extra.
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    This is my glock. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

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