What Is Wrong With Having a Gun With a Magazine Disconnect?

This is a discussion on What Is Wrong With Having a Gun With a Magazine Disconnect? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A lot has been said recently, specifically with the premiere of the new Ruger LC9 about the gun having a magazine disconnect is a deal ...

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Thread: What Is Wrong With Having a Gun With a Magazine Disconnect?

  1. #1
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    What Is Wrong With Having a Gun With a Magazine Disconnect?

    A lot has been said recently, specifically with the premiere of the new Ruger LC9 about the gun having a magazine disconnect is a deal breaker. Why? Is the magazine disconnect really a bad feature? Is it not in fact, often a life saving feature?

    Consider the fact that for decades, a large percentage of officers killed in the line of duty, are officers killed with their own gun after they were successfully disarmed during a gun grab situation. Whether the gun was snatched from their holster, or from their hands during a contact distance struggle, the end result was that they were immediately shot with their own gun once the suspect got control of it.

    Many officers who survived being disarmed can attribute their survival to the fact that during the struggle for their gun, they managed to drop the magazine before the person wrestled the gun away from them, and thus prevented them from being murdered with the one bullet left in the chamber when the gun was turned against them. That is, those who have a gun with a magazine disconnect feature.

    Many of those officers were then able to go for their back-up gun and then regain control of the situation. Others were able to subdue the person by other means. But the magazine disconnect allowed them to avoid being killed immediately after losing control of the gun when they were able to eject the magazine, thus allowing them time to go to other options.

    Because of high incidence of officers killed with their own guns, today more and more officers are now trained in effective handgun retention techniques. However, a large population of officers still are either not trained in handgun retention, or are not very adept at their gun retention skills.

    Okay, that speaks for police officers, but what about citizens who are ccw holders and carry a gun everyday? Or those who carry part time, when the mood suits them?

    Consider the fact that statistics clearly show that most gunfights, civilian and LEO's alike take place within 5-7 feet. We can split hairs over the exact distance, as I don't have the stats right in front of me right now, but suffice it to say, up close and personal. And a great deal of shootouts occur at arms length, within 2-3 feet.

    Many civilian gun carriers have never even heard of handgun retention, let alone been trained, or are adept at performing retention skills. If you carry a gun, you should ask yourself, "Is the possibility more likely that you may be involved in a struggle over your weapon during the midst of what will likely be your one and only deadly encounter? Or, is it more likely that you will be trying to reload your gun when the bad guy tries to overtake you, and forces you to fire that last bullet in the pipe while your magazine is out of your gun?" If you think the latter is the most likely situation, do you really think that in the overwhelming stress of the situation, you are really going to have one left in the pipe? Or, because of the startle effect of the whole situation, will you be pulling the trigger 4 or 5 times before you even realize your gun has run dry and the slide is locked back.

    Sure a case can be made for being in the unique situation of needing to fire that one one bullet left in the pipe while the magazine is out of the gun during a reload. But, what is the real likelihood of that being the case as opposed to being in the middle of a struggle over possession of your gun?

    Is a gun with a magazine disconnect really a deal breaker? Any thoughts on that?
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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  3. #2
    kpw
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    I guess it would depend on your point of view. If it saves a life, it's a good thing. If it costs a life, it's not. I recently read an article in CH about an LEO that was attacked by a guy with a bat. When he drew his duty weapon, he inadvertently dropped the mag in the scuffle. If he hadn't been able to access his BUG, he might not have survived. Pros and cons to everything.
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    Senior Member Array Chevyguy85's Avatar
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    No it isn't a deal breaker. In the case of the newer Rugers the disconnect takes 5-10 minutes to remove and then I don't have to worry about it. The reason I don't like having them in there is that w/ my p345 dry firing w/o the mag messes the gun up. Yes it says that right in the manual and yes I read it but when doing IDPA they require you to dry fire w/o a mag in. After a few matches I started to have strike issues w/ my gun so it had to go back for repairs. Is it a good feature? Sure just like anything else though it is all personal preference. Personally I don't like them and I removed them from my 3 Rugers that had them. One thing I do hate and can't do much about is the stupid loaded chamber indicator :(

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    It depends on the quality of the engineering that went into the design of the magazine disconnect. I have three S&W third generation pistols with the mag. safety and have never considered removing it because it works well and causes no incidental problems. I also recently bought a Ruger P345 and immediately removed the mag. safety. With Ruger's design, the empty magazines would not drop freely from the gun, also, dry firing the gun without a magazine in it could cause damage to the firing pin resulting in what is referred to as "CLICK...NO BANG".

    Personally, I like the idea of a magazine safety, but it MUST be properly designed.
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    I can't remember ever owning a gun with a magazine disconnect, unless it was my S&W 459 years ago. And to tell the truth, I don't remember if it had one or not as I was pretty new to guns back then.

    I was mainly curious as to all the displeasure with them. I definitely see the benefit of them having learned about them in handgun retention classes and street survival seminars but never really heard a lot of negatives about them until here on this forum.

    I can understand Chevyguy85's issue with his P345 and being required to dry fire w/o mag in competitions.

    Thanks for the replies.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    I don't think they are an advantage. I'm sort of neutral about them myself. I won't buy a gun just because it has one, I won't not buy it because it has one. I do own both.

    If I'm ever in a gunfight, I figure I'll be too busy peeing in my pants to worry about rather I can shoot during a reload. I'll be shooting to slide lock. Then I'll worry about reloading.
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    In the case of the newer Rugers the disconnect takes 5-10 minutes to remove
    Much more like 5 minutes (or less). Removing the disconnect safety is trivially simple. So it can't be considered a "deal breaker" because Ruger apparently designed the gun such that you can easily take it out if you like.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    JD
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    An officer my dad worked had a gun with a magazine disconnect, during the course of his shift, the mag release was hit and the mag was just a hair from fully seated. Later he was rushed with a knife, had enough time to draw, aim, and attempt to fire. He got knifed, he lived but after that the dept thought twice about the mag disconnect.

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    I have them on my S&W 22A,and GSG 1911 22,both are 22 LR range guns,I don't have any mag disconnects on any pistols I carry,there are times I have inadvertently hit the mag release and only later discovered the mag wasn't fully seated.The last thing I ever wanta remember is why isn't it going bang when I'm pulling the trigger
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    My S&W 4006 has one. It doesn't bother me, but post #3 is spot on. Forget about dry firing it.
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    The only gun with a disconnect that bothers me is an HP. It really impacts the trigger pull quality and is a pain to fix. Other than that, none of my 1911's, Glock's or revolvers bother me. The others are range guns.
    "Being PARANOID is just plain smart thinking when they are really out to get you!"

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    Good question, Bark'n. It's one of two things I see brought up here once in a while that I've been wondering about.

    I was taught, albeit a long time ago, to shoot until empty, then reload. Unless... you have a momentary pause in the action and the opportunity to reload, meaning you are relatively safe to do so. In that case put in a fresh mag regardless of how many shots you think you fired.
    I imagine it's possible to be rushed during that brief interlude, that maybe you aren't as secure as you thought you were, but how long does it really take to reload. I'm going to play the odds and say that if I think I have time to put in a fresh mag without emptying the first, I can do so before being rushed. I'm calling the mag disconnect a non-factor in this scenario.

    And assuming I have my finger on the trigger as a BG grabs my pistol, or can get it there quickly, I can't say that I would rather drop the mag (assuming I can move my thumb) and give up the option of me being able to shoot during the struggle. I'd like to hear some thoughts on this. Do I really want to make the weapon inoperable to both of us?

    I'm calling the disconnect in my case a non-factor if I want the gun.

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    Makes no difference to me either way. My Glock doesn't have one; my 4566 does. I figure the odds of me having to shoot either with the mag removed are slightly less than me being hit by an asteroid at high noon while taking a shower. Getting struck by lightning is a bigger concern here in FL.

    Anyone can throw all the ifs they want into any potential situation, but reality eliminates 99.99% of them. And then, nothing is 100% guarenteed in any case, disconnect or not (except death).
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    Thanks for bringing this up, have a new SR9c and have been thinking about the pros & cons as well.

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    I think everyone else pretty much nailed it. The only thing I will add is that it is just one more thing to break or otherwise go wrong. I appreciate the mechanical simplicity of Glocks - the less to go wrong, the better, as far as I am concerned.

    Safety devices on guns are double edged swords - under some circumstances, they can save you...in other circumstances, they can bite you. My default is to keep it simple, with the understanding that I have less margin for error and must retain control over my weapon and treat it with the respect a deadly weapon deserves.
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