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What is the minimum capacity for concealed carry handgun? Some are happy with a five shot wheel gun, others want a 1911 with one extra magazine but most seem to favor high capacity handguns and feel under gunned with anything else. I am talking about a civilian, not a LEO or military and I am talking about someone who carries daily for self, family and home defense. I have looked and read everything I can find and I have not seen anywhere where a civilian following legal rules of engagement for defense has run out of ammunition or even where someone had to reload. Yet I have found many “experts say the high capacity is necessary. Is five rounds enough? Eight? Fifteen?
 

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It's a matter of personal preference. My G21 holds 13+1 and I have recently added a spare 13-round mag. So I used to think 14 was "enough" but now have 27 rounds handy.

A common reason expressed for carrying an extra magazine is to quickly replace a problem magazine rather than expecting to fire many rounds in a protracted gun battle...
 

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Personal preferance ive carried everything from 6-18 rounds normally i carry a 1911 with 8 in the mag and 1 in the pipe
 

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I carry a 9mm Taurus, 10 + 1 in the chamber with a spare mag of 10, although I doubt that the second mag will ever be needed. Same rule applies to the second mag as applies to the gun in the first place, better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. My carry rig has the pouch for the spare mag, so I carry one.
 

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Depends on the gun I am carrying . 9mm 15 round mag. beretta 40 10 rounds one in chamber Beretta 45 6 round mag and an 8 round mag. Most kaltec's have 7 round mags. It just depends on the person. merlin45k out
 

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Get ready for a lot of divergent answers on this one.

It is true, and I will eternally concede the point, we have no idea what the heck is going to happen to us.

It is true we could have more than one opponent.

It is true I have never been in a firefight.

It is true a lot of "experts" have never been in a firefight either.

However, we know a lot of general things tend to creep up. Most defensive shootings occur at extremely short distances, in bad lightning conditions, and are over in five shots or less.

Most. I repeat. Most.

Gabe Suarez says in one of his books that if 80% of shootings occur within that short distance, then over 80% of your training should focus on that distance as well. Why? It's the most likely and most deadly scenario with the fewest "outs".

The FBI reports are where the five or six shot figure comes from, and it's also from them that we learn that people who fire high volumes of ammunition are generally ineffective in a gunfight because the reason they fire so much is they just can't get a good shot. If we know most fights are over that quick, then we should focus less on capacity and more on getting the shot on target.

The way I figure it, even if I am in some scenario constructed for the benefit of a 15+ capacity handgun, if there's multiple opponents, it doesn't matter if they're unarmed because we know from the Tueller drill that people can close the gap awful quick. Cardboard doesn't move, and it doesn't fire back.

Ever played paintball or laser tag? Sure sometimes you can come out on top, but if you don't make those first few crucial shots, you're not going to.

If it's only the first few shots that really matter regardless of situation... see where I'm going with this?

That said, it makes some people feel better. I don't mean that in a belittling way at all. I carry .40 S&W instead of 9x19 because it makes me feel better.

To me, factors like:

#1. Do I trust this gun?
#2. Will I carry this gun?
#3. Will I practice with this gun?
#4. Do I feel confident with this gun?

All trump capacity. If the only thing I felt like I could use under stress was a J frame with a 5 shot capacity, that's what I'd carry.

Now it has been pointed out to me that I carry what some consider a high capacity magazine with its 12 round capacity. Well okay it's a little bit of a perk, but to me it's just a slight bonus and not some huge deal. It could hold 6 or 7 and I'd feel fine about it.

It's that old saying about revolvers... "If you can't get it done in the first six, what makes you think another six are going to make a difference?"

My personal threshold... 5. I want five. Must have five.
 

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minimun is 1. Anything less and your gun is a paperweight. I carry atleast 10+1 unless I and carrying my BUG only.
 

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I carry 15+1 in my XD9. I carry this everywhere to protect myself as well as my friends and family. I feel confident with that capacity, although I totally agree with Euclidean that shot placement is paramount. It is also my main defense for home, although I have an AR-15 with a few ( :wink: ) 30 rounders loaded up for that crazy SHTF scenario.
 

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5 is the bare minimun for me in my J frame, I seldom carry more than 10 which is when I carry my Glock 27, although I do carry spare mags and ammo in my vehicle.
 

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Ok, friends let me drag this horse out of the bag again because it's my turn to ride it. I love my 1911 Milspec. The platform is battle tested and is currently in the field with Special Units, but this does not mean that it is right for me as civilian. Specifically, when you consider concealment, everyday natural movement and your environment and sense of fear, you may decide that it works for you.

However, I will sometimes carry the ol' slab sides, but I don't feel like I am concealing it well although my combo is good. I feel as civilians we should maintain the element of surprise because once the BG sees that
little Smith come out screaming like a mad dril instructor, he will either
run or return fire. I will at that movement be on the move anyway. Long story short, decide what works for you and commit to practice and you will be fine. Last with a Revolver, you can have things happend but they are few far and between if you have the right ammo and it is clean. I very confident in my Speer Gold Dots and my little is wiped down every day and I check under the ejection star. :cool:
 

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I never actually felp ''deprived'' with my SP-101 and the meager five shots. Speedloader was present but heck - no way to know if that could be employed.

I have tho felt much better with the SIG 226 carrying 15+1 of +P GD's. Suits me well and I am good with the gun - well mustn't get egocentric here - I am well competent let's say :wink:

That gun tho is irking me with some problems so - time to make a temprary change.

I was going to (and still might) substitute the 220 but again I want just a shade more capacity. So for right now - and as I had a suitable rig - have decided to pack SW99 - with 10 round mags I am still 10+1 and that suits well - plus this lil' gun shoots beatifully.
 

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8+1 Delta, 7+1 Bersa, 5 shot S&W revolver...I'm comfortable with any of them for daily carry. The S&W I don't carry that often...the others I have 3 mags each.
I don't own any higher capacity handguns...yet. :wink:
When I do I'll probably carry them if they fit the requirements...but to be honest I think of high caps as being a convenience for the range so I don't have to reload mags as often. :tongue:
 

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Well, until I can get out to Bumper's and retrieve my Nighthawk and new Tucker rig (he won't even send me a pic!), I carry my Kimber with 8rd mag, I keep spare 8rd mag in the truck when I'm out of it. I too agree with Euc on well placed shots, I've not had the misfortune of having to use my gun for defense, but agree that likely scenario is going to be one or two opponents. Having said that, I also think about situations where I might find myself in let's say, a not so nice part of town where there is a likelihood of encountering gangs. No, I don't normally cruise thru those areas, but given traffic jams and any number of other valid reasons, I might just wind up there at the wrong time. Having more than 8 rds gives me a bit more comfort. :redface:
 

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I have either my HK USP45 with 12 in the mag and 1 in the pipe, and 2, 12 round mags. Or, 1 extra 12 round mag and a flashlight in the light/mag pouch
 

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Scott F said:
I have looked and read everything I can find and I have not seen anywhere where a civilian following legal rules of engagement for defense has run out of ammunition or even where someone had to reload.
That's something not normally reported. Either it's a good shoot or it's not, whether you've fired once or eighteen hundred times.

Running out of ammo is relatively common - some folks will fire until slide lock. I recall a pizza delivery guy a year or so back that did.
 

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He went to slidelock because he only had 8 shots. :)

I replied to Scott's question on another board, but having read the responses here, I wanted to comment on a thing or two.

The point of the Tueller drill is a good one. The thing to remember is that people don't usually fall down dead when shot unless you hit CNS which is very unlikely on a moving target.

What will increase your chances of stopping those BG's closing in on you that you made a well placed shot on, but they are still coming?

How about more rounds? You can't "shoot him to the ground" with an empty gun and you can't make a mag chance fast enough.

Rules to live or die by:
1. You can not out draw a drawn gun.
2. You can not reload faster than I can pull the trigger on my half empty hi-cap gun.
 

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oregonshooter said:
He went to slidelock because he only had 8 shots. :)
Nope, was in excess of 12 - one of the hi-cap Ruger P-series if I recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you all for the input and thank you Jim twice. I have taken in ALL that was said and I am pondering and sorting the information.
 
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