Why 33 rounds makes sense in a defensive weapon

Big Don

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[SIZE=+2]Why 33 rounds makes sense in a defensive weapon[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] By Stephen Hunter
Sunday, February 6, 2011; The Washington Post EXCERPT:
[/SIZE]

Sleek, its lines rakishly tilted to boost the ergonomics that index grip placement to barrel, this automatic pistol has but one function: to eliminate human beings easily. That sinister intent is expressed most eloquently in the extended magazine that reaches far beneath the pistol grip, easily tripling the amount of ammunition available to the killer.
It's the Colt Super .38 automatic pistol, customized into a machine pistol by an underworld gunsmith so that Babyface Nelson could use it to kill an FBI agent outside Little Bohemia, Wis., in 1934. Maybe you saw the movie.
Even if you didn't, you can still see the point: There's nothing really new when it comes to guns. To the contrary, the extended magazine that Jared Loughner allegedly carried in his Glock 19 the day he is accused of having fatally shot six people outside Tucson and wounding 13 others, and that President Obama is likely to suggest banning in an upcoming speech, may be traced way back.
<<<SNIP>>>
The Texas Ranger Frank Hamer carried a Remington Model 8 with an extended magazine in his hunt for Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. The Thompson submachine gun of World War II and the M-16 of Vietnam were improved by extending their magazine from 20 to 30 rounds. In 1957, the U.S. Army adopted the M-14 rifle, which was hardly more than an M-1 Garand rifle with an extended magazine. And who wouldn't want our soldiers, Marines and law officers to benefit from extended magazines?
Guns were the software of the 19th century; the most dynamic age of development was roughly 1870 to 1900, when the modern forms were perfected. Two primary operating systems emerged for handguns: the revolver, usually holding six cartridges and manipulated by the muscle energy of the hand, and the semiautomatic, harnessing the explosively released energy of the burning powder to cock and reload itself. Since then, design and engineering improvements have been not to lethality but to ease of maintenance and manufacture, or weight reduction.

<<<SNIP>>>

What nobody has been able to improve on since the 1870s is the cartridge. It is an extraordinary mechanism that safely stores volatile chemical energy until needed. It is cheap to manufacture, easy to transport and largely impervious to the elements.
What's often lost amid activists' carping is that the effect of the notorious extended magazine does little to improve the pistol's lethality except in extraordinary circumstances, such as Tucson. Neither Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech mass murderer, nor the alleged Fort Hood killer used extended magazines in their rampages. America's first gun mass murder, when Howard Unruh killed 13 people in 1949, was committed with a Luger.
In fact, the extended magazine actually vitiates the pistol's usefulness as a weapon for most needs, legitimate or illegitimate. The magazine destroys the pistol's essence; it is no longer concealable. Loughner allegedly wrapped the clumsy package in a coat for a short distance, but he could not have worn it in a belt or concealed it for an extended period. It had really ceased to be a pistol.
That's why extended magazines are rarely featured in crime - and that awkwardness spells out the magazine's primary legitimate usage. It may have some utility for competitive shooting by cutting down on reloading time, or for tactical police officers on raids, but for those who are not hard-core gun folks it's an ideal solution for home defense, which is probably why hundreds of thousands of Glocks have been sold in this country.
<<<SNIP>>>
Yes, they can use semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, protected by the Second Amendment and unlikely to be banned by local law, but women generally don't care to put in the training needed to master them. Nor can the elderly handle them adeptly.
For them, the Glock with a 33-round magazine is the weapon of maximum utility. You can load it on Sunday and shoot it all month. (Nobody wants to reload a gun while being shot at.) It's light and easy to control. You don't have to carry it or conceal it; it's under the bed or in the drawer until needed. When the question arises of who needs an extended magazine, the answer is: the most defenseless of the defenseless.
Those who would ban extended magazines, will say that although hundreds of thousands are in circulation and thousands more will surely be sold before a ban is enacted, it will be worth it if it saves just one life. But the other half of that question must be asked, too: Is it worth it if it costs just one life?

END EXCERPT
Anyone can drop a magazine and insert a fresh one quickly with very little practice. It just isn't rocket science and doesn't really require the dexterity that brain surgery does...
 

granfire

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OK, what am I reading?

The article does not make a lot of sense.

What does the Thompson have to do with 'The Killer' sticking an oversized mag into his pistol?

Somehow I am reading a sarcastic undercurrent...Armed Forces and Police is not on the same plane as a private shooter....

I do appreciate a larger magazine, if only for the reason that those things are a PITA to load. However, I do believe with little training anybody with normal apptitude can change a mag in a couple of seconds, without looking...


(and having said that, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why a private person needs a magazine that holds more than - what's the current size - 13 or so bullets. If you need more in SD, you went wrong a long time before that, and at the range you have the time to reload...)
 
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Big Don

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(and having said that, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why a private person needs a magazine that holds more than - what's the current size - 13 or so bullets. If you need more in SD, you went wrong a long time before that, and at the range you have the time to reload...)
Unless, you are scared/It is dark/there are more than one bad guys/you aren't Deadeye Dick or Annie Oakley personified/One round doesn't stop him/them/etc, etc.
 

granfire

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Unless, you are scared/It is dark/there are more than one bad guys/you aren't Deadeye Dick or Annie Oakley personified/One round doesn't stop him/them/etc, etc.


Like i said, you took the wrong turn long before Albuquerque on that one....

Considering that more than one person equally armed have a far greater chance to turn me into the human version of Swiss cheese in that scenario...Nike-Do might be the better SD Art...
 

billc

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Unless the bad guys count your shots, and at the 13th they charge you. At that point, the extended magazine will give them a little surprise. As long as you are not a criminal you could have a 4 ft. long magazine, with 100 rounds of ammo or more, what is the problem?
 

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What nobody has been able to improve on since the 1870s is the cartridge. It is an extraordinary mechanism that safely stores volatile chemical energy until needed. It is cheap to manufacture, easy to transport and largely impervious to the elements.
What's often lost amid activists' carping is that the effect of the notorious extended magazine does little to improve the pistol's lethality except in extraordinary circumstances, such as Tucson. Neither Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech mass murderer, nor the alleged Fort Hood killer used extended magazines in their rampages. America's first gun mass murder, when Howard Unruh killed 13 people in 1949, was committed with a Luger.
In fact, the extended magazine actually vitiates the pistol's usefulness as a weapon for most needs, legitimate or illegitimate. The magazine destroys the pistol's essence; it is no longer concealable. Loughner allegedly wrapped the clumsy package in a coat for a short distance, but he could not have worn it in a belt or concealed it for an extended period. It had really ceased to be a pistol.
That's why extended magazines are rarely featured in crime - and that awkwardness spells out the magazine's primary legitimate usage. It may have some utility for competitive shooting by cutting down on reloading time, or for tactical police officers on raids, but for those who are not hard-core gun folks it's an ideal solution for home defense, which is probably why hundreds of thousands of Glocks have been sold in this country.

The bolded point is not actually true. Ironically, I had a de-brief regarding the Fort Hood shooting two weeks ago. One of the points brought up was that Hasan bought and used a FN 5.7 pistol. This pistol comes stock with 20 round magazines (magazines over 10 rounds are legal in Texas). Now admittedly, these are not extended magazines. However, when he bought these magazines, he had the on-site gunsmith install a 10 round extension to each one, making the magazine capacity 30 rounds. When he engaged in his shooting, Hasan had 10, 30 round magazines on him.

It is believed that Hasan brought the gun and magazine onto the base (soldiers are not allowed to have unauthorized firearms anywhere on base, including personally owned ones) by secreting it in his medical work bag.

Extended magazines actually make perfect sense for criminal activities, but it depends on what type of criminal enterprise you are engaged in. If you are engaged in street level crime of opportunity, then having a weapon that is concealable makes perfect sense. If you are going on a mass shooting spree of an open target, it makes perfect sense to have as large of a capacity magazine as possible.
 

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(and having said that, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why a private person needs a magazine that holds more than - what's the current size - 13 or so bullets. If you need more in SD, you went wrong a long time before that, and at the range you have the time to reload...)

It depends on the nature of the threat that you believe that you are likely to encounter. I, for one, do not limit that threat to a common street thug, but also to mass murderers with fully automatic weapons where fire and movement may be a neccesity, and to an oppressive government bent on illegitimately taking away my freedom and rights.

But to each their own.
 

MA-Caver

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It's not how many rounds you have in your mag... it's how many rounds you can put into your opponent.

If done right... one shot is all you'll need.


...err for each opponent you face. :rolleyes:
 

granfire

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Unless the bad guys count your shots, and at the 13th they charge you. At that point, the extended magazine will give them a little surprise. As long as you are not a criminal you could have a 4 ft. long magazine, with 100 rounds of ammo or more, what is the problem?

:lfao:

You watch too many bad movies!

Though, 'Magnum Force' is a classic.
 

granfire

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It depends on the nature of the threat that you believe that you are likely to encounter. I, for one, do not limit that threat to a common street thug, but also to mass murderers with fully automatic weapons where fire and movement may be a neccesity, and to an oppressive government bent on illegitimately taking away my freedom and rights.

But to each their own.


If you find yourself in that situation you have set the events in motion long before that.

Which is exactly my point, thank you very much: You find yourself in a mass shoot out you really made some bad choices along the way.
 
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Big Don

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It's not how many rounds you have in your mag... it's how many rounds you can put into your opponent.

If done right... one shot is all you'll need.


...err for each opponent you face. :rolleyes:
Or, one shot in their faces...
 

Cryozombie

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If you find yourself in that situation you have set the events in motion long before that.

Which is exactly my point, thank you very much: You find yourself in a mass shoot out you really made some bad choices along the way.

I disagree. It isn't uncommon for 4-6 'bangers to participate in a home invasion. What was the bad choice there?

Also, my FWIW, my range charges by the hour. The time it takes to reload mags at the range could be better spent shooting, unless you want to A) Shoot Less, B) Shoot faster, C) Buy and extra hour.

Lets face it... there is no Legitimate reason a Law Abiding citizen should not have access to extended magazines EXCEPT to placate the fears of people. I'm also gonna tell you in no uncertain terms, If I were going to go on a criminal killing spree, I would care less what the law says about Hi Cap mags, (after all, Im already ignoring what it says about killing) and I'm gonna get Hi Cap mags. Maybe it takes longer, or costs more, but if my purpose is set... you are ****ed either way.

Although to be fair, if I ever do snap and go on a killing spree, I intend to do it with a teddy bear full of bricks, so I can sit back in prison and watch the Libs scream and whine about how we need to ban Plushies and Bricks... *rolls eyes*
 

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If you find yourself in that situation you have set the events in motion long before that.

Which is exactly my point, thank you very much: You find yourself in a mass shoot out you really made some bad choices along the way.


Yes but while some of those bad choices are avoidable, the alternative isn`t always appealing. Some of those "bad choices" might include 1) living long enough to grow too feeble to dive out a window and run away, 2) living with an invalid or a child whom you`re not prepared to abandon, 3)living in an area where the police response time is slower, 4) having a business where large amounts of cash change hands, 5) owning a drugstore, jewelry store, gun store, or other business with valuable easily transportable products, 6) dating someone before you find that they`re psycho, 7) dating someone before you find out their ex is a psycho. I could continue, but I think you get the point. Sometimes the tactical decisions we make aren`t the best, but they`re the only ones available to us at the time.

I remember reading a few years ago about a gunstore owner whose place was being robbed by a gang of drug dealers. He was able to hold off 8 armed menn in a protracted gun fight for 15-20 minutes until the police arrived (rural area) because he owned a full auto weapon with several high capacity magazines.You could argue that by deciding to have that business he made a big mistake. Or by living in a rural community he had commited a grave error. Personally I preffer to think that when the drug dealers decided to try to make a living by lawbreaking and violence, the error was thiers.
 

jetboatdeath

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This is the dumbest post I have seen in a long time.
It matters not how many rounds you have .. I have thousands in my garage (rough number) sitting there doing what ammo does..nothing, until I load it up and shoot it.

See that? I as in me?
Until I take that ammo and do something bad with it, be it in a single shot rifle, or an auto loading pistol big deal..
I could do a lot more damage with my single shot target rifle and a bell tower than this guy did with his evil 30 round mags but I dont and will not because I AM NOT NUTS!!!
Should accurate firearms now be banned? Single shot rifles maybe?
It is not the magazine, the number of rounds, the caliber, it is the wacked out guy at the trigger.

Why does your car go over 70 mph? (I think 55 is fast enough)
Why is your internet connection 1.4 mbps? (way to fast 56k is good enough)
Why is you fuel tank over 5 gallons? (There is always a gas station within 100 miles)
Hits a little closer to home when it starts applying to your interests..


This **** is stupid..
Dear God just think they make 50 round drums for the AK and we are worried about 30 9mm..
 

granfire

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Yes but while some of those bad choices are avoidable, the alternative isn`t always appealing. Some of those "bad choices" might include 1) living long enough to grow too feeble to dive out a window and run away, 2) living with an invalid or a child whom you`re not prepared to abandon, 3)living in an area where the police response time is slower, 4) having a business where large amounts of cash change hands, 5) owning a drugstore, jewelry store, gun store, or other business with valuable easily transportable products, 6) dating someone before you find that they`re psycho, 7) dating someone before you find out their ex is a psycho. I could continue, but I think you get the point. Sometimes the tactical decisions we make aren`t the best, but they`re the only ones available to us at the time.

I remember reading a few years ago about a gunstore owner whose place was being robbed by a gang of drug dealers. He was able to hold off 8 armed menn in a protracted gun fight for 15-20 minutes until the police arrived (rural area) because he owned a full auto weapon with several high capacity magazines.You could argue that by deciding to have that business he made a big mistake. Or by living in a rural community he had commited a grave error. Personally I preffer to think that when the drug dealers decided to try to make a living by lawbreaking and violence, the error was thiers.


And you watched too much 'Gun Smoke'

Unless you live in Tijuana, those scenarios are the stuff cheap Hollywood movies are made of.
 

David43515

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I know that back home in the US lots of crimes are commited each year by people with cars. There are very fast sports cars that can go double the max speed limit on the highway. Who needs to drive faster than 65 mph? (Uhm, Sammy Hagar?) There are "high capacity" vans that can carry lots of extra passengers who are potential crimminals. Who really needs more than 5-6 seats? I know police officers who`ve lost 4x4s they were pursuing when the driver went cross country.Who needs a car they can sneak around off road with? It`s all very suspicious.....and yet no one suggests banning cars even though they`re used as weapons, for get-aways, and as burglar tools. Do you suppose that`s because we know that the vast majority of the owners of these dangerous machines are honest and law abiding? Is it because we have a right to own and use our property as we see fit so long as we don`t harm others? Or do you suppose it`s just because they generate so much tax revenue for the state?
 

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If you find yourself in that situation you have set the events in motion long before that.

Which is exactly my point, thank you very much: You find yourself in a mass shoot out you really made some bad choices along the way.

You mean like deciding to go to school (Columbine, Virginia Tech, University of Texas) or work (Edmond, OK postal shooting) or going to eat (San Ysidro McDonald's Massacre, Luby's Massacre)?
 

5-0 Kenpo

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Also, my FWIW, my range charges by the hour. The time it takes to reload mags at the range could be better spent shooting, unless you want to A) Shoot Less, B) Shoot faster, C) Buy and extra hour.

When asked by the gun store owner as to why Hasan would need so many magazines, and extended ones as well, his answer was similar.

Hasan stated that he could only use the base range one day per week for an hour. So he didn't want to spend his time reloading at the range and would use his time the night before to load all of his magazines.

Not saying that you're going to be a mass murderer....
 

5-0 Kenpo

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And you watched too much 'Gun Smoke'

Unless you live in Tijuana, those scenarios are the stuff cheap Hollywood movies are made of.

It happens more often then you think.

Besides, even if it didn't, you said that there is no reason for a civilian to have a high-cap magazine, which is usually defined as a magazine capacity over 10 round. It is not unusual for said civilian to run out of a single magazine of ammunition during a SD situation. Perhaps if they had 1, 5, or 7 more, they might actually be a little safer.
 

Cryozombie

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When asked by the gun store owner as to why Hasan would need so many magazines, and extended ones as well, his answer was similar.

Hasan stated that he could only use the base range one day per week for an hour. So he didn't want to spend his time reloading at the range and would use his time the night before to load all of his magazines.

Not saying that you're going to be a mass murderer....

Yeah, I haven't gone to Build a Bear yet and asked for the extended Brick model.

I wasn't aware that was his reasoning, but it is legitimate.
 
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