Question of the Day: Why Does Anyone Need More Than Ten Rounds in an Ammunition Magazine?

“Relations between the King County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Corrections have been strained after a sheriff’s detective and a corrections officer reportedly shot a man about 16 times, severely wounding him during a joint operation that took an unexpected turn . . . The man who was shot, Dustin Theoharis, now 29, survived multiple wounds to his arms, legs, torso and jaw, including fractures that required a series of surgeries.” The story at seattletimes.com focuses on the righteousness (or lack thereof) of the shoot. For our purposes, the cops shot Theoharis sixteen times and he lived? Huh. The civilian disarmament folks want to limit your ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. Not trying to lead the conversation or anything, obviously, but why do law-abiding Americans need firearms that can hold more than ten rounds?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

106 Responses to Question of the Day: Why Does Anyone Need More Than Ten Rounds in an Ammunition Magazine?

  1. avatarWilliam says:

    Because they can have more than ten in theirs.

    • avatarSchizuki says:

      Bingo.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      This. +1

    • avatarpat says:

      With three determined home invaders, ten pops can go pretty quick in a stress situation. I would feel like a fool….a potentially DEAD fool….. if my Glock 22 went dry after round eleven (because of 10 round law and one in the chamber) and I had only taken out one or two of the three freaks. Yeah, I would kind of like those last five rounds that would have normally been in the handle instead of dead space when faced with that last home invader.
      Its ALWAYS the liberals.

  2. avatarLance says:

    Like I said it can take 15 hits to kill a attacker a woman shot a home intruder 6 times didn’t kill him. And if you have multiple bad guys may take more than 15.

  3. avatarCODude says:

    Because Meth and PCP exist

    • avatarChuckN says:

      Seconded.

    • avatarKris says:

      Friend of mine was charged by a 1,000 lb bull moose and put 5 rds of hornady critical defense into its chest and shoulders from his 40 Cal Glock. The animal diverted its charge and fell over dead.

      And yet, you could do the same to a tweeker and he’d keep coming. That’s why I need as many rds as possible.

      • avatarpat says:

        Kris: Not to mention, you could have THREE tweekers creeping about like freaking Zombies after your valuables…..or brains.

  4. avatarTim says:

    I will accept carrying only one round if the weapon is an RPG.

  5. avatarMark says:

    Bama don’t care; he’s got lifetime Secret Service now.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Didnt they overturn lifetime Secret Service? I though G.W was the last to get it?

      • avatarAM says:

        Now it “only” lasts for like 15-25 years.

        • avatarBrett says:

          No, Obama signed a new law today authorizing lifetime protection for all former and future presidents.

        • avatarWA_2A says:

          Good thing that Obama’s looking out for himself and making sure he’s safe. After all, the only way for him to be safe is to be surrounded by firearms, or rather, men carrying firearms.

          On the other hand, the same effect in a school or other public setting is a “disaster waiting to happen” because “more guns are not the solution.”

          In other words, we peasants/subjects of Obama’s empire do not deserve means to protect ourselves as our lives are too insignificant.

  6. avatarRoss says:

    Because I don’t like the number 10, that’s why

  7. avataramagi says:

    If this 10 round mag foolishness passes, I’m changing to a .45 caliber 1911 carry. Can’t hold more than 10+1 anyway.

    • avataramagi says:

      Not that it matters when I move to New Jersey, because I won’t be able to carry anyway.

      • avatarSammy says:

        I’d rethink the move to The People’s Republic of New Jersey, if possible.

      • avatarRoll says:

        Try Arizona! We dont put have to put up with that 10round-in-a-mag-bullsh!t unless you want to, your choice

      • avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Why on Xenu’s green earth would anyone move _to_ New Jersey? I’d have to be paid at least thrice as much to even consider it, and I’d STILL say no.

        • avatarAir Force TSgt says:

          I work in NJ and live in PA, there is no amount of money in the world that would make me live in that hell hole. Also cheaper to live in PA and they believe in the 2A there

  8. avatarGriff says:

    Since when are we a nation of need? No one needs corvettes or iPhones or incomes above minimum wage, either, right?
    Even if you never NEED a single-shot .22, and I sincerely hope you don’t, your RIGHT (as defined in the Federalist Papers and accepted as common legal knowledge until sometime around 1986) is to own arms commensurate with those of a US infantryman. In fact, in the 1930s there were arguments going on that we should ONLY be allowed to own military-issued weapons.
    The argument for NEED is absurd- even if we should argue what we do and don’t need, our forefathers explained that everyone NEEDS access to the tools of a basic soldier so that our government would be unable to get out of control.

    • avatarben says:

      Well said. We dont ‘need’ sports cars, but they sure are fun (unfortunately, they can kill people, too). I personally dont feel I ‘need’ a 30 round mag for my AK, but dont try to take it away from me, either. I want it, its fun, and Im a responsible, law abiding citizen. Now, quit wasting my tax dollars and try to come up with a law / plan that will actually impact the gun crime rates.

      • avatarKat says:

        Can’t cure stupid, can’t legislate crazy.
        Only thing that will impact gun crime rates is to reverse Gun Free Zones (AKA target rich environments)
        All this concern for “gun safety”by our dear leaders is a red herring for eliminating civilians from having guns.

        Ha! just got a pro Sling Shot from Cabelas for Christmas
        under the radar weapon.

      • avatarGriff says:

        Or, perhaps we should start repealing the ones that don’t work and let the systems normalize according to the original rules?
        By the way, why is ‘gun crime’ or ‘gun violence’ somehow more despicable than regular old crime and violence lately? Wasn’t it already illegal to murder people?

  9. avatarjwm says:

    Hell, can you find enought ammo to fill up a mag regardless of it’s capacity?

  10. avatarMatt in ATL says:

    Because I only want to carry around four ten round mags if that’s what I decide.

  11. avatarRalph says:

    First of all, the defender isn’t entitled to shoot the BG until he’s dead. The defender can shoot until the threat is over. Period. That might mean that the BG is dead, or that he’s incapacitated, or that he just doesn’t want to play anymore.

    Second of all, why does anyone need more than four cylinders in his or her car or seating for six when they have a family of four? Why does anyone need four bedrooms and five baths? Why does anyone need a German Shepherd Dog when a beagle makes just as much noise and sh!ts less? Why does anyone need to make $10 million a year? Why does Chris Christie need another Happy Meal?

    Need I go on?

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Ralph for sake of entertainment in these hard times… please go on lol

    • avatarNine says:

      Chris Christie, happy meal. Priceless.

      Why doesn’t he like guns? You’d need a .50 BMG to take him out.

      Same goes for Michael Moore.

    • avatarg says:

      Because if Chris Christie and Michael Moore didn’t have happy meals, they’d probably be eating… us.

      *shudder*

  12. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Because when I am under attack by an intruder, have been injured and am shaking from fear and andrenaline, the probability that I will be able to stop the threat goes down with reduced magazine capacity. Because, well, I’m far more likely to miss. Duh.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Because, well, I’m far more likely to miss. Duh.

      What are you, some kinda cop?

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        If I were, then I’d have full-capacity magazines and be trained to mag-dump every time my co-worker started shooting, wouldn’t I?

        No offense to the many fine LEOs I know online and offline. It’s just too hard not to ridicule incompetent cops for this sort of thing now that every little mistake is caught on video.

    • avatarcwp says:

      It’s kind of funny how some people can apparently believe that CCW holders are both too accurate to be need more than ten rounds and too wild to avoid being more of a danger to bystanders than bad guys. At the same time.

  13. avatarSammy says:

    What we need is a responsive government instead of a bunch of people hell bent on a NWO.

    • avatarBobtheGrape says:

      Sammy, NWO or no NWO your guv’mint does not give a fvck about you, to quote George Carlin, may he rest in peace.

  14. avatarNickS says:

    The question of what we “need” can only be answered by the individual. There cannot be an acceptance of a governmental or societal specification of what an individual “needs” when it comes to self defense. The whole concept is a red herring, and we need to move away from it. You’ll never convince the anti’s that we need firearms, period, much less magazines of various capacities. This question, which they will always raise, is designed specifically to win over the ignorant masses – those who likely don’t read this site, and likely don’t own a gun.

    We should work to frame the debate in our own terms, and push back – hard – against those who seek to put us off balance with meaningless questions about need. I’m really sort of sick and tired of the fact that we remain on the defensive when it comes to the language being used to shape the supposed conversation. This is *our* territory, and we’ve essentially let the opposition define its borders. The next time someone asks me why I need the firearms and accessories I have, I’m just going to laugh at them.

    In the end, what we really and truly need is a government that doesn’t tell us, through legislation or otherwise, what we need.

    /rant

  15. avatarmike says:

    Ask the same question again to someone who badly needs bullet #11 …..

  16. avatarEvan says:

    Random question that i have never found addressed. What if you firearm is belt fed? Does that mean you cant have 10 round belts?

    • avatarRalph says:

      Yes, you cannot have any “ammunition feeding device” that holds more than ten rounds. The phrase covers stick magazines, belts, drums, you name it.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Here in CA, if you owned a 100-round belt of ammo pre-ban, then it’s legal for you to possess and use, and you can “reload” it as much as you’d like. But if you add one more link and make it a 101-round belt, you’ve committed a felony under the “manufacturing” clause.

  17. avatargreat unknown says:

    And remember, LEOs are highly trained in firearm use [/sarc]. If a LEOs need about sixteen rounds, a typical incompetent citizen should need at least thirty.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      You beat me to the punch line!

    • avatarTaurus609 says:

      Hopefully I’ll say this correctly…..If most LEOs never fire their weapons in the line of duty throughout their whole career in law enforcement. And only a few ever “need” to fire their weapons at all, then why do they need more rounds in their magazines than the rest of us?

      • avatargreat unknown says:

        Maybe we should go all Piers Morgan and adopt the British model: only a handful of police are allowed to carry/use firearms. You think our local peace-loving “to serve and protect” police would support that?

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Because we don’t have the luxury of a partner right there, an AR or shotgun in the car or mass response to a call for assistance on our vest-mounted radio. Sarcasm off…..

  18. avatarDucky says:

    Because I am a free man and was born a free man, and my freedom means not having to ask the government for permission or having to display a need before I am allowed to own something.

  19. avatarsomeothername says:

    2 main reasons

    1) multiple attackers

    One recent example in the news, easily Googleable:
    Houston, Texas
    Ramon Castillo and Eva, his wife of 30 years, Jewelry Store owners face-off with three armed men who were going to tie them up and shoot them in the head. Four bullets pierced Castillo’s body six times because he had to run around getting different “low capacity” guns to fight back.
    Castillo’s condition was upgraded to fair Wednesday, and he is expected to recover fully. The family has set up a website to help with medical bills. Though “regular” capacity magazines in a “normal” capacity Glock could have benefited Mr. Castillo.

    2) Bad guys who do not know when to quit

    Just a couple examples:
    Babyface Nelson was shot 17 times before he killed the 2 agents that shot him, then he went home. (Only to die later that evening)

    Read the headline twice, think about it:
    Angel Alvarez, hit 23 times in Harlem shootout with cops, held without bail on weapons charges.

    Now, 3)
    it isn’t called a Bill of needs ….

    Why does anyone need a bus/car/boat that holds more than ten people?
    85 people reportedly injured after ferry crashes into New York pier and it was a repeat offender !!!!

  20. avatarBiofire says:

    About 6 months ago, 4 armed criminals dressed in black with ski masks burst into a neighbor’s home (~1 mile from my house) in the Oakland hills. They came in through the door and a window. These were hardened criminals. The couple had no defense, so you can guess what happened when the wife couldn’t remember the number to their safe. Fortunately, they were only tied up and beaten, but lived.

    Now I ask you. How will 10 rounds stop that?

  21. avataruncommon_sense says:

    Well the mom in Georgia the other day shot the home invader in her home 5 times without much immediate effect. That person plus the subject of this post simply show that handguns are quite often anemic at best.

  22. avatarGreg Camp says:

    These questions about need are asked for the benefit of undecided readers, no? On that basis, they’re worth it, even though the answers will be what you see above every time.

  23. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I remember a police shooting some 30 years ago in northwest NJ, where if I remember correctly, 3 or 4 officers emptied their weapons into a suspect who was firing at them. He got hit over 20 times and continued to shoot back until his own weapon was empty and then he surrendered. He was a HUGE guy well over 400 pounds and none of the hits in his torso penetrated deep enough through the fat to be life threatening. I remember the cops saying that they were a bit scared in that they could see their rounds hitting the guy and having no effect. The last thing I EVER want to see is a bad guy that I have just emptied my firearm into, still upright, in attack mode, still armed and now really angry with me for shooting him/her.

  24. avatarstateisevil says:

    Read details about 3D printing. It will be cheap to do within a decade, making mag bans even more pointless. I believe that many simple devices that are not made out of metal will be easily made in this way and a mag is pretty simple.

  25. avatarJimD says:

    I don’t need more then ten rounds, you know, until I do…..

  26. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    Because its easier to carry one Glock 22 than three S&W 66s.

  27. avatarThomas Paine says:

    nobody wants to know what the caliber was?

    i hate when they don’t report it.

    • avatarSaul Feldstein says:

      Most likely 40SW, but like the vast majority of LE these guys couldnt shoot for crap.

      • avatarrosignol says:

        Yup.

        I’ve shot at the Seattle PD range (non-cops who are sponsored by a current member can join. Or could, ~10 years ago).

        It is entirely credible that the officers discharged their weapons 16 times and the suspect lived. It is somewhat less credible that the officers discharged their weapons 16 times and got 16 hits.

  28. avatarcz82mak says:

    Why do I need to explain my law abiding self to panty wetting douche bugles?

    Since when are rights based on need?

  29. avatarDave says:

    I agree this “need” issue is a canard. On a statistical basis I won’t need even one cartridge for self-defense. But if I need that one, I will probably need as many as I can get. In other words, I’ll only need a high cap magazine when I need it!

  30. avatarDarkstar says:

    Because I frigging WANT those kinds of magazines!

    Why do you get a vehicle capable of speeds greater than 70 mph?
    Why do you get cable/satellite with more than basic channels?
    Why do you earn more money than you need for basics?

    Because you WANT to, it’s not illegal, and because it’s nobody’s (especially the governments) business anyway.

  31. avatarCrunkleross says:

    Magazines can be undependable, I would rather risk my life on the one standard capacity magazine I know absolutely works than several jiggered to hold 10 rounds and still fit my gun magazines.

  32. avatarLeo338 says:

    Because it’s the Bill of Rights, NOT the Bill of Needs!

  33. avatarAaronW says:

    Because I don’t want to be a felon for having one, or thought of as having criminal intent for wanting one.
    Cuomo promulgated a *seven* round limit in NYS. WTF… imagine someone who absent-mindedly grabs their eight-round 1911 magazine and goes to the range, and is caught with it for exceeding this ridiculous limit?

  34. avatarRopingdown says:

    I’m struck by the obvious, that gun owners are being squeezed between two distinct political forces. On one side sit the Generals and Mayors who think the citizenry (they prefer to call us ‘their population”) think we should be easy to crush if we ever get upset when they turn tyrannical (Japanese put in concentration camps, Kent State part-time soldiers start murdering students.). Apparently McChrystal is on that side. From the other side gun owners are pressed by the sympathetic left that feels so sorry for the poor gang kids increasingly out-gunned by the homeowners they attack. “It just isn’t fair, defenders having more rounds than the poor working burglar!” At this rate the nation could end up one big Chicago.

    • avatarSid says:

      Ropingdown,

      “Kent State part-time soldiers start murdering students.” You may want to read an actual report of that incident. Don’t just go off of what your draft-dodging history teacher spewed out. Actually, dig a little into it. Engage your mind. It may be a challenge at first, but you will get the hang of it evenutally.

      And then, you may want to retract this BS and not slander soldiers.

  35. avatarWhilemyTZgentlyweeps says:

    Why do I need more than 10 rounds?

    1) I shoot and miss the bad guy. I need to shoot some more.
    2) I shoot and hit the bad guy but he still has fight in him. I need to shoot some more.
    3) I shoot and hit. It works, but the bad guy has friends. I need to shoot some more.
    4) Any combination of the above.

  36. avatarGene says:

    As if I need to justify anything to anyone for things I legally do. In the interest of expanding and educating minds, livestock (expensive horses, cattle, goats, sheep, fowl) need protection on farms. Packs of coyotes/coydog may require more than 10 rounds of quick follow-up shots when you’re defending thousands of dollars worth of animals. Also consider MS13 doing farm raids knowing it might take 15+ minutes for a LE response, presuming you can call for help. Cell phones don’t always work in rural areas.

    Suburbanites and city folk generally can’t comprehend life “out there”.

  37. avatarRopingdown says:

    I plead the “FBI Miami Shootout.” Many of the agents involved hopped out of their cars with revolvers and got blown to bits. A year later they claimed they needed 10mm larger-capacity semi-automatics. I agree. Me to. For the same reasons.

  38. avatarHal says:

    when bad people are trying to kill you the situation does not necessarily conform itself to the size of your magazine. As such it is prudent to have as large a capacity as is practical. In other words conform the magazine capacity to life because life will not conform to magazine capacity!

  39. avatarRJOGuillory says:

    My “right” to own anything, especially in the area of “arms”… outweighs any “needs” that you may or may not think are acceptable…”shall not be infringed” ….none of your business ….fascists…..

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author-
    Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  40. avatarEl Cid says:

    Must say I am a fan of “Its not called a bill of needs”. Personally I need high capacity magazines so I can spend my precious range time shooting, not reloading.

  41. avatarThe Ozark Kid says:

    I dont know about you, but I live next to a cemetary, and when the Zombie’s
    come, I need high capacity mags.!!!

  42. avatarpat says:

    A ten round mag would hurt a home defender WAY more than it would hinder a would be spree killer. Spree killers calmly shoot and reload until somebody with a gun shows up, then they kill themselvs. Home defenders can run out of ten real quick under stress and it can be a challenge for even experienced people to quickly reload (and the criminals would have the ‘banned’ regular mags anyway).
    Stupid libtards

  43. avatarJoe says:

    There’s some misconception that 1 shot equals 1 kill in a DGU situation, that things go down perfectly when stuff hits the fan.

  44. avatarphilthegardner says:

    because i have a gun for sport and i soot at targets, not people and last i checked, i shot more than ten times. there are many non-evil uses for guns.

  45. avatarBobS says:

    This is not original to me but;

    There are three things you’ll never catch yourself saying in a gunfight:
    “I wish I had a smaller gun.”
    “I wish I had less ammunition.” (the ONLY time you have too much ammo is when you are on fire.)
    “I wish I hadn’t trained so much.”

  46. avatarLeigh C. says:

    (This applies to guns or anything for that matter)
    Why does a person have more than 10 pairs of socks, or underwear? Why? I’ll tell you why…because we live in a free society; because it’s nice to have extra if you run out; because I Futhermore, if its okay for people to hoard/collect – whatever you want to call it- crap like Beanie Babies or shoes, then it’s okay for a person to hoard/collect guns, ammo or whatever their little heart desires and can afford. Duh!

  47. avatarLeigh C. says:

    (This applies to guns or anything for that matter)
    Why does a person have more than 10 pairs of socks, or underwear? Why? I’ll tell you why…because we live in a free society; because it’s nice to have extra if you run out; because I want to. Futhermore, if its okay for people to hoard/collect – whatever you want to call it- crap like Beanie Babies or shoes, then it’s okay for a person to hoard/collect guns, ammo or whatever their little heart desires and can afford. Duh!

  48. avatarKimberly says:

    WAKE UP PEOPLE! Our freedom is slowly slipping away! THAT’S what it’s about! Controlling EVERYBODY & EVERYTHING…It’s not who needs more than 10 rounds of ammo! It’s about taking our rights! For God’s sake wake up! Criminals WILL get what LAW ABIDING citizens will not! DUH

  49. avatarBrett says:

    Maybe i should only carry 10 rounds to be fair to the numbnutts in my house

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