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If and when the average gun owner lets loose the dogs of war, they’ll have no idea how many shots they’ve fired. If pushed, they’ll underestimate the number of projectiles they’ve unleashed. Savvy gun gurus tell their students in no uncertain terms: don’t be pushed. Refuse to answer the police when they [invariably] ask you for the number of shots fired. If you say “three or four” and it turns out to be ten or twelve, you sound like you’re lying; trying to cover-up for unnecessary deadly force or an unnecessary amount of deadly force. The difference between three and twelve shots can be two seconds trigger time. All of which leads me to count the MagCount out . . .

Here’s the press release makes the pitch that I’m not catching:

Whether soldier, police officer or self-defense shooter, everyone using a firearm has an urgent need to track their ammunition, an advantage that can make a life or death difference in action. MagCount aims to offer the modern shooter the best possible information about his status in the field. MagCount technology measures the current load in any magazine hundreds of times each second, providing high-tech functionality even to weapons hundreds of years old.

MagCount replaces the bottom plate of any magazine and makes no changes to the firearm. It accurately counts and displays the number of rounds in the magazine – even when the magazine isn’t in the firearm. Through vibration or sound, it also provides a last shot warning.

No one should be surprised by that last round. Instead, MagCount makes for a smarter shooter who can monitor and anticipate ammo levels – at any time, in any situation.

In an ideal world, a shooter should know how many rounds they’ve shot, how many they have left, how many they may need, and when they’ll need to reload. In the real world, they shoot until either A) the bad guy is obviously out of action or B) they’re out of ammo.

Revolver or semi, you can RTZ (rounded to zero) the percentage of gun owners in the heat of battle who’ll have the presence of mind to reload before their gun’s empty. A slightly higher number will know that they’re out of ammo before they pull the trigger on an empty chamber—from the feel of the slide locking back (or counting to six). But that’s not saying much.

In other words, the MagCount is an answer to a question the average gunfighter will never ask. And if they do, and they have a MagCount installed, is it a good idea to take their eyes off the target and look at the counter? To its credit, the MagCount display should be directly in the shooter’s line of sight. But I wonder if a two-handed grip would obscure the read-out.

I’m also not so sure about the “CH” reading. A slow-witted (but well traveled) gunfighter might think their weapon’s trying to tell them it’s time to make a beeline for Switzerland. But seriously folks, shouldn’t the countdown include the chambered round? The natural thought process when you see the number “1”: you have one bullet remaining. The natural thought process when you see “CH”: it’s time to change the magazine.

And then there’s the “don’t depend on technology that might not work in combat because you’ll waste precious time worrying why the hell it isn’t working and/or won’t know how to fight without it” deal. The MagCount violates the “if ain’t there it cain’t break” philosophy.

Ammo conservation is a wonderful thing. But shooting something that’s trying to kill you while not getting killed or injured is wonderfuller. As is carrying a gun with a lot of bullets and bringing a spare mag or two with you, so you can relax and enjoy yourself. Wait; do you need a separate MagCounter for your mags?

I could be wrong. Maybe it’s only a matter of time before all guns or magazines will have a built-in ammo counter like the MagCount. If so, this wouldn’t be the first time the market has demanded—and received—CSY DAN (Cool Shit You Don’t Actually Need). Eternal safety on a striker fire self-defense gun anyone?

My final objection: if I put a MagCount on my XD I’d run the risk of hearing a subconscious rendition of Europe’s The Final Countdown. A fate worse than death.

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  1. I keep track of every round that I shoot through my centerfire rifles and pistols. My .22's and shotguns I don't worry about too much. Im the only person that I know of that does such a thing.


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