The Truth About Magazine Capacity

One of our commentators recently emailed TTAG central complaining about our textless links to YouTube videos. He considered it lazy and annoying (some mobile phones don’t display the vids). Laziness has nothing to do with it. Sometimes the video says it all—save the comments that our Armed Intelligentsia add underneath the post. But, as always, point taken. So if you want some piercing insight into this particular video, I’ll say this about that: the battle over magazine capacity goes to the heart of the “debate” over civilian disarmament. A good guy can be trusted with a 30-round ammunition magazine or, for that matter, a flame thrower. A bad guy can’t be trusted with a pair of tweezers. Why should good guys’ self-defense be limited by bad guys?  [h/t Matt in FL]


  1. avatar Matt in NC says:

    I enjoyed this video, and it shows how little impact lower capacity magazines have. My only complaint is that they didnt fire the weapons until they were empty, then reloading and either cycling the slide or dropping the bolt. It could be argued that an active shooter would mindlessly fire until empty, not count his shots. I dont necessarily agree with that, but thats the first thing an anti gunner would point out.

    1. avatar Jeff-in-AL says:

      I noticed that too. And rarely to you keep your magazines on a convenient 55 gallon drum right in front of you. The point is clear but I would love to see a slightly more real world example to not give the grabbers something to point at.
      Shooting until empty and reloads from a pocket, bag or even a load bearing vest of some type.
      Still a great vid.

      1. avatar Matt in NC says:

        I vote a tactical style vest, since that seems to be a common element in the recent mass shooting events.

        1. avatar Alex Peterson says:

          Agreed. Here’s a good real world example – have someone who just woke up, heart rate at 140 bpm’s, in the dark, in their underwear, attempt to defend themselves and their family from several attackers, using as many 10 round magazines as they can gather quickly and carry?

    2. avatar steve says:

      The supreme court ruling on DC v Heller in 2008 is clear on the issue of what is constitutional and what is not. All firearms and ACCESSORIES that are commonly used by civilians and civilian police forces alike for self defense are considered standard. That means for side arms the standard magazine capacity is 11 to 19 rounds and for defensive Rifles the standard mag capacity is 30. Any legislation trying to redefine this number is unconstitutional and a direct infringement on the 2nd amendment.

      For a more in depth explanation please click the link below and view the third video down for David Kopley. 1/30/13

    3. avatar William says:

      You’re not suggesting an active shooter would be able to accurately count out thirty rounds, right?

  2. avatar Caleb says:

    Suprise, Suprise, Suprise!

  3. avatar Paul says:

    I’m not sure I feel confidant in these times. Even though I am disabled I could do alot better on the time than either shooter. But it does show that if you have enough ammo, i.e. magazines, you will still get your rounds down range. As for Steven King, this is a guy that sleeps with a night light on. I guess if you wrote all the trash he does, demons would be after you also.

  4. avatar In Memphis says:

    Next video, “NY Reload” with double barrel shotguns on child and pregnant woman targets. I garuntee faster shooting times. /Sarcasm

    Good video!

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      I second the NY Reload. You can find relevent clips (video clips) from the Matrix and Boondock Saints.

  5. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    most boring two minute intro i’ve ever seen.

  6. avatar Dave says:

    Is that why CA wants to ban detachable magazines?

  7. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Jim demonstrated another good point in his first string–when his two magazines were empty, he drew a second pistol. But good for both shooters here, counting their shots and leaving a round in the chamber when reloading.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      Good points for training bad for demonstrating to anti-gun.

      1. avatar Bryan says:

        Makes the point though for high capacity mags. Bad guys can’t count past ten they’ll run out of fingers and drop the gun! [/sarc off]

        Higher capacity mags. make it more unlikely to be able to count shots accurately during excited state. My .02

  8. avatar ChuckN says:

    Very nice demonstration, but unfortunately there will
    be two completely different conclusions. Sane people
    will conclude that magazine bans do squat.

    The anti-rights groups will freak out and proclaim that
    all firearms are now machine guns. Why, it only took
    20 sec to fire 30 rds, that’s, like, a hundred rounds
    a minute! You may as well have a minigun!

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      “You may as well have a minigun!”

      No way I could afford to feed it, but man… The sound of that thing…

      1. avatar Jason Lynch says:

        Happy times on a warship in the Gulf, listening to the GPMG weapon-aimers qualify (M240s in US-speak). Then the Mk 44 Miniguns.

        Then, PACs for the Phalanx CIWS, port and then starboard…

  9. avatar Larry says:

    The intro information is good…even great in support for having higher capacity mags because even trained police officers miss 75% of the time therefore a 30 round mag is needed for defense.

    The video section can and will be used by the anti-gun crowd in many ways.

    1. 10 round magazines actually are faster….why are all of you gun freaks complaining about mag caps????

    2. See we told you and AR can spray out faster than a hand gun….BAN AR’s

    The Pro-gun crowd really needs to settle on a few talking points like the information on at the beginning of the video and hammer those points home in a self defense/tyrannical government defense way.


    All of this noise about the what left is calling this gun an assault weapon when its not or its a mag not a clip, or its a standard capacity mag not a high capacity mag, is a TOTAL WASTE of time and a distraction. In fact I bet the left loves it when pro-gun people lecture them on this because it keeps pro-gun people busy on this noise while they are doing real damage in the background to our rights. Also lecturing them has a negative feel to it.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      The problem with that is that many in government do not believe in natural rights so you cannot win by throwing out something in the constitution. The same people are either the “it won’t happen here type” when it comes to tyranny. They will not be convinced. Or in feinstein’s case(along with many others in government) they would love America to be a total fascist state if only they could manipulate there way around laws on the books. I personally am not all that attached to the constitution because, to quote Plato, “good men do not need laws, and bad men will always work around them.” In other words, good men do not need the constitution to function in society, and bad men, including politicians, will never follow the law anyway.

      1. avatar Larry says:

        Good or bad, the Constitution is the only thing we have that keeps them from grabbing all guns, or at least trying to.

        It is the foundation that pro-gun people are standing on.

  10. avatar dwb says:

    i like the “NY reload” – shows how silly this is. it should be compared with the Biden shotgun with a pump or single shot. i wont be 25 yards away hiding behind a can trying to tackle them, though.

  11. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I have to admit I’ve felt a twinge of what the anonymous commenter thought about the textless video posts, but I agree with you that usually those videos stand for themselves just fine. Perhaps a compromise would be a 5-10 word description of what the video was about, for those non-compliant mobile devices? Especially when the textless video has a snarky headline that gives no clue as to the videos contents?

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Heh. Not so anonymous. That would be yours truly. 🙂

  12. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    great video…makes lots of sense to the law abider’s … will not make any sense to the left (shot gun joe’s)

  13. avatar DaveL says:

    Having spent a great deal of time, since the whole gun control issue blew up, combing through the historical record of mass shootings and gun crime in general, I have to say nothing about this surprised me. In fact in real-life mass shootings, the killers very rarely even approach sustained rates of fire like those shown in the video. Why should they? They almost always take their targets unaware. They usually pick an environment they know will be free of law-abiding gun owners. They know it will take the police minutes to arrive. They know they have time and they take it.

  14. avatar tdubb says:

    Anyone else notice that when shooting the 5 – 6 round magazines they shot 5 rounds from the first one and 7 from the last to prevent slide lock? Makes good tactical sense and cuts down the time.

    I think Jim was sandbagging that first round.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      “I think Jim was sandbagging that first round.”

      Yeah, I totally agree. He definitely increased his rate of fire for the second and subsequent rounds in both tests.

      1. avatar Randy in CO says:

        Yep, and 9 rounds and 11 rounds out of the 10 round mags.

        While I agree fundamentally with this article and video, the few minor (but glaring) “mistakes” I feel reduce the impact of the message, and will be locked upon by any half-way intelligent anti-gunners. (Like, the difference in speed of shooting during the various tests, and the difference in speed the “tackler” uses in the different tests.)

  15. avatar Anon in CT says:

    For the Antis, this just proves that all semi-auto, magazine fed weapons should be banned. Seriously.

  16. avatar bramankp says:

    It’s not always about mobile devices …

    I read TTAG mostly through an RSS interface (Google Reader) and the videos don’t embed in the RSS feed. Without some associated text I have no idea if I want to open another page and watch the video or not.

    I know, it seems nit-picky, but not everyone reads TTAG the same way. 🙂

  17. avatar Irideducs says:

    Hey, now I understand. A ban of standard capacity magazines to only allow (7, 6, 5, etc) is a “feature.” You gun guys can shoot basically as fast, but you will need more magazines. So, this will “stimulate” the economy as every rushes out to buy more magazines. Ammo will be used at the same rate and you can shoot just as fast an accurate so it is a win win. /sarc

  18. avatar Patrick says:

    I think it would be nice to see rapid mag changes, maybe with one shot from each mag, to cut down on variation of shot to shot time in the different tests.

    Also, and I hate to say this, but people are rushed from shorter distances, and the man did not appear to be sprinting, and just because the assailant gets a few rounds into the ambusher does not mean the ambusher is going to go down immediately. A shot to the spine or brain stem will stop him immediately, but typically someone rushing from that distance with a persistent mindset will be able to at least tackle the shooter, even if shot several times in the torso.

  19. avatar bub says:

    the anti gun forces really want all guns banned and the magazine restrictions and the so called assault weapons ban are just the start. this video kinda proves that point. the proposals the anti gun forces are putting forward will do nothing to curb crime and crazy people from doing horrible acts of violence. overtime they will want more laws passed to restrict gun ownership.

  20. avatar Bob says:

    Wish they hadn’t cheated, they didn’t need to to make the point. (they intentionally shot slower on the first series w/ 15 rounders)

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