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Wednesday
Dec262012

My Basis for High Capacity Magazine Restrictions

100 round magazine for AR 15 -Retails for $179Recently I responded to a thread on Permanent Press, a blog by Brian Caskey. He brought up some good points on gun control. The full thread is located HERE.

Here was my response in FAVOR of restrictions on high capacity magazines (10+).

I enjoyed reading Brian's thoughts on Gun Owners rights. Any regulation we adopt MUST actually have a chance of stopping gun crimes. If it does nothing but hurt the private responsible owner its useless.

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First I'll define High capacity magazine for Mayor Riley anything over 10. I'll use that number for the basis of my argument. The gun enthusiast I'm on watch with says 30 shot magazines are probably the most common.

Lets take a Connecticut situation.

2 minute duration.
Firing 2 shots a second
Reloading takes 5 seconds. Accounts for heat of battle nerves and not counting shots. You will have an extra trigger pull and reaction time due to going dry before recognizing.

30 shot magazine will be emptied in 15 seconds. then a 5 second reload. Netting you 30 shots every 20 seconds.

Over 2 minutes the 30 shot clip has to be reloaded 6 times for 180 shots total.

Now assume the 10 shot magazine. It gets you 10 shots every 10 seconds.

Over 2 minutes it requires 12 reloads for 120 shots.

That's a 34% reduction and NOT insignificant.

Every reload is a chance for things to go wrong as well. In a battle type scenario where your blood is pumping simple actions get dicey. Your hands are sweaty. Go to the wrong pocket. Depending on the weapon reloading may increase the chances of guns jamming.

Its a built in error trap. Instead of only 6 chances for things to go wrong you doubled it to 12.

That's why I support restricting magazines that are greater than 10 shots.

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Reader Comments (4)

First of all why 10? To take your argument to the logical conclusion, the smaller the magazine capacity, the more often you have to reload.

I would note that "the greatest battle implement ever devised" according to General Patton had an 8 round capacity. Sounds like we might want to go to less than that, right?

Honestly though, II understand where you're coming from on this, but I would challenge your fundamental assumption that it takes 5 seconds to change a mag. That's nowhere close - especially on an AR platform. Changing a magazine on an AR involves the following steps:

1. Pressing the magazine release button located on the receiver.
(The empty magazine then falls out of the receiver.)
2. Insert new magazine into the receiver.
3. Rack the bolt forward.

Watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLYNBF9FajU

With about 15 minutes of practice, you can change mags in less than 2 seconds. We're not building a rocket here. Also, it may not take 30 seconds to run the mag dry, maybe it takes more, maybe less. Accordingly, your percentage is going to have to change. Battle is a fluid environment and statistics aren't very useful. Practical experience teaches us this.

Also, here's the good guy side: I would like more than 10 rounds sometimes. Sometimes you miss. Because usually—contrary to the movies—you have to hit an opponent multiple times in order to make them stop. Sometimes you may have multiple assailants. I don’t have more rounds in the magazine so I can shoot more, I have more rounds in the magazine so I am forced to manipulate my gun less if I have to shoot more. Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, “Darn, I wish I hadn’t brought all that extra ammo.” So your "built in error" works against the good guys as well.

Now tactically, let’s say a mass shooter is on a rampage in a school. Unless his brain has turned to mush a, he’s not going to walk up right next to you while he reloads anyway. Unlike the CWP holder who gets attacked and has to defend himself in whatever horrible situation he finds himself in, the mass shooter is the aggressor. He’s picked the range at which to shoot. Mass shooters are crazy and deranged, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are dumb. Many of these folks are actually very intelligent. They’re just bad. Also, how do you know when he runs the mag dry rather than just taking a second to acquire a new target? Don't tell me you're counting his shots, Rainman.

In many cases, when the shooter had guns that held fewer rounds they just positioned themselves back a bit while firing or they brought more guns, and simply switched guns and kept on shooting, and then reloaded before they moved to the next planned firing position. Unless you are a fumble fingered idiot, anybody who practices in front of a mirror a few dozen times can get to where they can insert a new magazine into a gun in a few seconds.

Also, on a practical level, I assume a magazine ban will not apply to military and/or law enforcement. So...criminals are going to get the illegal mags anyway via the black market. There are millions of them out there. They're cheap and easy to get, make, transport, and sell. Because if you're a criminal, you don't care about breaking the little laws about magazine capacity if you're planning on committing bigger crimes. You won't be able to effectively ban them. During the entire 10 year AWB that made them illegal (from 1994-2004) there was no supply disruption. OVER TEN YEARS.

To sum up: It doesn't really make common sense. But it sounds good on the surface. So that's why it's prevalent. However, it doesn't pass your own test.

"Any regulation we adopt MUST actually have a chance of stopping gun crimes. If it does nothing but hurt the private responsible owner its useless." -Tavis

December 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan D. Caskey

"First of all why 10? To take your argument to the logical conclusion, the smaller the magazine capacity, the more often you have to reload."

I picked a number out of the air. You could say only single shot but I think that puts unrealistic expectations on personal liberties.

"With about 15 minutes of practice, you can change mags in less than 2 seconds. We're not building a rocket here. Also, it may not take 30 seconds to run the mag dry, maybe it takes more, maybe less. Accordingly, your percentage is going to have to change. Battle is a fluid environment and statistics aren't very useful. Practical experience teaches us this."

Ahh but you are assuming living room drill conditions. I'm talking real life.

2 be able to reload in 2 seconds that assumes that you have the magazine in your hand when you run dry. You have to be expecting the magazine to run dry. IE you are counting bullets and realize you are on your last shot.

WIth adrenaline pumping, people crying , sweaty hands and any other number of factors Id say a sustainable 2 second reload time is impracticable.

It could be something as simple as going into the wrong pocket for a clip.

"Battle is a fluid environment and statistics aren't very useful. Practical experience teaches us this."

From my personal military experience I can trll you drills are one thing. Putting those actions together when you have to is something else.

"Also, here's the good guy side: I would like more than 10 rounds sometimes. Sometimes you miss. Because usually—contrary to the movies—you have to hit an opponent multiple times in order to make them stop. Sometimes you may have multiple assailants. I don’t have more rounds in the magazine so I can shoot more, I have more rounds in the magazine so I am forced to manipulate my gun less if I have to shoot more. Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, “Darn, I wish I hadn’t brought all that extra ammo.” So your "built in error" works against the good guys as well."

Its true. The 10 shot number is pulled out of the air as it is a common magazine size, Much as 30.

Good guys FLOOD to the scene. The law of averages kick in. Chance of 1 persons gun failing is good. chance of 8 or 10 weapons failinga t once? very small.

I'll continue responding when I get back. Gotta head out to return some earphones daughter got for Xmas.
Enjoyed speaking with you Brian & catch you soon.

December 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterColumbiaCents

True. It could (probably would) take longer to change mags under stress, but I still think 5 seconds is too much, but let's not quibble over the time. I still don't think it would have changed much of anything at Newtown. Guy had multiple weapons (three, I think) and there were no good guys with guns to take advantage of any mag switch.

Aurora...eh...maybe. Maybe someone could have rushed the guy during a mag change (IF he fumbled it). I think he had the 50-round drum, which jammed at some point, and he switched to another weapon. So carrying multiple weapons kinda obviates the ban.

Also we're assuming the shooters choose to comply with this law when they've already decided to kill people.

Ultimately, I think it's just too speculative of an idea to base a law on; especially when it's not really going to be enforceable. Heck, even David Gregory got away with violating the 30 round mag ban in DC. Bad guys intent on killing folks aren't going to even be inconvenienced by a hi-cap magazine ban. And you're going to force law-abiding folks (like David Gregory) to turn in their high capacity mags.

On the whole, I think a the hi-cap mag ban is unduly limiting law-abiding citizens for a minimal at best (and speculative) hindrance to criminals. It doesn't balance. If I thought it would help protect people, I would support it. My common-sense just tells me otherwise.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Caskey

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May 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBoltIhor

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