As gun owners, we need to understand a few different things very well. One of those things, and the topic of this article, is the need to own more than one pistol or rifle magazine for each gun. There are reasons as to why it's important to own more than one, which we'll go over below.
While there are general rules that we like to go by, I would also like to say that it is dependent from one person to the next, as well as from one gun to the next.
In short, you can never have too many magazines. And in fact, I've got some magazines that I have in my desk drawer that are still new in the packaging because I haven't gotten to the point where I need them yet.
What are our considerations for this?
Many of the more experienced gun owners out there will tell you that the magazine is one of the weakest parts of the entire semi-automatic firearm.
This is true.
There are things that can wear out past serviceability. When I was in the Marines, I experienced this firsthand as the armorer would issue a magazine past its life expectancy all the time. Then at the range I'd be forced to do a tap-rack procedure (to clear the malfunction), while at the rifle range.
I even have some old AR-15 mags that I've currently got that are marked “bad” because they no longer feed ammo right.
None of that is really the point, though. Instead, the point is that because magazines can stop working either because they break or wear out, you should have extra magazines so you or your firearm aren't sidelined for any period of time while you wait for a new one to get to you.
So, how many magazines do you need per gun?
It depends on the gun and its intended purpose. However, because you're here reading this article I assume that you must be a carrier of guns or are planning to be. If it's your carry gun or a gun you'd use in home or self-defense, the more mags the merrier.
That said, magazines can be expensive, so I will say that you need without a shadow of a doubt at least two on the bare minimum. And I can't believe I just said that because my minimum number is three for each gun.
For me, there is the magazine in the gun, the spare, and the spare's spare.
In fact, I can't understand it when a gun manufacturer doesn't include three mags when they know better than anyone that it's a weak point. And when they don't include at least two mags I scratch my head (like my SIG Sauer P938, which only came with one mag).
Depending on the gun and its use, I may own more than three magazines.
For example, my sporting rifles usually have several mags for each one. As of right now I only have one gun that takes standard AK47 magazines, but I have so many mags, many of them unopened as of yet, that I'm not even sure how many of them I own.
I clearly need another AK47.
Same thing with my AR-15 rifles. I have a couple ARs, but no clue how many mags I have from many different manufacturers.
And when I buy anything from someone like Brownells, I always add a mag or two to my order as a default because they break and I don't want to run out. AR-15 mags especially are cheap enough that it makes sense, but even some of my pistol mags get brothers and sisters added to the family from time to time.
At the end of the day, having more mags than necessary is not a bad thing, especially when there is always some sort of magazine capacity restriction on the horizon AND the fact that magazines are something that will eventually wear out or break.
What say you? If you've been around for a while how many magazines do you recommend a new gun owner get? Let us know in the comments below.