size matters (cont’d)

Last night, a feller asked me:
Why would you need more than seven rounds in a magazine?
(Well, it was actually “bullets in a clip,” but we’ll overlook that ignorant faux pas.)

My answer was shorter, but this would’a been the long version:
Wellp, that depends …
• Do I have additional magazines at hand? Will I have time to reload?
(It takes me 2sec to reload from a pouch, 5sec standing from a loose pocket.)
• What weapon and ammo am I using?
(Lower-power cartridges require more hits to stop an attack.)
• How good of a shot am I under pressure?
(The range ain’t “pressure.” Do I have any real-world experience?)
• What is the ambient visibility?
(Can’t hit effectively, if I can’t see clearly: darkness, smoke, light in eyes, etc.)
• What is my physioloical situation?
(Glasses off, contacts out? Sweat? Sleeping pill? Flu? Had a few drinks? Adrenaline pumped? Wounded?)
• What is my psychological situation?
(Calm? Afraid? Terrified? Concerned for family members? Panicked? Frozen? Fetal position?)
• Can I employ a good, practiced firing posture?
(One-handed, weak-side, lying on my back, or crouched ain’t very accurate.)
• How many friendlies?
(If there’s another armed defender, can we divvy-up the work?)
• How many attackers?
(Budget: 3 effective hits from 6+ shots per customer under pressure. Worse if more than one target at a time.)
• Could there be more targets than I know about?
(When you’re out of ammo, surprises are baad, m’kay?)
• Are they insane, angry, or on drugs?
(Even more good or crippling hits may be needed.)
• Are they armed? With what?
(Being shot at reduces one’s marksmanship considerably, and firing from cover/concealment affects accuracy.)
• Are they exposed?
(The target’s cover/concealment makes it more difficult to get effect hits.)
• Are they aggressive?
(If I need to stop an aggressive attack, then I need to shoot a lot more.)
• What are they wearing?
(Some clothing reduces the effectiveness of some bullet types.)
• What is the background?
(If it’s not safe to miss, then I need to fire carefully and accurately.)
• Is the attack channeled?
(Can I depend on a narrow field of fire, or do I need to cover a broad area?)
• Can I escape?
(If my exit is blocked or risky, or if I have to protect family, then I may need to stay and fight it out.)
• Do I need to get to another room to protect family?
(I may need to lay down suppressive fire to move through an exposed area.)
• How long will it take for help to arrive?
(If I can even call 9-1-1 before the fight is over, what’s the response time?)
• What is my strategy?
(Have I thought this through ahead of time, or will this be a total goat-rope?)
• Will the attackers flee?
(Dunno, but hoping they will ain’t a strategy.)
• etc.

The answer is none of any body else’s danged business (especially not the government’s),
and I won’t know the real answer until the fight is over.
Let’s just hope that the answer isn’t, “More than they allowed me to have.

Previously …


~ source ~

One more:
• For “… the security of a free State …” (Read that somewhere.)


  1. Gomer
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:39 am |

    Now, I am not an attorney, or even a constitutional scholar, but I sure would be obliged if y’all would show me the part of the constitution where it says the government has the authority to dictate to me what I “need” and “don’t need”.

    The whole point of the Revolutionary War back in 1775-81 was that we don’t take to having our government tell us what to think, say, or do. In fact, we the citizens are the ones who are supposed to do the tellin’.

    We have gotten too far away from that, and we need to get back to it.

  2. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:45 am |

    ^ Amen, Gomer.
    Well said.

  3. mojo
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm |

    As some Canadian fella said, on a different subject: “Because it’s my bloody RIGHT to do so!”

  4. mech
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |


    Nice buffet for thought, Doug.

    BTW, What weapon has a seven round magazine?

    Maybe a sub-compact .45?

  5. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

    ^ Standard 20thC 1911 mags (and even some made today) hold seven rounds;
    but most good mags now hold eight.

  6. Jess
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

    I guess the best answer is: At 2300 rounds per minute, 7 rounds hardly gets my attention.

  7. Alan outback bacon czar
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm |

    Can I kick the ass of the next person that calls an AK47 a “Machine gun”?

  8. Merovign
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm |

    Pretty much nobody who asks the question will hear the answer. The question is usually a statement with a vestigial question mark at the end.

    If someone *really* cares about the answer, I would first be shocked, and then explain to them briefly including facts about where and how violent crime actually occurs, how that relates to these horrible scary weapons, and explain briefly the history of disarmament and what follows, and then relate that to these horrible scary weapons.

    And then I would offer to demonstrate these tools at a range, and help them pick one out should they wish to.

  9. Henry Bowman
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

    I love how all these feckwits who have never pulled a trigger in their lives are suddenly somehow experts on “what *I* need.”

  10. LyleLovett666
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |


  11. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

    ^ *heh* Yeah, Lyle, that crossed my mind.

  12. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    To save myself in a situation like this.

  13. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |

    or this:

  14. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm |

    Here’s your answer:

    Firearms law does not apply to criminals.

    A real smart fella just pointed that out to me…

  15. MM
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 7:55 am |

    My carry piece, a Sig .40, holds 7 rounds-7 hollow points, 180 grain-I don”t care if you’re hit in the arm or leg, a very large piece of any attacker is going to be blown off.

  16. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    or this:

    From here: RTWT

  17. Posted January 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

    Great piece, Doug. This is easily the clearest explanation I’ve seen for the necessity of “more than enough” bullets.

  18. Posted January 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

    ^ We know the difference between a magazine and a clip. It’s just easier to say “clip”.

  19. Posted January 23, 2013 at 6:56 am |

    Never get caught with your dick in your hand in a village full of hostiles (i.e., don’t run out of ammo before the fight is over).

    Love your blog.