Primary Arms

Why "High Capacity" Magazines Are Really Standard Capacity Magazines

If this photo were taken in Jersey, I'd be a felon...

Once again, the enemy is on the march. Starting today (Tuesday, December 11th 2018), it is now illegal to even possess a firearm magazine with a capacity over ten rounds, i.e. most standard capacity magazines, in the state of New Jersey…

If caught, the “offender” will be charged with a fourth degree felony, which basically means they could be sent to prison for up to 18 months and fined up to $10,000. All for the mere possession of a $10.00 PMAG. Food for thought, all the magazines pictured above are now contraband in the Garden State.

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It’s a whole lot of fuckery

Even more egregious, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban in a 2-1 vote, in a stunning display of judicial corruption, citing data from noted cripple Gabby Gifford’s gun confiscation group research. Fortunately, this ruling will be heard en banc (by the whole panel of judges, not just 3…), and if that fails, it’s off to the Supreme Court itself.

It’s all part of the incremental push for highly restrictive gun control measures across the nation. A magazine ban won’t work, and they know this - it merely sets the stage for the next round of gun control laws.

“But”, you may ask, “…why is magazine capacity such a big deal? Don’t we practice and train as to hit our targets? Do we really need 30 rounds? Won’t one put a guy down?”

Yeah, if you are extremely lucky…

Note, the practical techniques described below are based on my research, training, and analysis. To be certain of what wiill work for you, please seek out qualified instructors. I can find you some.

Think about anatomy

The human torso, more or less...

Depicted here is an image of the human torso and head. The torso is something that your firearms instructor will (hopefully) refer to as “center mass”. It’s the biggest part of the body, and it houses most of the organs and systems needed to keep a human going. The heart, lungs, spinal cord, large veins and arteries, that sort of thing. Ideally in a defensive situation you want your rounds to strike these. Yes, a head shot can incapacitate, but the head is a smaller target and one shouldn’t rely on that. It’s why the Mozambique Drill has you aiming for the torso first.

Sure, in this diagram, those organs and nerves look rather nice and exposed. There’s the heart, there’s the lungs, there’s the kidneys. Heck, there’s the colon. All right there, center mass. Now, consider your own meaty carcass as compared to this diagram. What’s in front, and behind, those vital organs? Relatively thick slabs of skin, muscle, fat, bone, and some empty space. Oh and clothing.

When you fire at an aggressor, the projectile not only has to fly through the air and deal with gravity, it also has to deal with clothing, skin, muscle, fat, bone, and the voids therein. All this, before it even has a chance to strike a vital organ. Clothing alone can severely diminish and even block a bullet’s flight path. All the rest of that organic matter can and will alter the journey of the bullet. An incapacitating hit after one shot is not guaranteed.

Think about the situation

An aggressor isn’t going to stand there in broad daylight at 7 yards threatening you. While attacks can happen at any time, the typical “home invasion” where the criminal has violence on his mind happens late at night. Unless you’ve got a pretty sophisticated setup where you are roused by an alarm and can remotely trigger all lighting in the house, at the bare minimum you are going to be engaging the threat in poor lighting, while he is on the move. You might be able to hit paper, accurately, at 7 yards in your favorite range, but that target isn’t moving and it’s probably well-lit. The reality is that you’ll be dealing with an aggressor under less-than-ideal conditions. Also consider that he’s probably armed, and if it’s with a gun, he will be shooting back at you. The noise alone will have you disoriented. Oh, and that adrenaline dump because of the action? It’s gonna kill your fine motor control. Your first shot is probably going to miss or strike a nonessential body part. If the threat can still move, he can still harm or kill you.

Other factors

Other things come into play during an attack. The mental and physical state of the aggressor. Is he on drugs? Is he physically adept? The human body can soak up an amazing amount of damage under stress, or in an altered “chemical” state. That guy on PCP might not even feel the gunshot. He’s going to keep moving until his heart stops or brain shuts down.

Also - trouble tends to show up in multiples. One lone aggressor may not be breaking in. He’s going to bring friends, especially if he has an inkling that there could be resistance.

Considering all this, ten rounds in a Jersey-compliant magazine doesn’t seem like much, huh?

The solution

The easiest solution is to have more ammunition immediately available. Sure, with practice, one can execute magazine changes in a second or two, but the “practice” is usually in a range somewhere or a quiet room, not in the middle of a fight. I’ve done force-on-force training and executing a magazine change under stress, when there’s bullets flying back at you, is a little more difficult.

The goal of course is to neutralize the aggressor. Your first shot may go wide. Your second shot may hit, but in an extremity. Your third shot may be center mass, but it gets hung up by clothing, fat, etc. The remaining shots may hit true and hit vitals, but even accounting for that, it generally takes time for a person to stop responding when hit in a vital place. It may be 10 or 15 seconds, but that’s 10 or 15 seconds where the aggressor can manipulate a weapon. Keep shooting until he stops moving. Shoot to stop.

With just one attacker, you’ll need ten or more rounds. Multiple assailants, you will need everything you can get, right away - regardless of caliber. Whether your chosen cartridge is 9mm, .45, or anything in between - it will almost always take more than one shot to stop a threat.

The worst sound you can hear in a life-or-death fight is a “click” when you expect a “bang”.

Armed agents of the state always have their firearms with standard-capacity magazines. Why? To effectively deal with threats. No agency or force in any developed nation on the planet issues firearms with reduced capacity magazines to their employees.

For the most part, we deal with the same threats the police and G-men do. But yet, the politicians mean to reduce our ability to defend ourselves. First with magazine bans, and later on with bans on the firearms themselves. Magazine restrictions are the first toe in the pool.

It’s worth mentioning that at a base level, government agents are no more special than you or I. Our lives are as worth as much as theirs.

Counterpoint - B-b-b-u-t what about mass shooters?

Invariably, the misguided folk out there will bring up the subject of mass shooters and “high capacity” magazines. One only need to look at the method to the madness of these deranged killers to dispute the claim that increased magazine capacity renders them more effective.

The shooters, in almost every case, strike soft-targets, which are usually unprepared for any emergency beyond a skinned knee, much less an armed attacker. The attacker literally comes in with a bang. An unsuppressed gunshot indoors is deafening and disorienting, giving a shooter ample time to carry out his deeds. He can have ten-round magazines, even, and it simply doesn’t matter. He’s got all the time in the world to change things out. The victims are disoriented and scared and are in no position to respond with any kind of force. The nearest armed personnel are many minutes away usually, and even if they are outside, they may stay outside for quite a long time. Again, magazine capacity has nothing to do with it.

We have every right to the best tools for the job, without hindrance.

Again, us citizens deal with the same threats as the hired guns of the government. We have the right to the best tools of the job, not crippled analogs whose existence only placates the politicians for a week or so before they circle back for more.

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