Body Cam Footage Illustrates the Importance of Handgun Magazine Capacity
No one survived a gunfight and wished they had less ammo in their gun.
There’s a lot of lessons to learn from in this incident and John goes over a bunch of them – so I’m not going to spend my time on those lessons. Instead, I want to talk about firearm capacity. Watch the video, or at least the first part which includes the shooting, and then come back so we can discuss capacity.
Side note, if you are a self defender, you should subscribe to Active Self Protection – there’s a lot that can be learned from watching actual self defense encounters.
This incident already starts at a slightly heightened threat level given who they thought was in there. But notice how it went from no threat to deadly threat in the time it took for a car door to open. As self defenders, be it police or civilians, we’re always at a deficit in these types of encounters because we cannot shoot until we validate a real threat.
Low capacity guns empty real quick
That may seem like a “duh” statement. Of course, low capacity firearms empty quick. But it is an important component of self defense with a firearm that needs to be discussed.
Take a look at the second officer’s badge cam. The officer had a single stack magazine firearm that went slide lock empty super fast. It was empty at about the time a human could process that the threat was stopped – but the incident wasn’t over yet. For all he knew, the other people in the car were also threats or the criminal with the gun was about to get up and keep shooting. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.
Now watch how long it took the officer to reload, even though it was a decently fast reload. Imagine having that empty gun while a second attacker gets out of the truck and starts shooting. 50% of violent attacks include more than one attacker, so statistically, there’s a decent likelihood for a self defender to need to deal with multiple threats in a self defense encounter. This officer would have been in big trouble if he had been alone and there were multiple attackers.
This isn’t even an argument for or against having a spare magazine on your belt, but instead an argument for having more rounds inside the gun. This is an argument for carrying a decent sized 9mm handgun with as large of a capacity as possible. Ammo on your belt doesn’t help you when you need ammo now and your gun is empty.
Consider making an effort to conceal carry a full size handgun
It is very possible for anyone to conceal carry a full size handgun with a 15 round (or greater) capacity. It may require changes to your wardrobe, but it is possible. This incident illustrates why I argue that it’s so important to have those rounds in the gun and ready to go.
Capacity is important y’all.
Written by Brian Purkiss - always a student, sometimes a teacher.
I don't consider myself a competition shooter - I think of myself as a performance pistol shooter. I am all about performing at as high of a level as possible. Towards that end, I am obsessive about learning how to perform. I spend a lot of my life learning from the best across the entire firearms world and even into other areas of performance and other sports. I am a USPSA Carry Optics Grandmaster, currently working towards my second GM title in the Open division.