Friday, May 29, 2015

Firearms Friday: Magazines

There are many consideration that need to be made when purchasing a firearm, especially handguns. I have previously addressed the fact that the process is an individual decision and one firearm may work for one person but not for another (some may even detest the selection). I have also written on the considerations that need to be made regarding ammunition. All in all, it is a very personal process but there are a few things that should be considered with every purchase whether this is your first time or far from your first time.

Again, we have already addresses a few key considerations that being range time and equipment. This time around I want to discuss the topic of magazines. Please note that I am not talking about clips which are completely different.

An all too common comment made by those new to firearm ownership is “why do I need an extra magazine? It came with two, I don’t need any more than that.” While that may seem to make sense to some, the reality is that you should have at least 5 magazines for every firearm you own. In addition to the simple fact that magazines break, you should have 5 or more for the scenarios that you may not be thinking of and because it makes practicing at the range an easier and more enjoyable experience. Five is the baseline but don’t just buy any brand.

There are varying qualities of magazines on the market these days which include factory production (the same manufacturer of the firearm for which it is intended), less expensive models (i.e. Mec-Gar and ProMag), and better quality magazines than what come with the firearm (i.e. Magpul, Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick). The prices of these can vary significantly from $10 to over $50 per magazine and those are just the ones that are readily available. And sometimes that really nice 1911 you just bought does not come with a reliable magazine (i.e. Kimber). This brings up another important consideration at the time of purchase… can I find magazines for this firearm and, if so, can I afford them?

You may find a great deal on an H&K but how many magazines does it come with and how many are you going to have to purchase at $40-50 each? Or there are some models that are difficult to find… you may have found that S&W 39 (the H&K P7 might be a better example) that you have been looking for but it doesn’t have a magazine with it. The magazines are out there but they are becoming few and far between.

What this all comes down to is a very simple rule of thumb when buying a firearm. Something that new firearms owners need to be aware of and something that all of us need to be reminded of from time to time. You need good quality magazines for your firearms… 5 or more. When you look to buy keep that in mind three basic factors: reliability, availability and affordability. Forgetting these can really be a costly mistake in more ways than one.