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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2013, 5:19 PM
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Default What does "standard capacity" mean?

Quick question, obviously related to all the magazine capacity restriction brouhaha that's going on.

If you look at centerfire handguns and rifles in common use, what is the highest magazine capacity of "standard" magazines? By "standard" I mean the magazines are are commonly shipped with new guns (in places that don't have magazine capacity restrictions), and that are probably also the ones that are most common. I'm deliberately ignoring exotics that are not commonly used by shooters, such as 100-round drums on ARs and the 32-round snail magazine for the Luger pistol.

For revolvers, the default is obviously 6, although centerfire revolvers with with up to 8-shot capacity are built in large quantities by mainstream manufacturers (S&W). So we can probably say that for centerfire revolvers, the standard capacity is in the 6 to 8 range.

For normal semi-auto pistols (those that have the magazine in the grip, thereby excluding AR- and AK-pistols and similar exotics), I think the highest standard capacity is 17 rounds, on the Glock 17 and similar pistols. One might argue that the FN 5.7 with its standard 20-round magazine is higher, but I think we can exclude that one, as it is a rather uncommon caliber and handgun (in the sense: not many have been sold). In the .45 ACP realm, double-stack magazines seem to typically hold 12 rounds (single stacks are the well-known 1911 magazines, with typically 7 rounds, although there are plenty of 8-round aftermarket magazines that are reasonably common).

Now let's switch to rifles. If you look at traditional hunting rifles, those that are actually loaded by box magazines typically have a 4- to 5-round magazine capacity. Up to world war two, both full-size battle rifles and carbines had magazine capacities of 8 or 10 rounds (that includes both US and Soviet models, and many of them are loaded by clips or stripper clips). In contrast, AKs and ARs normally use 30-round magazines (although clearly 20- and 10-round magazines are also in common use, convenient for reducing weight). If you look at centerfire tube-fed rifles (mostly lever action), I think those tend to be 10 or less for revolver calibers, and much less for rifle calibers like 30-30 and 45-70.

And shotguns? I would claim that there are no box-fed shotguns in common use. The common high-capacity shotgun is tube-fed, and pretty much tops out at 8 or 9 rounds (any more, and the mag tube sticks out further than the barrel, causing nasty things to happen).

So here's my summary: Magazine capacity goes up to about 17 or 20 rounds for handguns, up to a 10 for "traditional" long arms (hunting rifles, and military rifles up to and including WW2, and shotguns), and 20 or 30 only for post-WW2 EBRs.

Did I miss something that's in common use? Did I get some of the numbers wrong?

Why am I asking this question? To figure out how much various levels of magazine capacity restriction will hurt. Here in California, we've learned to handle with a 10-round restriction. The NY 7-round restriction obviously knocks out nearly all handguns. What do you do with the extension tube on the Rem1100 or the Marlin in the gun safe? On the other hand, how painful would a federal limit of 12, 15, or 20 be?

There is also another question that I find interesting. As collectors of unusual weapons in California have found, it is sometimes impossible to find 10-round magazines for certain guns (for example, Pardini pistols). A similar problem occurs for rimfire lever action rifles (which is they they specifically excluded from California's 10-round limit), and for the USFA 12-round rimfire Cowboy revolver. But here is an interesting observation: For centerfire rifles with box magazines, 10-round magazines are easily available. So a magazine capacity limit of 20 rounds for handguns and rimfire weapons, and 10 rounds for centerfire rifles only would not cause problems due to unavailability of magazines. Or did I miss a gun that requires larger capacity magazines?
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Old 01-17-2013, 5:24 PM
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I would say that Standard for any given firearm is what the designer intended.
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Old 01-17-2013, 5:28 PM
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'Standard capacity' is firearm-dependent.

I'd say 'standard' was the capacity of a mag shipped with the gun when it was new, ignoring any restrictions imposed by states.
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Old 01-17-2013, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
Quick question, obviously related to all the magazine capacity restriction brouhaha that's going on.

If you look at centerfire handguns and rifles in common use, what is the highest magazine capacity of "standard" magazines? By "standard" I mean the magazines are are commonly shipped with new guns (in places that don't have magazine capacity restrictions), and that are probably also the ones that are most common. I'm deliberately ignoring exotics that are not commonly used by shooters, such as 100-round drums on ARs and the 32-round snail magazine for the Luger pistol.

For revolvers, the default is obviously 6, although centerfire revolvers with with up to 8-shot capacity are built in large quantities by mainstream manufacturers (S&W). So we can probably say that for centerfire revolvers, the standard capacity is in the 6 to 8 range.

For normal semi-auto pistols (those that have the magazine in the grip, thereby excluding AR- and AK-pistols and similar exotics), I think the highest standard capacity is 17 rounds, on the Glock 17 and similar pistols. One might argue that the FN 5.7 with its standard 20-round magazine is higher, but I think we can exclude that one, as it is a rather uncommon caliber and handgun (in the sense: not many have been sold). In the .45 ACP realm, double-stack magazines seem to typically hold 12 rounds (single stacks are the well-known 1911 magazines, with typically 7 rounds, although there are plenty of 8-round aftermarket magazines that are reasonably common).

Now let's switch to rifles. If you look at traditional hunting rifles, those that are actually loaded by box magazines typically have a 4- to 5-round magazine capacity. Up to world war two, both full-size battle rifles and carbines had magazine capacities of 8 or 10 rounds (that includes both US and Soviet models, and many of them are loaded by clips or stripper clips). In contrast, AKs and ARs normally use 30-round magazines (although clearly 20- and 10-round magazines are also in common use, convenient for reducing weight). If you look at centerfire tube-fed rifles (mostly lever action), I think those tend to be 10 or less for revolver calibers, and much less for rifle calibers like 30-30 and 45-70.

And shotguns? I would claim that there are no box-fed shotguns in common use. The common high-capacity shotgun is tube-fed, and pretty much tops out at 8 or 9 rounds (any more, and the mag tube sticks out further than the barrel, causing nasty things to happen).

So here's my summary: Magazine capacity goes up to about 17 or 20 rounds for handguns, up to a 10 for "traditional" long arms (hunting rifles, and military rifles up to and including WW2, and shotguns), and 20 or 30 only for post-WW2 EBRs.

Did I miss something that's in common use? Did I get some of the numbers wrong?

Why am I asking this question? To figure out how much various levels of magazine capacity restriction will hurt. Here in California, we've learned to handle with a 10-round restriction. The NY 7-round restriction obviously knocks out nearly all handguns. What do you do with the extension tube on the Rem1100 or the Marlin in the gun safe? On the other hand, how painful would a federal limit of 12, 15, or 20 be?

There is also another question that I find interesting. As collectors of unusual weapons in California have found, it is sometimes impossible to find 10-round magazines for certain guns (for example, Pardini pistols). A similar problem occurs for rimfire lever action rifles (which is they they specifically excluded from California's 10-round limit), and for the USFA 12-round rimfire Cowboy revolver. But here is an interesting observation: For centerfire rifles with box magazines, 10-round magazines are easily available. So a magazine capacity limit of 20 rounds for handguns and rimfire weapons, and 10 rounds for centerfire rifles only would not cause problems due to unavailability of magazines. Or did I miss a gun that requires larger capacity magazines?
The issue isn't the problems that are caused by having to find a 10rd magazine for a particular firearm. The issue is that a 10rd magazine for rifles using a detachable box magazine, is a reduction from what came standard from the manufacturer. 10rd. magazines are typically called "CA-Legal Mags", because this is about the only place that REQUIRES them.

"Common use" doesn't mean "easily available". Not even close to the same meaning. If it's common for 80%-90% of the population to purchase their firearms with these standard capacity magazines of 20-30rds, and ALL LEO's walk around with standard 12-17rd magazines in their sidearm & 20-30rd. mags for their AR's in the car, then THAT is the definition of "Common Use". Why? Because it is more COMMON in the US to operate these firearms with those magazines.

Specialty arms like your cowboy action firearms & WWII era firearms shouldn't even be in the equation because they are not arms in common use. They fulfill a small niche in the firearms community.
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Old 01-17-2013, 5:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
I would say that Standard for any given firearm is what the designer intended.
+1
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Old 01-17-2013, 5:40 PM
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I say standard in a commodity is what comes with it as the base price without extra charges.

Power windows are standard in modern cars. USB ports are standard on computers.
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Old 01-17-2013, 6:36 PM
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m1 carbine... 20 round issued magazine capacity, ww2 era long arm... BAR, also had a 20 round magazine capacity.
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Old 01-17-2013, 8:13 PM
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As several other posters repeated, my question is exactly: What is the standard issue capacity for various firearms? How would various magazine capacity limits interact with the common, standard magazines?

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Originally Posted by Jeff213 View Post
m1 carbine... 20 round issued magazine capacity, ww2 era long arm...
Actually, I though the carbine was issued with 15- and 30-round magazines. But you're right, it demonstrates rifles with a capacity of over 10 rounds before the Vietnam era. And it is an example of a weapon where the California 10-round limit prevents one from using standard magazines.

Quote:
BAR, also had a 20 round magazine capacity.
True, but BARs have never been in common use in the US, for obvious NFA reasons.
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Old 01-17-2013, 9:05 PM
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Great post and the "Common Use" definition will be a critical element if bans proceed past the talk phase.
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Old 01-17-2013, 9:28 PM
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Just a couple things I'd like to add

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Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
And shotguns? I would claim that there are no box-fed shotguns in common use. The common high-capacity shotgun is tube-fed, and pretty much tops out at 8 or 9 rounds (any more, and the mag tube sticks out further than the barrel, causing nasty things to happen).
The Saiga 12 is actually a rather popular shotgun, semi-auto and box mag fed. The Saiga 12 comes from the factory with a 5 round mag for import purposes, but nationally is typically used with 10, 12, or 20 round mags or drums. Here in CA you typically see 10 round box or drum mags used.

Quote:
Why am I asking this question? To figure out how much various levels of magazine capacity restriction will hurt. Here in California, we've learned to handle with a 10-round restriction. The NY 7-round restriction obviously knocks out nearly all handguns. What do you do with the extension tube on the Rem1100 or the Marlin in the gun safe? On the other hand, how painful would a federal limit of 12, 15, or 20 be?
I'd disagree that we've "learned to handle with a 10-round restriction" and instead have largely been simply forced to live with it.

A federal ban of any size would be easier to deal with on a technical and logistic level, because manufacturers would make available magazines at whatever size they can go up to since they could sell them to the national market.

A significantly smaller and gun hostile market like NY with their own separate restriction though is different. Many firearm manufacturers will only make 7 round mags for their most popular firearms still in production, but will believe the NY market is too small to tool up for 7 rounders for firearms without mass appeal. NY residents should expect no factory 7 rounders to be produced for any firearms out of production, and for relatively few firearms that you don't typically find at every gun store. Excluding possible slow sales on 7 round mags for less than popular models, there are two additional risks. First there is a real risk NY may do another midnight slap together of a law and further reduce the magazine capacity, thereby costing magazine manufacturers additional money in R&D and wasting money already spent on bringing out new 7 rounders. A second risk is actually our fault, that our side will block or eventually get ruled unconstitutional the law itself. This would have the same effect on the magazine manufacturers as far as money spent on 7 rounders, but they would have the possibility of recouping some money based on additional sales of higher capacity magazines at least.

Quote:
There is also another question that I find interesting. As collectors of unusual weapons in California have found, it is sometimes impossible to find 10-round magazines for certain guns (for example, Pardini pistols). A similar problem occurs for rimfire lever action rifles (which is they they specifically excluded from California's 10-round limit), and for the USFA 12-round rimfire Cowboy revolver. But here is an interesting observation: For centerfire rifles with box magazines, 10-round magazines are easily available. So a magazine capacity limit of 20 rounds for handguns and rimfire weapons, and 10 rounds for centerfire rifles only would not cause problems due to unavailability of magazines. Or did I miss a gun that requires larger capacity magazines?
Availability of mags is directly related to the expected market for said mags. It isn't that centerfire rifles are easier to find mags for, it is that popular firearms are easier to find mags for. It just happens that centerfire rifles are more popular than the other firearms you mentioned, which means a bigger market to sell to.

There are up front costs when designing and testing a magazine, and costs in production and building up stock for sale. The later sales have to not only cover the production of mags, but also all those up front costs which are pretty much the same for making a magazine they plan to make 1 million of and a mag they plan to make 500 of. There is considerable risk developing and testing a new magazine design, producing stock, and then being unable to move product for firearms that are relatively obscure, with the risk amplified in smaller markets working within their unique restrictions.

Last edited by stix213; 01-17-2013 at 9:39 PM..
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Old 01-17-2013, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
I would say that Standard for any given firearm is what the designer intended.
+1 on this. Like the M1 Carbine has a standard magazine of 15 rounds.
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Old 01-19-2013, 2:00 PM
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Standard is what the gun was designed for.
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Old 01-19-2013, 3:56 PM
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Its and engineering design question.

The glock 17 was designed around a 17 round magazine. The M9 Pistol; 15. The AR-15, 30 Rounds. But that is depended on the gun, its calibers size and breech loading design.

My favorite gun design to show the modern design limitation is the 5.7×28mm cartridge on an AR platform:

http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/6775.html

Now the standard capacity of that firearm configuration is: 50 cartridges.

It immediatly shows you the fallacy of high capacity magazines when this is the original design intent. The sole reason it can get away 50 cartridges in a small space is because of the size of the cartridge and the novel/elegant design of the magazine placement. Not only that, I don't know if you can put a smaller magazine on it. It literally was designed for 50, no more, no less. Now you can make a magazine that could feed just 10 or 7, but it defeats the purpose, and probably makes the gun unreliable as originally designed.

See minute 1:11 of video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqx7UKvnIN0

The only thing worst than hearing high capacity magazine is high capacity ammunition. LOL.

By trying to arbitrarily limit the plethora of designs based on emotion they show a serious lack of firearms education. Seriously we need to mock them for their lack of knowledge in comical write ups about the things that don't exist. A good graphic to go with them would be awesome.

I keep hearing the high capacity ammo statement, I don't laugh when I hear them say it even though its funny because they're once again trying to create a word that doesn't exist to feed the minds of the uninformed.
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Old 01-19-2013, 4:08 PM
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"Standard capacity" is a magazine that will hold a standard amount of rounds.


Unquantified number is unquantified.
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Old 01-19-2013, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
I would say that Standard for any given firearm is what the designer intended.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
'Standard capacity' is firearm-dependent.

I'd say 'standard' was the capacity of a mag shipped with the gun when it was new, ignoring any restrictions imposed by states.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkStar View Post
Standard is what the gun was designed for.
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Old 01-19-2013, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aileron View Post
My favorite gun design to show the modern design limitation is the 5.7×28mm cartridge on an AR platform:

http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/6775.html

Now the standard capacity of that firearm configuration is: 50 cartridges.
The AR57 was designed to take the same mags as the P90/PS90. Finding a 10-rd mag was a royal pain. FN packages the civilian version with a neutered mag --- limited to 30 rounds.
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Old 01-19-2013, 6:14 PM
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You are right... it was originally designed around a PS90. I just don't care for the PS90. But the point is made.... They're both made for a 50 round magazine by design.

To make a real 10 round magazine for them, wouldn't work. You have to neuter a 50 to get it to work. The error in their logic.
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Old 01-19-2013, 8:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HawkStar View Post
Standard is what the gun was designed for.
^ This.
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Old 01-19-2013, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aileron View Post
You are right... it was originally designed around a PS90. I just don't care for the PS90. But the point is made.... They're both made for a 50 round magazine by design.

To make a real 10 round magazine for them, wouldn't work. You have to neuter a 50 to get it to work. The error in their logic.
FNH makes a 10 round P90/PS90 magazine (Product #3816101040-02).
Currently, out-of-stock at their webstore.
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Old 01-19-2013, 9:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
FNH makes a 10 round P90/PS90 magazine (Product #3816101040-02).
Currently, out-of-stock at their webstore.
You might want to bother with a thought experiment. How many inches for a magazine body with spring and follow does it take to make a 50 round magazine? How many for a 10? What kind of body would a 10 round magazine require, how about a 50?

Why would anybody make a magazine to carry 10 rounds with such a long magazine body and then machine a receiver to accept such a long magazine? It would serve absolutely no purpose. Why incur the cost? Why take on the design? What would the benefit be? If you don't want 50 rounds, you could easily have made a 25 or 30 round body and shortened the design and modified the receiver. Or maybe 15, or because they sell it they could of created a very short 10 cartridge horizontal magazine feeding device. Of course the PS90 is no longer the PS90 at this point.

The 10 round magazine they sell was not the original intent. It is a plug or pins placed in a 50 round magazine body, because 50 rounds (the original intent) is what the design is for.
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Old 01-19-2013, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
Quick question, obviously related to all the magazine capacity restriction brouhaha that's going on.


For revolvers, the default is obviously 6, although centerfire revolvers with with up to 8-shot capacity are built in large quantities by mainstream manufacturers (S&W). So we can probably say that for centerfire revolvers, the standard capacity is in the 6 to 8 range.

Or did I miss a gun that requires larger capacity magazines?
LeMat revolver has a nine shot cylinder and a shotgun barrel.
The Guycot chain rifle has an internal magazine that holds 80 rounds of centerfire ammo.

IMHO, standard is whatever the firearm was designed to use or came with. 100 round drums are high capacity for most weapons, but the Chinese Type 95 was designed for use with either 30 round box or 80 round drum magazines.
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Old 01-20-2013, 9:41 AM
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IMO, limiting magazine capacity to any amount is not defensible in the context of the 2A, it is a direct violation of our right to defend ourselves. And the "standard capacity" term has basically no meaning.

I can't even imagine the rationale the SCOTUS would have to invent to justify magazine limits.

That is why I hope that New York and Vermont really push the magazine limit down, it will get this to SCOTUS much quicker.
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Old 01-20-2013, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by stix213 View Post
A federal ban of any size would be easier to deal with on a technical and logistic level, because manufacturers would make available magazines at whatever size they can go up to since they could sell them to the national market. ...
To some extent, that's true. If **all** states had a 10-round restriction, then more manufacturers would build 10-round magazines.

But: This is only true to some extent. We lived with 10-round magazine restrictions for a decade recently. And there are some guns for which there were not 10-round magazines, even back then (some Pardini pistols for example). And even for the guns where 10-rounders were available, they were sometimes badly made afterthoughts. My favorite example is the H&K USP in 45: the 10-rounder has a baseplate that is prone to breaking when dropped; the 12-rounder has no such problems.

That's why I was interested in the range of standard capacities, because that's the capacity where there is the best chance of having a healthy supply.

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A significantly smaller and gun hostile market like NY with their own separate restriction though is different. Many firearm manufacturers will only make 7 round mags for their most popular firearms still in production, but will believe the NY market is too small to tool up for 7 rounders for firearms without mass appeal. ...
Completely agree.
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Old 01-20-2013, 7:40 PM
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Standard capacity is whatever the bad guys have.
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Old 01-20-2013, 9:15 PM
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IMO, limiting magazine capacity to any amount is not defensible in the context of the 2A, it is a direct violation of our right to defend ourselves. ...
That's not the question I was asking. Time will tell whether magazine capacity restrictions are compatible with the 2A or not. In the meantime, I am wondering how painful possible ranges of restrictions would be.

Let me summarize: Excluding the 5.7x28 round, for handgun caliber magazines, there seems to be nothing above 20 rounds.

For long arms, the situation is a little more complicated. Of the weapons that are in common use, a 10-round restriction would only affect the M1 carbine, and AR- and AK-series guns. And for those three, 10-round magazines are easily available. And a 15-round limit would in practice only affect AR- and AK-series guns (and those that use compatible magazines). The QBZ-95 example is a bit silly, as they are not available in the US at all, and the few civilian versions that are available for export are chambered in 5.56 NATO and use Stanag magazines, so they are just like ARs in that respect.

And: It is quite easy to separate handgun from rifle caliber rounds; it just so happens that 1000 ft-lbs is an easy and very accurate dividing line (exception a few hand-cannon rounds, like 454 Casull). It would be easy enough to draw up a list of common handgun calibers, then add that any unlisted caliber is a handgun caliber if commercial ammo is below 1000 ft-lbs, and set a magazine capacity limit of 20 rounds for those calibers.

A lot of this depends on whether a magazine capacity limit is combined with an assault weapons ban. If ARs and AKs cease to exist anyhow, then a 10- or 15-round magazine capacity limit isn't a particularly big restriction. I could easily see a 15-round magazine limit for rifle/shotgun calibers.

Last edited by chainsaw; 01-20-2013 at 9:19 PM..
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Old 01-20-2013, 9:44 PM
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To me, it means whatever the gun was intended to use. If an AR or AK came under the use of a 30 rounder, great. A glock, 15+ rounds great. A 1911 8 rounds, great. This is going to be a nasty battle. We have to move past thinking logically and trying to think that maybe the Anti's will see the light, realize they are wrong. They KNOW they are wrong, know these laws do not effect crime rates, but are doing nothing but putting on the facade that they are making a difference while disarming. honestly, what's the conversion rate for an anti? .0009%
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Old 01-21-2013, 4:55 AM
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It's what comes with the firearm, not counting states like ours with reduced limits.
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Old 01-21-2013, 5:18 AM
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Semi auto pistols are designed so that they balance well with a certain number of rounds in the magazine. This is what the manufacturer designed and intended it to be used with. A Glock 35 has a standard capacity magazine of 17 rounds and balances best with the magazine full. A limited capacity magazine throws off the balance ( muzzle heavy).
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Old 01-21-2013, 4:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
Let me summarize: Excluding the 5.7x28 round, for handgun caliber magazines, there seems to be nothing above 20 rounds.
Why would you exclude the 5.7 round? To my mind the 5.7 perfectly demonstrates the idiocy of magazine restrictions. We all understand (at least I hope we do) that what gun a person uses for self-defense is an inherently personal decision. Some people (Finn the Norwegian giant) might choose the .50 Desert Eagle. Other people (Granny Gwai-Lo) might choose a gun that uses the 5.7 round. The magazine restriction fallacy is that x rounds of 5.7 are equivalent to x rounds of .50. This puts people who choose to use guns chambered for 5.7 at a severe disadvantage with respect to those who choose to use guns chambered for .50 (assuming neither party obtains an illegal-capacity magazine). The disparity equalizes somewhat if the 5.7 gun has a magazine capacity of 20 and the .50 gun has a capacity of 7 rounds. Thus, magazine restrictions create a disparity that disfavors the people who most need guns to achieve parity of force.

Moreover, magazine restrictions skew development pressures. Why try to find a way to improve a weapon's utility by increasing capacity when capacity cannot exceed x? Moreover, if magazine capacity is x, developers will have an incentive to design around x. Some people believe the pocket rocket (small size guns of big caliber) craze was created by the original 10 round magazine restriction.
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Old 01-21-2013, 4:35 PM
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  1. We do not need to define a 'standard' under which others are attempting to force us to live.

    It's like army generals having a surrender plan. And if you find a general with one, he's no longer
    a general under any competent administration. ;-)
    .
  2. Standard with what ammo in what magazine? ;-) Aguila rounds in a 28" pump shotty? 9mm in 40cal mags?
    .
  3. I dislike the term 'standard capacity' the ultra-purists in CA are trying to use. We are best served with effective
    communication to keep folks (including noobs) out of jail, and to refer to CA mags holding over 10 rounds as
    "large capacity" or high capacity. That's not a political battle we'll win in CA - instead we will try to win in the
    courts via some 2A and especially various clarity etc. arguments instead. Remember we have the high ground
    in a way: legislators are trying to ban simple boxes.
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Some people believe the pocket rocket (small size guns of big caliber) craze was created by the original 10 round magazine restriction.
I agree: I note the heyday for introing compact 45ACPs was post-1994 Fed AW/mag ban. The skew of pocket 45s
vs. little 25ACP/32acp/380acp guns certainly changed after that, with the practicality of "bigger holes equals invisible souls".
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Last edited by bwiese; 01-21-2013 at 4:40 PM..
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Old 01-21-2013, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
I dislike the term 'standard capacity' the ultra-purists in CA are trying to use. We are best served with effective
communication to keep folks (including noobs) out of jail, and to refer to CA mags holding over 10 rounds as
"large capacity" or high capacity.
While I also do not like the term "standard capacity," I do think that calling magazines that exceed legislative restrictions "large capacity" is counterproductive. If we concede this terminology, a reviewing court is more likely to agree that the state can regulate possession/transfer of such magazines. I also have a difficult time thinking of 11 rounds of .22 LR as large capacity.

I'm still trying to come up with an accurate and intuitive name.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mud99 View Post
IMO, limiting magazine capacity to any amount is not defensible in the context of the 2A, it is a direct violation of our right to defend ourselves. And the "standard capacity" term has basically no meaning.

I can't even imagine the rationale the SCOTUS would have to invent to justify magazine limits.

That is why I hope that New York and Vermont really push the magazine limit down, it will get this to SCOTUS much quicker.
Agreed. However, I think that some agreement for what makes a magazine capacity standard would help to show how silly the law is.

If the standard capacity is specific to the gun, how can we have a blanket ban on magazines over a certain amount?

If the magazine does not fit, you must acquit.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsaw View Post
That's not the question I was asking. Time will tell whether magazine capacity restrictions are compatible with the 2A or not. In the meantime, I am wondering how painful possible ranges of restrictions would be.

Let me summarize: Excluding the 5.7x28 round, for handgun caliber magazines, there seems to be nothing above 20 rounds.

For long arms, the situation is a little more complicated. Of the weapons that are in common use, a 10-round restriction would only affect the M1 carbine, and AR- and AK-series guns. And for those three, 10-round magazines are easily available. And a 15-round limit would in practice only affect AR- and AK-series guns (and those that use compatible magazines). The QBZ-95 example is a bit silly, as they are not available in the US at all, and the few civilian versions that are available for export are chambered in 5.56 NATO and use Stanag magazines, so they are just like ARs in that respect.

And: It is quite easy to separate handgun from rifle caliber rounds; it just so happens that 1000 ft-lbs is an easy and very accurate dividing line (exception a few hand-cannon rounds, like 454 Casull). It would be easy enough to draw up a list of common handgun calibers, then add that any unlisted caliber is a handgun caliber if commercial ammo is below 1000 ft-lbs, and set a magazine capacity limit of 20 rounds for those calibers.

A lot of this depends on whether a magazine capacity limit is combined with an assault weapons ban. If ARs and AKs cease to exist anyhow, then a 10- or 15-round magazine capacity limit isn't a particularly big restriction. I could easily see a 15-round magazine limit for rifle/shotgun calibers.
If the distinction between handguns and rifles is based on the cartridges, then there are easily machine pistols that use magazines over 20 rounds. The Thompson uses a 30 round stick magazine in its military configuration.
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