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Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.



Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Weapons

Should You Use a 20-Round Magazine With Your Carbine?

Focus your efforts on accuracy rather than capacity.

May 19, 2010  |  by Ronnie Frigulti - Also by this author


A 20-round (front) magazine can be preferable to 30-round magazines (rear) for a patrol carbine to achieve more accuracy when shooting from the prone position. Photo by Paul Clinton.

I must confess that my opposition to carbine or rifle magazines with larger than a 20-round capacity stems from my combat experience as a Marine Corps infantryman during the Vietnam War.

When you're taking incoming fire, and you can't get to cover other than the ground in front of you, you must make yourself as small and low a target as possible.

Magazines larger than 20 rounds place your prone position too high unless you turn your carbine or rifle horizontal when firing. I don't like that position for accuracy either.

In law enforcement, there's usually not a need to lay down a barrage of fire for cover or movement. If the officer can't engage his target with 20 rounds accurately, I doubt that 200 rounds would do him much good. The Marine Corps has defined firepower as the number of hits per minute, not the number of rounds fired per minute.

In addition, the longer you make the spring and curve in the magazine's body, the greater the chance for failure due to the spring or follower hanging up in the body. This is no longer as much of a problem with good quality magazines.

What capacity of magazine does your department issue? What do you prefer? Let us know by submitting a comment below. We'd love to hear your perspective.


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