A recent thread at THR started out as a discussion about finding and purchasing reliable forty round AR-15 magazines. It wasn’t long, of course, before a debate broke out over whether such long magazines are the least bit practical.
Yours truly chimed in to point out that, yes, there are a couple of companies that make reliable 40-round magazines (I’ve had great luck with the 42-round Supermag from Tripp Research), and that there are times when higher-than-average capacity magazines can come in handy, generally on rifle-based hoser stages.
Ahhhh, yes, the same gamesmanship that brought us 30″ shotgun barrels with tube mags to match on supposed defensive shotguns. I think they should require a prone stage with distant targets at EVERY rifle 3-gun, and we’ll see how popular those 40+ ers suddenly become.
Now, the thing that’s particularly funny about this commentator’s attempt to bag on competitive shooting is how just utterly ill-informed it is about practical shooting matches in the first place.
I’ve yet to attend a regional or national-level match that doesn’t have rifle targets out to at least 300 yards, and local matches that have targets to at least 200 yards. I’m assistant match director for a local, monthly tactical rifle match and our steel targets are always at distances of between 200-425 yards, with paper targets located at between contact distance to fifty or so yards.
Of course this is all generally common knowledge to anyone who’s attended a match or two, even just to watch. On top of this, nowhere in my post did I advocate the usage of 40+ round magazines as the be-all and end-all for three-gunning.
When attending a match, my range bag will generally contain an assortment of rifle magazines in capacities from 20 rounds up to 50 rounds. This offers a large degree of flexibility, allowing me to pick the most effective magazine for a given stage. That said, even at times when using a large magazine would seem to be a hindrance, this isn’t necessarily so.
Dyed-in-the-wool members of the Chairborne Rangers will claim that longer magazines are difficult to use when shooting prone, but this isn’t necessarily the case. As the following picture and video demonstrates, what one person thinks can’t be done often times can. One of the reasons for competitive shooting is that it offers the ability to try out gear or techniques for yourself. If they work, then stick with them, if not, discard them and move to something else.
| The author engaging targets from a prone position with an unusually long magazine.
From Tactical Rifle Match 09/09
The author, who runs like a galoot, using a 40 round magazine in various field positions to engage targets to distances of 300 yards.