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Should one fully load the magazine of a modern auto pistol, or load it one short of full? I own a Kahr PM9.
I just finished "In the Gravest Extreme" and wondered if spring technology had improved since that publication.
Depends on the gun and the magazine. Browning Hi-Power? I've always listened to the Brits, who have so much experience with them, and load them one round down to assure reliability. Eight round 1911 mags? With the exception of Wilson EDM, I'll load them only w/7, not 8...partly for reliability reasons and partly because on most eight rounders, the cartridge slack has no flex left in it when the mag is filled all the way up, so if you have to insert a full mag in a pistol with slide forward, it may not seat fully. Rather than stand there hammering it in, I'd rather have instant, positive seating of a mag with one round less.
Those reasons are also why I download my spare magazines by one round when I carry a Glock 30 or 37, though the magazines IN both guns are full. That's because the "administrative reload" is done at leisure.
Another reason to download one in a Glock, particularly 30 or 37, would be if one chose to carry it with chamber empty. Strong spring pressure from the fully loaded mag presses the topmost cartridge hard against the bottom of the slide, creating friction drag that can slow down the shooter when attempting to "charge" the pistol.
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