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A high-capacity magazine (or large-capacity magazine) is a firearm magazine capable of holding more than the standard number of rounds provided by the designer, or often legally defined as a magazine holding more than a certain number of cartridges.For legal purposes, in some jurisdictions, and based on type of firearm, magazines holding more than a particular quantity of rounds are considered high-capacity. This can lead to confusion as the manufacturer's standard magazine capacity for most modern semi-automatic pistols is between 15 and 18 rounds and all AR-15 style rifles come standard with magazines holding between 20 and 30 rounds. Firearms enthusiasts commonly call these magazines standard capacity magazines.

Many early firearms used single-column magazines which stacked rounds inline vertically. In contrast, typical modern magazines use staggered box magazines to increase capacity while maintaining reliable loading. Magazines that hold more than standard capacity magazines often use extended bodies or use a drum mechanism. An early example of this was the 32-round "Trommelmagazin" snail drum magazine found in variants of the Luger pistol.The problem is that these larger than standard magazines often are unreliable and lack the mechanical design and R&D testing resources of a firearm manufacturer. With the larger number of cartridges, there is a higher chance that they will become misaligned before or during firing. As a result, these products may be prone to jamming, rendering the firearm useless until time-consuming corrective action is taken to clear the jam.Magazine capacity is also debated among military users, who have to balance the greater firepower of high-capacity magazines with their greater weight and size, as well as issues regarding reliability.

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