Asked by Tyler on Patreon: “Why are there so few double stack/double feed handguns? I can only think of a couple off the top of my head. It makes the worst part of handgun shooting (loading the magazines) a complete non-issue.”
There are a series of interacting considerations when choosing between single feed and double feed.
– Magazines are less reliable; constricting from two columns to one adds friction (this is magnified as capacity increases)
– Firearms are easier to design; the cartridge is always presented in the same place
– Pistol slides may be slightly narrower
– Magazines are more reliable (also less susceptible to a bit of dirt fouling them)
– Guns are harder to design; must accommodate two different feed positions
– Guns must be a bit wider (immaterial in rifles)
These elements taken together lead to predominantly single feed magazines in pistols and double feed magazines in rifles, although exceptions exist to both.