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View Full Version : Spare mags - a rational discussion


MLeake
August 17, 2009, 03:22 PM
Please, can we avoid the flames?

I have two reasons I consider rational for combining a reasonably high-cap pistol with a spare.

1) While muggers may often act solo, the trend in Atlanta (where I reside, though in the outskirts) and Orlando (where my parents reside, or in the outskirts) area robberies has been young males, in groups of 2 or 3. While I'm a very good shot, I don't expect any bullet to be a magic bullet, and I'd like to at least have a chance at 3 double-taps prior to a reload.

2) Standard stoppage drills, if tap/rack/pull doesn't fix the issue, often go next to dropping the magazine and trying a new one. Just because the first magazine is high-capacity, doesn't mean it will work.

Many people aren't worried about a multiple attacker scenario, and they may be statistically justified where they live. Do bear in mind that statistics are averages or norms, and allow for a wide degree of deviation. It would not be fun to encounter a deviation.

Many people have great faith that they will be able to resolve the issue either without firing a shot, or by only firing one or two rounds. That may also prove true, and is statistically fairly likely.

Last, many people feel that the odds of a stoppage in a critical moment are slim, and given a well-maintained firearm they are statistically correct. Still, I can't help but feel that there's a reason why the military and most police departments teach stoppage drills.

So, to recap, in the areas where I often find myself, the criminal trend is toward small groups of young BGs; there is a possibility that even with superb marksmanship - not guaranteed under the stress of an encounter - that I'd need at least six rounds, assuming no misses; and one possibly required step in a stoppage clearing drill is the removal and replacement of the magazine.

Please, let's try and keep this one civil.

Cheers,

M

THEZACHARIAS
August 17, 2009, 03:32 PM
Seems like a solid enough argument to me. I carry a spare regardless of capacity.

TailGator
August 17, 2009, 04:00 PM
This has been discussed many times on TFL, and the responses vary from 5-shot revolvers ("If you need more than five shots, you are a lousy shot!") to folks that carry so much spare ammo that I wonder how they walk around without their pants falling down.

Your reasoning seems sound, and if you are comfortable with it, I am on your side. If you care, I carry a G26, which has a 10-round magazine. A spare magazine slips in a pocket with little effort, so I carry it. I am not one who thinks he has to be prepared for an extended firefight every time I open the front door, but I am also aware that in an emergency the target is not going to be a stationary paper silhouette, and adrenalin is going to be high, so I just might miss. Combined with the possibility of having to react to a small group of assailants, like you said, that would seem to justify having a few extra rounds on board. How many is very much up to the individual and their perception of the threat and their abilities.

Even as kindly as you presented the question, neither you nor I are likely to avoid flames.

bababooey32
August 17, 2009, 04:02 PM
MLeake - Good luck with this thread. The crux of this whole argument rests on one's perception of the likliehood of the various scenarios you described (and infinite others). The disconnect (to me) lies in the "low-cappers" disregard for the laws of probablities when deciding to carry a firearm and then full adherence to same laws when criticizing higher cap/spare magazine users.

The chances of being involved in a situation necessitating the drawing of your firearm are already so small as to be indistinguisghable from zero. Attempting to parse that potential encounter into multiple possible scenarios requiring different equipment is an exercise in futility that renders it moot. In other words, if you have made the decision to carry in the face of the "statistics", you might as well carry a few extra rounds too (either on-board and/or in a spare mag). Please note that I endorse the YMMV approach to this argument! :)

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 04:14 PM
I agree with you that I find it interesting how some people want to parse and weight statistics. You're right, if one wants to take precautions against the statistically unlikely need to draw a weapon, then why not take precautions against the statistically unlikely need to deal with multiple assailants.

The only problem I have with that, is that based on my personal acquaintances, not counting LEO....

... my ex had to pull a firearm once for SD against two would-be home invaders; the following year she had to pull a firearm against armed robbers at an ATM;
... my best friend had to pull a firearm against three would-be carjackers (one incident, three guys; luckily, they don't seem to have had a gun, just muscle and, initially surprise; he had a King Cobra, and ultimately surprise; they chose to depart the Mercedes); Note: this was before cell phones; he chose the wrong parking lot to use a pay phone; pay attention to your surroundings;
... a squadronmate of mine in flight training (I'm USN, he was USMC, we train together, along with USCG) shot and killed a carjacker in Louisiana while transferring from training at NAS Whiting to advanced training in Texas;
... my cousin was saved from a serial rapist by timely intervention from her German Shepherd.

I'm not counting a certain great uncle who ended up in a shootout with hijackers while running bootleg before I was born, according to family lore...

On top of that, within my first fifteen or so SCUBA dives, I'd encountered a large shark. Statistically, that's a once in a lifetime deal; most divers dream of an open-water encounter, but never get one.

I've also had close encounters with rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. My lady just had a (fortunately uneventful) encounter with a sun-basking rattler yesterday.

So, I tend to not feel too silly when I worry about "statistically unlikely" possibilities, so long as they aren't unlikely to the point of being ridiculous.

CWPinSC
August 17, 2009, 06:17 PM
If you feel the need to carry 30+ rounds, then do so. If you're attacked by multiples, can you get off shots at all of them before one gets you? Think about it - BANG! Resight, BANG! Resight, BANG!...etc. Be sure you pick the closest, most dangerous targets first. All that takes time you may not have. This isn't a kung fu movie where one guy is surrounded by ten and they attack one at a time. Tap, rack, pull, eject, insert, rack, pull. That's gonna take about 5 seconds, IF you're clean and fast. A human can cover over 30 feet in 5 seconds. Do you have time? It's not the number or rounds, but fast, accurate shots. I recently carried a 9+1 .40 S&W and changed to a 13+1 9mm, and I'm still undecided which is best.

Gang violence hasn't hit where I live yet, so I don't have the need for an arsenal on my belt. If you live in a bad area, carry what you think you need to survive.

Japle
August 17, 2009, 06:27 PM
Knowing what the “typical” scenario is doesn’t tell you a thing about what you’ll run into. After all, half the gunfights involve more than the average number of shots. You never know where you're going to be on the curve. You'll probably never be on the curve at all. Let's hope not.

I tend to prepare for something about 3 times as bad as anything I might reasonably expect. I carry a Glock 19 (16 rounds), a Glock 17+2 mag (19 rounds) and a P3AT (7 rounds). It's all very well distributed and very comfortable.

In the entire history of gunfighting, there has never been a case where one of the shooters wished he had a smaller gun that held fewer rounds of less powerful ammo.

sakeneko
August 17, 2009, 06:41 PM
MLeake, I don't deal with this issue because I have a five-shot revolver and the spare ammo issue isn't remotely paranoid with one of those. :cool: But my husband carries a Springfield Armory SD-M. He has three spare magazines -- on in the gun when he's carrying concealed, one loaded with self defense ammo that he carries when carrying concealed, and two for practice so he can eject them into the dirt and reload the gun without risking damage to his self defense magazines. His feeling is that, while the extra carry mag might be unnecessary, they are a) cheap, b) easy to carry, and c) make him feel better.

I have no argument with those things. If the magazines were horrendously expensive or heavy and difficult to carry, I might think differently, but they aren't. So I don't see where the problem is with somebody choosing to carry a spare or two, even if I think chances of their needing it are slim to none.

Nnobby45
August 17, 2009, 06:49 PM
Seems like lots of folks look at SD in the context they've created in their heads --that always seems to involve being confronted by one or two thugs on the street where one mag. (or even a couple of shots) would likely be enough.


Spare mag may be necessary when clearing certain malfunctions.


You might like to reload your pistol after a fight-- like it was before the first fight started.

Trouble sometimes happens on a larger scale than we figured on having to deal with. With single stack pistols, I have two spares and a 642 BUG. Part of the comittment I made to myself to stay alive as long as I can.


Piece of mind is a good enough reason to pack a spare mag or two--speaking for myself, anyway. Call it psychological rather than tactical if you want--I think it's both with either being reason enough.

jglsprings
August 17, 2009, 07:23 PM
Geeze, carry what you want. No one is on the prod because you carry what you are comfortable with. If they are, ignore them.

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 07:51 PM
I don't need 30+ rounds unless my gun can carry 15+ and my mag carries 15+. My mags hold 8 each. I keep 1 spare on me. thats 17 rounds. if I am outnumbered, I am not going to be an idiot and stand there blasting away. I am going to be running my a$$ off to get away/protect whoever I am with, especially if I am outnumbered.
Also, I am not worried about missing my target. I know how to shoot my 45

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:03 PM
... while moving, ducking, and using cover?

Have you ever done drills where objects are thrown at you while you shoot? (I have acquaintances who've been through Federal Air Marshal training; this is part of their course.)

Do you have the physical skills to fend off an attacker while you draw a weapon?

Do you know how to move when you've been grabbed from behind?

Do you think any of those factors could affect the way you might shoot your .45?

ThomasPaine
August 17, 2009, 08:04 PM
if you and your family are that lucky at the odds, I think you should be playing the lotto!

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:09 PM
... when carrying a single column mag, I usually only carry one spare as well. I'm not as worried about total round count, as I am worried about having a spare magazine in case the first one develops problems.

I don't foresee too many situations where I'll need more than 13 rounds, either. (I don't do the +1 thing, because I don't like to have a loose round when I unload the weapon; my smallest pistol has one 6 and one 7rd mag.)

Depending on what pistol I'm carrying, with the spare mag I have:

13 (Kahr, hasn't arrived yet but is on order)
16 (P239)
16 (P220)
24 (P229)
28 or 30 (CZ75D PCR; depending on if spare is compact or full size)
32 (CZ75B)

I'm no more ninja'ed out with 32 than with 13, since either way I'm carrying a spare primarily in case of stoppage problems.

Do I object to having 32 rounds when I carry the CZ? (48 if using a shoulder rig; the 2 spare magazines balance the pistol out a bit better, so spare mags may have non-tactical, purely creature comfort value too) No, I don't mind the extra ammo.

Do I feel undergunned with 16 rounds? No.

Just depends on what I'm carrying, but with semi-autos I always carry a spare mag.

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 08:10 PM
1. I know how to dodge stuff. And also how to get cover
2. If an attacker is at point blank range, I have a way lower chance of reaching for my gun. Instead, it will be my metal flashlight, my pocket knife, or something I can grab and fight with. Or even my gun, or extra mag to use to hit with.
3. It really depends on how I am grabbed. Bear hug? By the arm? Yea, I know how to move around. I am 150 lbs. I am small and agile, and fast.
4. Yes, they affect how I shoot my 45. Everything does.
You seem to be under the assumption that in Atlanta(where I also live, in Gwinnett, but have lived in Dekalb, and Fulton) people are stupid enough to keep attacking you once a presentation has been made. 2-3 retards aren't going to stick around after I pull out and start barking commands. Unless mentally altered, then all bets are off. Point is, you don't need all these bullets. You need correct tactics. I will bet my life on 17 and being smart instead of 30+ and spray/pray.
I am not saying if you carry a 9mm with 30+ rounds in 2 mags its too much. Do what you want, just don't think that I am not prepared with 17 rounds of 45's. its a misassumption

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:35 PM
On second thought, let's tone this down. I'm the one who wanted to avoid flame wars...

Suffice to say, as noted, I am a pretty good shot, with the military and (admittedly few, yet) competition scores to support that claim. I also have a fairly strong background in martial arts, am reasonably big and reasonably fit (although I really need to get rid of a mild case of dunlap disease), and have had some decent exposure to tactics.

When in the area, I tend to shoot in Marietta, and would be more than happy to meet up for a friendly TFL shooting get-together.

Resumes, in this instance, don't serve my original purpose, and may not be the most appropriate thing to post to support an argument, though sometimes they can be on point. Kyo's criticism is correct, and I'm removing mine.

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 08:41 PM
I don't understand why you need to give a resume. I am not attacking anyone. And the spray and pray isn't towards you, I was just using an example that I would rather be smart with my bullets then have a higher count and be reckless. again, not an attack on you. I took aikido. My favorite book is the dynamic sphere.

raftman
August 17, 2009, 08:41 PM
I don't carry a spare mag, I guess it is because I don't feel the odds are all that high that I'd need it. I may get a spare at some point, but it's not high on the list of priorities. I do keep my pistol clean and oiled, and it's a pistol that's proven itself reliable so I don't worry too much about a stoppage occurring. I guess, like the OP says, it comes down to statistics. Statistically speaking, I will likely never need a gun at all. There is a very small chance however, heaven forbid, that I do need it. In these cases, there's a relatively small chance that I'd need to actually fire the gun, and if I do, there's a very small chance that I'd need more than the 8 rounds that are in my pistol. I guess, to put in simply, I feel like, enough of my bases are covered.

Plus my pockets are already too full stuff as it is, keys, wallet, phone, pistol, etc.

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:41 PM
Also, please note that when I carry a .45, I carry one round less than you do, Kyo. This is not meant as an attack, just saying that I'm not knocking your 17 rounds. You have a spare. We actually appear to agree on at least that point.

pax
August 17, 2009, 08:46 PM
Started to close this, changed my mind.

Here's the deal, guys. I'm tired of watching these threads endlessly degenerate into polarized sides muttering "paranoid!" and "sheep!" at each other.

It stays open only as long as that can be avoided. At the moment I'm not exactly optimistic.

pax

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:48 PM
As noted above, resume was pulled. You were correct on that point, Kyo. However, can we please avoid turning this into a "spray and pray" issue. For some of us, we were taught from day one that we should always carry a spare magazine with a semi-auto, in case of feed issues / stoppages with the first magazine.

While there are mall ninjas and zombie hunters out there, most of us probably don't fall into that category. Many of us probably fall into current or former military or LEO, who were trained to carry the spare.

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 08:54 PM
I'll assume your old enough since you have a carry permit, Kyo, so I'll buy you a beer if you like.

Of course, we won't be able to carry if we partake.

Cheers,

M

PS Dynamic Sphere is a good book, a copy resides in my bookcase; have you read Aikido and the Harmony of Nature? I've been to a few of Saotome's seminars, and the man was just incredible on the mat.

bababooey32
August 17, 2009, 08:58 PM
In the entire history of gunfighting, there has never been a case where one of the shooters wished he had a smaller gun that held fewer rounds of less powerful ammo.

That about sums the whole thing up. I can't think of a better argument for either side then that!! might as well close it down now!!! :D

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 09:04 PM
Back on subject- when I baby sit my aunt's and uncles kids, I keep 2 extra mags with me for a total of 3+1 in the gun. First 2 are hollow points, the others are FMJs. Why? well, im in a house with a bunch of little kids. its just extra peace of mind because Im not actually walking around in public concealing a dual mag carrier and a full size gun +1 mag in the pocket. I can get away with it there.
If I ever go on a camping trip, or anything like that, I will load up all 4 mags again. It really depends. On everyday adventures, its just 1 spare. Out of town like to Helen- only 1 as well. Different state? probably 4

jglsprings
August 17, 2009, 09:10 PM
Back on subject- when I baby sit my aunt's and uncles kids, I keep 2 extra mags with me for a total of 3+1 in the gun. First 2 are hollow points, the others are FMJs. Why? well, im in a house with a bunch of little kids. its just extra peace of mind because Im not actually walking around in public concealing a dual mag carrier and a full size gun +1 mag in the pocket. I can get away with it there.............

Good LORD!! I hope I never have to baby sit children that will require me to carry 4 magazines!! :eek:

DiscoRacing
August 17, 2009, 09:12 PM
i carry two S&W .40s...and four extra mags most of the time.... not sure why...

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 09:14 PM
... I'd be the big idiot kid wrestling with most of them, so I probably would have my weapons locked up. For some reason, I'm that guy that kids like to jump on screaming "spin me! spin me!" and that dogs all just somehow know will scratch their ears.

Get the feeling you may have been joking on that last one.

ranburr
August 17, 2009, 09:20 PM
Extra ammo is never a bad thing. The weakest point of any pistol platform is the magazine. Therefore, you would be stupid not to carry at least one spare magazine, (regardless of capacity).

Wildalaska
August 17, 2009, 10:08 PM
Therefore, you would be stupid not to carry at least one spare magazine, (regardless of capacity).

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah snifsobsob

You called me stoopid

WildicarryonemagAlaska TM:D

raftman
August 17, 2009, 10:09 PM
I certainly wouldn't say you'd be stupid not to carry a spare mag. From a statistical standpoint, the odds are very much against you ever actually needing it, unless you live in seriously bad area or something. You'd be pretty hard pressed to find a civilian self-defense situation (let's not get into military-style combat scenarios) in which someone lost a gunfight because of a malfunction attributed to the magazine.

pax
August 17, 2009, 10:14 PM
And there we go.

Just one time, I'd love to see one of these threads with a complete lack of any of the following accusations about the people on the other side:


"paranoid"

"sheep"

"stupid"

"living in denial"

"living in fear"

"Rambo wanna-be"

"unprepared"


Can it be done? Based on available evidence, this old cynic doubts it...

The next post along those lines gets the thread closed -- and the member who posts it gets a demerit. Think twice, post once.

pax

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 10:17 PM
... and I've had to drop a magazine at the range in order to clear a stoppage with a 1911. This happened a time or two - enough to convince me not to carry that 1911 as a CCW - and statistically was an anomaly. My other semi's haven't had that happen, so far.

However, if they ever do, I'll have the spare mag.

The flip side of this argument is, what would I gain by NOT carrying the spare mag?

Pocket space? That's why I have magazine holders for my belt. Or cargo shorts and cargo pants.

So, I've been trained that it's prudent to carry a spare mag with a semi-auto, and I don't see any real gain from not carrying the spare mag, ergo why would I not carry the spare?

Wildalaska
August 17, 2009, 10:24 PM
Can it be done?

Bet I could do them all in one sentence that makes sense :p

The flip side of this argument is, what would I gain by NOT carrying the spare mag?

I sometmes have to argue with myself just to carry at all:)

WildicantacticallypukeAlaska TM:D

Skan21
August 17, 2009, 10:26 PM
I only carry one mag. 19 rounds is plenty. Or 19+1. What I carry depends on where I'm going. If I'm going somewhere I think may be sketchy, I carry the XD(M). That way I've got lots of lead. Mostly it's been the Springfield 1911. 8+1 is fine for most instances, IMO.

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 10:40 PM
hi pax. relax :D your being "paranoid" lol. just kidding.

anyway, Mleake, I can bat for the other side on your argument. carrying an extra mag, or extra speed loader, takes up more space. How much more space? Well, a double stack would be easier to see in pants. I keep my extra mag in the back pocket, and it can float around sometimes. it really depends on what clothes you wear. if you are a girl, a purse might be ok. A guy like me who wears jeans, its not a problem.
I don't keep it in my front pockets because my wallet/keys/phone are in those pockets. I mess with those about a million times a day, so a mag there is not the best. Back pocket it is. What if you have a business suit and don't have back pockets? You gonna put it in your sock and cover it with your pants? In your waistline maybe? No idea. But sometimes, I can see why you don't want an extra mag.

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 10:43 PM
but rather on having a second magazine, since magazine failures will really ruin your day with a pistol, especially if you don't have a spare.

I'm happy with a pair of 8 rounders, and in fact from time to time will carry a 6 and a 7 when my PM9 arrives. Either of those loadouts would be less in round count than the load in Skan21's one mag. However, if his magazine has an issue after one or two rounds fired, with no spare magazine, then he'd be in a worse position than I would be given the same problem, since I'd have a spare mag available.

Again, what is the gain in NOT carrying a spare magazine? Plenty of people have said why they feel it is unnecessary, but nobody has really indicated what they think the plus side is to not carrying a spare magazine. ("I don't think it's necessary" isn't the same as "you would gain x if you did not do that.")

pax
August 17, 2009, 10:47 PM
Kyo ~

Never use a mag pouch? Why not? :confused:

I guess I could see the difficulty if you carried in a pocket. But most of us carry on the belt. And if the belt is already in place, a mag pouch is an easy addition.

pax

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 10:50 PM
ahh glad you asked me. I don't like to use mag carriers on the belt because they actually print more then the gun. I carry the gun IWB, the mag holder I have has a place for 2 mags and clips into the belt, but only for OWB. If I open carry I still just keep it in the pocket.

MLeake
August 17, 2009, 10:51 PM
... thanks for actually addressing the question.

For me, if I'm carrying a double-stack, it means I either have a loose outer shirt or a jacket, depending on the weather. I'm probably carrying OWB, because I don't really like double-stack IWB. If that's the case, and I want to preserve pocket space, I have magazine holders made by Galco and SimplyRugged that I can just snap over my belt on the opposite side from the pistol. The same outer shirt or jacket that covers the pistol on my right does a great job of concealing the magazine on my left. Or, if I have plenty of pocket space available (I really prefer cargo pants and shorts, if only because I hate having a wallet in a hip pocket when driving or otherwise seated, it just annoys me, so thigh cargo pockets are wonderful things for me) then I just toss the spare mag in either the front left or left cargo pocket, depending on where it flops around less.

If using my shoulder rig, it has a dual magazine pouch setup opposite the pistol, to act as both spare location and counterweight to the pistol. If the holster is concealed, so are the spare magazines.

The only time I'd really have to worry about the pocket space, or the possible annoyance of the mag banging around on me, would be shorts and t-shirt or tank mode. However, a pistol suitable for that mode tends to be a smaller, single-stack type, and the magazines aren't as bulky or heavy in the pocket, and don't bang around so much against my thigh.

On an odd note, the biggest problem I have on a board shorts day is where to stick the ubiquitous folding knife. Those days, it tends to be my smaller folder, tucked into the waistband of the shorts on strong side, with a pistol in the right cargo. On those days, keys, cell phone, wallet, and any loose change end up in the left pocket, so a spare mag becomes pretty unlikely.

So, for me at least, aside from outdoor play activities there's almost never a real gain to not carrying the spare. I can see where this would be more of a problem for a slimmer person, or one who prefers wranglers or similar jeans.

pax
August 17, 2009, 10:54 PM
Kyo ~

That makes sense.

I have an IWB tuckable mag pouch from Ted Blocker Holsters (www.tedblockerholsters.com) that works well. No printing.

pax

doc2rn
August 17, 2009, 11:06 PM
Until I find a nice leather rig with dual mag pouch like a shoulder rig I just obey the first law and bring a gun. I hit what I aim at, and I have 9 lawyers in my weapon.

Kyo
August 17, 2009, 11:42 PM
sweet i been lookin for IWB ammo pouches. It would be nice to have one of those
mleake- I carry on a simplyrugged Cuda holster and belt. I <3 them. most comfortable holster I have found while doing everything from laying around to driving.
pax thanx for the ted blocker link im gonna pick up a concealment mag holder

this mainly comes down to convenience. obviously, if it was so we would all carry as much as we could afford in guns, and ammo. reality sets in, and I am willing to give up some comfort for safety, just not all of it. Thats why I have a leather holster instead of crap, and a gun belt instead of crap as well. I learned real quick that if its that much of a drag to carry you wont. But I do it comfortably to my threshold. My threshold would be 1 mag in the pocket. 2 is too many because there is no where for them to go when I sit down. As i sit with 1, I can move it to the side and be fine.

Skan21
August 18, 2009, 12:11 AM
I see where you're going Mleake, about the mag malfunctions. But I've never had a malfunction with any of my pistols. I also use good magazines ( Mec Gar or Wilson) which absolutely doesn't rule out malfunctions, but cuts down on the risk substantially. If I carried a low quality pistol, with low quality mags, I might have a different opinion. If I carry, I carry the most reliable, or best that I can afford. My life is worth more to me than the $1000 I spend on my carry gear. Plus, I shoot my carry mags regularly, but I never drop them out of the pistol onto the ground. I take care of them, and clean them regularly. My range mags are marked with red tape on the bottom, and I beat the living crap out of them.

Dannyl
August 18, 2009, 12:34 AM
Hi,

I kit up according to where I am going.

Most of the time it is my S&W 4006 (11+1) with one spare mag either in my pocket or in my laptop bag (which either is on my back or next to me)

In my car I keep one more spare mag and a box of 20 Rounds ( always, it takes little space and it is always there, right next to the first aid kit and the extinguisher)

In some instances I may do away with the spare mag and carry only the gun
( mainly in places that are very secure to start with) and on the other hand, there are instances where I will have my carry gun with 2 spare mags, and a back-up gun with spare mags for it. (Like when I am part of the guard at a synagogue in a religious holiday and the chances that I may have to fend off an attack are much higher)

So my answer if one asks, is to kit up for the circumstances.

Brgds,

Danny

Frank Ettin
August 18, 2009, 12:39 AM
....I have two reasons I consider rational for combining a reasonably high-cap pistol with a spare.

1) While muggers may often act solo, the trend in Atlanta (where I reside, though in the outskirts) and Orlando (where my parents reside, or in the outskirts) area robberies has been young males, in groups of 2 or 3. While I'm a very good shot, I don't expect any bullet to be a magic bullet, and I'd like to at least have a chance at 3 double-taps prior to a reload.

2) Standard stoppage drills, if tap/rack/pull doesn't fix the issue, often go next to dropping the magazine and trying a new one. Just because the first magazine is high-capacity, doesn't mean it will work....FWIW, I agree completely.

I carry whenever I legally can, and most of the time I carry, it's a 1911 or an H&K P7M8. And I always carry at least one extra magazine. Probably won't need it, but then again, I probably won't need the gun in the first place. But if I'm already carrying almost 3 pounds of loaded gun, what's an extra magazine or two? Magazines, especially single stack magazines, are easy to carry. It's the gun that's hard to carry.

And if one really paid attention to the odds, one wouldn't even bother carrying the gun in the first place. Most people in Western Civilization will die quietly in their beds without ever having had to defend themselves in a violent encounter. But the thing is that rare things do happen.

So okay, one is unlikely to need an extra magazine (or a gun for that matter). But the upside of not carrying an extra magazine is pretty modest -- just a little convenience. At the same time, the downside of needing one and not having it can be pretty catastrophic (even if unlikely).

armsmaster270
August 18, 2009, 04:03 AM
I agree fully with MLeaks post If you are going to carry you might as well be ready for the worse case scenario. Normally I carry 1 spare on me with one in my car unless I am on a Ride along with a police agency then I carry 2 plus my BUG

CWPinSC I hope that while you are doing the shooting you are actively seeking good cover at the same time and not just trading shots.

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 06:17 AM
I also take pretty good care of my magazines, and avoid dropping them where possible. (IE, at the range, I normally baby them; during military quals, I have no trouble letting them drop, so I'm pretty sure I'm not training in a bad habit at my more normal sessions, though this could be a potential concern.)

As far as reliability, the SIG P series and CZ75 series are known for it. So's the Kahr, though again I pick that up next week, and have yet to shoot it (but a range report is likely to follow shortly after I do). I agree fully that reliability is critical to any carry system.

But by nature, and maybe even more by training, I like spares.

On a loosely related note, aircraft engines are very reliable things. Still, I've never regretted having one or three extras, because sometimes engines don't function properly, too.

For that matter, I've never regretted having backup radios. Or backup navaids.

I think you see where I'm going with this...

Cheers,

M

ThomasPaine
August 18, 2009, 08:11 AM
It does not matter what the odds are that a civilian will ever end up in a shooting situation is. Last time I heard stats most cops never have to discharge their weapon at someone during their career. The fact remains that once you have been in such a situation, at the first opportunity you should always reload your gun so it is fully loaded. You do not pull out your mag and put one or two rounds back in it, you drop it, put in a fresh one and pocket the less than full one. This is nothing more than efficiency and training.

rantingredneck
August 18, 2009, 08:33 AM
I typically carry one reload for my gun, but usually it's a speedstrip since I've become such a revolver nut of late.

I doubt I'll ever need it, but it's not like it's a lot of extra gear to lug around. I just drop it in my offside pocket and go about my day.

With my LCP I have a handy little pocket mag carrier that I use. Got it from stmcelroy aka www.rkbaholsters.com. Good stuff there.

If I am carrying a full size semi auto (rare these days) I have a couple of fobus mag paddles that I can use. One's a double that pretty much just stays with my truck gun as I rarely actually wear it. The other is a single and I honestly don't wear it very often either.

I do occasionally just tuck a full size mag in my back jeans pocket, but I find by the end of the day it ends up riding in my console or door pocket of my truck or my wife's car.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 18, 2009, 09:18 AM
If one gives it a little thought, one can comfortably dress and conceal a reasonable semi and mag pouch. With no offense, I find the statements that you can't not believeable.

Even in TX, a nice TX tee shirt and then a big floppy light weight over shirt , like a Magellan or Columbia fishing shirt works just fine. Many folks have the t and overshirt look so you don't stand out. Get a size or two bigger. You don't print.

I've hung with groups of folks dressed like that and we don't look like the SWAT team.

Basically, there is no down side to extra ammo - what we do see is folks locking into a position and then defending it because it's an argument.

If you shoot a lot, you see guns and mags go belly up quite a bit.

BigDaddy
August 18, 2009, 09:19 AM
I always carry a spare when carrying a single stack. I carry my spare in an old leather Schrade multitool scabbard. It works great and doesn't look like a mag pouch at all.

--Dave

OldMarksman
August 18, 2009, 10:39 AM
The two most cogent arguments for me are the possibility of multiple attackers and the possibility of a stoppage.

A second magazine makes sense. So does a back-up gun, frankly.

Likelihood of needing either? Probably less than remote. But if you do, you will not be able to rewind and change the script.

I've been carrying a Centennial. But in thinking about it, I have started to believe the few people would be likely to try to attack a man on the street by themselves unless they thought they had the element of surprise. So--two perps, moving fast. Are five enough? I'm having second thoughts.

I now have fired my M&P9C enough to trust it. I've also bought a 4 inch 1911. Holsters are back-ordered for months.

Wildalaska
August 18, 2009, 10:45 AM
I'm having second thoughts.

Im not. The odds dont justify the inconvenience

WildilikeharrisfaulknerseyesAlaska TM

Glenn E. Meyer
August 18, 2009, 10:53 AM
The odds argument is getting so old - the odds argument extended argues against a gun in general.

Also, I just don't buy the inconvenience argument. As I said - it's really not. If you cover a gun on one side - you can cover a mag on the other.

mavracer
August 18, 2009, 11:12 AM
you can rationalize from a 2 shot derringer after all the average gunfight is 2 rounds all the way to "mall ninja".so if you do your own risk assesment and load out accordingly your probably over prepaired.Which is not a bad thing.

mavracer
August 18, 2009, 11:17 AM
Also, I just don't buy the inconvenience argument.
I kinda laughed about that too especially when the person making the argument is known to carry a seecamp:rolleyes:

MavcomeonhowinconvienentcanitbeRacer

Buzzcook
August 18, 2009, 11:27 AM
The odds argument is getting so old - the odds argument extended argues against a gun in general.

Why yes it does.

But you have it backwards. To extend the odds argument would be to say the odds of needing a gun are very small, by extension the odds of needing multiple mags or guns is very very small.
To go from very very small to very small is a retraction.

The safety argument also has an extension, if extra mags is a an important safeguard, then why not open carry a shoulder arm with a 30 round mag? You would be carrying more ammo in a more powerful caliber and in a more accurate weapon.

LightningJoe
August 18, 2009, 11:41 AM
All your arguments in favor of a second magazine are even better arguments in favor of a second gun. New York reload. If you can carry one high-cap automatic, you can carry two.

OldMarksman
August 18, 2009, 11:51 AM
To extend the odds argument would be to say the odds of needing a gun are very small, by extension the odds of needing multiple mags or guns is very very small.

Maybe--just maybe. I thought so too--and then I thought about it a little more.

Look at it this way: is the likelihood of being attacked by two people less than or greater than the likelihood of being attacked by one? I think it might be greater. A perp acting alone may be too risk averse to try anything.

And if two or more people were to attack from multiple directions, both moving quickly, would it be better to have ten or twelve shots available than five? The "New York reload" solves the capacity problem and the problem of a failure. A larger capacity goes halfway, and a second magazine is somewhere in between.

Wildalaska
August 18, 2009, 12:13 PM
The odds argument is getting so old - the odds argument extended argues against a gun in general.


Thats why a whole bunch of times I go out without a gun :)

Also, I just don't buy the inconvenience argument. As I said - it's really not. If you cover a gun on one side - you can cover a mag on the other.

Now Glenn you are falling in to the trap....:)

Here....the less a person has to put in his pockets or carry around every day, the more convenient it is. Less stuff=more convenience. More stuff=less convenience. You may have a level of inconvenience you are willing to put up with, but you cant argue that my minimalist level isnt more convenient than yours:p

I have trouble keeping track of my keys and have to wear my cellphone around my neck so I dont lose it. I found $100 in my change pocket that I forgot I put there. I lose my gun. Half the time I dont even wear a belt. Im fat and I'm deadly at 10 feet with my Seecamp. I live in a low crime area and dont go into harms way. I keep a rifle in my truck. I spend most of my waking moments contemplating the space-time continuum and even if I had a spare mag, I would forget where I put it. All of the foregoing militates me from carrying a spare mag.

Caveat primus: I do carry a SIG 210 frequently and openly. Thats more of a fashion statement :)

Caveat secundus: I get psychic waves now and then of ethnic hostility and then carry my HP....but not a second mag.

Who is it here that says a handgun is for fat guys to fight their way to their MBR:p

WildgodifeelbloatedtodayAlaska ™

Kyo
August 18, 2009, 12:31 PM
everyone has their reasons

sakeneko
August 18, 2009, 02:31 PM
Wild, it sounds like what you need is checkup and a visit to a good spa. But your neighborhood sounds nice -- kind of place people don't lock their doors because they don't have to. Maybe someday I'll be able to move to some place like that. Someday, not now.

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 03:13 PM
... I think it was Mike Irwin, but it was something about the starter pistol for a fat man's mad dash.

Cheers,

M

rantingredneck
August 18, 2009, 04:48 PM
Something about the starter pistol for the fat man's mad dash tactical retreat IIRC. Very true in my case as well, though I'm working on the fat part. Can't change the fact that at 35 I'm already an old man who has had too many broken bones and busted up joints in his life to run very far very fast (it ain't the age, it's the mileage :D).

I find myself often these days carrying two revolvers. Don't really know why other than when getting dressed to go somewhere I strap a .357 on my belt and drop a .38 in my pocket. Doesn't really inconvenience, both carry well and I shoot both very well.

But there are other days where it's a .380 in my pocket and other than that, I'm just happy to see you. :eek: :o

There's usually no rhyme or reason to what I carry from one day to the next, other than the further I go from home the more firepower I tend to bring with me.

Hard Ball
August 18, 2009, 05:21 PM
A couple of spare magazines are just cheap life insurance.

mavracer
August 18, 2009, 05:43 PM
Guys it's right here check out my sig line

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 09:26 PM
... but it also applies to this one.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dogs-that-killed-uga-118158.html

This pack of feral dogs numbered from 11 to 14.

While gunshots might have made them all turn tail and run, they also might not have.

I'd rather have at least one round per dog, or a couple per Alpha.

A couple posters in the other thread have indicated that they have had to shoot at feral dogs, themselves.

Skan21
August 18, 2009, 10:24 PM
WildAlaska, I really wanted to call you out on the word "militates", but I looked it up and it's a real word. :o Good one! And it's kinda the truth that if I'm going to carry a spare mag IWB, it probably wouldn't be much more inconvenient to carry a New York reload. I don't carry anything actually ON my belt. My IWB is actually only technically "on my belt". I hate stuff sticking off my belt. Plus, I'm a product of growing up in the mid '90s and early 2000's, so all my clothing is pretty large on me, and if I've ever tucked in my shirt, it would be the first time. So lots of IWB space.

Kyo
August 18, 2009, 10:33 PM
its a PITA to NY reload. and I don't have 500 bucks for another 45.
I would use this holster though
http://media.photobucket.com/image/new%20york%20reload/Softail2005/ConcealedCarry/NewYorkReloadHolster.jpg
still would keep it at 4 oclock.

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 11:07 PM
http://andrewsleather.com/usr_a.jpg

The Urban Safari Rig shoulder holster.

It's one way to achieve perfect balance...

Frank Ettin
August 18, 2009, 11:22 PM
http://andrewsleather.com/usr_a.jpg

The Urban Safari Rig shoulder holster.

It's one way to achieve perfect balance... Does it come with a coupon good for a discount on a future laminectomy?:D

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 11:25 PM
http://andrewsleather.com/firepower.jpg

I wish I could justify one of these, but I can't. If I were on a TAC squad, it could be tempting.

Sam is a former LEO, and designed this specifically for narc friends of his.

Mello2u
August 18, 2009, 11:37 PM
I don't like Brussels sprouts and won't eat them.

This thread seems like statements that are a matter of taste.

MLeake
August 18, 2009, 11:56 PM
Not really. You can dislike brussel sprouts, but get your iron from lettuce, or green beans, or spinach, or red meat, or other options.

You can get fiber from other sources, too.

In other words, you can make up for any nutritional deficit from your dislike of brussel sprouts through other means. There is no real downside to disliking brussel sprouts. That is a matter of taste.

What you really mean about this thread is that the calculus of risk vs benefit is a personal one. Sure, it is.

But to say that the value of a spare magazine or additional ammunition is simply a matter of like or dislike is off the mark. What you mean to say is that you don't find the risk to be worth the inconvenience it would take to ameliorate the risk.

It's nothing like preferring chocolate over caramel.

Frank Ettin
August 19, 2009, 12:03 AM
I don't like Brussels sprouts and won't eat them.

This thread seems like statements that are a matter of taste. I agree with you, both about Brussels sprouts and this thread.

It seems like a lot of these discussions come down to trying to require that the guy on the side of the question opposite ours justify his misguided decision. Phui.

I've always taken the position that I have no obligation to justify, among other things, my choices of firearm, carry method, etc. I'll explain my reasons, because they might be of interest to someone (or not, as the case may be). And you can think, and say, that my reasons are a bunch of hooey. But I also don't have to pay attention to your opinion. (Then again, if you've given me reason in the past to believe that you really know what you're talking about, I might just pay attention to your opinion and learn something.)

And of course you have no obligation to justify your choices to me. On the other hand, I'm free to question the wisdom of your choices, but you sure as heck don't need my approval.

However, as the Romans said, "De gustibus non est disputandum." (There's disputing about tastes.)

Frank Ettin
August 19, 2009, 12:14 AM
...But to say that the value of a spare magazine or additional ammunition is simply a matter of like or dislike is off the mark. What you mean to say is that you don't find the risk to be worth the inconvenience it would take to ameliorate the risk....I disagree. In a sense it's a matter of taste, insofar as one's personal risk tolerance is a non-rational idiosyncrasy not too dissimilar from his like or dislike of the smell or taste of cabbage.

The point is that it is non-rational. We can discuss the risks and utilities all be want and even attempt to calculate the actual probabilities of needing an extra magazine. But at the end of the day it's going to come down to the fact that for some the convenience of leaving the extra magazine at home is going to be paramount.

MLeake
August 19, 2009, 12:26 AM
... but risk analysis and taste are not good similes.

By some people's reckoning, the unlikelihood of the risk makes it less important than their perceived inconvenience in carrying a spare magazine.

By other people's reckoning, the additional inconvenience of a spare magazine, compared to the inconvenience of carrying at all, is so minimal that the risk of a magazine failure or other circumstance is more important than the minor increase in inconvenience.

That's not akin to whether you prefer Burberry or London Fog, or Vanilla or Rum Raision, or Remington vs Mossberg.

So carry as you like, but don't call it "taste." Especially since "taste" is generally irrational anyway (do you know why you like chocolate better than peanut butter?), and pretty much kills any discussion.

Donn_N
August 19, 2009, 12:30 AM
All your arguments in favor of a second magazine are even better arguments in favor of a second gun. New York reload. If you can carry one high-cap automatic, you can carry two.


Amen. Why carry an extra mag when you can carry a second gun? It solves the problem and no one can reload a gun quicker than they can draw a second gun. Just put the second gun where you would carry your spare mag.

I carry two guns. Both are accessible with either hand. They are both low capacity, so I end up with "only" 14 rounds total.

Besides, I have my doubts that most folks can reload in time if they find themselves in need of a reload anyway. If you've fired 10 to 15 shots or more and you still have threats, you either have too many threats to handle or you're missing a lot, which is another whole problem altogether. Either way, you're likely to be brought down before you have time to reload, especially if you carry your spare ammo in your pocket or off body :eek:

And feral dogs? If you've got 10+ dogs attacking you and the sound of your first couple shots doesn't send them running, you'll never stop all of them before they rip you apart. And if you need to reload, you really think you'll be able to do so while they are attacking? Ever watch just one dog attacking someone?

But whatever floats your boat. If it makes you feel better to carry a bunch of spare ammo, then do it. I don't understand the logic, but who cares? Maybe some day, I'll need that 15th round and say "Gee, maybe I should have listened to those spare ammo guys on TFL."

MLeake
August 19, 2009, 12:42 AM
... harder to carry and conceal, but not impossible.

A spare magazine is much easier to carry than a second gun, but isn't as fast into action, and although changing magazines is a valid step in clearing a stoppage, it isn't a guaranteed fix.

Either the spare magazine or the spare gun can have its use.

Or there are times when anything beyond the gun and its initial magazine (or cylinder - although this thread was specific to magazines) really is much harder to carry for some reason or another. (Could be a dress function where it's hard to tailor formal wear to hide anything else; could be an undress function where clothing lacks pockets or outer layers; could be any number of things)

My point is and will remain, though, that if your situation and clothing allow the option of a spare magazine without undue aggravation, it's a good idea to carry the spare, partially for ability to use more rounds, and partially for ability to resolve certain stoppages.

Nowhere has anybody said "You must do this." We have said, it isn't really a matter of taste, there are definite benefits to a spare. The question is, when are those benefits worth the extra effort and inconvenience, and when aren't they? That's more subjective.

Donn_N
August 19, 2009, 12:51 AM
harder to carry and conceal, but not impossible.


That would depend on the second gun. A small, flat semi-auto like a Kel-Tec P32 or P3AT or a Ruger LCP is flatter and lighter than many high capacity magazines when fully loaded.

Of course, such a gun isn't going to give you the same capacity or stopping power, but the advantage of not having to take the time to clear a stoppage or reload along with the fact that the spare gun can be drawn and fired with one hand in the event the other hand is injured would make up for that, in my opinion. Ever practice reloading with one hand? It can be done, but it isn't going to be quick.

The other advantage of a second gun is that it can be used to arm a companion who isn't otherwise armed.

MLeake
August 19, 2009, 12:54 AM
... those are also valid points.

For me, a second gun is a more likely option when the primary is a revolver, but I could see putting a pocket 9mm into BUG role to a larger semi-auto as well.

I don't have anything smaller than a pocket 9mm, size-wise. My .22 is K frame, so it's smaller caliber but a larger weapon.

Frank Ettin
August 19, 2009, 01:02 AM
... but risk analysis and taste are not good similes...Perhaps to you. I think it works just fine. I guess it's a matter of taste.

In any event, it's not a question of risk analysis. It's a question of risk tolerance. It seems that everyone agrees that there is some risk doing without an extra magazine and there seems to be some degree of consensus as to the nature of the risk. The personal and subjective question is whether the risk warrants the inconvenience involved to mitigate it.

MLeake
August 19, 2009, 01:05 AM
But it seems that some people have a set answer in mind that is their answer for a broad range of scenarios. If the risk analysis or tolerance doesn't change with changing circumstances (jacket or heavy coat weather, pockets are abundant, and mags are barely noticeable in the pocket of a 1951 field jacket; recent increase in burglaries and robberies in vicinity of home; recent sightings of packs of coyotes, etc), then maybe it's more a matter of stubbornness?

OldMarksman
August 19, 2009, 10:06 AM
It seems that everyone agrees that there is some risk doing without an extra magazine and there seems to be some degree of consensus as to the nature of the risk. The personal and subjective question is whether the risk warrants the inconvenience involved to mitigate it.

Right.

Most formal approaches to risk management include the following steps:


Identify the risks--that's been done here
Analyze the risks in terms of likehood and potential consequence--the latter is easy, but the former will be not only specific to situations and environment but for what this thread is about, difficult to do quantitatively, and therefore probably rather subjective
Identify risk handling options--mitigation techiques on the one hand, acceptance of the risk on the other
Select from among the identified risk handling options


I have omitted the steps of reporting and tracking.

This approach is employed in engineering, investment strategy, internal controls design, architecture, asset protection strategy, emergency preparedness planning, military strategy, you name it.

So--if the risk in question is "I might be attacked", the first questions are "how likely is that to happen?" (probably remote) and "how serious would that be?" (very bad). Potential handling options might include "stay home", "go only in large groups", "carry a gun and know how to use it", or "what the heck--let's take the chance".

I choose to carry a gun.

Now, if the second-tier risks are "five shots might not be enough" and "the gun might fail to function", one again needs to look at likelihood and potential consequence and evaluate handling options.

Options may include, "carry a larger capacity weapon", "carry an extra magazine", "carry two guns", or "accept the risk." Since the potential consequence has already been established as "extremely severe", the decision will come down to the combination of two things and the personal risk tolerance of the individual:


Likelihood
The convenience and effectiveness of the mitigation options (the former will likely change with the season, except perhaps in California) :)


The combination of those two and one's personal risk tolerance will drive either the selection of a mitigation approach or the decision to accept the risk.

A lot more economical way to express all of the above is to say "the personal and subjective question is whether the risk warrants the inconvenience involved to mitigate it " :) but I wanted to provide a little more in the way of a decision analysis toolset for anyone who may want it.

Personally, I'm right at the cusp. I think that I think that for me as a man. an attack by two or more thugs is at least as likely as an attack by a single asssailant, who may be a little wary of acting alone. It may be more likely, for that matter. I think five shots might be marginal. I think that in the summer I don't like the inconvenience of carrying more stuff.

Several months ago, a gang of about a dozen toughs threw a bicycle in front of a car on a street I use often; the driver got out to see what he had hit and was attacked from the shadows. No serious injuries that I know of--but I did buy a Smith M&P9C right after that.

The ammunition shortage delayed my being able to shoot it enough to rely on it, but I've gotten through that.

But--you know what? I still pocket the Centennial every day.

When colder weather brings about heavier clothing that may change, and when the holster gets here it may well be to carrying a new .45 Model 1911 that I've come to like better in many ways.

Extra magazine? Heck, I don't know. Maybe not, in town.

I hope the above discussion proves helpful for future analysis.

Wildalaska
August 19, 2009, 10:11 AM
My point is and will remain, though, that if your situation and clothing allow the option of a spare magazine without undue aggravation, it's a good idea to carry the spare, partially for ability to use more rounds, and partially for ability to resolve certain stoppages.

Thats where you lose me.

It's a good idea.....for you...but not for others who dont share you view of risk analysis or your beleif in the efficacy of a spare magazine.

WildwhatifthesecondoneisbadAlaska TM

Glenn E. Meyer
August 19, 2009, 10:47 AM
Is there anything more to be said?

Make your risk analysis and do what you want. The problem is ranting against someone else who has a different view from you.

However, if we are in a fight and you run dry - I ain't giving you no stinkin' ammo. :D

mavracer
August 19, 2009, 11:16 AM
Is there anything more to be said?
yes how about the fact that the people on this thread championing their decision to not carry any extra ammo.have probably wasted way more time and energy posting to this thread than it would take to load a mag and slide it in your pocket and be quiet.It might even be argued it is more inconvienent to not carry a reload.

Donn_N
August 19, 2009, 02:27 PM
yes how about the fact that the people on this thread championing their decision to not carry any extra ammo.have probably wasted way more time and energy posting to this thread than it would take to load a mag and slide it in your pocket and be quiet.It might even be argued it is more inconvienent to not carry a reload.


That might be a valid point if anyone was arguing that the reason they don't carry a spare magazine is because it takes too long to load it and slide it into their pocket. Since I don't recall anyone making such an argument, I fail to see your point.

sakeneko
August 19, 2009, 02:36 PM
Is there anything more to be said?

No. But since when has that stopped people? ;-)

onthejon55
August 19, 2009, 04:05 PM
I usually carry a spare mag with me loaded with cheap FMJs in case im out and about and find something that looks like it needs to be shot. Like coyotes and opossoms.

fastbolt
August 19, 2009, 05:13 PM
Over the course of my career as a LE firearms instructor I had the chance to work with a fair number of cops and even CCW folks. I eventually came to a dismaying conclusion.

It's likely that there are a fair number of lawfully armed folks walking around in the general public who may be somewhat over-confident when it comes to their abilities to defend themselves in an unexpected, tumultuous, rapidly evolving, chaotic, physically & emotionally stressful situation involving the realistically perceived threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death.

Not just from an equipment perspective, either.

Mindset, skillset, toolset.

Some folks like to reverse the order of relevance, placing equipment first when it comes to considering priorities.

People can buy equipment, though. Just involves spending money.

Being physically prepared from the equipment perspective is not the same thing as being physically prepared to react and effectively function at a heightened physical level, nor does it mean someone may be prepared to be able to react and effectively function mentally & emotionally.

Me?

Sure, I've invested a lifetime learning how to safely handle, manipulate and shoot a number of various firearms. Since I was about 5 years old.

I spent a number of years improving my knowledge and skills while working as a firearms instructor, too.

I've spent 38 years working to improve my knowledge and skills in the martial arts.

I've been very fortunate and lucky in that regard.

There are times when I leave the house without carrying a lawfully concealed firearm, though. :eek: I somehow manage to make it home again safely, too.

While I spent the better part of a decade carrying an issued 6-shot revolver as a young cop I wouldn't go so far as to feel like carrying a short-barreled 5-shot revolver as a service weapon. As a secondary/backup, but not as a working primary. At least not in most situations. I'd rather have a somewhat larger, easier to shoot 6-shot revolver. Comes to that, a 7 or 8-shot revolver would be better still. ;)

Anyway, I finished up my LE career carrying an issued 7+1 shot .45 compact pistol for a plainclothes assignment and either 1 or 2 spare magazines, depending on my caseload and anticipated activities for any given day.

On my own time, especially now that I'm retired, I generally carry either a 5-shot .38 Spl or a small 9/40 pistol of some sort. The magazine capacities of the small pistols range from 7-10 rounds ... and I carry a spare magazine. Sometimes a pair of them.

I also carry 1-2 speedstrips or speedloaders when carrying a J-frame. Sometimes more, especially if I'm going on a day ride through the hills and countryside along the Coast or inland valleys.

I can shoot a 5-shot revolver relatively well, though. Shooting 5 shots into a fist-sized group at 5 yards in less than 3 seconds is one of the ways I check myself from time to time. I still test the basic skills at distance, too.

Sure, I can do better when shooting a pistol.

As long as I can do well enough with one of the diminutive J-frames, however, the 5-shot guns will remain in my retirement CCW lineup. Handy. Convenient. Able to be carried in pocket holsters and pockets where even my compact & subcompact 9/40 pistols won't easily carry.

I still remain mindful of the importance of awareness and mindset, though, as well as continuing to work on fighting off the ravages of time in the way of working out, too.

I don't shoot as much as when I was working, but I enjoy my range sessions a bit more. I also find I can burn up less ammunition and still meet my needs and goals, too.

I no longer have much concern regarding what other folks may, or may not, choose to carry as lawful concealed weapons. Not my business. Each person has to make such informed decisions for themselves after careful review of their perceived needs, their knowledge, their skills and their experience.

With such decisions can come the potential for consequences, though ...

Erik
August 19, 2009, 06:16 PM
The ability to return one's pistol to it's initial state of readiness is a point typically neglected in these discussions, and at a glance that appears to be the case in this particular one.

Please continue.

fastbolt
August 19, 2009, 06:57 PM
The ability to return one's pistol to it's initial state of readiness is a point typically neglected in these discussions, and at a glance that appears to be the case in this particular one.

Please continue.

A fair observation, to some extent.

Being able to return the weapon to its "initial state of readiness" is a practical concern.

However ... sometimes it may not be so simple as we might prefer.

Looking at it simply from the perspective of the time and manipulations required to reload a semiauto pistol compared to a revolver, the pistol generally gets the nod for ease and speed of reloading.

However, reloading skills are sometimes as neglected in actual training & practice as they sometimes are in discussions.

I can reload a pistol faster than a revolver.

I can reload a revolver faster than a surprising number of folks I know who carry pistols for LE or CCW roles can reload their pistols ... and that's just from watching and/or qualifying them in a non-threatening range range environment.

Just as having a handgun lawfully carried in the role of a defensive weapon is certainly no guarantee that it can be safely and effectively used by the owner/user if ever needed ... so is carrying a spare magazine arguably no guarantee it will be able to be effectively employed and used if actually needed.

I've watched my fair share of folks try to 'reload' their pistols with folding knives and even mini flashlights pulled from their gun belts.

I've watched other folks wearing soft (civilian) clothes fumble with belt carriers and pockets trying to locate magazines.

I've watched magazines tumble through the air when unintentionally released from the stressed, uncertain grasp of someone trying to reload. I've seen them tossed forward, too, traveling a surprising distance before hitting the ground.

I've seen folks try to force magazines into pistols backwards.

I've seen folks exchange pistols between master & support hands while trying to find a way to insert magazines.

I've seen folks try to activate everything except the magazine catch in an attempt to remove an empty magazine and reload with a fresh one. Releasing the slide via the slide stop lever, instead of pressing the magazine catch, can sometimes make for at least a couple of seconds of watchful anticipation while someone waits for the magazine to fall free of the gun.

I've seen people manage to reload the gun with a fresh magazine only to immediately hit the magazine catch button again and drop the fresh magazine out of the gun.

I've seen any number of the usual reloading/manipulation issues folks can create for themselves when trying to operate a pistol during even the controlled conditions of training courses and qualification courses of fire.

You can probably imagine how such issues can easily result in a rapid degradation of shooter skills and control when the shooting is resumed, too.

It doesn't seem to be any easier when problems have occurred during an actual deadly force/shooting situation, either.

Folks can fumble in odd and unexpected ways.

Proper practice can sometimes help train to overcome the stresses experienced during some situations and conditions.

Just carrying the magazine around in a pocket or on the belt is sometimes just that ... just carrying it around.

mavracer
August 19, 2009, 08:46 PM
That might be a valid point if anyone was arguing that the reason they don't carry a spare magazine is because it takes too long to load it and slide it into their pocket. Since I don't recall anyone making such an argument, I fail to see your point.
they've argued inconvienence hence more work than they're willing to do for any additional need of extra ammo.wow I really didn't think it would be that hard to make the connection.

Tom Servo
August 19, 2009, 09:32 PM
The flip side of this argument is, what would I gain by NOT carrying the spare mag?
In my case, I can't for the life of me figure out how the magazine loads ammo into the cylinder :p

If I carry an automatic, I usually carry a spare magazine. Why? Because of the potential for stoppages. Is my concern entirely rational? Probably not.

Every automatic I own has been perfectly reliable. Yet, I grew up in a culture that taught me not to trust automatics, so the old paranoia is there. At the very least, it can't hurt.

For the most part, I carry a revolver. I usually have a reload close at hand, unless I have a second gun. Never hurts.

Plain fact is, I carry a gun in case the unpredictable and unthinkable happens. That's not a time to find out I wasn't prepared for every possible contingency.

Naturally, there are practical limits. Do I carry a spare gun or reload at all times? No. In fact, I do so less lately. But I'm not going to knock anyone who does.

Do your own thing. Keep your eyes open and your mind keen. Get home alive.

Donn_N
August 19, 2009, 11:06 PM
they've argued inconvienence hence more work than they're willing to do for any additional need of extra ammo.wow I really didn't think it would be that hard to make the connection.


I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that inconvenient translated into "more work than they're willing to do", but no one has said that. Inconvenient just as likely means it isn't convenient to have a loaded magazine that weighs over half a pound (in the case of a fully loaded Glock 19 mag) flopping around in one's pocket or weighing down one's belt. Or perhaps inconvenient means it is difficult to conceal a double stack magazine. Or perhaps it is inconvenient because it takes up space in one's pocket that they feel would be better taken up with something else.

Donn_N
August 19, 2009, 11:15 PM
Plain fact is, I carry a gun in case the unpredictable and unthinkable happens. That's not a time to find out I wasn't prepared for every possible contingency.

Naturally, there are practical limits. Do I carry a spare gun or reload at all times? No. In fact, I do so less lately. But I'm not going to knock anyone who does.


Obviously, you realize that no one is ever prepared for every possible contingency.

And of course, there are practical limits, but what that practical limit is is a matter of personal consideration. And that's why I say if you want to carry a spare magazine or six spare magazines, go for it. Who cares? I won't fault anyone who carries whatever makes them feel safe. I feel perfectly safe with two guns and no reloads. That's my own practical limit.

R1145
August 19, 2009, 11:21 PM
When not working, I do not usually carry a reload, so I guess I'm betting my life on the "probably never need it" argument. However, I agree in principle with the idea of having a reload, for in addition to the obvious "target-rich environment" and "secondary malfunction drill" rationales, there is a not-uncommon stress reaction during self-defense situations where the shooter tunnel-visions on the threat, only snapping out of it while clicking the trigger of an empty weapon. At that point, it might be nice to have a reload...

mavracer
August 20, 2009, 12:12 AM
I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that inconvenient translated into "more work than they're willing to do", but no one has said that. Inconvenient just as likely means it isn't convenient to have a loaded magazine that weighs over half a pound (in the case of a fully loaded Glock 19 mag) flopping around in one's pocket or weighing down one's belt. Or perhaps inconvenient means it is difficult to conceal a double stack magazine. Or perhaps it is inconvenient because it takes up space in one's pocket that they feel would be better taken up with something else.
would you understand better if I substituted the word trouble for work.still the same concept.

armsmaster270
August 20, 2009, 01:37 AM
I'll stick with carrying a Sig 226 Primary with a spare Magazine and my S&W340PD as backup, it's a little extra weight but that does not bother me however if I do need it and don't have it that would really bother me. Hopefully I'll carry them till I can't walk any more and never have to use them again, but you never know.

Wildalaska
August 20, 2009, 10:17 AM
Or perhaps it is inconvenient because it takes up space in one's pocket that they feel would be better taken up with something else.

Exactly. Already have the spare batteries and bulb in case my flashlight doesnt work (use the light more than a gun), the spare set of keys in case I lose my primary sets, the spare spring for my knife (hey, they break, got to open it), the duplicate credit cards, the spare cell phone battery......:p

WildextraseverywhereAlaska TM

OldMarksman
August 20, 2009, 11:13 AM
Or perhaps it is inconvenient because it takes up space in one's pocket that they feel would be better taken up with something else.

Of course.

And how inconvenient may depend on how you dress. As a retiree, I often, but not always, wear cargo shorts in the summer--and I still don't really want to give up space for a magazine.

So, the question, I should think, comes down to the utility of having the magazine.

Those excellent posts by Fastbolt are worth reading. I think that for me as a civilian, the likelihood is far less than remote that, were I to somehow need an extra magazine in a justifiable self defense scenario in a street environment, I would be able to use it. Think Tueller drill, not a pitched gunfight.

LEO friends carry high-capacity weapons plus extra magazines plus back-up guns plus radios. But they are sworn to enforce the law. I am simply justified in defending myself (and spouse) against imminent threat when and only when it is immediately necessary to do so. When the threat ceases to exist, so does the justification.

I do keep reloads in the car.

Now, if I were to walk some distance from the car in a circumstance presenting higher than usual risk (and I generally try to avoid such circumstances), I might see the need for additional risk mitigation.

Extra magazine? Probably not for ordinary self-defense--I probably would not be able to use it. On the trail with a single-column .45, it might make a lot of sense.

New York reload? Maybe--greater chance that it would be effective, I think.

But is it worth the "inconvenience"? Not usually, probably, but I've heard Mas Ayoob suggest back-up cell phones, guns, and pocket knives. Of course, he might have been speaking from the perspective of a law enforcement officer.

I invite comment, particularly from professionals, civilians who have participated in relevant training, or qualified instructors.

Frank Ettin
August 20, 2009, 11:25 AM
But is it worth the "inconvenience"?...Personally, I just don't find it all that inconvenient. I'm already carrying a gun (in a belt holster -- usually IWB), and I always carry a knife in clipped to my pocket and a cell phone on my belt. One, or even two, single stack magazines in a belt pouch just isn't that big a deal at that stage.

OldMarksman
August 20, 2009, 11:33 AM
Personally, I just don't find it all that inconvenient. I'm already carrying a gun (in a belt holster -- usually IWB), and I always carry a knife in clipped to my pocket and a cell phone on my belt. One, or even two, single stack magazines in a belt pouch just isn't that big a deal at that stage.

Let me ask this--based on your training, is it feasible to reload in the circumstance of a street attack (21 foot scenario, for example)?

And this--if you had a twelve shot compact, do you think you would carry an extra magazine?

Frank Ettin
August 20, 2009, 11:54 AM
Let me ask this--based on your training, is it feasible to reload in the circumstance of a street attack (21 foot scenario, for example)?...I have no idea. It all depends on exactly how it happens. The devil is in the details. And how the heck can I know that if I have my particular "bad day", that will be my particular problem?

...if you had a twelve shot compact, do you think you would carry an extra magazine?... Yes, I don't see it being inconvenient enough to leave at home. A spare magazine, even a 12 round double stack, isn't going to be that much harder for me to carry than a single stack, especially with the other stuff I'm already going to be lugging around.

The bottom line for me is that I just have no way of knowing what my problem is going to be. I know the odds favor not having a problem at all. And beyond that the odds favor not needing an extra magazine.

But rare things happen. And if for my particular problem a extra magazine could have made a difference, I'm going to feel pretty stupid if I don't have one, especially when I really don't find it to be that much of a bother.

To put it another way, for me the upside of not carrying an extra magazine is pretty inconsequential -- it's not a bother to me to carry one. But the possible downside of not carrying an extra magazine, even though extremely unlikely, is highly unsatisfactory.

MLeake
August 20, 2009, 12:07 PM
Let me ask this--based on your training, is it feasible to reload in the circumstance of a street attack (21 foot scenario, for example)?/QUOTE]

My first answer would be that it is not possible, let alone feasible, for me to reload in any circumstance if I don't have a spare magazine in the first place.

My second answer is that based on my training, I should ideally try to find cover prior to reloading. Barriers between us and BGs are always nice to find or create.

My third answer would be that if I'm stuck in the open, if I have a spare magazine in a belt carrier I can reload in about two seconds. It would be a long two seconds, with bullets flying... fishing for a magazine in a pocket would probably add a few seconds to the process.

My fourth answer would be that my training includes well over a thousand hours of hand to hand (3-4 times a week in more intensive training years, at 2-2.5 hours per session; I'd say about four and a half years qualified as "intensive", while several others have been at 1/3 to 1/2 that rate), and since the 21 foot scenario is based on an attacker closing distance with a melee weapon, that I'd have a better chance than many of fending him off long enough to drop and replace a magazine. This assumes I keep my cool and don't freeze up when a live blade, hatchet, or whatever is moving at me.

My final answer would be that tools don't make up for training, so train as much and as realistically as you can; but even with training, there are things that will be very, very hard to do if you don't bring the right tools.

OldMarksman also asked: [QUOTE]And this--if you had a twelve shot compact, do you think you would carry an extra magazine?

To which I'd say, my go-to CCW at the moment is a CZ75D PCR, which has a 14 round magazine, but I carry a spare. Again, I was trained that one should always have a spare magazine with a semi-auto, regardless of capacity, so that's what I usually carry unless my clothing just won't allow it.

pax
August 20, 2009, 02:01 PM
Force Science newsletter #13, from early 2005, includes a fascinating story written by a California cop who was involved in a fatal shooting inside a McDonald's while he was off-duty and armed with an 11 round Glock 26. You can read the story about a third of the way down the page at http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/2005/02/what-fs-news-readers-had-to-say-about-off-dutyretired-concealed-carry/ and draw your own conclusions. There are several lessons there that might seem to apply to this thread.

pax

Erik
August 20, 2009, 02:03 PM
Typed out but not entered before Pax's last post:

Lets not detour too much: in-fight reloads are possible. So is continuing the fight beyond initial contact, a topic which may or may not be related to the need to reload. They both, however, are often not possible to those who have resigned themselves to the "fact" that they will not be based on... whatever the rational is; age, training, fitness, ability, odds, occupation, technique, caliber, platform, some combination, etc.

Interesting take on things by some, though. Please, continue.

OldMarksman
August 20, 2009, 06:42 PM
Upon reflection, I'm not sure an extra magazine would necessarily prove all that useful in most justifiable civilian SD situations, but if needed it would prove more useful than empty pockets.

I'm convinced.

Good thread.

Nnobby45
August 20, 2009, 07:50 PM
First 2 are hollow points, the others are FMJs. Why? well, im in a house with a bunch of little kids.

What happens to a hollow point bullet when it hits wall board material?

A. It flattens out like a pan cake and doesn't penetrate and endanger the children.

B. The clogged nose prevents expansion and penetration is the same as hard ball.

C. Even if it does expand, it still penetrates wall board and represents a danger.

Wuchak
August 20, 2009, 07:55 PM
Sounds like in your situation an extra mag is a good idea. Around my area I'm comfortable with a 5 shot snubby but we don't have rampant multiple attacker crime.

HP's will penetrate many layers of drywall before stopping. Head over to the box o'truth and look at some of their tests.

Kyo
August 21, 2009, 12:02 AM
really sad pax. but we don't know what would have happened if the cop didn't stay. more people could have died, or the girl could have lived. that we don't know.
It seems like that spare mag for the cop didn't really do anything for him. The guy was down and out after taking 10 shots. But I do understand the relief of re-assurance. i need to pick up a conceal mag holder :)

Japle
August 21, 2009, 07:02 PM
Posted by Wuchak
Sounds like in your situation an extra mag is a good idea. Around my area I'm comfortable with a 5 shot snubby but we don't have rampant multiple attacker crime.

I live in a neighborhood where, to quote Evan Marshall, "Three stolen bicycles in a month is a crime wave". Three cops live on my block.
Still, there was a shooting 3 tenths of a mile north of my house last year.

I carry 2 guns and 42 rounds of ammo. Why not? It's really no trouble.

Wuchak
August 22, 2009, 09:45 AM
Force Science newsletter #13, from early 2005, includes a fascinating story written by a California cop who was involved in a fatal shooting inside a McDonald's while he was off-duty and armed with an 11 round Glock 26. You can read the story about a third of the way down the page at http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/...ncealed-carry/ and draw your own conclusions. There are several lessons there that might seem to apply to this thread.

Edit: I removed my comments as they were too far off-topic.

In this story he didn't need the extra magazines, even though he had them, since he had already shot the guy 10 times and the guy was down and out. He could have taken cover and watched the guy until the police arrived. Having the extra mag let him approach the downed BG, which I think was a bad move even with the gun reloaded.

Kyo
August 22, 2009, 09:50 AM
not to get off topic, but wuchak we don't know if they guy would have shot anyone on the way out, or outside or anything. so you can't say let him go and be a good witness. its not your decision. it was this guy's. yes, the girl died. but those actions could have saved more people than 1 person. but we don't and won't know.
yea i don't think he needed the extra mag anyway, cause it seems like the guy was already done for

Glenn E. Meyer
August 22, 2009, 11:07 AM
1. The officer may not have been smart to start the gun fight as he did.

2. If you do train - you have to be aware of the second backup shooter. If this was that kind of intensive event - the extra mag would have been necessary.

3. Because there wasn't a secondary opponent in this one - doesn't mean that there couldn't be. Let's think a touch.

If you don't want to carry extra ammo - for God's Sake - don't already. Take the risk you don't need it. Once again:

1. You probably don't need a gun most days.
2. You probably face a low intensity situation if you do. Go away - BG and he or she does.
3. You probably don't get into a high intensity situation - but it could happen - figure out if you want to have a better chance in that.

If you want to argue that Folks who plan for #3 are silly, then most folks in the country think carrying in general is not worth it. Only 1 to 4% of state populations get permits or licenses. 80% of those with licenses don't even carry much. Thus, the odds say that anyone who carries at all is nutsy. :D

wm.mcintosh
August 28, 2009, 08:26 AM
Living in Memphis I carry whenever I leave my house. My line of work requries that I carry, and my line of work has proven over and over again that not carrying a weapon when not at work can prove hazardous to ones health. I look at carrying spare mags as a necessity not an option. When I carry my Glock I have three 15 round mags, one in the weapon and two one a belt mag holder.

Wuchak
August 28, 2009, 08:41 AM
Living in Memphis I carry whenever I leave my house. My line of work requries that I carry, and my line of work has proven over and over again that not carrying a weapon when not at work can prove hazardous to ones health. I look at carrying spare mags as a necessity not an option. When I carry my Glock I have three 15 round mags, one in the weapon and two one a belt mag holder.

It sounds like your line of work increases your risk of needing the extra ammo so you have made the smart choice to carry it. However that doesn't mean that everyone else's risk level is the same as yours.

One other thing about the situation of the officer in the story above. Due to his officer status and mindset he attempted to apprehend the robber. Personally I would have told everyone to get out and then left the building with my family and moved as far away from the place as possible. I don't feel that having my CCW requires me to play policeman or hero. If I have a chance to retreat from the danger zone I'll do so. I'm going to try to save some corporation's money. The other patrons and the staff have the same opportunity to carry a firearm as I do. If the employees are not allowed to carry at work then that's a risk they choose to take by working there. It's not my duty as a CCW holder to act as savior and get in the line of fire because a corporate policy left them unable to defend themselves. Probably not a popular opinion but I carry to protect my family and I, not the rest of the world, and if retreating and living is an option I'll take it every time.

pax
August 28, 2009, 09:52 AM
Wuchak,

We sure see enough of a mindset similar to that off-duty officer's here among people who have had NO training of any type (see thread here (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=275273) for one specific example). No point in blaming that mindset on police training -- it's probably built in. These guys are going to jump in, no matter what, and have the confidence to believe that their actions will never make the situation worse for those around them. Somehow examples to the contrary rarely or never shake that confidence, and that's okay - really, it is. Even though this type of personality often makes that kind of mistake, I'd rather live in a world with these guys than without them. But the best of all possible worlds would be one where people of this type were capable of protecting others and also capable of pulling back if that was the wiser call, where these guys possessed the judgement and intelligence enough to recognize that rushing in isn't always the only possible choice.

As I said, there were several applicable lessons in that link. The paragraph above is a sort of sub-lesson, one that the people most in need of learning it are least likely to heed. But here's the main lesson: that guy did need another magazine, because by the time his tunnel vision had subsided enough for him to look around for other threats, his gun was empty and he had no way to protect himself from those other threats if they had existed. He lucked out. Standing in the middle of an unsecured scene with an empty weapon is not a good place to be.

pax

vox rationis
August 29, 2009, 11:11 PM
I usually carry a spare magazine on my belt in a Fobus paddle single mag holder and it is totally concealed with a button down shirt that's not too form fitting. It is so darn easy, it would be a total waste not to carry it :)

And... here it comes...it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have :p

orionengnr
August 29, 2009, 11:45 PM
Whether I'm carrying a revolver or a semi-auto pistol, I always carry a reload (speed loader, speed strip, full-moon clip or magazine, as applicable).

As I no longer own anything that might be remotely construed as "high-cap" (a 1911 is the highest-capacity pistol I own) some will say that one reload is woefully inadequate....and they may be right.

That said, I don't see any downside to carrying a reload, whether to use as a clearance/failure remedy or as a true reload.

Now as far as carrying any more ammo, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario (especially a multi-BG scenario) where I have expended all of my ammo without some sort of resolution (and realistically, it probably won't be a good one). I do not honestly expect to out-gun three or four BGs single-handedly...sounds like fantasy to me.

Just my .02 worth...

Stevie-Ray
August 30, 2009, 02:56 PM
Though I'm not averse to carrying a spare mag, I simply don't as of now. I do carry a BUG, though. Most of this stems from throwing the P32 in the back pocket so that there is always a gun on me, even if haste prevents donning a previously safed primary. For the most part I have both on me at all times. Seeing as though I would probably fit in the carry as much ammo as you can group, as far as area goes (just south of Detroit), I expect if I was to find a mag pouch that would fit nicely next to a Don Hume JIT slide, I'd probably be up for it.