Is This REALLY Necessary ?


January 25, 2008, 01:00 PM
Ok background I am a civilian, not a cop, not in a job that requires a firearm. I carry strictly for self defense, and my CCW is a .40 S&W W/ a 12 round magazine. My question is do I really need to carry a spare magazine ( I seem to get "made" far more often for the magazine than I ever have for the gun ( maybe I should just stick it in my pocket). I live in Colorado & would definetely carry the spare in the woods. my question is specific to daily CC. so yes ? no? is it a mall ninja tacticool thing or a question of better to have and need not? any input & experience would be greatly appreciated

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Jorg Nysgerrig
January 25, 2008, 01:02 PM
You might as well as if you should drink Coke or Pepsi. ;)

January 25, 2008, 01:04 PM
No, you don't "need" it.

BTW, the correct answer to Jorg's question is Dr. Pepper.

January 25, 2008, 01:06 PM
It's all a matter of personal risk assessment. Chances are none of us will ever need to use our guns. It's a smaller chance that we'll need extra ammo. But, you never know, and so you need to arm yourself to your own comfort level.

January 25, 2008, 01:06 PM
Statistically you will be attacked by a group, but statistically most "gun battles" are ended with 3 shots.

So.... if there is a 5 in 100,000 chance of you being a victim in a crime.... maybe there is a 5 in 100,000,000 chance of you needing multiple magazines.

Probably not needed, but can't hurt.

January 25, 2008, 01:08 PM
You'll likely never a gun at all. If you're having a bad enough day that you wind up needing a gun, do you trust that you'll be having a good enough day to only need 13 rounds? If you can carry it without much inconvenience I'd say it wouldn't hurt. If you can't, well then 13 rounds is still better than none.

January 25, 2008, 01:09 PM
I doubt you can come up with many self defense shootings where a mag change was required. Oh the correct answer is Mountain Dew.

January 25, 2008, 01:09 PM
I heard Tom Gresham (Gun Talk: ) raise this issue last Sunday (second hour IIRC). Basically, w/o a spare mag what do you do if you have a malfunction (or drop the first one)?

If I can hide the gun I can hide the mag.

January 25, 2008, 01:09 PM
all day weight training

January 25, 2008, 01:10 PM
all day low intensity weight training is all it is

January 25, 2008, 01:12 PM
Ok background I am a civilian, not a cop
Minor nit pick ... cops ARE civilians too.

Anyway, you won't likely need a spare magazine ... but they're small and in the off chance you do ever end up needing a spare magazine you'll really REALLY need it.

Spare magazines area also useful for clearing stoppages ... gun jams, you drop the mag thats in it and you've eliminated it as the source of your problem, reload with the fresh mag and continue.

January 25, 2008, 01:12 PM
in a fight for your life you will never wish that you had less ammo!

i carry a minimum of one and normally 2 reloads.

January 25, 2008, 01:13 PM
You'll likely never a gun at all. If you're having a bad enough day that you wind up needing a gun, do you trust that you'll be having a good enough day to only need 13 rounds? The odds are on your side that you won't, but the odds that you wouldn't need a gun were on your side too. If you can carry it without much inconvenience I'd say it wouldn't hurt. If you can't, well then 13 rounds is still better than none.

January 25, 2008, 01:15 PM
My main carry gun holds 5 rounds of .45 LC. If that ain't enough, I'm having a real bad day.


January 25, 2008, 01:18 PM
I use an Uncle Mike's clip on pouch and it tends to stick out of my shirt,get caught on car doors ( mostly because I'm fat) and stick me in the back when I sit down. any suggestions ? ( assuming I decide to keep it ) & as some posters have already pointed out I am far more likely to have to shoot a rabid coyote, fox , racoon, Preble's meadow jumping mouse ( Colorado joke) than multiple armed thugs P.S for all you nit picky types the civilian / cop thing was meant as two seperate statments I'm a civilian ( no longer in the millitary) & not a cop ( as my civilian occupation)

January 25, 2008, 01:20 PM
No, most ex cops, don't even carry anything with more than 5 rounds, 13 rounds are a lot of rounds, unless yor run into the Taliban, the chances of needing more than that one clip are slim to none

January 25, 2008, 01:20 PM
Then again, there are the occasional stories of the BG taken out with the very last round. That's too close. To quote the Boy Scouts "Be Prepared". If pocket carry is necessary so be it. 5-11 Tactical Khakis work well for me with the cell pocket for the spare.

January 25, 2008, 01:20 PM
Damn, that spare tire in the boot is a lot of dead weight and space. I've never had a use for it before, why not just ditch it?

My suggestion would be to just conceal the magazine better.

Why do people order concealment IWB holsters and then continue to carry their spare mags in duty/range style mag holders that are practically offset from the belt?

January 25, 2008, 01:22 PM
I carry a spare because

1.) Holstering a depleted gun is bad mojo. The karma monkeys will find you for sure.

2.) magazines are the weakest point of any semiauto. If you have a double feed or the like, I prefer to clear it the normal way, but replace the magazine with a new one.

3.) mo'butta mo'betta

January 25, 2008, 01:23 PM
It depends on how good a shot you are. :D

January 25, 2008, 01:24 PM
undercover mag pouch = leatherman holster.

thanks to WildBill for that tip.

January 25, 2008, 01:24 PM
I hope it's not necessary. I don't carry one, but I might soon (when I get some good mag holders). I'm going to get a couple and just try it out, if it's too much to lug around, I'll stop!

January 25, 2008, 01:38 PM
I usually carry an extra mag because of the malfunction issue. Mags are the weakest point.

Besides, no one ever lost a gun fight because of too much ammo, right?

January 25, 2008, 01:40 PM
For IDPA, I use an OWB mag holder, and an OWB holster with cover garment. For CC, I use an IWB holster and the spare mag goes in my left front pocket. The only other thing that might go in that pocket is the cell phone because a) it is short and fat and breaks up the outline of the mag and b) only goes there if I don't have a shirt pocket under my sweater or sweatshirt.

January 25, 2008, 01:41 PM
Do you "need" to carry a gun? Need is a tricky word. If you run a pawnshop in the major city, you may need the extra mag...point being, perceived risk, how prepared you feel you should be, your personal comfort level, the risk to benefit of having an extra mag, etc, etc. As a civilian, the likelihood you would need an additional 12 rnds is miniscule, but better safe than sorry? Only you can answer that, and taken to its logical conclusion, you also have people with an extra mag, a flashlight, a knife, a can of pepper spray, a cell phone, and even a few more gizmos. They are better prepared (all things being equal) than the guy with a gun and nothing else.

January 25, 2008, 01:44 PM
Carry crossed bandoleers with 40 or more magazines. Adopt a bandito look and you won't need a firearm!
Seriously....I always ask myself, "Is 7 rounds enough?". Then I ask myself, "would an extra 6 rounds in a spare mag be enough?"...Then, "Would 12 extra rounds in two spare mags be enough?"...Then, "Would 18 extra rounds in three spare mags be enough?"...Then, "Would 24 extra rounds in four spare mags be enough?".
I crystal balls are not revealing anything.
I carry only to get me and mine away from trouble, not to engage in a prolonged firefight. So I carry 6 rounds in the mag, a 7th in the chamber, and do everything in my power to avoid using them....except at the range.

January 25, 2008, 01:46 PM
I don't carry spare magazines in the hopes that the police will arrive before I finish the one or I'm as good a shot as I think I am. :)

January 25, 2008, 01:51 PM
I use an Uncle Mike's clip on pouch and it tends to stick out of my shirt,get caught on car doors ( mostly because I'm fat) and stick me in the back when I sit down. any suggestions ?
Yeah, move it to your hip. It will be a lot less noticeable and won't catch on nearly as much stuff there. If you have too much love handle for it to fit comfortably, it's time for side bends and sit-ups.

January 25, 2008, 01:52 PM
I dont carry a spare mag but keep on in the truck. When I go hiking or backpacking then I toss in my double mag carrier with 2 extras. Mags are the weakpoint thats true. Personally think you might be better with a BUG than an extra mag but I dont carry either.

Also, I am not an LEO but am in the process to become one. In many conversations I have had with LEO's some have shared the sentiment that they think CCW's might have MORE reason than LEO's for extra ammo. This is because many LEO involved shooting have the best availible option ANOTHER OFFICER. In Portland LEO's carry a Glock 17 with 17rnd mags. They also are required to have 2 spare mags. 17x3=51+1 in the pipe =52.

January 25, 2008, 01:54 PM
I took the clip thingy ( that's a high tech range commando term) off the magizine pouch and threaded my belt through the belt loop & it made a world of difference I don't wear "tactical" clothing ( As I told DW when she reccomended BDUs for work clothes " If I wanted to wear that crap to work I would have re-enlisted) . jeans , untucked Dickies & one of those flannel jacket thingies & really W/out the clip on the pouch looks like I'm carrying a Buck knife. Let you all know how it works out

January 25, 2008, 01:55 PM
It isn't about the number of rounds you have on tap... oh, and if you ever need more than 13 rounds, I sure hope I'm a loooooooong way away from that situation! :neener:

I say, carry a spare if you think you'll need to (and could) clear a malfunction while involved in an extended gun battle. If you're confident in your firearm, and 13 is enough, I'd take a chance and leave the spare at home.

But what do I know.... I carry a 5 shot revolver.

January 25, 2008, 04:07 PM
You could save gas money by leaving your spare tire at home, the odds are probably pretty good that you will never need it.

January 25, 2008, 04:07 PM
I was carrying a 642 and 6 spare rounds on a speed strip. Then this happened.

On the street I live on and walk my dog on, a group of college students was robbed by 2 carloads of thugs with at least 2 firearms. One shotgun, one .357. revolver. The cars rolled up on them from both directions. One of the students struggled for the shotgun and was shot twice by the revolver. He survived, and is expected to recover, but it was a close thing, 2 rounds in the chest. The rest were robbed. The assailants were caught in a few days, and it has yet to go to trial.

Now I carry a compact Springfield XD in .45acp and a second magazine. I don't know what necessary means any more. Might be more than I'll ever need, might not be nearly enough.

January 25, 2008, 04:12 PM
You can't win a gun fight by running out of bullets, but you can sure lose one. I say do whatever you can live with....literally!

January 25, 2008, 04:18 PM
perhaps it is better to have and not need rather than need and not have.

OTOH, it is rare that you would need to shoot someone or something in the normal course of your day. if not carrying the extra mag makes you more likely to carry the gun, maybe you are better off with just the gun.

another okie
January 25, 2008, 04:19 PM
I was told by an twice deployed officer that the only time you can have too much ammo is when you're on fire or swimming.

I try to always carry one reload.

If it's the snubbie, I carry six more rounds in a ammo wallet from M & M. This an opaque plastic case, so you can take it out of your pocket and no one will "make" you.

If it's the Glock 26, I carry another magazine in a Blackie Collins pounch. This pouch has a big flap that completely covers the mag, so you can't see the mag at all. It also has straps for both horizontal and vertical carry, and sometimes I just stick it in a pocket.

January 25, 2008, 04:46 PM
I always carry an extra mag for the reliability issue, even though I've never had a FTF or FTE with the one mag that came with the gun.

The other day I shot four Preeble's Jumping Mice and felt naked most of the rest of the day with only 3 rounds left in the regular mag. I finally had the bright idea to replenish the regular mag from the spare mag in case I ran into any more of the Preeble's Jumping Mice and I felt much better the rest of the day.

But seriously, folks, one day I forgot to cram a mag in my regular carry weapon before I left the house, but had the spare to stick in there when I discovered the error later.

An extra mag? As they say, it's not the odds.... it's the stakes that count.

January 25, 2008, 04:50 PM
I'm a believer in the spare mag....but that's really common with people who carry compact, low capacity single stacks.

Close your eyes. Remember the last time you went to the range to practice shooting.

Is five seconds worth of ammo enough?

January 25, 2008, 04:53 PM
what "IF" you jam and need to slap in a fresh mag?
or if your ONLY mag drops out.
you might only have one shot in a fight.
if u can carry the spare.

January 25, 2008, 04:59 PM
My question is do I really need to carry a spare magazine

You might want to get your hands on the March 2008 issue of Combat Handguns magazine. Massad Ayoob addresses your question in his Self-Defense & The Law article he writes for 'em. Article is Beating The "Rambo" Rap.

January 25, 2008, 05:08 PM
I carry a spare mag.... purely for peace of mind.... but the chances I'd ever need it are slim to none.

Chances are even with a 5 shot snubby you wouldn't need to reload.... so with a 10-15 shot semi-auto it's even smaller....

but I find that I don't really feel it is a hassle if I'm already carrying a gun, folder knife, and a surefire flashlight... so why not?

short answer - no, you don't need it.... but isn't it nice to have it just in case? I'm curious as to why you're getting made because of the mag... do you wear tight shirts or something?

January 25, 2008, 05:11 PM
Close your eyes. Remember the last time you went to the range to practice shooting.

Brilliant. I am going to steal that line.

One magazine is zero magazine. Always have redundancy.

Claude Clay
January 25, 2008, 05:32 PM
i did when i carried a OMC 380 and a 9mm p11; both in a leatherman. the 380 in a small and the 9 in a modified medium ( relocate the snap ).
dont any more for my p239~40 & 642 BUG.

if there's more than 4 of them, i'll ask em nice to line up by two's

January 25, 2008, 05:48 PM
Not likely to be a definitive answer forthcoming.

Not one which receives a consensus, anyway.

My thoughts?

I carry a spare magazine.


Well, as others have already mentioned, the fastest and probably best way to resolve a magazine-related problem is with another magazine.

Think "It can't happen to me"? Hope you're right. Not my business, though.

I can offer the observation that over the course of many years of working our range, having watched a fair number of folks run through qualifications courses (both LE & CCW folks) I've seen a number of folks experience 'problems' which could have quickly been resolved with a fresh magazine ... and it's not just because their primary magazine ran dry, either.

Risk assessment and informed choice. Predictable is preventable. With the ability to make a choice comes the potential for exposing oneself to consequences. Etc., Etc..

Now, personally speaking, I have a caveat to my single spare magazine comment.

On-duty, working plainclothes, I generally carry a single spare, although I have an additional single AND a double spare magazine carrier (3 loaded magazines) available in my car, as well as a couple of boxes of spare ammunition. (Sometimes I'll choose to carry the double magazine carrier depending on my case activities.)

My uniform gun belt gear includes a triple magazine carrier. I've used double & quad carriers, as well.

Off-duty, it depends what weapon I'm carrying, the nature of my planned activities and how far I'll be from home. I'll at least carry a single spare magazine. Sometimes a couple. Just depends. The potential for needing the available ammunition is of about equal concern to having the ability to restore function should a magazine problem occur. FWIW, I carefully examine, clean and maintain my magazines ... but I wouldn't want to bet my life on ANY magazine being "MURPHY Proof", either.

Where & how do I carry the spare magazines? Lots of choices when it comes to gear selection. How well those gear choices fit any individual's needs and carry preferences (cover garments, for example) are best determined by the individual.

In my case, sometimes it's in belt carriers and sometimes it's in jacket pockets. FWIW, I also train to reach and access additional magazines from both my belt and my off-side pockets.

For those folks who would point out that this is a potential issue which could introduce confusion under stress ... you'll get no argument from me. I agree.

That's why I've trained that way a fair amount over the years. When I used to carry a service revolver I trained to reach for duty jacket pockets or pants pockets in the event I exhausted my belt's double speedloader ammunition load. This practice seemed a good idea to continue even after I transitioned to an issued 'high capacity' pistol, and that was about 18 years ago.

Kind of like how I've learned to perform a variety of movements and techniques under stress over the course of the last 37 years of my martial arts involvement. Depends on the circumstances of the moment.

Revolvers? Different situation. I generally carry at least a couple of speedstrips or speedloaders, if not more. Old habits.

Just my thoughts.

Oh, one additional comment.

I've long since ceased to be surprised by the low number of CCW folks who consider bringing a spare magazine to a CCW qualification range, and are baffled when they encounter magazine problems, often claiming to have never experienced such a problem. Wanna guess how many of the CCW folks in general claim to carry ANY spare magazines or ammunition? :scrutiny:

Hey, their choice ...

January 25, 2008, 05:57 PM
undercover mag pouch = leatherman holster.

Agree, but I prefer a Gerber pouch for my G19 mag, fits perfectly.

January 25, 2008, 06:14 PM
The few times I have been in an "Oh ****" situation I have always wished I had more ammo !!!

January 25, 2008, 06:32 PM
After I took the clip of the pouch the problem went away, the clip let the pouch flop around which is why it was so obvious that it was there with the problem resolved I will be carrying the spare mag

January 25, 2008, 06:51 PM
Do what's comfortable. Having a gun is miles ahead of having no gun. The spare mag is probably another 200 meters. You may or may not need it. You decide.

Personally, I wouldn't carry an extra mag if it shows too much or if it's too uncomfortable to pull off.

By the way, cops are civilians. I read later that's not what the OP meant, but it wasn't clear from the OP. This response is not necessarily directed toward the OP.

fearless leader
January 25, 2008, 06:52 PM
I'll tell you like the police academy intstructors told me.

You may not need the extra for a reload, but if you have a malfunction, it may come in handy.

You will likely never need 1 round, much less a magazine, however you just might.

It would be an inconvenient time to discover something was wrong with your feed lips and end up with a phase II malfunction (double feed).

You never know what you will do under stress until you do it. I know a quite knowledgable shooter that heard something by his trash can one night. He went out with 1911 in hand, at the ready. A rat ran out, giving him quite a start!
He dropped the magazine. He doesn't know why, he just did.

Had someone been there ready to kill him, and the magazine went, a storm drain, a spare would be nice.

I have been in situations that I presented my firearm and did it with gusto and got there first with the most, and they, invariably found something else to do.

I was a Boy Scout and our thing was "always be prepared.":D

BTW - I'm 47 and have yet to fire one round in self defense.

January 25, 2008, 07:08 PM
I'd say your question has the same answer I give when people ask me if I really need a gun.

My answer: Not yet.

January 25, 2008, 07:11 PM
Have you ever tried a horizontal mag pouch? Almost every mag puch out there holds the mag in a vertical position, and that may be what makes it uncomfortable for you.

A nylon mag pouch can be easily modified to attach to your belt in a horizontal fashion so the mag won't stick you in the side. Depending on the size of your mag you could also use a celphone carrier as a mag puch. I have seen several of those that are mounted in a horizontal way.

Big Boomer
January 25, 2008, 07:36 PM
Hawaiian shirts are an amazing thing! They can conceal an amazing amount of goods. So my theory is this...if you can why not?

January 25, 2008, 07:56 PM
As noted, magazines are the weak link in semi-auto pistols, are necessary to clear certian malfunctions, and provide extra ammo to boot. Given how easy they are to conceal there isn't really a reason not to have one on you.

Bennett Prescott
January 25, 2008, 09:18 PM
Big Boomer,

You couldn't be more right! Nobody thinks a chubby guy with a loud shirt is carrying, and I can carry in any situation without printing when I dress in two layers since the "party" shirt is so loose fitting.

January 25, 2008, 09:35 PM
Carry your gun and be happy you can. As a good guy, you will probably be more careful in firing your pistol (traffic, bystanders), than the bad guy will.

That's where each round counts. You are accountable for each round. Laying lead down makes you just as dangerous as the bad guy.

If your pistol and magazine are in good working order, I'd think it would be all you need. The extra mag would be more for a mechanical failure of the first mag rather than a need for more ammo.

One well placed shot will end it.

January 25, 2008, 10:31 PM
I don't carry a spare. I carry 11 rounds. My purpose for carry is to "protect" myself and anyone else that may be threatened, not to be a hero or go into a "die hard" kind of situation. I will spend all of the ammo that I have, and then I will run away in a zig-zag fashion, until I am away from the threat. God forbid!

January 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
If everyone carried what we think we need in a "worst case", scenario, we'd all be toting shotguns, and driving sherman tanks!

January 25, 2008, 10:36 PM
Tom Gresham's explation makes sense to me.Does anyone make an IWB mag holder? It'd be fairly easy to convert one, all you'd have to do is make a belt loop that attaches near the top of the holder (I'm thinking of a nylon of, like Uncle Mike's stuff). It'd have to stick up a fair amount to be accessible.

January 25, 2008, 10:43 PM
With 12 rounds in the gun, you're on the cusp. With a single-stack gun or revolver, you need a reload. With a high-cap 9 (15+ rounds), probably not. But the real question might be whether to carry a spare mag...or a backup gun.

January 25, 2008, 10:50 PM
I almost never carry a spare on me except in the car; when I did, it was in a horizontal cellphone pouch on my belt, hiding in plain sight.

January 25, 2008, 11:03 PM
Galco makes a pretty good one. Uncle Mike's makes one, but then again Uncle Mike's is crap.

Jeff F
January 25, 2008, 11:54 PM
I carry a revolver and I usually carry a speed strip with an extra six rounds in my pocket.

January 26, 2008, 12:02 AM
Carry the spare mag in a cell phone holster with a top flap or something. People won't notice it.

I've also thought about carrying the reloads in an ankle holster. However, those suggesting a backup gun have the best idea - it's faster to pull another loaded gun, and your first gun might not stop shooting because of a lack of ammunition, but because of a malfunction.

January 26, 2008, 12:12 AM
undercover mag pouch = leatherman holster.

It's worked for me since day one. I don't even own an actual magazine pouch. (ETA: I forgot, I do have a double mag puch for my 1911 mags, but mostly carry sdouble stack hi-caps) But I've got four or five Leatherman/pocketknife holsters.

I carry at least one backup mag... and a backup gun. But then, I'm a mall ninja.

January 26, 2008, 12:21 AM
Hawaiian shirts are an amazing thing! They can conceal an amazing amount of goods.
Yup. They do a great job of breaking up the outline.

So my theory is this...if you can why not?
'Cuz that much gear might break your back. :p

As for spare mags - couldn't hurt. As for concealment... aren't there mag carriers that can go in the pocket?

I don't carry a spare, normally. If I do, I carry it in the watch pocket/change pocket/whatever it's called on blue jeans. I prefer to carry a spare handgun... so instead of clearing a jam and switching mags, I drop the malfunctioning/empty gun and go on to the next. Or switch hands, and use the empty as a club.

January 26, 2008, 12:41 AM
One is None....

January 26, 2008, 01:46 AM
but that's a personal decision on my part. To each his own.

Big Boomer, do you REALLY carry all that stuff every day? Not criticizing, just curious.

Big Boomer
January 26, 2008, 02:49 AM
Big Boomer, do you REALLY carry all that stuff every day? Not criticizing, just curious.

LOL, actually no. My daily carry for work and such is either an XD-45 with 1 spare mag, or a 1911 with 1 or 3 spare mags. (1 left side or dual sob)

I do carry that on the weekends, say going to the movies or something. I've always wondered what would be thought if say I got pulled over and was "disarmed", hasn't happened yet though. Remember in Texas we have to disclose to LEO. Knock on wood...

Oh, and it IS heavy total weight is if I remember correctly adds 30-35lbs. And if you want to hear a funny, it really sucks when you have to use the loo. ;)

January 26, 2008, 03:50 AM
an above poster made a good comment, what if one of the mags takes a dump on you, and goes bad, those things can and will happen at the worst possible time. remember pvt. murphy's laws!

mad hungarian
January 26, 2008, 04:34 AM
I carry a spare mag or two depending on where I am. Also since I wear cargo shorts 9-10 months out of the year toting the spare(s) around is not a hassle.
When I was taking the shooting part of my CHL test some of the applicants were using Glocks provided by the instructor. While firing using 5 rounds the bottom of the mag fell out. The dude shooting stood on the line looking shocked at the spring, mag follower, and ammo that were now in the dirt.

Scheisse happens. Carry the spare(s) mag(s) and be happy in knowing that they are there if needed. Read Fastbolts post - the parts about training to be able to access your spare mags. I show up at the range dressed in a variety of different styles of clothing and train myself to be able to reload using my spare mags, accesories or back up piece depending on how I am dressed that day.


January 26, 2008, 05:01 AM
I'm a full time Corrections Officer and a part time Police Officer. I'd say my chances of bumping into a known bad guy on the streets are about 200 times greater than the average Joe's.
I carry a Smith J-frame with five rounds in it and a small tactical folder. I've never needed either...yet. They are both small, light and easy to hide. And that weight in my pockets has a familiar and comfortable feel to it. I'd feel naked without it. But anything heavier or bulkier would, to me at least, feel like a burden.

January 26, 2008, 10:17 AM
My own view is that for general, routine carry one does not need a spare magazine. I have heard all the arguments, and conclude that if I need a reload to change the magazine for a malfunction I will already be shot or knifed. I am not an off duty LEO, and have no business getting into a "gunfight."
As has been said, the statistics say that an attack would be close and over in seconds. I cannot think of a scenario where I would fire more rounds than one magazine or cylinder.

If one is carrying at church or elsewhere where he is carrying for church security, then I would carry at least one and preferably two spares.

To each his own, of course.


January 26, 2008, 10:18 AM
I spent over 30 years as a LEO and about 28 of them as a firearms instructor. I always believed you need to carry at least one reload for your main battery no matter what it is (5,6,7,12,15 or 17 rounds). It doesn't hurt to carry a reload for your BUG.

Counting on being able to finish the fight with what you have in your gun is poor judgement. A few years ago an off duty NYPD officer was in a beauty salon that was held up. The officer was able to shoot all 3 holdup men with her 5 shot. One of the BGs was not fully stopped and shot her. When it appears to be over you need to take cover and reload.

Chances are it will be over in 3-5 shots but do you want to bet your life on it?

January 26, 2008, 11:06 AM
Hi GRIZ22,

I think there are a couple of things in that incident that makes it different from what the CHL holder faces.

First, unless there is some particular reason to get involved one, even an off duty LEO, should not get into a gunfight over a simple robbery against three armed BG.
If there is a history of locals robbing and then killing that is a different story, but unless that were the case she should not have engaged three armed men in such a place for robbery. How many other innocents were endangered?
Of course such things are a judgment call and others might have done the same or not.

Certainly a CHL holder has no responsibility to intervene in a robbery, and playing the “knight in shining armor” is unwise, and might endanger others in the place.

Second, if a LEO intends, either by choice or legal duty, to intervene in such incidents he should carry something other than a 5 shot revolver. A small Glock with 10 rounds would be far superior.
I also wonder if she would have had the time to reload the revolver anyway.

It is always sad to learn of “one of our finest” getting shot or injured and I hope she made a full recovery. I bet she does not carry that revolver anymore. Do you know about that?

Even LEOs do not get into such incidents very often. It would be interesting to know how many have to take on three armed men when off duty. I suspect it is a very small number. I know several retired LEOs who spend an entire career without ever firing a shot at anyone. One is a relative who served for 31 years on the LAPD, and never had to shoot anyone. He did have a few incidents where he could have done so, but was able to defuse the situation and take the BG in.

Anyway, thanks for your service and dedication. We can disagree on this particular subject.
Yes, I am willing to bet my life on a 5 shot revolver without a reload. In fact I have done so for many years, although I carry SA as often.


January 26, 2008, 04:06 PM
Asked and answered a thousand times on gun forums. Do you plan for the modal encounter or for an extreme end of the distribution like the 95 percentile of violence.

So, a single mugger - the J frame and no shots fired probably does it. If you run into a rampage shooter in the mall at some distance AND you don't flee you will want every round. We have cases of both.

Decide which boundary you want to be at on a given day. Note, you can run into rampage boy anywhere.

I usually go for the gun and one reload for that gun. I also carry a can of FLEEING IN TERROR in my pants.

January 26, 2008, 04:28 PM
A good Comment from a EX LEO Who now teaches CCW (and Other) Classes and does Gunsmithing that I heard.

Someone asked him this same question and he asked them "Why do you carry?" they answered "Just in case" He Replied "Same Applies, You never know what will happen, when, or what you might need"

He also Recommended Carrying one spare mag with FMJ's just in case of the event of a psycho going on a rampage while wearing body armor.

My Motto "Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best"

January 26, 2008, 06:02 PM
Big Boomer:

No worries on disclosing to LEO in TX. As a matter of fact, I recommend giving the license over any time you are asked for your driver's license, even though the law doesn't require you to if you are not carrying. I've done it quite a few times (city, county, and State DPS) and at no time did the officer ask to even see what I had. They have just asked "Do you have it with you?" and one time I was asked where. I actually see them relax some knowing that I have a CHL. It's even gotten me out of a traffic ticket. I think the quote was "Well, I know you're not a dirtbag if you have this so I'm giving you a warning. Have a nice day." and I said something like, "Yes, sir, officer. Thank you, officer. Have a great day, yourself."

Here is what DPS does. They say policy varies from department to department.

I'm not saying it doesn't or can't happen. I have just seen (from experience) that they do not disarm. That is, unless you are doing something that makes them nervous.

To stay within the confines of the thread, I always carry at least one extra mag. And, yes, Uncle Mikes does suck. I think every person new to carry tries that out for the cheap factor, then figures it's not worth the savings.

January 27, 2008, 12:02 AM
I carry an extra mag or 2 to balance out the weight of the gun. also, 30 extra rounds could never hurt.

January 27, 2008, 11:06 AM
I think there are a couple of things in that incident that makes it different from what the CHL holder faces

In this case not really. They started shooting first because someone wasn't moving fast enough, fired several times, and missed. Would you wait and see if they decided they weren't going to shoot you.

First, unless there is some particular reason to get involved one, even an off duty LEO, should not get into a gunfight over a simple robbery against three armed BG.

I agree it doesn't make any sense for a LEO or CHL holder to get involved in a situation like that and be a good witness. But if the BGs start shooting at people you have to make up your mind.

It is always sad to learn of “one of our finest” getting shot or injured and I hope she made a full recovery. I bet she does not carry that revolver anymore. Do you know about that?

She recovered fully. I'm not sure what she did later on but I'll bet she went out and bought a Glock, SIG, or S&W semi-auto (NYPD was just adopting these at this time).

I also wonder if she would have had the time to reload the revolver anyway.

She may have had time. The fact is she didn't have a reload so couldn't.

January 27, 2008, 11:57 AM
He also Recommended Carrying one spare mag with FMJ's just in case of the event of a psycho going on a rampage while wearing body armor.

Just fwiw, that won't help. Evaluate that person's other advice in accord.

January 27, 2008, 12:02 PM
Two is one and one is none, and Dr Pepper.


XD-40 Shooter
January 27, 2008, 12:08 PM
I don't carry any reloads, I'm comfortable with 10+1 in my Taurus Mil-Pro 40.

January 28, 2008, 08:21 AM
Jorg, correct answer is Mountain Dew, or Snapple ice tea, peach.
Treo - do you "Need" a spare mag? Your call there. Do you have a briefcase or a spot in your desk/vehicle that you could stash one, against futute need? Not a perfect solution, but a good compromise.
Does your job require a jacket? a spare mag in your jacket pocket will allow you to have one, and the extra weight will keep the jacket from whipping around and exposing your carry. Just a few thoughts.

January 28, 2008, 08:54 AM
Dr. Pepper.

concidering how many lives are saved with a 5 shot revolver and how few are lost by running out of ammo, you'd probly be ok, but then again there is always a chance of being attacked by 12 gang bangers.

January 28, 2008, 12:03 PM
Three Words:

Wear Cargo Pants.

BDUs come in sizes upto 6X for 20-30 bucks... and they come in Khaki which means you can wear them to work. Get Black or blue if you don't like Khaki. (

Use the leg pockets for your extra mags on one side and your flashlight and multi-tools etc on the other side.

Problem solved.

January 28, 2008, 12:20 PM
Carry a reload. After you neutralize the BG, reload. When/if his friends come for you, you're ready.

If you carry a semiauto, clearing a malfunction (double feed) becomes a nightmare in an active firefight...juggle the mag while racking the slide? no way, drop the mag and forget it exists, clear the malfunction and get the new mag in...fine motor skills go out the door in high stress situations, no need to have another item you have to juggle when the SHTF and you're already in serious trouble...and then your gun malfunctioned! Ugh.

Most revolvers are limited in capacity, so I would carry a reload for a revolver just because of the low capacity alone...

January 28, 2008, 02:35 PM
Hi GRIZ22,

Thanks for the reply. Somehow I missed that the BG had started shooting. In that case "all bets are off."

Glad she recovered, and I bet she is carrying a SA with at least one reload.


February 3, 2008, 12:21 AM
My question is do I really need to carry a spare magazine

Maybe you will and maybe you won't. But chances are, that if you will, you'll need it in a hurry.:)

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