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Carry a Spare Magazine – Why?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on July 17th, 2006

Do you carry a spare magazine while legally carrying a concealed pistol? Should you?

What are the odds you’ll need it? Do you have people saying things like, “What are you, some kind of Rambo guy?” “A “Mall Ninja?”

Mentally or out-loud my response goes something like this, “No, Chucklehead. I’m just a guy who likes being prepared. That way you won’t see me on the evening news whining about being a victim.”

Sure, you can overdo anything, but carrying one spare magazine is just common sense.

You may need extra rounds if the “flit hits the shan.” Many say, “You never know, so be prepared for the worst.” And that’sa reasonable point of view.

Another reason to carry a spare is in the event of certain gun malfunctions, particularly the nasty “double feed” jam. Here’s the procedure for clearing one:

  1. Lock the slide back
  2. Release the magazine (you may have to grip and pull from the bottom)
  3. Cycle the slide to clear the empty case (hoping the extractor does it’s job this time)
  4. Load a fresh magazine (slamming it home decisively)
  5. Cycle the slide once more to load a fresh round

Note this action calls for having a spare magazine close at hand on your body for easy access.

Ok, so I’ve given you two good reasons to carry a spare. What’s the counter argument you’re likely to hear?

Statistics,if you trust them.

“They” say that the average gunfight on the street happens quickly, lasting less than three seconds, at close quarters – less than three feet, and takes 3 rounds or less.It’s over in a flash.

I think that’s probably accurate. Maybe one magazine is enough, especially with modern high-capacity pistols.

I think I’d still like a spare magazine handy. How ’bout you?

3 Responses to “Carry a Spare Magazine – Why?”

  1. Chuck R Says:

    Agree with your assessment – Always lived by “Be Prepared” and haven’t regreted it. Thanks for a great Blog

  2. Mark Says:

    I agree. Reminds me of when I mentioned to my gf recently about how carrying extra ammo/mag can get into big discussions in firearms forums. Her first response was something like “I don’t think it’s possible to have too much ammo”.

    I have to marry her 😀

  3. Nate Says:

    For the same reasons you carry an extra mag, I carry an extra gun. For me, it’s quicker to draw a second weapon than to dig out a spare mag and reload (I’m not talking about significantly quicker, but some people obsess about these things). Additionally, ANY malfunction can be quickly overcome by simply drawing the second weapon. I carry two of the same: two G27s in Tucker Cover-ups. I also find that carrying two on the belt makes it more comfortable to do things like lean back in a chair. Finally, in the event that I was with a companion who I knew was trustworthy with a firearm but did not currently have one, I could arm that person. These are all arguments made by Steven Wenger, a trainer in AZ who carries two J-frames. I read his emailing and find him very insightful. http://www.spw-duf.info. The very few people who know my carry habits think that I’m paranoid. Maybe I am.

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