Why I Always Carry a Spare Magazine


Carrying a spare magazine can initially be a pain in the ass. Its cumbersome, requires an additional holster, and isn’t always the most comfortable thing in the world. Plus, if you’re like me and you are already worried enough about printing, adding in the spare mag definitely doesn’t help the situation, but I believe its just as important as carrying a gun. Here’s why.

When I first started carrying a gun I only carried just that, the gun. No spare mag. Living in California I’m limited to a 10 round magazine, so essentially I had 11 rounds to protect myself with. Now days thats pretty much enough of a reason for me to always carry a spare, but that wasn’t always the case. When I finally did pull my head out of my ass and decide to carry a spare magazine I realized I opened up a whole new area for how and where to carry it. There are a plethora of different types of pouches and holsters out there for your magazines, so much so that its almost as overwhelming as holsters. I ended up buying a few different types of magazine pouches and finally found a couple that were comfortable and concealable. Most notably the Raven Concealment mag carrier or the mag caddy on the Incog holster from the folks at G-Code. There are lots of options out there for you to carry a spare mag and it can take some trial and error, but if you get the right product for you, you’ll wonder why you didn’t carry a spare sooner. I’ve switched up my carry set up quite a bit since I first got my carry permit (for instance, now I carry appendix) and you probably have/will too. One thing I suggest though is try your hardest to always keep a spare mag on you, no matter where you carry it.

Some people say, why would you need more rounds than that? If I need more than 10 then I need to be training more or I shouldn’t be in the situation anyway, yadayadayada. If you are one of those people, no offense, but you are a fucking idiot. I could come up with a million different situations to prove my point, but I won’t. What I will say is this: multiple assailants and malfunctions. That is why you carry a spare. Oh, and those spare mags in your truck aren’t going to do jack shit for you when you are in the middle of a gun fight that isn’t taking place in your truck.

Most of you may already know this, but if you don’t, adrenaline will fuck you up. Shooting under such a heavy flow of adrenaline will definitely have you doing things you thought you wouldn’t. Trust me, you will miss. Police Officers miss their targets all the time (NYPD anyone?) so why do you think you will be any different? You can train all you want, and you should, but bad shit will happen in a gun fight and nothing works out as planned, thats just the nature of the beast. Say you have 3 assailants, with only 11 rounds you don’t even have 4 bullets for each person, you miss more than a couple of times and you are done for. Not to mention even with .45 a one, two, or even three shot stop is definitely no guarantee. Add in more people and you have less room for error. Add in drugs like meth, cocaine, or pcp in the assailants and you have another hurdle to over come. You will very likely be emptying that mag. I couldn’t imagine going to slide lock and not being able to refill my gun in a gun fight.

The other thing is malfunctions. The best and fastest way to fix a malfunction is with a new mag. “Oh I shoot a glock” or “I shoot an M&P” “…so I don’t have to worry about malfunctions” is the most naive thing you could ever say. Your gun will malfunction, I promise. Its not if, its when. Murphy’s law applies. Do you want to be caught in a gunfight, have a malfunction, and not be able to fix it? I sure don’t.

I always carry a spare mag for those two reasons, if I encounter multiple threats or if I ever have a malfunction. If you are one of those people who don’t carry a spare mag, I hope you rethink that choice. Yes carrying a gun is better than not carrying one at all, but I truly believe having a spare magazine is just as important. For those of you who aren’t convinced and don’t think its worth the trouble, check out this story where a cop fires 33 rounds of .45 at a completely sober man, hitting him 14 times, 6 in supposed fatal locations. Thats a hit ratio of about 42% from a well trained police officer. I hate to end the caliber war and tell you why to should always carry a spare mag at the same time, but someones gotta do it.

So tell me, do you carry a spare mag? Why or why not?

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