There are many subjects that cause debates among practicing CCW holders- auto vs revolver, 9mm vs .40 S&W vs .45ACP, and whether a civilian needs to carry extra ammunition. Given the changing landscape of our world, I have become more interested in this aspect of CCW. When I first started carrying a concealed handgun over 20 years ago, I always had at least one spare magazine for my Beretta 92FS on me. As time went on, not only did I acquire specific guns just for CCW (read smaller and lighter), but I stopped carrying a spare magazine with me 100% of the time. Sometimes I carried one, and many times I did not. There was one point in my CCW journey where my EDC was just a Sig P238. No spare mag. Just 8 rounds of .380ACP. This practice did not last long, only a summer, and then I realized the error of my ways.
As I have written about in previous blog posts, recent events have caused me to rethink my everyday carry gun and how well I need to be able to perform with it. This change also includes a source of spare ammunition. I choose to carry an extra magazine not only for the additional round count, but also in case there is a malfunction that requires a new magazine to solve it. While I understand that the chances of ever having to use my pistol are rare and running through 30 or more rounds of 9mm are even rarer, there still is a chance. It is not that difficult for me to carry the extra mag in a mag pouch on my belt, or in a pocket, so I consider it value add.
I have spoken to many people over the past few months on this subject, and I have seen close to a 50/50 split between those that do carry a spare source of ammo, and those that do not. Those that do not have a variety of different reasons for not carrying a spare source – ranging from not thinking they will need it to not wanting to carry any more stuff. I understand that. Here are some links to some articles I found that did a good job of laying out the reasons to carry a spare ammo source, as well as one that also looks at the disadvantages of carrying spare ammo.
This, like carrying a pistol for self-defense, is a personal decision. I would encourage you to give this topic some thought (if you haven’t already). Stay safe.