There is a old saying in my community, “one of one is none.” The context centered around equipment and specifically equipment critical to performing our mission. So, things like weapons, ammunition, radios etc.
You can take that philosophy to the extreme in no time flat; when mountaineering I once took enough food and fuel to do the expedition twice…literally twice. It’s always fun and games until you have to carry the equipment over long periods and arduous conditions. Then it’s not so fun.
In the daily carrying of a concealed firearm is it necessary to carry a spare magazine. Some will come out and say absolutely and always, my response is it really depends. It really depends on a lot of things, but the two most important would be lumped into perceived threat and capacity.
I find that a big mistake is folks don’t take a second to evaluate their environment. Instead, they go with a blanket type statement like “I can never predict when a gunfight is going to occur.” That is partially true, while using an absolute like “never” will give credence to that statement if you remove it from the statement now it is a bit more manageable. By the same token we all have to live our lives, I for one enjoy life and all it’s ups and downs. If I truly could never predict a gunfight, then I probably establish a FOB and run random patrols for supplies.
Since that is not the case, you have to evaluate the perceived risk with the activity. Does every situation call for a spare magazine…maybe. If you follow this train of thought then does every situation call for soft armor, helmets and other protective measures. I mean if you are going to go the extreme then go all in.
We use a threat matrix that provides guidance based off the available information. Can you be the subject of random violence, of course you can, but at some point you have to ask when enough is enough. If you subscribe to carrying a spare magazine every time you carry a pistol then good on you. But, I’m a bit skeptical…I’m sure there are times you don’t. So, how do you go about determining the choice to carry or not carry a spare magazine. That is my concern, what was your decision making process.
Take the time to create your own threat matrix and load out, adjust it according to your skill and equipment. Then make it a habit of reviewing the matrix as part of your jock up drill. I suggest you consider the capacity of the pistol you carry daily, does it have sufficient ammunition for the first scenario? I encourage at a minimum 10 rounds, in my head that gives me a decent load out to deal with two lethal threats. But here is something a lot of folks don’t think about and that is attack site number two. You may have survived the first attack, but will you be able to fend off a subsequent attack? That is where a spare magazine really comes into the picture. Then there is your marksmanship skills to consider, I hate to say it, but lack of good marksmanship skills is not reason alone to carry a spare, but it doesn’t hurt.
The bottom line is you need to have something other than blind obedience as to why you carry or don’t carry a spare magazine. Better to need it and not have it, than not have it and need it sounds great until you put that theory to the test on a daily basis.