This is a very controversial question that only you can answer for you. I will delve into pros and cons of carrying an extra magazine to hopefully help you see both sides of the coin.
Let’s face it less than one half of one percent of Americans who carry a weapon will ever use it in a self-defense situation.
Out of this one half of one percent how many of these people will have to reload another magazine to resume or finish the fight? Less than 1/8th of the ½ of the 1 percent require additional rounds.
The biggest reason I hear from people as to why they carry an extra magazine is due to a high probability of malfunctions. All semi-automatic pistols will eventually malfunction. The common training method of Tap..Rack..Fire has trained us to use this immediate action drill and then drop the faulty magazine and pop in a fresh magazine. So this train of thought certainly has some merit.
People say what If I carry a full size weapon and carry 14-17 rounds in the magazine? Should I carry an extra mag?
In my opinion you need to conduct your own risk assessment. This means you will need to look at why you carry and what you carry and how much your’ set up costs. If you are comfortable with a Ruger LCP strapped to your ankle, then that is fine. If you are the person who is more comfortable with a Glock 17 that is utilizing a $100 holster and 2 spare magazines with a total of 52 rounds on them, then that is fine too.
The most common quote is “Well why not? It could save your life” Well, do you wear a level III ballistic vest everyday? Do you wear a helmet in your car or truck? I mean it could save your life…..Do you see where I am going with this.
If you do decide to carry extra mags, train accordingly. Place them in the same spot and train your body until muscle memory kicks in and you can conduct an emergency reload without looking down at your weapon or magazine.
There aren’t many options for conceal carry mag holsters. There are some, just very few in comparison to open carry holsters.
If you are openly carrying your weapon, utilizing extra magazines on your belt makes it much more comfortable and easier to access in a fight.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you are an exceptional marksman and you won’t miss when the time comes. Because the data shows you are going to miss…a lot….most LEO’s will miss 70 percent of the time.
Now you are thinking you certainly need a spare magazine…right?!?!
Let’s look at the other side to that coin for a bit. Every round that comes out of your weapon you are liable and fully responsible for. Trouble will not always find you in a desert or completely unoccupied area. So be aware more rounds downrange means a much higher chance you will miss and possibly injure or kill an innocent bystander.
The reasons I carry a weapon maybe completely different than why you carry and that is fine. If it is more comforting to carry extra mags, then by all means do so. If you feel safe and adequate with your weapon as it is, then by all means do so.
Take a look at why you carry and conduct your own personal risk assessment to decide if you want to start carrying extra magazines.
Fortuna Paratus Remunerat- Fortune Favors the Prepared