Do You Carry a Spare Mag?


Do You Carry a Spare Mag?

Tamara Keel writing in Recoil goes deep into the whats, whys, and hows of carrying a spare mag. This is a really thorough article, and even if you’ve given the topic some thought, I encourage you to read it.

Me, I do not carry a spare mag. I don’t track round counts and gauge my magazine lips and so on. Maybe one day, when I’m retired and have nothing better to do, I’ll think about it. But for now, I’m content to play the odds.

As Keel points out, the odds are abundantly, overwhelmingly in my favor here, given that I’m extremely unlikely to ever fire a gun in a DGU. If I do happen to fire my carry gun, the odds that I’ll fire more than a few rounds are minuscule. I carry 19 rounds of 9mm in my SIG 229, which is plenty — I’m more likely to face a malfunction than I am to run out of ammo. And given that I buy quality mags, test them initially, and then cycle them with my carry ammo every month or so, the odds of a malfunction are pretty low. Oh, I’ve had mags crap out on me before, and yes that’s scary, but it doesn’t happen often.

So no, I’m not planning to carry a spare. As I’ve said before, I keep my EDC pared way down to the absolute minimum, because I know if I try to pressure myself to carry more I’ll end up carrying nothing.

Yeah yeah, keyboard commandos will crucify anyone who doesn’t carry a spare magazine, but I just don’t care. If toting a spare mag is your thing, then by all means go for it. I’ll do me, and you do you.

So, do you carry a spare? Do you think I’m crazy not to?

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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