Should You Carry A Back Up Magazine?
Dr. John Woods 04.13.19
Crime statistics for individual self-defense confrontations indicate that the majority of response fire comes at the distance of 7 yards, with 10 being maximum. Of the shots fired in recorded shooting events, the average number of shots fired in self-defense is 1.43. So, let’s be forgiving of data numbers and round that off to two shots. That is not a lot of shooting is it?
It should then go without saying that most likely for the field of handguns being carried by concealed carry or otherwise legal toting individuals the magazine capacity is probably like five rounds or more. Likely the load capacity of most common 9’s is way more than five. For example, one diminutive 9mm carry gun is the Kimber Solo which has a magazine capacity of six rounds. So, statistically with carrying six rounds, you should be good to go for most self-defense events. Ideally that is.
So, should you bother carrying an additional back up magazine for an extra reload? I get a kick out of movies like John Wick where Keneu Reeves (Wick) tosses empty magazines free willy nilly dropping them bouncing everywhere on the floor like so much as a chewing gum wrapper. Then he grabs for another fresh one. I know its Hollywood, but I keep thinking he is throwing away $30-$75 magazines never to recover them again. I wonder how often if ever that happens in real life.
I suppose with Keneu being born in Beirut, Lebanon he grew up feeling the need for plenty of firepower to survive. Well at least in his movies. Has anyone ever counted the rounds or magazines that Wick dispenses in that movie, then the sequel? Well, after all they did steal his mint Mustang and kill his dog. Let’s hope none of us are ever caught in a situation requiring that many reloads. Can you say, toast?
In real life situations though, making an effective, manageable, clean, magazine change is much easier described than accomplished. Under the stress of a face-to-face confrontation, it is even tougher. In order to become really proficient, it requires hours of training and dedicated practice. Are you willing to do that?
Next, carrying an extra loaded magazine may become an issue. There are belt hung mag holders of course, or just slide one in a pocket. Both are wrought with issues and again requires training plus practice. If you decide it is necessary, then get the right gear and training. If you rely on the shooting statistics, then just choose a high capacity handgun.