Recently, I saw a comment on social media from a holster maker who said that people who ordered a new holster rarely ordered a pouch to carry an extra magazine or revolver ammunition. This caused me to wonder just how many armed citizens actually carry extra ammunition. In an informal survey that I’ve been conducting among my gun friends, I find that only about half of them carry even one extra reload for their concealed-carry gun. Actually, there are a number of reasons that the armed citizen should carry extra ammunition. Here are four big ones:
1. Your Gun Runs Dry
The most obvious reason for carrying extra ammo is if you shoot your gun dry during a criminal attack. Now, a study of citizen-involved shootings shows that this rarely happens. Most attacks on citizens are resolved with just a few shots. The problem occurs, quite obviously, when you happen to be the exception to the rule. We can think of a number of scenarios where the defensive shooter is pinned down, can’t retreat and has to fight until help arrives, however long that might be. Obviously, another example might be when the citizen has to deal with multiple attackers.
2. Double-Feed Malfunction
A malfunction common to many semi-auto pistols is the double feed. The quickest way to clear this malfunction is to drop the magazine that is in the pistol. The slide is racked several times to clear the jam, and a new magazine is loaded. What do you do if you don’t have a fresh magazine and you can’t seem to find the one that you just dropped?
3. Bad Magazine/Bad Ammo
Some folks who carry modern double-stack, semi-auto handguns say that they carry a pistol that holds enough ammunition to get them through a fight. What happens when their only magazine goes bad? Or their ammo goes bad?
It is not just a problem for those who carry semi-auto pistols. It is rare, but you may find that you have dud ammo in your revolver. Back in the 1970s, a particular brand of penetrating oil became popular with gun users. Several policemen that I worked with would spray their duty revolver with this oil and then wipe their gun down with a rag. They did this until they found out that the penetrating oil was killing the primers in their ammunition. Fortunately, my co-workers discovered this at the range and not in the middle of a gunfight.