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Why Do I Need To Carry Extra Ammo?

I hear this all the time, “If I can’t hit them with 6 shots, I shouldn’t even be carrying a gun.” I’m here to tell you, if you are only carrying 6 rounds of ammo in your gun, you might as well not even carry one.

FBI crime statistics say that 3 out of 7 sexual assaults are committed by multiple attackers. Stats for burglaries, robberies and hate crimes with multiple attackers may be even higher. With the large influx and mobility of street gangs, drug activity, increasing violence from young people and the growing threat of terror attacks it is likely that violent crime with multiple attackers will only increase.

If you carry a gun, you need to carry extra ammunition. Period.

Now the question is, “Do I just throw a few rounds in my pocket?” “Do I keep it in my car?” “How much do I need to carry?” “How do I carry it?”

Though some of you are salivating and getting ready to throw six or seven 50cal ammo cans full of 9mm, .40SW and .45acp in your trunk as you are reading this, that is not what I am suggesting.

The amount of extra ammo and the way you should carry it depends on the firearm you carry and concealment method you prefer.

In a rapidly evolving, high stress situation, fine motor skills are the first thing to deteriorate. Whatever method you choose, you should make reloading your firearm using that method a regular part of your training. This will lead to muscle memory and make the reloads more instinctive.

Carrying loose ammo in your pocket is not the ideal way to do it, but it is better than nothing. If you choose this method, you will struggle to get the ammo out of your pocket and into your firearm in a quick manner. Make sure that there are no other items in that same pocket. This will make training to reload and reloading in a critical incident inconsistent and slow which will cost you valuable seconds or even minutes.

If you carry a revolver, carry a minimum of two extra reloads. For example, if you have a 5 shot revolver, carry a minimum of ten extra rounds, 6 shot revolver =12 extra rounds and so on. The best way to carry those rounds is in a speedloader which is a device that allows you to load all the cylinders of the revolver at one time. This makes for a faster reload. The speed loaders may also be carried in a pocket, but again, it makes training and incident use inconsistent. Speedloaders need to be in speedloader pouches that attach to your belt. By doing that, they are in the same spot every time and you will gain muscle memory by training with them that way.

If you carry a semi-auto pistol, carry a minimum of 2 extra magazines full of ammo. These magazines may be carried in a pocket, but again, it makes training and incident use inconsistent. If they are in a pocket with other items, they may be subject damage and or jamming if other items get caught in the magazine rendering them useless. The magazines should be carried in the same position on your belt in a mag pouch every time. This leads to consistency with muscle memory during training and critical incidents. There are several types of mag pouches. There are IWB (inside the waistband) mag pouches, single OWB (outside the waistband) that clip/snap on the belt and double OWB mag pouches that clip/snap on the belt. I’m sure there are others out there, but these are the basics that most everyone will use.

As for the car, I am all for carrying extra ammo in the vehicle as well, however, you should be aware that if anyone breaks into your car, they will have your ammo and there is no telling what or who will be involved in the crime they commit with it. Take it in with you. Don’t leave it in the car. I don’t want that on my conscience.

In closing, it is very important to carry extra ammo. Just choose the right method for you and those you will be defending.

About the Author:

Mike Knierim

Retired Veteran Police Officer, Firearms Armorer and Holster Sales Manager

Check out our Magazine Pouches by BlackHawk, Don Hume, Fobus and Stoner Holsters here.

Magazine Pouches by BlackHawk, Don Hume, Fobus and Stoner Holsters