Carrying Extra Ammo

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

In the years I’ve been carrying, I’ve seen all sorts of different options. Different people have different ideas of what to carry, how to carry and how much to carry. I know people who have never had to draw their gun, yet always carry a spare piece. At the other end of the spectrum, I know people who have had to not only draw their gun, but fire it in self-defense. Surprisingly, they don’t all carry every day. In my mind, if there’s anyone who would carry every day, it’s someone who has experienced the advantage of carrying.

I carry pretty much every day, although there are some days, when I’m working at home, where I’m not actually carrying, but still have a pistol within arm’s reach. I talked about that last week. I’m glad I do too, as in the 40 plus years that I’ve kept a pistol near to hand (not all of those carrying concealed, many just keeping it in my car), I’ve had four separate times when I was able to protect myself and those around me, by having that pistol there. I’ve never had to fire a shot in anger and hope I never will; but I’m ready nonetheless.

What if I do end up having to fire that shot in anger? Statistically, a high percentage (roughly 70%) of self-defense cases involving people who are licensed to carry concealed, consist of three shots, fired in under five seconds. With that being the case, aren’t the rounds in my pistol enough?

But what about the other 30 percent of the cases? I don’t just plan and train for the 70%, I try to cover them all. If all I cared about was the high percentage cases, I’d carry a belly gun and learn to shoot instinctively at under five feet. Of course, that would leave me vulnerable to the crook that’s standing 30 feet away, shooting over the hood of his car; but so what? I’m covered for the majority of cases.

Uh, no.

In my thinking, the vast majority of criminals I might encounter are either going to be high on drugs or high on adrenalin. While I could be wrong, I don’t think carrying a .45 because of its knockdown power is going to serve me badly for the few that aren’t. But here’s why I bring that up. Anyone who is high on drugs or adrenalin is less likely to feel the impact of bullets on their body. Unless I happen to hit a bone, knocking them down or a vital organ, killing them instantly, there’s just too much of a chance that they’ll still be shooting, even after I hit them.

A few years ago, a police officer found himself in a shootout with an assailant that was high on drugs. The officer fired 48 of the 51 rounds of 9mm ammo he had available, hitting the assailant 19 times before he went down. Had that officer only been carrying the magazine in his pistol, he would have likely ended up dead.

I don’t carry 51 rounds, mostly because I’m carrying concealed. I’d rather carry that much; but it’s just not practical for me and the way I dress. Even so, I do carry three magazines; one in my pistol and the other two in a mag holder, usually in my left cargo pocket. That makes a good hiding place, that’s still easy to get to quickly. I avoid carrying them on my belt, just to help with concealment. That means I’ve got a total of 21 rounds of .45ACP ammunition available to me.

Is that enough? I certainly hope so. But to be honest, I’d rather have more. While the chances are slim that I’d need more than that, I can’t be sure of it. Should I end up in the midst of gang activity, there’s no way that would be enough, especially if the gang in question was dealing in drugs. They might only have one magazine each; but there would likely be more of them, than there are of me.

The other important factor is deciding how to carry, so that the ammo is easily accessible. This doesn’t just mean where your spare magazines or speed loaders are; but what direction they’re facing. You want the movement from the mag holder to the gun to be smooth and natural, so that you can reload as quickly as possible.

Each of us has to decide what we’re going to carry; not only for our firearms, but for ammo. I’m not going to tell you that you should carry what I do, because your situation might be quite different from my own. Just make sure that what you decide is based on the most realistic scenarios that you’re likely to encounter; not on anything else.

Good planning requires knowing what you’re up against and thinking it through. That’s why it’s important to keep your survival gear close at hand, not to say anything about keeping your powder dry.

Dr. Rich

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