Is It Better To Have Magazine Capacity Or More Magazines?

Is It Better To Have Magazine Capacity Or More Magazines?

Is It Better To Have Magazine Capacity Or More Magazines?

Every day, responsible concealed carriers head out of the house with either their pistol or revolver strapped to their waist.  It’s a conscious decision to take responsibility for your own protection.  And, in the spirit of enabling that decision, let’s discuss combat sustainability.

Always Choose The Pistol That Fits Best

The pistol that fits best for you may be smaller in size.  Single stack or double stack – it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that if you’re caught in a live fire situation, you can respond with a firearm that you feel confident in using.  

Read Also: The Best Handgun for the Situation? A Personal Take

Magazine capacity is important.  A pistol that needs to be reloaded after six shots will be an issue if your attacker is using a firearm with more capacity.  

Why Carrying At Least One Spare Magazine Can Make The Difference

This doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  The solution is simple – carry a back-up magazine.  

For instance, let’s take a look at the Walther PPS.  Chambered in 9mm or .40 S&W, it’s a single stack concealed carry pistol that features magazines ranging in 6 to 8 bullets.  From the factory, it usually ships with the 6 round magazine.  Are you willing to bet your life that you can subdue any threat (or multiple threats) with six rounds?  

Carrying a secondary magazine in either a belt pouch or a pocket can make the difference.  It’s also convenient to store one in the glovebox or center console (provided you are within rights to do so based upon your state and county ordinances).

In the military, it’s common to have three magazines for your sidearm – but that’s usually when you’re stationed in a combat environment and expect trouble.  And the common sidearm issued is the M-9 Beretta (Beretta 92).  That’s a Single Action/Double Action service pistol capable of holding 15 rounds.  It’s a good idea to have at least 12 at the ready with access to more if necessary.  

If you are planning on bringing another magazine, it may make sense to just go ahead and get a magazine pouch for your Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster system.  They’re cheap and it’s a way of incorporating that additional magazine into your routine.  

Drawbacks Of Larger Caliber Concealed Carry Firearms

When using a larger caliber .40 S&W or .45 ACP pistol, there is a sacrifice in magazine capacity.  In a heavy combat environment, this can be a real drag.  Understand that the fewer rounds your pistol holds, the more magazines you should have available for backup.  

Remember: in a firefight, it’s not the number of bullets you put downrange – it’s the number of hits you get with those rounds.  More does not equal better.

Additionally, if you are not going .45 ACP, consider switching out your Full Metal Jacket ammunition with Jacketed Hollow Point or similar.  Check out this post we did covering the different types of common ammunition.  Switching to a more effective ammunition will mean each hit you get will do more to incapacitate your attacker.

In conclusion, there is no “magic number” in terms of how many rounds you should carry on you at any one time.  The only place you don’t want to be caught is out-of-ammunition in a gunfight. 

If you decide to go up in caliber or go down to the micro or sub-compact size, have backup magazines.  If you’re carrying a full-size or compact with 10 rounds or more, a secondary magazine is still important.  So, magazine capacity is not nearly as important as having the ability to reload if you need to.  If you can, incorporate a secondary magazine into your everyday carry habits.  You’ll be surprised how easy it is and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you ever need it.