Should I Carry A Spare Magazine?

One of the most hotly debated topics in the concealed carry world is in regards to carrying a spare magazine. More specifically, if it’s worthwhile to carry an extra magazine or not.

To be honest, there are pros and cons to carrying an extra mag. This blog post is laid out into two different sections. The first one is the argument for why you would carry a spare magazine. The second section has arguments about why you might NOT want to carry a spare magazine.

Let’s discuss.

Why carry an extra mag?

The main reason why you’d carry an extra magazine is because you need more ammo. For whatever reason, you need more than the ammunition in your carry gun. There may be more bad guys than you have ammo for, or something major may happen in your area.

Whatever the reason is, I’m of the mindset that it’s always better to have more ammo than to have less. This follows the mindset of it’s better to have it and not not need it than to need it and not have it.

Another reason some folks give concerning why they carry an extra magazine is that the magazine can be a known weak spot for semi-automatic guns. While rare, the absolute last time you’d want to have a malfunction like this is when you’re in the middle of protecting yourself.

If you end up having a magazine that causes a malfunction, having the ability to swap mags is a good idea. That said, I’ve only ever experienced rifle magazine failures. To my knowledge I’ve never had a pistol jam from a faulty mag.

My point being, that they’re rare. It could happen, however.

The last pro to carrying a spare magazine that we’ll talk about here is topping off your gun during a critical incident. If you find yourself in the midst of a major event, like an active shooter, or if there are multiple shooters, or if a Wolverines-type scenario plays out, keeping your gun topped off is probably a better bet so you can always have as much ammo in your gun as possible.

Why not carry an extra mag?

There are two primary arguments against carrying an extra magazine. First, is because it’s something else you need to carry. Second, it’s because chances are good that you’ll never need it.

A third, relatively recent argument, is that semi-automatic pistols are now carrying more rounds of ammo than ever before in a much smaller package like the SIG Sauer P365, the Springfield Hellcat, and others.

Of course, this doesn’t help you if you experience a malfunction, but my EDC gun holds 13 or 15 rounds of ammo in a nice, small package. Not too shabby.

As far as having something else I’d need to carry, I admit that I’m usually the last person to strap something else to my belt. I tend to take a minimalist approach. I do know several people who do carry extra mags, and even some folks who carry a spare load for their revolvers.

At the end of the day, neither answer is right or wrong for every person. You do what you think is right, just as the rest of us do.

If you’re in need of carrying extra ammo and are looking for a way to do so, we’ve got a few solid options with our magnetic spare magazine carriers, as well as our RELIC mag carriers.

Even if you have no plans to carry one every day, it’s still a good idea to have one for training at the range. If you don’t have a mag carrier, buy one here.