Over at shootingillustrated.com, writer Guy Sagi reveals that he’s upping his ammo count this weekend. Maybe. “I carry two spare magazines for my primary concealment gun, a Wilson Combat CQB Elite. This weekend when I’m out I might up it to four.” Mr. Sagi’s responding to the anniversary of 911, wondering (as so many people are) if Muslim terrorists will “celebrate” the occasion by launching a fresh atrocity. Yes, well, you can’t carry on a plane. And I don’t think 28 extra .45s would have helped someone sitting in one of the Trade Towers when a jet slammed into its side. Still, point taken. Some members of our Armed Intelligentsia carry (or not) depending on their perceived threat level. I reckon that’s a bit like wearing your seat belt only when you’re going to have an accident. As for increasing the ammo count, if you can’t escape a threat in 16 rounds, it’s time to call in an airstrike. When it comes to concealed carry, are you a proactive or reactive?

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41 Responses to Question of the Day: Do You Adjust Concealed Carry to Perceived Threat Level?

  1. I carry a 14-rnd 45, spare mag, back-up 38, flashlight, knife, pepper spray and cell phone every day, everywhere, and this is when I am certain that I will NOT get into a gun fight.

    If I think I will get into a gun fight, I will carry a rifle also.

      • That’s more like have a six point belt, roll cage and automatic fire extinguisher in the family minivan. Drivers who know the, ah, feces might hit the fan while they’re drving amp up to those levels, and gun owners who know there might be a threat carry a long gun.

        • Sure; One of my shooting buddies does nightclub security in Philadelphia. When he’s working in the city, he carries his sidearm, OC spray, flashlight, spare pistol mags, phone, etc..

          For when the feces impact the rotating oscillator, he keeps his AR (10-12.5″ SBR) and spare mags ready in his vehicle. When the situation calls for it — like nearby gunshots, or other likely threats — the AR comes out.

          My brother, who up until recently was PA Act 235 certified, has worked with the above mentioned gentleman doing armed nightclub security on a few occasions, and the last time he did so, there were two occurrences of such circumstances.

    • David, I believe your employer allows you to carry at work. LOL.

      I was not recommending you only carry 5 rounds, only that if you are still shooting after 5 rounds you are in a real mess.

    • My “Rabbi” is similarly armed daily. I find in interesting that instructors carry way more stuff than the average Joe. Is this due to prior violent experiences? Do instructors have a more realistic view of the world? Or do they have a biased view of the world based on their past experiences as cops, SWAT, whatever. The vast majority of us will go through 80 years of life without a violent encounter, so we carry based on perceive threat level….most of society does not carry at all.

      I don’t know the answer, but for me, if it is light and convenient, I carry. If it is heavy or interferes with life, forget it. This is based on my low perceived threat level. If I knew of a clear threat to me or my family, you better believe I would put up with the weight and inconvenience of a multiple bad guy gun(s), etc.

      • “If I knew of a clear threat to me or my family, you better believe I would put up with the weight and inconvenience of a multiple bad guy gun(s), etc.”

        The threat will likely not be clear.

      • Personally, I believe that most instructors carry more often, and more gear than regular CCW folk because we have a more realistic view of violence in our society, but even more so, a better understanding of the tactics, techniques, mindset and equipment to survive violent encounters ranging from simple assaults to lethal engagements.

        Our knowledge and understanding of these circumstances is what drives us to pass that to others.

        Other than my LE work, I have never drawn a gun and I too hope to live 80 years without using my tools, but I sleep better knowing that if violence visits my family, I and they will have a fighting chance to survive.

        The only thing sheep can do is hope that their slaughter is quick.

        • “Our knowledge and understanding of these circumstances is what drives us to pass that to others.”

          I would say that definitely jives with where my current instructor is coming from.

      • While we will never know for sure, it is my guess that most victims of violence did not feel threatened right up until the time they were killed.

  2. I do adjust my carry configuration depending on where I am at. I carry a weapon to not only defend myself, but to defend others around me. Usually, I only carry a small frame 9 mm with an extra mag, giving me 15 rounds of 9mm in a in very small concealable package. I figure that is enough to protect the clerk and other customers and handle 1 – 2 armed robbers trying to steel the $46 in the cash register. I also have several other magazines for all of my carry pistols in a little bag in my car.

    However, if I am going to, say, a mall (or any other open public place), I prepare for a whole different kind of threat. Shootings at malls rarely involve a quick hit and run robbery (except for a mugging scenario in the parking lot). The most likely threat I expect there is a mad man/terrorists to showing up with rifles and shooting up the place. I usually carry a Sig P 226 with a MecGar 18 + 1 rd mag in the pistol, plus two spare 18 or 20 round mags. This gives me 55 – 59 rounds to deal with a threat. Granted, there are times (summer) that I can’t do that because it requires OWB carry and I prefer not to open carry (too hot for a jacket). In those cases, I carry a Kahr CM9 on my ankle (which is always there when wearing pants), a Kahr CW9 in a tuckable IWB holster and 2 spare 7 rd mags. The mags fit in both pistols and I have 29 rounds to work with and two guns. Sure, if someone starts shooting up a mall, I could just run to safety and be done with it. However, I believe that as an armed citizen, I have both a moral and an ethical responsibility to try to stop the threat. Of course, if I am there with friends or family, my first priority is to get them to safety. Then, I am going back in, unless the authorities have already arrived, in which case I will let them handle it. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I thought there was something I could have done to slow down or stop the attack and I chose to look out for only myself and run for safety.

  3. Not really. Here in the Wild Wild West, we’ve had to live with the threat of el narcoterrorismo for quite some time now, so I’m pretty much used to carrying every day. I carry a CZ P07 and a extra mag in a Supertuck, or if I can’t carry that, I have a P3AT with CT grips and an extra mag on me and something in the car.

    The point of all this isn’t to try to stop an active shooter or a Mumbai-style attack on my own, it’s to get me and my family to safety and deal with any threats that may pop up on the way to safety.

  4. I’d like to know how many times in the last 40 years that anyone (besides law enforcement) caught in an SD situation has actually run out of ammo and been at a disadvantage because of it, as well as how many SD situations have included a needed reload.

    It might not be a hinderance to carry the extra ammo, but the mindset of the person who carries 4 mags is definitely a little sketchy. Really, when on earth would you ever need 40 rounds in an SD situation?

    • Four mags might be a bit much, but the list of things that can go wrong on a semi-auto handgun usually revolve around ammunition feeding, and that means mags, and therefore a spare mag isn’t a bad idea to have with you.

        • Depends on what you carry. One extra mag for a 9mm is more than enough but it takes 3 extra mags to get 28 rounds with a 1911. In most self defense situations just drawing the gun ends the threat but in almost all situations a shot, whether it hits the target or not, sends the perp running for his life. Even a shot from a 22.

        • that’s kind of two conflicting points there. on one hand, you are saying 3 mags for a 1911 is reasonable (implying you might need to reload 3 times in your SD situation) and then on the other hand you are basically saying (and I agree) in the vast majority of SD situations, not even 1 bullet is required to stop the threat.

        • I didn’t say I carry three just that 3 would give you about the same number of rounds as 1 extra 9mm. I personally carry one in the gun and a spare.

  5. Yes, I adjust my carry based on the situation,
    be it weather, terrain, or perceived threat level.

    And I will be upping my carry options this weekend.

    If nothing happens, then I’ve carried a little extra weight,
    call it resistance exercise.

  6. Isn’t the whole idea of concealed carry preparedness? Isn’t “you’re not gonna need that” the anti’s argument?

  7. Do I adjust my concealed carry options to the perceived threat level? No, but sometimes I do adjust my location. I try not to go to “bad” places where there is a liklihood of trouble. Otherwise, if I can’t handle my problem with twenty rounds of .40 cal hollowpoints, I might be well and truly f^cked. Oh, well.

    As for the anniversary of 9/11 and the “credible threat” warning, I’m unconcerned for my own safety. Martyrs in New York or DC may get a free trip to Paradise and 72 virgins, but I checked the Koran and the reward for blowing up my little town is a taxi ride to a nearby whorehouse and a BJ from the grandma who owns the building. That’s not a lot of incentive for self-immolation, even for a Muslim Fundamentalist.

  8. EDC is a G27 (9+1). One spare magazine (9) in weakside front pocket in a Desantis magpacker holster. Spare mag is as much for possible malfunction as it is extra ammo. I also carry a 2-oz Fox Labs pepper spray. I do not change what I carry for perceived changes in threat levels.

  9. And I don’t think 28 extra .45s would have helped someone sitting in one of the Trade Towers when a jet slammed into its side.

    True enough – but imagine how history would have been changed had one of the FBI agents or Pentagon members, after being told not to investigate Atta and the other illegal aliens behaving suspiciously and exactly like the profile of Bin Laden’s terrorists that they were searching for, had decided to go rogue vigilante with the same number of rounds.

  10. I won’t be changing my carry behavior for this weekend. I don’t think any of my weapons will stop an VBIED or similar attack. I will be avoiding 9-11 ceremonies at the Pentagon just in case. Besides it is against Pentagon regs for me to carry on the reservation. I will have to rely on the ever vigilant Pentagon police for protection when I lay flowers on a friend’s son-in-law’s memorial later in the day.

    The only time that I would adjust my protection level is if there was rioting going on in DC or other violent civil disturbances in the metro area. That would amount to loading up all my magazines for my handguns and 22 rifles and set out a box of ammo for each of my Remingtons. I do note that the sniper pair of Mohammad and Malvoux were cornered by armed citizens at a rest stop on Maryland I-70. The truckers blocked the exits and called the police but made no effort to wake up the sleeping duo.

    I will soon be carrying again when I walk my dogs after work as the days shorten. I actually prefer to carry openly because a 45 will deter the 2% who aren’t afraid of my two coonhounds but the Arlington Police are likely to frown on it even though I am within my rights to do so. I will leave the activism to those who don’t care about the hassle.

  11. I carry a G26 with extended 12-round mag (I need the finger grip) in a DeSantis Nemesis front pocket holster, strong side. Easy to draw, and very casual to put your hand in your pocket and pre-grip the gun if things seem dicey. I carry a 17rd G17 mag in the opposite cargo pocket. I use a Saf-T-Block in the G26 to avoid unintended discharges.

    I recently added a Beretta Tomcat in the strong-side cargo pocket with a spare Beretta mag, both in a DeSantis Cargo Nemesis. Two is one, one is none, right? Might move that to an ankle holster, haven’t decided.

    Other than that, a Spyderco Police Model and the world’s cheapest tactical pen, the Zebra F-701. $8 at Wal-Mart, stainless steel and writes well, too. That is EDC for me.

    Do I think I will need a second mag? To be honest, I don’t THINK I will need the knife, much less the first gun, but there are Black Swan events and IMO it is always better to be prepared than to have a plan. Usually, the first plan won’t work. Better to have tools and options than no tools and no options.

    I don’t change my EDC depending on circumstances, I bought the G26 to be my carry gun and the Tomcat for backup, if I know there is going to be a gunfight I will bring a rifle or shotgun, and friends with the same.

  12. I will be staying home getting our ’49 Suburban ready to go to the Resto Shop, so Muzzie Terrorists aren’t a factor for me. My EDC is a 10-shot 9mm with 2 spare mags (crazy paranoid?) and a folding lockblade. Going into the Big City I add a 2″ .38. If I had reason to believe that a gunfight would be part of the day’s activities I would stay home.

  13. The recent slaying of Douglas Zerby, Allen Kephart and of course Kelly Thomas by Southern California leo’s should prompt all citizens to carry a G3 at all times when out and about. North bound on interstate 5, CHP is conducting illegal searches of even Uhaul’s before Redding. American’s must stop submitting to unconstitutional activity by any and all “authorities.”

  14. For what could happen in a terrorist event get the book and DVD “Shooting Back” by Charl Van Wyk. On 25 July 1993 four terrorists attacked the evening service at the St James Church in Cape Town, South Africa, attended by 1500 worshipers. The tyerrorists had fully automatic AK 47s and grenades and intended to kill everyone in attendence, but Mr. Van Wyk returned fire with a five shot snub nosed revolver; he had no special training other than two years service in the South African Infantry, and had no extra ammunition. The terrorists fled after one of them was seriously wounded. They never expected any opposition. Although eleven worshipers were killed and fifty two were injured the carnage would have been far worse had not an armed resistance been mounted.

  15. Meh… I’m with Ralph for the most part on this one. If the percieved threat is greater than usual then, by definition, I’m able to percieve the threat ahead of time. In which case, I’ll avoid it. My Glock 20 and two spare mags is my EDC. I carry two extra mags only because the Crossbreed dual mag carrier is the same size as the single(and the same price). I do deviate from time to time based on how deeply I need to conceal but the “percieved threat level” has nothing to do with it. I avoid conflict. If a concert I’d like to go to is in a bad part of town, I won’t go there. If a bar has a reputation for unfriendly patrons, I won’t go there. If (insert event with a large crowd) has had trouble with “fights” involving “youths”, I won’t go there. My gun is for when avoiding or evading isn’t an option.

  16. I’m still too new at CCW to have settled on a one-size-fits-all approach. In the summer heat in my own neighborhood I’m comfortable with 7 rounds of 9mm (plus extra mags in the truck) because that’s all I can reasonably conceal. In winter its 20 rounds of .40 on my person. Or a service 9mm with spare mag(s). Or a .357 with a couple speed loaders. Lots more options for winter concealment.

    However, my employment requires me to go to dangerous parts of town from time to time. Unless someone thinks its better to quit my job and try to find some other way to feed my kids (welfare and food stamps comes to mind). Instead of a 1 or 2 BG stickup, the threat is now gangs of potentially 20 young urbanites looking to terrorize for their own amusement. You can’t let a gang like that get within 25 yards of you or your toast. Once they threaten and pursue you, you need enough ammo to take out one or two, suppress the rest, and GTFO before you’re staring at the muzzle flash of a dozen Saturday night specials. They need to understand that if they decide to follow, they and their buddies will continue to absorb lead around every corner. 20 rounds and the Lord’s Protective Hand is an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM to survive a situation like that. Thank goodness it hasn’t happened to me yet and most likely never will, but if I’m going to try to defend myself at all than that’s what I have to do.

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