Forget the Spare Magazine, Give Me a ‘New York Reload’

The line has been drilled into everyone who carries a firearm and otherwise prepares for violence coming from the Earth’s dominant apex predator species: “Two is one and one is none.”

When people invoke this axiom in the firearms world, they’re most often talking about the number of magazines that a member of the armed citizenry takes with them when venturing out beyond the wire.

Magazines are, after all, the Achilles’ heel of the modern semiautomatic pistol. Despite the lack of hard numbers on this, it seems reasonable to say that magazines are more likely to be shoved blindly into overstuffed drawers, ejected with a full complement of cartridges onto the dirt at the range, and generally subjected to abuse as if they were head bolts on a 1981 Oldsmobile diesel engine.

They’re also the parts with the thinnest metal or plastic, more likely to be damaged than a part on the firearm itself. This author had such an issue with one of the magazines that shipped with his freshly-made GLOCK 43 in 2015. Heck, Larry Vickers still thinks that most new 1911 magazines should be ditched unless they come from a source with decades of proven reliability.

Still, even if no mechanical issues occur after the balloon goes up, having extra rounds on standby is a good idea, no matter how you look at it. Writers here have hammered home these points repeatedly.

This author learned his lawyerin’ from Fightin’ Illini who knew how to dissect an argument, and this one seems solid. Magazines are the weakest link in the semi-automatic chain. And since you can’t have too much ammunition, throw an extra mag or two in your pocket before venturing out. Logical.

But there’s a premise buried in there that doesn’t hold water for the average civilian who carries a firearm for self-defense purposes. That is . . .

During a surprise violent attack, where the combatant must fight immediately or suffer either death or grievous bodily injury, when the gun suffers a malfunction, she will be able to identify and cure the problem with a fast clearance drill, reload, and resume fighting in time to ensure a successful outcome.

Is that really going to happen?

The late firearms trainer/philosopher Louis Awerbuck sure didn’t think so. In his 1999 book, Tactical Reality (at 151-52), he says:

[I]t will take approximately half a second before it sinks into your brain that you have a mechanical malfunction or have run out of ammo. Bearing in mind that your assailant has already closed distance by six feet in this half-second…and you have not physically even begun to fix the mechanical problem, it is obvious that at contact distances you don’t have a snowball’s hope in hell of neutralizing your incoming attacker with that firearm….

Practice to perfection reloads and malfunction drills, but don’t delude yourself that it can be accomplished for real without distance, cover, or concealment as an ally. At contact distances it cannot be done. Period. This is tantamount to attempting a 200-yard rifle shot at a springbok running at full tilt (and bounding six feet into the air) while he’s at full bore). The word lunacy comes to mind.

If your only option is to do a malfunction drill when a determined enemy’s within three yards…English fails me. ¡Ay! ¡Qué fucked!

At the same time, each fight is unique. Circumstances may permit a tactical withdrawal to cover and enough time to do a reload. Albeit rare, it has happened, even to non-military, non-LEO types.

But if one wants to cover the risk, then it makes a lot more sense to carry the backup magazine, pre-loaded, in a back-up gun.

 

For those already on board with the idea of carrying one or two extra mags, the idea shouldn’t seem that radical. People carrying a concealed firearm for personal self-defense have already found space for a blaster on one hip. Concealing a gun on the opposite hip doesn’t require that much more effort.

And if one wanted to go for a .380 — say an LCP or one of those “I can’t believe it’s not a Colt Mustang” clones that everyone makes nowadays — or a J-frame size revolver, well, those things fit in the average man’s pants pocket almost as easily as a double stack magazine.

everyday carry gun

John Boch’s everyday carry gear (courtesy John Boch and everydaycarry.com)

Which is better when seconds count? Seventeen rounds that go downrange after the gunfighter successfully performs a double-feed clearance drill while under fire, or six rounds that are ready to fly as soon as leather (or pocket) is cleared?

glock magazine vs. backup gun

The author’s Kahr P380 is compared next to a 17-round GLOCK double-stack magazine above. When fully-loaded, the Kahr has 6+1 rounds ready to go with a trigger pull, and is both lighter and narrower than the GLOCK magazine.

The point isn’t to denounce the idea of carrying an extra magazine. Context is king. Certainly, those in the military or civilian law enforcement might want to carry some extra mags in addition to a backup gun, given their higher likelihood to engage in a prolonged fight, and limited ability to choose the time and place of those fights.

As Mr. Awerbuck says, the wise gunhandler will train for a variety of situations and keep such tactical tools handy in their mental toolbox. And train. Train to pull a backup pistol — and shoot — with your weak hand as much as you can.

It’s just that time, money, and belt space are usually at a premium and must be prioritized. You can’t carry everything. Every piece of EDC gear needs to be carefully scrutinized, periodically reconsidered, and dispassionately left at home if something else can do the job better.

If a reload or malfunction clearance is needed in the middle of a fight, it’s needed now. Not in two minutes, not in five seconds, not after the old magazine is ripped out of the well, now.

For those who wish to carry insurance against that eventuality, finding a little extra space for a second gun is ultimately more efficient than carrying a spare double-stack magazine that, in all likelihood, will be no more effective in the moment of decision than a talisman.

 

[This article was originally published in July of 2017.]

comments

  1. avatar Batpenguin says:

    If I were to carry two firearms. The second one being in the use as described in this article as in the “F*** I am screwed” I would carry a .357 snub-nose revolver because according to the thinking in the article they are almost on top of you (perfect for a snub nose) and I want to stop the threat and the .357 magnum is a known threat stopper.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      I like your thinking on that. An LCR in a pocket holster is really not much thicker than a double stack magazine in a carrier.

      1. avatar Mort says:

        I am that type of “wallet, keys, cellphone, gun” fellow… as I am sure a lot of us are, who are regular or long time TTAG readers. After numerous practices, thought experiments/tests… I decided to go with an LCR for a BUG.

        My personal tests have led me to believe that, if you’re going to carry a full size or medium pistol, in the 12-18 round range, then rather than carry this PLUS another small micro semiauto, carry your semiauto primary and a small revolver.

        Briefly (and all of this can be endlessly argued…), it takes just about as much time to pull out and fire a semiauto bug as it does to perform a magazine change (depending on your setup and skill and practice, all assumed…). So if the purpose is a backup, for whatever reason, be it New York reload or malfunction, a reliable revolver makes sense– not least because you can shoot it through a pocket and it’s less susceptible to lint and pocket fuzz/gunk than micro autos.

        So, a semiauto on the hip circumference, however your preference, plus one magazine, plus an LCR (or comparable) revolver in the pocket. Everyone has their formula and secret sauce… but this is my humble recommendation. I am soon enough going to get an LCR in .327 Fed Mag, which makes it a six shooter, and slightly superior to .38 Special (as much as any puny snub nose projectile can be “superior,” anyway…). A good Taurus 856 six shooter would be a reasonable choice, too, for example.

        The thing I have sometimes encountered is a psychological “weirdness” about the New York reload: While you can sometimes convince those non-gun people around you that Everyday Carry with CCW is a healthy, rational, and even habitually safer methodology than “sometimes gun, sometimes not…,” once you start wading into the logical arguments for a BackUp Gun– this is when you lose many people into that prejudice of “crazy gun nut,” or “that’s going too far.” Thus, my other recommendation would be: even if you make it inside knowledge that you EDC/CCW… just leave the second gun thing out. It’s a bridge too far for some peoples’ imaginations, unless they are/were cops or soldiers.

        Those of us who have had DGUs (… check out me throwing around the POTG ABC XYZs today ha… that borders on the “crazy,” too…), well… we just know better. You’ll probably never need a gun, but when you do, nothing else will suffice or substitute, and it’s a life or death decision. It is realistic– it is realistic, say it again– and the fact that it is only extremely rarely realistic does not change the potential consequences.

        Be safe. Mort AZ/actual

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Speaking of the LCR in .327 Fed Mag, it’s a little heavier than the .38 Special LCR. That might be a noticeable difference for everyday pocket carry. I like the idea of it though. I’ve looked into it as well. The Gold Dot .327 Fed Mag looks like the best defensive load. When I pocket carry, it’s a 911 .380 ACP. It’s so light, you forget it’s there.

        2. avatar Toni Smith says:

          I dont carry only because where i live that would land me in jail quick smart however i must say that if i could i would EVERY DAMN DAY. i do also like your idea of a backup revolver. they may not hold as many rounds but they are more reliable and if your primary semi auto jams then you still have somewhat of a fighting chance. I would also suggest it to be the biggest caliber you can comfortably use. If you can comfortably and accurately use a .44mag then do so. 454 casull even better

      2. avatar Ernie says:

        Simple solution to this whole problem carry one of whatever makes you happy and always look like you are coming or going to the airport/Amtrak station. Have an “Away”
        Brand pierce of roller luggage with a real flame thrower in it, that are legal in all 50 states. Better to be judged by 12 tha carried by 6 and what could Bloomberg say if you toasted a bad guy

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Batpenguin,

      I also like your train of thought.

      May I suggest something? At contact range I think you are just as well off with that snub-nosed revolver chambered in .38 Special and loaded with either 150 grain full wadcutters or soft lead 158 grain semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. In my opinion .357 Magnum loads do not generate any meaningful increase in velocity out of a short barrel compared to .38 Special. On the down side .357 Magnum significantly increases recoil which means you cannot shoot as fast and/or as accurately. In that comparison I would rather be able to fire three times in two seconds than just two times in two seconds.

      To be somewhat technical about it, I believe that three bullets (impacting at 850 fps) are far more likely than two bullets (impacting at 1150 fps) to quickly incapacitate your attacker. Then again we are talking about handguns which are notoriously “underpowered” in terms of physical (not psychological) “stopping power” against humans so it may not matter much either way.

      1. avatar Mort says:

        100% Correct, in my opinion (and nobody is asking…). Unless you are an expertly experienced shooter to the point where you are able to eek out whatever teeny-tiny advantage possible out of any gun, a .38 Special at “contact distances” is just about functionally the same as a sub-2″ barrel .357 (with loads that can’t even fully burn before the projectile exits, notwithstanding blast and cylinder leak…). At least in terms of “how much extra energy/damage you gain, versus what you gain in milder recoil and practical shootability” not being a .357 wallop being wasted in that tiny tube. Frankly, I even take it one notch further, and I don’t even bother to use +P in my LCR… you just don’t gain enough for it to matter, I think.

        But we all basically know now, even accounting for large energy and caliber discrepancies between handgun rounds… and who among us still carries a .44Mag 6″ anyway… most trauma medics and docs can’t even tell any functional difference between a .380, .38, .357, 9×19, .40SW, .45ACP etc. The New Wisdom being: Most defensive pistol bullets of a given class range perform basically the same, until that magic +2000-2200fps “rifle” threshold is passed, and then the real discrepancies in bullet damage can be seen. Anything under that is just a pistol, and thus just a pistol bullet wound, even if the energy and damage between calibers is relatively stronger or weaker.

        A .38 is fine… +P if you have a mental block or psychological hangup and just can’t let That Naggin Doubt leave your mind… but .357 out of sub-2″ barrels is lot of extra anger for not too much more punch. Again… nobody asked my opinion!

        But I agree with this person. Be safe. Mort AZ/actual

        1. avatar BusyBeef says:

          not even close, read my actual real world data below and stop spreading disinformation.

      2. avatar AD says:

        Was firing both .38 and .357 this afternoon from a 5 in. barrel. I promise the Magnums would be ZERO fun indoors or in/around vehicles.

      3. avatar BusyBeef says:

        Your opinion is contrary to actual facts, verified by testing.

        https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revolver-ballistics-test/

        Let’s use ONE example:
        Golden Saber 125gr +P .38 Special out of a 2″ Kimber K6S gets 877 fps, 13.9″ penetration, 0.62″ expansion
        Golden Saber 125gr .357 Magnum out of a 2″ Kimber K6S gets 1096 fps, 18.7″ penetration, 0.62″ expansion

        The Magnum generates an additional 120 ft-lbs of energy and penetrates an additional 4.8″

        In other words, you’re completely wrong, stop spreading your Fudd Lore.

        1. avatar vCad says:

          All calibers are the same will eventually get someone killed.
          There are significant differences in handgun calibers. This
          revisionists history seemed to start with the hoax known as the
          Strasbourgh test.
          Shoot straight and use an adequate caliber. Anything below .38 Special or 9mm is pretty much worthless.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          BusyBeef,

          I did not claim anything about energy, penetration, nor expanded bullet diameter.

          Read my opinion again:

          I believe that three bullets (impacting at 850 fps) are far more likely than two bullets (impacting at 1150 fps) to quickly incapacitate your attacker.

          My opinion is that three bullet wounds are more likely to quickly incapacitate your attacker than two bullet wounds. Nothing more, and nothing less.

          If you have data that two bullet wounds (which penetrate 19 inches) are more likely to incapacitate someone faster than three bullet wounds (which penetrate 14 inches), I would love to see it.

          Remember the context of stating my opinion, we are only considering:
          (1) single attacker has rushed you
          (2) attacker has closed to within contact distance
          (3) snubnosed revolvers
          (4) soft lead 158 grain semi-wadcutter hollowpoints
          (5) defenders who shoot .38 Special faster and more accurately than .357 Magnum.

          In that context there may very well be a higher probability of stopping the attacker faster with a .38 Special snubnosed revolver rather than a comparable .357 Magnum snubnosed revolver.

    3. avatar Howdy1 says:

      I would “settle” just for having Americans carry most of the time. Responsibly. No spare mag, second gun, flashlight, taser, pepper spray, tactical pen, knife or field notes. Not even asking for them to be “trained”.

      I would consider that to be a win.

      1. avatar Toni Smith says:

        yes Agreed and if i got to move to the states i would happilly walk around unarmed until i was able to start carrying legally… (permanant resident… citizenship)

    4. avatar SGM washington says:

      Just have an LLC set up, get a license from the ATF and and importation clearance from both dept treasury and commerce, about 1700 dollars total. Carry one handgun and two Israel iwi flashbangs…. that scare the BG oh and some ear plugs

  2. avatar Hillbilly says:

    Larry Vickers is FOS. He got into it with Magpul of all companies on AR15.com and their engineers told him to shove it. But hey since the guy is a combat veteran he must also be an expert in plastics and metal too. Maybe even composites.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      He must be amazing then all I learned as a combat veteran was practical application of Dunning Kruger and that I will always have a crapton more to learn.

      1. avatar Phil says:

        What?! So Larry lied about being a plastic and metal expert? Color me shocked. Anytime an article mentions anything about him I think of the guy at the mall hawking cheap chinese tactical gear. Maybe in his next life he will tell Lockheed and Boeing how their composites are all junk cause he is an expert.

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Too subtle?

    2. avatar Dan W says:

      At least he isn’t fat anymore.

  3. avatar DallasRenter says:

    Thanks for re-posting this. I carry a Glock 19 (at 1 o’clock) with two spare mags (7 and 11 o’clock). As malfunction-clearing drills have evolved to “change the mag upon any stoppage”, this advice makes more sense than ever. I believe you just convinced me to seek out a left-hand IWB holster for my P365…

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      So you dump a half-full mag when you get a stovepipe that can simply be racked out within half a second? Why waste several precious rounds and employ a maneuver that requires racking (and more time to complete) anyway?

  4. avatar AD says:

    Also, I think knives are a good idea. Great big fuck off, shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Great movie.

  5. avatar billy-bob says:

    I’m partial to wearing a brace of glock 17s in a bandolier.

  6. avatar LasVegasBret says:

    Re. video: did he point a gun at another person for demonstration purposes? If so, ALL credibility is gone.

    Note to him and anyone and everyone else. When demonstrating techniques that require the muzzling of someone/something else, USE A RED GUN.

    Dumbest thing I ever saw.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      As long as both people have checked, double checked and agreed the gun is unloaded, the risk is pretty insignificant.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Agreed, Bret. Either use a red gun, or at least install a hi-vis chamber flag in the real one. To each his own, but I would never accept training from anyone who practices the way this guy does.

  7. avatar strych9 says:

    I’ve always found this argument to be a bit wanting.

    I get the idea of the BUG being faster but I don’t think it matters in the examples that are usually provided.

    BG’s coming at you from 35 feet (yeah, I changed the distance to make a point). Draw Gun 1, have failure, assess that failure has occurred. At least 2.5 seconds down, at supposedly normal speeds he’s now ~six feet from you coming full tilt. Do you have time to reload? No, but you don’t have time to draw your BUG either. At this point you going hand to hand and hoping for the best because you’re 0.25-0.5 seconds from him having his hands on you or, worse, slipping a knife into you. You need to deal with this situation as best you can and make space before your BUG is anything more than I hand-costing liability.

    Does that mean a BUG is worthless? No, not at all, but the example of the “bumrushing bad guy” is a bad one because odds are the BUG isn’t going to save you from that.

    1. avatar Agent Smith says:

      Draw two at the same time.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I believe that Strych9 and Agent Smith both have valid points. I also believe that the article has valid points. As usual, there is no Panacea and there are advantages and drawbacks to every possible solution.

      At any given time I personally carry a spare magazine, a spare handgun, or both a spare magazine AND a spare handgun.

      1. avatar W R S says:

        Very correct, no two snowflakes are the same and no two violent confrontation are the same. 3P’s Prepare, Practice, Pray.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        There’s the oft overlooked option: pistol whip/poke/punch the aggressor.

        You already have a metal object on your hand, so why not use it?

  8. avatar guy says:

    It gets so heavy being strapped up like that hell I’ve already left a few rounds out of my .40 just for comfort. I try to carry a hanky, multi tool, chapstick, zippo, and a light that’s even burdensome. I used to carry my compact .40 with two spares and a beretta in 32acp. I just cant do it especially now that my shitty eating and beer drinking got me with a bigol beer gut.
    If you can manage it though that’s awesome I commend you.

  9. avatar Jeffrey Epstein says:

    Since we are more likely to get in a car crash than a gunfight, maybe we should all wear a helmet instead of carrying a second gun we will never need.

    1. avatar Void says:

      May want to include a neck brace

    2. avatar LazrBeam says:

      Or we could carry a compact spare car in our pocket.

      1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

        Probably be lighter than the EDC shown in the article. 😁

  10. avatar Shire-man says:

    Totally thought that was Gary Busey.

    1. avatar KreebleN'Krag says:

      I thought it might have been Richard Gere.

      1. avatar Central Virginian says:

        I was thinking Eric Roberts.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          +1
          Eric Roberts

  11. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    6 rds. of .44 Light Special was good enough for Dirty Hairy, its good enough for you.

  12. avatar Matt says:

    Thirty years ago when first assigned to the narcotics unit my senior (and wiser) partner asked how many guns I carried I thought he was a bit nuts. He insisted on carrying two so I did too. Two years later a second gun saved his life in an extended gun fight late one night at a gas station. I still carry two guns to this day. The fastest reload is a second gun.

  13. avatar W R S says:

    Just for such times I carry as a backup/close quarters firearm that most of you will make fun of and deride. I’m speaking of the two hand never miss derringer. A small two shot derringer works well, grab and hold the target with one hand and shove the derringer under their ribs point up and done. This doesn’t replace everyday carry it supplements. Few moving parts no jams.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      WRS,

      Right. I have been considering a Bond Arms Roughneck in 45 ACP as a BUG. Small size = easy access, and, as Strych9 points out, if needed you are likely in close quarters or hand-to-hand. That makes accessibility critical.

      1. avatar W R S says:

        They make a good quality firearm, and it’s made for up close and personal. I have a 38sp that works for me. And a heck of a noise maker.

  14. avatar Greg says:

    As a civilian CCW if I have to reload. Then I did something wrong. I only carry a spare mag in case of malfunction.

    1. avatar Matt says:

      Everyone must make their own choice but, you are only right until you are wrong.

  15. avatar Mark H says:

    Carry Glock 19 owb with g17 mag strong side
    Carry ruger ec9s in pocket holster
    Sholuder holster Glock 20 with 46 rounds buffalo bore

    Use the above to fight to my truck TAhoe in back unlock legal class 3 Mac 10 5 mags 27 rounds each

    Also locked in back Remington 700 in 308 with 40 match rounds ready to go

    This is so I can go to Publix with a clear conscience

    Sucks always wearing a sports coat in humidity

    Yep I’m ready

    1. avatar GeorgeCBP says:

      If 1980s red dawn happens at your grocery store… Cuban airborne troops only your long gun will be of any use. I live in southern AZ, I carry one handgun but always a 300 win mag rifle with good scope locked in the pockup. My wife a nurse has a lady smith and a savage .223
      Bolt, best caliber for her in her car trunk. People over look carrying a bolt rifle. Based for shtf, black swan stuff….

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    When I was first taught the idea of the “New York Reload,” it was by Jimmy Cirillo, of the NYPD “Stake Out Unit” fame from the late 60’s.

    I wish Jimmy were still with us, because a) he had been in more actual lethal shoot-outs than any other cop or CCW-carrying citizen (at least 11 confirmed lethal engagements, with several more criminals probably dying in the ER afterwards. Jimmy didn’t know his exact body count, but knew he’d been in more than 15 gunfights – they didn’t keep records the same way they do today), and b) was an expert handgun marksman (I saw him hit a head-sized rock on the 100 yard line with his S&W third gen .40 S&W, first shot, standing, off-hand, like it was no big deal).

    Jimmy explained that the “New York Reload” was a tactic they used in the SOU because they used revolvers so much back in the 60’s and 70’s on the NYPD. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the NYPD was using a variety of wheelguns (eg, S&W Model 10), most all in .38 Special as their issue pieces, and a Colt Detective Special or S&W Model 36 for backup or off-duty pieces. I seem to recall a NYPD cop telling me once that they could use a Dan Wesson revolver as well – in .38 Special.

    Jimmy said he often brought his personal Colt Cobra on jobs, and maybe a little .32 auto for a pocket piece. Jimmy explained that in a shootout, it took time to reload (whether a revolver or a pistol) and it was much easier to just pull out a second gun that was pretty much like the first one (he liked the Model 10, and brought two most of the time), with similar sights, and keep going at it. So for his purposes, he might have started an engagement with a revolver with a 4 or 6″ barrel, and then he’d pull out a second revolverl and keep engaging.

    The conventional wisdom today is that the .38 Special isn’t going to impress anyone with its wound ballistics any more. But that’s what they had to use on the NYPD back then. In one engagement, Jimmy told us they were in a grocery, and Jimmy’s partner yelled that the perps were running into the back. Jimmy runs to the back of the store, heads around a corner and comes face-to-face with the perp, and Jimmy shoots him in the face from about three feet away. In. The. Face. Specifically, to the perp’s left side of the perp’s nose.

    The perp falls down. Jimmy continues to work his way through the back of the store, without meeting anyone else. Jimmy comes back to the point where he shot the perp in the face, only to find the perp coming ’round, and groaning “Maaaan… wha you do dat for? Dat hurt!”

    The lead .38 Special had impacted on the perp’s cheekbone, and rode around under the surface tissue on the skull, and exited behind the perp’s left ear. Clean entry and exit wounds, without penetrating the skull at all. The perp had his bell rung, but was able to walk out in cuffs on his own power. There’s an example of the issues with handguns. Did it stop the perp? Yup. Did it kill him? Nope. Barely even wounded him.

    Jimmy noted that with wound ballistics like that, you might need to fire “a few” rounds to make your point. Hence the idea of the NY Reload – let’s get another revolver with another six rounds. The idea that a non-LEO CCW carrier who isn’t a drug lord is going to get into an engagement where s/he needs a backup piece for your modern primary piece that has a magazine capacity of 12+ rounds… seems to beg a question: “Why don’t you just get a more reliable primary piece?” Or “why don’t you take up a different line of work?” Or, “Why not just, you know, move to a place with fewer dazzling urbanites?

    Now, I’ll say one more thing from my time taking a class from Jimmy: He was a huge proponent of making every shot count in a defense situation. He was not an advocate of spraying down a target with rounds hither and yon, and in his day, cops were responsible for every round they sent downrange. He mentioned once how it was odd – the NYPD management and the courts were harder on cops shooting errant rounds, but the press was more forgiving back then. He warned us about the “target fixation” shutting down our attention to surrounding details that might be telling us “don’t shoot” – that it took a lot of self-control to be able to observe the target properly and make a shoot/don’t-shoot decision. He had lots of important experience that modern LEO’s could use to their benefit.

    Jimmy was a heck of a nice guy, an expert shot, an expert in firearms themselves and a man blessed with a bawdy sense of humor which he used to great effect in his classes. His stories of how shooting situations developed rapidly and how you needed a calm sense of awareness were highly instructive as to how things can (and do) degenerate and change rapidly – very rapidly – were just as instructive as his teaching on the shooting range. The NY Reload was one of those bits of instruction from when things went sideways, fast, in his time on the SOU.

    1. avatar W R S says:

      Thanks for the story and insight, well said you could build an article from this.

  17. avatar Jr says:

    There’s a tradeoff between convenience and preparedness. I pocket carry a 5 shot revolver. I figure the very small chance of needing it is worth the trouble of carrying it. However, the chance of it either malfunctioning or me needing more than 5 rounds to solve a problem is so miniscule its not worth the effort of carrying reloads or a BUG.

  18. avatar Bitter says:

    From a legal standpoint NM law says you can carry as many guns openly as you want but only one gun may legally be concealed at any given time which legally leaves out the idea of a NY reload.
    Don’t agree but if one is to follow local law that’s the rule.
    Other wise I think that a North America’s arms as a back up gun may be a good way to get you back to a safe distance and out of harms way.

  19. avatar Mad Max says:

    Two guns; one revolver, one semi-auto, one spare mag.

    That’s what I carry.

  20. avatar Will Drider says:

    The concept of a New York Reload in centuries past was called a “brace of pistols”. When black powder pistols were predominantly single shot and reloading tedious. In the Old West, dual rigs were not uncommon with Cap & Ball and metallic cartridge. As we moved into more modern revolvers (and before semi-auto dominance) there was still the issue of slow reloading which spured speed strip and speed reload/carriers: faster but individually dependent if faster than drawing a second revolver. Semi’s also had (some still have) their share functional issues. This fostered the remedy of having a BUG (BackUp Gun).

    IMHO, technically; a NY Reload is normally equal to caliber, capacity and size of the primary handgun. A BUG is more often than not: a smaller size/capacity and likely smaller caliber.

  21. avatar Dan W says:

    So far 1 gun and a total of 0 rounds has kept me alive. I think I’ll take the risk of not having the second gun.

    1. avatar Jr says:

      I would love to see statistics of what percentage of the time a second gun did or clearly would have made a significant difference in the outcome of a citizen DGU. I bet its VERY low.

      1. avatar Toni Smith says:

        It may well be very low but that one time that it is needed I would say it is worth the effort to have it on you cos the alternative does not bode well. If I was able to carry here I would have main gun with 2 mags in reserve as well as a backup gun being a modern revolver and I would have spare ammo for that as well. Personally I dont believe in leaving things to chance. I would also be training every chance i got and that includes dry fire practice at night sitting in front of the tv… not that i usually watch much tv though my partner does

  22. avatar Kendahl says:

    If you tried to carry all the recommended stuff, a backpack wouldn’t be sufficient. You’d need a wheelbarrow. There’s a reason people carry pocket pistols without spare ammunition. They’re not prepared to fight WW3 but it’s enough to handle the majority of already rare incidents.

  23. avatar Dave'sNotHere says:

    Oh man, don’t get me going on that 1981 GM diesel. My bought one when I was a kid because he thought it would save fuel. It did save fuel because it was broken down all of the time. Tuned me against GM for decades.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      It turned me against GM forever. It was a case of engineers who knew better allowed themselves to be talked into a stupid idea by their management.

      1. avatar RedFlagRising says:

        Those diesels were problematic (head gaskets) but swapping in replacement 350 gas engines was easy enough.

        Took out a diesel and dropped in a Rocket 350 Olds motor in one day. Ran great no more waiting for glowplugs to warm up. Back then a junkyard low mile Chevy 350 was around 250 bucks.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    Carry a good gun. Practice with it at least occasionally. At that point the chance of a malfunction is so slight when combined with the small chance that you may have to fire it in anger that it’s like worrying about a jet airliner crashing. Yeah, it’s possible, but it’s so unlikely that you probably have better things to worry about.

    If you are worried about a malfunction, and you’ve already made sure that you have a good firearm that doesn’t fail in normal circumstances, maybe carry a revolver that isn’t subject to problems with cycling\limp-wristing.

    Or carry three guns and a smoke bomb to the corner store when you pick up milk if that makes you happy.

  25. avatar George WashingtonGl says:

    Yeah…. this guy is 100%correct….
    If you can’t carry a BUG, sad for you….
    I carry a BUG 90% of the time… it’s definitely a smart thing to do…
    DO NOT listen to the pigs who try to convince you to not be fully prepared…
    Remember, there’s plenty of people who will try to convince you that only the police can save you….. we all know how that usually turns out…..js

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      Fully prepared is a plate carrier, helmet, SAW and fire fire team of your best buddies. CAS is a must for some of the sketchy Walmarts.

  26. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    A couple points can be made…

    1) If an assailant is closer than the prototypical Tueller range of 21 feet (and some say it should be 30 feet or even more), it doesn’t matter if you carry another magazine *or* a “New York reload”. You won’t get it out before the assailant can close range and strike. And if the assailant has a firearm already out, you won’t get the weapon out or a magazine reloaded before he can shoot at any distance.

    At extreme close ranges, you need to have self-defense and weapon retention skills – or enough situational awareness that your weapon is *in your hand* before the threat materializes. And if the assailant has a firearm out first, you need to disrupt his targeting by erratic movement while moving to cover or concealment – or if he is close enough, by attacking him physically.

    2) The New York Police Union recommended the “New York reload” because revolvers had inadequate ammunition in cases where police were engaging multiple opponents or simply ran out of ammo before inflicting injury on the opponent because the cop was missing or the opponent was behind cover and the cop was unable to inflict injury. It had nothing to do with malfunctions because police officers using revolvers probably had fewer malfunctions.

    So the point of carrying a second magazine is to recover from magazine malfunctions *and/or* if you run out of ammo during an engagement. The same applies to carrying a second firearm. It’s not “either/or” it’s “and/or” – as so many situations are. People need to stop setting up non-existent dichotomies.

    But don’t expect these measures to insure against every possible bad outcome. You also need to have enough tactical training to be able to 1) not shoot when you don’t have a target so you don’t run out of ammo, or 2) hit when you do have a target regardless of the target’s movements. And you also need training in situational awareness and response, and weapon retention, and at least a minimal amount of hand-to-hand self-defense training.

    Someone who is really prepared for concealed carry will carry a primary firearm, a reload magazine for that firearm (carried on the body), a secondary firearm (preferably the same make and model as the primary, or at least the same caliber as the primary although carry constraints may force a lower caliber), and a reload magazine for the secondary (also carried on the body.) Additional magazines for either the primary or the secondary – or even additional firearms – could be carried, either on body or off body (in a bag or pack attached to the body.)

    And carry a knife suitable for combat, and practice drawing it as well.

    Yes, this is all a lot of work and expense. That’s what personal security demands if you’re really serious about it. Anything less is just trusting to luck. Good luck with that.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      I make sure to have an AC130 circling my position at all times. Anything less just isn’t gonna cut it.

      1. avatar Mastro says:

        A burst from a good flamethrower around every corner will flush out those lying in wait.

  27. avatar possum and the Coons of Doom says:

    Two gunms on you just means one more gunm the police get.

    1. avatar Colblackwell says:

      If God decides it’s your time both your guns will jam.

  28. avatar Mark VII Ltd says:

    Your primary self defense pistol should be one that is absolutely reliable. If you carry one that has malfunctions during practice, my question is, why? I’m not arguing for one maker or another, just saying that you should carry a pistol that shoots, every time you pull the trigger, until the ammo runs out, with every mag you stuff into it. Picky guns are worthless.

    If you use high quality self defense ammo in a faultless pistol, the odds of it failing when you need it are zero. Carry extra mags and a knife for backup. Keep your pistol CLEAN and LUBRICATED. Keep your knife SHARP. And, don’t forget you can move to get off the X if the bad guy is getting too close. Get close combat skills. Practice everything at least once, better twice per month minimum.

    Never stop fighting.

    1. avatar Mastro says:

      I have my manservant Cato attack me randomly to keep me on my toes-

  29. avatar P-T-M says:

    If you are that close to an attacker and you are fully extending like shown in the video, you are doing it all wrong. If you are that close and not moving off the X (if possible), you are doing it all wrong.

    The video was made to prove a theory that you should always carry two handguns, and left out key/vital training information.

  30. avatar Prndll says:

    I would not carry the 150 year old antique that cost me $15K even if it were reliable. Going for the sub-par $150 22lr plinker would not be a good idea either.

    Carry what works, works well, and works for you. I completely agree that any semi-auto should be accompanied by a spare mag. Carrying a 2nd firearm should never be dismissed either. It just isn’t always practical. These things are often situational.

  31. avatar Anon says:

    One other thing to carry: a small radar for the possibility of an airplane landing on top of you. You stand a better chance of winning the lottery or being hit by lightning than needing two guns. Unless you’re a cop. I’ll take my chances with just one.

  32. avatar Salty says:

    I’m thinking 2 shields as they can use same mags etc but then you need a revolver for when you are real serial. 2 shields give syou 16rds in the short config? And costs same or less than sig 365… buuuuuut with the added bonus value of your ny reload…

  33. avatar turn about says:

    I don’t go to New York any more so I just need a pocket .380. In 71 years I have never been attacked (in the U.S. anyway).

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