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TTAG commentator Kevin A. read our post on the Garland, Texas terrorist attack (Garland Texas: Attack of the Assault Rifles! Or Is That Assault of the Attack Rifles?) and added “#terroristlivesmatter.” Smart ass. “Seriously though, I’m buying a 1911 in .45ACP now.” To which TTAG commentator/cop Hannibal replied “So when you see an incident that had two attackers with maybe 30-round magazines you decide to go with something that holds 8 rounds?” Yup, here we are again, squaring-off in ye olde caliber vs. capacity battle. My take . . .

It doesn’t matter how many rounds of what size you carry as long as you adjust your strategy accordingly.

Thirty-eight caliber five-round snubbie? Run-up to the bad guy, stick it in his or her ribs and pull the trigger. Or take a couple of quick shots at bad breath distance and run away as fast as you can. Striker-fired high-capacity nine? Let loose a few rounds now (aimed suppressive fire?), a few rounds later (where needed) and precision shots as and when. Eight-round .45 caliber 1911? Take aimed, precision shots from the word go. In all cases, carry a spare mag.

Which one’s “best”? Different challenges favor different platforms. Walking to a car in a cinematically scary parking garage? Snubbie in your jacket pocket, ready to fire. Terrorist attack? High-cap nine. Hostage situation? 1911. Which is not to say an armed self-defender couldn’t use any of these guns for any of these situations. Just that some are better suited for certain scenarios that others.

If I had to choose one gun to rule them all, it would be the 9mm 10+1 FNS-9c, with the 15-round backup mag. Small enough to conceal, capacious enough ammo-wise for just about any scenario, and enough precision to make medium distance shots eminently doable. But, as they say, if I knew an attack was coming, a rifle would be my only choice. Anyway, how many rounds do you carry? Do you vary your carry piece according to dress and environment?

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  1. I roll with either a 15 round 9mm or a 7 round 45 depending on the weather. I will admit that I don’t carry a spare magazine. Really should, but it’s another thing to keep track of. In the case of the 15 round P99, it has never had as much as a hiccup with any rounds from any magazines despite owning it for the better part of a decade. The 45 is less reliable, so I might start carrying a spare Willson Combat magazine in addition to the one in the pistol.

      • Summer: 26 rounds minimum, sometimes more (loaded pistol and a spare higher-capacity mag).

        Winter or coat/jacket weather: 30 to 51 rounds (a larger loaded pistol and 1 or 2 spare mags).

  2. Concealment according to clothing (least clothing first):
    442 snubbie in pocket and 1 speedload
    shield 9 (7+1) in owb and extra 8 round mag
    P99c AS (10+1) and extra 15 round mag
    Glock 30S (10+1) and extra 10 round mag

  3. When it’s hotter than hell’s out house, which is like 10 months out of the year here in south GA, I just throw a .38 in my pocket and also carry a good knife. But when I open carry or when I can actually wear more clothes its a full size XD .45 and spare mag, plus the .38 and knife as a back up.

    • Most of the time I’ve just got 5 rounds of .38+p in the 642, with no reload. I’m kind of a minimalist and hold to Robert’s theory of:

      “take a couple of quick shots at bad breath distance and run away as fast as you can”.

      I view punks, carjackers, muggers, etc. as the primary threat not Jihadis with AKs. Sometimes I’ll carry two guns, or a higher capacity gun, if I feel the situation warrants it. I’ve always got the knife too.

      • Agreed. A good knife is often over looked by a lot of people. It’s a great thing to have not only as a back up, but as a good tool if SHTF while out and about.

  4. At work as now, wearing a jacketed suit, my SR-9 fullsize with one in chamber and a backup mag gives 35 opportunities to stop mayhem. Hidden pigsticker for up close n personal. SoFla in spring n summer a bitch of heat. Offtime carry either keltec pf9 plus backup mag for 15 or bersa 380 same cap. always have knife as backup.

  5. Caliber only matters if you hit your target. You can’t miss close enough with a .45 to matter. If you can only hit your target with a .22, you use a .22. Capacity matters only when you can hit your target or reasonably expect them to react as you or I would. If someone is willing to die for their omnipotent, omniscient Skyman, then capacity doesn’t matter if you don’t hit.

    • As to the question, I carry a S&W MP-9 with Hornady Critical Duty and 2 spare mags when I’m not in school (Thanks, GHW Bush!)

      • I know the struggle. College is rough given I’m spending most of my time in a fervent gun free zone. When I can I carry, I carry my P320c 15 rounds of 9mm hornady critical duty with one in the pipe giving me 16.

  6. Glock 19 appendix with a spare mag in my left hand pocket When im not at work. At work aways a M&P Shield either off hand pocket(tools go on the right side) or appendix carry with spare mag.

  7. I cant remember who said it, but in a youtube video I watched recently probably the best summation of the caliber debate Ive ever heard was described as this: If you are limited to FMJ by law or international agreement, then go with the round that will punch the largest hole in your target (.45 acp). If you are able to use expanding rounds, the performance gains you get in .40 or .45 are not worth the reduced capacity and increased recoil, and thus 9mm for its increased capacity and reduced recoil is an optimal choice.

    • I said that in a comment on a YouTube video about the caliber debate. But I also said you should carry the caliber you’re most accurate with. If you can’t hit the broad side of a barn with your EDC, it doesn’t matter how many rounds you’re carrying.

  8. Kel-Tec P11 with 12+1 of 9mm. Compact enough that I can carry IWB when its chilly and pocket-carry when its warmer, but has a lot of punch for its size. I don’t usually carry a spare magazine, but I might start in the near future.

  9. I carry either a commander size 1911 or a Glock 30S. A spare mag is much easier with the slim 1911. I usually forego the fat Glock magazine.

  10. My normal carry, IWB with a tucked-over casual shirt (or an untucked shirt if I’m casual) is my P320C with 16 rounds in the pistol and two 17rd reloads. That’s an entire box of 9mm ammo on my belt–and I know that’s not for everyone.

    When I need slightly more concealability (tucked-over dress shirt instead of business casual) I carry my Lightweight Commander with two 8-round spares for 25 rounds of .45.

    It takes a good belt, slightly oversized khakis, and some getting used to. And I occasionally think I must be slightly nuts.

    In either case, I feel like I have plenty of ammunition. I know the whole line about 3 shots at 3ft…but I didn’t pick my weapon system with a mugging attack in mind (it’s a very small risk, anyway, in the places I frequent), The active shooter nightmare scenario dogs my mind (and those occasional nightmares where the gun won’t fire), and I figure if I ever found myself in a situation such as the Texas incident referenced above, I would not regret that third magazine.

    But, realistically, if I’m ever reaching for the second reload things have gone very badly wrong. More likely I would fire a half-dozen rounds and spend the next ten years telling everyone that the extra ammo on my belt made me feel a tiny bit more confident when I dew the weapon.

  11. Regardless of blaster, at least one spare mag on body and at least one, maybe two in the vehicle. All in all around 30 rnds give or take.

    • Also from CA. I go to Oakland all the time with nothing more than a sharp pointy thing. Me and you must just be a whole lot tougher than the rest of these wussities. 🙂

      • You are a Makarov fan aren’t you? It must be sad to leave Mak at home due to stupid California laws.

        • Yes. Yes, I’m a proud Mak fan. Leaving it home is a crime. But losing it to an overzealous cop would be worse.

    • It can be done in CA. There is no advantage to the wonder 9s.

      Now that I know more my three are, 1911 in 10mm, 1911 Commander .45, and a 9mm Shield.

  12. G19 and a spare mag. At times I rock a BUG, but not all the time. So, on average, 30 rounds of 9mm on even given day. I figure that will do me.

    And no, I don’t “top off.” I load the 15 round mag, rack a round, holster the gun, and go on my way.

  13. Springfield XDM Compact 9mm with 13 in the magazine. If I need more than that, it’s time to make a “tactical withdrawal.”

    • That’s my general mindset as well.

      I’m somewhere between 8 and 18 depending on the gun I’m carrying that day.

  14. Glock 19 with two extry mags. Saving up for a 26 for a bug, then maybe I’ll trade one of the extra mags for a blowout kit or flashlight or something.

    • I use to use the G26 as a BUG. I found it to be uncomfortable for ankle carry- too much mass for my liking.

      Switched to an LCP and haven’t looked back.

  15. I have started carrying more ammo since a previous incident.. I was working with a rescue team looking for a cabinet minister who survived a helicopter crash. Some guerillas had shot it down and taken him captive. Well, by the time we were in assigned the mission, another SF team had gone missing. We ran into the culprit and my weapons sergeant told me this: “I know one thing, Major, I drew down and fired straight at it. Capped off two hundred rounds in the minigun, full pack. Nothing… Nothing on Earth could’ve lived. Not at that range.” My whole team fired at it with 9mm, 5.56mm, 40mm grenades, and 7.62mm. It was not enough. We mowed down a spot in the jungle and it still was not enough. So, now I don’t leave house without a 12-gauge auto-loader, a .45 long slide with laser sighting, a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range, and an Uzi 9mm.

  16. its amazing how many people are not able to grasp the concept of dynamic tactics. they pick one tactic and never vary from it.

  17. It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it. Caliber and capacity don’t mean a thing if you can’t place a shot under stress. Train, train, and train some more with your choice of carry gun.

  18. Hardly, if ever carry a reload. Usually 8+1 rounds of .32 in a Walther PP for wandering around town. In the winter 15+1 9mm, occasionally 5 rounds of .38 wadcutters in the snubbie. For super deep cover 6+1 .25ACP in the browning.

  19. When I’m carrying my 1911, nine in the gun and two 10 rnd mags. = 29.

    When I’m carrying my Beretta 92, 18 in the gun and two 17 rn. mags. = 52.

    • Can you tell me if the 2 10 round mags are capable of pocket carry in a deep jean pocket? I want to buy two wilson-combats for my reloads in the pocket, but I cant find the measured length anywhere! thanks

  20. I’ve been carrying for two decades, and I had gotten lazy.
    I usually carried a single stack micro nine or 45, so six or seven rounds.
    After Baltimore, I realized the chance of me needing more shots than that were a little higher than I had been thinking.
    So now it’s back to 10+1’s and a spare mag.

  21. Humping ammo days are over. Eyes are failing and no time to head tilt lining sights in a gunfight. In close, this is gonna hurt, 7 rounds via LC9.

  22. Until a couple days ago a Glock 20 with no spare. A horizontal mag carrier was ordered and is on the way so I’ll now have a spare. Underwood 165 grain Gold Dots @ 1,400 fps should be delivered tomorrow.

    The apartment complex the Garland shooters lived in is literally five minutes from my house.

  23. 22 rounds for my Ruger LCP Custom with the red trigger and REAL SIGHTS (kept the CT laser too).
    7+1 and two extra mags

    “The gun you carry when you can’t carry a gun.”

  24. My 1911- 9 rds. in the pistol, plus 2-8 rd. mags = 25 rds.
    Or my SIG P228-16 rds. in the pistol, plus 2-15 rd. mags = 46 rds.

    • Regarding how to conceal this hardware in warm weather, may I suggest Hawaiian shirts. Fashion for middle-aged men.

      • I had a great one, as those things go it was kind of understated (the main color was gray). My wife put it out in the garage during the winter, then she cut it up for rags 🙁

  25. That 30 round AK is going to have range and capacity advantages on whatever pistol you carry so just have something you can accurately engage a target at pistol ranges that fits with your dress code.

    • Does a Draco with the Sig brace fit the way you dress? It would put you close to on par with the AK guys.

  26. I daily carry a Glock 19 10+1 (In CT so we have 10 round max cap…. Thanks Malloy…) and two spare mags, one in the holster pouch, and one using a SnagMag holder,
    I recommend a SnagMag to everyone I know!!! Carries an easily accessible mag in ones pocket, looks like a knife to anyone who sees.

    • Seems like you could go smaller (Glock 26) or have a bigger round (Glock 30s) with the same capacity.

      • Sure he could–but there are always trade-offs. The 19 is a good size for most folks to shoot quickly and accurately. The 9mm is an adequate round that allows for fast follow-ups and it is cheap and plentiful. A pistol that is easy for you to shoot well and with which you have practiced as much as possible could be a better choice than a slightly smaller slightly more powerful firearm chosen based upon specs.

      • Definitely agree with you, but I believe people should carry what they are best with and most comfortable, I’m a huge 9mm guy and I shoot best with the 19, I like a bigger gun than the 26, and have no problem concealing it. I do like the 30 though, I’ve shot it quite a bit and will get one eventually but I’m so comfortable with the 19 and what it can do

  27. At work, 12+1(Hornady AG 124gr+P XTP) concealed and an extra 18-round mag in my work bag. On weekends, 15+1 of either 124gr HST or 135gr Critical Duty

  28. Not a spec ops person, not a SWAT member, not charged with doing anything about two guys with AK-47s. No pistol is a match for 30rd rifles, and there is no percentage in taking shots at more than about 30ft. First rule of winning a gunfight is to not be there. Run until you are cornered, with no option other than to shoot.

    We have all seen, here, the story of the cop with a .40 who barely won a fight after 40+ rounds fired (many at less than 10ft and 13 COM hits) who now carries 140rds on duty. But is that enough to go against rifles with 30rd capacity?

    • waldenger,

      I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss your chances when you have nothing more than a handgun facing two men with semi-auto rifles with 30-round magazines. The deciding factor in that scenario is tactics. First and foremost, MOVE! Your attackers will have a much difficult time shooting you when you are moving. Second, you have to decide whether to retreat or rush them. Believe it or not, rushing your attackers could very well be your best option if there is no cover within a few feet.

      Needless to say, the odds are not in your favor if all you have is a 5-shot snub nose .38 Special and you decide to rush your attackers. Still, you are MOVING, forcing them to react to you, and most likely will take out at least the closest attacker. That alone may be enough to convince the other attacker/s to get out of Dodge. If your attackers stick around after you drop the first one, then keep fighting until you cannot. And if you have a pistol loaded with a 13+ round magazine, your odds improve when rushing your attackers.

      • Your odds are best if you are out of the line fire. Rushing the attacker is a desperation move and if you do it be prepare to sacrifice yourself. Movement that forces a deflection shot is good. Movement straight at the target at pistol ranges is like being a target at a square range.

      • If you’re so unlucky as to be out in the open with no practical cover and two opponents, one option is to move initially in a lateral crescent while firing at the opponent at the center of your crescent. This makes you hardest to target, and you will be attempting to put your target in the line of fire of the other opponent — essentially using one of them as light concealment/cover from the other. That’s just an opening move, though. From there, if you’re still alive, improvise according to how things are going (First opponent going down? First opponent moving? Second opponent moving? Are you wounded? How many rounds do you have left? etc.), but keep moving. Don’t panic. 🙂

      • Thinking here (for me) is to never go up against anyone with a 30rd mag, unless there is not other option. the post about crescent movement was interesting, and maybe useful if fleeing is not possible. Guess the over-arching point is/was that we are not charged with mitigating or ending a determined assault by bad guys. SD is self and family. Might be legal to “protect” others, but is a proposition with disproportionate risk/reward.

  29. We have had this question before and same answer. For double stack pistols I carry one in the gun and one as backup for a magazine failure. For single stack one plus two reloads. One reload for capacity and one as malfunction backup.

  30. 1911’s have 8+1 in the firearm and 8 in a spare magazine
    .380 has 6+1 in the firearm plus 6 in a spare magazine

    I always have a spare magazine either in my pocket or on my belt.

  31. When carrying my Glock 29 with 10 round mag in gun and another 10 round mag in sheath in my support pocket I also carry a XDS 45 5+1 with a 7 round spare at times I always have a spare mag in the car. I carry aCW380 backup with wer primary gun, no spare mag for the back up.
    I can’t see what I am typing till I hit post,sorry for typos amd misspellings and run on wors. Farago’s fault!

  32. If I have my pants on, minimum 17. If I decide to stick my mp9c in the comptac minotaur holster that is always on my pants it goes up to 30. I carry the spare mag always even if I cant carry the gun like at work (handbook says no no plus coverall uniform) or church (no suitcoat. Hot as heck here in houston)

        • Sorry nothing that Interesting. Im just an oilfield cnc machinist making drill bits for a very small company.
          By if I have my pants on means that when I get dressed for the day I always have my spare mag since it is part of my edc.
          Lowest level of edc, as in walking around the house in pjs is watch phone and keys. Next level is everyday carry. Lowest level plus kershaw knockout, terralux tt5 flashlight, spare 17rd mag, and my iwb holster. the only pants or shorts I wear these days are 5.11 tactical taclite pro pants or shorts.
          at work it is standard edc all covered in a one piece coverall that allows no access to my gun even if I was allowed to carry. my mp9c is in my car if I ever need it.
          when im out and about not at work I carry my mp9c that has tritium fiber optic sights and aopx tactical forward set sear trigger.

  33. 15+1 in my beretta px4 compact, either 1 20 round magazine, or a second 15 round depending on what I’m wearing.

    • Beretta PX4 Storm compact 9mm with one 15 round mag inserted and one 15 round mag as a backup with Hornady Critical Defense and 2 17 round full size mags at home. Also a tactical pen, knife, and 300 lumen flashlight.

  34. I ascribe to the “Go big or stay home!” mantra so I carry at least 30 rounds and often 45 rounds of large caliber ammunition. If I am really concerned about a heightened possibility of a terrorist attack (like a shopping mall on Black Friday or very close to Christmas), then I bring the carbine with something like 70 rounds of ammunition — in addition to my handgun with 45 rounds of ammunition.

    That is obviously overkill (no pun intended) for a street thug trying to mug you. Should I face a violent flash mob or terrorist group, I believe I am better prepared to survive the encounter.

  35. Sig P250 Carry with 15 rnds or S&W Bodyguard with 6 depending on what I’m wearing and where I’m going. I call the Bodyguard my “formal gun”. 🙂

    I always carry a spare mag for the .380, with the P250 it depends.

  36. LCR .357 with 5 extra in a speed strip in my pocket during most months, in the winter I’ll wear my 17 with an extra magazine.

  37. Robert, please, I implore you, please don’t go the way of the disarmament crowd and call a .38 special snubbie a 38 caliber gun. Any .38 Special gun/caliber is a 35 caliber bullet. Hence, the compatibility with the .357 magnum chamber. Nobody gets this right anymore as most shooters have gone the way of the plastic bottom feeder. TTAG is the only place left where I take refuge and read about how things are in the real world. In the real world a .38 Special shoots a 35 caliber bullet. Thanks! for listening and understanding my point of view.

    • TFparatech,

      In case you didn’t notice, the official SAAMI designation is “.38 Special” — hence why everyone refers to firearms chambered for .38 Special as “.38 Special” and not .35 caliber or .357 short.

      This is simply a nuance of the firearms world. Pretty much everyone who purchases a .357 Magnum handgun soon learns that they can shoot .38 Special in that same handgun.

    • Same bullet. Land to land measurement is about .357 inches. Groove to groove is .38. Go into any gun shop and ask for some .35 cal pistol ammo – you’ll get strange looks and a box of .357 Mag handed to you.

  38. Daily carry:
    Wife – SR9c 10+17+17 (44)
    Me – SP2022 9mm 15+1+15+15 (46)
    Son1 – SP2022 40cal 12+1+12 (25)
    Son2 – G17 17+17+17 (51)
    Daughter2 – SR9c 10+17 (27)

  39. I carry a Kahr PM 9, 6+1, no extra mag.

    I’m thinking of carrying my sig p320compact for some situations if I can get the subcompact conversion kit, for 12+1 capacity.
    It doesn’t seem to be available yet unless I’m missing something.

  40. “It doesn’t matter how many rounds of what size you carry as long as you adjust your strategy accordingly.”

    This comment and its companion paragraph (which clarifies strategies for the three main categories of handguns) may be one of the finest and most succinct pieces of self-defense advice that I have ever read.

    It is a practical application of the mindset to use your strengths to your maximum advantage.

  41. You can never have too much ammunition or fire power when things go bad. I say get as much firepower as you can manage. I put all handguns in roughly the same playing field. I do have a strong preference for high velocity rounds, however, in the form of 5.56mm, .357 Magnum, or 9mm. I prefer handguns and rifles to shotguns, but for the right situation a shotgun trumps rifle and handgun all day long.

    For me it’s a 5.56mm modern rifle and a high-capacity 9mm with a .357 Magnum revolver in the mix for versatility. High emphasis on what I can shoot well. Later I will add a tactical style shotgun (shorter, more maneuverable).

    As for the number of rounds? 90 for the rifle when carry it around and 52 rounds for my 9mm when I carry it around, and 18 for my revolver when I carry it around.

  42. Right now, I have my Glock 19 loaded with a 15 round magazine and have a spare 15 rounder on my left side. If I go with my shield, I will have at least 1 spare 8 round magazine. If I am nostalgic and go for my Smith 637, I will have it loaded and two 6 round speed strips.

    If I travel outside of ~50 miles, I will have more magazines loaded or a box of JHP ready to go.

  43. A Glock 21 with 1 mag or an S&W 66 snub with 2 speedloaders And that is in California. ….you can get a CCW if you don’t live in the liberal urban areas.

  44. My current EDC is a Glock 27 with 9+1 of Hornady Critical Duty in .40 S&W. I keep an extra mag in the car, but I don’t usually carry it on me.

  45. 6 in the PPK. I usually don’t carry an extra mag, but I do occasionally bring the wife with 5 in her SP 101. Does that count as a reload?

    In cooler months it 8 in the P1.

  46. EDC at home or to run an errand in our small, rural-ish community: Springfield XDs, .45ACP, pocket carry with spare mag. Total of 11 rounds available.

    CC into Seattle or other regions where multiple targets, terrorists, flashmobs, etc. have a higher likelihood of occurring: Para Tac-Four, .45ACP, IWB carry with spare mag. Total of 27 rounds available, OR Springfield XD compact, .45ACP, IWB or OWB carry with spare. Total ~ 30 rounds.

  47. Today I have my 9mm P228 with 16, 18 on my belt and 18 in my car door pocket.

    When it gets real hot I will switch to P239 40 with 8, 7 on belt, 7 in door pocket.

  48. Weather and clothing dependent. This is Kahr CM9 and spare magazine season.
    jacket weather is Glock 26 and spare mag.
    Winter is 357 and speed loader season.

  49. EDC: Either my CZ75 B (16 round mag capacity, but I don’t top off, carrying 15+1) or Compact (14 rd mag capacity, carried 13+1).

    Regardless of which one is in the (same) holster that day, I have a “just barely evil under stupid fvcking Colorado law” 16 round extra mag (works in both guns, analogous to having a G17 mag and carrying either a G17 or G19) with 15 rounds in it. Yeah, I download by one just to stress the mag spring a tiny bit less.

    So the end result is either 29 or 31 rounds.

    On the extremely rare occasions I carry the RAMI–same extra mag (the RAMI accepts it, analogous to a G26), gun has mag capacity 10 which I carry as 9+1, so I have 25 rounds with me The RAMI also comes with a special 14 round mag (just a regular 14 rounder with a plastic collar on it to make it match the RAMI grip); if I carry in that mode, it’s the same situation as the compact.

    • Cz p07 with 46 – 9mm’s ….reloaded xtp’s. Carried in a SHTF IWB holster with a double mag pouch on the left.

  50. Met a dude who CC’d a full size, double stack 1911. One of the advantages of being a big fat guy, I guess. 14 rounds in mag, spare mag: unknown.

  51. Usually 21 rounds of .45 ACP (10+1 and a 10 round back up mag) for my .45 Millennium Pro or 37 rounds of 9mm (12+1 and two 12 round back up mags) for the occasions I carry my 9mm Millennium Pro.

  52. M&P 40 with 15+1 in, a spare 15round mag with JHP and a 15round mag with cci shotshells I call my critter getter

    M&P 45 with 14+1 in, two spare 14round mags with JHP

    I carry the 45 in the winter and the 40 during the summer or warmer months

  53. Weather, clothing, and AOR play a huge role in what I am carrying. At minimum, I carry a Ruger LCR .357 Magnum with two spare speed loaders and two additional speed strips. Thankfully I have not been put in a place where I have need to use, but I can successfully engage targets out to 25 yards with it under simulated stress.

    If I feel the need to bring a little more gun, I carry a Glock 30 with two spare Glock 21 magazines.

    If I really felt the need to bring a full size gun with me I can choose between a Glock 21 or Kimber Warrior. I love my 1911, but I would choose my Glock over it every time. 13+1 beats 8+1 for me.

    If I really felt things were bad enough; I would carry either the Glock 30 or 21 and put the LCR on my ankle.

    I always round out my EDC with a flashlight (Streamlight ProTac 1AA) and a knife (usually a Benchmade Griptillian).

  54. Kimber full size 45 at work with two extra mags. 8+1, 8 and 7 round spare mags. 24 total rounds.
    Other times a Para 45 expert 1911 double stack. 14+1 and 3 spare 14 round mags. 57 total rounds
    Or a Tristar T120 9mm 19 + 1 and a spare 19 round mag. 39 total rounds
    Or a Bersa UC9 13 + 1 and two spare 13 round mags. 40 rounds total.
    Or a Taurus 357 5 shot and four speed loaders. 25 total rounds
    Those are just to start and have several other pistols and revolvers but I never go anywhere without spare mags or speed loaders.

  55. Full size Beretta px4 9mm with an extra extended size mag. If I unload the 17+1. I would already be in a world of hurt.

  56. I own two handguns. an XD 45 which I’m leaning towards using for EDC and a Zastava Tokarev in 9mm. The XD has 13 rounds the Zastava only has 9.

  57. Usually 13, 6+1 in the pistol and a spare 6-round mag handy. If I got really worried, I have another spare mag. But if 13 rounds won’t do, I’m gonna be looking for a miracle anyway.

  58. Mostly I only carry ten to twenty rounds, depending on whether or not I’m carrying a New York reload plus a speedloader while toting a MA-legal semi-auto. But I try to carry at least 200 rounds when I go to the local mall during a really big sale. Frenzied shoppers are deadly.

  59. Primary is FNX9 – so 17 + 1 spare mag.

    Backup for times when that’s to big is an LCR in .38 so 5.

    Typical day, I’m probably more likely to have the LCR on me.

  60. “Thirty-eight caliber five-round snubbie? Run-up to the bad guy, stick it in his or her ribs and pull the trigger.”
    Once again I have to disagree with RF. My J frame will keep all shots on a man sized silhouette at 100 yards, even with the fixed sights(Kentucky elevation required). Obviously, I go to SA fire past about 15 yards.
    Short barrels are not inaccurate. All the bullet knows is its velocity and whether it is properly stabilized. The short barrel does lose some velocity, but not too much in .38 spl. The snubby .357s are another matter. Shoot one over a chrono and you will note that all that extra blast and recoil gains you very little over the plain old .38. Or just go look up the results of barrel length vs velocity online. Its already been done for you.
    To answer the question: 5 in the gun plus a spare 5. What more should you need? If I need more, I’ll be thinking about a rifle, or grabbing some of the other guns that should be laying around unattended by then…

    • There’s a huge difference in .357 between 3″ and 1 7/8″ barrels (and a pretty big difference between 3″ and 4″ too for that matter). Full power (i.e. Double Tap, Buffalo Bore) loads will get you a good 600lb/ft of energy out of a 3″ and close to 500lb/ft from the standard loads. 2 1/4″ barrels are about equal to 9mm+p. Shorter than that you’ve probably got a point, it’s not worth the recoil, noise and flash.

  61. I switch up depending on how I’m feeling or where I am going, but its always basically the same principle: always have 2 reloads ready.

  62. 1911 w/ 2 spare 7 round mags IWB in the 4 o’clock position. I am a fairly small guy with serious heart problems. I carry what I know and I am confident in.

  63. Hopefully someone already addressed this; I didn’t read all the comments, so I don’t know.

    “Run-up to the bad guy, stick it in his or her ribs and pull the trigger.”
    Seriously? Run up to the bad guy?? I don’t even have words for the sheer awfulness of this advice. And if I were to be foolish enough to think this was good advice, why stick it in his ribs? Why not his eye. This is the kind of post that makes me think TTAG has crossed the line from “worth reading” to “HuffPo wannabe”.

    • Its all just to generate comments, which equals hits, which increases ad revenue.
      Also known as ‘click-bait’.

  64. 6 rounds, but their .357 magnum Double Taps so they should probably count as 12. I keep more ammo in the truck. If I’m going to wander too far away from it I grab a speed strip of 6 more.

  65. Always a balisong clipped in off-hand pocket.

    Most often, 5 rounds of .38 +P plus 6 more in a speed strip (LCR)

    Sometimes in the summer when out in the woods, I replace the first round or two in the cylinder with shot shells, because a snake is the most likely thing to run into.

    Things I carry other than the LCR:

    7+1 .32 ACP plus 2 x 7 round magazines (P-32 — for when I want deep concealment)
    10+1 rounds 9mm plus 1 x 10 round magazine (G26 — for working on my rentals. They’re in a higher crime area.)

  66. I’m still rocking my Para P12 for concealed EDC, but starting to look around for something new. She set me back a grip fixing her flaws (FTF’s & FTE’s galore back in 95′ when I bought it, almost returned/sold it more than few times). Once we had her running right though, it’s hard to argue with a high cap, fairly easily concealed (for an almost Commander sized) 1911.

    I’ll refinish her after I find a new carry, but I’ve got too much $$$, time, and effort into that one to ever part with it. Probably wouldn’t recuperate 1/4 of what I spent on getting her to function properly, really.

    I usually have at least one, and more often than not a pair of P14 mags as backup. 41 rounds is enough to get me to the trunk or closet, worst case (I hope).

  67. I’m currently trying to decide whether to get a Glock 30s or the new FNS -9C for IWB carry. Topped off and with 1 spare mag it comes down to 24 rounds of .45 vs 30 rounds of 9mm. I guess I’m just gonna have to shoot both and decide which one I think feels better.

  68. Glock 19 with one in the chamber and a spare mag, 31 rounds.


    Glock 30 with one in the chamber and a G21 mag, 24 rounds.

    124gr +P Gold Dots for the 19, 230gr Gold Dots for the 30.

  69. 8+1 rounds of 45 acp and a spare 10 round mag in my front pocket thanks to Alabama holster co. Everything I need to down small aircraft according to Jessie Jackson

  70. Funny thing…
    I’ve been CCW for more than a few years now. I live and work in a “low threat” environment (to put it mildly), so for most of that time I carried a Kahr PM9 with 2 extra mags for about 20 rounds total.
    But then I admitted to myself how poorly I shoot the PM9 – just something about that incredibly long DAO trigger and a really short gun that a even a fair amount of practice hasn’t been able to fix.

    So I started carrying my G26 with one extra mag. I shoot it waaay better than the PM9. It’s substantially larger, but not that much harder to conceal. And I can hit what I intend to…

    And then about 9 months ago I also decided that in the exceedingly unlikely event I actually need a gun, I might need a *lot* more gun than a g26. Mind you, I’ve a lot more to fear from a pack of coyotes around here than anything else (they nearly killed a man walking to work last year).
    But I wanted something that could reasonably handle anything on two or four legs, and do it a little further out than arms length. And, as much as I dig the ones I have, AR’s just aren’t all that concealable because of that damnable RET.

    So now the G26 is backed up by an AK underfolder in a backpack. 10 round mag (keeps the profile slim) plus one standard capacity in a side pocket. Hornady SST’s and 124gr HP’s will handle anything this side of a really pissed off bull moose – including any uppity jihadi’s.

  71. Sig P320C (15+1) in a Blade-Tech Nano IWB Holster
    17rd spare mag in a Comp-Tac Mag Pouch
    The Wilderness (CSM) Instructor Belt
    CRKT Hissatsu Folder
    Surefire E2D LED Ultra light
    1.3% OC spray
    CRKT James Williams Tactical Pen
    Cold Steel SD-1 Koga

  72. Living in Florida and wearing casual business attire in and out doors pretty much forces me to pocket carry if I am going to have any kind of suitable concealment plus fast enough draw.

    14 total rounds:
    Kahr CW380 in back pocket (6+1), spare 7 rd mag in the other pocket.

    Trying to transition more into my P938, same capacity layout but in 9mm.

  73. XDs .45 IWB with 5+1
    XDs 9mm ankle rig with 7+1
    2 Spare 9mm mags (other ankle) 9 rounds each.
    That’s 32 rounds. In cooler weather I sometimes carry an additional 2 mags of .45 (7 rounds each) in each jacket pocket bringing my total up to 46, but I’m just a paranoid SOB!

  74. Depending on weather/dress code I carry a compact 9 10+1 with a 10 or 17 round extra magazine or a sub-compact 9 7+1 with a 9 round extra magazine.

  75. pt145, year round, aliengear IWB on the right. with 10+1 golden sabers, 2 spare mags (with hardball alternated in the stack, you know in case of bears) in the ol’ laptop bag, one of them from a 24/7, so a total of 33 rounds of .45, ready to go…

  76. I’m fortunate to have a variety of carry options available to me depending on circumstances:
    Inside the house I have an older 12-round Star Ultrastar in .45 ACP loaded with Gold Dots
    Outside concealed wear can be either:
    a Steyr S9-A1 in 9mm with one spare mag (10+10)
    a 9mm Boberg XR9-L with 2 spare mag (7+7+7)
    a 9mm H&K PSP with a spare mag (8+8)
    a .45 Para Ordnance Warthog with a spare mag (10+10)
    and for “barbeque” days a S&W 629-6 w/2 5/8″ barrel in .44 Magnum loaded with .44 Special Gold Dots
    backed up with a Bianchi speed strip or two (6+6+6)

  77. 3 16-round .40 S&W magazines, one in the HK USP Expert & two on the hip (at the range) & the same for EDC, except in an HK USP – both with the Jet Funnel.

  78. when you put Two in the heart and one in the fore head the person will not care if you shoot them with a .22 or a Ma deuce.
    if you can manage that it does not matter the caliber {although a body hit with a ma deuce might be enough by its self} Shooting a weapon you are familiar and comfortable with makes self defense a lot easier, although big slow bullets make big holes!

  79. Everyday, all day, when not at work, I carry a S&W 642 .38+P. Five in the revolver and 5 in a speed loader. If I need more than that, I am popping the trunk and getting the rifle.

  80. Minimum of 40 rounds regardless of caliber. My model 410 has 11+1 and I carry three more 11 round mags. That said if I carry my backup (thunder) I only bring 17 rounds for it. Fully loaded and one mag.


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