Back up gun or a spare mag?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by ADulay, September 12, 2012.


Back up gun or spare magazine?

  1. Gimme a spare mag on my person

    6 vote(s)
  2. Gimme a backup gun (BUG)

    0 vote(s)
  3. I don't normally carry a spare/backup anything

    0 vote(s)
  1. All,

    With the recent discussion in another thread about BUG's and carrying them, I would like to offer this thought.

    There is a guy over on the USA Carry forum that says he's never seen a mag failure in 40 years of carrying.

    Hmm, I see about one a week during the Monday night shoots so something is amiss here.

    If you shoot a lot (or even regularly) you WILL see or have a mag failure of some sort. It might be a feeding problem, dropped mag, weak exchange or any of a hundred other things that could happen.

    I've had it happen to me on the IDPA shoots (weak exchange) and was very glad to have a spare mag to jam home to finish the course.

    So, with all that said, I personally believe that carrying a spare magazine would be a more prudent action that carrying a back up gun.

    Anybody care to give their own opinions on this?

    AD (I fall into the spare mag category)
    Last edited: September 12, 2012
  2. I can fully understand and agree with your thought process here AD. I too have had mag failures before. I know my Kimber is still in the 500 round break in period and I've learned that it does not like having a full mag plus one. Does not always seat the next round completely is all but in the case of CCW I've learned how to load the mags.

    For someone to say that in 40 years he has never had a mag failure just sounds nuts. It is a mechanical device and prone to periodic failures no matter what.

    Like you I always have a spare mag or 2 in the car with me. Sometimes I have a spare gun with me just depending on where it is I am going.
  3. MikeH121


    Never had 1 mag failure with my Springfield XD-40 it eats ammo always hungry. It does not care about cheap bullets or hollow points. After over 2000 rds the only issue I ever have is after 300 rds at one time my hand is still tingling the rest of the day. The SW40 is a high pressure rd. But in a NEEDED situation that would not be an issue. My Springfield did not need a rd break-in period :) First three rds outta the box at 25 yards covered with a quarter. The guy I went shooting with though had a 44 mag lever action rifle. That bruised my shoulder. Not as bad as my Mosin :D

    Cold weather I would carry the XD-40, 12 or 15 rd mag would be enough. If I carry the FEG PA-63 the spare mag is small and I have a holster for it. If I carry a revolver, extra rds would be in pocket in one of the rubber clam-style coin holders, instead of a speed loader. Less conspicous. As for a BUG I have a 2 shot 38 S&W derringer. It fits any where. Have been thinking of a Bond 38 Special or 9mm derringer. To keep same ammo. The Bond 9mm goes for about 199.00.
  4. I sometimes forget how reliable my XD-40 and 9mm SC are. My love the .40 cartridge but they are so damned expensive to shoot anymore.

    Like yours I took it outta the box cleaned it and went to the range and NEVER a hiccup at all in all the rounds I've put through it. As for my Kimber, they suggest a 500 rounds break in period for some reason. I have had only a couple of stoppages like I said, that's with a full mag +1. Other then that it have been flawless thus far but like I said these are mechanical devices prone to failure at some point whether it be by user or device it will happen sometime. :D

    I used to carry my XD-40 tactical but it is just too big for CCW hence the reason I got the XD-9sc and finally my 1911 Kimber UC II. Love the 1911 platform and the UC II size is perfect for me and light weight.

    AS a side note what do you do with all you .40 brass?? Are you a reloader??
  5. Perhaps I've used the term "mag failure" in the wrong context.

    I'm talking about some sort of stoppage that requires a mag change to solve and not necessarily a mag failure.

    In the heat of the moment, I don't have time to quantify and identify what the EXACT problem is, it's just that a new magazine solved the problem so I tended to call that a magazine problem although it may have been a stovepipe or cartridge type of problem.

    Dropping the mag and inserting a new one solved the problem.

    Does make more sense to everybody?

  6. It might just be me AD, I am getting old.

    I thought I understood perhaps I was wrong. Most of the time I have trained if I did have a mag stoppage I did check to see the problem with rather then drop and slap. I have since been performing the drop and slap if there is a mag problem. Sometimes my dad loads the mag with a snap cap randomly to add to the drill. ;)

    I think I understand now what you meant and apologize if we got off topic here.
  7. MikeH121


    No don't reload. Used to reload shotgun shells when I was 14 just starting but it was all hand press stuff. Just buy ammo Wally world had 100 rds of remington 40's for 25 bucks. Or Whitebox Winchester.

    As to cost overall. At least once a month I buy a box of ammo, for whatever caliber I have or more if I get some on sale. Can't ever have enough bullets.

    Get into that habit where you stock up on whatever you have, unless you are buying 100's of rounds they will keep fine for a while.

    Don't put guns or ammo cans on carpet. Any moisture that may be in carpet even just from humidity will transfer to the gun. And having a Mosin, all that surplus ammo is in cardboard boxes or brown paper. They seem to have gotten the idea, some made in 1943 date on the sealed can came inside cardboard wrapped in twine. The salt preservatives had stained the boxes not the rds. They are shiny and look brand new. They also shoot just fine.

    You can grab a steel ammo can from a surplus store for 10 bucks or so. Still put cardboard inside it.
  8. Minimal Brat

    Minimal Brat

    Since I have only been shooting about 1 1/2 years I don't really know much about a mag problems. I haven't had one yet but I am sure it can happen. I keep an extra mag with me.
  9. Not off topic at all. Everybody learns when the conversations are good!!

    Anyway, I "used" to handle some sort of stoppage like you described. Stop, look at it, try to see what happened, etc. Then perhaps rack the slide, attempt to feed a new cartridge, etc.

    All that changed when I went "live" with the IDPA shooting. Now it's on the clock and for "real" so screwing around with too much analysis can get you killed!

    On the rare times I do get a stoppage (usually with a mag change due to the cartridge not getting seated) I'll rack the slide and if it doesn't go into battery right now, that mag is gone, a new one gets slammed in and I'm back in the game.

    At least I know what I'll do in a real situation as it's become automatic now when on the clock.

    Of course, in a "real" situation, I don't believe I'll be reloading at any time during the encounter so this magazine failure mode is way down on the list of things that can go wrong! :D

  10. If at anytime you want to get rid of the brass you've used let me know. I reload and am always looking for brass. :D
  11. You left out the option for "Both" in your poll. :)

    Sometimes I do a backup gun but I always like to have an extra mag with me. Sometimes I even have an extra mag for my back up gun. :lol:
  12. Minimal Brat

    Minimal Brat

    You know, I am going to have to rethink this whole carry thing lol. I carry 1 gun in my purse to protect myself. I do have a ccw purse and practice drawing just like everyone else does out of a holster on their body. I do have a holster so I can carry it on my waist band if i want to. I have yet to find a way to really conceal this gun. It holds 17 +1. I do have an extra mag just incase something should go wrong with the one in the gun but I really have no thoughts to need it.

    Why so many extra guns? I guess I can see an extra one in case one doesn't work but is someone really going to have time to grab for it? I have seen people say they carry 3 and 4. I want to protect myself from the nut who wants to come up to me as I am going to my car in broad daylight in the grocery store parking lot. I want it to protect me if I am broke down on the expressway and I am waiting for AAA and a nut job decides my car is the place to be. I know it CAN happen but I just don't see myself in a gun fight that I need dozens of rounds.

    Like I said, maybe I need to rethink this whole carry thing.
  13. MikeH121


    You can never have enough ammo:lol: But yeah 17+1 should get the job done. If I carry the PA-63 I got 7 + an extra mag. In colder weather if I carry my XD-40 a have 2 10rds 2 12rds and 1 15 rd mags so I have a choice and can also carry an extra mag in a pocket. As I said if I carry a revolver the extra rds would go in a rubber clam shell coin case in my pocket. Though with the whole mag issue talked about a revolver is old school but old reliable. If you can't back them off or end the threat ;) with 5 or 6 then you're in deeper than most situations tend to be.

    Look into the Bond line of derringers if you carry a 9mm they have a double barrel over under 9mm available. So shoots the same ammo. small enough for pocket or purse but not 22 derringer small.
  14. Minimal Brat

    Minimal Brat

    my extra mag is just a 10. I want to get another 17 because I have better control with the longer grip lol. I have a 38 snub that I like real well. I have a couple speed loaders for it. Depends on what I wear if I am going to carry that or not.
  15. Not only did I leave out "Both", I think I left out "My backup in a knife".

    Last edited by a moderator: September 14, 2012
  16. PrepperTraining


    Hey guys - you left me out of the poll... What about BOTH? ;)

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