Several people I know have been involved in gunfights. None of them have ever said to me, “Man, I wish I’d had fewer rounds during that fight.”

We know the rule: Shoot until the threat stops.

Effective marksmanship will go a long way toward stopping the fight quickly, but handgun rounds are just not as effective as we are led to believe by those in Hollywood. Sometimes, you have to shoot an attacker several times to get him to stop his aggressive activity. Sometimes, you don’t. It is better to have more bullets than you need than to need more bullets than you have.

There is also the little matter of clearing malfunctions in semi-automatic pistols. With a Type 3 malfunction, the standard protocol for clearing the double feed includes removing the offending magazine and inserting a new magazine. That is tough to do if you carry only one magazine.

Carrying lots of ammo is even more difficult if you carry a revolver. Speedloaders are bulky and difficult to conceal. I won’t disparage the revolver as a means of defense. It is better than the derringer I just bought, but if you choose a revolver, you should choose it with the full knowledge that your ammo capacity and ability to reload will be limited.

I am an advocate for carrying a gun every day and everywhere you go. You never know when some lunatic will decide that because life isn’t going his way, everyone else should pay for it. And please don’t talk to me about how living in a good neighborhood will help keep you safe. Criminals don’t even need their own cars to get to your neighborhood. They will steal cars and just drive around looking for trouble. If you look like an easy target, expect to be approached.

I can’t force you to carry spare ammo. I can give you lots of good reasons to do so, but at the same time, I can’t mitigate the extra weight on your belt and the extra discomfort you might feel while sitting, bending or lifting. Carrying more ammo is no fun. And truth be told, the chances that you will go through all of your ammo and need to reload are very slim. But we prepare for the possibility, not the probability.

No one who has been the victim of a violent crime, has ever been involved in a shooting, or has had to make a life-or-death decision likely started the day knowing what was in store within the next few hours. I used to jokingly say, “If you are always ready, you never have to get ready.” That statement is absolutely true when it comes to personal defense.

There is no time to get ready as a deadly force incident begins to unfold in front of you. In that instant and for the next several seconds, you will have at your disposal only what you have carried with you to that exact spot.  At that time, more ammo is better than less ammo.