How Many Magazines Should You Have: EDC Edition

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But how many do you need? I go over-board. There are some pistols in my collection that only have one magazine. I don’t carry those, and rarely take them to the range.

I carry my GLOCK 19. It goes to the range every time I do. If I leave the house, it goes with me. I tend to travel with 10 magazines in its case. Eight of those are GLOCK 19 mags of some sort, and two are GLOCK 17 mags, which fit the 19.

GLOCK 17 mags fit in the GLOCK 19.

My preference (call me a snob) is for the stock GLOCK magazines. I have a couple of the Magpul magazines, too, and they work great. I’ve tried the Promag mags, also, and had several of those for a GLOCK 23, but I don’t have any of those for my 19.

I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 rounds through this GLOCK 19. I’ve never had a malfunction related to a magazine. I did have a bad magazine for a GLOCK 23 and when it showed its true colors, I threw it away happily.

Here’s why I carry 10 in the case.

1. I hate reloading at the range.

I go to the range to shoot. I like to load mags while watching movies at home. I take as many loaded mags as I can.

2. I like to keep my ammunition organized.

I keep a mag full of Hornady critical duty for winter, and one of frangible ammo which is less likely to travel through walls. I keep a couple loaded with leftovers from the range, and a couple with ball ammo. The two GLOCK 17 mags ride in a mag holder on my hip when I carry, and that gives me three good mags (counting the one in the gun).

Various ammo types in different mags.

3. I drop my mags when reloading.

And so should you. I let them hit the dirt. If they get in the way, I kick them aside. I’m not one to baby a magazine. And if one gets righteously dirty, I’m not sticking it back in the gun. I grab another and keep going.

4. Mags walk off.

I’ve got magazines that don’t belong to me. And I’m missing some, too. Best to have a spare or ten.

GLOCK mags take a beating.

5. How much ammo could you possibly need?

I’ve never had to find the answer to this question. And I don’t intend to. As is, I roll out with at least 150 rounds of various description loaded and ready to go. And I’m not talking about zombies. If I get the chance to shoot, I do. It never hurts to be prepared.

I color code my mags to keep calibers clear.

For an everyday carry gun, I’d say 5 is the minimum. 10 is safe. 20 wouldn’t be bad. And if you carry a 1911, I’d say that number is likely to go up. Just remember to always carry two, no matter what, and keep them clean.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife’s tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.