When training for self-defense, do you consider the need for a magazine change to be likely or merely plausible?

When training for self-defense, do you consider the need for a magazine change to be likely or merely plausible?

Following his detailed analysis of tens of thousands of incident videos, I accept John Correia’s (Active Self Protection) observation that mag changes by civilian self-defenders virtually never happen or are needed, while law enforcement officers relatively often do need to perform mag change reloads, and thus should train for them regularly.
That said, most all advanced self defense classes, including Tom Givens Rangemaster and NRA Personal Protection Inside / Outside the Home classes, seem to include mag change drills.


OTOH, train for the possibility, not the probability.


Possible. Not probable.
But let’s be honest, it’s improbable that any of us (individually) will ever need to use a firearm in self-defense. It’s probable that one of us (in the group) will need to use a firearm for self-defense at some point. It’s improbable that any of us will need 50 rounds to stop an attacker or escape a dangerous situation. It’s probable that one of us will get into a car accident. It’s highly probable that one of us will get our identities stolen sometime in the near future. It’s possible that aliens might attack.

Train the way you see fit. We’re not all the same.


How do you say in American, train for the worst, hope for the best?


I guess the question here is how to spend our precious training time. If I get an hour on the range, how much of that do I spend running drills that I think I’m unlikely to use in the real life? Less than half?


Mainly because we don’t ever see ourselves in a Ukrainian quagmire! Surely not in the UNITED STATES. :pray::pray::pray::pray::pray:
If I really thought this way I’d probably be training with Keanu Reeves, barring my weight, age ( precious time ) and health!


When it is upon the time to act, and all things go aria thumb safety is on, no round in the chamber. Next round gets jammed, you lose your grip as you go to draw it and it falls to the ground, you go to draw with your finger on the trigger and shoot the ground or your own leg.
Consider all of these things when training. Practice safe, train right!


In the backcountry environments where I hang out the likelihood of needing to defend myself are usually more limited than most. Though in some areas especially in SoCal those odds increase significantly. The threats that are in these areas often travel in pairs or packs, the range of engagements are potentially much longer, and help is a long way away. The need for a magazine change may be unlikely but more than plausible under these conditions.

If the neocons and neolibs being paraded on TV these past few weeks get their way and push us into direct conflict in Ukraine the likelihood of a grid down situation from a cyber or EMP attack will increase significantly. People in this country won’t do well when their connection to Facebook and typical 3 day supply of food run out. The ability to quickly change a mag might come in very handy for many people under those conditions.

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Implausible, since I don’t carry one. That said, I do routinely practice reloads.

Partly it just keeps range sessions moving along, partly against the remote chance I will ever have the opportunity for a formal training or competition where an intermediate-level shooter ought not be fumbling to keep a gun ready.

Besides, I’d have more than enough to embarrass myself with in manipulations I don’t routinely practice like malfunction and 5 o’clock carry. :blush:


Chances are very minimal, but because it’s still not zero %, I’m advocating practicing reloads.


Watching Paul Harrell…best thing. Eyes and gun stay on target, bring the mag to the gun,not the gun to the mag.
Yes, plates day,like today, where I shoot from a shed with 2 barn doors and room to move.


There was a time when the FBI reported most gunfights to be over in three to five shots. Watching and reading the news that is changing. So, my training is changing. Prepare for the worst.


Carrying a gun in my everyday life is like carrying an umbrella on a sunny day without any rain in the forecast or a cloud in the sky. Carrying a spare magazine is like carrying a fold up rain coat and rubber overshoes, too, just in case the unexpected rain comes in sideways. I usually leave the spare mag at home.

Speaking of Paul Harrell, he doesn’t do a great job of selling the idea of keeping eyes on the target with the speed of his reloads, IMHO. Be that as it may, realize that Paul’s approach requires NOT shooting the gun dry, NOT having a magazine safety, and reloading with one in the pipe ready to go if the threat manages to close the distance before you can get the reload completed. If you’ve shot the gun dry, your #1 priority is to get that reload completed. Bring the mag to the gun, yes. No question about that. But for God’s sake, be willing to glance at it at least ever so briefly, even if that only saves you a fraction of a second.


Consider a mag change, not for “needing” additional rounds but to overcome mechanical malfunction. That’s my line of thinking.


Seems remote after 5000 rounds or so without a malfunction. Maybe I’ll need to rethink if one comes up during the next 5000. I have more anxiety about some long-tail event running longer than 16 rounds, but that doesn’t keep me awake nights either. I will probably keep carrying something of higher need probability in that pocket.


There are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses in the US each year.

There are 0 known (to anybody I have ever asked and I’ve been asking everybody for years) instances of a private citizen ever using a reload in self defense in the modern US.

Sure, it’s possible, it’s also possible you will need to have both body armor and an AED in a backpack in order to survive tomorrow afternoon.

Prepare for the worst? Level IV plates and a rifle with 210 rounds and five or so buddies with the same sounds about right. Don’t forget a couple of combat medics in case one of them goes down. Former PJ’s would be ideal

Everybody draws their own line wherever they want.

For some people, that means carrying a spare magazine for no reason other than they feel like it, not because they can demonstrate there is a realistic chance of needing it…because there is no need to demonstrate that. If you want to, carry three spare magazines…why not?


Most malfunctions IME are cleared without needing another magazine (tap, rack, assess fixes most…no work pull mag, rack, make sure empty, reinsert mag, rack, assess fixes most of the few that remain), and based on what I have seen, most of the time if you get a Phase II malfunction and need to rip out the mag and clear the gun and put in a second mag, you’ll run out of time before you get a chance to do that.

But…maybe you will need to do that and will have the time to do so. Won’t know for sure until you grow old and die if that will ever come to pass.


I’d say if the mag only holds ten rounds, yah, maybe carry a spare mag. Probably, no spare mag needed if it’s a 15+ mag.

@techs @Nathan57 …

Although the probability low, I believe it’s better to have and not need than need and not have; insurance and assurance… thanks