Self-defense basics: Do you need extra ammo for the gun in your EDC kit?
By Edsel Cook // Sep 26, 2019

Most people carry additional ammunition for the gun in their everyday carry (EDC) kit. But how much ammo is enough?


A well-rounded EDC kit requires a lot of equipment. At the same time, a person may only fit so many things in his clothes and bag.

Some preppers choose to forego a reload and use the freed-up space for other survival tools. Running out of ammunition is the last thing anyone wants during a firefight.

Others do the opposite. They would rather carry a tourniquet or a flashlight instead of an extra magazine for their concealed carry.

Every prepper must think about the threats he may encounter during his daily travels. Those threats will influence what survival tools he chooses to bring with him every day. In turn, the equipment at hand will determine his actions during an emergency.

Of course, the ideal option is to find a way to carry everything, including the extra ammunition. But that isn't possible most of the time.

Instead, a prepper must select the tool that he will likely need. At the same time, he must plan for emergency scenarios that require the items he cannot bring with him. (Related: Prepping basics: 4 Lists of essential survival supplies.)

Extra ammo for EDC guns is always welcome but not always needed

The most likely threats that a civilian will face are home invaders and muggers. He may also come under attack by a mass shooter.

The type of threat will influence the duration of the attack. It will also determine the likely response of the attacker if he meets resistance from a prepper.

Thus, a handgun is more than enough to resolve most threats faced by a civilian. It helps that pistols and revolvers are small and weigh little.

Statistically, most self-defense shooting scenarios end after firing a few shots. Most attackers will stop their attempt and run away if their intended target fires the first shot, regardless of whether or not the would-be victim hits or misses.

Further, most criminals are more likely to stop attacking and run away if they end up fighting a civilian, as compared to fighting a police officer. Attackers are aware that a civilian is much less likely to chase after them, while a cop will pursue them while radioing for reinforcements.

Based on these statistics, a gun with a capacity of at least six or seven rounds will suffice. Most modern semi-automatics have double-stack magazines that hold twice or thrice that number.

Don't skimp out on other survival tools and skills

However, not all threats involve an attack by a hostile individual. An infected bite from a pet animal or a vehicular accident will injure or kill a person just as surely as a bullet. And while a gun may fend off criminals, it will not save him from wounds and infections.

Therefore, a prepper needs medical tools that will save his life from these potentially deadly injuries. He also requires the skills to use those survival items.

Furthermore, there is always the chance of a prepper accidentally shooting himself while handling his gun. When that happens, he must have the means of treating himself immediately.

For such injuries, a tourniquet and a pack of hemostatic gauze will be critical. They take up roughly the same space as a magazine or a speed-loader.

In summary, a prepper must bring extra ammunition for the EDC handgun whenever possible. However, it isn't advisable to drop other survival equipment that is more likely to be needed in a scenario. Instead, round out the EDC kits with utility tools, medical supplies, and less lethal self-defense weapons.

Sources include:

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