All too often I hear people use “what if” as their justification for carrying a large loadout. That’s cool, but own the real reason and not some made up scenario.
I don’t much care what people carry, what I do care about is how they came to their decision. I have beat my head against the wall discussing this issue countless times. Sometimes there is a change in mindset, other times not so much. The decision is as personal as the individual along with what they decide to carry. I believe it is impossible to accurately predict your load-out, there is a fine line between carrying so much you no longer are capable of true concealment. You might not think so, but often times these load outs fail a peer review. Peer reviews should be completely objective, otherwise your bouncing around inside that all too comfortable echo chamber.
If you were to think about scenarios, you either are surprised or see it coming. Really that’s it, if you are surprised getting to your pistol will be far more challenging. If you see it coming you’ll have a higher chance of preparing for the encounter such as drawing your pistol from concealment and I’m betting its those events you’ll stand to gain the most from a larger load-out. If you were to think about it, being surprised means they are literally on top of you. Kind of hard to be surprised if they are across the street. I feel the likelihood of a close fight possibly escalating to a gunfight is a solid probability. My only problem with this rationale is it can create a dismissive attitude towards marksmanship skills. These skills separate us, from good guys and bad guys to experienced shooters and non-experienced shooters.
Enough is enough
How does this apply to our load-out. Some will argue they want to have enough bullets to finish the fight. While others want to finish the fight and be ready for the next. Yet, there is no way to truly break those ideas into a round count. What is enough to finish the fight and what if your next fight is on a whole new level. My point is if you want to carry a large frame pistol because of capacity, great then do it. Concealing a large frame pistol requires more work to avoid the all to common “covering” versus concealing. If you can’t get away with concealing the large frame pistol then don’t, it is much better to conceal a pistol than cover it. Think of it this way, if you’re thinking your going to blast away at some serious bad dudes and you “need” the larger pistol and reloads these are the same dudes that would spot your weak attempt at covering. Add surprise mentioned earlier, plus their own violence of action and you can quickly be on the losing end of that equation.
Get out of the way
Here’s another issue, the subject of a private citizen having to address targets in a vehicle. Some will begin the load-out discussion by stating they want to ensure they have a capacity and caliber suitable enough to do well against intermediate barriers. I find it reckless to consider this a basis for your decision making process. Seriously, about the only justification we have to employ lethal force is being run over. If you think your going to dive for cover as you return fire in a drive-by just start choking yourself right now. If I have to tell you to move out of the way of a speeding vehicle versus standing there trying to draw your pistol there really is no hope for you. The likelihood of you having to fire into a vehicle is low. Add justifying it in a court of law and the ground you stand on really starts to crumble. This conversation takes an even riskier tone when we discuss target discrimination within the vehicle not to mention additional occupants. Can you honestly justify the reason you are carrying a larger capacity and spare ammunition is for those instances where you might have to light up a car?
I am all for discussions on how to develop your own load-out. Where I find the discussion deteriorating into nonsense is when we either sole source the scenario or we go way out in the weeds.