Equipped For The Day

People ask me what I carry every day for my defense.  My usual answer is that it doesn’t matter, because everyone has to choose their own gear based on their own needs.

This doesn’t seem to satisfy anyone, as they tend to act as if I’m withholding vital information.  So here goes.


The gun I carry most often is a small, compact 9mm that holds 10 rounds.

taurus pt111 9mm

The gun is made by the Brazilian firearms firm of Taurus.  The basic design is called the Millennium Pro series, and the PT 111 is the version that is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum round.  Put all that together, and I would say that I carry a Taurus Millennium Pro PT111.

Or I could just say that I carry a compact 9mm.  Saves a lot of time.

I mentioned above that the standard magazines for this particular gun holds ten rounds.

taurus pt111 with magazine

I always carry a spare, so that brings it up to twenty.  Some people like to carry more than a single reload, and that is just fine.  But only one for me.



I have nothing at all against revolvers, and even think they are kind of neat.  But autoloaders are just more efficient, as they usually hold more ammo than revolvers of comparable size.  It is also a great deal less difficult and time consuming to reload an autoloader, which is a really big point in their favor.

Some of my students prefer wheelguns over autos, and they have questions concerning their choice.  To make sure that I can answer those questions accurately, I will carry revolvers for at least one month out of the year in order to gain the needed experience.

The revolvers I own hold six rounds each, and I am never really comfortable with a mere half-dozen rounds before I run dry.  So I cheat a little bit by carrying two guns.

hard used 357 magnum and 38 snubby in seoia tones

The top gun, all shiny and silver, is chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge.  I carry that one in a shoulder holster.

The snub-nosed revolver is chambered for the .38 Special cartridge.  I carry him on my belt.

The idea is to avoid the time needed to unload the spent cartridges, then put fresh in the gun.  So, should I become forced to defend my life with more rounds than one gun holds, I will shoot one dry before simply drawing the other.  This is called a New York reload, after the habit police officers had in that fair city during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Crime was rampant in New York City during those decades, and the cops found their standard issue revolvers to be outgunned by the criminals who favored autoloaders.  Forbidden by official policy to upgrade to more efficient designs, the police would secrete a non-regulation snubby somewhere on their body.  If the situation should turn dire, they would shoot their issued revolver empty before drawing the snubby to stay in the fight.

Consider, if you would, that both of these revolvers together hold twelve rounds of ammo.  That isn’t all that much more than the ten my autoloader holds in each magazine, and my auto is significantly lighter!

So I carry two revolvers instead of one autoloader at times.  Do I carry any reloads for the wheelguns?

Yes, I do.  Two speedloaders, each of which are loaded with six rounds of .38 Special cartridges.

357 magnum with some spent brass and a speed loader

snubbie with speedloader and spent brass

So two guns and two reloads equal 24 rounds total.  Or I can carry a single autoloader with one reload for 20 rounds, and save a great deal on weight and bother.

I think you can see why I only carry revolvers one month out of the year.

5 thoughts on “Equipped For The Day

  1. Interesting post James. And thank you for sharing.

    Very good idea to be familiar with all systems you are liable to be teaching on.

    I also think it’s a very good idea that your speedloaders (and spare ammunition) is interchangeable between both revolvers.

    • “I also think it’s a very good idea that your speedloaders (and spare ammunition) is interchangeable between both revolvers.”

      You saw that right away! Very perceptive!

  2. This post got me thinking that for people living in a state with a limit on magazine capacity that it might help to carry two snub noses, especially if common rounds like 9mm, .40 s&w, and .45acp are hard to find. Does this logic hold any weight?

  3. Pingback: The Missed A Few « hellinahandbasket.net

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