i carry a 6 shot .357 loaded w/.38+p two speed loaders 1w/ full house .357 1w/ .38+p and 12 loose rounds also split 38+p/.357 may be more than ever needed but ammo on the off side helps balance the gun.
I usually carry a Colt Combat Commander and 1 extra 8 round mag. Being
retired from Law Enforcement, as civilian I don't believe I'll have stop
any more riots. I also have found from experience that when you point a
firearm whose cartridge size starts with a four (4) and ends with a five(5)
Bad guys tend to leave the area as fast as they can.
In the summer I carry 10 + 1 in my Ruger SR9C and a spare 17 round extended mag. In winter I add an additional 17 round mag. Hopefully I'll never need a single round, but I'd rather carry more and not need it, than to be caught short.
I carry a Kahr P45, which is single stacked, so my ammo capacity is a bit limited. I have been trying to get more extended mags. Normally I carry one extra mag, either a 6 round or a 7 round. Occasionally I'll throw a second extra mag in my back pocket, but usually only if I'm going into a rough area.
Didn't quite know how to vote, since I don't always carry the same gun ... however, the answer is, one full reload for whatever I'm carrying; for a semi-auto, one spare mag, for revolver, a full speedstrip, which is eight rds for my j-frame ... car gun's a 5-shot Taurus 85, so there's a full speedloader with it ...
I carry a Colt Officer cocked-and-locked using full-size mags (8 rd) with X-Grip adaptors and on my right hip. I carry 2 extra mags on left hip. That's 16 spare rounds + 8 + 1 for 25 available. I think I carry 2 spare mags because the holster stays flatter on my body than a single mag holster. I carry Extreme Shock Air Defense rounds.
with my s&w640 I carry 1-5 rd speed loader on strong side. If I carry Kahr PM9 or P380 I carry 1- 6/7 rd mag. on weak side. Mags are in front pocket in a pocket mag holster w/floor up and rounds facing rearward. This way the mag is in position to transition in one smooth motion from pocket to gun, no twisting, turning or repositioning the mag. Too sum up # of rounds- 10 w/640, 12-14 w/Kahrs. Rarely I carry a Glock 26 w/1 spare mag, 20rds
One expert opinion is if you have not hit your target in 2-4 rounds, you more than likely are toast.
I guess my definition of self defense is different than some here. The first step in self defense is avoidance. I cannot comprehend the need to carry more than 1 reload. The bad guys don't like getting shot at either and most of them are cowards.
I always carry two extra mags or two speed loaders or zip strips if I have my revolver with me. I also NEVER carry a gun with a magazine disconnector. I generally carry two handguns. Total .45 rounds are 8+1 and 14 extra rounds in 2 mags. For the LCP, its 6+1 and two six round mags. For the S&W 642, its 5, and two speed strips, 5 each. My trail guns are 4" .357 Magnums, and I still carry either the 642 or LCP in the front pocket, with 2 speed loaders for the 4" revolvers, and two mags or zip strips for the LCP or the 642.
If I need more than 22 rounds I have not only allowed myself to be in a place I shouldn't be and have completely ignored my teachings in both New Mexico Concealed Carry and NRA "Refuse To Be A Victim". (If it's my 45 then its eight and eight)
I carry a Glock 23, .40 cal, and I carry 57 rounds (running hot), and my reasoning is simple....I am downtown, and encounter 3-5 thugs who want to take me out for whatever reason, I am not going to sit there and try to methodically pick off each one and hope one or two rounds does it.....I carry two 15 rd mags on my left hip in a double holster with the rounds facing backwards so when i pull one out all i have to do is slap it in my pistol with my left hand, no turning or fiddling to get it in position....my other two mags are 13 rds each with one in the pistol and one in my pocket.....my pistol is on my right hip holstered in a blackhawk holster
As a general rule i have 24 rounds on me. I carry 7+1 in my 1911A1, in Remington Golden Sabre 230 grain JHP, and two extra 8 round Wilson mags with the same. Mags are either in my pocket(at work) or a double holder(everywhere else), bullets facing forward. The pistol holstered in a galco inside the waist band holster or a Blackhawk Serpa paddle holster. That said, I usually have extra 7 round mags in my truck with ball ammo, just in case.
I rarely carry more than that, cause if I feel i might need it I just pack the SKS-d(takes ak mags), winchester 94, or the mossberg 500 12ga.
I consistently carry my Kimber Pro Carry II 7 in the mag, 1 in the chamber, in a Bianchi "Black Widow" and two spare mags. Always have either an Emerson CQC-7 or a CRKT M-14 in my front pocket. If I feel the need to carry a backup, I will add my SIG P238 in a wallet holster. I work out with both guns on the range at least once a week with 100 to 150 rounds each (I reload).