Charter Arms .44 Special. Image via Oleg Volk. a-human-right.com used with permission.

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I’ve been a fan of the five-shot compact revolver for years. They’re small, reliable and plenty potent. They don’t throw brass all over the place and they work great from a pocket or a purse, capable of creating a priceless look of surprise from a criminal predator trying to take the room temperature challenge.

While I’m typically kitted out with a capable 9mm, on some occasions I’ve run errands with little more than a .38 snubbie in a jacket or coat pocket. And I used to carry one in the console of my car for my “extra” piece.

Not any more, and I’ll tell you why: it surely seems like a sole attacker today is the exception, not the rule.

These days, brazen bad guys seem to prefer traveling in packs. And oftentimes they roll up in a (stolen) SUV, hop out and announce a robbery or carjacking. They’ll even boldly rob groups of three, four and more intended victims.

Here’s an example. Fair warning: GRAPHIC, NSFW

This took place in Puerto Rico, but the similar incidents take place here on the mainland/ With alarming regularity in some places. Here’s one from closer to my world, Chicago.

And another.

Oh wait, and another.  All in the space of a few days.

What’s more, these young teens value the currency of violence. They have no respect for life. Being a “nice guy” is seen by them as weakness. Jobs are for suckers. Meanwhile, beating a victim only enhances their reputation.

Among their peers, shooting people earns them gold stars. Shoot a bunch of people and they’re a rock star among their fellow scumbags.

Not only that, but full-auto drop-in sears for GLOCKs from sites like Wish.com seem increasingly common even in communities outside Chicago in Illinois. Unless you have nerves of steel, facing down a full-auto pistol with a five-shot revolver seems somewhere between foolhardy and suicidal.

Many years ago, when I trained with both John Farnam and Massad Ayoob, both mentioned that ammo is like bubblegum. You better have enough to go around or you’re going to be in trouble.

If, heaven forbid, I see two, three or four sets of eyeballs staring intently at me as they’re approaching me on foot or in a car with evil in their hearts, I want to have enough bubblegum to go around. That means plenty for seconds, thirds and more.

While I can’t say I’ll never have a J-frame in my jacket pocket again, I can guarantee that if I do, it won’t be the only firearm on my person.

If you’re old school and carry a little J-frame revolver (or a single-stack .380 pistol), I’d urge you to consider upgrading to a larger-capacity bubblegum dispenser. I have.

In its place, I now typically carry a Ruger LCP MAX. 12+1 beats five any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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