Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 8/16/2009 2:36:19 PM EST
I've been seeing a lot of discussion lately about carrying spare mags. Not just in "handgun discussions" or "carry issues" but various other places around the site. I've learned that even in a home-defense situation; many of you don't carry even one spare mag. I'm not picking on anyone in particular, the purpose of this post is to pass on some info and to create something I can link to for future reference.

I'm going to cover why you should carry at least one spare magazine as well as some popular options for carrying spare mags. I will illustrate my points as best I can with pictures.

Lets start with why people don't carry spare mags...
The most common reason I've heard for not carrying an extra mag is something like this "I don't plan on missing, I don't need 30+ shots to take care of the bad guy." This statement is flawed for several reasons; you're making the bold assumption that there will only be one bad guy, you're also assuming that you'll be able to hit one (or more) bad guys that are moving/taking cover/shooting back. "But I've been to *shooting school* and I train all the time" you say. Well, if you have, then you should know better. You also need to keep in mind that we're talking about handguns here; not the kind of weapon that's known for one-shot stops. You're probably going to need more than 1 bullet per bad guy. "But, I carry a .45/10mm/whatever I only need to hit the BG once." That's completely ridiculous, they're still handgun rounds and even with modern ammo they're not going to drop the BG with one shot everytime. Go read the ammo oracle. "I'm a good shot, I'll just shoot the bad guy(s) in the head." No, you really won't.

The other reason that I hear is "only an average of 3-4 shots are fired in a self-defense shooting." That may technically be true, chances are you won't fire more than a few times in a SD scenario. However, there's an even greater chance that you won't 'need' a gun at all but; you're still carrying one, aren't you?

Another common reason (read: excuse) that people don't carry a spare mag is "I can't conceal a spare mag." You're kidding, right? If you can CCW a gun, you can certainly CC an extra mag. (We'll discuss how to do that later.)

Now lets talk about why you need to carry an extra magazine...
We've already talked about the possibility of needing more rounds than are in your gun. Those rounds may be more than enough but somtimes the magazine itself may be the problem. The weak point of any semiautomatic firearm is the magazine, period. I've seen far more mag-related failures than gun-related failures; chances are, you have too. Sometimes, clearing a malfunction may involve changing mags: if the good old 'tap-rack' doesn't fix the problem you *probably* have an bad mag. Wouldn't it be nice to have another one handy?

Let me relate to you a story I heard in a recent class: A man was CCWing at some event, as he was sitting there the baseplate popped off the magazine in his gun, dumping the contents on the ground behind him. Fortunately nobody noticed excpet for a family member was sitting behind him who scooped up the rounds. The man discreetly ejected the broken mag from his gun and put his spare mag in it's place. Without that extra mag he'd have had 1 round available (or zero for those of you who's CCW has a magazine disconnect). I know what you're thinking: "that won't happen to me, I only use quality mags for carry. I've tested them and they work 100%." That's what everyone says before they have a mag failure. The fact is: magazines wear out long before your gun will.

Nobody wants this to happen...


(there is something wrong with this pic, first one to find it gets a cookie)

Ok, hopefully I've convinced you to carry an extra magazine. Now lets talk about how to carry them...
One of the most common methods I hear for carrying a spare mag is pocket carry. I don't like this method for a few reasons:
-You have to fish around for the mag or it's sitting sideways and you've got to reposition it in your hand before inserting it.



-All the dirt/lint/sand from your pocket gets in the mag.



-There is nothing in your pocket to keep the top round of the mag in place and there is nothing to keep all the other crap in your pocket from getting into the mag.



I know that there are pants out there (5.11 for example) with purpose-built pockets just for magazines, just be mindful that they aren't made for your specific magazine and the pockets will still collect sand/lint/etc.

Another popular method of carrying an extra magazine is in some type of universal pouch, or multitool pouch. This method is ok, but keep in mind that the pouch may not fit your magazine perfectly and you may have some kind of snap or velcro strap to contend with when trying to access your magazine.



Stuffing a bunch of mags into some oversized pouch: I don't think anybody does this (at least I really hope not).



Some people carry in a fanny pack or purse. There are many types of bags and purses and packs out there so you'll have to see what works for you if you choose to (or have to ) carry that way. Keep in mind that the same concerns from pocket carry apply: the mag(s) need to be kept securely in one spot and protected from all the other junk in your bag. Here is one way to keep things organized, it's made by Maxpedition and has three elastic loops on one side and velcro on the other. Maxedition also makes an adjustable holster with a velcro backing.



The best method for carrying a spare magazine is a purpose-built magazine pouch made specifically for the magazine you're carrying...
That leaves you 2 choices; IWB carry or OWB carry. Inside the WaistBand carry can be extremely uncomfortable, especially with a pistol carried IWB on the other side of your body. Concealed carry isn't about comfort but, magazines are so small and such a generic shape that carrying OWB is the way to go (for most of us).
There are some great low-profile OWB mag carriers out there. Even in the unlikely event that someone sees the imprint of an extra mag they probably won't identify it as being gun-related.

Lastly, I'll cover a sample of some different types of magazine pouches.

My personal favorite is the Glock brand magazine pouch, it is built specifically for the Gock magazines I carry and, best of all, it costs about $8. This pouch is extremely low-profile due to the belt loops being on the sides of the pouch. The Glock brand pouch features a drainage slot in the bottom.

This picture shows the Glock brand mag pouch on the left and an IWB mag pouch from Andrews Custom Leather on the right. Note that the angle of both pouches matches the angle of the top round in the magazine, this is important in ensuring that the rounds stay in place in the magazine.



Let's take a look at a few other mag pouches...

From left to right: the double-stack magazine pouch from Blackhawk with the belt clip romoved (this allows modularity with other Blackhawk products), Blackhawk mag pouches with the clip attached (note how thick this pouch is) and a double-mag pouch from Andrews Custom Leather. The Blackhawk pouches are a one-size-fits-all type while the Andrews pouch was made specifically for the Beretta mags.



Blackhawk pouch on the left, Glock pouch on the right. Both are carrying Glock 19 mags, note the difference in thickness.



The Glock pouch as I wear it.



A quick word on body sheilds: some people like them because they keep the magazines from digging into their side. The thing I don't like about them is that they can make it hard to draw the mag because you can't grab both sides of it.



This forces you to pull the magazine up by the lip. This is more difficult the tighter the pouch is.



Here are the single-stack version of the Blackhawk pouches next to the double mag pouch by Fobus. I'm not a Fobus fan by any means but, I like this particular mag pouch for my 1911. It clips on and off easily with the paddle and is still very low-profile.



And the comparisson picture...(note that even the single stack Blackhawk pouch is very thick, great product just not the best thing for concealed carry)



There are other products out there, I encourage you to check them out. The ones I'ves shown were for demonstration purposes and I am not affiliated in any way with any of them. This post is my opinon based on my experience and the experiences of others. YMMV and, as always, federal, state, and local laws apply.

So there you go, a Public Service Announcement. I hope you found it useful and I really hope you decide to (if you don't already) carry an extra magazine.

(please forgive any typos and if the pics don't work, just gimmie a minute and I'll fix them)




Link Posted: 8/16/2009 2:42:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 2:54:01 PM EST
True, never leave home without at least one xtra mag. Even if I just take a pocket gun, I will have at least one xtra mag or a stripper clip if it's my .38.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 3:08:24 PM EST
No follower in that one pic, I want my cookie...
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 3:11:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By chris157c:
No follower in that one pic, I want my cookie...


Sorry, the follower is actually still in the mag body.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 3:13:59 PM EST
Well then it's a 10 round mag and you have too many rounds, cookie now please...
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 3:21:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By chris157c:
Well then it's a 10 round mag and you have too many rounds, cookie now please...


Bingo. Next time you're in the lowcountry area of SC hit me up, I'll give you a cookie.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 3:46:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By echofivekilo:
Originally Posted By chris157c:
Well then it's a 10 round mag and you have too many rounds, cookie now please...


Bingo. Next time you're in the lowcountry area of SC hit me up, I'll give you a cookie.


I'll be there in 6 hours, I'm hungry...



By the way, I think I'll carry my extra mags, a lot can happen on a 6 hour trip...

Link Posted: 8/16/2009 4:21:05 PM EST
Very well done. Worth the read, and thanks.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 4:41:10 PM EST
Bravo.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 5:02:35 PM EST
great post
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 5:17:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2009 5:17:54 PM EST by ViniVidivici]
Absolutely great post. Very thorough, very well done.

Hell, outta be tacked up top. Or maybe tacked in Carry Issues.
Link Posted: 8/16/2009 5:52:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2009 5:53:32 PM EST by itgoesboom]
Very nice write up.

Here's my setup. Works well. 30 rounds of 9mm 147gr HST's.



Link Posted: 8/16/2009 7:46:06 PM EST
Don't you remember the episode of "Magnum PI" where Magnum was blasting it out with the bad guys in a warehouse, and he only had his loaded 1911... and no spare mag/mags....and he's down to like three shots left....and he's thinking to himself "shoulda brought more mags, Ima dumass".....then he gets shot, ends up in the hospital in a coma with Higgins boo-hooing over him, etc, etc.
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 12:39:06 AM EST
Excellent write-up!
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 2:52:37 AM EST
Very good post, informative and concise.

10/10
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 4:44:00 AM EST
The real problem with that picture is your rug is pink. Good thread though..
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 5:04:48 AM EST

Excellent write-up! Looking at your pictures shows me how much more the Blackhawk double magazine carriers stick out compared to the Glock. I've been using 2 of the Blackhawk carriers the last few months for G17 magazines, seeing the comparison of how much farther the Blackhawk carriers stick out is a great reminder and I'll be switching back to the Glock carriers later this morning...



Link Posted: 8/17/2009 12:14:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2009 12:45:36 PM EST by xmikex]
Pocket Mag carriers are an option as well - I use a Raven Concealment mag carrier set up for pocket carry. Carrying without a mag carrier presents a lot of issues.




Crappy cell phone pic of my pocket mag setup


Link Posted: 8/17/2009 12:14:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2009 12:16:22 PM EST by echofivekilo]
Thanks for all the compliments so far. I always appreciate it when somebody goes to the effort to post some kind of review or tutorial so I thought I'd go ahead and make a contribution. Glad y'all are finding it useful.

(I swear my rug isn't really pink, damn camera.)


ETA: good point about pocket mag carriers, xmikex. I've never used one so they slipped my mind completely.
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 1:44:05 PM EST
Thanks for all the effort and thought you put into this thread.
Link Posted: 8/17/2009 6:26:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2009 6:27:32 PM EST by Kristofer_G]
I can not understand those who will not carry a spare. If my G19 held 100 rounds per magazine, rounds 101-200 would be in my FOBUS combo mag/light pouch. Then again, I have no desire for fisticuffs.

Any one know of a good IWB set up for two Kahr PM9 +1 magazines?
Link Posted: 8/18/2009 8:58:15 PM EST
Great post echofivekilo.

Raven Concealment is my flavor, although the Glock pouch is a good and affordable alternative.



Link Posted: 8/19/2009 12:00:56 PM EST
Is that a spare magazine in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Link Posted: 8/19/2009 5:18:03 PM EST
E5K, I'll start a new thread if this question is out of line for this thread, just say so...

What do you recommend for carrying an extra mag or extra mags when it's 2AM, you're in dreamland, and you hear that bump in the night? It's easy enough to retreive the pistol, but how do you carry extra mags in your skivies?
Link Posted: 8/19/2009 5:40:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tonkaman:
E5K, I'll start a new thread if this question is out of line for this thread, just say so...

What do you recommend for carrying an extra mag or extra mags when it's 2AM, you're in dreamland, and you hear that bump in the night? It's easy enough to retreive the pistol, but how do you carry extra mags in your skivies?


That's a situation where it might be nice to have some kind of small bag that you could quickly throw on. You could have a spare mag, spare light, a charged cellphone and whatever else you determine that you might need in a possible home invasion scenario. (You could also have a gunbelt with a quick buckle that you could throw on.) It would be much quicker than throwing on a pair of pants and much more feasible than trying to carry all that in your hands.



(Of course, the situation will dictate whether or not you should just stay put and call the police or grab your gear and go looking around, for instance if there are family members elsewhere in the house you need to protect. But, that's a whole different discussion.)

Link Posted: 8/19/2009 6:46:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By echofivekilo:
Originally Posted By Tonkaman:
E5K, I'll start a new thread if this question is out of line for this thread, just say so...

What do you recommend for carrying an extra mag or extra mags when it's 2AM, you're in dreamland, and you hear that bump in the night? It's easy enough to retreive the pistol, but how do you carry extra mags in your skivies?


That's a situation where it might be nice to have some kind of small bag that you could quickly throw on. You could have a spare mag, spare light, a charged cellphone and whatever else you determine that you might need in a possible home invasion scenario. (You could also have a gunbelt with a quick buckle that you could throw on.) It would be much quicker than throwing on a pair of pants and much more feasible than trying to carry all that in your hands.



(Of course, the situation will dictate whether or not you should just stay put and call the police or grab your gear and go looking around, for instance if there are family members elsewhere in the house you need to protect. But, that's a whole different discussion.)


dude, it's easier than that! grab the carbine that you've already got setup with two mags coupled together and a good tac-light.



motherfawker makes a bump in the night at mi casa is gonna have one helluva rude awakening....
Link Posted: 8/19/2009 7:01:56 PM EST
Awesome post. Thank you for the time you put into it.

Brad
Link Posted: 8/19/2009 10:59:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By echofivekilo:
Originally Posted By Tonkaman:
E5K, I'll start a new thread if this question is out of line for this thread, just say so...

What do you recommend for carrying an extra mag or extra mags when it's 2AM, you're in dreamland, and you hear that bump in the night? It's easy enough to retreive the pistol, but how do you carry extra mags in your skivies?


That's a situation where it might be nice to have some kind of small bag that you could quickly throw on. You could have a spare mag, spare light, a charged cellphone and whatever else you determine that you might need in a possible home invasion scenario. (You could also have a gunbelt with a quick buckle that you could throw on.) It would be much quicker than throwing on a pair of pants and much more feasible than trying to carry all that in your hands.



(Of course, the situation will dictate whether or not you should just stay put and call the police or grab your gear and go looking around, for instance if there are family members elsewhere in the house you need to protect. But, that's a whole different discussion.)



Thanks for all the info and the quick reply to my question. Since the handgun is my primary HD weapon, a dedicated belt set up as you described with a couple of mags should have been a no-brainer.
Link Posted: 8/25/2009 3:39:50 PM EST
Almost forgot the motivational poster.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:03:23 PM EST
Great read. Thanks as well.
Top Top