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Some Ways To Carry Extra Ammo Are Better Than Others

It’s a good idea to carry extra ammo for your everyday carry pistol or revolver. Yes, most conflicts where you might have to draw a handgun – especially one-on-one situations — are over in a matter of seconds with few if any rounds fired. But there are several good reasons to consider carrying extra ammo.

Good Reasons To Carry Extra Ammo

First, with a semi-auto pistol, a magazine with a weak spring, jammed follower or bent feed lips can cause a malfunction. And some malfunctions require you to drop the magazine to clear the problem. In those cases, it might be best to grab a fresh magazine rather than fiddle with a possibly defective one.

Second, these days there’s no shortage a wannabe jihadists, desperate drug addicts, mental cases and frustrated attention seekers.

After an exchange of gunfire with an active shooter or home invader, you want to top off your handgun to full capacity in case the bad guy has brought friends determined to start Round 2.

Third, if you carry a revolver – I often do – or you live in an oppressed state – I do – where magazine capacity is limited, you might strongly consider upping your capacity by carrying extra ammo or better yet a second gun.

But the second gun is a topic for another day.

A couple of ways to carry a spare magazine include an IWB carrier such as the one on the left from Alien Gear Holsters and a belt carrier such as this one from Blade-Tech.

Decide How You Want To Carry Your Reload

Okay, it can’t hurt to carry extra ammo just in case. But what are the best ways to do it? Ammo tossed in a pocket with your knife, comb, car keys and loose change isn’t the best idea.

For a semi-auto pistol there are single and double magazine carriers that fit on your belt. For better concealment, there are inside-the-waistband models and some holsters have an attached magazine carrier too.

Carrying a loaded spare magazine in a pocket can be convenient if you can dedicate a pocket to just the magazine.

There are several types of pocket holsters on the market. They keep the magazine oriented properly for a fast reload so you don’t have to twirl it around to see which way is up. They keep lint and other pocket debris out of the mechanism too.

Some holsters have a built-in carrier for a spare magazine. This well-worn IWB holster from DeSantis Gunhide has carried the author's Glock 26 for years.

Snagmag: A Great Way To Carry Extra Ammo

The Snagmag pocket magazine carrier came out a few years ago and is one of the best ways to carry extra ammo for your pistol.

The Snagmag is sold now through 1791 Gunleather. It consists of a thin Kydex framework that cradles the magazine without adding much bulk or weight.

The Snagmag features a pocket clip; you carry your spare magazine the same way you would a pocket knife.

The Snagmag is lightweight and adds almost no bulk to the spare magazine.

From the outside, it would appear as a pocket knife clip. The Snagmag keeps the magazine situated perfectly so you can draw the magazine easily with the proper grip, index finger along the front of the magazine, aligned for a quick reload. A hook at the back of the Snagmag catches on the pocket so the unit stays in place when you draw the magazine. 

The Snagmag has a pocket clip and a hook on the back that snags on the pocket so you can draw your magazine while the Snagmag stays put.

N8 Tactical Offers The FLEX IWB Mag Carrier

If you own pistols of different sizes or types, you might want to consider the N8 Tactical FLEX IWB Mag Carrier. It’s an inside-the-waistband that adapts to multiple magazine sizes.

The FLEX is made on a durable leather form with a three-layered, full-coverage backer of leather, moisture-proof neoprene and soft suede to eliminate pressure points and provide for comfortable carry against your body. It secures to your waistband with a polymer clip.

The nice thing about the FLEX is that it can secure different types of magazines from single-stack 1911 mags to double-stack compact designs. N8 Tactical offers models of the FLEX with varying backer heights. So, while the carrier will fit several different magazines, you would choose the model for the gun you carry most often.

The N8 Tactical FLEX is an IWB mag carrier that can adjust to fit several styles of magazines.

The FLEX features N8 Tactical’s lifetime warranty and their “Two Week, Try It Free Guarantee.” If for any reason you are unhappy with your mag carrier within the first two weeks of receiving it, N8 Tactical will buy it back (minus shipping and handling).

Ammo Armor Provides Full Mag Protection

Another magazine device I’ve used is Ammo Armor. Basically, it’s a polymer sleeve that covers the magazine, protects the feed lips from damage and keeps out dirt, lint and moisture. Ammo Armor has cutouts near the magazine’s base plate so you can remove the magazine easily. With a little practice drawing them one-handed, they can work for pocket carrier, but they’re not as fast.

However, I see them as better for carrying your mags in a range bag. Ammo Armor is available in black, olive drab and desert tan, so you can keep magazines organized (color-coded) by type of ammo. I’ve used them to carry extra magazines in a daypack when I had other, more-accessible ammo on my body.

More appropriate for concealed carry is the company’s new Ammo Klip, which is the Ammo Armor sleeve with an IWB clip attached. That clip is adjustable for ride height. I am going to have to try some of those. Based on my experience with Ammo Armor, it should be a good product.

Ammo Armor encloses the magazine to fully protect it. Cutouts allow you to remove the magazine easily.

Don’t Forget Extra Ammo For Your Revolver

There’s no magazine to fail on a revolver. But I still carry extra ammo for my wheelguns. Usually, I carry a speed loader. I’ve used those from HKS and 5-Star with good results.

I also carry a speed strip or two. They hold a reload with the cartridges in line by the rims in a compact, flat configuration perfect for pocket carry. With a little practice, you can load two cartridges at a time fairly quickly. I’ve used Bianchi Speed Strips available through Safariland and QuickStrips from Tuff Products. Both are very good.

Speedloaders such as those from HKS (center left) and Five-Star (center right work well for revolvers as to Bianchi Speed Strips (eft) and Tuff Products QuickStrips (right).
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