At the end of the day, the topic of carrying spare ammunition boils down to a personal decision based on risk assessment and self-defense. The main concerns of those who choose to carry spare ammunition are optimal discretion, easy access, and draw speed. Considering the increasing accessibility of ammunition, with certain limitations on ammo sales being lifted, more people may consider carrying spare ammunition.
There is a limited range of mag holders on the market in comparison to gun holsters, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. No matter what your body type, attire, or mag size might be, there is a way to discreetly carry your spare mags without sacrificing too much in the way of access and comfort.
Consider Your Carry
Your choice of pistol for concealed carry will be the deciding factor on how many spare mags you can conveniently conceal and the best place to store them. Some people choose a revolver as their weapon of self-defense and are limited to speed loaders or speed strips, which people often find more difficult and uncomfortable to conceal on their person. If this is the case and concealment is the priority, you’ll find that speed strips are less bulky than speed loaders.
The most popular ways to carry spare mags for most autos are with mag holsters that clip to your belt, the inside of your waistband or inside various pockets on your shirt or pants. Other ways to carry your spares are with plastic pocket mag holders, shoulder holsters, and ankle holsters. Your average attire will help decide which carry option is most discreet and convenient for you.
Keep in mind that access and draw speed should always trump concealability and convenience. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need those extra rounds, malfunctions do happen, especially with semi-autos, and if your magazine fails, you’ll be glad as you drop it out and slap in your spare.
Access and Draw Speed
The chance of you needing spare ammunition for an altercation is slim and yet it’s unlikely that anyone has ever said, “I wish I had less ammunition” after a confrontation with an armed threat. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re going to carry a spare mag, carry it somewhere you can quickly access it with ease. If you find yourself in danger, you won’t have time to fumble around trying to retrieve your mag from its concealed location.
An adjustable horizontal mag holster for the belt or inside the waistband is a popular option because of its range of positions. It offers concealment and ease of access in a variety of situations and caters to the wearers drawing preference with its adjustable angle. Even in a sitting position, whether in a vehicle or at a restaurant, a horizontal mag holster can be worn in the cross draw position for extremely fast access.
If your daily attire includes cargo pants, you could use a mag pouch or pocket holster that you can easily access without adding to the items you carry around your waist. It’s possible but difficult to conceal a shoulder holster for your spare mags, but if your attire allows it, you’ll find it very easy to access your mags on your weak side when needed.
If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It
Some holsters are easier to draw from than others, so consider the most comfortable place for you to reach for your spare mag and find a mag holster that accommodates your natural movements. An ankle holster might not be convenient for speedy access, but if you can’t carry in another way, you’ll have to learn to access the spare quickly.
There is nothing more important than practice. Reloading your sidearm is something you should practice as often as you practice your marksmanship. You want it to be as seamless and natural as possible. A great way to practice reloading is by practicing with an empty mag a few times every morning after strapping on your concealed carry. This daily reminder can shave seconds off your reload time, which could make all the difference.