We constantly talk up the importance of carrying at least one backup magazine for your concealed carry handgun. Which brings us to our next question. Should you use a concealed carry magazine carrier?
Our tentative answer: no.
A Concealed Carry magazine carrier is a great way to keep additional magazines on hand in the case you need to use them.
Outside the waistband and open carry practices make having an OWB magazine carrier much easier. For concealed carriers, though, the trick is to keep the gun and any magazines hidden until they’re needed.
Concealed carry magazine carriers can add additional bulk that can quickly become annoying for the concealed carrier. It’s largely dependent on what you feel comfortable with, but IWB mag carriers tend to dig and may not be as accessible as a pocket or cargo pocket.
We don’t generally store loaded handguns in pockets without having some trigger protection and retention. Magazines, however, don’t have the same problem. If a magazine falls out of your pocket, it’s not the end of the world. In many cases, you can play it off a lot easier than if a loaded handgun falls out onto the floor.
Best practices stipulates it’s a good idea to have a secure pocket for that magazine but a magazine carrier isn’t absolutely essential gear.
What IS essential is that you have a backup magazine.
Train How You Intend To Fight
If you do decide to go with a concealed carry magazine carrier, train with it. Nothing is more frustrating than panic feeling around for an additional magazine in the heat of the moment. Whatever configuration you decide upon, make sure it’s what you practice with as well.
This is especially important for people who pick up gear on a whim and then leave it in a shoebox.
Shoebox gear isn’t helpful unless you practice with it.
As we’ve seen with real-life CCW scenarios, we’re talking milliseconds of reaction time means the difference between life and severe harm. Not a lot of fights range past the first magazine but we don’t take chances. We take a defensive position with cover and concealment and look out for follow-up attacks.
This means having an additional magazine. One is good, two is better, but it all depends on what you can reliably carry. You can find different styles of concealed carry magazine carriers on Amazon but one that I use is from Crossbreed Holsters.
If you decide to start carrying in a pocket, stick with it unless you want to commit to changing up your habits. Those trained habits may save your life.
Open Carriers Have It Easier When It Comes To Mag Carriers
If you shoot regularly in competitive IPSC events or similar, chances are good you have an OWB magazine carrier. This is great for both open carry and practice. Competitive shooting is geared heavily to scoring, so reloading efficiently is a plus.
Open carriers, in this department, have it just a bit easier than concealed carriers. They can carry with a pistol on the hip and two magazines on the other hip. It gives the impression to bad guys that they’re going to have to work a heck of a lot harder for their meal. In terms of practicality, it also pays out in dividends. You have three magazines to neutralize the threat and secure your safety. That’s quite a bit of leeway.