Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.
Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:
- Top Five Inside-the-Waistband Holsters
- Top Five Unique Handguns
- Top Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Carrying a Concealed Handgun
- Top Five Pieces of Gear for an Individual First Aid Kit
- Top Five Outside-the-Waistband Holsters
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: These are great days for handgun owners, especially those who carry one on a regular basis. The most recent several years brought a dramatic increase not only in gear but also in innovation. This includes the normal means for carrying a reload, namely via a magazine holster.
In one sense, a magazine holster is a fairly low-tech piece of gear, but it too needs to be a sure and steady platform for your reload. With that, here are my top five choices in magazine holsters – some traditional, some innovative – and what makes each of them a favorite.
1. Galco Double Mag Pouch ($75)
When I’m carrying a single-stack 9 – in this case, a Ruger LC9s – I like to carry two reloads. While the chances of needing a reload when using a handgun are relatively low, it’s just better to have the extra ammo at hand. And, in the case of a single-stack 9, two reloads are better than one.
Galco’s Double Mag Pouch has been around for a while, proving what a successful design it has been and continues to be. With a double-snap belt loop, it’s fairly easy to take on and off. Or I can use it as a belt slide too. The leather is Galco’s premium steerhide and it comes in tan, Havana or black. Tension screws allow you to adjust how easy it is to draw a magazine from the pouch; I keep mine set at medium-high, meaning I have to give a very sincere tug to draw them out.
Favorite feature: Two single-stack 9mm magazines ride safe and secure on my weak side while providing a counterbalancing weight opposite my gun.
Visit GalcoGunLeather.com to learn more.
2. Multi Holsters Elite Quick Ship Mag Holster ($26.95)
This is the holster I use when I’m carrying an Honor Defense Honor Guard or another similarly sized pistol. Tension-adjustable with two screws, I can put just the right amount of friction on the magazine to keep it in the holster but relinquish upon a smart draw stroke.
Made from durable plastic, the Multi Holsters holster can take a beating as it rides outside the waistband. The robust plastic clip goes over a gun belt with a push and will not come off unless you intentionally pull the clip away from the belt and then pull up. Prefer to wear it inside the waistband? Go right ahead. Just remember to turn your magazine so the cartridges are bullets forward. Frankly, I find it a bit bulky for IWB carry.
Favorite feature: OWB carry is easily hidden under a t-shirt and solid with a real gun belt.
For more information visit MutliHolsters.com.
3. Alien Gear Dual Cloak Mag Carrier ($49.88)
There’s a lot going on with this rig. To start, you can adjust the holsters to fit more than one type of magazine. Mine are sized to a Glock 19 with a medium-light tension, as I use this rig mostly when in training.
The Alien Gear mag carrier can be a belt slide or a paddle. Obviously, you see the paddle here and its clever design, providing a stable platform even while it installs relatively easily. It’s certainly possible to use this rig for concealment; I just prefer to use it more for training/range and usually switch to a single mag carrier for concealed carry.
What’s interesting about the Alien Gear is that it’s made up of two single-mag carriers. So I can remove one of them, install a comfortable backer and belt clip and carry it inside the waistband.
Favorite feature: Versatility.
For more information visit AlienGearHolsters.com.
4. Kramer Double Magazine Pouch Horsehide ($99)
If I could only buy one magazine holster, it would probably be this Kramer – and for two reasons. The first is the horsehide. Stiff and incredibly durable, horsehide will last a lifetime. The second is because it is a belt slide. No snaps, just solid horsehide cut with a single belt “loop” and molded to wrap around my hip while carrying two magazines.
Even as the Kramer offers the most traditional of features, it is carrying two 9mm 1911 magazines. Available in black, mahogany and tan, the Kramer Double is an instant classic – one you won’t mind stringing your belt through for the day’s carry duty.
Favorite feature: Horsehide. Because it feels like it will outlast just about anything else, including me.
To learn more visit KramerLeather.com.
5. NeoMag ($39.99)
While every other magazine holster wraps around a magazine, the NeoMag grabs a magazine via magnetism. With its minimal design, a metal clip allows you to carry it in your pocket, holding the magazine so it hides deep enough in your pocket to be unseen, but high enough so you can grab and deploy it easily.
When you draw the magazine out, the clip stays attached to your pocket. While there are several sizes of NeoMags, one size will fit more than one magazine. The one you see here is a Medium and it’s hanging on to a 1911 magazine. This skinny 1911 mag is a perfect match for a NeoMag.
Favorite feature: Innovative pocket carry.
For more information visit TheNeoMag.com.
Not sure whether to go with a single or double mag holster or carrier? One way to decide is to consider the total number of rounds you want on your person. If your carry gun is a double-stack, you might be good walking around with a single reload. If your carry gun is a single-stack, maybe two magazine reloads are appropriate.
Not sure whether to go with leather or plastic? This is just a matter of personal preference. Both have their strengths and weakness. Personally, I like double-mag holsters in leather to allow for a little flex. Singles are good in plastic. But, for training, I prefer a double in plastic. Whatever means you use to carry a reload, be sure to get professional training on how to use one. And be sure to practice, practice, practice.
How do you carry a reload? Let us know in comments below.
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