If you carry a firearm, particularly a semi-automatic handgun, you should have quick access to a second magazine. While I know of no scenario where an armed citizen has performed a reload during an encounter, it remains a prudent decision to allow oneself that option. Running out of ammo is never the right answer to the question. Additionally, clearing certain malfunctions requires a new magazine, especially if that stoppage is magazine-induced; having a spare is simply a “must.” Finally, extended magazines can be difficult to conceal since they add length to a handgun but, when carried as a backup, provide a significant capacity upgrade without compromising concealability.
So, we are going to carry a second (or third) magazine: how are we going to carry it? I live in the hot and humid South and do not traditionally wear layers of clothing that would allow me to easily conceal a duty-sized magazine pouch. Dropping one in a pocket sounds like a great plan until it needs to come out in a hurry and its now facing the wrong direction or, worse, is full of pocket lint. I’ve struggled with this dilemma myself and will lead you down the path(s) that I chose. Here a few simple and concealable products that will ensure that your magazine is secure and accessible when you need it most.
BlackPoint Tactical’s kydex holsters and accessories are used by numerous NRA Carry Guard instructors which speaks volumes. I began using them shortly before attending the NRA Carry Guard Intermediate Course and became an instant convert. This single magazine pouch fits over the belt in the same manner as most IWB holsters and can be worn at virtually any position from the appendix to the small of the back. When ordering, one can choose which direction the magazine will be oriented (bullets front or bullets to the rear) and various colors are available. This pouch is lightweight, durable, secure and comfortable.
I discovered this company several years ago and have become a fan of their minimalist magazine carriers for both handguns and rifles. These are molded from a single piece of kydex and simply snap over the belt. They are secure, extremely lightweight and I’ve yet to wear one out.
The most innovative solution that I’ve seen, the Pro-P Clip is the invention of a Florida-based NRA Instructor and Training Counselor who has a real common-sense approach to things. This patented product allows the user to carry a magazine clipped inside a pocket, just as one would carry a folding knife. The clip fits over the base bad and essentially becomes part of the magazine. These heat-treated spring steel clips are made in the U.S.A. and are extremely durable. When the magazine is inserted into the handgun, the steel clip is unnoticeable.
Boise, Idaho-based Milt Sparks has been producing top-quality leather holsters and accessories for decades. If you love traditional craftsmanship, Milt Sparks’ products have no equal. The PCH-M allows a magazine to be carried in the pocket but keeps it safe and secure so it’s there when you need it. A steel wire runs inside the leather which allows the pouch to be molded to fit an individual pocket securely and comfortably.
Trigger control—it’s one of the fundamentals of shooting we constantly strive to improve. Even the best shooters in the world continuously work on their trigger control to shoot smaller, tighter groups on targets at various distances. That’s target shooting, but what about real life?
Jeff Houston offers the first of five drills in NRA Carry Guard's second rendition of commuter drills.