Do You Need a Pocket Magazine Carrier?

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Pocket Holster and magazine carrier

Pocket carry is all the rage given the plethora of new itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy sub-sub-sub-compact pistols. While one can question ease of shooting, caliber effectiveness, round count, and ability to put shots on target with reliability, you can’t argue with the convenience. A true “pocket gun” doesn’t require a radical change in dress code like buying pants in a size made for someone just like you, only 75 pounds heavier.

When I pocket carry this Springfield Armory XD-S I use a pocket magazine carrier on the opposite side.

When I pocket carry this Springfield Armory XD-S I use a pocket magazine carrier on the opposite side.

Of course, pocket carry requires (absolutely requires) a good pocket holster. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, a pocket holster will protect the trigger and prevent something external from applying direct pressure to the trigger, causing an unwanted explosion in the privates area. The fabric of your pants is NOT enough to provide adequate trigger protection. The other reason is that a pocket holster orients your handgun consistently, so it’s in the position you expect when you reach to draw. If your gun is upside down or rotated 180 degrees in the opposite direction, your draw will be as smooth as a rhythmic gymnast getting tasered during the floor exercise.

But what about a spare magazine? If you pocket carry, what’s your plan for a spare mag? It seems kind of silly to rig up belt gear for that if you’re not using similar equipment for the handgun. Enter the pocket magazine carrier.

My Galco PMC is a bit older and the new ones look slightly different, but the function is the same. Here I've got a 9mm Springfield Armory XD-S magazine in place.

My Galco PMC is a bit older and the new ones look slightly different, but the function is the same.

I use the Galco Pocket Magazine Carrier (PMC) when I carry a Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm spare magazine. Is it overkill to use a holster device just for a magazine which will easily fit in a pocket? Not at all. As with a handgun in a pocket holster, the pocket magazine carrier does a couple of things for you. It keeps the magazine oriented properly, so when you reach for it, say during a fight for your life, it’s in the position you expect and positioned for a snag-free draw. The bullets will be facing in the right direction too. A pocket magazine carrier also protects your magazines and ammo. Not necessarily from damage, but pocket lint, threads, or pieces of fabric. Do you really want the first round in your spare mag to get wrapped up miscellaneous pocket string?

With both pieces of gear, a pocket holster and a pocket magazine carrier, it’s important to keep them segregated from other pocket items. That means no keys, loose change, or breath mints. Put all that stuff somewhere else – you don’t want it getting mixed up with either your handgun or that spare mag.

Tom McHale is a committed learning junkie always seeking a new subject victim. As a lifelong student of whatever grabs his attention on any particular day, he thrives on beating rabbit trails into submission. In between his time as a high-tech marketing executive, restaurant owner, and hamster cosmetology practitioner, he’s published seven books and nearly 1,500 articles about guns, shooting, and the American way.

  • Scottie Mince

    I used to carry my mag in my off-side pocket. Then one day, in a training class, I found I could not get to it if my left hand was injured and I needed to access it with my right. No more pocket carry for me after that

  • Howard

    I’m NOT a person with the physique of a Lilliputian tightrope walker nor one able to function as a contortionist. I’m what is generally described as a “full-figured” feller. NOT someone you’d want to sit on your lap or even attempt to take a funny picture sitting atop your grandkids plastic Unicorn rocking chair. Not unless you want it destroyed. Flattened. Made into recyclables.
    I also suffer from arthritis of every extremity known to man. Hell’s Bells! EVERY bone I own HATES me and makes me regret the adrenaline charged lifestyle I lived as a young man.
    Ooooooh, BABY! But lemme tell you some wild and wicked stories about some of my injuries, umkay?!?
    But I cross dress. Er, Digress! SHEESH!
    Besides carrying a handgun of full size IWB (yeah, I have the “curves” to hide an M1911A1 or G17/G22 but NOT a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum), I also carry two (2) spare magazines for whichever gun I’ve elected to leave my home armed with.
    But I don’t carry any spare magazines in a pocket, with or without one of them thar newfangled PMC or whatever the current buzzword is.
    Nope. I carry one magazine in a (GASP!!) magazine pouch/holster on my off-hand side (but not IWB) because it is easily as convenient (if not MORE SO!) than stuffing it into a pocket.
    Especially as real estate is limited to having only four (4) pockets on the average pair of trousers. Two front, two rear.
    Rear pockets encase a wallet and the other carries a (GASP!!) loose spare magazine.
    Now where to put my keys and change?
    Why, in the FRONT pockets, you silly goose. And WTF DOESN’T have keys and change on their person in this day an age? And nobody in their “right” mind commingles their change/keys in the same pocket unless they want to have loose coins spilling out when they retrieve the keys to open their car door or front door of their house.
    So to MY way of thinking, a pocket pouch for a spare magazine is an answer to an unasked question.
    Just wear a magazine holster and be DONE with it. Even eaten up with arthritis, all have a tough time retrieving a spare magazine if I need to in an emergency and without the aid of my off hand. I’d hate to think about the difficulty I’d have if said spare magazine was stuck in the bottom of a front pocket and also inside a pouch.
    NO need to be all Gucci or trying to keep up with the Jones’s fer Pete’s sake.
    Overnout

  • JJ

    I honestly am pro pocket mag pouch but why doesn’t anyone make a kydex one that holds 2 or 3 properly oriented. Especially some the 380s like the bodyguard or lcp II.
    I know (because I’ve mocked it out) that I can easily put 3 lcp 2 extended mags in my pocket and while they would stack a bit, one mag would be removable at a time (if you only have 1 gun, you only need 1 mag at a time).
    My biggest reason for a pocket mag pouch would be pocket lint closely followed by the sound 2+ mags make clinking together in your pocket when moving.