Routine. Routine governs many, if not most, of our daily actions starting with getting ready in the morning. Shit, Shower and Shave, or Testicles, Spectacles, Wallet and Watch? Something like that, right? I am sure like me, many of you guys out there, before walking out the door, do the pat down test. Is everything in place? Did I forget anything? For those reading this it is probably safe to assume that many of you include a firearm, spare magazine, knife, light, IFAK and more in your daily apparel selection. While I am anything but a fashion expert I hear appendix carry is all the rage these days. In all seriousness, that is my preferred way to carry a concealed firearm. I have tried many holsters for this carry method. Some better than others. Different shapes, materials, sizes for different types of firearms. Some holsters are cut to handle a weapon mounted light, micro red dot and/or spare magazine. It is the later that is the topic today.
I am a big advocate of carrying a spare magazine. Why? Because two is one and one is none. Yeah, that may sound corny but that rang true for me 20 years ago in the military and it still rings true today. Am I concerned about running out of ammo in the unlikely chance I get in an OK Corral gunfight on my way to the office? Not really, but best to be prepared. You never know… In reality, my main concern is magazine reliability. The majority of the malfunctions I personally have ever had with a pistol have been magazine related. Like the other day at the range I had a magazine feed the first round then throw up the rest during the extraction and ejection cycle. Sucks, but I had a spare so there you have it. Mechanical devices fail. You just don’t want your lifesaving tools to go T.U. when the proverbial fecal matter hits the proverbial fan.
First point, carry a spare. I don’t care if it is built into your holster, stand-alone on your belt or in your pocket. As long as you have one and it is accessible you should be good. Now for me, I have tried carrying my spare in my AIWB holster. It works, it’s fast, but it isn’t that comfy and it prints like a sonuvagun. Maybe I need a better holster that fits my body better? Could be. Maybe I need to lose a few LBs? Sure, that always helps. The integrated holster option would be my preferred way to carry if I found a holster that worked well for me. Honestly, I still do some of the times with my existing holsters.
My other method is in pocket carry. I find myself carrying my spare this way 95% of the time. I can see a lot of folks cringe at just the mention of sticking a spare mag in the pocket. “It will just flop around!” or “It is never in the same place at any given time!” and “Your rounds will come out!” along with “That is the slowest way to draw a magazine!” Well, not that any of that isn’t true to some extent, but there are ways to mitigate some of those concerns.
Apparel selection is key. I love pants that have sub load pockets in them, however my trusty Levi Jeans do not. I am researching other jean manufactures that cater to the discerning and responsible armed citizen, but that is a topic for another day.
Back in 2013 I did an article on the SNAGMAG which is basically a portable magazine carrier that sits inside the pocket. The exposed portion of the holster is a clip which is supposed to give the appearance of a basic folding blade or flashlight with a pocket clip. The concept works for sure but I found that the magazine sat too high and the plastic portion of the holster was exposed, giving away the fact that it was not a knife or flashlight in the pocket, but a freedom pill Pez dispenser.
I recently came across another company that takes a similar, but more refined approach. As I sit in this coffee shop writing and drinking my quad grande Americano I have my Blackside Glock19 in my AIWB holster and my spare magazine in my left pocket, held in place by a NeoMag. Hipsters be damned. The NeoMag is a magazine holster with a magnetic personality. Seriously, it uses a magnet to attach to the side of your magazine. Pretty slick.
Construction is robust. The face of the NeoMag that rests against the magazine is CNC machined steel with a black nitride finish with an neodymium earth magnet. The titanium pocket clip is contoured for an aggressive grip and held to the body of the NeoMag with stainless fasteners with a black oxide finish.
They can be had for different calibers with different length clips that come in different colors. Installation is simple, just attach the NeoMag to the side of your spare magazine in whatever orientation you like to roll with (rounds forward or back). Slip the assembly in the pocket clipping it to your pants as you would a folding knife.
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to realize you need to have a magazine that is made of metal or has a metal liner. That means all polymer mags like Magpul will not work. If that is a must for you and you have to pocket carry, check out the SNAGMAG as that doesn’t use a magnet. If that isn’t an issue, then read on.
I carry a spare OEM Glock 19/17 magazine and it works just fine. A few big concerns to note (also addressed on their FAQ page). Will the magnet mess up my credit cards? I carry my wallet in the same pocket (no the mag doesn’t get in the way). I have yet to experience any issues with my credit cards or security access mag reader cards. Doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen, all I can say is I have yet to have any issue with it. Will it scratch your magazine? They say it can but seriously, who the hell cares? It is cosmetic only. Tools get scratched up. Your mag is a tool. Don’t be a tool.
Your mag is a tool. Don’t be a tool.
Addressing another concern. “That is the slowest way to draw a magazine!” Well, no. The slowest way to load a magazine is to not have a magazine to load. Like anything it requires practice. Yes, it does require the user to modify the way they draw as the support hand cannot wrap the outside face of the magazine. It must be accessed with the thumb and fore/middle fingers in a pinching fashion. I can’t say that I am lightning fast (I’ve seen others that use the NeoMag and their draws put me to shame) but I can easily access the magazine, draw it out and get it into the gun. With practice I am getting better.
One of the things I really like about the NeoMag is the clip. It is super tight which kind of sucks to put it on, but I know it isn’t going anywhere. As noted above they have different lengths to accommodate longer mags with base extensions on them. While I don’t typically carry a magazine with an extension, the longer draw keeps the magazine more discreetly hidden and better sells the appearance of a folding knife or flashlight clip.
In summary, while pocket carry may not be for everyone, I would encourage the reader to explore options that work for them then practice with whatever system you chose. Bottom line carry a spare mag. Perhaps pocket carry is appealing to you or maybe your wardrobe requires it or your job necessitates deeper concealment. If so take a look at all the options out there including NeoMag. Oh, for all you stylish folks out there they also have a custom shop, so you can rock a limited edition or one-of-a-kind NeoMag. I mean, it is in your pocket, out of sight, where no one will see it, but you will know it’s there. Holding your spare mag. Like a boss.