This article originally ran in December, 2014.
What’s worse, not carrying a spare magazine at all, or carrying one down in your pants pocket?
We have heard both sides of this argument over the years, and truthfully we are guilty of both – going without a spare (which is dumb), and just tossing one into a pocket (which can be a pain in the ass). Most people recognize that the weakest part of every weapon system is its method of feed. if something is going to go wrong, it’s probably going to be the magazine.
Add to that fact the reality of gunfights – there no set terms and no rules. Those knuckleheads that go around saying “all you need is 6 shots” as a means of justifying their decision to carry a revolver (often ‘just’ a snubby) are going to be sadly disappointed one day. More is always better, and that’s especially true with regard to bullets. Not a to knock wheelguns completely, We’ll throw compact semi autos into the mix as well. With the limited capacity of 1911 style guns or single stack 9mm and .380s, having spare mags should be viewed as a must, not a maybe. Plan for the worst case scenario. Have med gear handy, a spare mag, a knife and a flashlight.
Oor don’t. It’s up to you. It’s your skirt, you wear it.
After carrying mags on our belt and secretly in our pockets for years, we are ready to come out of the tactical closet. Our friends would approve of our belt pouches, but often we received scorn for having the spare in a back jeans pocket or support side slash. Yeah, it’s not as quick. No, it’s not as smooth. We hear you. It’s undeniably better than not carrying a spare mag at all though!
This past year, we were surprised (perhaps naively so) to hear more and more firearm instructors freely admit to doing the same. They acknowledged that they’ve carried this way in the past, or currently do so while off the range. If you think that your favorite trainer always walks around off the job with three cell mag pouches, a fat IFAK, and outside the waistband full-size blaster, you are kidding yourself. We all cheat. We all have a little poodle shooter we take to the gas station. The difference is, if we are going to cheat, we might as well do it the right way. Now that we’ve used the Pocket Shield from Raven Concealment, here’s what we think.
The Pocket Shield is a flexible piece of plastic that comprises part of their MODULOADER system of load carriage. You may recall us talking about it initially here. The Pocket Shield is flexible, still rigid enough to support spare magazines, knives, flashlights and other gear you decide to keep in your pocket. It’s set up with MOLLE style cut outs, which means you can put existing pouches on it. The system also comes with hardware, allowing you to bolt on RCS magazine pouches in the idea position. We have set out Pocket Shields up in a variety of ways, and have discovered a few interesting things about the system.
It eats up your whole pocket.
This is good thing, as it keeps you from putting other stuff in it. Stuff like car keys, dip cans, pens, etc. Since the Shield is holding your spare mag and hopefully a flashlight, there isn’t much room for else – and nor should there be. You don’t want to grab your Copenhagen if you’re in the middle of a gunfight; it’s tasty but won’t feed your blaster. It spans the width and depth of your pocket, and if it doesn’t you can easily cut it to size with EMT shears. We haven’t cut ours down because its size fits our jeans and various styles of trouser just fine.
We have called the banners.
It keeps everything where it needs to be.
Before, when tossing a magazine in our front support side pocket, we would be sure to remove all change and other items that might mess with the reload “draw”. The problem that resulted was the magazine liked to rotate, spin and get angled at the bottom of the pocket. This made for very inconsistent grips on the mag and whompy (that’s a technical term) presentations to the weapon. With the Pocket Shield, your magazine(s) and flashlight stay where you put them. You also now have the ability to adjust how deep in the pocket you want these items to sit. This actually has done a lot to speed up our reloads.
It prints less than belt carry.
We have often spotted those of our friends who’re packing heat, not by the “printing” of their weapon, but by eyeballing their spare mags. Belt mounted mag pouches tend to push the magazine away from the body and stick straight up high of the belt line. In the pocket, the thicker pants material and “flat” of your thigh helps break up the shape. For thinner fabric pants, such as dress trousers you can flip the Pocket Shield around, and still have access to your gear. Whichever side works best for you (and you should obviously be performing reps with it), use that one. Just be sure to adjust your magazine positions and change which side your light/ knife/ stubby pen is located on.
Overall, we like this system of carrying. If you aren’t going to wear a belt mounted mag pouch, then you need to give this product a try. You can do it on the cheap, and use shock cord or bungee cord to hold your gear. You can use the Pocket Shield to carry just your knife and light and keep your mags on your belt. There are many configurations you can experiment with. Check it out here, and let us know which means of carrying is your favorite.
Raven Concealment is available via,
US Elite Gear: http://bit.ly/USE-RCS
Amazon Outfitters: http://bit.ly/1Raven
Optics Planet: http://bit.ly/4Raven
F3 Tactical: https://tinyurl.com/RCS-F3
Weapon Outfitters: http://bit.ly/5Raven
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