How to Conceal Spare Ammo

The Snagmag, developed by a career plainclothes lawman, yields a spare Glock magazine from a trouser pocket.

The Snagmag, developed by a career plainclothes lawman, yields a spare Glock magazine from a trouser pocket.

There are lots of ways to carry extra ammunition in a discreet manner.

Autoloader Mags

The spare magazine is relatively flat and, in my experience, is best carried in a belt pouch on the side of the body opposite the holster. Vertical carry is best for concealment and fastest for access, and reloading will be more positive if each magazine is carried with the bullet noses forward. For concealed carry, I don’t see any need at all for a flapped mag pouch. It slows down access, and the extra flap of leather or nylon adds unnecessary bulk and bulge. Just make sure you have a good, friction-tight fit and you’ll have all the security you need, with maximum speed and access.

Most of us carry the mag pouch just behind the left hip if we’re right-handed, vice versa if we’re southpaws. With an open-front concealment garment, such as a vest or a sport coat or an unbuttoned sport shirt, this minimizes the likelihood of the magazine becoming visible. Too, weight on the corresponding point at the opposite side of the body seems to “balance” the weight of the holstered pistol and increase overall body comfort once you are used to the presence of the object.

The Snagmag conceals a full-size Glock mag.

The Snagmag conceals a full-size Glock mag.

This principle is one thing that made Richard Gallagher’s concept of the Original Jackass Shoulder System, the forerunner of his Galco brand, so famously popular and so widely imitated. The weight of the gun hung suspended in one armpit, with the weight of the two magazines (and perhaps also handcuffs), under the other. Another advantage, of course, was that the user’s critical gear was all on one harness that he could be quickly throw on if a danger call took him from the Condition White of total relaxation to the brighter colors of “sudden call to arms.”

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A number of the people have gone with the currently popular AIWB (appendix/inside-the-waistband) carry, which places the holstered pistol on the dominant-hand side of their navel. Those who carry the pistol like this will often place the spare magazine pouch at a corresponding point on the other side of the navel. Again, it’s a matter of “balance,” and also keys in a little bit with the hands reaching to corresponding parts of the body during crisis, assuming that practice and training have drilled in the game plan well.

Some people carry their spare magazines in their pockets. I did so when I was very young and discovered that a generic eyeglass case with pocket clip that cost 29 cents at Woolworth’s would hold a 1911 magazine in a trouser pocket without revealing its shape (though I needed a folded-up matchbook cover or two in the bottom of it to get the magazine up high enough in the pouch that I could retrieve it). By the time I hit my twenties, though, decent, concealable magazine pouches were available and I could afford to buy them.

There are a few pocket magazine carriers available, but none are as fast to access as simply reaching under the same garment that concealed the pistol and snatching one out of a belt-mounted pouch. In ordinary clothing, a magazine will make a coat pocket or cardigan sweater pocket sag a bit. Many dedicated gun concealment vests have elastic pockets to hold magazines upright. They conceal the shape well, but they tend to sag a bit. If the elastic is tight, the garment tends to rise with the magazine you’re pulling on, and this also prevents it from coming cleanly away from the pocket in some iterations.