Magazine Pouches Are a Must, by Pat Cascio

I won’t mention any names, to protect the innocent. However, I have a long-time friend – he used to be one of my martial arts students more than 30+ years ago. He was a great guy. We consider ourselves brothers – and couldn’t be any closer if we were actual blood brothers. Every now and then, we butt heads on something, but always remain brothers. I no longer teach any martial arts classes or firearms classes – my beat up ol’ body just doesn’t allow it these days. Every now and then, I’ll take a friend out for some shooting and give them some advice to help them improve their skills. I’m no expert in anything – just a student who is still learning things.

My above friend, can be caught carrying a full-sized 9mm handgun most days, along with 4 spare magazines, and I can’t fault him for that, not with the way the world is going these days. However, he usually tucks his pistol into his pants – sans holster – and the four spare magazines – well, he sticks them in his pants pocket – and therein, is a huge problem in my eye. Almost 50 years ago, I carried like that, until one day, when my handgun went flying out of my pants in a scuffle. Luckily, my partner had my back covered, while I executed the arrest, before the perp could get to my pistol before I did. I stopped carrying a handgun without a holster after that. However, I still tucked a spare magazine in my pants pocket – until one day, when I reached for that spare magazine, and when I pulled it out, there was a coin stuck under the first round in the magazine – basically, the spare magazine wasn’t useful, until the “jam” was cleared.

I’ve seen students coming to my classes in the past, with a spare magazine or two, tucked in a pants pocket. I asked them to show me those magazines, and every last one of them had either lint inside of the magazine tube, or a coin stuck in the magazine – some of those magazines had to be forcefully disassembled to get a stuck coin removed – usually a 10-cent piece, would work its way into the magazine tube.

Back to my friend: I’ve even sent him magazines pouches and he likes them, but he continues to carry his spare magazines tucked inside of his pants pockets on a daily basis. He usually listens to my advice, but not this time around.

Another long-time friend, now departed, Eugene Sockut, was the chief firearms instructor for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) for a quarter of a century. Believe it or not, he started out life as a dentist, in the US Army, so as the chief firearms instructor in Israel, That is about as far removed as one profession can be from another. Gene wrote several books over the years, and produced several videos on shooting techniques. One lesson that I learned from Sockut is that, you always carry at least one spare magazine when you are carrying concealed. And, if all that you were carrying was one reload, then that magazine should be in a magazine pouch, with a flap on it – locking the magazine in place, so you would know for certain it was there when you reached for it.

Back then, open-top leather magazine pouches had a loose fit, and your magazines could actually fall out of your pouches – when you least expected it.  More than once, when I got out of my vehicle, my spare magazine on my left side would tumble to the ground when the door was opened and I turned to exit. Arrgh!  So, the lesson learned then was if you were only carrying one spare magazine, then it should be in a pouch, with a snap-flap on it – so you would be assured that magazine was there when you needed it. If you were carrying two magazines, in separate pouches, then one of them could be in an open-top magazine pouch.

Of course, a lot has changed over the years, when it comes to holsters and magazine pouches. Many companies make leather and polymer magazine pouches, that are molded – friction fitted – so that your magazine won’t fall out. Today, I usually only carry one spare mag, and it is usually in a friction-fit polymer or leather pouch. The way the world is going though, I’m getting very close to carrying a handgun with a higher capacity. And when that happens, then I’ll more than likely carry two spare reloads. Paranoid? Maybe, then again, maybe not.

I could have easily spent at least half a day, taking photos of some of the magazine pouches I have on-hand, but I only selected a few mag pouches to show our readers what is out there. When it comes to mag pouches for my AR magazines, my number one choice is still the old-fashioned A.L.I.C.E. mag pouches that hold three 30-round mags – you can even find very similar pouches that will hold four mags, too – I know, I have some.

Every now and then, I would get a student in one of my firearms classes, who was active duty military, and the A.L.I.C.E. gear set-up blew their minds. Today’s military carries almost all their gear on their body armor – and when they attempted to go prone, it didn’t happen because they were carrying so much gear on their torso. With A.L.I.C.E. gear, you can get prone! So, if I were going out on a long-range patrol, I’d have my old A.L.I.C.E. gear loaded and ready to go. You can search the archives on for my article on this gear.

I found a deal one day – and I’m always shopping for deals. Major Surplus & Survival had a fantastic deal on a lot of various magazine pouches for handgun mags as well as rifle mags, I bought a lot of it! There are triple mag pouches for AR magazines that have a flap and as well as being retained by a bungee cord. I prefer the flap version. However, I’ve never had a mag fall out of the bungee-secured pouch. You can even find single and double pouches – and they can be attached to your body armor – they are designed so you can go prone with these pouches because they are not holding stacked magazines, with one in front of the other. These pouches can even be worn on your clothing belt, or your uniform belt – including a military pistol belt.

I purchased a great selection of mag pouches for handgun mags, and they are adjustable, so you can stick some really long magazines in them. They all have a flap covering with Velcro to keep the mags in place, so you won’t lose them. I purchased single, double, triple, and even quadruple handgun mag pouches.

From Blackhawk Products, I have several of their all-black submachinegun mag pouches, and they easily hold 30+ round magazines for my Glock 19 and 19X handgun mags. Strap-on my Glock 19X on my right hip, in a Blackhawk Serpa holster, with two spare polymer mag pouches on the holster, and one mag in the gun, and three more spare magazines in the subgun-style mag pouch on my left leg, and I’m about as prepared as I can be. I can also carry a Glock 19 or 19X in a CAA Micro Conversion Kit, that allows me to put a Glock 19, 19X, or 17 into it – and it looks like I’m packing a sub-gun…and it makes my Glock much more accurate – see my article on this in our archives. One heck of a setup, to be sure.

Sadly, Blackhawk no longer produces the sub-gun style leg pouches – however, I did some searching on the ‘net and found a similar product. These pouches are actually designed for folks who love to go to war with paintball guns – and hold spare paintball tube magazines. I took a chance and ordered some of these – they were only about $5.00 each. That was a great deal, since they are every bit as well-made as any military gear I’ve tested over the years, and they hold four 30+ round magazines. I honestly don’t know how the seller could sell these for so little money, but they are worth it – very well made! You can find them by doing an Internet search. I was so impressed with these leg pouches I ordered more of them. They are only available in desert tan, but for the price, I could care less.

I’ve said this before in many firearms articles, and that is, if you carry a concealed weapon, on a daily basis, then you must carry at least one spare reload – be it a spare magazine or a spare reload for your revolver, carry at least one spare reload – and use a proper carrying pouch for that spare reload.

I don’t plan on going to war, not at my age, but we just can’t know what the future holds for us – none of us do. I honestly believe we are into the End Times already – just read Matthew, the 24th chapter, we are “there” if you ask me – everything that was predicted for the Second Coming has either happened, or is happening. My goals are to keep my family safe, protect our property, and defend and supplies. If it comes down to that, we have several options, and I can easily see myself patrolling our small piece of land, armed with either an AR and a bunch of spare 30-round mags, or my CAA MCK with a Glock in it and a lot of spare 30-40 9mm magazines. Depending on circumstances – we live in the boonies – I wouldn’t feel under-armed with just one of my hi-cap 9mm handguns on my hip or thigh and plenty of 30-round mags on my opposite leg. We pray that, when “it” all hits the fan, and there is no turning back, that the good Lord will send us a couple ex-military trained folks to help us out on our quest to survive.

Stay safe, stay prepared, and make sure you have plenty of ammo, firearms, and of course magazine pouches for all the loaded magazines you have on hand.