In September of 2010 I wrote about a few different magazine carriers that I own, and how different form factors can be more or less useful for those of us who carry a firearm concealed. I purchased and used a single, horizontal magazine carrier made by Parlux for quite some time.
In December of last year, I reached for my spare magazine and it felt out of place. Hrm. It turns out the Kydex hook had cracked, leaving the magazine flopping around on my belt. Not the best way to carry a spare mag.
I think the thinness of the Kydex and sharp angle led to a premature failure.
I wrote to Parlux and never received a response. It’s a shame, as I really liked carrying a spare mag horizontally. I had to move on.
I used the BlackHawk mag carrier (also discussed in my write-up) for about five months. It did the job, but it was too bulky, stuck out too far, and had a habit of knocking against things as I sat down.
One of my firearms instructors let me try out his magazine carrier made by Comp-Tac. I was hooked, and here’s my review.
The Comp-Tac magazine carrier is very well made. It combines durable construction and comfort. These details are obvious to a company that deals with the needs of the concealed carry community, but might be lost on someone evaluating the product for the first time.
For example, the bottom of the pouch is rounded. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. The bottom of typical mag carriers bonk and bump against chairs, counter tops, car seats, just about anything. Most of the pouches have square bottoms, which means any slight contact will jar the carrier, and sometimes your belt. It also makes an unusual noise and may draw unwanted attention – something a considerate armed civilian wants to avoid.
The rounded bottom deflects contact most of the time, with a direct strike necessary to transfer any real feeling back to my waistline. This also helps with the “DONK” sound I got from my BlackHawk carrier.
The Comp-Tac magazine carrier has a burly clip that attaches to your belt. The standard clip fits a 1.5″ belt, but you can get them made in 1.25″ and 1.75″ sizes as well. The default size fits just fine on my Wilderness Instructor belt.
The clip is far thicker than the Parlux one, but here’s another example of Comp-Tac’s attention to detail: notice the gentle, rounded curve at the top of the clip? I bet that will lessen the chances of my carrier cracking over time. In retrospect, the clip angle was far too aggressive on the Parlux model.
Here’s another feature newcomers may not appreciate — the subtle swoop at the bottom of the clip that ends in a lip. What’s this for? Making it easier to take the magazine carrier on and off. Holy crap this is helpful. The BlackHawk clip is so stingy sometimes I disconnect the carrier from the mounting point and then twist/pry the clip off.
Best of all, the Comp-Tac single magazine pouch performs exceptionally well. Unlike the Parlux carrier, my Glock 19 magazines fit securely but not too tightly right from the start. I took the carriers out of their packaging, put them onto my belt, and they felt great immediately. I put the carriers through their paces two weekends ago during a pistol training course that featured a lot of dynamic reloading and magazine management. I haven’t been happier with a mag pouch.
An important thing to consider when ordering the mag pouch is what direction you like your bullets to face. I’m a “bullets forward” kind of guy. When drawing the magazine, I put my thumb flat on the back of the mag, with my index finger along the left side. This allows me to point my finger at the open mag well of my pistol.
Comp-Tac pouches are “bullets back” by default. If you want bullets forward, you’ll have to order the “left-hander” option. This comes at no additional cost, and is more of a matter of personal preference.
Beyond all of the product stuff, Comp-Tac is a great company to deal with. Most (maybe all?) of their products are made to order, and the company is staffed by very very nice people. Companies like these need our support, especially in an age when so many products are made overseas.
So when you order from Comp-Tac, know that the person hand-making your mag carrier, or fulfilling your order, or answering your call or email is genuinely concerned about you and wants you to be happy. Like Sydney, who drew this badass picture of a pegasus fighting a giant squid:
That’s right — I typed in my request on my online order form, and she obliged. Hilarious, and something that sweatshop companies won’t do, even if they can read the request in the first place.
So, big thanks to Comp-Tac for making a great product and for Sydney for being awesome.
The Comp-Tac single magazine pouch carrier sells for $28 before shipping. Yes, you can find other carriers elsewhere for less money, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better quality product from a more caring company.