Monday, March 5, 2012

Needful things

Having owned all sorts of magazine and utility pouches in my time, I concluded that virtually all of them fell short of my expectations, so I thought I'd do something about it. First, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I should describe where I find magazine/utility pouches (hereinafter "pouches" or "mag pouches") to not meet my requirements.

Almost every one I've used tries too hard to tilt the top of the magazine in towards the body to aid in concealment. This is great and all, if it didn't cause the corners of the magazine to poke into my flabby bits, making me take the thing off because of discomfort. Only one pouch I've encountered -- a Galco DMC -- does not do this, but instead lets the magazines cant outward, making the fact that I had 34 rounds of ammo readily apparent. The most uncomfortable pouch(s) I've come across was the Fobus paddle type; I have many of them, and every single one of them felt like I was spearing a gladius into my love handles when putting them on. The single Glock mag pouch was fine when it held a shorty Glock 26 magazine, but was unbearable with a tall Glock 17 magazine.

Two mag pouches that work great and are very comfortable are the FIST Double Mag Pouch, and the Bladetech Single Magazine Pouch with Bladetech clip. Both of these beasties do the unthinkable: they hold the magazine completely vertical, so it doesn't rip open your gut or tent your shirt. The only problem is that I don't rock a 1911 anymore, so that's a no go. With that piece of Bladetech praise out of the way, the Tek-Lok mag pouches from Bladetech are an abomination; getting the Tek-Lok clipped on is like trying to feed a mangled fork down in between your belt, and when you get it locked down the mag pouch slides back and forth on your belt. That's a no go. The Safariland Model 74 is an awesome mag pouch, but again stabs the corner of the magazine base plate into my side.

So in the end I decided to make my own to my requirements:

They are fast to put on.
They stay exactly in the spot on my belt I clipped them to.
They are a PITA to take off, so they won't come off when I don't want them to.
They can be worn OWB or IWB.
They are cheap as dirt.
They don't stab me, so they can be worn indefinitely.

My Leatherman Wave pouch came apart like a two dollar watch a few years ago, and I haven't found a suitable replacement since. The one above took me no time at all to make, and is easy to put on and holds the Wave tight.

You can literally order a ~$7 sheet of .093" kydex from and, using your wife's hairdryer (or a heat gun), make ten of your own in about 20 minutes. I cut mine out using a bandsaw, but that's because I'm lazy; a razor knife works fine. I just heat up one side at a time and use something flat like a couple of pieces of wood to make the 90 degree angles. Tweak it with some heat and an empty magazine until you get it to hold like you want.

I have a template from the one I came up with if anybody wants it. Just shoot me an email if you do and I'll send it, or if I can remember I'll post it online this week.


Broken Andy said...

Very clever design.

I use a DeSantis generic double-stack mag pouch in leather. It works, but sometimes stabs me depending on the pants I'm wearing.

The BladeTech you referenced comes for many makes, so I'm not sure why you can't use one in your post-1911 world. However, what you have seems to be very good.

mike's spot said...

I always wanted a horizontal mag carrier that would keep a single mag along my belt in the small of my back or at 9 'o clock on the belt

MSgt B said...


I had no idea Kydex was so cheap, and easy to work with.

You have to clue me in on the rivets you used too.

Unknown said...

Andy - for some reason the double stack Bladetech mag pouches are different. Thinking about it now though I may be able to switch out the Tek lok with the belt clip from my 1911 pouch.

Mike - what make magazine? If you want one for a 1911, I can hook you up. The kydex needed for it is literally only pennies, so I can make you some when I make more of these. I can also do Glock and HK mags.

MSgt B - the rivets I used for the first couple of holsters are #6-6 (3/16), and the ones for the one I just did for the P30 are #8-10s (1/4) - I got them from in the 100 pack for about $10. I also bought the rivet tools to use with my arbor press.