June 01, 2018 3 min read

people who actively conceal and carry a firearm wonder if it's necessary to carry a magazine holster. There is a lot of conflicting information online; some shooting and self-defense experts say you should carry the spare magazine holster, and others say it most likely will not be necessary. However, most people who conceal and carry like to err on the side of caution. 

In the beginning, a magazine holster might feel quite different from your daily conceal and carry gun holster. However, you never know when a situation could require extra ammo, and it is better to be prepared in case of an emergency. 

#1 Extra Ammunition

The first and most obvious reason to carry an extra magazine holster is in case you need more ammunition. In today’s world, you can never be sure when an active shooter may strike, and in a situation like that, you may have to empty your first magazine and transition to your spare. 

In this regard, it is better to come prepared with a spare magazine than not have one at all, especially if you carry a pistol like a traditional Colt 1911 that only carries 7 + 1. You will definitely want to have a spare magazine, so you can eliminate any threat that may arise.

Also, you will be shooting under stress in a self-defense situation. It is important to consider that you may not be as accurate as you are on the range in a more controlled environment. You might have to shoot more rounds until you hit your target.


#2 Clearing a Jam or Malfunction

Pistols are like any other machine — they run the risk of malfunctioning. But if that malfunction occurs when you are in a life or death situation, the last thing you want is to be fumbling to clear a jam. Instead, you can quickly eject the magazine and reload your spare.

reloading gun

One of the most common malfunctions is a double feed, where two rounds try to feed into the chamber at the same time. This causes the slide of the pistol to lock back and renders your gun useless. 

You can use the traditional lock on the magazine to try to clear the obstruction. But in an active shooter situation or an attack, you don’t have time to fix the malfunction. Instead, you could immediately drop the magazine, causing the jam to clear itself, then reload the spare magazine and re-engage the target. 

#3 Human Error

No matter how much training you have, if the time ever arises when you have to pull your pistol from your inside-the-waistband holster, your adrenaline will be pumping. This can lead to human error. In high-stress situations, your fine motor skills decrease, and you run the risk of hitting the magazine release button. 

While this may be uncommon, the risk is real, so it is better that you have a spare magazine than just one round in your chamber to defend yourself. The spare mag may be the difference between life and death.

#4 Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s law states that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Any of the situations described here make the case for carrying a spare magazine. In an active shooter or self-defense situation, the last thing you want to do is be left without a choice. That is the reason you decided to carry in the first place — You want the chance to defend yourself from the unimaginable.

ammo magazine

So choosing to conceal carry is great but having the option to reload offers the best protection. You never know when something as simple as a double feed could occur. You will be a better concealed carrier if you have the spare magazine. 


The decision to conceal and carry — as well as whether to carry a spare magazine — is a personal choice. Some people may not find it unnecessary to carry the spare magazine. However, this means you are running the risk of not having any options should you expend all of your ammo. 

Our magazine holsters are not heavy, making them fairly simple to conceal. So to err on the side of caution, it is always smart to carry a spare magazine to ensure your safety.

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