AR 15 Mag Carriers – They are Not a One Size Fits All
While many people put great consideration into their rifle, ammo, magazine materials and even camo choices, how you plan to carry your magazines is frequently forgotten.
Picking a method to carry your spare magazines can be just as vital as selecting the rest of your gear. That is why we are going to discuss various styles of AR 15 Mag Carriers.
AR 15 Mag Carriers go much further than just simply a pouch to store your magazines in. Let’s delve deeper into the task of selecting the appropriate Mag Carrier.
6 Considerations for Selecting the Best AR 15 Mag Carrier
1. Planned Use
The first consideration you should take into account is what do you plan to use your rifle for, why are you carrying it and what is the likelihood of needing to reload. Often when in the military while deployed we were required to always have our rifle with us. However, it was not feasible to always have full kit and all issued magazines. So if we were going to be remaining on base and the likelihood of becoming involved in a firefight was low then we had a small pouch on the stock of the rifle that held one additional magazine.
This same thought process can be applied on the civilian side as well. If I am using my rifle to hunt with, then the likelihood that I am going to need more than one magazine is very slim. In this particular case there is no need to carry an exorbitant number of magazines.
2. Needed Capacity and Need to Access
Needed capacity comes into play once you have determined the role of your weapon. If you are in a situation where you may become involved in some sort of firefight then it becomes necessary to carry more ammo and thus more magazines.
You need to determine how many magazines you need or plan to carry and select an AR 15 Mag Carrier or Carriers to cover that need.
While some gear looks great you need to make sure that you will be able to access the mags once stored in the gear. I for one dislike velcro closed pouches. This is due first to the noise they make, second because the velcro flaps always seem to get in the way when it is the most inconvenient.
I much prefer an open top pouch that is slightly more snug to ensure the mag stays inside. You can include small pulls on the magazines to ensure they come out with ease.
3. Other Equipment Carried
Once you have determined the role and how many mags you will need you should consider other equipment. If you are carrying a radio, a backpack, possibly an additional weapon system or any other gear that could interfere with how you carry things. Then you need to make sure that the Mag Carriers you select can fit in with this other gear.
For instance if you are wearing an outer vest with molle webbing and the majority is filled by other pouches, then single mag pouches are probably going to cause issues. Going with a drop leg or double pouches for some of the magazines may be the way to go.
4. Need to Differentiate Different Ammo or Weapon Systems
If you are going to be carrying different types of ammo such as all tracers, armor piercing or ordinary ball and want to be able to differentiate between them on the fly then you need to select a mag carrier system that allows you to do so easily.
Perhaps you have chosen to include a handgun along with your AR. You are likely going to need additional magazines for that as well and some magazine carriers allow different sized magazines.
5. Comfort of Wear
No matter what any of the above choices are, it is important that you select a mag carrier that is comfortable. As with every other piece of gear it does you no good if you do not have it with you.
The bandoliers commonly seen in old military gear were able to carry 6 magazines. However, to me were some of the most uncomfortable items you could wear. They were relegated to hanging from the headrests in the vehicle’s. Where they served as extras in case you expended one of your normal magazines while out on patrol. These would obviously not be the best choice for your primary gear.
While price always plays a consideration in gear selection it should never be your primary consideration. You are better off to wait and save and get a piece of quality gear. The adage that you get what you pay for normally rings true. When dealing with equipment that could be life or death you want to know you can count on it.
Some Excellent Options to Consider
Disclaimer – I have not tried any of these exact items and they are only being provided here as examples.
You need only one extra magazine.
FAB Defense Quick Release Front Gun Grip – This rail mounted grips serves a dual purpose. First it is contoured to fit your hand providing a forward grip for stabilization. Second it can hold a single AR 15 Magazine as it is designed very similar to the actual magazine rail. Using this you can set the weapon down on the spare magazine and keep from bumping the loaded magazine and causing a jam. Once it becomes time to swap mags, simply drop the first and retrieve the one from the foregrip. This allows constant eye contact down range and with the mag swap.
VISM AR Single Magazine Pouch w/ Stock Adapter – This simple pouch allows you to keep one magazine in it. It has the benefit of fitting securely on the stock of your weapon. This ensures that if you have your weapon, you have an extra magazine. This is ideal for those times when you may not need a full kit. But want that little bit extra with you.
You need a handful of magazines in a limited situation.
Voodoo Tactical Tactical Chest Rig – Featuring padded shoulder straps and large capacity with the ability to carry 7 rifle mags and 4 pistol mags this is a quick way to throw your mags on. It is designed to be worn over existing clothing and even body armor. This provides the advantage that it can be stored until needed and then quickly thrown on over existing gear. Several storage pouches for additional items are also included on the rig.
You want a full rig with plenty of capacity, storage and equipment options.
Voodoo Tactical Heavy Armor Carrier – While this plate carrier does not come with any pouches of its own, it is capable of carrying heavy rifle grade armored plates. In addition to that it has a plethora of molle webbing points on it allowing you to arrange your gear in the method that works best for you. Take the time to plan out your gear and consider reaching each item. If done right you will enjoy the outcome far more than purchasing a system that you cannot move the pouches around on.
Take these considerations into account and decide what AR 15 Mag Carriers are best for your needs.
Hopefully the information provided here has given you a reason to consider how you intend on carrying your AR 15 magazines. Use this information to help you make an informed decision and until next time, stay safe and stay prepared.
Be sure to check out the article on Mag Wraps.