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holster magazine carrier

Why Doesn't Alien Gear Holsters Make A Holster With An Integrated Magazine Carrier

A number of people have asked why we don't make a holster with an integrated magazine carrier. It's a somewhat popular holster style in the industry, sometimes referred to as a "sidecar" or "sidecar style" holster, after a product made by T. Rex Arms.

But, some people have asked us why we don't make such a holster. Well...there's actually a reason.

How A Magazine Carrier Is Normally Used

magazine carrier

For the most part, a magazine carrier is used on the weak side. There are some exceptions - which we'll get into momentarily - but, again, the accepted technique for performing a tactical or other reload is for the magazine carrier to be on the weak side.

This is for a reason.

So, how a reload is performed is the shooter drops their magazine free. The weak side hand gains purchase on a magazine, and inserts it into the pistol. The shooting hand maintains a firing grip at all times, and when the fresh magazine goes in...the slide goes forward and freedom intensifies.

Why does it work that way?

Because most people carry their pistol on or close to their hip! This is where most people have their IWB or OWB holsters. This includes both civilian carriers, shooters at the range, and also police officers.

Granted, there are exceptions - which, again, we're going to get to - but most people who carry a gun every day have their gun on their strong side.

Therefore, to use a magazine carrier, it has to be on the side of the hand that isn't occupied. Otherwise, accessing a spare magazine requires holstering the pistol or transferring it to the weak hand, which is just silly.

Exceptions To Magazine Carrier Use


There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule about using magazine carriers.

First, and this is much rarer these days, is people who carry revolvers. While revolvers certainly still have a place as concealed carry pistols or self-defense handguns, it's not as common.

A common reload technique for wheelgunners is what's called the "stress-fire reload." Originated and widely taught by Massad Ayoob, this reload technique uses the weak-side hand to slap the ejector rod to clear spent cartridges, then grabbing the cylinder with the weak hand and tilting the gun down. The strong hand pulls a speed loader or moon clip from the belt, near the holster, and loads using the greater dexterity of the strong-side hand, then re-acquiring a shooting grip.

This technique is an ergonomic and very effective reloading technique for revolvers, widely used by uniformed officers and competitive shooters. If you wanted to run a revolver, it's a good tool to have in the box.

If you carry with a shoulder holster...the same idea applies but the sides are reversed. A shoulder holster is by its nature a cross-draw holster, meaning the strong hand still draws and the weak hand still gets the spare magazine. It's just that the magazine is ALSO cross-drawn.

But let's cut to the chase: who are IWB holster that have an attached magazine really FOR?

Well, they're for people who appendix carry or for people who cross-draw. Then again...you can just as easily put a magazine carrier in the front of the waistband as well as a holster...

appendix carry

...but some people like the idea anyway.

There's really no equivocating it; it's the only way that a holster with an attached magazine bucket makes sense. In this instance, the weak side hand can still access the magazine. Otherwise, you have to reach all the way across the body, which is awkward, or holster the pistol to use the strong side hand, and then transfer the magazine to the weak side hand, which is just awkward and silly.

If placed in the front of the waistband, it works out pretty well. Other than that...it doesn't.

In our experience, fewer people appendix carry than what YouTube personalities and angry people on internet forums might lead you to believe. Not an insignificant number, but certainly not the majority by any stretch of the imagination. Since most people carry on the strong side...that's who we make most of our holsters for.

But then again...you never know what might be coming from Alien Gear Holsters. We have a lot in the works that you might not know about…

About The Author

Writer sam hoober