Bullets facing front or rear?

To the front is my preference.

For me, it generally depends on mag placement and where my hand naturally goes.

I use an index finger to pinky reload technique. Index finger near front top of magazine (bullet side), index finger on mag to the pinky (other hand) on the firearm when inserting a magazine, then base of palm pushes the magazine home.

So, when positioning a spare on the belt/pocket/mag-carrier, I face the magazine so that my hand/index finger is placed correspondingly when I naturally grab the magazine from it’s holder.

I generally keep a pocket holster for my single stack spare, which means facing front. However, on the belt (for me; non-dominant side) that means facing the rear. Vertical mag SH spares- to the rear, horizontal mag SH spares to the ground.

Side note: for leather, double mag holders with a tension screw in between the two pockets, this often means one mag is held tighter than the other because of the shape of the magazine in relation to the tension screw position.



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Personally i carry magazines on the left, base plate up, bullets facing rear. As i draw the mag it orentates to insert into the well


While rare, a malfunction is always possible, and having a spare mag can make the difference for a few reasons.

The first reason that comes to my mind is the reality of the stress you undergo in a self-defense situation. Your hands may be shaking and what would you do if your thumb accidentally presses the mag release? It would be far quicker to grab a spare mag than to go to the ground and retrieve that magazine.

The second, and biggest is the reality that firearms are mechanical devices that are prone to failure and you can never be 100% certain that you won’t have a failure to feed, double feed, or any other issue that could arise and swapping magazines may be the fastest way to get your pistol back in the fight.

I will agree that medical supplies are JUST as important as any other item and would be life-saving, but I would not say that it is more important. Magazines are the most common mechanical cause of pistol failures. Ed mentions the same thing in this Blog: https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/ask-ed-concealed-carry-faqs-april-2021/

And most of those already-rare malfunctions, even the ones you can say were the magazine’s fault, can be fixed without an additional magazine.

But this is why we all (should, in most states do) get to decide for ourselves what we carry (or don’t)

I would however say first aid/medical is more important than a spare magazine as I am pretty sure the stats would support my assertion that medical is more likely to save your life, or the life of a loved one, than a spare magazine is. But, not sure how to generate those stats either

Me personally, I have 0 concern over accidentally dropping the magazine, but I can certainly see how that might happen to someone at some point (as it happens the gun I am starting to carry now is actually difficult to drop the magazine on because the mag release stupidly has to travel outward on the opposite side which pushes it into your hand and makes it hard to drop, but I am different and consider that a feature not a bug for a concealed carry gun…not everybody will agree with that I know lol)

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The odds of being in a self-defense situation are rare, but we still prepare for it. Why would we prepare for that rare occurrence but not the rare occurrence of needing a spare mag?

There are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses in the US every year, depending on where you look.

Tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands.

Have yet to find 1. 1. Where a reload was needed.

There’s rare, and there’s hit by a meteor rare. So, I don’t see how we can compare the odds of one with the odds of the other. The numbers just aren’t there to make that comparison

The point I’m trying to make is that we prepare for all different scenarios. Just because of the rarity, doesn’t mean it isn’t important to be prepared for that one time.

There isn’t a statistical database for “defensive situations where a malfunction occurred”, so Just because you didn’t read about it, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

The best way to be prepared is to be ready for as many possibilities as you can and having a spare mag is ALWAYS a good idea if you carry a semi-automatic pistol.

If you choose not to, that’s definitely your choice to make, but I will always advocate that you carry a spare mag.


Upside down and rearwards, as I draw the mag out and up with my left hand it naturally aligns with the magwell. :us:

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And my point is that we all know there is a line somewhere where it is too rare to be worth preparing for, and we all know that what we can carry and wear EDC is finite. I choose things that are demonstrably more likely to be needed, based on all available evidence, than a spare mag. (but maybe others do different math and get different odds for different things, there is no central database or…what’s the word…insurance term…ACTUARY TABLE!..for this)

I know other people focus more on the guns and mags and carry a spare mag instead. That’s fine.

We all should be free to choose what we want for our own reasons. I have explained mine very well, you and many others choose to make your decisions in a different way for different reasons, and that’s perfectly fine

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Same here. IDPA day today, mag changes went well.
Mag holder off-side, mags upside down and backwards, just like my formative years.


Can you describe how that works?
• type of mag holder
• where around your waist it sits
• how the hand makes contact and grips the mag
• any manipulation or change in grip before insertion
• what method of orientating to the mag well
• how the magazine is pushed home.

If it works to your satisfaction, there clearly is a viable method there. I just cannot visualize anything except a dislocated wrist or staring down at hollow point cavities stalled at the bottom of the grip. There are clearly key bits missing from my understanding of the maneuver.
– thx

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Glock 19, kydex at 3 o’clock. I’m right handed.
Versa carry leather single mag holder, off side at 9 o’clock (idpa practice, 3 more mags in my oversized pocket all oriented the same way)
Strong arm, release mag, off side, left hand, drop down, natural, thumb forward, grab mag between thumb and index, web area of hand, gun staying at 12 o’clock and chest high, offside hand comes up, again natural, insert mag, cup hand and slap mag home and hand back to gun support.
First time in IDPA setting, with S.O. behind me watching and scoring, and feel training with my itarget pro laser training system helped immensely. I’m going to get the .45acp laser bullet and get comfortable with my Springfield Range Officer, which came with the competition set up.


So basically what we call a “beer can grip” that is most common for rifle mags.

Thinking about this, I think I’m grabbing the mag more between the thumb and index finger. Realizing I’m surely not dropping my whole hand into my pocket for the other mags…it just goes quick and is natural movement imo.

Great. Thanks a lot! I can see it now (actually got some gear out and walked myself through it).

I don’t expect to switch, but now I understand and can see how it might be a desirable arrangement with a particular waist location, carrier presentation, hand size, gun configuration, etc.

Seems like maybe you index insertion with your thumb on the spine to back of the mag well. Bullets “forward”, I grasp the sides between thumb and three fingers while I indexing with my pointer on the bullet tip to front of the mag well. I haven’t practiced from a pocket, but suspect I would also try to stage for my accustomed grab.

We’ll have to have a contest one day. :grinning:
Thanks again for the explainer.

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Bullets forward is how I’ve been trained. However, I rarely carry a spare mag on body. I do have a laptop bag with an IFAK and a spare mag. Mags are oriented bullets forward in the bag.

For EDC I wear my spare mag about 7oclock and its bullets facing left. In battle belt, pistol mags bullet forward, rifle mags bullets point back.

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If you take enough tactical weapons courses it becomes very obvious as to the need for a spare magazine. I’ve always carried my magazine with bullets facing backwards but I index off the side of the magazine. It always just felt more natural to me

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