Looking for a solution

I have multiple semi auto handguns, with multiple mags for each. I try to keep them in some sort of arrangement to keep them for the gun they belong to. yesterday my wife was in my gun room and she accidently bumped the rack they were sitting on, and it all came crashing down. so there she was trying to separate and organize them, imagine about 50 magazines and trying to organize them. Glock and my single stack mags were easy. where she got confused was with my ruger black mags. the 380 and 9mm looked the same to her except, for the height and one being a bit fatter than the other.
got me to thinking about marking the mags but how? I was thinking a paint marker on the side using a short code. an example, ruger security 9 would be RS9 , ruger security 380 compact would be RS380 security 9 compact would be RS9C
so does anyone else have the same issue, an how do you organize them?


Was there a legitimate need for her to be able to sort them at that time? If so, why? I would address the need for having some who doesn’t really know to tell what’s what, having to tell what’s what.

For guns that are kept staged and ready, keep them staged and ready with a mag in the gun. Maybe keep a spare mag right there with the gun. For right now defensive use (a real need) I suspect that will do the job.

Maybe store the magazines in ammo cans with like mags from the same manufacturer/cartridge, and just label the can with a full description if needed.

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If your looking for a storage for all your mags where it can be locked and foam protected, condition 1 cases sell a 50 mag protective case or even somewhere such as bass pro shops sells ten magazine ammo can cases. These can be locked or not and might be more useful for transporting but all the same, it will keep them organized.


I use mtm casegard tactical mag ammo cans to split up my multiple P365 mags…standard, xl. & 380. Plus they’re coded by format & round count as a redundancy. Available in single stack (16) & double stack(10) insert formats


ah yes those were the ones I was talking about, forgot the name of them.


I don’t exactly have your variety, but I use paint markers.
Alpha numeric and color coding.
Handguns only require color coding for SD ammo vs ball ammo.
The rifles that I lost at sea :+1: First letter indicates type of rifle color code is the same.
Kept my life very simple as well as my defense!
Tan 20 round mag AII with red = AR w/ self defense rounds
Black 30 round mag T I no red = Tavor w/ ball ammo
Handgun.45 ACP RED = self defense/ blue = ball ( not shown )
If you’re wondering, the blue and gold color scheme = blue and gold crew on boomer submarines. The blue spade is highly classified, if I told you…well…
Wife’s is a .Sig P238 kept separate from all others, color code still applies.

I really did treasure my rifles, they are located somewhere around here!


The easiest way is to use different colors of floor plate for each firearm.


Yes paint markers. You can get Sharpies Permanent markers in many colors, I prefer silver. BTW they are not really permanent. Alcohol removes the Sharpie paint off magazines and other surfaces which is helpful when they get reassigned to another gun.

And ALL your magazines should be marked and individually recognizable. If you’re going to have a “problem” with a properly maintained pistol the most probable cause is just about always a magazine issue. I usually put my initials on one side, the last 2 digits of the serial number of the gun they belong to on the other and the magazine number on the bottom.

When I have a failure the first thing I do is look at the mag identifier and take note. If I experience another failure I look to see if it’s the same mag. If it is that mag (again, almost always the case) it goes to the maintenance/repair/dispose pile and will not be carried again until its taken apart, closely inspected, cleaned, spring (and maybe follower too) replaced and function tested to 100% reliability again.

As an added bonus when you do training and everyone has the same mags. I KNOW I’ll be leaving with ALL of mine. Amazing how many “walk off” in other people’s bags when they are not marked. Actually all my range/gun gear is CLEARLY marked so I go through a lot of Sharpies. I even use them to color the base of test reloaded rounds when doing rifle load development.


This works for me, metallic silver is very versatile.


Did you get carded when you bought that? :grinning:


That’s the one I use for all my black scary guns and mags. :+1:t2::+1:t2:


I keep them in an ammo box with foam slots & lable the box. Some boxes have several different mags but knowing that you only have two or three models to choose from makes it a no brainer


Yep. For me, the problem was mixing up mags in a range bag or on my workbench when I reorganized my safe. Many of the mags look alike. I used my wife’s water-soluble craft paints to put a dot on the bottom mag plate, a different color for each pistol. Then, I mounted magnets (Amazon link below) to the interior of my safe to hold the magazines close to the firearm they belong with. The magnets are very strong and prevent the magazines from getting dropped on the floor and mixed up.



Agree this is my current way of id’ing them, but have noticed they rub off fairly easily, even without alcohol or cleaning.


I noticed it too after three trips to the range


Me personally, I use zip lock bags, marked with a sharpie for what firearm they fit. Then put a small desiccant pouch in each bag. They are kept in 50Cal ammo cans with a larger desiccant pouch inside the can.


I use your system…letter to identify the firearm and the mags in numerical order. That way I can track when they were clean, identify any that have problems, keep maintenance records, etc. I use enamel paint markers from the office supply house (or Amazing, where they have good buys from time to time). The real question is where on the magazine to you mark them. Friction is you enemy because it wears the paint off, but as long as you check and re-mark you’re good to go.


Here is a very simple almost-infallible way to organize them. Put all the mags for the particular handgun in a ziplock 5-gallon freezer bag, and write the make and caliber on the bag with a sharpie. Works for me, anyway. Since I have pairs of identical models, I can put all the mags that fit those models together, and if I want to go tothe range with that model, all the mags are in the same ziplock, and I can put that ziplock in my range bag when I’m getting ready to go.

Another thing I do is number each magazine (with a sharpie) so that if one has issues I can identify it. I had a number of issues with a couple of magazines, but later learned that if I kept them fully loaded in storage, the problems went away, likely due to spring shaping. Those mags still have 'x’s on them, at some point I’ll wipe off the 'x’s with rubbing alcohol.


I apparently don’t have enough guns or magazines to have this problem. :disappointed:

I do number my mags with a paint pen though.


Check out the Dremel Engraver tool. Home Depot has it for $ 24.70. Check it out and see if scratching an ID on the floor plate of each mag will suit your needs.