Magazine Carry Position: Bullets Forward or Rearward?

This is a discussion on Magazine Carry Position: Bullets Forward or Rearward? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A few months ago, I read on the Comp-Tac website and have heard from several LEOs/instructors: “Bullets forward” is considered the “proper method” by all ...

View Poll Results: Which way do you carry your magazine?

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  • Bullets facing forward

    130 69.15%
  • Bullets facing rearward

    33 17.55%
  • Other

    10 5.32%
  • Don't Carry a Spare Magazine

    15 7.98%
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Thread: Magazine Carry Position: Bullets Forward or Rearward?

  1. #1
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    Question Magazine Carry Position: Bullets Forward or Rearward?

    A few months ago, I read on the Comp-Tac website and have heard from several LEOs/instructors:

    “Bullets forward” is considered the “proper method” by all the accredited schools we've been to.
    Just curious as to how many of you carry bullets forward vs. rearward?

    The logic in carrying forward is that if you grab the magazine bullets forward, you can place index finger on the first exposed round. During a reload, this ensures it is facing the correct direction without any further visual inspection.

    FWIW, I carried bullets rearward until hearing this. I switched and now train bullets forward. It's largely a matter of personal preference IMHO.

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  3. #2
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    In addition to what was said above, you can also go to the mag well in one smooth motion without having to reorient the mag in your hand - much faster.
    Last edited by ksholder; November 20th, 2011 at 02:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    When I was among the uneducated I carried my spare what ever way it ended up. Now I've been educated and I always carry bullets pointed forward. You're never to old to learn something new!
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    Yep, forward - for all the reasons stated above.

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    Forward for me... Really the only effective way to carry um IMO...
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    Bullets rearward is mainly a rifle mag technique. You are grabbing the whole mag in your hand and then inserting.

    Bullets forward will also work with rifle mags should you choose to use it. All depends on what video you watch that is teaching the latest technique.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tts View Post
    FWIW, I carried bullets rearward until hearing this. I switched and now train bullets forward. It's largely a matter of personal preference IMHO.
    Now, start practicing reloading that 'bullet forward' spare mag. You can do this at home with an (recommended) empty chamber and your 'normal' carry set-up. Eject your mag, grab your spare as you discribed, and reload. Over and over.......

    Changing ANYTHING you've done previously does you NO GOOD if it isn't second nature.


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    Forward, then you won't have to have your muscle memory 'guess' if the reload is going to be one smooth motion.
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  10. #9
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    Brass to the grass, and bullets toward the enemy (your front), is the proper way of doing things.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Doing a poll on this is like doing a poll on how to press the trigger.

    Go practice it with snap-caps and live fire with a timer.

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Bullets forward because when you go to reload it's pointing the right way.

  13. #12
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    For a vertical pouch, bullets forward since it's pretty intuitive. In a horizontal mag pouch bullets down since bullets up would require some sort of contortionist act on my part.
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    Cartridges facing forward.
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  15. #14
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    Lightbulb New Shooters

    In addition to coaching World Class Shooters, I get a LOT of newbies. All they know is what the guy behind the counter told them. I hate it when they go out and spend a lot of money on the wrong gun, wrong holster and wrong mag pouches.

    So, here are some excerpts from my FIST-FIRE® book Copyright 2002 Tactical Shooting Academy:

    Book Photo Mag Pouch.jpg

    Bullets Facing Forward: Always have your spare magazines positioned so that the bullets are facing forward (downrange, towards the bad guy). You should always use (2) single carriers in lieu of a double pouch, as the two singles won’t print through your street clothes like the (square) double pouch will. They are also easier to position around the belt loops and faster to draw from than a double pouch.

    Book Photos's Mag Draw.jpg

    Grabbing a Mag: Anytime you make contact with the spare magazine, the weak hand thumb should slide between the magazine and your body. The weak hand index finger should be touching the forward edge of the magazine pouch, and the magazine base pad should be in the palm of your hand.

    Mag Hold.jpg

    Index Finger Position: Once you pull the magazine out of the pouch, the weak hand index finger should be on the front of the magazine body and the magazine base pad should be in the palm of your hand. The tip of the finger does not have to touch the nose of the bullet. It will end up where it will end up, as everyone’s hands and fingers are of different sizes.

    Hope this helps,

    D.R. Middlebrooks
    Tactical Shooting Academy - Home
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  16. #15
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Guess I'll take a beating by breaking stride, but carrying magazines with bullets facing forward or to the rear could go either way and should be totally dependent on where and how you carry your spare magazines and whether one may be right or left handed. The prime objective is being able to simultaneously press the magazine eject button with your firing hand (without major repositioning of the pistol in your firing hand) while retrieving another magazine with your free hand in a manner, and from a position that lets you bring the magazine up for proper insertion and slamming it home in one, smooth, fluid movement without having to do any awkward twisting or repositioning of the magazine or the magazine hand.

    Even though I'm ambidextrous, I generally carry for a right-hand draw and fire because most pistols are simply designed for the right hand without adding (if even possible) a lot of ambidextrous gadgets that increase bulk and usually get in the way. However, to keep from blocking quick access by having them on the holster side, I usually belt-carry my spare mags on the left side, butt-up (brass to the grass) with bullets facing to the rear. Left-hand draw of the mag is with my thumb on the rear/flat end with forefinger securly in place under the front lip of the base for quick no-slip extraction; pulling it out and bringing it upward in a rotating sweep places it instantly into the pistol (without twisting my wrist) while a follow[-up from the heel of my hand snaps it home.

    However, depending on how I'm dressed and/or what I'll be doing, I don't always carry the same way and/or from the same type of holster; so each of those different carry options also have different magazine carry options that may dictate carrying them bullets forward or to the rear. Point being that magazine carry orientation will greatly depend on how and where they are carried so they can be retrieved and inserted in a fluid motion without any awkward wrist twisting or juggling the magazine to position and insert it.

    I guess I could sum up my point by asking whether it's best to always carry your pistol with the grip pointed to the rear or with the grip generally pointing forward? If you frequently carry cross-draw fashion as I do, then you'll find it difficult to grab your piece with the grip pointed to the rear While many experts will disagree, I think it gets down to personal ability and preference for magazine carry orientation just as it does for pistol carry orientation; practice with each different method and go with the one that works the fastest and most accurate for you without fumbling or dropping either piece of hardware in the process.

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