With the ever increasing popularity of concealed carry, numerous products have sprung up designed to increase the ease with which one can carry a hidden sidearm or spare mag. One such product is the brand new Ammo Armor, a polymer magazine sleeve produced by a startup company of the same name.
The company seeks to set its first offering apart from the rest of this rather over-saturated market, by touting it not only as a nifty carrying device, but a full-on defense system for your magazine. The Ammo Armor magazine sleeve is made from polyethylene polymer, which has an inherent resistance to heat ( from 239 to 276 degrees Fahrenheit) and aggressive solvents; these are fairly important features for something that will inevitably come into contact with the harsh cleaning materials used on firearms, or may be left in a car on a hot summer day. It is designed to slide snugly over the open end of one’s magazine, to prevent the ingress of pocket lint, dirt, hair or any other unwanted materials when the magazine is being stored in a pocket, a range bag, a glovebox or the like.
For many concealed carriers, who prefer to carry spare mags in a pocket rather than using a more easily detectable IWB or OWB mag carrier, the Ammo Armor magazine-protection system is a long-awaited innovation. Gone are the days of pocket lint and other such undesirables hitching a ride into your pistol on a dirty magazine. Simply insert your magazine into the shell, drop it in your pocket and go. Should a situation arise where your magazine needs to be accessed quickly, the Ammo Armor is ribbed along both spines, to provide even the sweatiest hand with a secure grip while the magazine is pulled free. Until then, it is fully protected. As an added bonus, should your spare mag come out of your pocket when retrieving keys or other such items, the Ammo Armor obscures identification of your magazine from all but the closest inspection.
The downside? While you may be able to pull the armor-clad magazine from your pocket quickly, removing the magazine from the sleeve presents a challenge. When gripped tight, the already snug fit of Ammo Armor detains the magazine pretty strongly, an issue which is not helped by having only two fingertip shaped insets through which to grip it. The issue could be solved by simply removing more material around the mouth of the Ammo Armor sleeve, thus allowing users to better grasp the bottom of the magazine body and firmly pull.
Another neat idea would be a way to retain the magazine in your pocket, for those who do intend to use it as an in-pocket carrying device. While accessing will of course never be as quick as from an IWB or OWB mag carrier, this could significantly improve magazine-deployment time over the current iteration, which requires a two-step process (pull out the Ammo Armor, pull the magazine free of it.) DIY consumers could try wrapping the piece in skateboard grip tape, to see if that will lodge it firmly enough in your pocket or inside the waistband to simply allow removal of the magazine while leaving the Ammo Armor behind. If Ammo Armor ever makes a gen 2 model, this feature or something like it, perhaps an L-hook on the side to snag the pocket lining, would be a welcome addition.
All that said, priced at only $9.95, the current Ammo Armor Magazine Protection system costs little enough to warrant some trial and experimentation. On the company's website, consumers can select a custom Ammo Armor that fits their magazines exactly, based off of handgun make, model and caliber.