TFB Review: The Neomag Improved

Our own Nathan S. gave the Neomag discreet magazine carrier a very throrough review back in June of 2015. The point of the carrier is to give an everyday concealed carry user the ability to have an extra magazine in their pocket, but in a very minimalistic manner, literally only using a magazine retainer made from rare earth magnets. To help keep the magazine in place, the retainer has wings on the sides to keep the magazine from slipping off, in addition to a rare earth magnet that actually retains the magazine to a certain degree. It isn’t an active retention system such as a velcro strapped cover, but it does a good job of holding the magazine in place and not have it slip off and bounce around in a pocket. At the same time the Neomag uses a clip to keep it secured to the outside of the pocket, but the point of this clip is made to appear like a folding knife clipped into the pocket and not a loaded magazine. Neomag does this by designing the “wings” so that the magazine itself is actually seated very low in the pocket and isn’t protruding at the top.

Nathan gave an excellent test of the device, and I’d like to reprint his basic points, some of the them are especially refreshing from a designer standpoint that we rarely receive these days-

The Good:

Securely retains the magazine

The “medium” size which I was sent is a perfect fit for both 9mm and .40 magazines.

The wings on either side retain the magazine nicely and force the user to slide it up vertically in a perfect draw stroke.

The Bad:

Black powder-coated finish started chipping off in the few weeks used during testing.

This needs to be Anodized & Nitride Finished for maximum durability/longevity. For $44.95, I expect better finishes, especially knowing they are inexpensive for these size parts.

Does not work with non-magnetic metals. Sorry M&P shooters!

The Notable:

Fantastic idea, especially for competition, but the clip is too small to fit over most competition belts. I tried it during one run, and it worked well.

PLEASE MAKE ONE OF THESE FOR COMPETITION!

$44.95 is high, but rare-earths are not cheap.

It looks like Neomag actually listened to the advice here and changed their design to adhere to some of the points that Nathan brought up in the review. For one, the Neomag absolutely works with M&P magazines, because I used a Smith & Wesson 9x19mm Shield throughout testing the Neomag and the retention was very solid. There was one time when a Shield magazine fell out of the carrier, and that was when I was sitting in the passenger seat of a car and my pocket was angled in such a way that my body forced the magazine out on its own, slipping onto the floor of my car. But apart from that incident, I didn’t experience another magazine ejection. Bear in mind here though, the point of the device isn’t rock solid retention, but instead to act in keeping the magazine in place and not falling out of a person’s pocket. In addition the Black powder coated finish has now been replaced with a smoother finish. Whatever it is, the new finish stays very much intact throughout the previous several weeks that I’ve been actively carrying it on a daily basis.

Another caveat that Neomag itself mentions on the website is this-

1: IF YOU HAVE A SPRINGFIELD XD TEST YOUR MAGAZINE TO MAKE SURE IT IS MAGNETIC.

2: MAGPUL AND ETS GLOCK MAGAZINES DO NOT WORK WITH THE NEOMAG.

3: GLOCK 19, 10 ROUND MAGAZINES DO NOT HOLD VERY WELL.

Some other points that Nathan didn’t mention, but I actually found that carrying the Neomag in my back pocket, closest to the left side of my body/pocket (as a right-handed shooter) was much better than carrying it in the front pocket. I think a large number of those who conceal carry also realize the importance of a flashlight, knife, among other utilitarian devices that are of high importance. Adding a magazine into this mix just multiplies the confusion and even inhibits use of the front pocket itself. By inserting the magazine carrier into the rear pocket, a user bypasses this issue.

One point I do need to make is that when using magazines with extended floor plates, such as the Shield’s 8 round magazine with pinkie extension, the extended portion often flares up past the “wings” and can be level with the top of the pocket opening, thus revealing it somewhat to the public. I’m sure not all extended magazines would do this, but in the case of the 8 round Shield magazine, it certainly does.

Because of the strong clip connecting the magazine carrier to the pockets, I actually found that taking my pants on and off at the beginning or end of a day of work revealed that the clip and magazine would rarely if ever come flying off with them. This allowed me to not worry as much if the entire product was lost on the ground somewhere whenever I had to take my pants off, or put them on.

When drawing the magazine for a reload, it was important to remember to dig deep into the pocket to really access the magazine, then to pull it out to reload. This took some getting used to, and was slow at first compared to a Kydex magazine holster mounted on a belt either IWB or OWB. But like all things, it takes practice at working with the magazine and ripping it out of the holster. It may take a little longer than an OWB Kydex holster, but the gain is that this system is concealed as much as possible from the public.

Because I received two product examples, I lent the other one to a friend of mine who is heavily involved in concealed carry practice and instruction and let him actively carry it for several weeks to get a different perspective on things. He noticed the front versus back pocket phenomena as well. This is what he came up with-

While I still prefer more standard appendix retention systems for my primary emergency magazine source the clip definitely has some quality uses.  While many may attempt to use the clip in the front support side pocket using the clip as well as a handheld light creates too much crowding and is difficult to access.  However, when placed in the support side back pocket a secondary mag can be stored effectively with relatively easy access.  The issues I noticed were that the magazine retention is somewhat less than needed in order to firmly hold a fully loaded magazine so the magazine would fall out of the pocket or to the bottom of the pocket.  The clip also tended to tear leather seating.

Pros:

– Effective when worn in rear pocket for extra magazine

– Quality construction and materials

Cons:

– limited retention

– damages seats with metal clip

– impedes access to handheld light when in front support side pocket

For the record, I didn’t experience any leather destruction while carrying my magazine, but then again I don’t have leather seats at home. Another bit to point out is that my friend tends to wear baggier than normal jeans, while I liked to wear Kuhl hiking pants, that are a little tighter than jeans. One point that he didn’t mention in his debrief is that he didn’t think he could trust the Neomag to properly retain a magazine in a confrontation where you could become entangled with an adversary, wrestling on the ground, or perhaps similar situations, possibly falling down a hill for example. I would say the Neomag is, therefore, acceptable for 90-95 percent of the situations that readers might face while carrying concealed in a work place. 

From my vantage point, I don’t usually carry spare magazines. I’ll have them in my car, but while actively conceal carrying, I don’t see myself getting into a protracted gunfight as an armed citizen. That being said, if the months require thicker clothing, I’ll probably go with an OWB Kydex setup in both holster, and magazine holster if I decide to carry one. However, if we’re still talking summer months, I would very much prefer the Neomag to other alternatives.

Currently, the Neomag comes in either a standard version that comes in sizes Large (.45 ACP), Medium (9x19mm, .40 S&W), and Small (.380 ACP), all for $44.99. All of these also have the ability to come with extended clips to better accommodate extended magazine floor plates. In addition, the company now has a Carbon Fiber and Titanium version that goes for $64.99. This also comes with the same sizes and clip extension options.





Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • PK

    Interesting, I’d like to see the rest of your draw stroke as far as reloading goes. I’ve only ever encountered people who carry with the floorplate up, as you do, but primers to the front. It sure seems to give a smooth motion with little precise movement needed to reload.

    • Sam Damiano

      I think it depends on where and when your initial training was. In the late 80’s early 90’s US Navy training was bullet forward. Pinch the mag between thumb and fingers, pull it up and turn your hand over. I’ve seen primer forward and to me it is a difference on how you palm the magazine and roll your hand. Then again what do I know, I get paid to work on radios?

    • So, I carry bullets pointing towards my front. This way, as in the photographs, my left indexing finger is fully aligned with the front of the magazine, so when I pull it out and insert, my finger is literally guiding the magazine into the magazine well. As if I am simply putting my left finger into the magazine well itself had there not been a magazine. To me, this is more intuitive.

  • Hyasuma

    My problem with the Neomags were my G19 mags at fully loaded was too heavy that the mag would end up sitting at the bottom of my pocket instead

    • Interesting, I didn’t find that to be the case with my G19 mags, are you wearing looser pants? I mention this in the review.

      • Hyasuma

        i was wearing a 511 stryke pants, the front pocket might of been too deep. My jeans are deep too. Then again, I run around and that might of shook it up

      • no dilliger

        gimmick gimmick gimmick

  • D

    Nothing like pocket lint and an unprotected mag.

    • Wear better trousers? I didn’t experience this throughout several weeks of carry with Kuhl pants, my buddy didn’t either and he wears jeans.

      • Bigkracka

        Lint accumulates in any pocket, including fancypants.
        My biggest concern would be the mag coming loose(which it does) and the first round sliding forward jamming your reload.
        This product has no-go all over it.

  • Jtx

    Why not just carry a backpack with all your needed supplies? Keep in mind that as a texan and farmer I don’t really have to deal with concealing anything, my daily carry is a 10.5″ pistol ar, at least 3 30 rnd mags, a 16″ ar rifle with 3 30 rnd mags, white light on the 10.5 and green predator light on the 16″. But I just ride around all day in a tractor plowing fields and shooting hogs/ coyotes so what do I know. When I do go to the city for things at least one ar travels in the vehicle I’m in and I’ll have a concealed handgun on me just to be able to fight to the rifle.

    • Cymond

      You carry 2 ARs and 180 rounds of ammo on your tractor? That seems redundant and excessive at face value.
      What’s the reason for 2 guns? Different calibers?

  • Some Rabbit

    I question the wisdom of magnetizing guns and gun parts. Sounds like a great way to accumulate tiny metal filings.

  • I like a mag holder that fully encompasses and retains the mag – call me old school.

    To have it pop off due to increase activity? I don’t like the idea that at the worst time the mag could end up in the bottom of my pocket instead of where I need it.

    BTW a quick search of the interwebs shows I can buy a N52 Neodymium Magnets 1/2 in x 1/8 in Rare Earth Discs with stronger than N50 Pull force: 8 lbs. Price Range: $0.35 – $0.45 each. So I think the price is a bit high.

  • Tom

    Just an FYI, it works with my M&P Shield magazines. Good to go here!

  • Justin Roney

    Meh. I’ve been using a SnagMag now for several years and never once been worried about it falling out of my pocket or down into the pocket. Think I’ll stick with that.

  • AmericasPistoleerAcademy Pisto

    Great concept, I like it.