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 [email protected]


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