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Springfield was nice enough to loan me a XD(M) 4.5 in 9mm for a long term test and evaluation. Up until just a few months ago, I’d rotated through the 4.5’s younger brother, a GLOCK 19, and a FNS depending on the day of the week, and the changing winds. But I wanted something bigger and with more capacity. Why? No reason, really, other than to say that I was carrying a gun with 19+1 of 147 gr. goodness. And because I shoot it much better than anything else. Also, when I remember to do it, I bring along a spare mag loaded to the top with another 19 rounds making my total loadout 39 rounds. But why stop there? . . .


About the time the new XD(M) hit my FFL, the nice folks at DARA Holsters & Gear sent me a note asking if I’d like to test some of their products. Naturally, the double mag carrier fairly jumped into my cart.

Those who read regularly know that I compete in perhaps two or three competitions a year, and only one would actually require me to run around with 58 rounds of ammo on my person. And while I dream of being a true operator, carrying that much ammo around daily seems a bit much.

So until I start competing more, this mag carrier is simply an outstretched middle finger to those gun banners out there who would piddle their panties at the thought of someone not LEO- or military-affiliated walking around with nearly sixty rounds of hollow point performance.


Setup is a breeze. Out of the box, the DARA double mag carrier comes with a handy belt loop, but it can be configured with a paddle as well if you like to slip your magazines on and off throughout the day. Fiddle with the Phillips head screws until retention is as you like it, and you’re off to the races.

DARA insists that this is a custom carrier, and looking through the option list, I’d be hard pressed to disagree. You can choose between bullets facing forward or backward, right or left hand carry, IWB or OWB, and within those two, you have dozens of options for attaching it to your person. You can also choose among six different colors for the carrier and the belt attachment piece. It’s truly a dizzying array of options.


I have worn the double mag carrier as an everyday carry item precisely twice. Both times, I found it to be relatively unobtrusive, and it did a fine job of keeping my magazines where I wanted them. In fact, it works so well that I’d give genuine consideration to EDCing this much ammo.

So why did I stop at two excursions? Well, sometimes your beautiful wife, totally straight-faced, sees you leaving the house with all that firepower and asks how long you’ll be deployed. Or if we’ve moved to Detroit. So for now, the DARA double mag carrier is for competition days and sticking it to the haters.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Overall Rating * * * * *
At $50 as tested, you’ve got to really want one. If you live in a state with magazine capacity restrictions, but still want to carry a “free state” amount of ammo, or if you compete regularly, you’d be hard pressed to find something better. For both uses, it does a great job retaining magazines, and remains fairly unobtrusive. Since there’s such a high level of customization, you can truly “build” what you want out of the box, and I think you’ll be very happy if you elect to purchase one as the fit and finish is top notch.

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  1. I carried 2 extended mags when I’d carry my XDs, but that was a total of 20 rounds of .45 with 2 mag changes. I now carry an extra 13 round mag of 40s&w and may carry 2 extra mags when I get my new rig in a month or so. You don’t need till you do, and it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

  2. I suck! I usually just carry the five rounds in my J-frame or seven in my pocket .380. I probably should start carrying a larger capacity firearm, and a backup magazine.

    • I would wager the first person to hit center mass is the winner in most circumstances. Magazine capacity and caliber are secondary issues to marksmanship and practice.

      • This is true, but me personally, I don’t want to go up against some guy with an ak fully loaded with extra mags. Having something is better than nothing, but an extra mag or two on your belt could make a difference for you, a loved one or someone you need to protect. Just an opinion. I carry a fully loaded cz with 2 spare mags most of the time.

      • It’s rare a well placed shot will end the fight instantly. If an assailant is full of adrenaline or other unnatural chemicals they may continue to fight until they bleed out. I’d hate to run out of ammo before they run out of fluids. Then there’s to subject of multiple assailants. A five round revolver will probably be fine to get a punk to think twice and run away, but if I’m going to carry the equipment, I’m going to carry what I can, comfortably, to protect me and my family. After all, they’re the reason I carry.

    • Different sides of the same coin, neither is wrong.

      Best way I’ve heard it put, the pocket gun is being prepared for the guy not looking for a fight, the full size gun and reload is being prepared for the guy looking for a fight.

    • What about .38+P? And for the reload, do you prefer speedloader (round) or the flat speed strips? I’ve used both before, but like I said usually don’t take a reload. If I think the threat level is higher, I’ll just jump up to the G19.

    • Shh… let them continue to think we’re a contested warzone. I’ve dissuaded further escalation with the statement of “I’m from Detroit.” (Never mind that I edc a five seven with 2 extra mags)

  3. Seems like it could be lower profile it it was a dedicated double mag carrier and not two singles on a backing plate.

  4. Not being a LEO I think other than sticking a finger in Shannon’s and Mikie’s eye there comes a point where carrying a lot gear because a nuisance. I carry a singe spare double stack magazine to ensure I have something to shoot if I have a magazine failure or two single single stacks, one for failure and one for capacity. Anything more is just extra weight. Now, if I thought Johnnie Jihad was going to show up at the local mall I would carry more but short of that I think 13-16 rounds is going to get it done.


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