Review: Magazine and Mag Pouch for Kel Tec P11
by Kirk Lawson
Most firearms trainers recommend that if you are going to carry a defensive firearm, also carry a reload. For semi-auto handguns, that means carrying a spare magazine. While there are a growing number of ways to carry a spare magazine, the traditional way is an Outside The Waistband (OWB) magazine carrier, sometimes called a "mag pouch." In the days of yore these were finely crafted leather, often with a flap that snapped down to protect and secure the magazine in place. Today it is common to use Kydex, a stiff, slightly flexible, "thermoplastic" sheet cut shape and heat-molded to form, relying on compression and friction to secure the magazine in place within the mag pouch.
I decided that if I were going to be upgrading my mag pouch, I might also think about upgrading my spare magazine. While Kel Tec offers magazines for the P11 in 10-round and 12-round capacities, in a stroke of brilliance, George Kelgren designed the P11 to accept Smith & Wesson model 59/69 magazines. That means that a 15-round magazine is available for the P11. Take that Sig P365! Of course the 15-round S&W magazine is not flush-fitting so Kel Tec offers a "mag sleeve" collar which fills in the space.
So time to draw on my hobby fund again.
I purchased the magazine from KeepShooting.com. Strangely the 15-round magazine is a few dollars less, $22.75 + S&H, than the 12-round S&W Model 69 magazine. I found this out the hard way because I accidentally purchased the 12-round Model 69 magazine and had to cancel the order. This took about a week to fix my mistake.
Then to Kel Tec to purchase the "mag sleeve" where $8 + S&H was deducted from my hobby budget.
[Kel Tec flush-fit 12-round magazine - left; S&W Model 59 15-round magazine with "mag sleeve" - right]
[Glock G19 with standard capacity 15-round magazine - left; P11 with 12-round flush-fit magazine - right]
[Glock G19 with standard capacity 15-round magazine - left; P11 with 15-round S&W Model 59 15-round magazine with "mag sleeve" - right]
With the 15-round magazine in the P11, it provides a full firing grip to the pistol, which certainly makes the gun much more pleasant to shoot. If it were the magazine in the gun when concealed, it would make concealing more difficult, therefore, I carry it as the spare reload.
I also needed the magazine pouch. There are fewer holster companies making mag pouches for the P11 than making magazines, but I could probably have substituted a S&W Model 69 mag carrier and been ok. But I didn't have to. There are a number of options, particularly if I wanted Inside The Waistband (IWB). I eventually settled on the On Your 6 Designs kydex OWB mag carrier. Their product not only has a very competitive price for kydex, at $18.95 + S&H, but allows the buyer to choose IWB or OWB, left side or right side of body orientation, and front-of-mag forward or backward options during purchase (prices may vary with options).
[On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier - outward facing side]
[On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier - inward facing side with (branded) belt clip]
To my pleasant surprise, the magazine carrier came with 3 interchangeable belt clips for varying belt widths, and a spare set of attachment screws.
[On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier with selection of belt clips]
[On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier with Kel Tec 12-round magazine]
Because the 15-round magazine is appreciably taller than the 12-round flush-fit magazine, it obviously is taller in the magazine carrier. I found that this is not an issue at all with a covering garment but would be glaringly obvious without one. Not that it would be inconspicuous with the 12-round magazine, either.
[12-round magazine in the On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier - left; 15-round magazine - right]
[5-round magazine in the On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier - left; 12-round magazine - right]
To test it all out, I put it all on. The fit was good and retention the mag pouch was fine. Even with a fully loaded 15-round magazine, the magazine did not rattle or slip.
At the range, the magazine carrier did not slide on the belt. It stayed in place. The taller 15-round magazine actually made reloads easier and quicker. It offered more gripping area when on the belt to "draw" it out of the mag carrier and more weight to "drop free" from the gun, or gripping area if it doesn't drop free.
The magazine functioned well. It fed 100% reliably with no malfunctions. It did require a firm seat to make sure that it engaged the magazine release at first but it quickly broke in and now seats like the manufacturers magazines. I suspect this was the "mag sleeve" being pressed into the proper spot at the bottom of the magazine body. My only complaint with the S&W 15-round magazine is that it does not reliably engage the Last Round Hold Open (LRHO) when the magazine runs dry. Sometimes it engages the LRHO and sometimes it doesn't. While a little disappointing, this really is not a big deal at all for my use case. This is my "spare reload." The odds that I will need it for anything other than an Administrative Reload are minuscule and if I do, when I'm out of ammunition in it, I'm literally out of ammunition.
[Left-to-right: Kel Tec "mag sleeve," 15-round S&W magazine, 12-round Kel Tec magazine, On Your 6 Designs magazine carrier]
In conclusion, I am happy with all three of these products and would recommend them.
Review: Magazine and Mag Pouch for Kel Tec P11