Hello, my name is Drew, and I’m a concealed carrier. I want to stand up and admit to everyone that I perform a cardinal sin in the tacti-cool carry world – but I know a lot of you (probably) do it too. I find strength in numbers – solidarity! – so here goes: *deep breath* I carried a spare magazine for my EDC gun by throwing it in my weak-side front pants pocket. There, I said it.
Yes, I can feel the great disturbance in the force caused by millions of tattooed, appendix-carrying, Glock-19-with-RMR wielding pistol hipsters rolling their eyes at once. (Maybe I can alienate some more readers later.) Not only is it not terribly trendy to pocket carry a spare magazine loose, it’s admittedly not a great idea for a few reasons: Dirt, lint, and other items that are in your pocket can enter the magazine through the cartridge count holes or magazine feed opening and gum up the function of the magazine. The distinctive pistol magazine shape prints through the fabric of your pantaloons. The magazine re-orients itself constantly, since there is nothing in your bare pocket to keep it in place: one minute it can be sitting proper and vertical; a couple steps later, and the magazine has dropped down to lie horizontally with unknown cartridge orientation.
Once that happens, trying to extract the magazine (especially during a high-stress period of your life, for instance: someone shooting at you) is damned difficult at best, and requires concentration, patience and dexterity – three qualities that you may not be blessed with if you REALLY need that spare magazine. If you carry a flashlight clipped to the inside of your weak-side pocket, add scraped knuckles and swearing to the magazine retrieval process. It’s not a great system, but like I said, I’m sure many of you also pocket carry your spare magazine – at least you have the forethought to have the extra insurance with you.
But what if I told you that there is an easier, more reliable, and straight-up better way to pocket carry your spare magazines – and other items?
Salvation By Raven Concealment Systems
Raven Concealment Systems, a company hailing from Ridgeville, Ohio, has the perfect solution to this particular concealed carry malady: the Moduloader Pocket Shield. An odd-looking, shield-shaped polymer affair with a multitude of slots incorporated into the flat, you would never guess its purpose in life just by looking at it. However, the proudly USA-Made Pocket Shield is the perfect solution to low-profile pocket carrying and organizing EDC gear – knives, spare magazines, flashlights, even small pistols. It’s so simple you’ll feel stupid you didn’t think of it a long time ago.
The Moduloader Pocket Shield was designed by Chris Fry of MDTS Training, in conjunction with Raven Concealment Systems, to be able to retain a number of items in a fixed location while installed in your forward pants (or, upon further reflection, I suppose rear too) pocket. The slots allow the securing of any number of accessories to be mounted – MOLLE gear, Kydex holsters, clip-on accoutrements, screw-on accessories. Hell, you can even tie things to it – Raven Concealment provides line and a few Chicago screws for you to attach items to the Pocket Shield with. Your imagination, and the Moduloader Pocket Shield’s pocket-sized dimensions, are the only limitation you have for attachment possibilities.
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The Pocket Shield is a flexible polymer that can be warped, bent, and moved around to conform to your pocket. It doesn’t have a memory per se to keep whatever shape you leave it in, but Raven Concealment Systems recommends wrapping a heavy rubber band around it (think breaking in a baseball glove) to help it keep a more curved, contoured shape.
Two hooked outer edges ensure the Pocket Shield grabs fabric and stays inside your pocket, even if you are performing a hasty emergency deployment of your pocket contents. If the provided shape doesn’t suit your needs, the unit can be cut and trimmed to your heart’s desire. Aesthetically speaking, the Pocket Shield follows the Henry Ford mentality – it comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black. (edit: it appears that Raven Concealment actually now offers Gray and Coyote Brown options as well.)
Setting up the Moduloader Pocket Shield
As stated before, the Pocket Shield is designed to be extremely adaptable, and can be fitted with any number of accessories. I personally wanted to be able to carry a spare magazine and a larger flashlight than my usual EDC Streamlight Microstream AAA flashlight. I set out researching accessory options that would best fit my needs.
I read about the Blue Force Gear Ten Speed mag pouch someplace – I don’t recall where – and the Ten Speed mag pouch was specifically listed as a great fit for the Moduloader Pocket Shield. The Ten Speed pouch is made from an elastic material that holds magazines and other are extracted. The Ten Speed mag pouch has a simple strap that can attach similarly to a MOLLE setup, and is retained by a hook and loop patch at its tag end. It sounded right up my alley, so I ordered one off Amazon -it set me back all of twenty dollars.
The Blue Force Gear Ten Speed pouch was indeed perfect for what I needed. The fastening strap weaved its way between the Pocket Shield’s slots, and fit perfectly, snugly. The spare 17-round magazine for my EDC Sig Sauer P320 Compact fit superbly in the pouch with perfect retention (single stack mags work too) – and there was room to spare for other goodies on the Pocket Shield.
In retrospect, I wish I’d ordered a double Ten Speed mag pouch so I could have some carry options – two spare mags, a magazine and a flashlight or larger folding knife, or flashlight and knife – or anything else I could stick in the little elastic pouch. I’ll have to remedy that someday.
As it is, the Blue Force Gear Ten Speed pouch and Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield are a dynamite EDC one-two punch. Having a spare magazine for my carry pistol and a Fenix TK20R 1000-lumen light make me feel better about life in general when the chips might be down.
Moduloading the Moduloader
So how well does this odd contraption work at its intended purpose? I have found, over the course of the past few months of using the Pocket Shield, that it works very well indeed. I keep the Moduloader Pocket Shield in my Grab ‘n’ Go pistol bag where my EDC Sig P320 and other always-with-me gear resides if it’s not on my body. When it’s time to load up, I know right where all my gear is, and I extricate it for body deployment…and the Pocket Shield is the easiest piece of kit to deploy. My spare magazine is already in the Ten Speed pouch, the Fenix flashlight is clipped on, ready to go. All that’s left is to grab the assembled unit, pinch it slightly to fit in the pocket opening, and push it right into your front pants pocket – good to go. Done.
Pulling the Pocket Shield out of one’s pocket isn’t quite so easy – those small retention spurs do a pretty danged good job at their intended purpose – namely, keeping the unit from popping out of the pocket. While that’s a desirable asset when quickly ripping out a needed reload, getting everything out at the end of the day is a wrestling match whose difficulty is directly proportional to the size of your pocket. If you wear cargo pants or BDUs, you’ll find that removing everything comes relatively easily. If you wear skinny jeans (and why would you?), you’ll need a prybar and probably a couple friends or a team of draft horses to extricate the Pocket Shield – that is, assuming you could even get it in your front pocket at all in the first place.
Is that a Moduloader in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?
I’ve been using the Moduloader Pocket Shield for several months now and have found that it fulfills its intended role admirably; here’s my take on utilizing it in daily use. It was weird at first. As someone who really hates carrying extra stuff in his pockets (including the loose spare magazine), it was mildly annoying carrying the extra bulk in that front pocket. As an added bonus, the bulk of the extra gear (spare P320 magazine and the aforementioned Fenix flashlight) in my pocket definitely made a pronounced bulge in my front pocket. It was awkward and foreign, but I stuck it out even though I was sure the gear in my pockets for stuck out….like a sore thumb.
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I found with use that this resulting payload bulge needs to be put out of mind; 99% of the people you interact with or pass by won’t be looking at that one pocket. Besides, people carry license-plate sized cellphones, wallets, car keys,and other sundry items in their pockets; bulges or printing is present on almost everyone. The bulge in one’s front pocket resulting from a loaded Pocket Shield is much less expected than a spare magazine carrier on one’s belt – that sort of printing is harder to ignore and dismiss away.
Once I got over the fresh experience of a new, foreign method of carrying gear on my person, I began to really enjoy the Moduloader Pocket Shield and all it offered. I have one set up for pistol carry, and one set up with non-lethal options for areas when I can’t carry a pistol – the Fenix TK20R is still present, but a ASP Keychain Defender OC spray/kubaton takes the magazine’s place. There’s room for a survival multitool too, if I feel so inclined.
Wrapping it up… and stuffing it in your pocket
The Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield is a brutally simple and brutally effective way of adding extra gear to your EDC while keeping it accessible, organized, and well hidden. A couple extra accessories (such as a magazine pouch or flashlight holder) will make the usefulness of the Moduloader Pocket Shield’s utility skyrocket. The Moduloader Pocket Shield will set you back $24.99 through Raven Concealment’s website. A 3-pack is a deal at $59.99 (when they have them in stock!).
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My favorite result of carrying a Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield is the sheer convenience of having a basic EDC kit ready to go at any given time. My carry pistol’s reload and a powerful flashlight can live in my nightstand drawer, ready to plop into my pants pocket without having to thread a still pistol belt through mag carriers and other Batman gear. When the day is over and I’m home, I simply extricate the Pocket Loader and payload out of my pocket, and place it in the drawer or in my go-bag, ready for the next day.
I’ve often found that simple items work best – and the Moduloader Pocket Shield is the essence of simplicity, ease of use, and sheer effectiveness at its intended job. Get you one and discover the new best way you never knew about to carry extra gear concealed.