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Like many, I’m almost as much of a junkie over gunleather as I am guns themselves! Here, then, is what I’d like to be the first of a review of sorts of some of my favorite pieces of “gun gear.” I’ve also published a companion piece to this over at WordPress, with details below.

Over time, I’ve experimented with many different pouches of various sorts that are dedicated to the carriage of extra ammo. Most are quite serviceable in their own right; only a few I’ve sampled were not. Some have been crafted in Kydex or other synthetic materials, some have been in leather. While I have developed a strong tendency toward leather goods, I cannot belittle the usefulness of synthetic gear. There is one particular piece of synthetic equipment, for instance - the Magholder horizontal magazine carrier - that I have found to be an exceptionally useful tool; this will perhaps be the subject of a future post.

Today’s post will focus on a piece of leather gear from maker Milt Sparks from Boise, Idaho, USA – their “IPD” inside-the-waistband (IWB) double magazine pouch.

Milt Sparks Leather has been in operation since 1969 and has the well-earned reputation of being a top-notch provider of leather goods for members of law enforcement and the general citizenry alike. I am a big Milt Sparks fan – heck, I even have the shirt to prove it! (Ha-ha…Sparks recently offered logo t-shirts for sale on their website and I believe I may have been among the first to place an order! I posted about this at the time elsewhere on this forum).

Long a proponent of the Sparks’ Versa-Max 2 (VM2) and Summer Special 2 (SS2) IWB holsters, I had a chance to purchase a gently-used IPD magazine pouch from the classified ad section of an online forum a few months back.

I will admit – what initially drew me to the IPD was its handsome rough-out construction that immediately likens it to the classic Summer Special and Summer Special 2 IWB holsters. My sample had a bit of rust or tarnish on the outer surface of one of its snaps – application of equal portions Flitz metal polish and elbow grease had the snap smudge-free and gleaming in almost no time.

I initially tried wearing the pouch at the classic “9 o’clock” position at my left side – and quickly found the discomfort almost unbearable. Husky of frame and stout of hip, I’ve been attuned to IWB holster carry for some time, but this IWB mag pouch was proving a bit unwieldy…until I shifted the pouch back to about 8 o’clock or so…ah, yes, success!

The IPD is a high-riding pouch as you’ll see in one of the accompanying photos. This, together with its spine-to-spine positioning of the magazines, makes for an overall trim package once the wearer finds their respective sweet-spot for carry.

A note on the latter point, the positioning of the magazines. Most pouches hold the magazines bullets-forward to facilitate a smoother draw and orientation to the pistol’s magazine well. The one-forward / one-backward approach of the IPD was somewhat of a turn-off until I got the belt-positioning right, and then it all made sense. Holding the mags this way helps keep the width of the pouch down, which in turn makes the pouch easier to wear. As with most things – WITH PRACTICE, performing reloads from the pouch with its one-forward / one-backward approach is very doable.

Not only does the IPD place the magazines in a nice, high-riding position, its IWB construct automatically makes the entire affair more concealable, just like an IWB holster does. The magazines are pulled in closer to the body and, thanks to the full-length body-shield that is part and parcel of the pouch’s design, the wearer is not subjected to any potential sharp edges of the magazines digging into flesh and / or clothing.

Note that my IPD was crafted specifically for 1911 magazines, which are comparatively nice and flat versus, say, a double-stack Glock magazine. I am not certain that an IPD for Glock or other wider-bodied magazines would be such a clean solution; any users out there with experience, please comment.

I continue to enjoy the IPD, carrying it at about 8 o’clock as stated, right behind a Black Hills Leather belt pouch used for my iPhone (perhaps yet another subject for a future post). While I have a couple of other double- and single-mag pouches in the inventory, the Milt Sparks IPD remains a most-used favorite of the bunch, even when using an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster rather than IWB.

Check out the complete Milt Sparks product line at miltsparks.com.

This review is also published under TheAmusedCitizen byline at Wordpress.com:


Wood Brown Metal Tan Rectangle
Brown Tan Rectangle Leather
Brown Textile Tan Rectangle Maroon
Brown Denim Textile Pocket Belt buckle
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