Now that magnets are allowed in all divisions for magazine retention, there is still some confusion about magnet use and how many mags can be on one magnet. Let’s look at some common questions and the answers.
A quick internet search will show a variety of magazine retention devices that use magnets. There are some that use magnets as the means to hold the mags in a pouch or a very minimal channel. There are also the traditional mag pouches that retain mags using friction, but also have a magnet attached to the exterior, usually on the side of the pouch that is perpendicular to the belt. And then there are just belt mounted magnets. All of these can be used as long as they meet the division requirements.
Each division has a maximum distance that the magazine can be from the inner side of the belt (See Appendix D, #10 and learn more in this post). For Open, Limited, Limited-10, and Revolver it’s the length of an overlay. For Production, Carry Optics, Single Stack, and PCC it’s the width of an overlay. Production, Carry Optics, and Single Stack also require that each magazine be retained individually in a separate pouch or magnet (App. D #20). Which means you can’t put more than one magazine on a magnet for these three divisions and doing so is a bump to Open.
What if you have a mag pouch that has a magnet attached to the exterior of the pouch, it is it okay to have a mag in the pouch and one on the magnet during the course of fire? Yes, because those are two separate retention devices. And as long as the mag held by the magnet meets the distance requirements from the inner side of the belt, you are good to go.
What about a table start where all mags start on the table. Can I put more than one mag on a single magnet when picking up mags? If you are shooting Open, Limited, Limited-10, or Revolver, yes you can. If you are shooting Production, Single Stack, or Carry Optics, you can…but you will be bumped to Open. Best to stick to one mag per magnet for those divisions.