Magazines/Types of Magazines


A magazine is part of the firearm that holds the ammunition and automatically feeds the ammo into the chamber. Most pistols have magazines that detach from the pistol. The cylinder of a revolver can functionally be thought of as a non-detachable magazine. Pistol magazines are typically composed of a tubular body, a spring, a follower and a floorplate that holds everything in the tube. Think of the magazine tube as an elevator shaft. The follower is the elevator, the spring is the elevator cable and the cartridge is the passenger being lifted upward toward its destination.

Types of Magazines

Double-Stack Magazine

double stack magazine
image of double stack magazine

A double-stack magazine’s cartridges are held in a zigzag arrangement. The cartridges of either column are fed into the chamber. A double stack is necessarily wider than a single stack; it accommodates about one and a half times more ammo in the same vertical space. This is important when it comes to concealed carry.

For individuals who intend to carry a concealed handgun, width is an important factor. It is called “printing” when the outline of your concealed firearm is visible through your clothing. This can draw unwanted attention.

Single-Stack Magazine

single stack magazine
image of single stack magazine

A single-stack magazine holds all of its cartridges in one column and has a thinner frame. This type of frame is easier for shooters with smaller hands to grip.

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The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. 

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