Third Pattern 58 Pattern Ammunition Pouches

There were a number of problems with the first design of 1958 pattern basic pouch. The pouch hung vertically like 37 pattern pouches, but much lower than the earlier patterns. With the adoption of armoured personnel carriers it was found troops had to push the pouches out of the way to prevent them digging into their thighs when seated. It was therefore decided to modify them with angled waist attachments so they sat at an angle rather than straight down. Tis became the most common variant of the 58 pattern ammunition pouch. As ever we turn to the fitting instructions for a description, note however that this refers to the Mk1 pouches, not the Mk III so there are some minor changes pointed out as we go along:

Pouch, Ammunition Left

This is approximately 10 inches deep, and 4 ½ inches wide with 2 ¼ inch gussets.  imageIt is closed with a ‘box’ lid having a quick-release fastening.image

The top back of the pouch has metal fittings for connection of the pouch to the belt and the yoke.  imageOn one side of the pouch are two webbing loops to hold the bayonet scabbard, imageand on the same side near the bottom there is a metal loop for connection to the cape carrier. imageInside the pouch there is an adjustable strap and buckle to support short magazines on a level with the top of the pouch (quickly deleted and not present in these pouches)

Pouch, Ammunition, Right.

This pouch is similar to the pouch, ammunition, left, excepting that is has an external pocket on one side instead of the bayonet scabbard loops. This pocket is for a grenade launcher or a 1 inch signal discharger and is closed by a hooded flap with a turn button closure: imageThie pouch was designed for the Energa launcher, but was usually used for knife, fork and spoon in later years. Turning the pouches over we can clearly see the angled ‘c’ hooks on the back:imageAnother point to note is the usual metal grommet in the base of each pouch to let the water run off:imageI apologise for the ‘salty’ nature of these pouches- I do have better examples but they are built up into webbing sets. The condition of these pouches though is not untypical as these webbing sets were used heavily first by the army, and then even after the introduction of PLCE by the reservists and cadet units. The cotton webbing is not as durable as some more modern materials and hence some of these pouches can get pretty worn and ratty.

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