82 Pattern Utility Pouches

The design of some of the components of the Canadian 82 pattern did not stay still, and new modifications and updates were made to certain components based on feedback from those actually using them and experience in the field. A case in point is the utility pouch which can be found in three main variants. The utility pouch was originally intended for mess tins and wet weather gear, however it evolved into a carrier for a 200rd box of ammunition for the C9 light machine gun by the third pattern and this is reflected in the three models:Left to right we have the first pattern which was introduced in 1982, the second pattern which added a hook strap and the final version which was slightly larger and fitted with grenade loops on either side. Turning the pouches over we can see clearly that the first pattern on the left lacks the hook strap to attach it to the yoke:By adding the hook strap to the second and third pattern troops had more flexibility in where on the belt they put the utility pouch and by attaching the pouch to the yoke heavier items could be carried with more support from the shoulders, preventing the belt from being deformed by the weight. All three pouches have two sets of plastic hooks and Velcro securing straps to attach them to the belt. The hook strap fitted to the second and third pattern has metal reinforcement grommets on it and can be tucked away if its position on a belt meant it was not needed:All three pouches use the same plastic and web tab quick release fasteners on the front with two positions provided to ensure the lid is secure regardless of how much has been placed inside:A webbing loop is fitted inside the pouches to allow the contents to be drawn out of the pouch:The strip of webbing goes from the top front of the pouch in a loop down to the bottom of the pouch and back up the back, pulling on it shortens the loop of fabric and draws the contents out of the pouch for easy removal.

Interestingly it is the second pattern of Utility Pouch that is illustrated in the user’s manual for the 1982 pattern set:The third pattern of utility pouch adds two fabric loops for grenades to be carried, as ever I don’t have the correct grenade for this, but a British 1970s training grenade illustrates the principle:The inside of the third pattern pouch has this rather nice manufacturer’s stamp, dating this particular example to 1991:Canadian troops tended to carry at least one of these pouches on their webbing and fire team partners and other members of the section would commonly help spread the two section light machine gunners load by carrying extra belt boxes of ammunition for them in their utility pouches.

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