Continuing our survey of the British Army Osprey system, tonight we are looking at a pouch for a single SA80 Magazine. You might recall that last year we looked at a single mag pouch here. That example had a top flap secured with Velcro. Tonight’s example differs in being secured with elastic:The idea of the elastic is that it makes a magazine quicker to withdraw from the pouch in an emergency. A large fabric tab is secured to the top of the elastic:This allows it to be easily pulled aside to withdraw a magazine:The elastic holds the magazine in place and stops in rattling around, it is also far quieter to open the pouch if needed than the ripping noise that opening a large piece of Velcro creates. A plastic spring toggle is fitted to allow the tension on the elastic to be adjusted:Other features of the pouch are pretty conventional, with a metal grommet at the base to allow excess water to be drained away:And MOLLE straps on the rear allowing it to be securely attached to the Osprey body armour cover:Like all these pouches, this one was introduced as an urgent operational requirement so does not have an NSN number on the label, but just ‘NIV’ for ‘Not in Vocab’:One soldier describes what it is like to use these pouches in the field:
Used these on the last HERRICK they were excellent, the major advantage was the speed in which mags could be deployed. The current teaching is business end up on mags to stop the lips on the mag being bent when the webbing is placed down. The old NI sketch of mags down to stop ammo loss isn’t a drama any more, if someone misplaces rounds we just give them some more.
Another user cautioned that whilst it was quicker to withdraw a magazine, it took longer to replace an empty:
They are great for working from wagons, and your mag changes will be that little bit faster. However, its handy to buy a dump pouch for your empties as although you can pull your mag faster, it takes a little longer to replace your empty into the pouch.