Elasticated Osprey SA80 Magazine Pouch

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:imageThe 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:imageThis allows it to be easily pulled aside to withdraw a magazine:imageThe 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:imageOther features of the pouch are pretty conventional, with a metal grommet at the base to allow excess water to be drained away:imageAnd MOLLE straps on the rear allowing it to be securely attached to the Osprey body armour cover:imageLike 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’:imageOne 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.

One comment

  1. As a Para (’58 and ’90 webbing era), I was taught ALWAYS to load mags into pouches mouth of magazine UPWARDS. Protects the rounds/mags better, you can see (even in dim lighting) at a glance how many charged mags you have and the mag is in the hand correctly orientated for quick loading. I do not believe anyone in ANY army can be that moronic and amateurish as to fit mags the other way. If this retardedness was in the manual, it just goes to show that it sometimes needs to be filed in the waste paper basket…

    With SLR and damaged Colt (5.56mm) mags, there could be a tendency for the mag baseplate to unfasten. If the mag is upside-down, as you open the pouch, the baseplate gets pinged off into the air and potentially lost. If the mag is correctly placed in the pouch, the baseplate remains in the pouch, no kit lost.

    As you crawl through dust/mud/etc, any dust and dirt that get into the pouches end up at the bottom of the pouch: if you have your mags in upside-down, your rounds get fouled up. Stoppages and/or delay cleaning – which can be fatal.

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