4th Pattern 58 Pattern Ammunition Pouch

Although PLCE webbing had been introduced in the mid-1980s, many units continued to use the older 58 pattern webbing well into the 1990s and around 1989 an updated pattern of basic pouch was introduced for the set. This change finally deleted the bayonet loops and Energa launcher pouches form the sides of the pouches, neither of which was being used by troops at this point. Quite how the Energa launcher pouch survived this long is unclear but the side pocket had long been used for other purposes, such as carry a knife, fork and spoon set. This final pattern of pouch is often referred to as the Mk 4 pattern by collectors, but as far as I can ascertain this was never an official British Army designation and ‘Mk3 Modified’ might be more appropriate. Tonight we are taking a look at right hand ammunition pouch:imageThe most obvious feature to note here is the plain side to the pouch, with no little pocket sewn on:imageThere is also no sign of a pocket ever having been sewn on, so it has not been simply taken off, but rather was manufactured like this. The other features of the pouch remain the same, so the same quick release tab fastener is used:imageAnd the belt hooks are set at an angle like the Mk 3 pouches:imageThe maker’s marks, store codes and date are faintly stamped on the rear indicating this dates to 1989:imageThe early 1990s guide to the 58 pattern webbing that when packing the webbing the soldier should insert:

Magazines into the ammunition pouches along with grenades if they are carried, and the tool roll, then secure the pouches.

Apparently it was typical to carry two 20 round SLR magazines (or equally it could be SA80 magazines by the time this pouch was produced) and the cleaning kit for the rifle in the right hand pouch.

This then brings an end to this little look at some 58 pattern webbing components. Next week however we will take a look at some of the different prescribed ways of actually wearing the web set.

One comment

  1. A few weeks before I was issued PLCE, I was issued one of these in a stores exchange. I had a double take ’cause something looked odd about it but I didn’t instantly realise what it was! I was somewhat miffed ’cause I now had nowhere to store my ratpack “Mars Bar” for rapid deployment (it easily melts in a pocket)…

    It took a while for me to work out WHY the MoD produced this 4th variant: SA80 issue was typically rolled out BEFORE troops received PLCE. These pouches were for soldiers using the SA80 in the interim period before PLCE was fully issued right across the forces.

    The matching left pouch has no bayonet “frog”. There was a fastex type belt clip used with the 1982 trials set (exceedingly rare) that was supposed to be fitted onto the ’58 belt.

    Incidentally, one of the problems with using the standard “mark” system is that the MoD – in their infinitely erratic wisdom – sometimes called the trials (and partial issue) Pattern 1972 “Pattern 1975”. In 1975/6, they had produced a second trials set which most collectors call “Pattern 1975” (or 1976, I can’t recall) – but which the MoD called “Pattern 1958 Mk2”. The latter is the version of ’58 webbing in nylon.

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