SADF Rifle Grenade Pouch

During the Bush Wars, the South African Defence Force used the AP-65 rifle grenade. A rifle grenade fits over the muzzle of a rifle and is launched with a blank catridge, allowing it to be fired over much greater distances than a man can throw a similarly sized grenade. It was a cheap and effective way of giving a small force a ‘multiplier’ without having to carry heavy mortars around or being supported by artillery- particularly important in the sparse South African and Namibian bush.

The AP-65 was a long thin projectile, with fins on its base and a bulbous head which housed the explosives:

The harness issued to carry these had the capacity for two rifle grenades, housed in a pair of long and thin pouches:

These were worn around the neck, with an adjustable neck strap being provided:

The pouches were designed to be worn down either side of the chest, with spring clips at the bottom to clip onto the matching D-Rings on the waist belt of the 1970 pattern webbing set:

To help provide some stability, a pair of straps are fitted to secure the pouches across the chest:

The pouches themselves are simple, long thin webbing containers with a box-lid:

The lids secure with a simple piece of Velcro:

These pouches do not seem to have been popular, adding extra weight and complexity to the webbing system when the rifle grenades could just as easily be carried in the other pouches of the 1970 Pattern set. Photographs of them are rare, however they can be seen in this image which was likely taken at an Air Force base in the 1980s in South West Africa:

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