The minimi can take a number of different belt holding boxes and pouches and in British service several different patterns saw use. We have considered the fabric belt pouches, in both DPM and AUSCAM, on the blog previously, however these were of relatively small capacity. For larger ammunition capacity, plastic ammunition boxes were available that could hold 200 rounds and it is one of those we are considering today. The ammunition box is made of olive green plastic and it generally rectangular in shape, but with a distinctive angled corner:
The box is accessed through a removable lid at the end, which is secured with plastic clips on either side of it:
Attached to the side of the box are the mounting points that allow the box to be attached to the gun:
In British service, it seems that the soft 100 round pouches were most commonly used, however the larger 200 round boxes were issued and did see some service, but were perhaps less popular due to their size and weight and it was almost certainly easier to carry two 100 round pouches than a single 200 round box in most cases. Here we can see a British Army minigunner and the box magazine is clearly visible although covered with a healthy layer of dust and grime:
The minimi has largely been withdrawn from British service now as tactics and squad structures have changed although it is still to be found in a small number of units. The minimi filled a need for overwhelming, short range fire power in a package that could be easily carried. Its 5.56mm round was not as powerful as a 7.62mm, however this was balanced by the much reduced weight of the ammunition that allowed a lot more rounds could be carried and as a suppressive weapon at short to medium range it was an excellent and well liked weapon. The weapon continues to see service with dozens of militaries including both the US and Australia.