Tell me how you carry rifle magazines and why?


March 17, 2008, 10:01 PM
I think it's just silly to own a rifle like an AR-15 or PTR91 if you have no way to carry magazines...I was ridiculed at Glock Talk for asking this question, so I hope that does not happen here. They told me I need a pouch for my tinfoil hat.:rolleyes:

Anyways, tell us how you carry rifle magazines. Bandolier, vest, chest rig, web gear, drop down thigh rig, backpack, cargo pockets? Why?

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March 17, 2008, 10:03 PM
when in the woods, mag is in the gun ;)
Where else whould it be?

March 17, 2008, 10:05 PM
Carry them where? To the range? I'll put them in my range bag. SHTF? I'm boarding my house up. The competitive shooters who work with AR platforms will have better answers for you I am sure.

I'd look into a chest rig if I were looking.

March 17, 2008, 10:06 PM
No we're talking about extra magazines. You know, like for 3 gun competition or the like.

March 17, 2008, 10:11 PM
OK when lugging around extra ammo, or when I am on an extended stay outside I would normally find a spot in my backpack, I am pretty sure this would not work for any tactical or competitive situation. But it works for getting small game.

March 17, 2008, 10:17 PM
I have a chest full of original mag pouches for all my military type guns (AK, PPSh, M-16, FAL, M14) . It's more a collector thing but I will use them to transport mags to the range.

March 17, 2008, 10:37 PM
Cannonball, what method do you prefer? Chest rigs, web gear, vests...?

March 17, 2008, 10:49 PM
You could wear cargo pants and drop spare mags in one of the big pockets. Personally, the Russians will need to invade before I see a need to dig my old Army web gear out of my basement. Might need to adjust the belt out a little...

Mr White
March 17, 2008, 10:55 PM
Everyone here wears tac vests. :)

I shoot high power so I just set my spare mags on the ground next to my shooting position.

March 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
There are numerous choices for mag pouches and carriers.

I've tried all types and methods. One method does not fit all.

I carry my tinfoil in the cabinet next to the sink. That way I always know where to find it if I think they are listening.

March 17, 2008, 11:01 PM
I have a MAV vest from tactical tailor that i bought for Iraq, like it so much that I guess I'd use it for other times as well, 4 mag pouches that hold three mags each, plus two of the large utility pouches that you can stuff more mags as well. When I was in Iraq I had one mag in the rifle and 14 in the pouches. worked good, not sure if I'd want to lug that weight around without a ballistic vest under it to distribute the load better.

March 17, 2008, 11:04 PM
Carpenters nail pouch, pockets. I usually don't carry that much ammo or many large-cap mags when I go shoot in the hayfield.

March 17, 2008, 11:09 PM
My trunk gun is a Universal carbine kept in a soft case. On the outside of the case is a velcro pocket containing a 15 round magazine full of Remmy soft point ammo. In a dual magazine pouch on the buttstock are two more mags full of the same. If I need more than that, I'm in the wrong zombie movie. :rolleyes:

March 17, 2008, 11:23 PM
My wife has the assault vest, I don't. Seriously! I took the removable double rifle mag pouch from it, (she likes the pistol holster there for her PCR - seriously!!), and slipped an old Natural Gear camoflauged belt through it, and a nylon strap the other way, and made it into an ersatz chest pouch, hold 4 20 round Mini-14 mags.
It works.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 18, 2008, 12:06 AM
For classes or 3-gun, I have a chest rig (Rhodesian style MOLLE) with 7 mags on it.

For some 3-gun or casual use I carry a single spare mag in my left rear pocket and a mag in the rifle. This works suprisingly well as long as you clean the lint/junk out of your pocket (no rifle likes having lint shoved into the chamber).

For the range, I have mag pouches on the carry case and extra mags in the range bag.

March 18, 2008, 12:15 AM
Do you guys find that the chest rigs put too much weight out front?

Zak Smith
March 18, 2008, 12:44 AM
Most 3-Gun match stages will not require more than 3 30-round magazines-- and most of them only need 2. I have three blade-tech belt mag pouches so this use. If I need more on a particularly long stage, I'll throw an extra one in my back pocket or left-hand front pants pocket. The only multi-gun match that required more than 5/6 mags in one string was the ITRC (search archives for match report), and my shooting partner carried 20+ mags for that portion and handed me a new one when I was out.

March 18, 2008, 12:46 AM
Are soldiers allowed to wear pretty much anything they want as far as vests and chest rigs go?

Or would that depend on the unit commander and that kind of thing?

Elm Creek Smith
March 18, 2008, 01:09 AM
I roll them up and stick them in my back pocket unless I leave them in the truck. I carry lots of stripper clips for the Mosin-Nagant in all my vest pockets. :D


March 18, 2008, 04:46 AM

March 18, 2008, 05:07 AM
Shooting Highpower Rifle matches, I use an Eagle Industries Rifle Case with five pockets. The night before the match I load the five magazines I am going to use and put them in the pockets on the outside of the case. The first pocket gets the two round magazine, the second an eight round. That's enough for the sitting rapid fire string at 200. (ten rounds in 60 seconds with a magazine change.) The next pocket gets a two round and the fourth pocket an eight round for the 300 rapid prone string. The final pocket gets my single round slow fire magazine for the 200 standing and 600 slow fire stages. In the nose bag I put two extra stripper clips of ten rounds, one for standing and an extra. My 600 yardline ammo is in a separate box. The two round mags in pockets one and three have two sighting rounds REVERSED on the top of each mag.

Empty mags go back in their pockets when the string is done.

I'm the current Texas Highpower Rifle champion. I used my AR15 to win the Ike Lee Trophy last year. It's less than a month until the next Championship. I certainly have enjoyed winning that Championship.

For Infantry Trophy, (Youtube search for TSRA Infantry Trophy) I load a SAW magazine pouch with six 30 round magazines and one 20 rounder. I supply a three man team with ammo for that match. I also have the fire plan. We are very competitive in Infantry Trophy.

For Urban Warfare, I stay home and look out the window with a single shot rifle and a box of handloads.

March 18, 2008, 08:13 AM
There are these really neat, over the shoulder, with belt loops sort of mag pouches at Sportsmans guide for the HK G3 mags. Holds 5 magazines and works just fine for me.

I resist the whole "tactical" look with the drop holster and all that. I'm a civilian and don't really care to play GI Joes for real. Hence my choice in mag pouch.

March 18, 2008, 09:12 AM
I don't like the look of the civilian "tac vests" too much (I shoot with a lot of military guys and some of the cheaper vests seem to shout "poser" to me). One of the nicer khaki vests, I'd like, but it's not a financial priority.

When shooting USPSA rifle with my AK, I have a cheap drop-leg UTG 2-pouch deal; I shortened the suspension strap so that it rides high, fairly close to the belt. AK mags are HEAVY, so I only put one mag per pouch (usually 20's), and can still run and such without getting beat up by the mags.

If I need to tote more mags around at the range or whatever, I have a Warsaw Pact milsurp 4-mag belt pouch that I put a shoulder strap on and wear across the body, with the strap on the strong side and the pouch against my hip on the weak side.

For AR magazines, I'd probably pick up one of those 3-mag milsurp belt pouches that the army-navy store sells for like $10.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 18, 2008, 10:03 AM
Do you guys find that the chest rigs put too much weight out front?

They certainly can if you load them that way. IMO, seven mags is pushing the limit, especially if you carry other gear on the chest rig and don't have any counterbalance in the back. With seven mags, my lower back will be feeling it after a three-day class.

As others have noted, you can carry a bit more if you are running armor or something that distributes the load a little better underneath the chest rig. You can also carry more if you have weight in back to balance the rig (like a Camelbak).

March 18, 2008, 10:04 AM
Well......when I go to the range, I stuff all my magazines into a backpack. And when I'm shooting, I set them on the table next to me.

March 18, 2008, 10:10 AM
I think it's just silly to own a rifle like an AR-15 or PTR91 if you have no way to carry magazines

I could not agree more. What's the point of having a fighting rifle if you don't have the necessary equipment to bring more ammo to the fight? That said, I don't think that having a bunch of tactical equipment is really all that necessary. I just use milsurp OD mag pouches and a web belt for my AR15 mags. It's economical and it works.

March 18, 2008, 11:15 AM
Andrewsky: In my unit we were allowed pretty much anything, and from the looks of other units over in Iraq the same went for them.

like I said, I have a tactical tailor vest along with a couple other guys, a few had blackhawk vests, some used the issued vests and others just mounted there pouches directly to their body armor. I personally had my pistol and my LMF (that big knife from gerber) attached directly to my armor and everything else attached to the MAV vest, I used a camelbak once on a cordon and search but it popped climbing back into the hmmwv so I just carried water bottles from that point on.

March 18, 2008, 06:49 PM
When I was there, I think I had a few rolling around in the bottom of my tool box. Yea, they were right next to the nut drivers, I remember now, I kept having to shove them out of the way when ever I needed the 10mm.:D

Bartholomew Roberts
March 18, 2008, 07:20 PM
The nice thing about a chest rig (from a 3-gun perspective), is that all the mags (and dump pouch) are right where they need to be for efficient movement.

The downside is that most MOLLE-compatible pouches are slow-enough that an open-top Kydex pouch on a belt may still be faster.

Eventually someone will make an open-top kydex pouch that is MOLLE mounted; but still holds mags securely. I think this product would dominate 3-gun because you have the same speed as the belt pouch; but less movement is necessary.

March 18, 2008, 08:15 PM
I shot 3 gun one summer, coming up on 2 years ago. I did the heavy division 'cus it's what I had. 1911, M1 and a 1300. Now I did not know how long I was going to do this so not much money was made available to accessories. I used my traditional belt mag pouches for up to 5 1911 mags, had my loving Mom make a chest "pouch" for the 6 M1 clips and had a chunk of 2x4 (wood) drilled that accepted 8 12 ga. slugs and a but cuff for 5 more shells.

Looked goofy but was cheap and effective. Real men wear wood on there hip anyway..............:)


March 18, 2008, 08:57 PM
South African canvas dual-mag pouch (or 2) on my belt at the range. If I need a pouch with 3 mags, I go for a Spec Ops pouch.

March 18, 2008, 10:43 PM
For 3 Gun, I will usually carry 1 for the Ar, and 2 in a 2 pocket mag pouch on a duty type belt. I will also have a dump pouch for mag changes, and also a spare 20 round pouch next to the Glock (required to carry side arm all day at the match I attend).

My son in Iraq last year. He prefered the chest pouches. With ammo and armor plates and hydration full, the vest weighed around 70 pounds. I have a pic somewhere of his vest sitting on the floor of his room over there, but I can't find it.

March 18, 2008, 11:36 PM
For me I just carry one spare mag on the butstock of the rifle in .223. If I had a .30 carbine the standard twin mag pouch would work just fine for me.

April 10, 2008, 01:42 AM
I'm thinking about ordering an Eagle TAC V1 N vest from Eagle for $150:

Are these outdated?

April 10, 2008, 02:06 AM
Well, I've sure got a hobo-tactical approach...

I've got this old camera "scabbard" with a belt loop on it (but, no camera... go figure) it fits two 30-round AR mags, two 30-round AK mags (but won't close) or fourteen 12GA shotshells. works great in the woods.

Anything that needs more ammo than that, I bring some old webgear.

April 10, 2008, 02:14 AM
Sportscoat/suit jacket - seems to hold mags just fine, for short periods, anyhow. How tactical is seersucker? :p

April 10, 2008, 07:32 AM
I bought a 3-30rd mag thigh pouch from AIM I think it was and really like it. Honestly, the only reason I was buying it at first was it was only like $10, looke pretty conveniant and solid, and I needed to add a little extra to my order for some reason or another for a price break or something (I forget the exact deal). Turned out it really IS pretty handy, solid, and actually a pretty comfortable way to carry 3 full mags and not really feel at all like I'm getting pulled to the side or anything. The flap has a LOT of pretty strong velcro too, so I think you'd be hard pressed to get them to spill out. It is a bit "tacticool"/"mall ninja-ish" looking, but I have to say, for $10 it works really well, and with the weight on my thigh instead of somewhere else, I just dont really feel it. Plus, if you really did need access to 3 extra mag fast, they are right there by just letting your arm drop, instead of having to reach towards your chest, backpack, (NO LEO or combat experiance, so I dont know if it really matters in actuality or not, just seems logical to me)etc.I admit the odds of the average Joe like me being invovled a scenario where I need 3 mags fast is slim at best, but since its just and added "just in case" bonus to the confort, price, and conveniance, I figured why not?

Besides, it make me look cool, and I need all the help I can get! :D

30 cal slob
April 10, 2008, 07:47 AM
if you're just at the range or taking a class, a few blade tech mag pouches on your belt work just fine.

having said that, i can see the advantages of having a chest rig - either vest or similarly outfitted armor carrier. i think 3 AR mags and 2 pistol mags is all i can fit on the latter.

p.s. tactical tailor makes a very nice drop bag.

April 10, 2008, 07:51 AM
I use pouches on a web belt or a surplus tactical vest when in field and carrying my AR or Mini14. For pistols I use the web belt and surplus mag pouches for the .45ACP; for revolvers I carry speed loaders or speed strips in pockets.

I keep my tinfoil hat on a roll in a drawer in the center island of the kitchen.

April 10, 2008, 09:32 AM
One in the magwell, one in a buttstock pouch and one in a belt pouch ( I can't envision a situation were 90 rounds of 5.56 or 60 rounds of 7.62 won't do the job.

I tuck some tinfoil in the buttstock compartment in case I need to make an expedient hat in the field.

To carry mags to the range, I use a 50cal ammo can or a milsurp canvas butt pack. They can double as a Q&D rest for sighting in.

April 10, 2008, 11:39 AM
In response to the setup of rigs over here, i believe most (not all) commanders believe in letting you customize your gear.

While most have a similar job (ie convoy security, patrols, etc) everyone is specialized. The gunner in the Humvee needs a different setup than the driver, considering range of motion and equipment. The only standard we had was at least 3 mags (convoy security, getting out of trucks was a truly SHTF scenario) and med-pouch on left side for everyone. Other than that, feel free to personalize.

Me? One mag in weapon, 3 mags on chest, one in mag pouch on weapon.

Competition? I'd probably just pull out my MOLLE web-gear. We got issued the new high-speed vest before we left, and with a general-purpose pouch thrown in the mix for the random bit (cigarettes, oil, loose rounds, etc), and a camel-bak (also thanks to uncle sam) I'm set. The magazines are put into a cargo pocket.

Whatever works for you. If it ain't comfortable and workable, you arn't going to use it.

April 10, 2008, 01:40 PM
I just use that old green cotton 7 pocket pouch that came packed in the 5.56 ammo cans works fine for me and you can't beat the price

April 11, 2008, 08:45 PM
I think I'm just going to get an H-Harness for my web gear. I don't like the Y-Harness. It cuts into my neck too much.

Chuck R.
April 12, 2008, 12:44 PM
I bought a SKD chest rig a while ago for a class and matches. At $79 it's on the low end of the cost spectrum, but it's pretty functional, and well made:

This chest rig is simply one of the greatest values on the market today, and meets the needs of professional and civilian users alike for a simple and effective way to carry up to 8 M4 magazines, 4 pistol magazines, and other nefarious essentials. This rig also features a storage and mag compartment, grommets on all pouches, and fully adjustable retention flaps on the outer pouches, making it ideal for a pistol holster. Each pouch will hold 1x M14 magazine, or 1x AK-47 magazine, making it a truly universal setup.


April 12, 2008, 05:32 PM
We were forbidden to carry anything not issued and not put together under unit Standard Operating Proceedures,

Two reasons were that:

1. If someone else needed your stuff worse than you did or you needed theirs they could no longer use everyone knew where everything was and how all the pouches worked.

2. Wearing anything different made you looke different than everyone else and so like a higher value target to someone paying attention.

Both reasons make sense actually.

That said I made use of my left breat pocket (blouse, jacket, or armor)to hold a 20rd M-6A1 mag (loaded to 18)were issue) and right cargo pants pocket in addition to the regular pouches.

At a recent "tacticool" match I used my pockets to hold M-1 Carbine 15 round mags though with a 30 stuffed in the left hip pocket in case I had magazine failures. We were required to do three mag changes so this worked fine.

For a carbine class about two years back with an AR-180 (classic not "B")I used a GI 3 mag pouch for M-16 30 rounders on the left side of yea olde US GI circa 1973 Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) and an older canvas pouch for 20s on the other hip and caddied a 20 rounder in the blouse pocket for old times sake.

My most used magazine holder is a small cardboard box in the closet my safe is in........

We were Soldiers Once and less fat and more limber and had more hair even with a GI crew cut.....

-Bob Hollingsworth

April 12, 2008, 05:59 PM
AR mags i put in my back pocket.

April 12, 2008, 06:05 PM
I use a Bladetech paddle mag pouch, it works great for my use.

April 12, 2008, 07:07 PM
Varies - hunting I mostly use Steyr Scouts with a buttstock mag well.

For practical use I have a belt pouch for the AR in leather to match plainclothes handgun carry gear - mostly to have a handy place to carry a magazine while the rifle is empty in transit or meetings.

For fun I wear 5-11 vests as daily wear shoot me first vests and to carry everything I tote around anyway.

The harder question for me is what do about a dump pouch - not going to swap a magazine back into an elastic strap in a carry pocket and the intended dump pouch is likely to have spare eyeglasses or such in it.

April 12, 2008, 07:36 PM
I can't find it on their website, but Cheaper Than Dirt has a black canvas zippered bag with carrying handles, a shoulder strap, and a total of 6 external flap puches which perfectly fit 30-rd AR mags.

It rides in between the front seats of my patrol car, carrying 4 30rd mags, 2 boxes each of 12ga 00 and slugs, 2 bottles of water, a pair of kneepads, a pair of small binos, and a camouflage veil.

Easy as pie to grab that, sling it over your shoulder, and grab either the AR or the 870 out of the rack on the way out the door.

April 12, 2008, 07:39 PM
In the woods, the one mag I need is in the rifle. The times where it's an informal shooting range trip, I have a mag in the rifle and a spare in the back pocket that doesn't have my wallet in it--this way, I can shoot for longer without going back to the truck to get more ammo/load up magazines.

If I had an A2 setup (thinking about it), I'd go with something similar to DMK's rig. Since I have a 6-pos, I might just buy one of those dual belt-pouches in addition to the back pocket method.

April 13, 2008, 01:28 AM
for work, i use a high speed gear plate carrier, and for personal use ie training/ active shooter etc. i use a blackwater comberbun plate carrier, with mag pouches for ar, and pistol mags etc.

April 13, 2008, 01:47 AM
My AR is mostly used as my house gun as opposed to any sort of competition, and so I bought one of these:

It seems to work, and I can't imagine many scenarios where 50 rounds on board wouldn't be enough...

April 13, 2008, 01:56 AM
I use a Maxpedition dump pouch on a Bianchi 7210 duty belt. As the description says, it's sized perfectly to hold 7 thirty rnd mags.

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