Monday, March 1, 2010

Tactical Tailor 3-Mag 5.56 Pouch

The Basics

Dimensions: 7.5" tall x 2.5" wide x 3" deep 
Weight: 4.5 oz. with MALICE clips
Retention of contents: Flap with Velcro, bungee around the body
Attachment: 2x long MALICE clips (included)
PALS usage: 2 channels wide
TT website description: The Three Mag 5.56 Pouch is designed to hold three 30 round 5.56 magazines. Features include an adjustable hook and loop secured top flap and a bungee cinch system to keep mags from rattling. Constructed from 1000 Denier Cordura nylon with a double ply lining for extra durability.
Price at time of this writing: US$24.00
Available colors at time of this writing: Coyote Brown, Olive Drab, Black, Multicam, ACU, Ranger Green, MARPAT Woodland
Web page:

Pouch Central Overview
The 3-Mag 5.56 Pouch is a pouch which (for lack of a fancier description) holds three 5.56 M4 magazines.  Retention is accomplished via a flap with Velcro closure as well as a bungee cord that can be tightened to prevent mags from rattling when only two mags are present.  The pouch is attached to your gear via two long MALICE clips, which are included.  The width of the pouch is a true two channels with no overlap, so you can mount two pouches side-by-side across four channels.

Click images for full-size views

The pouch is made of 1000 denier Cordura nylon that's coated with a water repellent.  The interior is a black vinyl-coated polyester that improves durability and also provides some slickness to aid in removing items from the pouch.    A drainage grommet is included at the bottom.

Left: Vinyl coating for durability and slickness
Right: Bottom of pouch with drainage grommet

Hook velcro on the underside of the flap

The photo above shows the pouch flap with hook Velcro on the underside.  It provides a generous contact patch for keeping the flap anchored.  The end of the flap has a downward-facing pull tab on the end (which I unfortunately cut out of the frame in this picture, but you can see it in the other photos) that aids in lifting the flap, especially when you're wearing gloves.  The flap can be folded inside the pouch behind the magazines if desired.

The pouch fits three USGI mags comfortably but snugly.  (I did not have PMAGs to test.)  With the bungee cord tightened down over three mags there's enough friction to provide decent retention even with the flap open.  In order to test how good the retention is without the flap, I first removed one mag and tightened the bungee enough to prevent the two remaining mags from rattling. I then re-inserted the third mag.  With the flap open, I turned the pouch upside down and tried shaking the mags out.  I couldn't get the mags to fall out on their own, even with energetic shaking.  However, the mag will come out with a deliberate pull, as you would do when reloading.  This is similar to the level of friction retention I've observed with TT's 5.56 shingles.

With only two mags in the pouch there are a couple of options to keep them from rattling.  One is just to pull the flap down a little lower to snug the mags together. You can also use the bungee.  Since the cord lock requires two hands to set, it makes sense to set it up in advance to prevent two mags from rattling.  After doing this you can still insert a third mag and your pouch is now ready to go.

While this pouch is designed for standard mags, the flap is long enough to accommodate three magazines with ranger plates.  However, this limits the hook/loop contact area to about 1cm vertically so that's something to consider if you're relying on the flap to retain the mags in case of any violent motion.  This is an area where I'd like to see TT make a change by lengthening the flap so that you can carry mags with Ranger Plates without compromising retention.

 Flap secured over three 5.56 mags 
with Ranger Plates

Note that if you use the old-style Magpul loops that slip over the magazine body, you won't be able to fit more than two mags in this pouch due to the extra width added by the Magpul loops.

Finally, this pouch can also serve as a water bottle carrier in pinch.  It's perfectly sized to carry a 1 pint water bottle, either with the flap closed or folded into the pouch behind the bottle.

At the time of this writing the Zipper Utility is offered in Coyote Brown, Olive Drab, Black, Multicam, ACU, Ranger Green and MARPAT Woodland but check the product page for the current color selection.  The pouch pictured here is the older Tan color, which has been replaced by the slightly darker Coyote Brown.

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