Fitted Rifle Magazine Pouch: Design Updates

Form follows function.

Nowhere are form and function more intertwined and integral to the design than in Down Range Gear’s Fitted Magazine Pouch line. The pouches are minimalist and clean because passive retention is built into the design.

A key characteristic of these pouches is that they work equally well on a vest platform as on a belt. It might be more desireable to cut a pouch higher for a vest, and lower for belt carry.  Giving the customer confidence about purchasing a single pouch to fill both rolls is part of the versatility of the Fitted Magazine Pouches.

Two critical considerations factored into the design were in how much of the magazine the pouch covered and how much physical space the pouch occupies.

Until very recently, the Fitted Rifle Magazine Pouch only came in one size. As experience was gained manipulating the design, it became obvious that the pouch was cut higher than necessary. Trials were conducted in removing excess material and three distinctive profiles have emerged: Mid Cut, Low Cut and Speed Cut.

The Mid Cut magazine pouch covers approximately 4 1/2″ of the magazine. The highest cut pouch in the line giving the magazine a little farther to travel before it can be removed, this would be best put to use on a vest, balancing good retention with easy access. The Mid Cut magazine pouch measures only 2 3/4″ across the base and supports a 4 row PALS grid for MOLLE compatibility.

The Low Cut magazine pouch covers approximately 4″ of the magazine. Exposing more of the magazine allows the user to index and remove it faster while still providing plenty of coverage for good retention. This pouch would be a good choice for either vest or belt carry. The backer is only 2 3/4″ wide and supports a 3 row PALS grid for MOLLE compatibility.

For size comparison purposes, readers may find it useful to use the grooves molded onto Magpul PMags for visual reference.

The Speed Cut magazine pouch was designed with belt carry specifically in mind and covers just 3″ of the magazine. The backer is 3″ wide and supports 3 rows of MOLLE compatible PALS webbing. The fit around the magazine is intentionally tight so that there is a minimal tradeoff sacrificing coverage for retention. Combined with either the MALICE Clip Belt Stabilizer or the PALS Belt Platform Lite, speed and retention compare favorably with molded polymer magazine holders.

All Down Range Gear Fitted Rifle Magazine Pouches utilize Tactical Tailor MALICE Clips as the primary means of attachment to a PALS grid. All also feature a thin piece of plastic imbedded into the front wall of the pouch to keep it from collapsing inward when reinserting the magazine. This is crucial to the function of the magazine because building a pouch this tight (for retention) wouldn’t work without that internal, semi rigid support  to allow magazine reinsertion under very close tolerances.

The Fitted Rifle Magazine pouches are designed to stretch slightly when a magazine is inserted. This is why the ridges of the PMag are visible through the sides of the pouch. While the pouch will conform to the shape of the magazine, it does not set. The Cordura fabric (double layered and laminated) combined with the structure of the pouch tend to retain it’s original fit, so it won’t “break in” and lose retention properties over time. All Fitted Magazine pouches are carefully tested and hand fit to balance retention and fast access before they are shipped to the customer. Retention can be adjusted after the fact to make all the pouches tighter simply by adding an extra line of stitching along the edge to close the pouch inward around the magazine.

What comes after? The next phase in the Fitted Rifle Magazine Pouch is already in early prototype phase…

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1 comment
  1. Are these horizontal fed? IF so, I’d like to buy some fitted ones for M4 mags just like you have displayed here. Also I’d prefer these to be strap and snap fed ones suited for the MOLLE system. Do they come in digital acu camo? I’ve been looking everywhere for 3 mag horizontal fed mag carriers/pouches/holsters for my tac vest (flicks) Ones just like this that are open slotted and sideways for faster/easier mag changes. Help me end my search.

    Thanks, Joe

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