A bandoleer is typically a piece of fabric fashioned into several pouches or pockets and designed to hold spare ammunition or magazines. The original M16 bandoleers had 7 pockets, each designed to hold either 2 stripper clips of ammo or a 20-round magazine. Newer bandoleers have 4 pockets, each holding 3 stripper clips and having a pull-string sewed two-thirds of the way down the bandoleer. This string can be pulled out to open up the bottom of the pockets, allowing the longer 30-round magazines to be stored. Inside each pocket is a cardboard sleeve designed to keep the ammo from rattling around and to make it easier to remove the loaded stripper clips from the pockets. Also included is a stripper clip guide (spoon), which is usually stored in one of the end pockets, and a safety pin. The safety pin can be used to adjust the length or configuration of the bandoleer's carrying strap, or can be used to pin the stripper guide to the outside of the bandoleer or some other convenient place.
Military ammo is often issued in bandoleers for field/combat use.
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