What features would you guys consider to create the "perfect" mag pouch?
I don't think there is one perfect magpouch, since there are different needs for different folks.
Open topped mag pouches are nice, but is there a need to have 8+ mags in open topped pouches? If so, maybe you need a belt-fed gun instead.
Closed topped mag pouches that completely cover the ammo (like USGI issue ALICE mag pouches) are great for keeping the dirt and crap off the mag, but are they comfortable or easy to get into? Some say no.
You also have to consider the retention of the magazine...will hold the magazine securely if I jumped out of an airplane? Will it be easy to get a hold of the magazine in a hurry? Etc.
Now, qualities I like to see in my mag pouches (and I'm no combat trooper) is that there should be:
- easy to get the mag in and out of (one handed operation is included)
- sturdy construction
- fits on my belt or MOLLE gear
- doesn't require me to look down and take my eyes off my sector in order to retrieve a magazine
- can be repaired in the field...for example, mag pouches that close with snaps or velcro only mean that when the rivet on the snap breaks or the snap pulls free from the nylon or the velcro is gunked up with mud, that I can still use the pouch to hold my mags by a simple field repair.
Tactical Tailor is one company that seems to have this last idea in mind. If you look at the 3x 30rd AR magpouch, you'll see that it uses MALICE clips which, if they fail, can be replaced in the field by the soldier himself. If no clips are available, then zipties work well too. If the velcro closure fails, then there is the shock cord to hold the mags in the pouch. If the shock cord fails, then it can be replaced more easily than sewn bands of elastic.
On other pouches, you'll notice that the male end of the side release buckle is on the free end, since it is more likely to break than the female end. Some companies make it easier for the soldier himself to replace the side release buckle completely since the female end isn't sewn down.
Now, after all my hot air here, here is what I like to run:
one open topped magazine pouch, with retention like what TT uses with shock cord, or what Custom Tactical Creations uses (lacing system). This single mag is my speed reload. It only gets used if I have to reload in the open or I am completely out of ammo and transitioning to pistol isn't practical (beyond 25 yds).
two or more 2x 30 round magazine pouches. These should cover the mag enough to prevent mud or dirt from getting all over them. I like 2x over 3x because they don't stick out as far, and I haven't had the need to have more than 4 or 5 magazines at any one time. I shoot mainly competitions (carbine and 3-gun) and if in combat, I'm screwed if I'm by myself playing rambo.
It looks cool to be able to carry 12x rifle magazines on your second line, but dang, when you add up the water, first aid supplies, food and all other things soldiers have to carry (crew served ammo, etc), then that's a lot of weight.
As always, YMMV.
Yeah, TT's mag pouches are nice AND well priced, too