This post was inspired by the gentle admonishment I received from J.C. Dodge (check out J.C’s Blog here.) discussing load outs at the North Carolina PATCON. J.C. was right on the money with his advice. He and I were were talking about how much ammo we would carry and/or how many loaded mags was prudent when away from one’s AO. I had only a few mags with my AR, and when I offered him this fact as an example, his eyes almost imperceptibly widened a bit and he said (and I’m paraphrasing here, “Dude, a good rule of thumb is to have an extra mag for each hour away from your AO you’re going above your basic load.” Which equated to 12 extra magazines on top of my basic load out. (That’s 19 mags total. With the surplus pouch below, it’d be easy to carry them unobtrusivley as well.)
Good point; advice taken. Thanks again, J.C..
Which brings me to the point of this post: Carrying your ammo in your ruck. Up until recently, I was carrying 420 rounds in bandoleers on stripper clips with a spoon pinned to each bandoleer. Just like back in the day, except my bandoleers are in a MACS waterproof bag.
Problem: Even though the ammo is much more easy to load into empty mags, the time necessary to load the mags might not be available, situation dependent.
Solution: Load into mags, and put the mags into the ruck.
Problem: Storage and carry.
Storage/Carry Solution (H/T to Whiskey Delta): Surplus bandoleers from $5 to $10 each that carry 6 magazines each.
Why? Because they are somewhat flexible in that you can form them to other things in your ruck, and they have shoulder straps, so if you’re in an all-fired hurry to unass the current AO, grab the sraps, pull out of the ruck, and if you carry two of these, you’re now toting 12 extra FULL ready to use magazines.
Remember, you’re not ‘snooping and pooping’ here. You’re unassing. You need resupply now. 12 mags is 360 rounds, and you can add that number to whatever is on your LBE/LBV.
Here’s a pic if you haven’t seen one:
To be sure, you can get it in Desert, ACU and Mutlicam (OCP), but prices vary. The cheapest are ACU, but you can change that awful pattern with some green and brown paint daubs very quickly (Whiskey Delta showed me an ACU boonie hat that he did that to, and it worked much, much better) for those times it might be out of the ruck.
As you can see, as it’s made from cordura, it will conform more easily than a triple stack pouch that you might have on your LBE/LBV.
So, think about making sure your personal ruck resupply is carried in loaded mags in something like the bandoleer pouch above.