Everyone knows there is nothing worse than a tight pouch, especially if it could mean the difference between life and death. The Marine Corps has reportedly been struggling with this issue since the adoption of the Gen 3 PMAG. The USMC’s standard issue magazine pouches have proven too small to fit two of the new PMAGs and still allow them to be quickly removed when in action.
The Marine Corps’ current standard issue MOLLE magazine pouches are made by Eagle Industries, the hemp-based pouches are designed to hold two GI STANAG magazines. The problem posed by the new PMAGS is that they are slightly wider and moulded to aid handling.
To address the problem Chief Warrant Officer 4, Jesse M. Schertz, 2nd Marine Division’s Gunner has put together a short video, part of the Gunner’s Underground series, demonstrating a simple, practical and time honoured method of stretching pouches. Filmed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Gunner Schertz shows Marines how to soak and stretch their mag pouches enough to allow magazines to be easily removable. While the video is aimed at Marines it may be useful for anyone else using similar pouches.
Gunner Schertz demonstrates that after soaking a pouch in water for a short time the pouch’s fibres expand and allow two polymer magazines to be placed in it along with a spacer, Schertz suggests a couple of evenly spaced pens or a piece of wood, between them. The pouch with the spaced magazines can then be left in the sun to dry out and the stretched pouch should then allow easy access to the magazines. Which in Schertz’ words is a “quick fix that can help make you more combat effective.” This is a time honoured method which Soldiers and Marines issued with pouches and webbing for decades will be familiar with.