Lost Canteens...Lost Magazines, Lost Victories? UPDATED 5 March 2011

VIETNAM: 1965The Soldier and his ammo/water management: key to victory


Originally published Wednesday, January 10, 1996

Canteen cover holds canteen by just 2 unreliable snaps


Another canteen falls out unknown by its owner. If not "Ranger Assist [dummy] Corded" it will fall into enemy hands to be used or made into a booby trap for the next marine to pick it up and get blown up. And of course, that's a quart of water that cannot be used and Soldiers literally die from thirst in battle.

Death in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam 1965


The problem is the canteen cover------its an open twin flap device held together by two weak snaps which do not close securely.

Currently Soldiers have no pouches available for carrying a SERE kit, gloves, notebooks or large smoke grenades. Clipping/taping M18-type smoke grenades and MK3 A2 Offensive hand grenades to LBE shoulder straps is unsecured and a safety hazard; its a hindrance to low crawling; the chances of the grenade falling off when running, being ripped off when it snaps on vegetation is very great. Time and money is short, while a utility pouch on an improved Tactical Load Bearing Vest is the ideal answer we need something RIGHT NOW, TODAY for our Soldiers. Currently there is no secure way to carry soda-can sized M18 smoke or Mk3A2 offensive hand grenades using current LBE.

Magazine Pouch is fine design, bigger version should hold 1 qt canteens

The answer is to use current M16 magazine pouches by cutting out the magazine divider strips. Some Commanders will go berserk if they found out that these pouches were used for anything but magazines; "These pouches are for magazines!" etc. Issuing an extra pouch for utility purposes will not kill the Army supply system; Soldiers can go to Military Clothing Sales and buy a pouch themselves. But we could open the minds of these commanders by redesignating M16 magazine pouches as "MULTI-PURPOSE MAGAZINE/UTILITY POUCHES". In Vietnam, elite Army recon units used CANTEEN COVERS to carry a large quantity of short 20 round magazines for their M16 rifles and CAR-15 carbines.

A further improvement would be to omit the divider straps from the factory and sew in a plastic piece at the pouch inside rear with divider "nubs" to hold M-16 magazines in postions when inside, yet still keeping the space inside the magazine pouch clear of obstructions if used as a utility pouch. Under the magazine pouch top flap should be a strap to insert a field pressure dressing. This dressing would hold down the magazines for silencing, and insure each Soldier has at least one pressure dressing for both entrance and exit wounds if injured by enemy fire. This technique is currently used by U.S. Navy SEALs and has been suggested before by experienced Special Forces and Infantry personnel in professional magazines like Infantry. The unreliable metal ALICE clips used to attach the pouch to the Soldier's belt should be replaced by thick, high strength plastic clips pioneered by by ILW Nexus (makers of Fastex(c) buckles) for military use. The side baseball grenade pouchettes need to have Fastex(c)-type buckles instead of metal snaps since the latter are easily rendered unserviceable by a dent or when clogged with mud on the inside. Metal snaps are difficult to keep black as paint wears off (cut small circles of 100 mph tape to subdue metal snaps). Plastic Fastex(c) buckles always stay subdued, will work when muddy, and if broken can be replaced. Items with broken metal snaps are not repairable, the entire item is discarded which is wasteful and un-necessary.

The solution to our problems

The same principle needs to apply to a new IMPROVED canteen cover which should be redesignated as "CANTEEN/UTILITY POUCH". The unreliable metal snaps should be replaced with a single Fastex(c) type fastener with the entire canteen completely covered by a flap as suggested by 3rd SFG (A) Soldier with 2 tours in Haiti. He points out that in an NBC environment, chemical agents could collect on top of the canteen which is now exposed using the issue covers, so the minute the NBC drinking cover flap is removed for inserting the Field Protective Mask drinking tube, chemical agents will seep into direct contact with the rubber seal. We are simply letting chemical agents get too close to the canteen itself in the first place. The canteen may not be usable after the first drink tube hook up and at best will have to be laboriously decontaminated in the rear or thrown away. Do we want to overload a supply system already struggling to replace NBC protective overgarments with the need to replace every Soldier's canteens?

There is a static-line parachute jump safety issue here too, exposed canteens with caps can easily snag on parachute lines during a bad exit from an aircraft causing an entanglement and possibly death. We should cover ALL 1 quart canteens with a decent pouch! We tape gobs of 100 mph tape over the kevlar helmet night vision goggle mount to prevent suspension line snagging, why not the canteens at your lower back?

MACV-SOG troops often used canteen covers to carry rifle/carbine magazines

When not used to carry preferably flexible 1 quart canteens, an improved canteen cover can also be used as a utility pouch to carry a poncho or ECWCS Gore-tex(c) parka top, Medium Machine Gun 7.62mm ammo belt or empty M16/M4 5.56mm magazines like Military Assistance Command-Vietnam Special Operations Group (MACV-SOG) commandos did during the Vietnam war (see photo and illustration above)as they are removed from the weapon. A secure canteen cover/pouch would reduce battlefield waste, litter and supplies useful to the enemy. The upper pouch top should have an elastic cord so magazines can be inserted with just one hand by stretching the top and pushing the magazine inside. A simple channel at the top would allow the elastic to be removed and replaced if worn-out. This is the idea of SFC James (Craig) Heckman of the 3d SFG (A) ODA 324 based at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

The fleece lining on current canteen covers is ineffective for insulating and should be omitted to save cost/weight. The water purification outer pouches should be replaced with a pouch large enough to accept a field pressure dressing to further insure Soldiers have enough dressings to cover multiple entrance/exit wounds. Another option would be to store the issue camouflage compact/signal mirror and/or water purification tablets or a folded set of laminated Survival, Evasion, Resistance Escape (SERE) cards. The entire canteen cover/utility pouch should be made in a BROWN color for better general camouflage for rapid deployment purposes and utilize the ITW Nexus high-strength plastic attachment clips in place of the rust-and-breakage-prone bittle metal ALICE clips. As with all our LBE, these pouches should be produced in a BROWN color for general military camouflage in Woodland green vegetated areas and dry desert-type areas.

Both the M16/M4 5.56mm Magazine and Canteen pouches could be easily product-improved into utility pouches in addition to their primary functions at a very low-cost. New pouches could be produced in the new format and replace the old pouches as they wear-out and become unserviceable. How do these changes save weight of the Soldier's back? By reducing and miniaturizing Soldier equipments into things that weight just ounces, they can be placed onto the fighting load so the existence load located in the rucksack need not be carried. The rucksack should only carry large quantities of food (MREs with hygience devices built-in), water (which should be drank on-the-move first using a water drinking tube and refilled by water purifier pump through collected local water sources); a one-man shelter system and ammunition. Prior to the mission, the rucks could be cached and the ammunition taken by the Soldier into battle.


Its been over a year now with this web page up and several people have promised us this new pouch. Some have said it will cost them "thousands" to make one. So much for free enterprise being more able than Government! We know for a fact at Natick Labs they could make this pouch in a day if they actually cared (we must conclude the leaders there do not).

Ok, a new approach. We're looking at the cruddy issue canteen cover....


Sew it right on top of the faulty two metal snap flaps of the canteen cover... INSTANT utility pouch that can carry one canteen securely or 5 x M16 30-round magazines!

Improved canteen cover top  sewn to the top of the existing non-functional snap flapsModified canteen cover closed

Problem solved.

All you need to be able to do is construct the top cover flap with the Fastex(c) buckle strap closure and sew it to existing canteen covers.

It seems like in 1987 we remember super-gluing a M16 mag pouch top to a canteen cover and handing it to the marine Natick representative (Major Stewart Navarre) to prove our point...ahhh welll, the excuses continue.

1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) Director, Mike Sparks had worked for a couple years with marine liaison to get improved Soldier gear to little avail. It got to the point that Major Navarre asked him; "Mike, can you make me a 1 quart canteen cover with a cover flap so the canteen can't fall out?". He quickly made a working prototype and sent it to Major Navarre and NATICK STILL REJECTED IT. The good Major hit the roof.

If its any consolation as you can see below, private industry imbued with COMMON SENSE finally did get around to making a canteen cover that works with a cover flap that would also enable it to carry other items. Natick was then and is likely now full of itself and excuses to perpetuate the failed status quo. After all, they ain't dying in Iraq or Afghanistan.

UPDATE 2002: Do we have some winners, here?

U.S. Tactical Supply's Modular Assault Vest offers a pouch that looks like it will do the job!


A. Large utility pocket
This pocket is approximately 135 cubic inches. It is large enough to hold a canteen or large water bottle. It has an adjustable quick release buckle and Velcro closure. The poocket will attach to any MOLLE, RACK, INTERCEPTOR or Strike gear as well as to all Tactical Tailor gear using two Malice Clips (included with pouch). Available in OD, black, camo, or tan.


Blackhawk Industries also acted on our suggested design:

"Aussie pouch"

"Aussie Kit Pouch"

Made with BlackHawk's NyTaneon material. Designed to carry many items including a bottle, 1 qt. Canteen pouch, binoculars, etc. It has a large drain button hole at the bottom and has a special "Blow Out" patch or medical dressing pouch on the inside of the lid. This is an excellent location for extra pencil flares or medical items. Attaches to any belt via our BTS belt loop system or A.L.I.C.E. Clips (A.L.I.C.E. Clips not included.)

Aussie kit Pouch - OD Green $29.95

Now if we can get the Army to stop buying the dreadful 1 quart canteen covers and order these pouches, the problems would be solved....we do not have to replace the entire WWII doomsday wharehouse full of cruddy open-top canteen covers--just buy enough to outfir the "tip of the spear" the Soldiers in harm's way oday in places like Afghanistan. They are also not going to be wearing out the covered canteen/mag pouches, either. We can do this. This is not rocket science.


Despite civilian companies having superior canteen cover/pouches, Natick to be snobby and not admit they were wrong persist in a "new" MOLLE canteen cover which canteens can easily fall out from. That's "progress" to them.


We have long taken a piece of MRE cardboard and placed it between two M16 magazines to form a "V" and taped them together with 100 mph tape so one magazine would be inserted into the weapon and the second would be out of the dirt and ready to be loaded when the first magazine is emptied. Another less effective technique is taping two magazines together, one upside down.

For about $5 each you can buy a combat-proven IDF metal clip that will do this securely without tape wearing loose at a critical moment. If you use pull loops on the bottom of your mags, one loop will be free when attached to the clip so you can attach it to your snaplink when you are done firing both magazines (see description below)

Description: catalog #207 Side-by-side mag holder $4.95

Click here

Digital Consulting Services Inc. D.B.A. ammoclip.com
204 Lowry Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(952)920-0198 Ext. 100


Goal: Better rifleman firepower by better ammunition handling

Ironically, the most important part of a weapon in terms of reliability is also the area we spend the least amount of money and attention to: its ammunition supply. Most weapons stoppages occur due to problems with the ammunition feeding into weapons than any other cause. "Operator head space" (slang for human error) is the major cause. In a stress-filled, life or death situation how well Soldiers can load and reload their weapons will spell the difference between defeat or victory.

The current M16/M4 weapon used by the U.S. Army is a superb weapon perfected over years of painful trial and error, yet problems persist in the way we load/reload these 5.56mm cartridge shooting assault rifles/carbines. Both weapons are fed by metal 30-round magazines, with U.S. Army forces having a clear advantage that the bolt of M16/M4s lock to the rear when magazines are emptied; all Soldiers have to do is remove the empty, insert a new magazine and hit the bolt catch to send the bolt home to rechamber a round and continue firing. If magazines are removed and exchanged for full magazines before being emptied and the bolt locking to the rear, firing can take place without pausing to rechamber a round via releasing the bolt catch. In contrast, the prevalent enemy weapon, the infamous "AK-47" AKM family will shoot all the rounds in the magazine and you will not know you are empty until you squeeze the trigger and nothing happens. You have to remove the empty AKM magazine, insert a loaded magazine and recharge the weapon.

WARNING: the Chinese Communists are Training Their Soldiers to Speed Magazine Re-Load their 5.8mm Bullpup Assault Rifles, What's Our Excuse?



Yet the U.S. Army's M16/M4 reloading advantage over the AKM is wasted if we do not drill to a high standard an efficient technique for reloading magazines. If empty magazines are dropped in a firefight, they will likely not be recovered--the M16/M4 needs box magazines to shoot, unlike previous M14s (or NATO FN FALs or the Russian SKS) which could be loaded directly from ammunition stripper clips. The next "M16A5" should have the ability to load from 10-round stripper clips if magazines have been lost. If magazines are lost, they can be used by the enemy firing through their own M16/M4s or made into a "booby trap" for our Soldiers to be wounded/killed.

On the Non-Linear Battlefields (NLBs) of today, we do not have millions of men drafted into Army service to be 2nd and 3rd echelons to pick-up the dead and their weapons and ammo like we did in WW2 as related to me by my father a 1945 Okinawa U.S. Army combat veteran. There is only the 1st line fighter--and he has to be far more professional and less cavalier about his magazines and all equipment. If he loses it, there is no guarantee that he will be resupplied new magazines--especially if we continue to have a Jessica Lynch underclass in road-bound, vulnerable wheeled trucks that are likely to be ambushed. We must have EVERYONE FIGHT and EVERYONE WORK--no more time can be wasted on being stupid and snobby. We need to spend ALL our time on warfighting--not garrison bureaucracy-loving "From Here to Eternity" lawn and building care to attain the capabilities required to win on the NLB. One of these vital capabilities is rapid weapons reloading and magazine retention.

Field eXpedient (FX) Magazine Pull-Carry Loops




The M16/M4 Rifle/carbine and (at times M249 LMGs) family of 5.56mm weapons rely on 30-round magazines to feed ammunition into them for firing. During a firefight you cannot afford to waste seconds fumbling for a magazine in your pouch, nor can you stop and pick up an empty one if it falls out of an open BDU/ACU trouser pocket or dump pouch while firing/moving. If you drop your magazines the enemy could use them against us, booby-trap them or you simply will be without a means to feed your own weapon.

550 cord pull tab to clip magazines to snaplink on LBE/ETLBV

The 75th Ranger Regiment has its Rangers place a 5 inch piece of gutted 550 cord with an overhand knot on each end onto the bottom of their 30-round magazines (See photo above). You simply remove the bottom plate and slide it carefully back with the two knotted ends tucked underneath at about the middle. Once slid back in place, you now have a "pull-carry tab" to extract your magazines from your magazine pouch or Enhanced Tactical Load Bearing Vest (ETLBV) or FLC while firing and moving without taking your eyes off the enemy. Use black electrical tape or green "100 mph" tape to wrap around the magazine bottom to silence its metal if they come into contact with rocks etc. If you are in a hurry and cannot remove the magazine bottom plates, you can knot the ends of the 550 cord and tape them to the outside of magazines to form pull loops.

Locking D carabiner or snaplink

When you are done with empty magazines you slide their pull-carry loops onto a snap link/carabiner clipped to a LBE/ETLBV shoulder strap or Magazine pouch grenade holder to retrieve them without fear of them falling out of BDU/ACU pockets.

Another idea is to girth-hitch with 550 cord a smaller, less expensive ($2 904 D-02 ACC Biner 3/16 BLK Ranger Joe's) Mini-Snaplink to a LBE belt eyelet to recover empty magazines by their pull cords.

To gain a higher standard in U.S. Army M16/M4 weapons reloading & magazine retention, every unit in the U.S. Army should cut short 5 inch lengths of gutted Type III "550" parachute cord (NSN 4020-00-240-2146) and knot the ends, placing one under each 30 round M16/M4 magazine floor plate to be a "pull-carry loop" for fast retrieval from the ammunition pouch on the LBE or tactical load bearing vest which would have a snaplink (carabiner). Even better are the new Universal Retention Clips (URCs) which hold themselves out at a perpendicular angle to speed magazine pull-carry loop connection which are available from National Molding (see farther down this web page). While upgrading your magazines with pull loops, CLEAN THEM thoroughly and apply a light coat of Cleaning Lubricant Protectant (CLP) oil to the spring.

Store-Bought Magazine Pull-Carry Loops: and an Improvement for PMAG Round Indications

MAGPUL's PMAG is an excellent 30-round magazine for the M16/M4--it may even work finally in a M249 LMG (we have not tried this yet). However, COMMA it's "Ranger Floor Plate" is TOO THICK for it to clip to a snaplink/carabiner-URC for mag retention. Sadly, the same is true for their add-on MAGPULs for other magazines. We urge MAGPUL to THIN the end loops of both their products to enable retention by snaplink/carabiner-URC. Another problem is that PMAGs have an excellent clear window to see how many rounds one has, but the plastic body DOESN'T HAVE ANY MARKINGS TO TELL YOU WHAT THE ORANGE COLORED SPRING POSITION MEANS.

Field eXpedient PMAG Round Indications

Take a black permanent marker AKA "sharpie" and mark where the orange colored magazine spring is at for when 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 rounds are loaded.

Of course, after awhile the black markings will wear off. A more durable marking method is to take a soldering iron and place a "dimple" at the 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 colored spring window positions and FILL-IN WITH RED/ORANGE oil-based-paint. Use one of your black pen marked magazines as a guide and make a small mark for each soldering iron dimple. The ultimate solution would be for PMAG to mold round indicator marks into the plastic body from the factory.

The product we like that looks promising are TactiPul's which have a thinner end loop for snaplink/carabiner-URC retention --and are uber-affordable at 6 for $6. We will be testing these shortly and posting the results here.

By swapping out your metal magazine floor plates with TactiPul versions with a large but thin, rigid plastic loop perfect for one-handed clipping onto URCs.


Better M16/M4 Magazine Release Methods


One problem with M16/M4 rapid magazine reloading is the placement of the magazine release button on the RIGHT SIDE of the weapon which is problematical for both right and left-handed shooters.


Norgon has this problem solved by its Ambi-Catch--a simple replacement for the LEFT SIDE of the existing magazine catch that enables magazine release from either side.


Ambi-Catch needs to be retrofitted on an emergency basis to ALL M16/M4s in the U.S. military starting weith the U.S. Army that is engaged in combat right now all over the world. The USMC has authorized its own people to buy them and fit them to their weapons which is an extraordinary move on theirt part showing the seriousness of the situation. Norgon Ambi-Catches can be ordered via the supply system:

Magazine Release, P/N 00051M

NSN 1005-01-537-6498



Why Ambidextrous Magazine Release Buttons are Good (Norgon explained)


An additional reason why ambidextrous mag release buttons are good, is it frees a hand to grab JUST THE MAGAZINE'S PULL-CARRY LOOP, which can even be loose 550 cord held open by a finger to slip over a clip like the URC for retention. Even better are rigid TactiPuls.

Improved Magazine Release with the Norgon Ambi-Catch

When firing the M16/M4, when its time to reload, the upright Soldier drops to a knee, the prone Soldier brings one knee forward with rifle pointing down-range, the empty or better yet near-empty magazine is removed and its pull-carry loop snapped into the gate of the snaplink-URC so it hangs. No more empty magazines in BDU/ACU shirts (Technique favored by Australian Special Forces) and trouser pockets where they rattle around and invariably fall out during Individual Movement Techniques (IMT). The dump mag pouch is another option but mags can fall out from them, too. IMT with rapid magazine reloading and retention should be a major part of a new combat-oriented Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and a skill known by ALL Soldiers of ALL MOSes.

To perfect this skill, IMT lanes should be set up with Soldiers wearing helmet, LBE with snaplink/URCs made to advance forward using Innovative Dry Firing (IDF) techniques. Each would have at least 6 x 30 round magazines each with 2 dummy 5.56mm rounds. As they IMT and fire, they must properly aim using sight alignment/picture onto standard "E" silhouettes in their lane. On their own estimation of magazine depletion, they perform a rapid magazine reload using the pull-carry loops and snaplinks/URCs. Instructors can call out a "weapons malfunction" so all Soldiers execute immediate action techniques and gain skill in case its real combat. All Soldiers must end the IMT rapid reloading lane with all their magazines, one in their M16/M4, the others hanging by their snaplinks-URCs.

The next station would be rapid reload drill using speed loaders to completely fill all their magazines with dummy 5.56mm ammunition for time. Another option would be to clear their magazines of dummy rounds, going back over their lane to pick any dummy rounds that were dropped during IA drill and collecting them in a box/ammo can for the next group to go through. After clearing their lane of all dummy 5.56mm rounds, the Soldiers would load all their magazines up with BLANK ammunition, add some CLP oil and a Blank Firing Adaptor (BFA) to the end of their rifle to contain gases to operate their actions.

They would then go through the IMT rapid reloading lane firing blanks at targets, emptying their magazines and reloading. The next iteration (ideally) would be unload all the magazines, speed-load with live 5.56mm ammunition in 4 ball to 1 tracer mix and do individual live fire lanes using pop-up/flop-down targets or fixed targets with balloons attached (let's you know you have hit your target). A M9 Wire Cutter Bayonet should be fixed to the end of the M16/M4 carbine when doing the individual rapid reloading live fire lane. If live ammunition/range is not available, use blanks and have the Soldiers attack fixed targets with their rifle/bayonets when they get close enough from IMT. Rifle-bayonet fighting techniques should be a part of the combat-oriented PT program of every U.S. Army unit along with unarmed combatives.

2008 UPDATE: Strac-Tech's Conformal Assault Pack Speed Magazine Reloading System


2 x 4 magazine speed loader conformal assault packs = 240 ready 5.56mm rounds.

If the 30 round magazines are flat inside your conformal assault packs THEY ACT AS EXTRA BODY ARMOR.

A friend of mine who is a retired USMC Colonel told me one of his marines was saved in Vietnam when an AKM round his cloth bandolier holding 20 round metal M16 magazines, acting as a sort of quasi-hard body armor plate. Your speed loaders under the arm pit area would be VERY helpful since asshole Iraqi snipers are aiming at this location since its a place where body armor plate is usually absent.

Field eXpedient (FX): Keep Track of Your Magazines by Numbering Them


Each magazine needs to be known INDIVIDUALLY so if it starts to not function reliably it can be discarded. If you are "magazine agnostic" and just have a clusterfuck of magazines with no individual markings you could find out the hard way in a firefight that a magazine doesn't work. Take a black permanent marker AKA "Sharpie" and number ALL your magazines. If one starts to malfunction during war practice set it aside and see if it just needs some "PMCS". If it cannot be cleaned and oiled and made to work, discard it.

Another extremely important reason to number mags is to not lose them in combat. We are not suggesting we be anal retentive mini-bureaucrats about it and have entire units get online, shoulder-to-shoulder and walk over battlefields after firefights to recover every magazine whose number doesn't turn up, for that would needlessly expose our men to enemy observation/fire. But as a matter of INDIVIDUAL DISCIPLINE, having your mags numbered can help keep a rough accountability and retention going. The cavalier and dangerous attitude that we can just drop mags in a firefight must not be tolerated.

We should have VULTURE SQUADS designated at platoon-level and above whose sole purpose after a firefight is to recover both friendly and enemy equipment for future use. On the NLB, resupply is NOT a given.


If you are using METAL magazines you need to TAN spray paint camouflage them--especially if you are using open top pouches to hold them with just elastic. The black M16/M4 itself should be at least partially camouflaged by McNett camo-form tape.


Multiple Magazine Holders (MMHs): Having More Ammo in the Weapon Ready-To-Fire

Many Soldiers realize 30 rounds can be gone in an instant in a firefight, and have sought to increase their ready ammunition resupply without having to stop to reload. Many tape two magazines together, the best technique, placing a piece of MRE cardboard at the bottom between them and 100 mph taping together so they are in a "V" shape, upright out of the mud. While one magazine is in the M16/M4, the other is alongside, so when its time to reload you remove and slide over to the full magazine and reinsert to keep firing. The Swiss SIG 550 5.56mm assault rifle exploits this by having their 30 round clear-plastic magazines equipped with connector lugs so 3 x 30 rounders or more can be connected for 90+ rounds of ready firepower. The Israeli Defense Force has a twin M16/M4 magazine adaptor that's combat proven that is available for just $5 each or through the Army supply system (NSN 1005-01-425-5667). Bushmaster Firearms of Windham, Maine offer a triple M16/M4 magazine holder and 40 round magazines, though the latter are longer than the 30 round magazines to do this. You can have 120 rounds ready using 3 x 40 round magazines with a lot more firepower/reliability than with many 100 round drum types available.

Since the M16/M4 and M249 will be around for years to come, and the "smart" 25mm OICW will also shoot 5.56mm through 30 round magazines, the Army would be wise to spend some money and buy SIG-type magazines that can link together in twos or threes to increase firepower and use a new magazine as a chance to insure they function well when fired through M249 LMGs. The beauty of having magazines that link together is that after you have reloaded, you can attach one or two magazines to the one in use to increase your ready supply of ammunition. The Army should develop a 40-round quick-linkable magazine using a coil spring to carry more rounds in the space now taken up by conventional springs (yields only 30 rounds) or simply take the IDF adapter and improve it by making it carry 3 magazines. When you are done with firing your linked-together magazines, you clip one of their pull-loops to your snap-link and then reload with individual magazines from your LBE. With the Swiss system, you can attach/detach empty magazines as you go and hang onto your snap link.


A Mc CQB instructor writes:

"I agree that everyone should try both ways and use what works. I also don't think that we should do something just because the Rangers, SEALs or any other unit does it that way.

One of the disconnects is that the M/C and the Army use different LBVs. You are using the one that we got rid of a few years ago and we are using the MOLLIE system. The only good thing about the MOLLIE sys is the mesh vest with loops to attach pouches to. SOP in my last unit was that everyone wear a SAW pouch on their non-firing side for empty mags. Leave it snapped and tuck one corner of the flap in to push your mag in. 2 SAW pouches are standard issue for everyone, in fact you get more junk with the MOLLIE than you will ever use at one time. Never trust a system that part of the issue is a 30 min VHS tape to show you how to assemble the parts!

Now some of the points brought up."

Webmaster: 'The key to ensuring that your Soldiers/marines keep their magazines is by demanding mag retention in all training. Uh, how? HOW do we train them to do it?'

CQB guy: "a. Make it a training standard.

That is a heck of a course that you came up with and if the individual knows that if he drops a mag then he has to run the course over until he meets the standard he will start retaining mags. Dont know if anyone has been to Lejeune but the live-fire O-course (K-410) is not something you want to run more than you have to.

During the M/C qual course (both KD and fire and movement) if you drop a mag then you loose ALL points for that string of fire.

b.The other way is muscle memory.

Do it until it becomes second nature. During hot chow/down time in the field get your Soldiers/marines in the combat glide and have them practice mag changes on the move.

The 550 cord is a snag magnet hanging off your wpn. This could pull your mag out of position causing a round to misfeed."

Webmaster: "How much of a snag risk is it? I have been through dense wait-a-minute vines here in CONUS and Korea and the magazine loop was NEVER snagged, in these situations the large general shape of the M16 snags long before we get to the pull loops. Its a law of physics thing. You with a human body sliding through vegetated areas, the vines will slide over you until they catch on something bulging out--usually this is your rifle, your LBE, canteens etc."

CQB guy: "Should have clarified. I have more of a problem with it catching on my gear when coming up from the alert carry."

Webmaster: "EXPERIMENTATION, don't dismiss ideas out of hand just from mental arguments."

CQB Guy: "I agree have tried it both ways during my 19 1/2 yrs. More comfortable with my way. Try both, use what works for you.

Also when you are in the field. All personnel should have a mag inserted and a blank in the chamber. If a round goes off NJP the offender. Some of you may think that as too harsh. Get out of the mindset "It was only a blank." Can't have two different sets of wpn handling rules. One for blanks, one for live ammo. Treat it all as live. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE.(Wpn malfunction excluded but I havn't seen many broken sears except on M240s) WHEN A SOLDIER/MARINE DISCHARGES HIS WPN BY MISTAKE ITS A NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE. TREAT IT AS SUCH!

Webmaster: "Interesting idea, why not punish the Soldier in some other ways other than ruining his career?"

CQB guy: A few years ago I would have suggested having him dig a bunker, write an essay on the importance of wpn awareness or mayby standing a little extra weekend duty but no longer in the Corps. Digging a bunker or extra duty is considered hazing, in fact anything that singles him out and may make him feel bad is considered hazing.I'M NOT JOKING. Tried the essay but young Marines have figured out that if they don't write it nothing is going to happen to them. No commander is going to process a Art 15 for disobedience when the order is to write a 500 word essay. If they do, the Marine will request a CM and the SJA will drop the charges. As a enlisted man there are few things left to me and this is where a good officer comes in. COs can give counseling statements (pg 11s), extra duty, restriction and then tell the Marine/Soldier "Let this be a one time thing, stay on track and I will SET THIS ART 15 ASIDE IN 3 MONTHS". If he is a good troop he gets punished and will have no blemish on his record. I'm open for any sugestions that have worked for you."

Webmaster: "Weapons handling and muzzle awareness is lacking to just state the first thing that comes to mind."

CQB guy: "Ditto in the Corps. As a CQB/Dynamic Entry instructor,(MCSF Trained) my definition of a complete safe weapon is mag inserted, round in chamber, wpn on fire(Semi), finger straight and off the trigger. It takes a few months of the Company and Bn Cdr watching me train my marines this way before they get comfortable with it but in the end hard-headedness wins out.

The problem that I put on the table at school is the way we clear bldgs.

MCSF and especially FAST Co. has "FBI HST envy". If you have to stack prior to entry, and both the new Army FM and the MC MCWP preaches stack formations, you present one big target. The FBI gets away with it because they only have to focus on the building they are about to enter. Wait till some smart drug lord figures out how easy it would be to blow them away! How many buildings/floors/sewers do we have to clear to have the same comfort zone? Thats how a squad of non-infantry types wiped out 2 companies and held off a Bn during one of the Urban Warrior experiments a few years back.

One of the things that needs to be changed is the way we treat troops when they drop their wpn. They need to know that its not always a bad thing. One of the first things that I teach in CQB is that when you get hot brass stuck to your collar, in your glove or whatever, yell BRASS, throw your wpn forward, get out of the way and TRUST your team to cover you. How many times have we seen muzzle awareness fly out the window as a Soldier/marine tries to hold on to his wpn while thrashing around trying to get rid of the hot brass? If he drops his wpn we yell and scream and if he holds on to it we yell and scream for flagging people. If he throws it straight forward, the muzzle is pointed down range in case the wpn discharges. Seems like a no-brainer to me."

Combining Magazines or Bigger Magazines

1. Commercial source for IDF twin M16 magazine holders:

Description: catalog #207 Side-by-side mag holder $4.95

Digital Consulting Services Inc. D.B.A. ammoclip.com 204 Lowry Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(952) 920-0198 Ext. 100

2. SIG SG550 Details


SIG Arms Inc.
Military & Law Enforcement Sales
Burke, Virginia USA
Tel/Fax 1-703-978-0896

Drawing on the common practice of taping one or more magazines together (lying head-to-toe in relation to another) to speed up reloading, SIG has taken out a patent for a "multi-pack" system, approved by the GRD which allows the Soldier to fix three or more magazines under his rifle. To fit the magazines together, all that is necessary is to insert two studs on the right-hand wall of the second magazine into two U-shaped slots fitted against the left-hand wall of the first magazine which is engaged in the rifle. One slot is open towards the top and the other towards the front (see photo). A third magazine can be attached in the same way to the second. As all the magazines have slots and studs, there is no preferential order. One advantage of this system is that all the magazines are in the upright position, lessening the risk of dirt entering the spare magazines if accidentally banged against the ground. Even if, despite all, they are exposed to sand, mud or snow, the presence of these foreign agents is more easily spotted because the magazines are transparent. In addition, the gap between each magazine has been carefully calculated so that the magazine can be switched with one hand without any fumbling.

3. Triple M16/M4 magazine holder and 40-round magazine details

Bushmaster Firearms, Inc.
P.O. Box 1479
Windham, ME 04062

Address for UPS Packages:

999 Roosevelt Trail
Windham, ME 04062

Sales Department: 1-800-998-7928

Mon. through Fri. 8:30 am - 7:00 pm Sat. 10:00am - 3:00 pm. Eastern Standard Time

For Product Availability, Order Status, Tracking Numbers Customer Service: 1-800-883-6229
Mon. through Fri. 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Email: customerservice@bushmaster.com
FAX (207) 892-8068

90-Round Triple Magazine Holder

Price: $24.95
Quantity Options:
Mfg part#: BC-100


This device allows you to use the reliable 30 round magazine in a unique and solid triple mount to give you a 90 round total capacity. Constructed of heavy, black anodized aluminum, rugged front and rear clamps bolt together with Allen head screws. Magazines are not included.

40-Round Magazine

Price: $24.95
Quantity Options:
Mfg part#: MG-0007

The U.S. Army recently awarded contracts for 2 MMH designs which are compatible with the Ambi-CatchTM:

Command Arms Accessories, LLC

NSN 1005-01-M28-7708

THOR Defense, Inc

NSN 1005-01-M28-7709

U.S. Patent 5,519,954

Rapid Magazine Reloading by Stripper Clips


You can take 550 paracord and tie a speed loading, stripper clip guide to the triple magazine holder so you can rapidly refill the 3 magazines from bandolier 10-round stripper clips. Shown above are three x 40 round M16/M4 magazines with the speed loader guide attached and stored. You store the guide by making your paracord attach at the connector bar with a loop with just enough slack so the guide can slip in snug.

How About Starting the Firefight with a Large Drum?: Good Idea--We Did this Well in WW2

Since C-MAGs don't work and you might not like clipping magazines together...why not a 90 round drum that works? The 90-Rounder by MWG


MWG's 90-rounder is a drum for the M16/M4 rifle/carbine that could conceivably create a real Automatic Rifle capability far lighter than the 15 pound M249 Light Machine Gun.


MWG Company
POB 97-1643
Miami, Florida 33197
(305) 232-7344
(866) 307-1466

WW2 Paratrooper Precedent: Thompson Sub-Machine Gun Jumped with 50-Round Drum to Begin Firefight with Lots of Rounds

From Gerald Devlin's book, Paratrooper! pages 664-665

After the drum was used up there was no way to retain it so it became a problem. The solution is to clip it to yourself and switch to smaller magazines after the initial firing. Below, we added a small clamp to the 90-rounder's assembly screw to connect a small loop of gutted 550 cord and a small snap-link. I cut out a notch in the clear plastic around the screw area so the clamp would rest snugly and not rotate on the screw itself.

Here's a clear picture to show the round indicator labels and colored dots we propose be attached...

The goal of this mechanical connection is to clip an empty 90-rounder to the Soldier's LBE instantly, Ranger-style like 30 round magazine pull-loops.

These mods are not camouflaging the BLACK drum nor protecting it as a dedicated cover will. Just some tinkering possible if you do not have sewing skills.

Dummy-Cording the 90-Rounder's Loader

The ideal would be for the loader and plunger and spacer to be dummy-corded with a quick-release to the inside of a pouchette on a covering of the 90-rounder drum. Here is a first stab at how to dummy-cord the loader and accessories.

90-Rounder/M16A2 Assault Rifle Interface with Assault Pack #2

Q & A

Q. Is the concept to equip w/ only 2-4 drums and the remainder in loose rounds?

A: I was only thinking ONE 90-round drum per Soldier in addition to his basic load of 7 x 30 round magazines (90 + 270 = 360) unless he was the Automatic Rifleman with a Colt M16 Light Machine Gun and has pouches to hold 4 drums and 4 x 30-round magazines (360 + 120 = 480).

To minimalize the load bearing/human factors negative impact of the one large, bulky 90 round drum per Soldier for THE ASSAULT I envision it being CLIPPED to the LBE after empties in battle and carried like a frying pan.

Q. How long to reload a drum with shown equipment including breaking down ammo boxes?


The loader you saw that I dummy corded its plunger and spacer is just as fast as loading magazines because it uses the same stripper clip system holding 10 rounds of 5.56mm at a time. The spacer is only used if you have loose rounds. Here is my thinking. Press down on the stripper clip to get 4-5, roughly 5 rounds in. Pull it out. Drop a tracer round in and load with the plunger. Re-insert the stripper clip, push down on plunger to finish stripper clip. Remove plunger and drop another tracer and plunge it down. I find for one round you don't need the spacer inserted with practice.

100% ball bullet mix loading of 90-rounder drum

Step 1: Load 10 (10)
Step 2: Load 10 (20)
Step 3: Load 10 (30)
Step 4: Load 10 (40)
Step 5: Load 10 (50)
Step 6: Load 10 (60)
Step 7: Load 10 (70)
Step 8: Load 10 (80)
Step 9: Load 10 (90)

TOTAL: 90 ball = 90

TIME: 10 seconds per step x 15 = 150 seconds (2.5 minutes) per 90-rounder drum

4 to 1 ball/tracer mix loading of MWG 90-rounder drum

Step 1: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (6)
Step 2: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (12)

Step 3: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (18)
Step 4: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (24)

Step 5: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (30)
Step 6: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (36)

Step 7: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (42)
Step 8: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (48)

Step 9: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (54)
Step 10: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (60)

Step 11: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (66)
Step 12: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (72)

Step 13: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (78)
Step 14: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (84)

Step 15: Load 5, drop 1 tracer (90)

TOTAL: 75 ball + 15 tracer bullets = 90

TIME: 20 seconds per step x 15 = 300 seconds (5 minutes) per 90-rounder drum

Left over for a magazine: 1 stripper clip with 5 rounds

ASIDE: we sure wish the M16/M4 had a way to load 5.56mm from stripper clips directly into the rifle, SKS, FN FAL and M14-style.

90-Rounder drum ASSAULT PACK, Early Version #1

Minor Problem #1: need a loop inside the loader outer pouch for a small snaplink/dummy cord to connect so loader doesn't fall out if the velcro pouch top open accidentally

Minor Problem #2: Need the snaplink hanger loop nylon to be one continuous piece to the closure strap nylon for added strength

As you can see, the hanger loop nylon and pack closure nylon pieces are separate and the hanger loop needs help holding the assault pack by a snaplink (carabiner) onto the Soldier's LBE

These pictures show how the SKEDCO 90-rounder Assault Pack in ACU camouflage colors secures the loading tool and parts to itself for fast loading of MWG's 90-rounder drum for the M16/M4 family of 5.56mm weapons. It implies the customer has to drill some holes in the plastic loader/plunger and gutted 550 dummy cord them to the Assault Pack's outer accessory pouch.

We found that the 550 cord loop was hard to connect to the snaplink on the Soldier's Load Bearing Vest (LBV). What works best is a medium-sized snaplink/carabiner because you can by feel and not looking clip it to your LBV just like many people carry their keys on a snaplink and clip them to a pants belt loop. After you shoot up your 90 rounds in your drum you want to clip it and keep it out of your way as you go to 30 round magazines to finish the firefight.

Cord attach (not ideal)

Snap-link Attach (Optimal)

Problem: A snap-link/carabiner will dangle and get in the way when the 90-Rounder is attached under the M16/M4.

Solution: The velcro tab on the closure strap can cinch down on the medium snaplink to secuure it.


Universal Retention Clip (URC)

National Molding makes a very interesting spring-gated plastic clip that can be used to hold gloves, water bottles and all sorts of items you want loose and accessible. Our interest is in using their Universal Retention Clips (URCs) to assist in recoverying magazines and drums that the M16/M4 rifle/carbine family REQUIRE in order to perate these weapons. The cavalier attitude that drops empty mags onto the ground is fool-hardy and is asking for one to run out of loaded magazines but if resupplied with 5.56mm ammo from ammo cans in bandoliers in 10-round stripper clips to have no empty magazines to load them into. Future M16/M4 variants should feature stripper clip loading as an option like the SKS, M14 and FN FAL have. Short of this WE MUST RETAIN MAGAZINES DURING WEAPONS HANDLING.

URCs can assist in drum/magazine retention because they are attached to MOLLE pals webbing such that they are held out at a firm 90 degree angle so all you have to do is press your drum/mag loop onto the spring-loaded gate and drop so they hook and the gate closes behind you.


11427 NW 60th Ave.
P.O. Box 4723
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
(305) 455-1500
Fax :1510



9381V : Large Poli Bina Clip

More Detail


Our new Poli-biners are designed to fit the traditional web mount MOLLE systems and is ideal for attaching any type of gear. Rated at a maximum load of 75 pounds.
Fit on 1" webbing



9360 : Small Poli Bina Clip

More Detail


Our new Poli-biners are designed to fit the traditional web mount MOLLE systems and is ideal for attaching any type of gear. Rated at a maximum load of 75 pounds.
Fit on 1" webbing

Meet the URC

URC and 30-Round M16/M4 Magazine Retention

URC and the SKEDCO 90-Round Assault Pack for the MWG 90-Rounder Drum

URC on TacShorts


VIDEO panoramaCLAWonBFVwith90Rounder.mpg


When the side firing ports on Bradleys were covered over, it resulted in thousands of M231 fully-automatic 5.56mm shorty M16s sitting unused in arms rooms. Combining the 90-rounder with the M231 in the BAE Systems CLAW commander's weapons sight/station will put them to use enabling 90 rounds of firepower in a direction away from where the main turreted weaponry is pointing at, increasing coverage by another 180 degrees. The CLAW can have a 200-round belt-fed M249 LMG fitted (see pic at top) but what unit has excess, unused M249s available?


The issue hard shell canteen cannot be drank-while-on-the-move. It sloshes water around when half empty making noise an enemy can hear. It cannot be fully sterilized. A better solution would be to follow the lead of Ranger CPT William Connor's 5 gallon water bags and organizationally produce a canteen cover/magazine pouch sized water bag when ROWPU units mass issue water to units with a push-pull spout so the Soldier can drink it like a sports drink bottle on the move. A fitting for the M40 Field Protective Mask would allow drinking while in MOPP levels. The bag by being flexible would collapse as its used and not slosh around like many civilian backpacking water bottles like Platypus Our current 2 quart canteen collapses, so this isn't too much too ask. When emptied, the bag compacts so the space in its pouch can be used for other things until more water is found to refill it. These bags can be mass-produced for pennies by bag so they can be delivered with LOGPACs and handed out to Soldiers without them having to stop and refill canteens from even 5 gallon water bags if they are in an extremely risky tactical situation. By collapsing, these water bags can be carried in large numbers and filled by Soldiers using their own water purifiers when natural potable water sources are found. The more logistically free our Soldiers/Paratroopers can be the more bold and aggressive they can be at engaging the enemy. The U.S. Army led by Steve Mayerhoeffer of FORSCOM is adopting a one liter bag similar to whats described above but without NBC drinking interface.

And at the individual Soldier CIF-level we need 1-quart canteens made of flexible plastic just like the 2 quart canteens but a bit thicker for durability. These canteens already exist and have a NSN please go to the web page below for details:

Flexible 1 quart Canteens: jump safety and tactical stealth


The 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) since 1997 has online;


offered and detailed through U.S. Army official channels; commercial, off-the-shelf and equipment modification solutions to almost every problem listed (and then some like ahumm, SOLVING THE SOLDIER'S LOAD) in the appalling recent U.S. Army Natick Afghanistan Report (which is viewable here). As we also forewarned, the u.s. marine designed "MOLLE" gear has been a COMPLETE and utter failure in Afghanistan service--even for the short time marines made a token ground appearance and fled back to their ships as the U.S. Army dodges the RPGs, mortars and AKM rounds to hunt down and kill the enemy terrorists.

The bottom line is, closed-minded and small-minded people (we know all about them, don't we?) are running the Congressionally-mandated and funded Army's Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) which could have PREVENTED this sad state of affairs by some low-cost purchases.

Want to make a suggestion to SEP?

SEP Home Page

Make a Soldier Equipment Improvement suggestion to SEP

The Afghan power points show a number of gear problems that many of us have solved and proposed solutions through SEP and Natick channels mostly for naught. The Brits have a plastic ammo box for their M240-type medium machine guns. We could have upgraded the Kevlar helmet with a better chinstrap and suspension, offered the Nomex flyer's glove with a little insulation and in a black color, ALICE rucksacks could have synthetic frames and quick-release buckles, issued a chest binocular/NVG pouch and provided a toothbrush/shaving razor cartridge attachment point on the end of the MRE spoon years ago. However, the decision makers generally don't act on Soldier inputs. The Afghan gear report is likely going to "whitewash" systemic failures so this is why we are calling on a Soldier board to be formed and given the money, authority and time to make Soldier gear decisions to prevent recurring failures like experienced in Afghanistan.

Whoever is ruining SEP should be replaced by someone who listens and ACTs on suggestions for improvement by Soldiers instead of pooh-poohing (ignoring) them with words like "dislikes". If a piece of gear doesn't work, gets left behind or gets someone killed it isn't some trivial matter.

The enemy terrorists got away from our Anaconda cordon and search operation while we were bogged down with equipment, a lot of it bad, so this is not a small matter. Details:



Solution: Soldier TA-50 Board


I think you see we are furious, and rightfully so. Here is THE ultimate solution.

We've just learned that its a "Council of Colonels" that meets to decide gear for us grunts for the SEP program to "type classify" (tested to "perfection" to be declared Army kosher) when it should be the lower-ranking gear gurus who are actually humping (carrying) the machine guns, rockets and mortars from every Army command representing their specific climes/places/missons. This is why a lot of our gear sucks. Most Colonels we've run into are concerned more with form than function and are not technotactically oriented and candid. SGTs, LTs and CPTs should decide on our new gear.

The expertise of the natural "gear gurus" should be tapped and have them designated as a "Master TA-50 Specialist"---an additional skill identifier (ASI). These gear experts would go to Natick Labs and be school trained on the proper fit and wear of ALL Army equipment and have field living (survival skills) taught to them so they can advise Commanders that a hot weather desert boot is NOT a mountain boot and how to properly size Soldiers for body armor so a bullet doesn't sneak by and kill them. The Army's Master TA-50 Specialists would also train the Soldiers in their companies how to wear and maintain their TA-50 as well as be pro-active about getting better gear. The Army is strangely an organization that goes "camping" yet hasn't trained itself how to "camp". Lay on top the need for combat mobility 4-7 mph which requires smart loading and constantly improved equipment, its clear that a Soldier from every Company in the Army should go to "gear school" to become a Master TA-50 Expert. To fund this we should cancel the un-needed LAV-III/Stryker deathtrap armored car purchases and upgrade superior tracked M113A3 Gavins into IAVs for the IBCTs. Call them tracked IBCTs or "Gavin Brigades".

An Army bureaucrat informs us that Company Commanders can buy with unit funds whatever gear they need for their men from the GSA Catalog and CTA 5900 (not Army "type classified" but available for purchase: "good enough" using Army funds) but this is something that's not pro-actively done and known about. Have you ever heard about this? GSA catalog is on CDs Supply Sergeants have so it takes a bit of looking when it should be on the www for all Soldiers to see.

What we need is a Soldier's Board of lower ranking gear experts who will review new gear, get it on the GSA Catalog/CTA 5900 and then publish an annual focused list throughout the Army encouraging Commanders/units/individuals to buy these items. Apparently its ok for units to fund-raise to build up a unit fund or this purpose, too so not having the money is not an obstacle. This list of authorized field gear on GSA/CTA 5900 should be placed on the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) secure web site so any Soldier can see what the Soldier Board recommends they get ASAP.

Every year, every Major Army Division (Airborne, Air Assault, Light, Mechanized, Armored etc.) and separate unit (2nd ACR, 172nd Arctic Brigade, SF, Rangers) has ITS SOLDIERS select by vote a field gear representative who will travel to Fort Benning, Georgia to decide for the rest of the Army what off-the-shelf Soldier gear to buy and what gear to develop. Every unit has at least one "gear guru" right for this job; a pro-active Soldier who studied field gear and on his own tinkers and tests what works and does not. THE CHAIN OF COMMAND DOES NOT SELECT THE GEAR BOARD SOLDIERS. Some out-of-touch Army General does NOT select some political yes-man to be on the board to keep the troops ill-equiped and "in their place". Some DA civilian with a ponytail going through perpetual mid-life crisis does NOT decide what items are bought or developed, THE SOLDIERS DECIDE. No "Council of Colonels". Its the individual Soldier's lives that are at stake not some bureaucrat in a comfy office with one retirement already under his belt longing for the good 'ole days when the equipment they had sucked and everyone liked it. What the Soldier TA-50 Board decides AUTOMATICALLY become AUTHORIZED Soldier optional wear/use items without the current kill-joy, politically correct "uniform board" having one say in their decisions. They do a great job keeping everyone miserable and without esperit de corps during garrison hours; the field Soldier's attire should be guided by FUNCTION decided by the mud-Soldiers. Each year a list of acceptible alternatives will be decided on by the Board for Soldiers to buy/use on their own option. Each year the board will decide on commensurate with the SEP budget what items will be bought/issued to enhance Soldiers immediately. And each year the board will see what industry and Natick Labs have "cooking" and provide feedback.


Doctrine, Tactics and Techniques must support these equipment developments by viewing these pouches with greater flexibility and by taking advantage of their capabilities.

Soldier's must become proficient at removing M16/M4 magazines and placing them with one hand into the spare canteen cover/utility pouch or using the pull tabs and snaplink method. Soldier's must become proficient at retrieving field pressure dressings from either the front (Mag/utility pouch top flaps) or the rear (Canteen cover/utility pouch outer pouchettes) which will minimize the movement an injured Soldier receives before stopping his bleeding. This is especially vital if the Soldier has a spinal injury. Soldiers must receive SERE training in basic training; real-world stress must be used to screen-out undesirables not parade-ground/barracks silliness. The 10-Division active Army with world-wide responsibilities cannot afford to waste precious training time on "spit and polish" when useable field skills which can improve Soldier performance, flexibility, survivability and mobility can be taught. These things can be done at no cost to the Army budget by a list of acceptible alternative decided annually by a Soldier's Board of representatives from every walk in the Army. Soldiers and units at the "tip of the spear" would buy the latest items to give them a "sharp edge" over the enemy instead of waiting for WWIII and all the doomsday warehouse stocks to be used up. Its their lives that are at stake not some bureaucrat in an air conditioned office.

Its clear the solution is easy: a better canteen cover that has a flap that covers over the entire canteen by a quick-release Fastex(c) type buckle so one hand opens/closes the flap, the canteen is secure to not fall out and its covered from NBC agents. On the outside an external pocket(s) for first aid dressings, water purification tabs and/or Strobe light. It would have a better attachment system than ALICE clips---nylon loop/snaps etc.

Additional benefits are that the cover is now a utility pouch that can hold Weapon magazines, MG belts, compasses, binoculars, grenades, SERE kits, First Aid kits, IV and starter kits, the list goes on.



A 1st TSG (A) member writes in:

"The Australian Defence Force has recently introduced a new canteen cover which except for it's camo pattern is compatible with U.S. web gear. The cover incorporates a small external pouch that will hold a large field dressing, a hexamine stove and tablets, or a collection of small, useful items, eg camo compact, reel of comms cord etc. The NSN is: 3465-66-130-1287.

We have a large ammo pouch that is designed to carry the 200 round assault pack for the F89 LSW / M249 SAW / MINIMI. Most of the guys in my unit use one or two of these rather than the standard "butt pack" as they are more streamlined and without straps to flap around. These were a very popular item with the guys from 3rd Bn 1st SFG (ABN) and USAF 1723rd STS with whom we worked a few years ago. If you're interested and would like more info let me know. Cheers!

"They might hear the crack.......they won't hear the thump".

Thank you, Aussie member from down under! As soon as we get some pics of their new kit we'll post them here. I'm sure these items can be colored over into a brown or green to make them blend in with U.S. TA-50 etc.

A Super Trooper writes in:

"regarding the "Canteen cover thats a Pouch there is another alternative...AND CHEAP!!! (I've done it!!) buy 2 SAW magazine pouches and black or od green 1 inch webbing... have a Rigger, seamstress, or who ever sew the fastex clips to the front of the saw pouch...voila!! you have canteen cover with fastex clips... and some room to spare for other goodies"

Our reply: GOOD IDEA! Let's do it. Will get NSN for M249 LMG pouches and publish here ASAP. Good job, Airborne!

An Army Paratrooper writes in:

"I have done very well w/o hip 1 quart canteens. I use the Camelbak and the 2 quart on the ruck as emergency backup, and carry a bottle of water in either my buttpack or patrol pack. The bottle size and type has changed from year to year and mission to mission, but the basic combo has worked well. The 1 quarts had a history of slowing me down on movements (slamming into kidneys as I marched) and nearly taking me out the same way on some jumps. I would consider the collapsible 1 quart that Mike hawks though and use the other pouch as a carry all pouch, or relocate the one pouch. Just some thoughts."

Private Murphy's View

Want Murphy in your pocket?