Words and pics: Rich Norman
I always expected to start this review by saying that we’re all familiar with the Original CSM Drop Pouch, but it started to take on a different meaning as it came together.
Ten or more years ago, the tactical nylon industry was awash with dumpers which were heavily redolent – if not direct copies – of the CSM design.
However, when I mentioned to a few mates I’d gone to the trouble of importing one, the response was along the lines of…
“Oh – I thought <insert clone brand name> invented those. I had one when I started out. They are all the same, aren’t they?”
As with a great many things, the answer to that depends on your perspective. My answer is, “No, not really.”
Classics are classics for a reason and the CSM Drop Pouch is no exception. For instance, when First Spear chose to sell a dump pouch, they didn’t struggle in vain to improve upon perfection. They simply stocked CSM’s version, and still do.
CSM has made incremental changes to their original – they’ve not stayed frozen in time. But the modern iteration preserves their time honoured form factor and is easily recognisable.
The pouch presents as an unassuming rectangle, which is approximately 11″ tall by 10″ wide. Externally it’s composed of Cordura (I want to say 500D).
On the reverse is a webbing strap with hook Velcro on both sides. We’ll get to that later.
Inside the pouch is a smooth nylon drop liner. Here it is turned inside out:
The pouch secures to PALS or a belt with robust webbing loops, which are closed by both Velcro and poppers.
The mouth of the pouch is ovoid. It’s stiffened for the first few inches in order to keep shape, which is flat and low profile.
The clever bit is the ‘sphincter’ – formed from the liner. It gives the user fine control over the size of the pouch opening. The smaller the hole, the more effort is required to insert a mag; but the more securely it’s retained. And vice versa.
I said “poppers” and “sphincter” in the same blog. That’s a first.
The sphincter (slightly regret using the term) is operated via a bungee and cord-loc mechanism. The latter is tethered to the pouch, which is a nice touch. It makes one handed activation possible.
One of the differences between the Original CSM and the clones is that the Original’s liner is really heavy duty. It’s also got three drainage grommets, which correspond to those at the base of the pouch.
Aside from allowing water to drain, it’s a useful feature which allows dirt and dust to egress the pouch.
A newer feature is the addition of a hook and loop closure, so you can stow the pouch.
As for capacity, stacked in an orderly manner it’ll take about eight 5.56 Pmags with Ranger Plates.
One of the reasons this pouch is an oft copied classic is down to its simplicity. It works.
In the first draft of this review I somehow managed to avoid talking about quality – like it’s a given. Well, with CSM it is a given but I really ought to mention it. Quality conscious readers would already have identified that this is a well made product, but the materials are top notch also.
In the past, I’ve had inferior versions where I’ve put holes in the lining.
Buy nice or buy twice, as they say.