Words and pics: Rich Norman
There are a lot of bungee-bound ‘corset’ style mag pouches on the market right now. However, I’m pretty confident in saying that the G-Code Soft Shell Scorpion is the best in breed.
Its magazine retention is the most positive I’ve ever experienced – and that’s without having to fight to draw or re-index mags. The retention is so good, in fact, that I’ve been running these pouches upside down. On my PC that’s usually the job of an ITW FastMag, but the G-Code is a good few rungs up the evolutionary ladder from that.
What G-code has done is to balance compression with grip. Their use of Santoprene is key here. It lends just the right grip, so the pouch’s bungee corset doesn’t need to be super tight to deliver the retention I require. Likewise, it’s not a chore to pull out mags like it can be with the harshest kydex. The draw is smooth and even.
Presented here in Ranger Green, the G-Code comprises a grippy Santoprene envelope, wrapped in a nylon exoskeleton.
The bungee compression system is cleanly routed and kept tidied away.
Variable pressure on the mag from the sides is controlled by a barrel lock, as is standard with pouches of this type.
The face of the pouch includes a PALS alternative – equivalent to one channel – which allows pouches to be piggybacked on the unit.
The base of the pouch includes drainage, although of course the sides are open.
Aside from the novel two layer Santoprene/nylon chassis, the mouth of the pouch is also exceptional.
The reason blind indexing is so easy is because the opening is deeply flared on all four sides. It’s like using a Lancer Adaptive Magwell for mag pouches.
The G-Code allows for multiple attachment systems on the reverse of the pouch. For my purposes, I’ve selected the company’s R1 MOLLE clips. These are optimised to interface rifle magazine Soft Shell Scorpion pouches with PALS.
However, unlike the majority of fixings on the market today, these clips bolt to the pouch via threaded brass inserts. I’ve removed one of the clips in the pic above, to show the brass inserts (as well as to demonstrate how neat and tidy the bungee routing is, with no sharp edges).
My advice, once you’re settled on a mounting position, is to use some blue threadlock to keep the bolts tight.
Quite apart from the broad selection of clips and backings available from the company, the R1 clips alone provide a multiplicity of mounting positions which allow the user to fine tune pouch location – as nuanced as that may be.
The R1 clips can be mounted in the standard orientation or inverted. Once orientation is chosen, there are two bolt positions which move the clips up or down – slightly, but usefully. It takes some faffing about, but once dialled in you’ll be glad to have had the option.
And how well do these clips weave? Well, they don’t weave much at all…but in a good way.
The clips are semi-rigid and are slid straight down the back of the requisite number of PALS channels – not weaved in and out. They also works with 6/12 or equivalent, if you’re using a platform of more modern construction.
The areas highlighted intersect with the PALS or 6/12 and keep the clips in place. This actually makes them slightly awkward to fit, but we’re not nearly into MALICE clip territory.
As well as this, there’s a locking mechanism at the end of each clip. This is very easy to close and makes a satisfying click to indicate that it’s locked; but it is difficult to open again – which is probably a good thing.
The lock makes use of a slider which is semi-captive. However, it will detach from the clip when the locking mech is opened if enough force is used – so look out for that.
So what are the downsides?
For me, functionally, there are none. G-Code has imploded the ‘me too’ bungee corset mag pouch; reconstructing it with an innovative design and modern materials which have been expertly thought through.
My mags stay put unless I want to retrieve them, even with the pouch orientated upside down. Not only that but I don’t have to fight to index my mags. I don’t even need to look.
Likewise, affixing the pouches – while it has its moments – is pretty much frustration free when compared to HSGI Tacos.
If I’m grasping for something, the pouches are a little bulkier than some other alternatives – but the form factor is what makes them good at what they do; you can’t divorce one from the other.
The real downside (singular) is supply.
I ordered direct from G-Code in the States, which was fast and efficient at their end. It was expensive, though. The UK price, on the other hand, is cheaper (when shipping, VAT and the frustration of international postage are taken into consideration).
However, it does take some time for UK stocks to be replenished. So if you see some of these excellent pouches, grab them.