I wrote about the Crye Side-Pull Mag Pouch in June 2018, as part of the blog’s In The Wild series.
There I highlighted its use with CAG and other Tier 1 elements.
I also commented that it’s difficult to return mags to the pouch after use.
I haven’t changed my mind about this. The main problem is the mouth of the pouch. It really needs some form of reinforcement to keep it open and receptive.
Here’s what it looks like as it comes:
As an aside, Crye has rectified the matter on its Zip-On Pack 2.0 – which I had hands on with recently – but the problem remains with the standalone Side-Pull Pouch product.
It struck me that to make the Side-Pull Pouch work at the rear of my AVS, I had three realistic options:
- Get really good at reindexing and work on body contortion
- Get someone else to reindex the mags
- Hack the Side-Pull Mag Pouch so I could reindex myself
I chose the latter and I’m not the first. Danter did something similar with Tyr’s version of the Side-Pull Mag pouch (which is actually a whole lot easier to hack, he tells me, because the mag compartments are bigger).
Danter and his hacked Tyr setup (pic: Alfred Encallado):
First I got rid of the bungees. These just get in the way.
Next I stretched both compartments of the Side-Pull Mag Pouch, over a number of days. I did this by keeping the mags in situ and wedging MALICE Clips down all four sides (finally a use for MALICE Clips).
Meanwhile, I repurposed a couple of Predator Gear Kydex inserts I had laying about.
The result isn’t pretty, but it works. There’s plenty of time to commission a pro version once the proof of concept is done.
The aim of reshaping the Kydex was to form a receptive mouth which stops the compartment collapsing.
I also needed to take as much of the usual hourglass shape out of the Kydex. The Side-Pull Mag Pouch compartments are so tight that the Kydex needs to exert very little mechanical grip on the mags.
So, the object became about relaxing the Kydex sufficiently. It is still retained by the compartment and its elastic, so it doesn’t fall out when the mag is drawn.
Kydex is a thermoplastic so responds well to heat. A hot hairdryer or mini blowtorch can be used to reshape it.
It took a few goes to work out what was best for me in terms of Kydex size and shape. I settled on allowing the Kydex to protrude way beyond the pouch compartment. This makes it easier for me to guide the mags back in.
Mags are now really easy to draw and much easier to reindex.
Having said that, these rear mounted mags are for emergencies only. After use they go into my front mounted Crye Roll-Up Dump Pouch and are reindexed using both hands when there’s a decent pause.