Introduction: Wanted C2R, Ended up with Crye 330D…

Crye Precision 330D pouches are sought after items. As such they are not cheap. This has put me off until now, although they do represent a decent investment.

As far as I know they are only available for military sales. For some this gives the range a prestige above and beyond that of Crye’s own commercially available Smart Pouch Suite.

Like the latter, the 330D line is used by certain Tier 1 units.

So, how did I end up with Crye 330D instead of my preferred C2R?

I was looking around for the type of C2R pouches I’ve owned in the past (take this example from 2014). However, their readily available pouches now have laminate flaps. While I do like laminate, I was after the classic form factor. Therefore I needed an alternative.

It seems clear from the design of C2R’s 556 pouches that they were heavily influenced by Crye’s 330D range. So, what better way to approach this than to go with the original?

With some long term pester power from @milsimminded and the help of a really cool eBay seller (who I was pleased to hear reads the blog), I snapped one up second (or maybe even third) hand.

Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch containing two Magpul Pmags – front view.
Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch containing two Magpul Pmags – side view.

Overview: Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch

As its name suggests, Crye’s pouch is composed of 330D cordura and is designed to hold up to two 556 mags.

The ‘draining tool’ shaped flap is iconic; and super long in this implementation. It easily subsumes two Pmags with or without Ranger Plates.

It secures with Velcro:

As usual, a tactile rod is embedded in the apex of the flap. This provides a useful index point:

The height of the pouch pocket is perfect. It is low enough so that the user can get good purchase in drawing a mag; but it is not so low as to compromise retention:

Similarly, the length of the flap here is perfect. A long flap means there is no need for loop Velcro to extend above the pouch pocket’s taped rim, even with Ranger Plates. It therefore does not interfere with mag retrieval.

Unlike Crye’s SPS series (which standardises on bungee cord for adjustable retention), the 330D pouch features a traditional band of elastic. This keeps the mags snug to avoid rattle whilst also allowing the pouch to be run open – with the flap inserted into the pouch pocket, tucked behind the mags.

As well as the full two mag complement, it keeps a single mag at decent tension too:

Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch containing one Magpul Pmag – front view, closed.
Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch containing one Magpul Pmag – front view, open.

The base of the pouch is reinforced with colour matched webbing, finished with a metal drainage grommet.

The rear of the pouch is, again, traditionally outfitted; with internally stiffened vertical MOLLE webbing straps (secured with poppers), and webbing PALS columns.

Conclusion

For me the Crye 330D 556 Double Mag Pouch is a near perfect implementation, but for one aspect.

While C2R may have borrowed the design, I have to say that their 2014 pattern mags are a marginal improvement over Crye’s. The deciding factor is the artisanal quality of C2R’s stitching; right up there with the high end construction of First Spear and Spiritus Systems’ nylon.

That said, Crye’s 330D 556 double mag pouch will do the job it’s designed for – and do it well.

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