In the last few years ArmaLite, the manufacturer of the AR-15, has found itself in the same place as the AK, where most people recognize the whole company by their most prevalent rifle. That makes people buy ammo holsters for the wrong gun, mixing the one for the AR-15 and the AR-180. That is exactly why AR pouches for ammo are often a better choice because they can fit both.Five main benefits of AR tactical pouches are:
Adaptability – Takes anything from the .22 Hornet to the .50 BMG
Sturdiness – Pouches can be semi-permanently attached to your belt or PC
Keeps the mag in place
Covers and protects ammo from elements
More space – Can take in more mags
The only drawback of pouches is that they are generally not covert. You will have limited options to wear a pouch with an internal carrier, and wardrobe modifications will be needed if you want to conceal them in any way.But, for those who don’t need to hide, just to do their mission quickly and easily, a pouch is the best solution to take more ammo without overbearing yourself. And, if you are using a variety of weapons you will want to buy an AR pouch because it will fit any of the mags, making the lifelong price of the product less.This means that, while a pouch and a holster would cost approximately the same, the utility of the pouch for sale would make it be worth more in the long run.
What Makes a Good Military AR Pouch?
Primarily, it should fit all types of mags that would go into AR models. As this is a wide range from the AR-5 and the AR-7, both taking in .22cal ammo, all the way to the AR-50 using the massive .50cal BMG rounds that can pierce most tanks.Obviously, a combat pouch wouldn’t be able to house the same number of magazines for both models, but it should be adjustable enough to fit either. This can be done by cord or clamps, but always needs to be a good fit.And this fit is the second thing to look for when you want to buy any ammo pouch. The pouch itself must be firmly attached to your belt or to the MOLLE webbing on your plate carrier. Any flapping or excessive shaking will make your balance a nightmare when carrying multiple tactical pouches.For the mag inside the pouch, as little shaking as possible is ideal. When using soft materials it is to be expected to some wiggle will always remain. But, you never want your ammo to fly around in the pouch as if it is an open pocket.
Pouch vs. Holster
Most people notice that holsters are usually used by civilians and pouches by militaries and professional companies working for security, but even users rarely realize why. The point is in versatility over-optimization.If you only have a single firearm, or all of your guns are of the same caliber and model, you are better off with a specialized holster that will take exactly the mags for that weapon. This holster will be trimmed down to size, possible to hide under your clothes and have options for attaching it with the weight of the ammo in mind.But, if you are an army or police force, and you don’t know what you will be using before the mission starts, you want to keep your options open.Generally speaking, you don’t want to have AR-15 holsters for the 5.56 NATO rounds only to need your ArmaLite AR-30 that has a significantly shorter and wider ammo box magazine. It’s not like you can carry 6 mags of sniper .308 ammo in your pockets.
How Many Pouches Should You Carry?
This will depend on the weapon you are using and the mission at hand, but the ideal number is generally either three large-caliber pouches or six smaller ones. This will allow you to take up to 6+1 magazines of 5.56 NATO ammunition, or 3+1 mags of large sniper ammo. Going over this number will severely impact your maneuverability due to the weight of the ammo. For marksmen, the rifle is already very heavy even without an additional rifle mag pouches, and you don’t want to leave your weapon to the enemy if you need to quickly evacuate. If your position is secure, it is better to have any additional mags stored in the backpack than to carry them on your person directly. You will still be able to access them from the top of the bag but wouldn’t feel them as much on your feet.But, this number doesn’t include other pouches that you will want, such as space for grenades, radio, as well as a dump pouch for expendable material. You need to take all of it into consideration before even starting to prepare for deployment.