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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was discussing plate carriers at work and I mentioned that I had a dump pouch on my weak hand side for magazine retention (primarily for partially empty mags, though it is good for other things). Some of the folks at work found this almost laughable, saying that they'd just dump their mags in a combat scenario without a second thought.

My question to you all is, how important is retaining empty and partially empty magazines to you? I understand that in an active firefight seconds count and if you must reload then losing a magazine is better than losing your life, but if the situation permits rather than drop a magazine or be forced to reseat it in your vest, why not just drop it into a dump pouch?

For those unfamiliar, a dump pouch is just a large, foldable pouch. In 'travel mode' it's the size of a small utility pouch, but once deployed it's capable of holding up to six STANAG style magazines. This is the one I've got.

As to my thoughts...

In a conventional wartime situation then sure if you're a typical infantryman then dumping magazines is no problem. You should have no real issue getting more or just picking them up later.

If, however, you're in an unconventional warfare situation (think original Red Dawn [the remake sucked] or any sort of SHTF/WROL situation) I would think that keeping your magazines would be more important. After all, your supplies might be limited and logistics/resources non-existent. If you're employing hit and run tactics you might not have time to pick up any dropped magazines.

So what do you all think?
 

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back in my early days, it was a practice to carry a pair of speed loaders on duty and some officers supplemented the loaders with a cartridge belt slide holding anywhere from six to 12 additional rounds of 38's....the idea and training being that one could do a tactical "top off" of a revolver and not waste any rounds....and we were trained that back in my academy.

.....of course it was based on a worst case scenario and behind cover. Cartridge slides over the years became less common it seems as it was deemed politically insensitive showing off those nickel cases....and the truth of the matter was the need for a tactical "top off" of a revolver was far and few.....not to mention the dexterity required to do such under stress and behind cover working with a cartridge slide...


Now the semi auto is king.......the training now for a tactical reload is to simply put the partially loaded mag in the pocket and recharge with a full mag while behind cover.....The partial mag is retained as a just in case......no need for a special "dump" pouch to retain a partially loaded mag as that is a function for the pocket.....and again the instances are far and few as in a blue moon.......it is not combat.

as far as a Red Dawn, Mad Max type scenario......i just don't believe in them.......have no need for those pesky mags anyways with my revolvers........I can just reload from real honest to goodness revolver dump pouches after i exhaust my speed loaders and speed strips in a fantasy TEOTWAWKI........actually i still use a revolver ammo dump pouch every once in a while......the new generation has no idea what a revolver dump pouch is....
 

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Retain or not to retain. I would guess it would depend on the situation. Hot moving firefight dump and reload. Fighting from a secure position, pick them up and reuse. In a drawn out battle you'd get lulls in the action where reloading mags is practical. Ambushed in the field, get out of there and dump what ever slows you down even for a second.
 

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I respectfully disagree about the new Red Dawn, but that's another topic for another time.

IMO, the original mag pocket could be utilized to save the used mags, but the dump pouch could also come in
handy to carry many other things, at that point. "No plan ever survives initial contact." Once the actual situation
gets here, who knows what you might have to scrounge?
 

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Magazine retention has ZERO importance to me. Absolutely none. If I ever live to get into another gun fight, my attitude will remain the same..."I will happily leave a trail of empty ammunition feeding devices on the ground behind me".

The only time I ever concern myself with magazine retention is in an IDPA match where one must execute the generally useless, arbitrary, and obtuse so-called "tactical reload".

My Glock has 16 or 18 rounds in it for a reason. The reason is NOT to fire "a few to a bunch, then take a gun apart that is working and has so far kept you alive to reduce your overall ammunition supply by however many rounds are left in the magazine to top it off with another magazine which you will do the same thing with".

What this means is: I have a high capacity magazine full of premium defensive ammunition and my gun is functioning as it should. I have fired X number of rounds, but not all of them because my slide is still reciprocating after each BANG. At this point, regardless of the circumstances as long as I am actively engaged, I am NOT going to remove one critical component of that which has been working so far.

What this also means is in over 30 years carrying a gun, and having been engaged in several dynamic critical incidents (newspeak for gun fight), and having trained and built muscle memory, and repeatedly fired and loaded from empty....I can perform a reload from empty (slide lock) faster than most and not have to dick around trying to grasp the reload in a non natural grasp while trying to partially eject the partially depleted magazine, slap the new one in then dick around trying to return the empty to the pouch, pocket, or whatever place your tacticool guru has said it should go to.

Another interesting fact...I have never emptied a magazine in a fight. I have never had to. Even against multiple targets, I had enough on board to finish the fight with ammo left in the gun.

NOW: If the fight is over, or I have reached a place of cover and we are not actively engaged (meaning shots are still incoming or outgoing), then I may take that moment to perform an administrative reload where I am under no time pressure to do so and can evaluate the situation remaining because now the fight might be over and it is a perfect time to refill your gas tank.

I have, on the other hand, reloaded from slide lock into the tens of thousands of times in training and in competition....and I can do it really fast. I can do it from behind cover, I can do it on the move, I can do it from strange and unconventional positions, I can even do it with one hand (strong or weak) disabled. I do it with the gun pointed AT THE THREAT and not "up in my workspace" as some dipshits call it when they put the gun in front of their eyes so they can see what they're doing (ugh).

Yes, I can do the tacticool reload...but I think it's a useless thing to even consider in a fight 99.9999999999999% of the time.

I can do it because I have trained to do it. I can do it without ever giving it one single brain cell of cognition. It is an programmed autonomic response to the CLICK stimulus and it happens a lot faster than a so-called tactical reload.

Retention of magazines? You can find them on the ground behind me and I will pick them up later. They all have the last 4 of my SSN on them (evidence later).

Something else to consider. Let's say you fire some rounds out of your (pick a semiauto). You perform a tacticool reload. You fire some more rounds out of your (pick a semiauto). You perform a tacticool reload. You are on your last magazine and you fire that to empty. You fish around in your pocket for a partially depleted magazine and try to get it into your gun before the fight ends you...then you shoot those few remaining rounds, the fight ain't over, and you have to go back to that last remaining partially depleted magazine and perform yet another reload from slide lock and hopefully end the fight before the fight ends you.

How many more reloads have you had to accomplish under fire, under stress, and under the umbrella of "you could be dead right now"?

If my math is correct, you have had done two tacticool reloads and three slide lock reloads. You just did two extra reload manipulations that you didn't have to do. Two more times where you took apart a gun that was working and turned it into a single shot, or a zero shot if it has a magazine safety.

AR mags? I buy them from MagPul by the hundred pack. The price averages out to about nine bucks apiece. My life is worth a lot more than nine bucks and I might need those X Number of rounds in the magazine I am working on RIGHT NOW and taking apart a rifle that is doing its job in the middle of a fight seems counter-productive to me. You can find those nine dollar P-Mags on the ground behind me or beside me, but they will be empty.

But hey...it looks cool on Youtube.
 

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I don't train for end of the world metrics. That said, I strip a spent magazine and let it hit the ground, that's how I train. I train to replace a mag on slide lock. If I should experience a jam, I might strip the troubled magazine and replace it. If I intentionally reload early, I will likely still discard the used magazine. If I don't, I will stick it in my pocket, its not really rocket science. I seriously doubt that reloading is going to be part of any gun fight I may find myself suddenly thrust into. It is possible and changing a magazine should not be a foreign task. I wont over intellectualize it, I just discard the magazine if it needs changing.
 

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It depends on the circumstances. If it is a one-time battle against bad guys, then magazine retention isn't that important. However if it is a SHTF situation that would likely go on for months, if not years, then retaining spent magazines becomes a higher priority.
 
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I will train in a manner I deem practical toward a desired habit action. Currently, I do not concern myself with maintain spend magazines, spent brass or any of that jazz. I can certainly opt to pocket a mag if I feel like I am never going to see mags again. Its just not how I am going to train.
 
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