By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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April 29, 2013
These days, just about everybody and their mother is making rifle and pistol mag carriers/pouches, and the High Speed Gear Inc. (HSGI) Taco Modular Single Rifle Magazine Pouch is perhaps the most popular of all of them. This makes the HSGI Taco a good comparison product for what DefenseReview (DR) believes to be the best-designed, most versatile and easy-to-use rifle mag carrier/pouch in existence, the Hard Point Universal Mag Carrier (UMC).
Hard Point UMC (Universal Mag Carrier) bullet points (from the Hard Point Equipment website):
"- Will take any military style pistol or rifle magazine from 9mm to .308 (including Surefire 60 rounders) without the need for adjustment.
- Is fine‐adjustable to accommodate individual user preference.
- Open-¬top Nylon pouch over Kydex cup offers good rigidity yet versatility and quietness. Is as easy to put the mag in as to get it out.
- Hypalon lining gives good friction for mag retention, yet silky smooth release for quick-action mag changes in standard or inverted positions, in any environment."
Don't get us wrong, we like the Taco. It’s a good product. We just like the UMC more.
- Much easier to insert mags into it.The top opening stays open, so mag insertion can be accomplished quickly and easily without looking at it or in total darkness.
- A lot easier to attach to and detach from whatever it's being mounted to.
- Better retention. The UMC can be effectively run inverted, if desired.
- Smoother release when extracting mags.
- Can be fine adjusted, but doesn't require adjustment for each different mag.
- Doesn't rely on shock cord (small bungee cord), which can easily break, and snags on things (like brush).
- Will still function even if the double elastic sides fail, since the Kydex base provides the majority of retention. However, it's quite unlikely either of them would ever fail.
- Can add a top security flap for magazine protection and jumping (HAHO/HALO).
- Entire front is covered in loop Velcro for mounting of IR (infrared), identification or moral patches.
It should be noted that HSGI also makes a double rifle mag pouch called the X2R TACO Double Rifle Magazine Pouch, but Defense Review prefers running single mag pouches in case we have to go prone. Besides, if you run a war belt/battle belt, you can run extra rifle mags/rifle mag pouches on it. Running additional rifle mags on a war belt/battle belt has become very common with both military Special Operations Forces (SOF) assaulters/operators and civilian tactical shooters.
Editor's Note: The rifle mags featured in the accompanying photos are the Lancer Systems L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (AWM) 5.56x45mm mag and MagPul PMAG 20LR 7.62x51mm Magazine – SR25/M110 mag. The Lancer L5 AWM 5.56mm mag is DR's favorite 5.56mm rifle mag right now, particularly the translucent version. The Lancer AWM is reliable and durable, and we really like the design, including the wraparound steel feed lips.
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