One of the never ending issues for some people, whether in the Military or part of the Survivalist crowd, is the selection of gear that makes the carry and employment of their tactical gear efficient, durable, effective and fast. A lot of us have been fortunate enough to have come up with a system that is modular enough to cover the different weapons systems we might be using, and hopefully not break the bank while we’re figuring it out.
I have a good friend who lives in the Jacksonville, Florida area and makes tactical gear for a living (It’s not a hobby). The company is called UW Gear. I’ve known John Ammons for a couple of years now, and I can tell you that you will not find a more down to earth, friendly and helpful person when it comes to setting you up with quality tactical gear at a modest price.
I have a number of items made by John, and have been testing his gear for well over a year now. I can say without reservation that you will not find better quality at this price anywhere else. Below I will show a number of the items I have tested out, and put through the ringer and give my impressions of each type of gear.
First up is the individual mag pouches John sells. So far I have multiple, double mag pouches for three different mag types, the 20 round M1A/FAL mag, the 30 round FAL mag, and the 30 round AR Magpul mag. Below is the FAL two mag 30 rounders on a Tactical Tailor vest (John also sells TT gear). If you note the pic below that. It show a piece of velcro on the mag pouch, and this is to keep the pouch closed when only one mag is in the pouch. This is necessary because the ingenious retention tab that all John’s mag pouches use relies on tension to keep it shut, and if one mag is missing, the pouch flap doesn’t have the prerequisite tension to keep it shut without help.
The tension type closure tab is one of the reason I’ve chosen to go with John’s mag pouches for all my rifles. This type of closure doesn’t break off, pull a snap through, or wear out/load up with dirt like velcro does. Been there, done that…..Hated it! Below is the same vest with the AR Magpul pouches in place.
These mag pouches fill the roll of any standard molle mag pouch, and do a good job of retention but are still pretty fast. One of the nice additions you can get on John’s pouches is a sewn in molle strap. This strap is easier to work with (not as stiff) than a lot of the other pouch attachment straps I’ve used, and swapping out pouches is a snap. It also uses another tuck tab instead of a snap or a plastic catch.
Two of the first rigs of John’s that I used were the four mag M1A/FAL 20 rounder Swamp Fox harness, and the six mag AR Magpul 30 rounder Swamp Fox harness. These go on like a vest, but fit and ride similar to a chest rig. I’ve use both rigs a good bit, and they are made to be durable and provide easy accessibility to your mags. They also have convenient molle webbing on both side to attach an IFAK or radio pouch. The swamp Fox rig fills the roll of carrying enough ammo without equipping for a combat patrol.
Because the two center pouches are singles, and the two outside pouches are doubles, the double pouches have the extra velco for single mag retention.
Up to this point, all the Swamp Fox rigs have permanently affixed mag pouches and were four across. This next one is my Son’s rig for AR Magpul 30’s, and it has two central double mag pouches, and a molle accessory pouch on the right side (of the wearer), and a UWG molle blowout pouch on the left side. The advantage of this rig is that it is minimalist in the amount of space it takes up on ones chest in comparison to the four side by side pouch rigs. By the way, I am a big fan of John’s blow out pouch. It will hold an Israeli dressing, a pack of Quickclot, and a roll of gauze. It also has slots on both side to affix a RATS tourniquet.
Next up are the two chest rigs we’ve tried out. When I say we, I mean my Wife and I. My Wife finds the Minuteman chest rig completely comfortable. In comparison, she didn’t like the way my Son’s Swamp Fox rig rode, and the placement of the buckles were uncomfortable for her. Her chest rig is similar to my Son’s Swamp Fox rig, but it does not open in the front and therefore is a little less broad across the chest. My Son’s Swamp Fox rig and my Wife’s Minuteman chest rig are minimalist in nature, designed for those who are smaller in size, or want a very small rig on there chest. Her Minuteman is set up just like my Son’s Swamp Fox rig and has the two central AR Magpul double mag pouches, a molle accessory pouch on the right side, and a molle UWG blowout kit on the left side We all carry our blowout kits on the left front of our rigs as SOP.
The last wearable carry rig I’m going to discuss here is a chest harness that I use. Normally, I’m not a fan of chest rigs, but this one was a little different. It is designed to be minimalist in nature, and is a molle chest rig with one of John’s AR Magpul three mag shingles and a UWG blowout kit. The webbing is all thinner (not double or triple thickness with padding) and the retention flaps are actually a strap with the same tuck tab his flaps normally have. This rig rides very well underneath a light jacket or heavy shirt, and is about as spartan as you’d want, while still carrying what you need if the environment get’s “non permissive”. This rig would work out well if you’re driving from “A” to “B” and think you might need more than what your pistol and accessories might offer.
I’ve already discussed the three mag bandoleers that John makes in this post and also here. They are a convenient way to have three extra mags available in a small rig that can be attached to your pack or on your person.
Final thoughts. It’s hard to find well made kit in the U.S. that doesn’t break the bank. John is a conscientious, hard working, helpful guy that will give you an excellent product at a fair price. He can also work with you on something that isn’t in the line up. I sent John two of the FAL 30 round mags (No one makes a pouch specifically for them) and he had the mag pouches and four mag Swamp Fox rig ready in a timely manner. Give him a shout and tell him MDSA sent you.