Guest post! By British Tactical
Disclaimer: I was supplied with the shown products as pre-release review samples.
The ‘tacticool’ space is awash with companies producing the latest and greatest revisions of what are in theory the most basic of pouches – the magazine pouch. British Tactical/Flimmuur Tactical are no different, but unlike your Warrior, Templar or Kombat offerings, the newest revision of the Horizon Laminate line is not just a slight colour change and a random increase in price to justify another release.
So, what is different then?
Well, if we look closely at the simple aesthetics of the pouch, next to the Kydex version we can see that some significant changes have been made. Whilst the material is still laser cut and heat sealed, with precision automated sewing, there are some very obvious changes. The colourway is much more consistent with the Multicam we’re used to, and the lack of stitching on the outside of the pouch has really smoothed out the overall appearance. There is now an offset row of MOLLE attachment slots central to the pouch, meaning that you have a greater variety of options when it comes to stacking pouches on top of each other. No more wasted rows, or twitchy OCD. The back of the pouch shows additional thought, with the mounting system still being a laminate material, but now with a thermoplastic tab at the bottom to make threading it much easier (more on this later). On paper, so far so good, we’ve got a much better looking (in my opinion), newer and slightly lighter pouch for… Less money? That can’t be right. Yes, somehow, Horizon have managed to knock £1 off the price of a Single Mid 5.56mm pouch going from the Kydex Range to the MagPI range.
The biggest difference between the MagPI and Kydex range is the retention system. As with the Kydex offering there is an optional elastic bungee retention system (additional cost, at time of writing 75p), however that’s where similarities end. The insert is now a proprietary Thermoplastic insert, and unlike Kydex it is no longer wedged. This means it is even easier to reinsert the magazine into the pouch and ensure that it is seated correctly from a variety of weird and wonderful angles and positions. As well as this there has been a complete redesign of how the insert is actually retained within the pouch. The new revision comes with a MagPI insert horn, that easily allows you to remove and replace the Insert with minimal wear on the internal velcro, and making sure that it is sitting perfectly in the pouch again. Now, again these cost (at time of writing) 75p each, but you will only need one for all of your 5.56 pouches and to increase longevity they’re an absolute must.
Aesthetics aren’t the be all and end all (heresy, I know), because if the pouch doesn’t do its main task, it’s pretty irrelevant how good it looks. In the interests of getting as much testing done in the shortest time possible, I farmed the complete range out to 5 different individuals to test across a 3-day Complex Terrian/OBUA exercise. They mounted them directly to the VIRTUS STV, the issued belt, a private purchase shooters belt and a variety of MOLLE panels.
Let’s talk variety here too. In the 5.56 range alone, you have a selection of Singles, Doubles, Triples. Now add in Short, Medium and Tall, you will absolutely find what you’re looking for in terms of rifle magazine options. There are also a significant number of 7.62 pouches, pistol pouches and various combinations of rifle/pistol. There really is something here for everyone.
How easy were they to fit? The general consensus was that no matter what they were being attached to they were extremely easy to fit, with the thermoplastic tabs making it much easier to thread through the MOLLE, even if the pouches and host items were wet and muddy. The only person that had any issues was attempting to stack them on top of a slightly less reputable companies’ pouch, and found that securing the final loop was slightly challenging due to inconsistencies in that pouches MOLLE spacing. As a work around, it was necessary to remove the insert whilst mounting, which gave a bit more ‘give’ and made the process much easier. This feedback has been addressed by Horizon and will be added to the pouch FAQs.
How easy were they to maintain? All found the insert horn extremely easy to use, with no issues what-so-ever removing or replacing the Insert. A very good observation was that a magazine can be put into the pouch before removing the horn, this ensures it is correctly seated and won’t need forcing in the first time you use the pouch after an insert change. The elastic was a bit fiddly to attach initially, but was secure when fitted and easy to remove and reattach once you’ve got it sorted the first time.
(Removal. 1. Insert horn behind insert. 2. Push down until it bottoms out. 3. Pull out insert.)
How well did they function? Again, the general consensus was that the pouches did exactly what they needed to a high standard. Despite every tester being given a full complement of the additional bungee retentions, no one chose to fit these, stating that the magazines felt extremely secure throughout, with no issues with inserting, removing or retaining the magazines at any time. One tester even removed the insert and ran the pouches like this for a few serials, and whilst there were no retention issues, they did say that were the inserts to fail they would add the bungee for the additional piece of mind.
Would you buy them? A resounding yes from all soldiers that tested the range. They were impressed with the quality of the materials, the quality of the build and the overall look and function of the pouches. They all agreed that the MagPI range would be worth either an initial purchase or would be top of the list for a piecemeal upgrade to any magazine pouches they currently have.
In conclusion, would I buy these? Absolutely I would. I’m guilty of still running a mixed bag of brands and materials on my kit. The value and quality that is offered by the Horizon Tactical range would make a complete overhaul or upgrade to some components an absolute no brainer.
Value for Money: 5/5
Ease of Use: 4/5 (the only negative here comes from the fact many of us may have mixed brand compatibility issues)
See the entire MagPi range here: