Now I am aware that this system made its debut at SHOT 2013 but it seems to have been given a new lease of life in the past few months and I was very pleased to be asked to review it. The ‘Regulation Tactical Reflex Pouch Mk2’ is a revolutionary pouch design created by a US Marine with 3 combat tours of duty under his belt and although unconfirmed when writing this review I would imagine he bought a lot of the ‘intense, under fire’ challenges that he experienced to bear on this problem solving system.
I used the phrase ‘problem solving’ and the problem or challenge that this pouch is here to address is what to do with a ½ loaded magazine when carrying out a ‘tactical reload’ (for whatever reason)? In my days you threw it down the front of your smock, stuffed it in a pocket or used a converted S10 respirator pouch as a form of ‘dump pouch’…yeah kit has moved on a hell of a lot since then! Nowadays every round counts and what the designer wanted to do was create a ‘system’ that could accommodate a half way solution between throwing in dump pouch a ½ loaded mag and looking for it a later date or integrating it back into a pouch with fully bombed magazines. I can assure you trying to do a ‘mental round count’ when you may have upwards of 9 magazines on you excluding the added pressures of any form of engagement is quite a test of mental prowess!
Has this the ‘Reflex Pouch’ achieved this goal? Well simply put yes and that is exactly how I used it for the past month I have had this as part of my active load out. Now by no means did I just ditch my dump pouch and I only used this ‘pouch’ when carrying out a ‘tactical’ reload and once I had cycled through the 2 magazines on a mental count of 3 draws I was dumping the magazines into the dump pouch (regardless of any pellet count still in them) to re-bomb at a safer time. But knowing that I had full or depleted magazines that still had a count was great, especially when in ‘Airsoft’ terms you get that dry thud. The magazine change was very quick (this will be touched upon in the double stack mode) for me as the pouch was positioned on my belt (will come to that later on) on the left hand side right next to my dump pouch so in goes an empty and slamming back into the mag well is a magazine with some or full count.
The Reflex pouch when fully opened is a well-designed pouch (for its purpose) and is simple to configure to your magazines due to the industrial strength Velcro tabs. It is made out of 1000D Cordura Nylon and has reinforced stitching and the steel plate will not lose shape regardless of the amount of abuse you give it maintaining the efficiency of the pouch throughout its use. The weight is unnoticeable (for this user) coming in at 5.5oz but I appreciate that some that read this review do count the ‘pounds & ounces’. It has a ‘paraclete’ strap system which was both easy to thread & secure and I had no concerns in running it on 1.5inch belt.
I have noticed an increase in these ‘instruction manuals’ that are now issued with kit and I quite like it, makes things ‘squaddie’ proof…well as best you can. It’s a great breakdown of the pouch with simple steps to allow a user to become very ofay with the system showing its various set ups of which there are 3 for the reflex pouch.
Double Stack: This is the primary set up and allows the pouch to work at its full performance. As you can see the rear magazine sits further down than the front magazine, this is to allow a very quick ‘hand > magazine > draw’ movement. I personally found this a lot quicker than trying to draw from either tacos or shingle, but it was not as quick as my 10 speed line. Once that front magazine has been drawn then the steel plate pushes the rear magazine forward for instant use, allowing you to reinsert (behind the now front magazine) your ½ used magazines. This action is then carried out until both magazines are empty. When you’re in a double stack mode and you only have x1 magazine in the pouch there is good retention due to the spring but I did have a few minor ‘magazine falls’ when carrying out some aggressive movements. This was easily rectified by unfastening the Velcro tabs, inserting both magazines in, applying some extra pressure and then refastening the Velcro tabs.
Single Stack: Same principle as the double stack only this does require you to unfasten the Velcro tabs, adjust for a single magazine pressure and refasten the Velcro tabs. I only used this once as I personally felt no need to have a pouch with that size of profile holding x1 magazine and I also felt that it was not functioning at its optimal level.
Low Profile: Unfasten all the Velcro, remove the ‘steel spring plate’ and then refasten Velcro. This action was carried out in a safe environment but never used in field as again I felt it defeated the point of purpose of this pouch. It also meant you would have to carry the steel plate with you and that presented its own little quandary.
As you can see from some of the pictures I had no problems in using either a 5.56 or 7.62 style magazine with two different magazine pulls. I understand that there are different versions in the R&D / T&E stages to accommodate different size & calibre magazines and I would suggest you contact your retailer or ‘Regulation Tactical’ about those future developments.
The main challenge I found with this pouch was its size. It’s not small or low profile and with the ‘steel sprung plate’ you can certainly feel it when prone. Now you will see no pictures of me with this pouch mounted front and centre on any of my rigs as I carried out some simple ‘home’ tests prior to going into the field with it. Having addressed this challenge I was more than happy to run it on my belts and I had no difficulty in the use and had no issues with the pouch doing what it was supposed to. I personally would not look to have ‘multiples’ of these pouches on either my belt order or rigs as I found the size and nature of what the system was achieving did not facilitate more than a ‘1 pouch need’.
You also need to be aware that this is an open system and I did get debris entering the pouch via the bottom. This did not cause any hindrance in my use of the pouch and was easy to clean out, but it is something to consider. The mechanical part that makes this system what it is, is a ‘steel sprung plate’ and as such wear & tear with the addition of exposure to the natural environments may end up with the plate degrading. Now this will not happen in days, weeks or even months, but long term it should be considered and a simple maintenance of that steel plate should be considered when maintaining and cleaning your kit.
Now previously I mentioned the 3 different setups this pouch could perform ‘double stack, single stack and low profile’. I indicated that low profile for me was a moot point of use. What I did become aware of is when in ‘low profile’ you would need to carry around the ‘steel plate’ for you to integrate back into the pouch for it to carry out its intended purpose. Now there is next to no weight and yes the footprint is a little awkward, but it was the corners of the plate that caused the most concern. They are sharp not rounded and as such when pressure was applied (directly + intentional in my case) they had no problems puncturing 500D, this could easily be resolved with a rounding of those edges. The reason I mention this is due to a user carrying the ‘plate’ in their Daysack / Bergan and an unfortunate bump happening that could cause a puncture.
I can see benefits for this pouch in an active environment where you may find a user restricted to a set number of magazines for their rifle as this could remove a dump pouch; provide a very quick magazine change as well as act as an intermediate ‘dump pouch’. For those that are required to do a tactical reload the benefit of this is obvious and those that prefer to do CQB airsoft where prone is unlikely but kneeling is common place then this could be a very good system to utilise. Again its some nice ‘blue sky’ thinking from an individual that has experienced a number of challenges as has endeavoured to rectify them.
They are available in three solid colours: Black, OD, CB as well as in Multicam Pattern.
I would like to thank ‘Dave’s Custom Airsoft’ for supplying this pouch for review www.davescustomairsoft.co.uk – Dave’s Custom Airsoft is the official Regulation Tactical UK & European Distributor and for trade enquiries. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Also a big thanks to our reviewer Richard aka FireBase Alpha for the field test.