One of our writers is shooting at a tactical match next month. Match rules require competitors to have 10 extra rounds “at the ready” (but not loaded in a magazine). Of course he could carry spare ammo in his backpack, but that wouldn’t provide the “instant access” he wanted. To quickly access the ammo from his pack he would have to get up out of firing position. Our challenge was to figure out the most efficient way to stow 10 easily-accessed rounds on the gun itself.
Elastic Ammo Sleeves
To secure the needed 10 rounds on the gun, we looked at a variety of options. First we tried some slide-on elastic sleeves. These were cheap ($4-$6), but the elastic sleeve tended to slide forward on the buttstock, and as it moved forward it could also rotate. Plus these elastic sleeves held only 9 rounds max. One too few. Shown in the photos are the $4.99 Cabela’s 8-round “Bullet Band” and the Allen 9-round ammo carrier ($4.34 on sale at Amazon.com). Yes our writer could carry an extra round in his pocket, but we figured there was a better solution.
8-Round Eagle Ammo Carrier
Next we looked at the Eagle Industries Gunstock Ammo Carrier. With THREE velcro-secured straps, including one around the back, this holder was secure. It didn’t slide forward or rotate on the butt-stock. However it cost $28.00 locally, and it only held 8 rounds. Too much money for too little capacity.
Plastic Ammo Caddy Solution — 10 Rounds, Zero Dollars We then came up with a very simple solution. Federal ammunition comes in sturdy, TEN-round plastic ammo caddies that protect the bullet tips. The caddies have plastic loops at either end so that you can carry the unit on a belt (or other strap). These cartridge-holders cost nothing — people toss them into the trash at ranges.
Using strapping tape — one strand through the loops on the backside, and another layer over the top — we had our “field expedient” 10-round ammo carrier for an all-up cost of $0.00. Zip. Nada. (Duct-tape works as well, but the strapping tape is a cleaner install. See photo right.)
Ugly? Yes — but hey, it works.
Another option with the plastic caddy is body-mounting. Using the belt loops, you can sew the cartridge-holder to an elastic (fabric) arm brace and just slip it on your forearm. That gives you a 10-round, easy-access ammo carrier for under $5.00.
Gunstock Ammunition Carrier (Plus Plastic Caddy in Pocket) Perhaps the best solution of all is a buttstock-mounted storage pack that combines a zippered pounch with outside loops for carrying cartridges. This lets you keep spare rounds in easy reach with a couple ammo sleeves stowed securely inside the zippered pocket.
If you don’t mind dropping $30.00 or so, Eagle Industries offers this kind of combo tactical pounch/ammo carrier. This, ultimately, is what our writer chose. He purchased an Eagle Industries Stock Pack ($29.89 at OpticsPlanet.com). This features a padded, suede cheekpad, and secure elastic straps at the rear and bottom. Our writer now can mount five (5) rounds on the outside of the pack. In addition, he carries ten (10) more rounds on his Federal plastic cartridge holder, stowed in the Stock Pack’s zippered pocket.