The shotgun has seen many incarnations over the
years, and from the dusty streets of the Old West to the urban
mazes of today it has served the law officer and citizen well.
One problem has remained constant, and that is the
management of ammunition. A
few detachable box magazine fed shotguns aside, the shotgun,
whether pump action or autoloader, has to be fed with individual
shells. Before the
shells can be loaded into the shotgun, they have to be available
to the shooter, and methods for carrying the shells are as
diverse as the shot shells themselves.
One option is the Blackhawk Box Shotshell
Pouch, available for $34.95 from Blackhawk Industries.
I recently bought and tested one of these pouches, and
came away impressed.
The pouch, like many of Blackhawk's other
products, is made of a tough black nylon, which the company
Measuring 5 1/2" by 3" by 5 1/2", it's
secured over the top by a heavy flap that locks down with the
ubiquitous Velcro. Lifting
the flap up, you can see the two elastic baffles that help keep
the shells in the pouch when the flap is up, a great time saver.
From there, a small patch of Velcro is sewn on the inside
of the flap so the user can tack the flap down in the open
position, a feature which casual users will find especially
appealing. On the
back side, the pouch is held to the shooter's belt by way of two
Velcro-secured belt loops of Blackhawk's proprietary BTS system.
No need to undo your belt to put this one on, simply open
the flaps, wrap them around the belt, then secure.
The pouch isn't going anywhere.
Blackhawk advertises the pouch as being able to
hold 25 12gauge shotgun shells, and I found that to be right. Stuff 25 shells in there, and with the outer flap open or
closed, the elastic baffles kept the shells inside, even when
when the pouch was shaken vigorously.
For range use where the user won't be crawling or jumping
around, I found that 25 shell figure to be a little low.
I was able to fit 40 2-3/4" 12gauge shells in it,
and even then they stayed put when the pouch was tipped on its
side. Like I said,
gentle use. When I
started shaking it as hard as I did with 25 in there, they
started coming out. I
hunt small game with a 20gauge shotgun, so I was curious to see
how many of the smaller shells could fit in there.
The result? 50
shells, mostly 3", again with the same restrictions.
That's two whole boxes of game loads, plenty enough for a
day in the field.
Beyond just handling the Blackhawk pouch in my
basement, I also had the opportunity to train with it.
I took the pouch, along with 150 shells and my trusty Mossberg
590A1, to Pat Goodale's excellent Defensive Shotgun
course at his facility in Parkersburg WV this past April.
Pat had us running, ducking, and even crawling over dirt,
rocks, and grass; during the course of a day's training, the
pouch, not to mention my shoulder, got a workout.
Total shells spilled on the ground from the pouch?
Zero. Having had some gear fall apart on me in the past, I was
pleasantly surprised to see how well it held up. None of the stitches loosed, and none of the corners frayed.
The one improvement I'd like to see is the
addition of a small "D" ring to each upper corner on
the back (belt) side of the pouch.
That way the user could attach a strap to throw over his
shoulder when the pouch and its contents was needed in a hurry
without fumbling with belt attachments. Real "grab and go" gear, if you would.
Otherwise, the Blackhawk shotshell pouch has plenty going
for it. It is tough
and durable, and does its intended purpose well.
For the hunter, homeowner, law officer, or anyone who
needs to carry shotgun shells, this piece of gear is definitely
worth a look.
Here for more information. You can check out Blackhawk
Industries' complete product line at www.blackhawkindustries.com.
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