One of the more interesting elements of the Marine infantry is how jobs in the infantry are divided into different MOS categories. I spent five years as a machine gunner in a line company weapons platoon. I learned a lot, and I genuinely loved carrying the biggest gun in a rifle squad. One of the most frustrating things I learned is that ammo pouches for belt fed weapons are rare. In 2009 the Marine Corps wasn’t issuing SAW pouches to gunners.

Machine gun wishes

I was lucky enough to inherit a few SAW pouches from my Senior Marines that I used for carrying standard drums or belts of 7.62. In Afghanistan I had the option of using a M240 or a M249. Either way I needed a method to carry ammunition. My Loadout for the SAW was 1,000 rounds and 500 for the M240. My mismatched pouches did their best. However, I still had to carry a bandoleer of ammunition the way it came from Lake City.

Luckily, time and capitalism has met the demand of automatic rifleman and Machine gunners everywhere. Blue Force Gear has produced a SAW pouch that has made me wish for a time machine.

Blue Force Gear SAW Pouch | First Look
9 AR magazines, two are 40 rounders and the Pouch can still close!

Right out of the box the pouches feels odd. This SAW pouch is not made from the standard ballistic nylon.  After a few clicks on the google machine I figured out why. The pouch is made from Ultracomp. Ultracomp is a material designed by Blue Force Gear to be stronger, lighter, and more water resistant than ballistic nylon. 

Blue Force Gear SAW Pouch | First Look
Compressed sleeping bag, emergency blanket and poncho with plenty of room to spare

The pouch itself is massive. It could certainly fit a 200 round SAW drum. If you aren’t an automatic rifleman, or machine gunner, this pouch could still serve you well. As a general utility pouch this bad boy can strap onto a pack and carry an MRE, and two bottles of water. As a civilian this would make the perfect pouch to carry one of those awesome Magpul 60 round drums.

One Big SAW pouch

In a pinch you can toss in a half dozen magazines. Maybe a few hundred rounds of 5.56 in boxes. Take the pouch out of the tactical realm and let’s throw it into something a little different. In wildfire firefighting a required piece of gear is a fire shelter. The standard pouch they come in works, but it’s not great. This pouch would be perfect to house a fire shelter over the days, weeks, and months that could be spent on a fire. Life in a fire camp isn’t bad, but it can be rough.

Blue Force Gear SAW Pouch | First Look
100 rounds of 9mm and 200 rounds of 223

Is the pouch tough enough? Knowing Blue Force Gear it’s probably an outstanding piece of gear. Time will tell though. We’ll see if this SAW pouch is the answer to the machine gunner’s question.

Heavy duty Cordura nylon construction
Genuine USGI MOLLE II gear
Approx 10″ x 7″ x 3″
Large amount of space for all your “necessary stuff”
1000’s of possible uses