Editors Note: A million thanks to Travis Pike for his well-thought-out and comprehensive review. –GDM

It’s not a big surprise that I love shotguns, right? Well, 5.11 has helped me out with an awesome Shotgun Loadout for my AMP (All Missions Plate Carrier). It’s one of the two loadouts I run on my AMP and I have been training hard over the last week with it. Learning how to use both the carrier as well as a couple of 5.11 Shotgun attachments. Mixing these attachments with the AMP has provided me with an awesome overall loadout for shotguns. The Hex grid layout allows me to run attachments that would be vertical, horizontal, or even slightly diagonal. This makes it easy to run a mix of two very different pouches.

How I Designed My Shotgun Loadout

The idea was simple. Shotgun ammo is a real pain in the ass to carry around, but the shotgun itself is not a high-volume weapon. It’s made for quick, close, and violent encounters. I designed the loadout to work with both quick reloads and lulls in the fight. This struck a balance between the amount of ammo I could carry and the availability of said ammo.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

My Shotgun Loadout Pouches

What drew me to 5.11 Shotgun gear is the fact it is tested by Viking Tactics, a company I respect immensely. If you don’t know Kyle Lamb and VTAC you need to do some research and learn what’s what. They are an outstanding, cutting edge company in both the gear and training realm. I trust them.

The first two attachments are the 5.11 VTAC Shotgun bandoliers. These 5 round bandoliers are made to run vertically, but I like running them horizontally at the top portion of my vest. This makes it easy to reach them and keeps me from overoccupying my plate carrier vest. On my Shotgun loadout, these are the bandoliers I use for quick reloads. This includes emergency reloads and reloads under fire. This gives me ten rounds on tap for those “Oh Shit” situations.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

These mini bandoliers use elastic loops to hold the rounds secure and run them horizontally. With the brass up, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

On top of that, I keep a VTAC Shotgun Ammo pouch on board. This holds 25 rounds of shotgun ammo in the standard cardboard box a 25-round pack comes in. The box stays in the pouch, and the zippered lid of the pouch has an overlapping open elastic flap that prevents the rounds from bouncing out of the pouch, but this allows you to reach in and remove rounds.

The entire setup gives me 35 rounds total. In a flash, I can switch to an AR loadout and rock my ugly 80 percent lower receiver AR, aka the Ghost Gat.

Running the Shotgun Loadout

The two bandoliers of the shotgun loadout make it very easy to access ten rounds on the fly. For emergency reloads and for a quick top off these two bad boys are perfect and easy to reach. These attachments make it easy to grab ten rounds of ammo on the fly. I practiced speed, or emergency reloads quite a bit. These are the reloads through the ejection port when you run the gun completely dry.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

The same goes for grabbing rounds and shoving them into the tube. It’s quick, easy, and very intuitive.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

The VTAC ammo pouch allows me to fish for extra rounds when the stakes aren’t so high. It is a little slower than the bandoliers, but it also holds 5 times as much ammo. I use this pouch for reloading when things are a little quieter. This could be a lull in the fight or for when the enemy at least appears defeated, but we need to ensure everyone who needs killin’ is killed.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

Additionally, besides reloading the shotgun, I would use this pouch to reload my side saddle and my 5.11 bandoliers. This allows my shotgun loadout to be used together, and this increases my overall versatility.

The Setup

My Shotgun Loadout is working out very well for me. The gear is very intuitive, very easy to use, and it’s made very well. When paired with the All Missions Plate carrier, I find it to be supremely customizable. Building this loadout hasn’t been easy. The industry largely ignores the shotgun, and I’m glad 5.11 has stepped up the shotgun game.

My 5.11 Shotgun Loadout

The shotgun is far from a popular weapon, but it is still an amazing close-range fight stopper. Having a way to carry extra ammo is an absolute necessity. This gear from 5.11 is an outstanding choice if you are a fan of the mighty shotgun.