Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guns: Tuff Products Tactical QuickStrip Pouch review

If you carry a 5-shot compact revolver as a CCW firearm, you pretty much need to carry spare ammo in some form or another. The five rounds of .38 or even .357 in the gun isn't much if you're facing off against some nutcase shooting up a shopping mall with an AK. A pair of speedloaders on the belt, speed strips in your jacket, loose rounds in your shirt pocket...anything is better than not having a reload available.

I favor speed strips - inexpensive, flat, no moving parts. Most people carry these in pockets, but that always seemed messy to me. Pockets are busy places, and there's no time to fumble through your car keys, cell phone, and wallet for extra ammo.

So, for the longest time, I jammed speed strips into cell phone holsters. Until I found out about the Tuff QuickStrip Pouch:







It's a belt pouch that holds one or two QuickStrips, the Tuff version of the Bianchi Speed Strip. The small size can fit two strips loaded with 5 rounds of .38 each:





The pouch doesn't use belt loops. Instead, there is some heavy-duty bar tack sewed onto the bottom of the pouch ends. You open the cover, put in the strips, work the flap up and over your belt, and then close the pouch. The bar tack and the rounds themselves help the pouch to stay put on your belt:



There is an additional "hidden pocket" inside the pouch, between the bar tacks. You can jam another couple rounds of .38 in there if need be - but let's hope you'll never need those last two in a fight:



All in all, it's a good design that carries the strips flat and unobtrusively on the belt (you can actually open carry the pouch - most people will think it's a cell phone). I was skeptical about the loop-less design, but it works as long as you don't use a narrow, flimsy belt (1-1/2"+ wide gun belts work great). I would have liked to see a button snap closure instead of Velcro (especially at the $20 asking price), but for what it is, it works.

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