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Thread: Bullets forward vs. bullets out mag pouches?

  1. #1
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    Bullets forward vs. bullets out mag pouches?

    I'm a year into USPSA shooting production. Purchased a DAA belt and racer pouches last year for Christmas. Have been running bullets forward. I follow Ben Stoeger and his books for dry and live fire. He's a bullets out guy and I have seen a lot of guys going to this at local matches.

    Here is the question for you who have switched or given it a good effort and gone back. Is there enough objective benefit to change, or is six of one a half dozen of the other and it's all about the practice, etc.?

    I did turn my pouches last night and spent about 45 minutes doing reloads. It seems that it could be better, especially out of the middle pouches, but it will take some getting used to. Does it really matter if the first pouch grab is the same as that's the one you will use in classifer stages and will be on the move most other times? If I was 10 years in and very proficient with bullets forward I doubt I would change, but I'm still new in the game and willing in the case that it's truly the better way.

    Thanks in advance.
    BTW, if anybody knows if Stoeger has addressed this in a Practical Pistol Show episode please let me know which one.

  2. #2
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    Doesn't much matter. There are guys shredding both ways. I run bullets forward and have tried bullets out but it wasn't instantly better.

    If it does have some inherent benefit, you have to put in the reps to reap it, so I just put in the same reps on my standard rig.

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  3. #3
    AIWB Cultist Lon's Avatar
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    I think the real benefit is being able to put more mags in a tighter space, which matters to production shooters due to their behind the hip requirements.

    I played around with the Safariland duty pouches that are bullets out and didn’t really care for them. Seemed harder to get a good grip on the mag since they were so close together.
    Formerly known as xpd54.
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  4. #4
    I use bullets out. The first time I dryfired with them as fast as I could I alternated between the fastest reloads I've ever had and throwing a mag across the room. That made me feel like it would be faster if I could get it down. As Lon mentioned more mags in a tighter space is helpful, I don't need to reach around to the middle of my back for mag #5.

    You need to have single mag holders so you can spread them out, not the multiple mag pouches.

    Another rarely used benefit is the ability to grab a mag that is farther back, on say an unloaded start with a few steps before the first target. Then I still have my closer mags for faster reloads when needed during the stage. It also keeps you from having to pass your thumb between your body and the mag if you are packing a spare tire.

    I don't think it's a necessary change, or hands down better, it's something you should probably experiment with though. Keep in mind the first time you try it how many reps you have into the old way vs the new way, and the timer is your friend. If you can run the same time bullets out, it might be worth switching because you should be able to get faster with practice.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    For USPSA Production, I use Ghost pouches, bullets forward. I've been running bullets forward forever, so it would take a lot for me to change. But, I have worked hard on my reloads and that's probably my best skill (e.g. 4 Aces in 2.09s), so I think I can comment objectively. I actually find bullets forward more ergonomic--especially for surrender starts--and that's a big deal on classifiers. I also like bullets forward much better for pouches 2-5. As my hand moves backward from an empty pouch 1, it naturally finds the next full pouch.

    As Lon and bofe954 said, you can pack more pouches in using bullets out. With my 32" waist, that would be an advantage. I can't get more than 5 pouches comfortably using bullets forward, and #5 is at 6:00 on my belt.

    Running some pouches forward and some out? I suppose you could try that, but it doesn't seem ideal to me.

    Whatever you choose, you need a blazing fast reload from pouch 1. Your other pouches just need to work for reliable reloads while moving.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  6. #6
    I used both for extensive periods of time (years), I find no difference between the two.

  7. #7
    I realize your question is only in regards to comp shooting but just something to consider is if you would conceal carry the same way? To me, bullets out prints more and I would want to remain consistent in both how I would get my mags when both conceal carrying or at a comp event

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Les Pepperoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillySoldier View Post
    I realize your question is only in regards to comp shooting but just something to consider is if you would conceal carry the same way? To me, bullets out prints more and I would want to remain consistent in both how I would get my mags when both conceal carrying or at a comp event
    I doesn't matter... Just practice both... Really.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillySoldier View Post
    I realize your question is only in regards to comp shooting but just something to consider is if you would conceal carry the same way? To me, bullets out prints more and I would want to remain consistent in both how I would get my mags when both conceal carrying or at a comp event
    Ive had no issue switching between the two. Neither with comp gear to carry gear or using two different rigs at a Saturday Sunday match.
    Welcome to Africa, bring a hardhat.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Jesting Devil's Avatar
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    So I shoot with bullets out ghost pouches, like them a lot and on a real good day I can get a reload around .98 or so. Problem is in dryfire when pushing fast, I smash the hell out of my fingers on the side of the pouch to try to get those times. Really hate practicing reloads because of it.

    I switched to them because loading from pouch 2+ with bullets forward I constantly ran my pointer finger into the pouch in front and got a much less consistent grip on the mags.

    Anyone else experience this? Not sure if it’s a technique issue or I should try some other types of pouch to see if it helps.

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