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Carrying Thompson Ammo


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#1 stuay

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 09:49 PM

Which was more prevalent/preferred method of carrying 30 round Thompson magazines -- using the ammo bag slung over the shoulder or using an ammo pouch attached to the pistol belt? What were the strength/weakness, advantages/drawbacks to each method?
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#2 TSMGguy

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 12:32 AM

Others will know better than I on this one; my impressions come only from reading the comments made by those at the time, and from a little practical experience at this end of the time line!

I have a three-pocket pouch that was produced as a test item for the US Army shortly after the first MP40s were captured in North Africa. It resembles the German pouch right down to the color and the leather tabs used for closing. A small pocket is sewn on that holds the oiler. XX mags fit with room left over, but the pockets will not quite close over XXX mags. This test item was never produced in any numbers. The Army kept the now familiar five pocket pouch for XX mags. These proved to be less than practical as they were heavy, held only 100 rounds, and took up quite a lot of room on the standard M1936 pistol belt. GIs took to carrying the magazines stuffed in pockets or anywhere else that they could find room. With the advent of XXX mags for the M1 and M1A1 TSMGs, an ammo bag was developed, and this was the most practical solution.

I have a khaki British-produced, US-marked three-pocket mag pouch for XXX mags as well, but have only seen these with USMC markings otherwise, produced in 1944.

I head for the range with XXX mags loose or in a three-pocket reproduction pouch from Gun Parts. For busting jack rabbits, I use a reproduction mag bag from http://www.atthefront.com These are in stock now for $39.95. It is correct right down to the markings, khaki color, hardware, and weight and weave of the fabric used for both the bag and straps. The only give away is that the quality is considerably better than the originals. Look under US field gear.

Of course, Frank's book covers this subject exhaustively, and has photos to boot!

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#3 stuay

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 12:08 PM

How many 30 rnd mags could fit in the ammo bag slung over the shoulder?
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#4 bigred

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 02:40 PM

We finally get to discuss something I know something about!

You can fit six 30rd mags into both a thompson bag or pouch.
I own both and suggest you either buy a rigger made pouch from Herb Zamar - http://pg.photos.yah...1&.dnm=5179.jpg

Or a Boyt Thompson Ammo Bag made by APG (American Patrol Gear). APG makes the best Thompson bag on the market, and if you buy it from JMurray or directly from APG, you can get it for $45. It is an excellent repro. You can tell gear made by APG by the "A.P. Co. 1943". - Looks like JMurray is sold out currently - http://www.jmurrayin...ar/DSC00008.jpg http://www.jmurrayin...ar/DSC00009.jpg

APG is a Husband/Wife operation, great people. Here is there number - 801-568-9189.

Hope this helps,
Jaron
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#5 stuay

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 09:29 PM

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Wouldn't the shoulder slung ammo bag be prone to bouncing around and getting snagged on things?

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#6 TSMGguy

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 11:49 PM

Somewhat; but it would have been the least of a combat soldier's worries! Fresh magazines were extremely accessable when using the bag, and I'll bet that was the primary concern. If worn with the shoulder strap short enough, it's no problem to clamp down on the bag with your wrong side elbow while you chase down the wiley jack rabbit, yelling, "Oooo-Ahhh!" and making a dam fool of yourself! Fortunately, out in the middle of one million acres of BLM land, there's no one to see or care!
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