Esstac 556 Kydex Magazine Insert

I receive no compensation for the video or blog post.  I’m posting this because I want others to know more about the product.  Preparedness is very important.

 

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If you’re like most American patriots you have the desire to be ready to defend your naturally born rights, family and property.  To do so requires owing and being proficient with capable firearms.  Good firearms and training mean basic ammunition load-outs, a way to carry and retain them on your person.

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Nylon ALICE LBE post Vietnam

When I first started using load bearing equipment(LBE) it was in the mid 1970’s using ALICE LBE.  ALICE magazine pouches work great but they to create unwanted bulk when worn forward of the lateral midline of the body.  Very much like we see now with the magazines being placed front and center on chest rigs.

 

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ALICE magazine pouch converted to PALS attached to an Air Force Defensor Fortis Load Carrying System

I no longer use the ALICE LBE unless it’s been converted to the Pouch Attachment Ladder System(PALS).  The ALICE magazine pouches are still on my LBE located in a more convenient place.  Their primary place has been taken by military surplus triple side-by-side pouches.

 

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Surplus triple side-by-side magazine pouch.

These pouches are fantastic for keeping a low profile but suck for shifting magazines or resupply.  They don’t hold their shape to maintain an opening that would make is easy to place a magazine in them without looking and two hands.  I had considered making some kydex inserts myself but don’t have a shop set up to make them to my quality standards.  That fact left me searching for something commercially made.

 

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Esstac 556 KYWI magazine insert.

There are several brands and makers out there, the prices vary considerably.  For the price I decided to try the Esstac 556 KYWI.  After several months of use I decided to purchase more.  They have a shape that once placed into the magazine pouch will snugly hold onto popular 30 round magazines such as the Troy and Pmag brands and of course USGI mags.  The insert has the hook part of hook & loop attached  to be used with their brand of magazine pouches and a drain hole in the bottom.

 

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The insert keeps the pouch open so that I can load the pouch without looking or having to use two hands.  The edges of the kydex are not what I’d call finished.  Meaning raw 90° edges.  At first I thought this might catch the edges of the magazines but it has not.  If it ever gives me a problem I’ll hand smooth them to a desirable angle.  So far the unfinished edges seem to help hold the insert in place.

 

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I’m satisfied enough with them to have all my triple pouches outfitted with them and a few spares.  Keep in mind that there are different height sizes depending on what you need.  Pay attention if you order some.  They also have them for 7.62 and pistol magazines.  I purchased mine from SKD Tactical however they can be purchased directly from Esstac.

 

 

Their use is demonstrated in the video.  I included an upside down shake test like you see in other review videos.  I however don’t plan on pulling off acrobatics in the field by doing somersaults or hanging upside down like a bat.  It has been my experience that the magazines will not dislodge from the pouch when jogging from one position to another or fly out when rapidly going prone.  Let me know if you’ve had a different experience with them or use something different.  -13

Booster Bath Tub and Petsafe Ramp Product Experience & Modifications

Bathing dogs is a necessity.  That doggy pond water smell isn’t welcome here, it’s too much.  It’s always been a strain on my lower back bending over to give our dog a good scrubbing.  I looked at various tubs but didn’t like them for several reasons.  Some were at ground level requiring me to bend over, while elevated tubs were fully enclosed requiring me to lift the dog over the rim.  I did find a tub that had an opening that a dog could walk into.

The Booster Bath large elevated tub is configured so that steps could be attached at the opening.  It looks good but the steps didn’t look as if it would work very well.  There were 3 steps that would be difficult for a larger dog to navigate.  My dog would jump off them.  I decided to go with a ramp that I would modify to attach to the tub.

I like the tub itself but do not like the leg design.  The way the legs are designed they want to push out and away from the tub.  The tendon part of the leg wants to come out of the slots.  The first time I used the tub my dog jumped out just as one of the legs pulled out.  I replaced the leg then continued with bathing.  My dog wants to sit down in the middle of the tub.  This pushes down making the legs move outward as I’m scrubbing the dog.

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While the dog was sitting in the tub I looked at the underside and noticed a gap at the connection point.  I thought if I don’t support the tub the legs would pull out and the tub would collapse with the dog in it.  It first I wasn’t sure what might work then remembered I had a shower chair/bench in storage.  I took off the back and arm rest adjusted the height to fit.  It worked the chair fit perfectly without interference.

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Now when the dog is washed the tub is very stable.   Our dog is relaxed, calm and seems to enjoy the bath.  I’m not the only one who has had issue with the legs.  There are many customer reviews on Amazon reporting the same problems.

To get the dog into the tub I went with the Petsafe folding ramp.  I liked that it is lightweight, folding and fits into the tub when finished.  It had a semi flat area that would allow me to attach it to the tub with clevis pins.  Drill a few holes, push the pins in and done.

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When I used the ramp the first time as the dog reached the hinge the tub began to tilt backward from the dogs weight.  I attached the front of the tub to the ground with a strap the had the dog walk up.  The ramp was very shaky as well as flexed as the dog passed over the hinge.  It looked like there was a lot of pressure being placed over the hinge portion.  To counteract the forces I put a concrete block and some wood under the hinge.  That eliminated the flexing and made the ramp much more stable.

I knew the block and wood was temporary.  It was a hassle that looked like an eyesore.  I looked at many options and didn’t like any of them.  One day while checking out a Harbor Freight mailing it dawned on me that 3 ton jack stands might work.  I purchased a pair and they fit perfectly without any adjustments.  All I did was all some nonslip matting.  Now that ramp is very sable.

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The other issue I was having getting the dog up the ramp was that she would jump off.  I couldn’t understand why.  I thought it might be how the darker colored ramp is perceived.  Maybe it looks like the slots in a cattle guard to her.  A shadow that she can’t see well or at all.  After adding some light color towels I was able to walk her up with no problems.

Seems like the ramp does have an issue near the hinge.  After my experience I went though every one of the one star reviews at Amazon.  I noticed a pattern where the ramp broke at the hinge.  After viewing several photographs from customers it was plain to see a consistent in the breaks.  The all looked nearly identical.  I think there is a flaw in the design or plastic.

My opinion of the tub and ramp is that if I wasn’t able to add the chair and jack stands I would not use them again for fear of them collapsing.  Anyone who has either of them currently may want to look into the solutions I’ve had success with.  Anyone considering purchasing them should also factor in the additional cost of the supports.  Since I’ve had success with the solutions I’ll keep using the ramp/tub combination with confidence.  The video has all the details.  -13