A magazine pouch frequently receives little thought and is undoubtedly one ofa the less sexy purchases when it comes to guns. I get that and kind of feel the same way. However, despite magazine pouches not generating much love or interest, it is still important to give your options some serious thought.
To make things a little easier, I have picked what I think is the best M1A magazine pouch for several different situations. Hopefully, this will help to narrow down your search and save you some time.
Let’s get started.
There are several different types of magazine pouches, and they all do a solid job of carrying and retaining your magazine. However, depending on how you use your gun, some of the designs will have distinct advantages over others.
The main options include bungee, taco, open-top molded plastic, flap, and butt stock pouches. There are others, but when searching for the best magazine pouch for an M1A, you should be more than covered by these five categories. So, I decided to test the best choice currently available in each of these categories in my opinion, starting with the…
5 Best M1A Magazine Pouch To Buy in 2023 Reviews
1 VISM AR10/ M1A/ FAL Single Mag Pouch – Best Bungee Cord Magazine Pouch for M1A
This is big enough for a single 20-round M1A magazine. It uses a bungee cord to retain the magazine in the pouch. Whilst it is not as effective as some other designs, it nevertheless does a good job. However, you may still need to spend a little time experimenting with the adjustable bungee cord to get the tension just right.
If the bungee cord is too tight, it will make taking out the loaded magazine and replacing it with the empty one overly awkward. Too loose, and you run the risk of losing a magazine if you are moving quickly over challenging terrain.
If magazine retention becomes less critical, you can always remove the bungee cords. However, the retention would obviously become significantly less effective, so this would not be recommended in most circumstances.
The pouch has a relatively low profile which is always an advantage. Additionally, they are easily attached to your gear using the Pouch Attachment Ladder (PALS) or Modular Light-Weight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) systems. Plus, the good news is that you can also buy this magazine pouch in a double or triple horizontal style, which will save you a few bucks.
Speaking of cost-saving, this is the least expensive magazine pouch I have seen on the market, making it the best budget magazine pouch for M1A currently available. You can buy the single version for just the price of a cup of coffee. If there is a more affordable magazine pouch out there, I would love to know about it.
One final feature is the metal drain hole at the bottom of the pouch.
All in all…
You get a lot for your money, and for those of you on a budget, the VISM magazine pouch makes an awful lot of sense.
- Low profile.
- PALS compatible.
- Available in double and triple versions.
- Time is needed to dial in the correct tension.
2 Ghost Hybrid Universal Magazine Pouch – Best Open-Top Molded Plastic Pouch for M1A
These are one of the strongest and most effective open-top magazine pouches when it comes to the all-important ability of retention. The Ghost magazine pouch is compatible with just about any double-stack rifle magazine. That means that you can use it for your other guns as well as your M1A, which potentially could save you a bit of cash.
Want one in pink?
It is made from thermoplastic and can be used with a belt up to 1.75”. Since it is made from plastic, you have no issues in terms of wear and longevity. The fact that it is made of plastic also gives you a ton of color options though why you would want one in pink, I have absolutely no idea!
The pouch can be adjusted for tension via the supplied retention springs. This ensures that the magazine will stay where it’s intended until you need it. A little bit of time may be needed to set it up correctly in the first instance. This includes altering the system to ensure that your magazine doesn’t rattle around in the pouch. Very annoying, I am sure you will agree!
So, what are the advantages of this kind of magazine pouch?
Because they have an open top profile, it makes the magazine quick and easy to draw. Additionally, the strong pressure exerted on the magazine makes them the best open-top pouch for retention you can buy. They click into place once inserted, and you are free to get on with whatever you are doing.
So, what about the disadvantages?
Because they are made of plastics, the draw can be noisy, and if you bump into things when you’re on the move, they will also make noise. If stealth is of primary importance, these will, therefore, not be the best choice.
Another negative is that although they are low profile, you cannot attach other pouches on top of them. Plus, they usually take up more space on MOLLE systems than many of the alternatives. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but certainly something to keep in mind.
- Low profile.
- Good retention.
- Easy to adjust.
- Not the most MOLLE compatible.
3 High Speed Gear Inc. Magazine Carrier – Taco Magazine Pouch – Best Premium Magazine Pouch for M1A
Next, on my search to find the Best M1A Magazine Pouch, I have High Speed Gear Inc. (HGSI), an American company that manufactures domestically. They have been operating for over 20 years, make high-quality products, and have strong links with the military and security services.
The HGSI taco magazine pouch, as you would expect, is therefore extremely well put together using the finest materials. The sides are made from injection molded polymer with Cordura waterproof nylon fabric used on the front and back.
The pouch can be used for your M1A magazines but is also suitable for most styles of rifle magazines. But there’s more; the pouch is also suitable for holding flash bangs, radios, and grenades. This is all good, and it gets better since it takes up just three inches on your mounting platform.
It has an open top and thus facilitates quick access. The magazine is securely held in place by a bungee cord which can easily be adjusted in seconds. It has around the same retention qualities as a molded plastic pouch. However, the taco-style pouch does have a couple of useful benefits over its plastic molded counterpart.
So, what are these?
Firstly, you can attach other items to them. Secondly, they take up less space on your MOLLE system. Plus, if you want to maintain a stealthy presence, the draw is much quieter.
One last thing to keep in mind, though, is that these are one of the more expensive options that I tested. But they are available in numerous colorways.
- American Made.
- Quality construction.
- Fast access.
- Easy to adjust the tension.
- Multi-use carrying capability.
- Quiet draw.
4 Condor Single M14 Mag Pouch – Best Flap Pouch for M1A
Frankly, there is not too much choice if you have an M1A when it comes to this type of magazine pouch. However, fortunately, the Condor Single Mag Pouch is a great option that is well made and relatively inexpensive too. Consequently, even if it is your only choice, it is a great one regardless.
Safe and secure…
It is made from hard-wearing and strong 1000-denier nylon Cordura. The Velcro straps are equally strong and are also made from high-quality materials. As you would expect, it can be mounted on any MOLLE or PALS system. Even better, once in place, you never have to worry about losing your magazine, regardless of your body position or how you are taking your shot.
The Condor Single Mag Pouch is basically an old design, but that does not prevent it from being a good option and undoubtedly the best magazine pouch for an M1A in certain circumstances. The strength is in the fact that once the buckle or, in the case of the Condor pouch, the Velcro strap is engaged, then your magazine is going nowhere.
Other benefits include that it has a relatively low profile when carrying multi magazines. Plus, you have the versatility of carrying other objects, like grenades, if you should choose to do so.
If retention of your magazine trumps everything else, this is the pouch for you…
The main disadvantage is that, obviously, it provides the slowest access speed. Some get over this by tucking the flap in the back to assist in getting the magazine quickly to hand. However, it is something that is not recommended as you could easily lose your magazine as a result.
One last negative is that the Velcro flap makes it very noisy when you need to switch your magazine. One way around this is to opt for a magazine pouch that has a buckle instead. However, for M1A owners, that could prove difficult to find!
- Excellent magazine retention properties.
- Quality materials.
- MOLLE and PALS compatible.
- Slow access speed.
5 Condor Tactical Butt Stock Mag Pouch – Best Butt Stock Magazine Pouch for M1A
This is another magazine pouch from our friends at Condor. The Butt Stock magazine pouch is made from Cordura 1000 denier nylon. It is constructed from the same material and design as the Condor single M14 mag pouch I just tested. Consequently, you can expect a well-made quality product that does a great job keeping your magazine in situ.
Butt stock magazine pouches are not common, and unfortunately, if you have an M1A, you will find it even more difficult to find one with a suitable-sized pouch for your magazine. Unfortunately, the size of the Condor Tactical Butt Stock Mag Pouch is likely to be a little too tight for your M1A magazine and is more suitable for a rifle’s magazine like the M4. However, one way around this is to buy the Condor Single M14 Mag Pouch in combination with the straps on this item, and all will be good.
So, why would you use one?
The simple answer is that they are a great way to keep your ammo close to hand. Additionally, many who use them find butt stock pouches an excellent option as it helps to free up space on their belts. The buttstock magazine pouch can also be used for carrying other objects, and it is also MOLLE and PALS compatible should you wish to attach the pouch away from your rifle.
And why wouldn’t you use one?
The downsides are that they can affect the balance of your gun to the point where it could interfere with accuracy. Even worse, in some states, if you leave the butt stock magazine pouch attached after use, you might be breaking the law. This could potentially lead to a serious fine and even jail time or the revoking of your gun license.
Not a happy prospect in any of these scenarios.
- Durable Materials.
- MOLLE and PALS compatible.
- Good magazine retention.
- Keeps the magazine close to hand.
- May affect the gun’s balance.
- Legal issues with storage.
Looking for More Quality Accessories or Uprades for Your M1A?
Then check out our thoughts on the Best Scout Scope for M1A, the Best M1A Bipods, the Best M1A Cleaning Kit, the Best M1A Flash Hider, the Best Ammunition for M1A Rifle, the Best M1A Stocks, the Best M1A Magazines, or our informative Archangel Springfield Armory M1A Precision Stock Review.
Or, if you’re thinking that you need another M1A in the gun safe, take a look at our comprehensive comparison of the Best Springfield Armory M1A Models, as well as our reviews of the Springfield Armory M1A Tanker, the Springfield M1A Socom 16 CQB Rifle, the Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad Rifle, or the excellent Springfield Armory M1A Super Match.
Or, for more info on the rifle, find out What’s the Difference Between M1A and M14, or our guide to Hog Hunting with your M1A Rifle. Plus, if you can’t quite decide on a quality scope mount for your M1A, our Bassett vs Sadlak M1A Scope Mount comparison is well worth a look. And, to impress your shooting buddies, check out the most interesting Facts About M1A Rifles in 2023.
Which Best M1A Magazine Pouche Should You Buy?
When weighing up your gun pouch options, it is best to decide what will work optimally in most situations. If you can find something that is good around 80% of the time, then you are probably onto a winner. However, as is often the case, it could even be that there is not one single best choice. Consequently, you may end up settling on a couple of options as you feel there is no one fits all solution available.
And that’s fine.
But, if I was forced to choose just one magazine pouch, I would go for the…
…because this taco-style pouch gives me fast and quiet access but still great retention properties. It might be more expensive than the alternatives, but frankly, I honestly think the extra spend is worth it.
As always, stay safe and happy shooting.