Gear S&J’s Hardware DSC Pouch Ryan Houtekamer July 2, 2015 Join the Conversation I wanted to run this yesterday in honor of Canada Day (the author is Canadian) but I was having cyber issues. Since pissing on the spark plugs wasn't an option, I had to wait until one of the big brains could sort out what I'd mucked up. Please read this review of some S&J Hardware kit from first-time RECOIL contributor Ryan Houtekamer of 2 Cent Tactical and join me in welcoming him aboard. DR S&J Hardware DSC Pouch One of the biggest problems with a shotgun is its limited capacity. Shell tube extensions add a few extra rounds and side saddles help a bit, but other options like shell caddies require you to go to your belt every time you need to load rounds. I have used the Detachable Shell Carriers (DSC) from S&J Hardware for awhile now and have been really pleased with their performance. I used to stuff the loaded cards into my HSGI Tacos as a way to carry extras on me but it was a far from perfect setup. A couple of years ago I met up with Simon Beeson (the S of S&J) at the One Shot Tactical range day; he showed me a prototype pouch that would hold three Detachable Shell Carriers (DSCs). It was a release I have been anxiously awaiting. Pros -Each pouch holds a total of 18 shells -Once the shell card on the exterior is removed the pouch is easily opened with a tug of the tab (both zippers are at the top) -Solidly built and made in the USA -Comes with the adhesive backed Velcro required to attach DSCs to a shotgun -Price point that's hard to beat Cons -Pouch attachment method works but is a bit clunky -Does not have color matched zipper -Pouch is “flappy” when opened to get to the interior cards; some users will not like this Overview First let's talk about price. The pouch comes with three shell cards and a piece of adhesive Velcro (plus of course the pouch itself. The average price for three shell cards is typically $35-45, half to 3/4 the $60 CAD price for a DSC Pouch, making this a very reasonable deal for Made in the USA gear. To load the cards you simply slip the shell into the elastic webbing. Once filled with shotgun shells in your preferred orientation you will load the card into the pouch with the pull tab facing the top (repeating for each one in turn). The shell closest to the pull tab on mine is a slug pointing in the opposite direction of the rest (5 buckshot). This allows the buckshot to be pulled down and loaded into the shotgun while leaving the slug to be loaded over the top if need be during a slug changeover. I have had no issues with shells coming out of the elastic webbing either on the pouch or when attached to the shotgun. This includes leaving a loaded DSC mounted to the weapon and sending continuous buckshot and slug down range to see if the recoil would have any effect. Each pouch takes up two columns of PALS webbing on your rig, I have my two DSC Pouches currently attached to the front of a Hill People Gear Recon in MultiCam. Once I figure out which IFAK Carrier I want I will be mounting it in the front alongside those two pouches. This setup allows me to have a grab and go shotgun rig. The outside of the pouch is equipped with a Velcro field to which another DSC (or similar sized modular attachment) can be mounted. On the top is a strap with additional Velcro on it to secure front to back. The strap can be used to close the pouch up when the zippers are open. This might help those who don't like the pouch flapping about when open. It can also be used to pull the pouch open when both zippers are positioned at the top (this the where they will need to be if you want to pull the pouch open instead of unzipping each side.) The zipper is one of the few parts of the DSC Pouch that annoys me; considering everything else is color matched, why not add a MultiCam or Tan499 zipper instead of a black one? I would have also preferred a different MOLLE style attachment system. The one the pouch uses is a bit clunky though it does work well. I know S&J Hardware is looking at becoming a Whiskey Two Four dealer; if they do perhaps they will adopt the laser cut WTFix Strapped backer. This would cut down on weight and bulk. The adhesive backed Velcro sticks to your shotgun securely although I would recommend cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol first in case of grease. I was initially worried that pulling off the Velcro would either leave a ton of residue like bad tape or screw up the finish, however when I pulled it off it left a perfectly clean area. DSC vs. Side Saddle The decision between using a shell card or a side saddle is really a matter of personal preference. Although shell caddies do allow you to select ammo type based on which caddy you are drawing from (and admitted advantage, as it allows you to tailor your load for the engagement) I prefer the cards. Reloading a side saddle from a caddy takes too much time; I am essentially reloading twice. I address the ammo selection issue by leaving a spare slug at the front in case distance or target demands it. Both cards and side saddles have pros and cons; it all comes down to what makes you individually more effective, even if that means you just prefer a dump pouch full of shells. Final Thoughts As it stands the DSC Pouch is my preferred method of carrying spare shot shells. Attached to my Recon it makes for a rig that is easy to don rig and allows a total of thirty six shot shells on my person (in the two pouches), seven in the gun, and the six in the DSC already affixed to my 870. The picture on S&J’s website of the Multicam DSC Pouch is the prototype and is not exactly what the current model looks like, so keep that in mind when ordering. Note that S&J Hardware is also apparently looking at creating a medical insert for the DSC Pouch in the future which will add more versatility to the product. Oh, and you RECOIL readers, head on over and use coupon code recoil10off to receive 10% off your purchase. Learn more about S&J Hardware here online or here on Facebook. About the Author: Ryan Houtekamer joined the Canadian Artillery Reserves at the age of 17. During his first few years in the military his time was spent between getting a Diploma in Civil Engineering and sleeping in the bush and getting yelled at. Ryan spent 7 years in the artillery primarily working with courses in the field. Now he works as a Regular Force Aircraft Structures Technician and has a lot more time to spend shooting and camping without being yelled at before the sun has risen. 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