Sunday, February 24, 2013

Custom Kydex On Sale Soon

first batch of custom kydex mag pouches for sale
Lower right unit is Coyote Kydex. 2 upper right are Boltaron.
I am hopeful that my next post will be alerting visitors that these units are up for grabs. I suppose you are welcome to "pre-order" them in case they move quickly but this is my first batch and all of them must go. I will also be selling some "scratch and dent" type units for cheap because they are perfectly functional but did not pass quality control, so to speak. At any rate, I wanted to throw up an alert post just to let everyone know that things are moving forward. Most of my Kydex order showed up over the weekend but was delayed thanks to the snow .... and there is supposed to be more to come. I like getting things done but being stuck in the house for days just isn't my bag.

Blah blah blah, let's talk about what you are seeing in the pictures. My understanding is that Kydex is a brand, so presumably when I purchase "Kydex" in a certain color, it will all be the same because it all comes from the same place .... or am I the crazy one? I ordered a big sheet of "Coyote Tan" Kydex and got what you see in the pictures. Now "tan" might be different from "brown" I can't really say for sure but either way it's a nice color, just not Coyote. I'll be sure to get pictures with Coyote fabric and an FDE Magpul PMAG so that people have a reference point, when I get them closer to completion. But in the end, I don't personally care much. Coyote is nothing like FDE, and whatever this color is, it's neither of those two. I think it's fair to call this "tan", plain ole tan. In my opinion it is still toward the middle of the gray scale, in that, it's still dark enough to be neutral or "drab" in tone. The most likely scenario is that I'll get material when I get it, make up a bunch of stuff, in a variety of colors and it'll pretty much just be luck of the draw, based on how I'm feeling that week. I have thicker material on the way as well, so you'll probably find an assortment of product variation but rest assured, I will be very clear about what I am selling at that time and take lots of shiny pictures to go along with it. For whatever reason I am leaning away from taking "orders" for my mag carriers at this point. I can't say why exactly, but I think the most likely reason is that I want to try many different color combinations, patterns, thicknesses, and I kind of want to do it whenever I feel like it. This differs from having to offer a certain product then having only that material on hand, ready for what may come. That sounds like manufacturing and manufacturing sounds like work. I have enough of that going on right now.

custom kydex ar 15 rifle magazine holders
SO! The second picture does a lousy job of conveying color, but it was a neat picture so I went with it. It does kind of illustrate how these colors all have blending properties and the two colors look great together. You will note that 2 of the coyote pouches are Boltaron, not Kydex. I got a small piece just to see what it was like. It kinda sucks. It curls when it gets hot and is very frustrating to work with. However, it actually seems to be ever so slightly thicker than Kydex, even though all of this is .060 material. I can't prove it or explain it, it just feels thicker once molded. The smooth side is also much smoother than Kydex - it's slick and that's probably a positive. The color is also nearly identical to Coyote Kydex as you can see. The Kydex is a touch different but barely. It actually matches the Coyote nylon of my ATS War Belt very closely. Finally, it has a different, deeper texture. None of this is good or bad necessarily, it just is and I think the final product will service its owner equally. Once it's all put together and finished I will create a page specifically for them and announce that they are for sale. Thanks for stopping by!

magazine holder for AR-15 rifle ariants
Shiny new Chicago Screws.

How the mag carriers look mounted up. Slick and low profile.

Any magazine will do!

Mounted up and ready for action.

pants or trouser belt loops available
1.5 and 1.75 belt loop options available!

Quality steel Chicago Screws - much nicer. Loops can be flipped for ride height.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gen II Kydex Mag Carrier Final Prototype

custom kydex battle belt magazine carrier
Gen II Kydex Mag Carrier
UPDATE: These babies are up for sale! Alright so here is the final product and after some function testing I'm happy with the results. There are a few more things to do before the next update and before they ultimately go up for sale. First I've got some black oxide Chicago screws with slotted posts and Phillips heads on them coming my direction so the version that goes on sale will include those rather than these shiny units. I also intend to get my hands on some .080 Kydex for the final product only because I think that people will want thicker material - feedback is welcomed and encouraged. I personally think the .060 is sufficiently robust and I also think that the flex associated with it is among the benefits of Kydex, but I'm interested to see if .080 strikes a good balance between strength and flexibility.

Kydex designed specifically for your battle or war belt rig
So let's get down to the important stuff. The width of the carrier is 4.25 inches and ends up just a hair under that after sanding and edge finishing. This means that it falls precisely between 3 columns of MOLLE webbing as you can see to the left. The back is flat and with these flat mounting strips the pouches are as tight to the body as humanly possible - you may be able to see the offset difference between the old carrier and the new one in the image to the left. I will be experimenting with offset loops that will cant the pouch away from the body slightly. This is something I personally would want, as it gives me a little more room for error when grabbing the mag and for someone wearing more gear it adds some extra clearance. Retention came out solid. With a pound of ammunition packed into a 30 rounder and much of the magazine exposed, you don't want something ripping it out. Before all this gun-control nonsense began I should have purchased a Lancer and TangoDown magazine to test but I feel confident based on images of the mag catch indention and tab, that they will work fine. Magazine retention is slightly increased once the carrier is mounted as well.

Details custom kydex war belt set-up
Mounting close-up
Because I designed the pouch to fit right inside 3 columns of webbing there is absolutely no movement what-so-ever. Once the screws are tightened the unit cannot shift in any direction at all. It is locked in. In the image to the left you can see that you have access to the mounting hardware front and back so that it is easily tightened and maintained and extremely easy to mount. Mounting strips are .125 thick Kydex and .75 inches wide. I include the relief cut on the back half of the carrier because I found that if I were to simply angle it off, it interferes with your first finger as you insert a magazine. Furthermore it creates a shelf where your thumb and first finger make contact as an indexing point for drawing the magazine. As you bring it to the gun your hand is correctly placed so that your fingers do not interfere with the reload.

kydex for GI aluminum magazines ar-15
Master Molder kydex magazine carrier Here are some common magazines ridding in my Gen II Kydex Rifle Magazine Carrier. It is important to note that this design is strictly bullets rearward and does not function with a bullets forward orientation. However, this carrier works very well with all of these magazines and these images demonstrate how the carrier rides on a Battle Belt or War Belt style rig. I have also begun experimenting with a pants belt loop design that can be flipped for high or lower ride carry. I will definitely offer 1.5 and 1.75 inch pants belt loops which will use the same mounting holes. Because these carriers are now so simple to mount, budget minded buyers will be able to simply buy loops that allow them to use the carriers in various ways. 
Troy mag in kydex carrier with Battle belt war belt
 I feel like this design meets my personal goals for this project overall.
-Specifically designed for Battle/War Belts
-Use less MOLLE space than previous design
-Flat back rather than typical pancake designs
-Simpler mounting with complete access to hardware while mounted
-Accommodate common magazines equally
-Maximum modularity

GEN II Kydex Rifle Mag Pouch details
low profile kydex rifle mag carrierATS war belt accessories system Some small details pictured here. Chicago Screws will come with rubber o-rings because I have found that they help tremendously with getting the screws tight and keeping them that way. They are sort of a second line of security when combined with blue Loctite. And finally a shot of it on the body. With the flat mounting strips the magazine touches the body. It is as low profile as it can possibly be and could easily be worn under a jacket. I think there are two schools of thought here and an offset style mount will be available as I iron out exactly how it should be made. I have a couple color combinations that I really want to try out and offer, but I may only offer a limited number of colors. I personally don't see the point in black but I use it just to shave some cost off each unit and because the back isn't really seen. Somehow it seems a waste to use coyote for both sides. Comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged, especially on topics like color choices, mounting systems, and material thickness. Thanks for taking the time to look and stay tuned as they go up for sale.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gen II Kydex Mag Carrier; Take 2

first line gear kydex magazine ar-15 pouch carrier
Now we're getting somewhere! It took a lot of reheats to get to this point but I'm starting to get it nailed down. I think the first prototype was proof of concept, but this is getting closer to what I really want to accomplish with this project. The sides of the carrier, using this molding technique, are completely tight to the magazine itself, which aides retention. Using a different magazine for molding gave me a nice clean box that will accommodate any magazine with excellent, click-in retention. I'm just posting this real quick to get it up and running and when I come back I will have a deeper look at how it looks finished, and what I accomplished with the new mold. For now, the only things I can comment on are the small folds at the bottom of the pouch. Essentially, I knew this would happen if I ever got as tight a mold as I planned to and I felt that this issue was worth all the benefits gained. As it turns out they are minor and about what I expected. I think users will appreciate the 3 column width of my rifle mag carriers and the flat backs which make these some of the most low profile kydex pouches that I've seen. Stay tuned!
ultra low profile kydex mag pouch shingle

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kydex Rifle Mag Carrier Gen II Prototype

coyote tan kydex rifle mag carrier eyelets custom formed
Gen II Prototype
UPDATE: The final product is done and up for sale! I have been wanting to create a rifle magazine carrier that I felt was good enough to sell for awhile now.  My first attempts at them were a success in my book and with a little tweaking and brain storming they seemed ready to evolve into something desirable. The first issue is that kydex mag carriers take up extra space on webbing when compared to nylon. There are some pretty clever designs out there that use less space and eventually I'd like to get to that point with mine, but most of the best known probably involve pretty significant manufacturing processes. My first couple designs used as much as 4 columns of MOLLE webbing and for a war belt, or battle belt, it really wasn't much of an issue because not many people run more than 2 or 3 mags on the first line gear. Everything else that I wanted on the belt, fit just fine. But, in the end, everything can be made a little better and cleaner. I realized that how I mounted the carrier was really the issue. Even though it was only mounted in two columns, the sides extended out into the neighboring columns and made them useless. It only made sense to center the carrier so that it fit inside 3 columns and left the neighboring columns totally clear for other things. Essentially, the new design takes up 6 columns for 2 carriers rather than 8. Given that a magazine will fit inside of 2 columns, that of course is the goal for the future. For now I have created my Gen II Kydex Rifle Magazine Carrier Prototype just to prepare readers for the eventuality of something like this going up for sale on this site. I'm not sure just yet how I want to approach it, and I will need to test and evaluate my carrier before that happens, but hopefully in the next few weeks I will have something solid. As a sneak peak, I am also working on a little something for the every day carry crowd to haul a multitool and light in a compact, but Kydex-tough package.
custom kydex mag carrier for sale
kydex for molle and pant's belt flat back design My first goal was to develop a method for tighter molding. It makes more sense to me to have the back of the carrier flat, however, that style produces certain problems where it is more difficult to get the mold tight on the sides. I am happy to say that I've overcome that issue, so the total width of this carrier is 4.25 inches. I liked the idea of having an indexing point molded in as well, which is the purpose of the dimple you see in the pictures. I also backed down the depth of the ribbing found on metal magazines, with the intention of making them a little smoother with Pmags and other polymer magazines. Finally, I used eyelets so that they can be fully modular. There will be loops available for 2 rows of webbing, 3 rows, 1.5 inch belts and 1.75 inch belts which will all use the same holes for mounting. I also intend to make much lower profile loops and see if I like them better than my first version which provide some standoff from the body.

kydex mag carrier coming soon for sale Now for some of the issues that I'll be addressing. For one thing the retention isn't what I'd like it to be with polymer magazines. I am working on which parts handle the retention because I don't want to use the ribbing as much for that purpose. My plan is to use the same retention used by the rifle instead and I just need to work on how deeply to mold that notch. I think more surface area contact will also aide retention so I will be removing the flare almost completely. Without it molded into 3 sides, as my previous version had, it really looses a lot of its usefulness. By taking it out, the kydex will contact more of the magazine's face, providing better retention. Stay tuned as I get the loops finished and work out the next prototype. I will probably start offering some of this stuff for sale simply because it works and someone could easily put it to use. That will help fund my progress as new carriers evolve.