You Never go Full Mag Load…

We posted a video a long time ago on TFB, wherein some Airsofters were lamenting and poking fun at the MOLLE wave, stacking magazine pouches upon magazine pouches on a guy with a plate carrier. It was really funny then. But actually using the idea downrange, is for the most part, really stupid. Until I saw these ANA SF guys. The red velcro patch with the soldier on the right and the M4 on the left are telltale differences from the regular army ANA in Afghanistan.

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In this soldier’s defense, as long as he doesn’t leave his vehicle with that flak jacket on, maybe as a turret gunner, the tactical feasibility goes up. However if he takes a step outside his vehicle and actually expects to maneuver or even go anywhere, I imagine his troubles multiplying logarithmically. I counted 21 magazines, which have a ball park weight of 1 LB if fully loaded, coming out to anywhere between another ballpark estimate of 18-22 LBs depending on how many rounds and of what type. If a typical combat load is around 40 to 70 LBs, that’s almost 25% of your load out taken up by just magazines alone!

But I think the truly ironic part about this picture, is that the Marine Corps actually issues out 21 magazines per M27 gunner. Not all of these are actually carried on foot patrols, and some do get dispersed between the squad. But I specifically remember my platoon sergeant telling us we’d have to carry a full backpack of magazines when we went out on patrol. Luckily for us, he got chewed out for even dumber things, so it never happened. Thank God.

But whatever you do, just don’t be this guy-


But watch this video, because it’ll truly make your day-


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • nova3930

    Hating just because he’s operating operationally in an operating environment…

    • SignalFromTheRim

      But is the operation that he is operating operationally in an actual operating environment? Or is he operating operationally in a training operation?

    • valorius

      Operators gonna operate.

  • m-dsaher

    for when youre designated the squad support gunner….but M4 is life…..

  • Dougscamo

    “HELP! I’ve fallen and I CAN’T GET UP!….

  • Gary Kirk

    Hey Miles, looks like 2 mags to a pouch, 3 pouches deep, 7 across.. = 42 mags

    That’s what I counted anyway..

    Looks like Tabuq lost a bet, gets to carry everyone’s mags for the day

    • forrest1985

      Loosing a bet was my thinking, either that or he slept with some officers daughter/wife lol

      • Nathan Alred

        Where he’s at, daughter/wife might be an actual thing.

        • Shankbone

          Who gets the “loosing,” the loser of the bet, or the loser’s daughter/wife?

  • Thomas S

    21? Those are double mag pouches.

  • .45

    “Why yes, I have destroyed three rifles by overheating them, why do you ask?”

    • noob

      “I was just wondering when the bacon was done”

  • gordon

    We really have no idea what this fellow was doing. It could have even been a joke for the camera. They could even be disguised Pez dispensers.

  • Vitsaus

    Its funny, but chances are this guy has seen more combat than 99% of those who are poking fun at him.

    • Cymond

      I think the average hamster has seen more combat than I have, but that doesn’t mean hamsters are BAMFs.

      • Cory C


    • valorius

      Very likely.

  • Dave

    This guy knows what’s best for himself. Spec ops soldier, operating in his own environment, with 30-40 pounds distributed on his person and an eight pound weapon. He looks to be doing mostly mounted operations. Compare this to an M249 gunner with standard load out (17LB weapon and 25LBS of ammo). Don’t sit back here behind your computers and second guess any professional, even if the all the other arm chair warriors agree with you.

    • Porty1119

      For mounted work, I’m not really going to argue with it. I just wouldn’t want to try moving with a load that unbalanced.

  • USMC03Vet

    Not the dumbest I’ve seen when it comes to gear load outs.

  • jimmy craked corn

    Even with all of the gear, that guy would kick my a$$. I think he is joking around. That could be turned into a great meme.

  • Ark

    Well, whatever kills him, it won’t be lack of ammo.

    I picture that guy running back and forth along the firing line, rounds whizzing overhead, dispensing fresh magazines like Pacman Jones at a strip club.

    “You get a mag! You get a mag! EVERYBODY GETS A MAG!”

    • cwp

      “I just don’t want to get killed for lack of shootin’ back.”

      • valorius

        Greatest western of all time.

    • valorius

      Guess how many mags a USMC M27 IAR gunner is issued? 22.

    • Mikial

      Whatever kills him will be either heart failure or simply being the slowest guy in the exfil because of all the weight he’s carrying. 😉

  • Matthew G. Wilhoit

    You do know the ANA don’t tend to wear body armor, or carry food or water, or anything else, right? Hell, we were lucky they didn’t “loose” (sell) their rifles off and ask us to give them new ones. Their CO’s kept doing that with fuel, food and water, so they kept coming to beg some from us on patrol. Not that I’m advocating that many mags (unless you are in a really bad place)…just saying the weight he is probably carrying isn’t anything like what a US soldier trying to pull of that number of magas would end up carrying.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Looks fake to me.
    But if its real then, hey, I always say if you gotta take more of something make it ammo.

    • John Clemens

      Agreed. The mags covering his left arm aren’t even attached to anything.

      • Anon Guest

        I think it’s the guy behind him’s plate carrier

    • AD

      Yeah, my first reaction was that the photo didn’t quite look right; photoshop maybe?

    • FulMetlJakit

      My thoughts too. The more I look, the more the shadows seem off – Too dark, Mag guy lit slightly from left frame, Cig guy more from right.
      And seemingly lower res on mag carrier?
      Then again, dead sure stranger acts and sights have occured in that sh*thole.

      • Young Freud

        Might thought was that you shouldn’t see the side panel if you had that many magazines, the mag pouches would cover it up. And cummerbund-style plate carriers would only be able to fit either 5 or 6 magazines per “layer” and there’s going to be a noticeable curve to the magazines on the end as they contour around the body. Unless the guy is barrel-chested as hell, they wouldn’t be all be completely seen like that.

    • Core

      It appears to be shopped..

  • SerArthurDayne

    Why you hatin on my main man Tactical Mahmoud??

  • Ripley

    Perhaps belted ammunition was unavailable. Perhaps he sells mags in combat. Prices go up as guns go dry.

    • noob

      lack of link and belt fed weapons makes sense. this could be an expedient work around.

  • schizuki

    Maybe the mule died.

  • Justin Roney

    It’s the new Marine IAR loadout!

  • Disarmed in CA

    Molle? LOL-y

  • Nimrod

    The video is hilarious. Well done airsofters

  • Hudson

    The fuzzy strap to nowhere on the left makes me suspect Photoshop.

  • RSG

    Photoshop. All steel mags, multiplied like rabbits- yet a windowed p mag in the rifle.

    • SGT Fish

      they look aluminum to me…

  • iksnilol

    You can rest the bipod on the mags if you have enough, thus increasing your accuracy.

  • GD Ajax

    One good AK hit and he’ll be in a world of pain.
    People who whine about the M27 forget about casket magazines. They have become more reliable in the past few years. However the USMC takes the Luddite approach when it comes to getting equip to the boys on the ground.

  • John

    If this picture isn’t a joke, it’s one of three things:

    1. Propaganda and morale.

    2. He’s carrying everyone’s ammo so the others can move fast.

    3. He IS a machine gunner, and instead of a too-expensive HK416, he’s just using an M4 with plenty of ammo.

  • Bill

    Magic Wand and Clone/Copy the actual magazines being worn.
    Add layer and finish Clone/Paste.

    C’mon kids, a little critical thinking please, or we’ll wind up electing more game show hosts.

  • Red McCloud

    Extremely obvious photoshop but still a hilarious pic nonetheless

  • mrsatyre

    Just out of curiosity, how does the author know that this ANA guy isn’t making a joke just like the airsofter was?

  • Uniform223

    I don’t need luck, I have ammo…

  • BryanS

    That makes my back and knees hurt thinking about the weight.

  • LCON

    Wait Wait I get it He is the one guy with Ammo everyone else just has rifles.

  • Richard

    I believe that the correct comment is “get some.”

  • Tim

    Wait…..the mags *are* the body armor……now I get it…..

    • noob

      there was an interesting box-o-truth on that called “Magazines vs. Rifle Rounds”. they actually managed to cook off some wolf ammo in an ak magazine using 5.56.

  • Big Daddy

    It’s photoshopped.

  • DanGoodShot

    Bwahahahaha! LMFAO! Ha.huh….. Thank you Miles. I soooo needed that! How in the hell have I not caught that video before.
    I wounder how much hodgie is leanin’ back so he doesn’t do a face plant.

  • gunsandrockets

    Sure laugh. But sadly that insanity is a real problem of late. Just because your nation has the resources to load up your infantry like mules, doesn’t mean you should.

  • marine6680

    So this lead to a rabbit hole, and I found out that the airsoft company partnered with Salient Arms, to make replica versions of their rifles. (a new gas blowback version is coming soon apparently as well)

    These are made on billet aluminum receivers… Salient logo, serial number, and everything.

    Now, they have airsoft guts inside… but are they cut like real AR lowers internally? If not, cool… no problem.

    If so… yeah, those are three pin receivers… And I know 80% lowers are a thing… But if these are built on real lowers I don’t see how its legal… They have to be milled differently inside.

  • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

    Mags fo days

  • Jake

    “did you bring enough for the rest of the…”
    This guy went to kindergarten and paid attention.
    Wait, does he share?

  • cons2p8ted

    That’s no way to fatten up that pencil barrel by feeding them all that mag!

  • Tom R.

    This is not a photo shot job. He is with 9th SOK (special operactions kandak), ANA commando out of Herat AFG. Not with ANA SF. He’s one of the kandaks seniors SNCOs and would “add a magazine” every op in order to show how bad ass he was. During one of our operations we got into a close ambush…… and he had to make someone else carry his magazine clusterf##k…..

  • valorius

    Marines with M27 IAR’s are issued 22 mags, right?

  • valorius

    An M240 gunner carrying 300rds of linked 7.62mm is lugging far more weight than someone with a rifle and 22 mags.

  • ozzallos .

    Isn’t he that class that tosses out supplies in that generic first person shooter we all play?

  • Ridge runner

    I wouldn’t want to be around that guy. He is planning on making a lot of bad decisions.

  • jay

    Tactical underwear.

  • Joe Dawson

    My name is Joe Dawson. In 1968 I was stationed in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces. I was at Phu Bai at a SOG base, Command & Control North (CCN) FOB1. We did recon missions on the Ho Chi Minh trail upto 100 clicks into Laos. We went in with 2 Americans and 5 Chinese Nung mercenaries and had no resupply and no artillery or gunship support. My normal mag load was 75 20 round mags with 18 rds per mag. You can make fun of the guy with all the ammo on his gear BUT UNLESS YOU ARE ON FIRE OR TRYING TO SWIM THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TO MUCH AMMO. Nobody thought anything about our ammo loads, it saved our lives many times. I saw the video of the airsoft guys and it did look ridiculous. We didn’t have the load bearing gear that you have today. I carried 24 magazines in a WW2 BAR belt. I had 3 canteen covers the I stuffed with 7 mags each attached to the BAR belt. I had 5 magazines each in 3 bandaleers that I modified that were used to carry 100 rounds of 556 in 10 round stripper clips. This load was on my body at all times. The rest was in various pockets of my pack. With the pack and ammo my load weighed about 80 pounds.
    PS I never ran out of ammo

    • Doom

      Glad Im not the only guy who thought “never enough ammo” When you are deep in enemy territory or are logistically unable to get resupplies you will be glad to be carrying 21 pounds of brass, lead, steel, and aluminum…

  • Ridge runner

    Treat every round like it’s your last.

  • KFeltenberger

    Given who and where the guy in the picture was, and what he does, I would think he had good reason to have so many mags. Rather than ridicule, why not try and find out why? Don’t be a 21st century journalist…go back to the 20th century and ask “why”…

  • DaveGinOly

    I had a section leader who carried an ungodly number of magazines (and encouraged us to do so too) because he once ran out of ammunition in the middle of a fire fight. Says he had never been so scared in his life, and he was not one to take fright easily. Rest in peace, Melvin.

  • throwedoff

    I guess nobody fires from the prone position anymore.

  • LAMan

    OK, so his rig is not my general idea of a practical setup, either. BUT….

    Study your history, see how much ammo some carried in Vietnam–it was NOT unknown for men in certain patrol situations or high-intensity combat areas to carry 40-odd loaded 20-rd. mags. Some carried little, some carried a LOT. It depended then, as now, on what the man thinks (or knows) he’s facing. Without knowing his mission and assignment, you cannot even begin to judge what he needs to carry.

    I can’t believe any trained or experienced soldier would make the mistake of trying to judge that from one photo. If you do, it proves you’re “thinking small,” i.e. that every operational environment and mission is like the ones you personally experienced. Back up a minute and get your mind right, and you’ll realize that the guy might indeed be a dummy/Cowboy who has played too many video games, or he actually might know what the hell he’s doing. You, we, DAMN sure don’t!

    How much moving does he have to do? How much fire will he or his element have to lay down? When do they get resupplied, and how reliable is that resupply?

    So, poke fun lightheartedly, but don’t take your jokes at face value. Realize that perhaps HE’S facing a bigger problem than YOU ever faced.

  • Cap’n Mike

    When the cartridges ran out,
    You could ‘ear the front-files shout:
    “Hi! ammunition-mules an’ Gunga Din!”

  • L O

    A Walking outpost..

  • Drive with pride.

    I just got the best laugh out of everone ‘ s responce. I can tell most are prior grunts, you guys are too funny. I’ve been missing the humor here lately so thanks for all the fun comments.

  • BDUB

    Photoshop – a weapon of mass-discussion.

  • Core

    It looks shooped to me.