Kiwi SAS worried about losing magazines?!?!?

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

New Zealand blogger WhaleOil emailed me a link to these photos of New Zealand SAS taken after a firefight in Kabul, Afghanistan. What is odd about the photos is that the elite SAS troops appear to have tied their magazines to the trigger guard with cord … ?!?!

The British, Australian and New Zealand active and retired soldiers who read the blog may have to correct me, but I remember reading somewhere that British soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are not allowed to throw away empty their magazines in a firefight. I also recall reading that in the Vietnam war the NZ and Australian soldiers where also not allowed to dump empty magazines.

That seems the most likely explanation for the above photo but it seems bizarre!

Can anybody shed light on this?

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Shadow Shadow on Jan 03, 2013

    I'm currently in the nz sas and we are told not to leave any magazines behind because it cost a lot of money to resuply all the soilders after a battle and it pollutes or inviroment and the afghan people complained to my troop about the mess we left in their village

  • K K on Jun 23, 2013

    Looks like I got on this three years too late lol.

    Saw a comment asking why these guys a packing M4's. The group (1NZSAS Group) use M4's primarily instead of the IW Steyr F88. Main stream NZ Army units use the Steyr.

    Secondly, we use the lanyard technique in NZ and are taught to retain our magazines because it is uneconomical for a small section sized group (8 - 10 persons) to continually drop magazines everywhere. Not just financially in the big picture but if you were in a mountain range in Afghan fighting from position to position dropping magazines, eventually you would have none. It's not hard to understand that.

    Also the lanyard technique is normally taught after basic recruit training and mainly to those in the infantry regiment. This has been going on long before I joined the army in 2002 and is still taught today. The lanyard allows you to be able to drop the magazine quickly in a fire fight without the need to fumble around with it in your pouch returning it but retaining it also.

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